Back in the day (you know, when we had to walk up a hill both ways in a snowstorm to get to school), we were taught to work hard in class, study, save our cash and eventually go on to get a degree or learn a trade in order to make a decent living.
These days, all you need is a winning personality, a little luck and a YouTube account. Look no further than six-year-old Ryan of Ryan ToysReview for proof. According to a year-end list from Forbes analyzing the video streaming company and its top earners, the kid made $11 million on his channel this year from simply reviewing toys and food.
All together now: whaaaat?
Don’t get us wrong, that’s extremely cool for the adorable kid and his family. A dream job, really, that should set him up for the rest of his life. But to say that we aren’t jealous would be a big fat, Grinch-ey lie.
Maybe it’s Ryan’s genuine love for the toys his family gifts him, or perhaps it’s the way his smile travels all the way to his eyes. Whatever the winning formula, the kid now has more than 10 million subscribers who have watched his videos more than 16 billion — yes billion — times.
Can we just stop and think about what child stars like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson or Macaulay Culkin had to do to earn that kind of following and dough back in their days? It was certainly more than just playing with really cool toys.
At this point Ryan is a pro. He’s been captured on screen since he was three-years-old, when he wondered why he could watch other kids play with toys on YouTube but he wasn’t on the social media site himself. So his parents bought him a Lego set to play with in front of the cameras; four months following his 2015 debut it all exploded with a video of Ryan opening a giant egg filled with toys.
Simple, yet so, so clever. Why didn’t we think of it?
Obviously Ryan’s full identity, his parents’ names and where he lives are all closely guarded secrets, which is probably a good thing, when you have 10 million adoring fans. And even though his family is ready to shut the entire thing down the second their kid wants to stop, they do have a backup plan in place: a channel featuring the family’s shenanigans with Ryan’s baby sisters, twins Emma and Kate.
What can we say; talent certainly runs in the family.
Now excuse us while we go and reevaluate our career choices.