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Ryan of Ryan Toysreview really isn’t that different from any other first grader. The 7-year-old loves trains and cars; he giggles over Disney characters; he builds entire civilizations with Legos.
Except when he plays, he does so in front of a camera. An adult, presumably, then promptly uploads these videos onto his YouTube channel for his millions of followers—most of whom are elementary-school-age peers.
These short, simple videos have made Ryan one of the most popular influencers online, with 17.3 million followers and a total of nearly 26 billion views since he (and his parents) launched his main channel, Ryan ToysReview, in March 2015. For Ryan, this means not only an endless stream of toys to play with but also a seemingly endless stream of money: He was this year’s highest-paid YouTube star, earning $22 million in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2018, Forbes estimates.