The following is an excerpt from Heather Kelly | August 1, 2018 | CNN.com |
In a 4,300 square-foot warehouse near the Las Vegas strip, thousands of dolls with facial scruff, orange glasses, bow ties and suspenders sit in neatly stacked boxes, waiting to be mailed to young children.
They're stuffed likenesses of Blippi, a popular YouTube star with 2.3 million followers who makes educational videos about colors, trucks, car washes and boats. The goofy character has a rabid following — as much as two- to six-year-olds can be — and makes the man behind the glasses, Stevin John, more than a million dollars a year. (He, like the other creators we spoke to, declined to give specific dollar amounts.)
John's main revenue stream is YouTube ads, but his growing business also brings in money from licensing, album sales, branded clothing, meet-and-greets and merchandise. In addition to the cheerful 19-inch tall dolls, which cost $19.99 each, he sells a Blippi action figures and mini versions of his signature bow tie and hat for kids.
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