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#1 Edited by HolyCrapItsAdam (635 posts) -

I don't understand the purpose or appeal of unboxing videos.

Do people watch them just to see what is included in the box?

Is there a sense of satisfaction from watching someone unpackage something?

All or none of the above?

Please explain this to me

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#2 Posted by pompouspizza (1226 posts) -

@holycrapitsadam: I love unboxing videos, they make me really excited but I can't tell you why. I'm 100% aware of how stupid they are.

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#3 Posted by Uhtaree (765 posts) -

A collision of vanity and consumerism.

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#4 Posted by ripelivejam (10908 posts) -

it's ok not to like something, you don't need to force yourself to "get it"

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#5 Edited by Slag (7349 posts) -

@holycrapitsadam: Do you like watching other people open presents at Christmas? Watching another person flip out or just be enthralled in a moment of potentially unbridled joy?

If you do, you might like watching unboxing.

If you don't, you won't.

In some ways it's similiar to watching those military vets surprise early homecoming vids that seem to get posted a lot.

Some people, just take joy in watching the joy of others.

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#6 Posted by paulmako (1688 posts) -

It's somewhat useful to see what is in the box of a product.

But I think it's more that people like seeing new products getting opened if they don't own one themselves. And they get to hear the reaction of whoever is filming.

It's also just a pretty good and informative way of getting a closeup look of the physical product and see how big it is in someone's hands. I think I've watched them before when looking for a new phone and a new radio.

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#7 Posted by beanswater (90 posts) -

Having never watched them I can't say, but I think it has to be related to whatever it is that makes kids love toy videos. Getting excited about about something new, seeing what it looks like for the first time, getting to see it used and imagining what it would be like to do that yourself.

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#8 Posted by Dinosaurs (80 posts) -

Maybe check out some Unbox Therapy videos. Sometimes it's just fun to watch that kind of stuff. Products you may not even have known existed getting opened up and played with for a minute or two. You get immediate first impressions. And who doesn't appreciate some clever packaging.

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#9 Posted by Ravelle (2536 posts) -


They're dumb and meaningless and good for the views.

You're welcome.

Snark aside, you can save me a lot of time if you just make a nice photo of all the unboxed goods.

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#10 Posted by Capum15 (5699 posts) -

I enjoy the Mailbag stuff because I like seeing the weird / unique things people send in. Don't really watch the more standard types though, like on Youtube or something.

Unless it's like an intro to a video before gameplay, and short.

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#11 Posted by Zevvion (5217 posts) -

I want to see what is included in the box of some products. I am one of the few people alive who sees the value in a dedicated music player and as such I need to see with what cables and accessories it comes. It is also a good opportunity to see how large the device is and such. It matters, because when you just list: 'it comes with 'X' cable' in written format, I still can't see how long that cable is or how thick. You can write down how long it is, but seeing it is much, much more useful.

In short, they are perfect for knowing what the hell you are buying exactly.

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#12 Posted by clagnaught (1267 posts) -

I can't speak for other people, but I think unboxing videos came around the time when special-ultra-ultimate-limited-spectacular-yo this game has a metal box edition of games became more of a thing.

Want to spend $150 to have a bust of the playable character? Click here to see it! Want to see the night vision googles before you buy the night vision googles? Click here and behold its glory!! Is that box really metal? Maybe it isn't, you should watch this video and let me tell you whether it is or not!!!

Now it's a more universal "this is a new thing, look at the new thing" video, but I think it started with the appeal of this is new and also uncommon.

I think there's a separate "I got stuff in the mail" style of videos, like Giant Bomb's mailbags, so-and-so received a package from an advertiser, grocery hauls etc. I'm not sure if that came from unboxing videos or if that was inevitable, because what else are you going to do on The Internet?

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#13 Posted by pickassoreborn (713 posts) -

I tried to watch the Nintendo Switch unboxing on the Nintendo Minute - as soon as they started describing the matte surface of the box, I had to switch (hoho!) off.

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#14 Edited by Emperor_Norton (90 posts) -

Is the box rigged with some sort of elaborate trap or puzzle that could maim the opener if handled incorrectly? If it is, then I enjoy them!

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#15 Posted by takayamasama (1405 posts) -

Unboxing static things like tech is super boring to me, because it's all gonna be the same.

Now, if you wanna talk about some cracking Trading Card boosters and showing that off on stream, hell yeah I'll get on board. I'll watch someone entertaining open Magic packs a lot! It's fun to see what they get, if they made their money back on the box, foils the pulled, etc.

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#16 Posted by pompouspizza (1226 posts) -

@pickassoreborn: Try just listening to the audio of that video. It's basically porn...

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#17 Edited by Tom_omb (739 posts) -

I thought this one was pretty good. But otherwise, not my thing either...

Loading Video...

