The Star Wars YouTube channel is currently wrapping up what may be the most obscene unboxing video in the history of fetishistic nerd consumerism.
The livestream is unfolding over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries, highlighting merchandise that will be sold alongside the December release of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As the hours pass and the Earth rotates, the livestream has bounced from one YouTube personality to another (all from the Disney-owned Maker Studios network), where they will continue to open cardboard boxes and birth more plastic toys.
As I write this, I'm watching a young boy in Chicago being stuffed into a very cheap-looking Stormtrooper costume. Prior to that, I saw a Millennium Falcon quadcopter fly across the stage. Nothing I've seen so far seemed like it would pose a choking hazard, but there's still an hour left (the event wraps up at 11 AM Eastern).
"Star Wars toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the saga," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said. "They've inspired multiple generations to relive the experience of the movies and to create new adventures all their own. These spectacular Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will continue that tradition."
And what a tradition it has been. In 1977, with the release of the first Star Wars movie, demand for toys was so high, toymaker Kenner managed to sell empty cardboard boxes that buyers could later redeem to get the actual toys. Couple that kind of demand for Star Wars toys with the internet-era unboxing videos, in which video game consoles, iPhones, and toys are taken out of their packaging in an almost pornographic manner, and you get an 18 hour livestream that's currently being watched by more than 5,000 people.