Playing with a kids’ toy may not always lead to internet fame, but it will almost always result in pure joy. Candace Payne was lucky enough to experience both.
In her viral video, Payne is sitting in her car, eagerly unboxing a Chewbacca mask she purchased for herself from a local Kohl’s store. While Payne reassures her audience that she’ll let her kids play with her awesome new toy, at the end of the day, it will have to be returned to its rightful owner. And after seeing her reaction to the sound-effect-enhanced mask, that only seems fair.
Even a giant Chewbacca mask couldn’t hide her overwhelming joy, and she’s not alone. Since she posted the video on May 19, it’s gotten more than 141 million views, and was the subject of discussion and raucous laughter on nearly every news broadcast. Payne even made it to The Late Late Show with James Corden, where Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams joined Payne and Corden in trying out the Chewbacca mask. By the end of the clip, all three fully grown adults are lost in an eruption of infectious laughter.
One woman’s elation over playing with a simple kids’ toy made America laugh millions of times over. And that’s part of the beauty of a toy like the Chewbacca mask, as well as so many other toys. They can make you laugh to the point of tears, or feel a sense of childish, uncontrollable glee you thought you left behind long ago.
“I’m such a happy Chewbacca!” Payne says (read: squealed) at one point, not caring that she was in the middle of a parking lot playing with a toy when no children were in sight. It’s this unfettered joy that has won over internet audiences.
The Chewbacca mask released on September 4, 2015, during Disney’s Force Friday retail event. Adorable as it is, it doesn’t have many of the technical bells and whistles featured in many of today’s toys. It’s basic, classic, and above all—really, really fun. It’s all about the simple pleasure of finding a toy that makes you laugh so hard you can barely breathe.
Payne’s toy-induced joy is the same one that any adult can feel when playing a board game that has his or her friends rolling around laughing during a party, or remembering how much fun it is to have a water blaster fight in the middle of a scorching summer. Toys give us simple moments of happiness, whether it’s by allowing us to spend some time with the kids in our lives, or just by reminding us that we are still kids ourselves. The toys that make kids happy might just make you happy, too. And if you’re as lucky as Candace Payne, it could make you happy enough to change your life.