“Gak,” originally a nickname for the slime used on Double Dare, first hit the retail market in the early ‘90s. From then on, the sludgy plaything slid in and out of production, always returning with new colors and weirder upgrades.
But over the last few years, Nickelodeon’s legion of gloppy toys have become more permanently available. From “Green Slime” to “Floam,” you won’t have much trouble tracking any of them down. This includes Gak, of course.
The benefit to this increased availability is Nickelodeon’s need to constantly reinvent themselves. After all, it’d get pretty boring to buy the same old Gak month after month. So, we get things like this…
Halloween Gak, in two terrific styles! (The white Gak in the skull container has been available in the past, but I’ve definitely never seen that pumpkin Gak before.)
You could argue that only fundamental difference between Halloween Gak and regular Gak is the shape of the plastic container, and I guess you’d be right. But isn’t that enough?
When you free the Gak (I’m assuming that the plural of “Gak” is still just “Gak”), they roughly maintain the shapes of their containers. The uninitiated may expect Gak to have a consistency akin to “vending machine slime,” but no, it’s actually much closer to Marshmallow Fluff.
More accurately, it’s like Marshmallow Fluff mixed with Silly Putty. It won’t really hold whatever shape you form out of it, but brother, it’ll try.
In bygone years, Gak was sold mostly on its ability to make gross sounds when you squish it. (The package refers to this as a “frrrrt” sound, which is obviously Nicklodeon-speak for “fart.” So yeah, if you want a pile of fake snot that sounds like “frrrting,” Gak is for you.)
We’re also encouraged to “stretch” the Gak, “bounce” the Gak, and even “bubble” the Gak. (I wasn’t able to accomplish that last one, but unless the package lied, you really can inflate the stuff like a balloon, assuming you have a straw or the right sort of narrow lips.)
The shapes in the above photo were purely incidental, by the way. I mention this not because of the roadkill ghost, but because I don’t want Jugendsehnsucht to ask about what I was going for with the orange Gak.
Gak is a great stress reliever. It’s hard to think about anything else when you’re handling Gak. This week has been pretty brutal, but for the few moments when I was singularly focused on not letting Gak collect bits of dirt and cat hair, NOTHING ELSE MATTERED.
I’ve played with so many types of toy slime over the years, but Gak may be the weirdest. There’s no obvious purpose for it. I guess the same could be said for all toy slime, but here it’s somehow magnified. You can let it ooze, but it only sort of oozes. You can mold it into shapes, but they won’t stick. You can stretch it, but to what end?
That’s not a complaint, mind you. I love that Gak is so indecipherable. Something called “Gak” should be indecipherable. Something called “Gak” should inspire re-recordings of Edwin Starr songs with slightly modified lyrics.
You’ll notice that the Gak pictured above seems to glow in the dark. That isn’t false advertising. This stuff DOES glow, and fantastically so. I wasn’t able to photograph it, even with the aid of powerful flashlights and towel closets, but I swear, it glows!
I found these at CVS, for the sarcastic bargain price of $8 each. That’s admittedly too high for a glob of inedible glow-in-the-dark too-floury pancake batter, but I’m betting that normal toy stores sell them for a bit cheaper. (Pharmacies charge 50% more than the norm, and even though I just made that figure up, I bet it’s pretty accurate.)
High prices aside, it’s neat to see a big brand toy get a Halloween edition. I’d normally walk right by Gak, but when it comes in a freckled jack-o’-lantern container and it’s sold next to fun-sized 3 Musketeers bars, there is no “no.”