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8-year-old making $26 million a year tops Forbes’ list of highest paid YouTube stars

Ryan Kaji reviews toys on Youtube, and is listed as Youtube's highest paid on Forbes famous ranking, for the second year in a row.
Credit: AP
FILE - This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. YouTube is updating its hate speech policies to prohibit videos with white supremacist and neo-Nazi content. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON — He's eight years old, and he's making millions of dollars by doing what kids do best, playing with toys. Ryan Kaji started it all out at just 3-years-old unboxing toys on camera. Over the years he has expanded on his content, making videos on science that have garnered millions of views. Kaji also has other merchandising ventures. The 8-year-old is considered a "YouTube Star" by Forbes, as "someone whose primary form of digital and media revenue comes from YouTube."

Kaji has a line of over 100 toys, Forbes reports. He also sells clothing and has deals with Hulu and Nickelodeon. Forbes estimates that the YouTube tycoon has earned about $26 million from June of 2018 until June of 2019. The magazine's earning estimates are made before taxes, and they also notes that fees for agents, lawyers and managers are not subtracted from earnings. 

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The 8-year-old streaming sensation isn't the only minor to make the list, New York-based media monitor Futurism points out. YouTube's #3 top-paid earner is a 5-year-old from Russia named Anastasia Radzinskaya. As the Moscow Times reports, Radzinskaya's path to YouTube fame began when doctors diagnosed her with cerebral palsy. 

Radzinskaya is from the Russian city of Krasnodar, but moved to Florida in 2018. Forbes estimates that from June of 2018 until June of 2019 the 5-year-old earned about $18 million from her multiple YouTube channels, before taxes.