Ten Years of Unboxing

Believe it or not, 'Unboxing' has been a trend on the Internet for 10 years now. And take it from our buddy Paul Cantu, people love unboxing videos, whether they're sneakers, clothes, shoelaces, or tech.

(Source: YouTube.com)

Before YouTube, you would only really watch people unwrap packages at birthdays parties and on Christmas. Watching someone else break out that new ‘thing,’ regardless of what it is, can best be described as part jealousy and part excitement. Ultimately, if the product unboxing is good, you’re going to want to buy one of your own. This is probably why sneaker unboxing videos is huge.

(Source: Hypebeast.com)

Now of course, people have been filming other people unwrapping and unboxing stuff since they had the ability to do so. There’s probably a Camcorder video of you as a youngin’ unwrapping a Playstation 2 or a bmx bike on Christmas morning and losing your mind. Funny enough, a kid unwrapping Nintendo 64’s was one of the early ‘Internet’ trends during the pre-Youtube era.

(Source: Reddit.com)

What’s funny is that YouTube is obviously a cornerstone of contemporary culture, but people probably don’t consider that it’s eleven years old. The early days of YouTube videos were nothing like the full production shows on their now, so when someone uploaded themselves unpacking a product, it was considered premium content.

Funny enough, the first ‘known’ unboxing video that was uploaded to the Word Wide Web was for a Nokia E61 phone in 2006.

The very first video. A touch screen phone with a stylus was a banger back in 2006.

(Source: YouTube.com)

From the Google Search end of things, the term ‘unboxing’ started to pop up a few times in March 2006. Within 9 months, the popularity of this phrase surged. This brings us back to YouTube, which was also taking off. With the site’s growing popularity, people could upload videos from their phones of themselves unwrapping Jordan IV Retros and it looked nothing like this.

(Source: CrispCulture.com)

Fast forward a few years, and you have a handful of sneakerheads filming themselves unboxing and reviewing their new kicks. Since this was still pre-Instagram, you had to stay up on a Streetwear blog or lurk at your local Footaction to get a good look at rare sneakers. So unboxing was the best place to get 360 view of the sneakers without leaving your house. Appropriately, the idea of unboxing sneakers became a phenomenon.

(Source: YouTube.com)

At some point, unboxing sneakers and customizing sneakers crossed paths. Young entrepreneurs used the unboxing video to create a personal brand. If you were going to unbox, why not give the viewer advice on how to dress? Why not take them shopping with you? Why not show them how to make their own? Luckily, the Lace Lab/Angelus Direct family has three YouTube personalities, Alex, Paul, and David on our roster to walk you through everything from unboxing and customizations.

One of our original YouTube guys was Alex, also known as Sneakerheadinthebay. Alex’s videos range from How To’s for painting and refurbishing sneakers, to unboxing of course, to his most recent venture into fundraising.

(Source: YouTube.com)

He cut a pair of Air Jordan III’s in half to raise money for the Doernbecher Project, a sneaker design outreach for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. How did he raise the money you might ask? He has over 250,000 subscribers to his channel and he donated the ad revenue for the video to the project.

 Most recently, we linked up with customizer Davidgotkicks, whose videos receive huge viewerships. Like Alex, David’s video walk you through the specs on your new favorite sneaker or show you how to make your own favorite sneaker.


(Source: @davidgotkicks)

Different personalities of course, but the effect is the same. These guys, and we can’t forget Mr. Paul Cantu, are your premium viewing content for everything sneaker related. Unboxing has been going on for 10 years now, and with all the new products dropping, who knows what the next ten will look like.