A seven-year-old boy who loves toys has now become a toy himself.
Ryan, a first-grade student, has been making YouTube videos for three years. The videos usually show him opening a toy, playing with it and then waving goodbye to viewers.
His most watched video, in which Ryan hunts for large plastic eggs, has more than 1.5 billion views. And his YouTube channel, Ryan Toys Review, has more than 16 million subscribers.
Toy makers have paid Ryan and his parents to show their products. The financial magazine Forbes estimated that his YouTube channel brought in $11 million last year. Ryan’s parents did not confirm or deny that report. They also have kept secret their last name and where they live for safety reasons.
The large American store Walmart hopes to use Ryan’s popularity to sell more toys.
Last month, Walmart started selling Ryan’s action figures for $9.It also sells clothing, toy animals, bright colorful slime, and French fry-shaped toys under the name Ryan’s World.
Jim Silver of the toy review site TTPM.com called Ryan a “celebrity”. He said, “Kids watch his videos. He’s entertaining.”
But Silver said it “all comes down to the toy.” He added that toys gain popularity in the playground, where young children show and tell others about them.
Still, Ryan’s many followers could prove profitable for Walmart.A video of the boy searching for Ryan’s World toys in Walmart has nearly 10 million views in a month.
His parents said Ryan spends about 90 minutes a week recording YouTube videos. They said he helped with the creation of some of the toys, like when he asked for an evil version of himself for the action figure.
Unlike his action figures, Ryan will grow up. And his parents said they are prepared to follow his interests, as he gets older, like to video games.
“We can change,” they said.
I’m Alice Bryant.