Yano Interactive Storyteller

Yano's face may be the last thing you see before you die

Yano's face may be the last thing you see before you die

Sometime in early or mid 2010 I saw this unusual and creepy toy at the Camberwell Sunday Market. I found it interesting and the owner claimed it was worth hundreds of dollars on ebay and they were willing to sell it for $35 or something like that. I tried looking up whatever they said it’s name was but i couldn’t seem to find out any information on it. I didn’t buy it and forgot about it. Last week I was at an op shop and found a Furby, all their soft toys were $2 each. I looked around to see if there were any more Furby dolls and then saw Yano’s face looking out side of giant wire framed basket under a pile of other boring toys. I grabbed it and noticed the face was damaged but considering it’s age and the material it was made from it seemed ok. I took it home and realised it still had batteries in it and wow. My friend who was with me was super creeped out by it’s loud grinding gears as it’s head turned and his face moved as he talked. It told us an awful story called “The Magic Singing Stone”. To continue the story we had to press either the Yes or No button on its chest. I’ve since found out that it is meant to come with a special controller that is better for communicating with Yano, but I’ve since been back to the store and couldn’t seem to find it anywhere. Not a big deal.

Yano compared to a Furby.

Yano compared to a Furby.

Yano was made in 2001 by The Original San Francisco Toymakers Ltd. Some searches on Youtube have shown that this toy was just as terrorifying to kids in 2001 as it would be now. It reads stories out of a chip that is inserted into the bottom of the toy. It runs on several C cell batteries. One video mentioned that the kid’s parents used to threaten them with Yano if he did not eat his vegetables or something. Other people have made amusing videos using creative lighting to highlight how creepy this toy can be and other people have modded it and used it’s robotic face for their own uses.

  • Courtney

    I remember these Keif ! They remind me of the Smiths gobbledok lolllll
    Post more good stuff !!

  • Barb Dwyer

    Your blog-writing abilities make me wet and hard at the same time. Yano is very cute but sooo terrifying. Good find Keith.”Yano’s face may be the last thing you see before you die.” AHAHAHAHAHA well done!

  • Joe Boyle

    Hi keith,
    I have a Yano which we just found in the cupboard, loaded it with batteries and scared the hell out of the grand daughter unfortuneatley it just died and and havent been able to get it re working. J.S B

  • jan

    Hi Keith,
    I have just become an owner of a yano doll, which still works. I was wondering if you still have yours, I am after the battery cover for the doll not the controller, would you be interested in passing that part on.

    Thanks Jan

  • Michael Whitney

    I have a yano found him in a trash pile years ago thought he might be worth$$ i was wrong and my daughter wouldn’t play with him anyway I have held onto him and have a new neighbor with a son he likes him so going to give yano to him but I put new batteries in and he spoke for 2-3minutes and now cuts in and out most of the time his mouth is moving but there’s no volume does anyone know how to fix yano so I can pass him on

    • Keith Nallawalla

      i have no idea, sorry. I wonder how the battery compartment is, I’ve been cleaning a lot of devices with Brasso metal polish in their battery compartment areas.