You know what I miss? Written reviews.
Yeah, that’s about it really. There was a time when a new toy came out, all you had to do was Google it and you’d find a written review of it. Nowadays though, doing so will more likely than not, get you a YouTube review. Which isn’t bad in and of itself, except…
Let’s face it, most YouTube reviewers, even the popular ones, are pretty baaaaaad. There are some naturally good ones; people with the voice or screen charisma who can pull off video reviews well. And then there are those who make good or great reviews via effort and added production value.
But on the whole, they’re mostly pretty bad. No offense to anyone in particular. It’s just that the freedom of video reviews also prevent the obscuring of our weaknesses. If you choose to speak in your review but you have a voice that isn’t compelling, a way of speaking that’s boring or heaven forbid, the mic makes you sound annoying… it can’t be helped.
It also doesn’t help that unless you do really close up shots and you have a stable/non-shaky cam setup, people really can’t see the details of the toy you’re talking about. And anooooother thing, the problem with video reviews is that more often than not, there’s not enough relevant content.
And this and that and those and these and so on and such forth. Written reviews have their fair share of weaknesses too mind you. They can be badly written, lack detail and have bad pics as well.
The general standard of written reviews have improved over time, and it was at a decent place before video reviews took over. After all, nowadays, even your phone can take a pretty darn good picture. And because there were once so many written reviews, people had to keep up with the standards and contents of other written reviews. You almost had to talk about sculpt and paint and articulation and accessories. So in terms of content, you’re pretty much covered. Thus, it’s a shame that written reviews have taken quite a dip.
Again, it’s not that video reviews are a bad thing. There’s some genuinely good ones out there. I do think that it’s inherent weaknesses will be tougher to overcome through the advancement of technology though. Sure you can take a better picture via a better camera, but increasing a reviewer’s personal charisma is gonna be tough.
Naturally, I’m not helping matters with my 2 year absence and sporadic updates, but there’s some irony there. Amongst the reasons I left was ’cause there were plenty of other written reviews out there when I left. At the time, I felt like there’s nothing I could talk about toys that someone already hasn’t. But hey, who knows, with the decline of written reviews, perhaps this is the time to tap into what’s becoming a niche?
We shall see…