Unless you live under a rock, you've at least heard of Ryan Kaji. He's the super energetic, often smiling seven-year-old star of the popular YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview. Or maybe you've seen his Nickelodeon show Ryan's Mystery Playdate. For someone so young, he has amassed quite an empire in the last few years. But who is Ryan, and how did he become the biggest kid influencer in arguably, the world?
Who Is Ryan ToysReview?
Ryan ToysReview, real name Ryan Kaji, started on YouTube back in 2015, at the ripe old age of three-and-a-half. Influenced by channels like EvanTubeHD and Hulyan Maya, the tiny tot had aspirations. “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 back in 2016. And thus, a star was born.
Ryan ToysReview Very First YouTube Video
Ryan ToysReview uploaded the first video to YouTube on March 17, 2015 which featured Ryan playing with Lego Duplo number train set. In the past 4 years, that video has hit 48 million views, and counting.
How did Ryan ToysReview Get Started?
In the four years since he made his first video, Ryan has become one of the most popular influencers on YouTube. With close to 20 million followers and billions of views, it's no wonder he's the highest paid YouTuber. In 2018, he made about $22 million. That's right, he's a multi-millionaire and he probably can't even do long division. And it's not just Ryan, his whole family is involved with the constant content (they put out videos pretty much daily.) Ryan signed a deal with media company Pocket.watch back in 2017 to help him expand beyond YouTube, even though that's likely still where a good portion of his money is coming from.
Ryan ToysReview Merchandise And Branding
After signing with Pocket.watch, Ryan created Ryan's World, which is the name for all of his branded merchandise. Ryan's World began with a line sold at Walmart, featuring toys like a giant surprise egg (one of the most common and popular toys on his channel) and slime. It also included branded apparel like tee shirts. Eventually, the line expanded to stores like Target and Amazon.
For brands, getting your toy on Ryan's channel, or signing a partnership with him is a big deal. At the end of 2018 partnered with Wonderful Halos, Ryan to give families an insider look at how their favorite mandarin's are grown. He also teamed up with fast food chain Hardees, releasing exclusive Ryan's World toys in their revamped kid's meal.
His most recent partnership is with oral care giant Colgate. Together, they've created a line of oral care products, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash. "I really loved my new Colgate toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash. It was really fun to pick out the colors and flavors for them! Two of my favorite colors are blue and red so you’ll see those on the toothbrush and I chose to flavor it with Bubble Fruit because it smells so good. I hope other kids enjoy brushing their teeth with them!" he told Moms.com in an exclusive interview about the partnership.
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We’re so excited to share Ryan’s World Oral Care with toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash that Ryan helps create with you! Available now at all major retailers! Take a picture and tag us on instagram, we would love to see if you spot these in store!! ❤️😀😍 #makebrushingteethfun #ryansworld #ryansworldtoys #ryanstoyreview #itsryansworld #ryantoysreview
According to Tubefilter, Ryan's brand is going to be expanding even more. As of earlier this year, they're saying he signed 40 new global licensing deals. Some of the things that will come from the deals include apparel such as pajamas, birthday party decor, Halloween costumes, and home goods. Combo Panda, a regular fixture in Ryan's videos and TV show will feature on much of the new merchandise.
Why Is RyanToysReview So Popular?
But what makes Ryan so popular with kids? Probably the fact that he's just like them. Nowadays, young kids aren't connecting with TV and movie starts the same way they're connecting with YouTubers and kid influencers. With Ryan being their age, he feels more like a friend who lives far away than a celebrity. He talks like they do, and seems to have the same interests. If you've watched even just a couple minutes of his show, you can see how much Ryan still seems to be a typical kid.
"When you watch their content you really feel like you’re part of their family," Pocket.watch head of partnerships Chase Landau said at the time of their deal. "They’ve invited you in. Their energy is contagious, whether it’s Ryan being a relatively normal 5-year-old kid doing 5-year-old things or the mom laughing from behind the camera. I think they’ve given kids and their audience around the world a chance to feel like they’re part of something and have this great family interaction. That to us is very special.”
What Is RyanToysReview Net Worth?
Moms.com previously writes, "his net worth before taxes is approximately $11 million dollars, according to Business Insider. That's a lot of money for someone who is likely just learning how to tie his shoes." Continuing, "Ryan was listed at a tie for number 8 on Forbes' list of the highest paid YouTube stars of 2017. And we'd totally believe that he's making eight figures; remember, he has over 15 million YouTube followers."
Even though they're obviously super wealthy now, Ryan and his family seem to be the same people they were when they first started. Clearly they love each other and enjoy spending time together. And his parents never make it seem that they're exploiting their son, just supporting him in doing what he loves to do.
For the parents watching with their kids (or at least checking in every once in awhile) you feel okay with your kids watching their videos. There's no way to know how long the family will stay in the business of content creation, but as long as they're around, they will have a very loyal following.