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#18 Posted by kindgineer (3087 posts) -

I don't necessarily like unboxing videos, but I do enjoy watching "personalities" that I like share their opinions about said objects. It's also like Gacha, at least in my opinion, where I'm more excited about the opening and the thrill around it rather than the actually thing it contains.

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#19 Posted by Justin258 (14374 posts) -

I like unboxing shiny, expensive new things but I'm not rich so I don't get to do that often so experiencing it vicariously is a distant but acceptable second best thing, especially if I'm *this* close to buying a shiny, expensive new thing and I just can't wait.

Also, it's very handy if I want to know exactly what's in a box. Lists aren't always clear on that. Like, for instance, this camera comes with a USB cable - great, how long is it? Also, they're handy for finding out sometimes weird or very specific things that aren't often easily found. For instance, how many product pages for laptops list the number of USB ports? All right, how many of them tell you exactly where those USB ports are located? I need one on the back right corner for some strange reason, is that an option?

I don't watch unboxing videos often, but I have been known to look one or two up every once in a blue moon.

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#20 Posted by gtb08 (155 posts) -

I tend to watch them for any figures I plan to purchase, or if theres a special edition game with a pre-release unboxing to help me decide. I've also watched a few lootcrate/nerdblock videos to gauge whether they'd be good products for me.

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#21 Posted by ultimategamer69 (6 posts) -

I'm really shocked this hasn't been mentioned


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#22 Posted by BladeOfCreation (253 posts) -

I wonder how many people here would say they don't like unboxing videos, but also enjoy watching the GB Mailbag videos. The interesting and varied things in the GB mailbags definitely make it more fun, but so do the personalities of the crew, and I think that's probably the key for most people.

Now if you wanna get really weird, watch ASMR unboxing videos.

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#23 Posted by FacelessVixen (1761 posts) -

For shopping purposes. Like, when I was looking a new pair of bluetooth headphones, I wanted to double check Amazon's description and visually know if the headphones have an option for a wired 3mm jack and included said cable in the packaging.

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#24 Posted by ShaggE (8398 posts) -

I like unboxing videos for informative reasons, hype reasons (I watched a number of PSVR unboxings while waiting for mine to arrive... just a fun way to build the excitement), and general inexplicable entertainment reasons.

Also, I'm not a fan of boxing, so it stands to reason that I would enjoy unboxing.

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#25 Posted by Capasso (72 posts) -

I like them as a way to evaluate the quality of the product "in person", instead of promo shots/videos. The "review" that is usually part of them is the least important aspect, unless they're very negative (which they rarely are).

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#26 Posted by haxdax (89 posts) -
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#27 Posted by Dixavd (2497 posts) -

I infrequently watch unboxing videos (usually card pack openings for TCGs though). There's something satisfying with seeing someone who is genuinely excited to get something share that experience.

Sometimes if I'm buying, or interested in buying, an expensive product or one that will affect my everyday life significantly (most recently, a new backpack) then I'll look at unboxing videos to see the general quality and contents of the product. I don't have the funds to buy many of these things, so this is even less often than the former.

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#28 Posted by whitegreyblack (1510 posts) -

Unboxing vids can be very valuable if you have questions/concerns about what's actually included in a package, such as cables in the case of hardware. I have looked at a bunch of unboxing videos for co-called "complete" or "ultimate" editions of console games to see if DLC is included as a download code or on physical media.

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#29 Posted by WynnDuffy (1018 posts) -

Unboxing vids can be very valuable if you have questions/concerns about what's actually included in a package, such as cables in the case of hardware. I have looked at a bunch of unboxing videos for co-called "complete" or "ultimate" editions of console games to see if DLC is included as a download code or on physical media.

Exactly this, it's frustrating when a company doesn't list what comes in the box and this happens more often than I like.

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#30 Edited by Chaser324 (8080 posts) -

One word: "consumers".

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#31 Posted by MachoFantastico (6285 posts) -

Unboxing videos are useful for finding out what's inside the package of a product. I've watched them for phones, head/earphones and some other gadgets so I know what I'm getting. Other than that they're pretty useless.

I do enjoy watching unboxings of old technology and gadgets however.

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#32 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (6226 posts) -

I watch Unbox Therapy (Lewis), but I don't think he does what most people might think of as unboxing videos. He doesn't unbox products people typically buy 99% of the time. He doesn't unbox PlayStaions or car radios...or Ginsu Knife sets. He is really doing micro-reviews of products that he either is sent blind in the mail or things he sets up with companies he is interested in working with. Fully 2/3 of what Lewis & Jack do is using the products, but he does start sit just that he typically starts.

Most of what I watch that is called unboxing is really just micro reviews, because -yeah- if all they did was take stuff out of boxes that would be dull.

In teh past two years what I watch on YouTube has shifted far more to discussion and analysis content rather than people just charting in their bedrooms. But I do have a few people who are still in their bedrooms or home offices, people like Lindybeige, TastyPCTV , and Kawaiikaty. You might see a trend of them all being very-odd-duck s from the UK...but they each embraces that oddness.

