YouTube tots pick top toys Gracie Hunter and her mom watch a YouTube video of a toy review (AP photos)
YouTube tots pick top toys
Lexile

A snaggletooth 8-year-old. A middle schooler with a punk rocker bob cut and big earrings. Tween siblings with a penchant for playing.

These are among the young power brokers who will determine the toys that will be under Christmas trees this year.

At a time when toy sales have stagnated for years at $22 billion, children who review toys on YouTube are wielding influence.

"Kids trust other kids more so than they would an adult," says Marc Rosenberg, a Chicago-based toy consultant.

Leading the pack of pint-sized YouTube personalities is Evan, 8, who has dimples and a few missing teeth. With over 1 billion views between his three channels, he's YouTube's most popular kid. He gets over 800 million views from EvanTubeHD, where he reviews the toys.

EvanTubeHD features special effects thanks to his dad, Jared, who runs a video production company full-time. Evan is known for telling kids how to play with toys.

In a review of Angry Birds Space Softee Dough playset, Evan apologizes for a noticeable lisp.

"Sorry if I'm talking a little funny today because I just lost my tooth."

Behind Evan are a few other young YouTube phenoms. Most of the children are identified by first name because their parents don't want to risk their safety:

Siblings Noah, 14, Jonah, 12, and Emma, 11 star in KittiesMama, which has nearly 400 million views. KittiesMama is a reality show that chronicles the kids' daily lives, including birthday parties. They also review toys and Emma shows kids how to look like characters from toy lines like My Little Pony.

Gracie Hunter, 11, pairs up with her mother, Melissa, in "Mommy and Gracie," which has close to 90 million views. Gracie searches for hard-to-find dolls with her mom. They've even traveled to Canada from their New Jersey home to find a Monster High doll.

RadioJH Audrey has over 60 million views. Audrey, 11, speaks to tweens, frequently saying "cool" and "awesome." She also streaks her bobbed hair in a rainbow of colors and wears big jewelry and studded tees. Audrey's trademark: reviewing mystery toy bags that are sold at places like Toys R Us.

Julie Krueger, industry director of retail at Google, which owns YouTube, says the channels have "huge followings of fans."

Toy makers, from Mattel to smaller ones, have noticed. In fact, Spin Master says Evan's reviews helped boost sales of its Spy Gear toys 65 percent this year.

"It gives the item more widespread exposure," says Jim Silver, editor-in-chief and CEO of TTPM.com, a toy review website.

Toy makers regularly send the young reviewers products. And some even paid marketing deals with them and their parents.

Evan's dad, Jared, says he works with partners that resonate with the audience. Jared, who says he invests the money the channels make toward his children's futures, says the success was unexpected.

"It's kind of surreal," says Jared, who started the channel with Evan in 2011.

Evan agrees: "I didn't think it would turn out like this when I first made the channel. I thought I would just get four views."

Critical thinking challenge: Why do toy makers care what kids think?

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COMMENTS (134)
  • KRonald-Cas
    11/07/2014 - 10:07 a.m.

    Toy makers have to care about kids. Kids are their audience. The toy makers want to make what the kids want, or else they won't be successful. If kids don't like something, it would be dumb for a toy maker to make it. When toy makers see something trending, they should make a toy that has to do with the subject. That way more kids will buy the toys, and the maker will be more successful.

  • marissap-Fra
    11/07/2014 - 10:14 a.m.

    I think that it is great that the adults care what the kids think because it is true that the kids trust kids more than kids trust adults

  • markaylah
    11/07/2014 - 11:33 a.m.

    LOL TH ATS SO MEAN THAT WHO EVER CALLED AN EIGHT YEAR OLD SNAGGLE TOOTH
    JUST BECAUSE SHE TOOKE A PICTURE AND PROBROLY FORE GOT THAT SHE LOST A TEETH!!!!!!!!!!:(

  • trinityd-Fra
    11/07/2014 - 11:38 a.m.

    I think that it is awesome that they can get that many views on youtube!! I also think that it is amazing on how there parents support them. I think this was a fairly interesting article too.

  • Hugh12345678901234567890123456
    11/07/2014 - 12:30 p.m.

    I think toy makers care what kids think because they want to make the right toys to get more profit and more money. I wish I was a toy maker. >:}.

  • juanc-Kel
    11/07/2014 - 12:41 p.m.

    If I was you I'll buy a computer and buy a toy.If the toy came I would unraped the new toy and play it fast.

  • kendrap-Sch
    11/07/2014 - 02:04 p.m.

    Some toys like monster high and Lego's of all types are pretty popular with people to day. I like monster high and one of my relatives which will remain anonymous likes hero factory. And video games are popular with Alex.

  • 12Tyler-May
    11/07/2014 - 02:24 p.m.

    Q:Why do toy makers care what kids think?

    A: Toy makers listen to kids because who better has a connection with kids? Kids! I have an account that me and my friend like to watch stuff on so ma bye ill do a toy review!

  • LaurenT-5
    11/07/2014 - 02:31 p.m.

    This article is about kids on You tube who are reviewing kids toys. They give their best option on toys and give better advice then parents would. It has shown that kids has a better choice on toys then parents do. For example,EvanTubeHD, has over 80 million views on one of their videos. Many other kids are getting millions of views on their videos of toys reviews. Toy companies are even sending the kids toys to review, and setting them up with marketing deals. Evan, one of the you tubers is amazed at how this came and how he cam to fame reviewing toys. I think that is it very cool that kids review toys and people are watching the videos. It is a very cool idea.

  • ShaniaWentz-Ste
    11/08/2014 - 04:32 p.m.

    I find it really cool that kids that young can have so many views. However, I find it strange that the kids that have a lot of views determine what toys will be popular for Christmas. Every kid has different interests, so why should popular people choose what the kids get for Christmas. In fact, this goes for everything in life. No one has to follow the leader or stick to the trends. Everyone should be their own person and follow themselves. BE ORIGINAL!!!

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