What is all the fuss about with toys designed to be unwrapped? We want to be able to share in this excitement. So, we recorded a podcast trying to wrap our heads round the whole unboxing phenomenon. We want to know what it is about these toys that makes millions of people want to see them be unwrapped! What is it that makes people want a teeny sparkly pair of shoes? Our podcast mainly focuses on L.O.L dolls and also mentions toys such as Kinder egg, where the enjoyment appears to lie in the unwrapping and reveal of the toy.

However, the question pinnacle to us is, is the excitement of the toy left in the unboxing? In recent years YouTubers have become a huge part of the online world and YouTube has become a huge social media platform, with stats showing 1 Billion active users each month! We decided to take a look at everyone’s favourite YouTubers and see what they do best!

YouTubers are creating videos dedicated to reviewing and unboxing toys, channels such as: ‘Pstoyreviews’, ‘Fun toy collector’, and ‘Toy caboodle’ range from 1million subscribers to a staggering 11million. We wanted to see whether toys like L.O.L dolls, that are perfect for YouTube unboxings with layers to build up the ‘hype’ are toys worth the cost (which can range from £8-£170).

This video shows us what we would receive if we decided to order a L.O.L doll. The products are fun and cute they reveal tiny little accessories that seem to have a common theme of bright and glitzy wear. The dolls are also just as tiny and cute, they can be stood on the glittery ball they come in and showcased in your child’s room.

An example of what you could get:

• Heart sunglasses

• Silver boots

• Sparkly water bottle

• A Pink sparkly belted top

• The LOL doll with blue sparkly hair

We are interested in seeing whether these toys are well used and loved or if they are just a momentary ‘craze’! Either way there seems nothing wrong with all the joy and excitement they bring with them.

If you are still interested here are some links to some more child friendly unboxing channels:

What are the issues with unboxing?

No toy can be perfect, like most things I’m sure. So, in order to really understand what these toys are and the ‘craze’ surrounding them we mustn’t ignore their customary downfalls.

  • Environmental issues– The amount of plastic waste the toys designed for the purpose of unboxing can be problematic. Some of the toys spoken about can have up to 50 layers of plastic wrapping used! Hopefully in the future creators begin to use more biodegradable and environmentally sustainable packaging.
  • Instant gratification– Children don’t learn to wait and create a toy that they can enjoy in the long run. It is all about the instant excitement, meaning children don’t fully appreciate the toy they have once the excitement of unboxing the toy is all over.
  • Consumer Culture– Are we teaching our children to become model consumers at a young age? The want to unbox toys for the thrill and excitement leaves children wanting more after the initial excitement is over. There is a need for more and more, rather than being satisfied and grateful for what they have received.

What are the benefits of toys that’s ‘hype’ is down to unboxing?

  • The excitement- Children clearly love to unbox these toys and feel excitement over what they are going to unveil. Unboxing toys is no longer a cult favourite- with YouTube searches for unboxing reaching a staggering ’55 million’ searches.
  • An innovative idea- These products appear to be doing very well, with roughly 2.5 million sold worldwide. It seems apparent from reviews that children love receiving these toys, their downfall appears to be the price point, the packaging, and in some cases the way in which the dolls are presented (clothing some parents find offensive).

Comparison to our toys

Simbrix is a toy centred around the actual product, a modern twist on the classic toy. The exterior of the Simbrix box is straight-forward, the packaging has a translucent ‘window’ in which you can physically see the toy you are getting.

As you can see from an unboxing video of our product, our product is straight to the point in terms of unboxing:

Simbrix is a toy that reinforces the positive idea of deferred gratification. Another thing we discussed on the podcast was this idea of instant Vs deferred gratification. Toys like L.O.L satisfy a child’s need for excitement and the instantaneous gratification of excitedly opening a toy. Whereas Simbrix encourages the process of deferred gratification. Children learn skills such as patience, focus, and develop their motor skills through piecing together and building the toy, this means elongating the enjoyment the toy gives them.

Additional

We would love to know how you feel about the unboxing ‘craze’, so if you have an opinion on this topic please let us know

Thank you for reading our blog and joining us in our quest to quench our curiosity over the latest up and coming products! Make sure to check out our podcast too, in order hear us talk over what we’ve learnt from researching this unboxing phenomenon.

Written by Assim Ishaque and Caitlin Devitt, Jan 28th, 2019