Vashketov brothers Niki, 5, and Vlad, 7½, have over 56 million subscribers to their English YouTube channel, which they launched in 2018

By Benjamin VanHoose and Jen Juneau
October 30, 2020 12:10 PM
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Vlad and Niki Vashketov might be your child's new favorite YouTube stars!

The Russian-American brothers have made quite the splash on the streaming platform since launching their presence in 2018, posting videos across 16 channels (translated into 13 languages!) that explore preschool-focused topics like make-believe, science experiments, storytelling and more.

PEOPLE recently spoke with the mother of Niki, 5, and Vlad, 7½, Victoria, about their popular channel — the English version of which has a whopping 56.5 million-plus subscribers — and how it "started as a family hobby."

"The boys saw other videos and were inspired. They would laugh and it was infectious. When they asked if we can start making their own videos and become 'bloggers,' my husband Sergey and I said, 'Why not?' " Victoria recalls. "Sergey started shooting fun videos on the weekends when he wasn't working. We would edit them in his spare time and then we began posting."

"We had no idea when we started they would be such a big hit. As their global audience grew, so did our knowledge of production, editing, graphics and special effects. Vlad & Niki became a destination for preschool audiences around the world to watch, laugh and experience our family adventures."

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Vlad and Niki Vashketov
| Credit: Courtesy Vlad & Niki
Credit: Courtesy of Vlad & Niki

Victoria says she and Sergey — who are also parents to son Christian, 1 — were "happy to support our boys and join them in their interest."

"What started out as a fun activity became our family's hobby. Vlad & Niki is a perfect blend for us as a family: We get to participate in activities together, creating new interesting adventures for our 'on-camera' play," says the proud mom. "It is fantastic that we get to play while pretending to play with our boys, filming our favorite things to do while hitting that emotional connection with our fans watching."

Some of the boys' most popular videos include "Magic Little Driver Ride on Toy Cars and Transform Car for Kids" and "Vlad and Nikita Ride on the Bus," which each have more than 500 million views.

A clip from this past July, titled "Vlad & Niki Chocolate & Soda Challenge for Mom," amassed more than 300 million views in just one month.

"The uniqueness lies in the fact that Vlad and Niki are curious, inventive and extremely active physically," says Victoria. "They know exactly what they want to share with their followers, what will be interesting to show and do and that helps us creativity to embed into their authentic content."

"We hope we are inspiring other families to play together on their own adventures," she adds.

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As their platform continues to expand and evolve, Victoria says her boys never run out of creative ideas for more videos.

"We have grown in so many ways. Of course, the boys have an endless supply of ideas and energy, and now that they’ve been developing these videos for a while they are becoming more imaginative in the creative process," she says.

"The most rewarding thing for us is that we are bringing children and their parents all over the world together through our family’s play," Victoria explains. "Vlad and Niki are not actors — they are real kids doing real things on camera and inviting the world to play along together."