For kids these days, some of the biggest stars are not actors but YouTube stars.

And one of the biggest of them all is a 6-year-old named Ryan who plays with toys – mesmerizing millions of children across the globe.

Since he was 3 years old, Ryan’s parents have been capturing videos of him opening toys, playing with them and “reviewing” them for videos posted on their YouTube channel, “Ryan ToysReview.”

Ryan’s last name, and his place of residence are a closely guarded secret, and not without reason.

Ryan has become a multi-millionaire, according to Forbes magazine’s just-out list of highest paid YouTube entrepreneurs. He was ranked number eight, having brought in $11 million in revenue between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017, before management fees and taxes, of course. He tied with the comedy channel Smosh, created by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox.

Children everywhere have become hooked, watching his videos for hours a day, even mimicking him and starting their own YouTube channels.

Combined, the world’s 10 highest-paid YouTube stars earned $127 million, up 80 percent from last year. According to Forbes, this boost came thanks to ad dollars from a surge in views – including a healthy sum from “Ryan ToysReview.” During the 12 months considered by Forbes, “Ryan ToysReview” counted over 8 billion views.

What has grown into a viral phenomenon began with a simple, unremarkable 15-minute video about a Lego Duplo train set. When his family started recording and posting the videos in March 2015, the 3-year-old barely had any views let alone reviews, according to a profile of Ryan in Verge. In his first video, he simply opened a Lego box, set up the blocks, and played with them.

“Ryan was watching a lot of toy review channels,” his mother, who declined to be named, told TubeFilter last year. “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.”

About four months in, his channel saw an explosion of traffic, driven primarily by a viral video of Ryan reviewing a hundred toys at once.

“Ryan ToysReview” took off. Now, he’s at more than 10 million subscribers and over 16 million views.

Each time someone clicks on one of Ryan’s videos, his family makes money. There are ads and links to ads all over the place.

Ryan has real impact.

“If a product gets ten million, twenty millions views, and you see that Ryan loves it, or other kids love it, it has a huge impact at retail,” Jim Silver, CEO of the review site Toys, Tots, Pets, and More, told the Verge when Ryan was still 5 years old. “He’s really the youngest success that we’ve seen.”

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