NEWS
12/12/2017 19:48 SAST | Updated 12/12/2017 19:48 SAST

A 6-Year-Old Who Reviews Toys Online Made $11M On YouTube Last Year

What are we doing with our lives?

Ryan ToysReview/ YouTube

Ever feel like you haven't accomplished anything with your life?

Maybe your career isn't what you imagined. Or you never backpacked across Southeast Asia. Didn't save for a house. Never wrote that novel you just know would be a best-seller if you only had the time.

Well, allow us to make you feel worse by introducing you to a self-made millionaire who is just six years old.

While most Grade 1 students are spending their days learning to write their name and make pasta necklaces, this kid made a cool $11 million US last year by reviewing toys on his YouTube channel, Ryan ToysReview.

That kind of cheddar put Ryan in eighth place on a Forbes list of the highest-paid YouTube stars of 2017, tied with the sketch comedy channel "Smosh." The biggest earner was 26-year-old gamer Daniel Middleton, known online as DanTDM, who earned $16.5 million last year for, essentially, playing Minecraft.

Ryan ToysReview, which is basically just Ryan playing with toys, trying new food, and loving life as only a six year old can, has over 10 million subscribers.

In some videos, he plays with board games, Power Rangers, and giant forts. In others, he engages in "pretend play" such as the classic "the floor is lava." His parents often appear, whether it's with behind-the-camera encouragement, or in "pretend play" videos that showcase their editing skills, such as one where Ryan put his parents "in a jar."

His parents shoot and produce all of Ryan's near-daily videos, according to The Verge. In fact, his mom left her job as a high school chemistry teacher to work on the channel full time.

Hmmm... a teacher's salary vs. $11 million for producing videos of your own child playing with toys... what would you choose?

The family (who have so far declined to give their full names) launched Ryan ToysReview in 2015, when Ryan was three years old, according to The Verge. He loved watching other toy review videos on YouTube and asked why he couldn't have his own.

"One day, he asked me, 'How come I'm not on YouTube when all the other kids are?' So we just decided — yeah, we can do that. Then, we took him to the store to get his very first toy — I think it was a Lego train set — and it all started from there," his mom said in an interview with TubeFilter.

Ryan's channel really took off a few months later, when a video of him opening a box of 100 toys from Pixar's "Cars" went viral. That video now has over 8 million views.

The channel's viewership translates to about $1 million a month in advertising revenue, according to The Verge.

"He is definitely the youngest YouTube star we've ever seen," Josh Cohen, an industry analyst and founder of TubeFilter, told The Verge.

"His parents are really smart about it, too," he said. "They are playing with toys that Ryan likes, but they are also presenting him with toys that are popular across YouTube."

The largest demographic is children aged three to seven years old, Ryan's parents told TubeFilter.

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