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Gak is a putty toy and a modeling compound of variable colors that has been sold for distribution to children. While the product has enjoyed popularity since its release in 1992, it became notable online with the airing of re-branded commercials during the third season premiere of Hasbro’s animated TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in November 2012.
According to Wikipedia, the original edition of Gak by Mattel was manufactured in 1992, but ceased production several times throughout the years, making few, short-lived comebacks. In 2012, the product was reintroduced with licensing by Nickelodeon in commercials proclaiming “Gak is Back” (shown below) that were frequently played on several children’s networks.
On October 20th, Gak commercials were aired on The Hub network during a Bronystate livestream (shown below, left) showing a rerun of the My Little Pony episode “Winter Wrap Up”, four ads being shown in a row during a single commercial break. During the stream, many viewers began commenting and poking fun at the repetitive ads in the chat room. However, due to the fewer amount of viewers present at the time, the subject was soon dropped thereafter.
Four weeks later, during the season three premiere of the show on November 10th, a larger majority of livestream viewers attended and quickly took notice of the frequent Gak ads, causing the chat room to be flooded with numerous Gak-related spam (shown below, right).
Following the second livestream, Gak-related threads subsequently appeared in the /mlp/ (My Little Pony) board on 4chan. The same day, the Gak commerical was featured on the My Little Pony fan blog Equestria Daily, an “Ask Gak” Tumblr was created and a Gak thread was submitted to the My Little Pony fan forum Canterlot. Redditor UDNTOME submitted a post entitled “Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak” to the /r/MLPLounge subreddit (shown below), which received over 165 up votes and 115 comments within the next three days. “Gak” simultaneously appeared on other nonprofit Brony chats, as well.
For the remainder of November 10th, the Bronystate chat, along with the site’s regulars, experienced endless “Gak” spam. The following night, the site’s moderators enabled a setting that automatically kicked any attendant that mentioned the word within the chat.
Many viewers created fanarts, image macros and animated GIFs inspired by the Gak fad. Additional examples can be found on Tumblr under the tag “#gak.”
Several YouTubers uploaded YouTube poop videos featuring Gak commercial footage in My Little Pony scenes, while others created music remixes featuring audio from the commercials.