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Anatomy of an Unboxing

My friends, I have for you today something that has never been done in the history of this site. At long last there will be that erudite sense of class that will penetrate the usual monotony of this space, obliterating the dull wit known as my writing. Yes, you guessed it; I have a guest writer.

It is my very great pleasure to introduce my good friend Mr. Jank Hank, whom shares my love for opening packages o’ geek to get to the gooey center of tech. Because of this, this article was born:

Anatomy of an Unboxing

un-boxing what is

Greetings fellow netizens. Today I want to delve a bit into one of the most celebrated geek rituals, the unboxing. It begins with a rush right from the moment of purchase, whether online or off, to the foreplay of opening the package, examining its contents, and ends with the exhilarating finish of turning on and using your tech toy. A multitude of things occur during each of these stages. Let’s further explore this rite of passage.
So you’ve just bought a nice, new, shiny toy. You’ve been hearing about it for months and now can’t wait to get your little paws on it. If you bought it from your run of the mill big box store, the ride home can be excruciatingly long…you might think, ”Where the hell did all this traffic spawn from!?!?” Or if you bought it online, you can bet your ass you’re tracking it every few hours…”Sorting facility…zomg it’s almost here! O dear, the UPS man will be here any second, how’s my hair?” *Ahem* Fix collar. Breath check.

Right when you finally get the prize in your hands, comes the delicate process of opening it. If you’re coming from the store, you’re going to want to carefully remove the shrinkwrapping as to not damage the facade of the perfectly crafted product packaging. If you receive it as a shipment, the very first thing you’ll want to do is find the nearest sharp object and procure it to puncture the tape that binds the shipping box. After you’ve done so, you can begin freeing your bounty from its imprisonment, but beware, the perils of packing peanuts. If you’re too antsy, you’ll unleash styrofoam armageddon all over your floor, so be careful. Take your time.

what is unboxing

Once the product is free from its restraints, it’s time to open it. As you open that first flap, think about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, all that has been sacrificed to get to this moment. Marvel at the size of the instruction manual; this compendium will be your toy’s best friend. Oogle at the number of warning labels and twisty ties. When you have it in your hands, there will be obvious questions you’ll ask yourself. How heavy is it? Is it lighter than…? Is it smaller/bigger than my old one? How does it stack up next to others like it?

When you finally get to using it for the first time, there is no feeling like it. For some, hearing it boot, seeing it come to life for the first time, the birth of their digital baby, is an experience that is unforgettable. Think Lolcats riding rainbow rollercoasters; the sensation in the pit of your stomach…that unforgettable. This feeling is only made more euphoric by another geek pastime; that of the midnight launch…

unboxing videos
Photos courtesy of Ntr23

– Jank
(follow him on Twitter!)
(Tune in next time as the secrets of a midnight launch are uncovered in a special report :>>)

So do you also have that passion for tearing off skimpy layers of plastic to reveal a technological gem? What technological wonder lights you up more than a Nixie tube?


  1. Anonymous says:

    Great article 🙂

    Personally I find unwrapping PC parts to be very exhilarating 😛 I’m also looking forwards to unwrapping my first SmartPhone, but that will not be for some time I fear.

  2. BigWhale says:

    I must say that I am a little bit disappointed by this post.

    Unboxing, unwrapping and first time boots, turnons and plugins are all sacred rituals. They should be cherished, treasured and enjoyed in secrecy of the ritual. This post violates trust one of the most valuable and formidable events in a life of a geek.

    And in the end of the post you dare to say that you will write about midnight launch? I am astonished! Shocked! Surprised!

    I feel torn apart with all my guts revealed to the whole common world, it doesn’t feel like being naked in front of the crowd, it feels like being turned inside out …

    Anyway, nice post. 😉

  3. AL! says:

    lol well..tho we didnt get to see the actual ipod, i love the lego ppl haha. btw you can get free ipods and itunes cards if you sign up for my site above, you get points for easy surveys and get free stuff! 🙂

  4. Torch says:

    Speaking as a Gadget Boy freak myself, I can confirm this is true, all true…

    However, you missed what I find to be one of the most treasured and memorable aspects of The Unboxing…

    I am speaking, of course, of The Scent.

    Be it a new home stereo system, a new phone or a new laptop, there is nothing quite so directly memorable as the scent first experienced, wafting from the Box, first captured at the Place of Creation and now set free to be experienced by You at the very Moment of the Unboxing.

    I don’t know if it’s true, but I understand that each olfactory neuron extends from the nose directly to the brain… perhaps in some, like us, it goes directly to the pleasure center…

    Hmmm, I wonder if any perfume has that Scent, of Freshly Unboxed Electronic Gear?

    Alas, no, I hope one would never be created… such things need to be savored for their rarity, not made common by everyday use…

  5. Jank Hank says:

    This is true Torch. Well, during the unveiling of the gadget itself, when you first hold it in your hands from the box, all the sights, sounds, AND smells associated with this are what contribute to that unforgettable and very much cherished feeling.

  6. Alex says:

    Lovely article :)! I’d like to have small lego people unwrapping my electronic gagdets aswell. As long as they do not dent the package as yours are about to do with that ladder misplaced by one of the corners >:(!

  7. BigWhale says:

    Sometimes The Scent turns into The Smell. Making un-boxing less pleasant. :>

  8. neek247 says:

    i so want an iphone but im not paying 700 bucks lol

  9. Константин says:

    Thank you for your post named “12 Open Source Games that Don’t Suck” and another one “12 MORE Open Source Games that Don’t Suck”.
    It was really helpful!

    С уважением, Константин

  10. Stan says:

    Wow, I totally agree that unboxing is a sacred ritual… (Though, when I was a kid, I was a complete fool with it… I once would unbox in the car… And I once would throw out my dear video game boxes :'( … Gahhh!!)

    Nice job with the LEGO pics 😀 !!

  11. […] know that the Land of Unboxing Videos is a fairly unfamiliar territory for me. However, I was uber excited to receive my own […]

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