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#33 Posted by forteexe21 (1312 posts) -

I only watch unboxing to see whats in the box and quality.

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#34 Edited by planetfunksquad (1365 posts) -
Loading Video...

People just wanna know man.

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#35 Posted by FrostyRyan (1995 posts) -

To let you have visual reference of what you're paying for and how it's packaged.

You don't have to understand.

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#36 Posted by Trilogy (3087 posts) -

@ravelle said:


They're dumb and meaningless and good for the views.

You're welcome.

Snark aside, you can save me a lot of time if you just make a nice photo of all the unboxed goods.

"And another thing, make sure it's a polaroid. None of this new fangled digital shit you kids are into these days."

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#37 Posted by dudeglove (12579 posts) -

I'm into ASMR unboxing myself

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#38 Posted by MeierTheRed (5333 posts) -

I don't understand the purpose or appeal of unboxing videos.

Do people watch them just to see what is included in the box?

Is there a sense of satisfaction from watching someone unpackage something?

All or none of the above?

Please explain this to me

Gotta get those sweet reaction shots man. (also a concept i don't understand)

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#39 Edited by caska (260 posts) -

Back when I was a kid there was this TV show called In the Box that used to play in the morning after the weekday cartoons/anime.

Loading Video...

Back on track though I think a lot of people use them the same way as they do trailers or previews. If I'm excited about getting something then I devour every piece of information I can get that's related to that particular thing; especially if that thing costs a lot of money.

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#40 Posted by TobbRobb (6090 posts) -

Yeah I don't really get it, you can generally find out anything you wanted to know about a product by reading up on it. But I'm also someone that look for written guides and solutions when I want help for something, and I can't stand audiobooks because I prefer reading them. So it's probably just that I'm impatient and don't mesh well with the pace of an unboxing video to get what I want.

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#41 Posted by Aarny91 (3959 posts) -

I don't get it either, but it's like Mailbag videos. You're just watching people unbox things and go "cool!" I never really understood it, but I've found myself watching a few from time to time.

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#42 Posted by VierasTalo (1339 posts) -

There was a study some big board game company like Hasbro did that tried to figure out what is most fun when playing board games. The study found that the most fun you could have with a board game is when you open it up and fondle all the new components.

Unboxing videos offer that feeling to viewers. It's diluted, but still. I bet it works very well for a lot of people.

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#43 Posted by Capstan (85 posts) -

Hey, remember that first night you were alone with your Significant Other? You'd been hanging out for a while, learning some things about that other person: likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, favorite color? But tonight is finally the night! Tonight, all the mysteries will be revealed. Your heart begins to thump in your chest. Your breath quickens, then sticks in your throat, as your hand makes its bullet-time journey toward that first zipper. Then, contact! You feel like it's a toss-up whether you'll be shot into space or swallowed by the earth. All the air seems to drain from the room as you slowly tug that tab downward.....

Yeah, unboxing videos are like that.

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#44 Posted by gamerpigeon (507 posts) -

Do people watch them just to see what is included in the box?

Yeah that is kinda the point. Sometimes it's nice to know before you buy something what is included, what the product actually looks like in someones hands etc etc. In the games of games systems it's mostly just that.

For games sometimes it's nice to know what Spine art is on the case (if any), if there is a manual or not and what the back cover looks like. If you don't go in store to buy games then there is no other way of knowing.

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#45 Edited by BabyChooChoo (6563 posts) -

Sometimes it's difficult to get a sense of what is exactly in the box, what it looks like, the size, etc. There have been figures and special editions of games where I was totally on board, getting ready to purchase, but then looked at an unboxing and noticed "oh the face is all fucked up and the paint job looks bad" or "oh, when they said it comes with an 'high quality art book' in the description, they really meant this cheap, tiny pamphlet with a couple of shitty pictures of the game."

It's reasons like that that I watch unboxings.

That said, some people don't care about any of that and simply find it interesting and/or soothing. More power to 'em. Nothing wrong with that in my book. In terms of how one can spend their time, that seems like one of the more harmless ways to do so. And as someone who spends a lot of time with ASMR videos because I have difficulty sleeping, I like to think I understand the therapeutic benefits of simple things like that.

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#46 Edited by sodapop7 (557 posts) -

I only tend to watch them when I'm so desperate for something to come out that I'll take anything I can get.

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#47 Posted by AlisterCat (7365 posts) -

I want to see whats in the box. I also really enjoy packaging design so there's that. I'm not sure what's difficult to understand there but they're very easy to avoid.

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#48 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (3425 posts) -

I like that they exist because sometimes, there are very simple questions about the contents of a package that rither go unanswered online, or can't be answered. Like your perception of something that you can't seem to come to a conclusion of based on whatever pictures are available, online. Sometimes, a video of the product being opened brand new is just the thing to help you come to a conclusion.

Edit: looks like @BabyChooChoo nailed it before me.