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The appeal of unboxing videos online

Posted at 7:50 AM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 07:50:25-04

How can you make millions of dollars and attract billions of eyeballs? Try unboxing toys on YouTube.

Six-year-old Olivia Nieves-Jerome can tell you a lot about unboxing videos. She loves watching people unpack, build and play with popular toys and dolls.

“They’re like so much fun. It inspires me for my own YouTube channel because I have one,” she said.

The biggest YouTube unboxing star is 7-year-old Ryan of Ryan ToysReview, who netted about 22 million dollars last year.

He also has a line of toys at Walmart and his own show on Nickelodeon.

But what’s the appeal for children?

Fordham University Professor, Dr. Dean McKay, unboxes the science behind unboxing: “Kids can place themselves in that perspective of what it would be like if they opened up this toy.”

McKay compares unboxing to the modern day toy commercial, except kids can watch these for hours.

Olivia’s uncle, Robert Palmer, is a personal trainer who, himself, unboxes products on Instagram.

“It gives you a real-life review in the moment from somebody that you trust,” he said.

When it comes to Olivia and his own children, Palmer and the experts agree: Parents need to find a middle ground and be aware of what their kids are watching online.