It all started with Loot Crate. Loot Crate is a subscription box service in 2012 wherein subscribers who pay monthly receive a monthly box filled with all things geek and gaming related merchandise. At the time, you were not informed of the exact contents of the box, but a theme was set with the box so you roughly had an idea of what to expect. This gave purchasers a feeling of excitement and anticipation along with the air of 'mystery' the box had to offer. One-off crates with particular themes have been released, such as for Fallout 4 and Mass Effect. Loot Crate also operated a Loot Pets box that followed the same monthly themes as the regular Loot Crate, but all the items were intended for cats, dogs or other pets. The concept ended in September 2017. In 2016, the company was ranked #1 on Inc's Fastest-Growing Private Companies and the Deloitte Fast 500 North America list.
The Current Market
eBay mystery boxes have been around since the early Noughties, but have recently had a huge upsurge in popularity thanks to YouTubers (and Buzzfeed) creating videos about their contents. Nowadays, there are plenty of mystery boxes to be found on eBay, Amazon, Lazada and even Shopee! These boxes have been created and packed to a specific theme and price-setting so you can have some fun without breaking the bank.
There are even 'Special Prize' mystery boxes which gives buyers a chance to obtain an expensive or luxury item in their box as a sort of 'lucky draw' if you will. So now you could buy a $300 mystery box in the hopes of getting an iPhone 11 or a Samsung Note 10. It's a fun way to get some cool stuff and enjoy the mystery of an unknown package!
There was a time when unboxing videos focused on the fun and geeky merch you'd get from Loot Crate. Now, what was once an innocent way of showing off your cool products, has taken a creepy and disturbing turn thanks to the dark web.
While this deep and relatively difficult to access part of the internet is often used for nefarious activities like selling drugs or stolen goods, merchants on this corner of the web look like they're expanding their services. Dark web sellers are creating "mystery boxes" that contain random and sometimes terrifying objects. People then purchase the boxes with Bitcoin and open them in videos posted to their YouTube channels.
But these dark web mystery boxes are incredibly different. The eerie packages sometimes contain children's clothes, objects with blood on them, and objects with satanic imagery all over them.
Although a lot of this may sound alarming, there's also a strong possibility that some of these unboxing videos are faked as means of getting views and obtaining ad revenue. While we hope YouTubers aren't exploiting this new trend for that sweet internet money, there is an audience for these videos.
It's tempting to laugh this trend off as just creepy entertainment, but there is a real risk, especially with the so-called "stealth packaging" used in some of the boxes. That's the method of storing illegal items inside decoy objects such as resealed candy wrappers, smaller boxes and even stuffed teddy bears.
So what about you?
Since we've established that mystery boxes are quite the trend on Youtube, Amazon, Lazada, Shopee and many more, its definitely something to try and experience for yourself. Who knows, you may find something worthwhile in it! Also if you're worried about purchasing dark web mystery boxes, we suggest you only purchase mystery boxes from licensed online trading shops such as Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, and eBay as well.
All in all a mystery box is something one should experience for the fun of the unknown as well as the thrill of opening a box and seeing the 'surprise' inside. Hopefully, this piece has been a good read for you and stay tuned!