Unboxing videos -- or, clips of people opening toys -- occupy a lucrative corner of the internet. Yes, really.
Though some users hate the family-friendly uploads with a passion ("the cancer of YouTube!"), astronomical view counts tell a story of addiction and vicarious thrills. What's the appeal? As a psychologist explained to mental_floss, "the human brain is wired to be curious," and these types of vids often blend surprise with a child's wildest obsessions. "[Children] absolutely watch the videos of adults playing with toys more than the media the toys are drawn from," one parent told Select All. "We had to convince [our kids] to watch Big Hero 6 after seeing the toys all over the YouTube feed." Some vids even attract more eyeballs than Sesame Street. No wonder analysts are calling them the future of toy commercials.
In a nod to this mesmerizing and peculiar practice, we've collected some of YouTube's most-watched unboxing gems (along with their insanely high view counts). Enjoy?
This Restaurant Reinvented the McGriddle Surprise Eggs unboxing toys/YouTube
"Play Doh Ice cream cupcakes playset playdough by Unboxingsurpriseegg"
Views: 838.9 million
Some of these Play-Doh desserts look good enough to eat! Except the turdcake at 18:00. Do not eat.
"Super Giant Golden Surprise Egg - Spiderman Egg Toys Opening + 3 Kinder Surprise Eggs Unboxing"
Views: 314.4 million
Oooooooh, what kind of animal lays an egg full of action figures and play sets? Very interested to see how parents explain this.
"Unboxing New Spiderman Battery-Powered Ride On Super Car 6V Test Drive Park Playtime Fun Ckn Toys"
Views: 198.4 million
Does scissor-door enthusiast Russ Hanneman know about this whip? Please notify.
"SURPRISE TOYS GIANT BALLOON DROP POP CHALLENGE ✪ Huge Surprise Toys Video Frozen DisneyCarToys"
Views: 183.4 million
When superheroes retire, they amuse children by popping treasure-filled balloons. A different kind of danger.
Toy Genie Surprises/YouTube
"30 Surprise Eggs!! Play Doh Kinder Disney Cars Ice-Cream SpongeBob Angry Birds Super Mario Peppa Pig"
Views: 165.4 million
As you've seen, not every unboxing video starts with a box. Sometimes the toys hide in... Play-Doh rocks! This video also comes with hyperactive Muzak, aka my new ringtone.
"Mickey Mouse Club House Pez Dispensers with Minnie Mouse and More"
Views: 96.4 million
From the mellifluous mad scientist that brought you "Cutting Open Boss Baby What's Inside His Belly," it's "Mickey Mouse Club House Pez Dispensers with Minnie Mouse and More!"
"Play Doh Plankton Spongebob Squarepants Imaginext Playset Toys Super Unboxing - Disney Cars Toy Club"
Views: 70.3 million
Warning: Mighty Max flashback zone. (Also, trick shot alert at 13:40. Your move, Dude Perfect.)
Blu Toys Club Surprise/YouTube
"HOT WHEELS CAR MAKER Playset Review & Demo"
Views: 32.4 million
When will George Miller do his Happy Feet-Hot Wheels crossover? The time is now.
DuckDuck Kids TV Official/YouTube
"Cars 2 Silver Lightning McQueen Racer Surprise Eggs Disney Pixar Zaini Silver Racers by ToyCollector"
Views: 17.1 million
This chocolate better not be going to waste, Blu Toys Club Surprise.
Toy Genie Surprises/YouTube
"Learn Colors with Surprise Eggs Prank 3D for Kids Toddlers Color Balls Smiley Face"
Views: 11.3 million
No matter what you think about these vids at this point, Batman saying "Hi!" at the 30-second mark is the best thing you'll see all week. Guaranteed.
"Paw Patrol Diving for Squishy Cutting Toys"
Views: 5.7 million
Turns out Toy Story's Sid permanently corrupted his sister.
Note: View counts above are estimates from April 2017.
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