Reviews of toys on YouTube are probably popular for 3 reasons: children love to watch them, parents want to check a toy out before they buy and people often need help assembling or playing with the toy after purchase. But what makes a good toy review?
Who should present your video?
Think about your intended audience and what information it will contain before deciding who might be best to present it. Children love to watch other children, but adults talking to camera normally provide better quality and accurate information. My personal favourites are videos which combine both approach like this review of the Meccano Max Robot by The Brick Castle. You get the parents insight into the toy as well as the less polished reactions of the child.
Children are great to show how exciting a toy actually is and how easy the toy is to use. While some children are polished professionals most of them will be natural with real reactions. The child playing with the toy also means you can be behind the camera getting better camera angles, my video of The Little Tikes My First Drone would have been impossible to record with a fixed position camera.
When should you publish a toy video?
If you can get hold of a toy before it is released or when it is new then you should be racking up views while there is less competition. If the brand has sent out samples to lots of vloggers then you are still likely to benefit from being one of the first to get the video up.
Even older videos tend to get lots of views around Christmas as parents are deciding what to buy and again on Christmas and Boxing Day as people search YouTube for “How To’s”. The best way to get this traffic is to ensure your title, description and tags clearly say the brand and product name.
What about unboxing videos?
What is it about unboxing videos that appeal to kids? My children haven’t got into YouTube yet, but for years I have heard friends wondering why their child will watch video after video of another child opening some form of blind bag. Choose the right toy and these can get lots of views.
More complicated toys can also be talked about while still in the box. This has the advantage that you can show the toy in it’s untouched state before a child has the chance to damage it. Dear Mummy Blog demonstrates this in her Baby Born review. The down side is you don’t actually know everything about the toy because you haven’t read the instructions or tested it out so there is certain amount of guessing how you use it.
What is useful to include in a toy review video?
Just like with any toy review there are standard things people will want to know: Is the toy any good? Is the toy easy to use? What ages is it suitable for? Videos can be more trustworthy than a blog review because while the toy is being demonstrated it will support or contradict your words and allow the viewer to decide for themselves eg do you find the music from this Twirlywoo in KatyKickers video annoying?
A video is also great for showing how to put a toy together and how to play with it, especially if the instructions are missing or not very helpful. A good example of this is Love Ro&Ra who demonstrate how to make bows with the JoJo Bows Deluxe Bowmaker where they include tips on how to make them easier.
It is popular for bloggers to create a video to supplement a blog post with more detailed information. Some videos don’t even need to contain any real information to get a large number of views like this super short My Pal Scout video from Becky Goddard Hill.
If someone is wondering how to assemble a toy they will search specifically for instructions, but the most interesting videos to watch will always have a balance between demonstrating the toy and showing children just playing with it like Emma Reeds lovely review of a Junior Explorer Kit and My First Microscope.
Have you recorded any toy videos? What do you think works best and what do you love to watch in videos by others?