In the 1988 comedy flicker Big, Tom Hanks plays the role of a kid whose wish to become an adult comes true overnight. Now a 30-year-old, he is hired by the owner of a big toy company as a product tester.
Landing a dream job, the Hanks character naturally excels in his work and becomes the envy of colleagues. The boss simply loves his childlike zeal and amazing insights into toys. He’s just like a kid, and that’s because he is a kid.
That’s Hollywood, of course. But in real life, there are about a dozen kids who do just that, and have become superstars of YouTube.
Toy makers are courting them to take advantage of their massive followings on the internet and their influence over fellow kids on which toys to ask Santa or their parents to buy for Christmas, says the Associated Press.
“Kids trust other kids more so than they would an adult,” the news agency quotes Marc Rosenberg, a Chicago-based toy marketing consultant, as saying.
There’s eight-year-old Evan, who has over one billion views on his three YouTube channels. On EvanTubeHD, Evan reviews toys, explaining how the latest playthings on the market work, what’s cool about them and what’s not, and whether they’re worth their time and and their parents’ money.
His channel features special effects, courtesy of his dad Jared who runs a video production outfit, increasing its appeal to kids. Evan sometimes asks his little sister and mom to assist him in his demonstrations.
Also making their mark on YouTube are siblings Noah, 14, Jonah, 12, and Emma, 11, mainstays of KittiesMama, where they review toys and tells kids how to look like their favorite cartoon characters. The channel has about 400 million views so far.
Eleven-year-old Gracie Hunter and her mom Melissa star in Mommy and Gracie, which has nearly 90 million views. They specialize on hard-to-find dolls.
Toy makers are happy with these kiddie critics as they help boost sales. Companies regularly send them new products to try out and review.
“It gives the item more widespread exposure,” Jim Silver, editor-in-chief and CEO of Time To Play magazine, was quoted as saying.
In fact, some toy makers have signed contracts with the kids and their parents. Evan has appeared in a TV ad for Spin Master’s Spy Gear toys, helping the line increase its sales by 65 percent this year.
Here’s an episode on EvanTubeHD:
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