Unboxing videos are a great way for parents to know exactly what the crap they order for their kids is gonna look like when it shows up. But they’re not just for toys–not only did the sneakerheads jump on to the format pretty quickly, but they can be used to highlight what it’s like to open any physical object a person can purchase. (It’s right there in the name!) Which makes the fact that we’re now seeing the premiere of vinyl record unboxing videos seem downright inevitable.
It started on Monday, when Radiohead began shipping the first copies of the deluxe edition of their most recent release, A Moon-Shaped Pool. The band tweeted a video–filtered to look like it was shot on VHS and recovered from somebody’s attic–showing off the details of the packaging, the album’s hardbound spine, the full-sized art and lyric book, and the custom record sleeves. Vinyl nerds promptly retweeted it almost 1,500 times.
Then, by Thursday, a second established act beloved by men who like to grow beards and women who like to ride Vespas released an unboxing video of its own: This time, Wisconsin’s auto-tuned indie folk hero Bon Iver released, via record label Jagjaguwar’s Instagram account, a stop-motion animated unboxing video for the artist’s forthcoming album, 22 A Million. It reveals another ornate package–though not quite as intricate as Radiohead’s–with an oversized book full of creative typography, original art, and a record that fits neatly into a deep blue sleeve.
It’s possible (maybe even likely) that the Bon Iver unboxing video was in the works for weeks before Radiohead showed up and stole the credit for inventing what’s likely to be a ubiquitous fad–giving hipster parents who watch unboxing videos of their kids’ toys a treat of their own is a solid, cheap way to advertise the appeal of vinyl, after all. But the fact that the British band were first to this trend, just like they were the first major artist to pioneer the surprise overnight drop of an all-new album means that we are probably just a few months away from a mind-blowing vinyl unboxing video from Beyoncé. What a time to be alive.