Let Toys Be Toys campaign is asking the toy and publishing industries to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys and books as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys.

Find out more about the Let Toys Be Toys campaign.

Colourful loom band bracelets

Toy crazes

With millions sold, ‘Loom bands’ have been a hit toy around the world with boys and girls alike. Let Toys Be Toys campaigner Megan Perryman takes a look at the phenomenon of childhood crazes, and the child-to-child marketing effect.

A month ago I didn’t know what loom bands were. Now they’ve taken over my life. These tiny colourful elastic bands that can be woven into different patterns (usually to create friendship bracelets) litter my house and have taken over my daughter’s arms. Seemingly out of nowhere they’ve become the must-have toy for children and are an acceptable adornment for adults too. Read more…

The Entertainer instore signage, before and after

Retailer update July 2014

In 2014 we’ve concentrated our efforts on gendered books and are starting to look at how we tackle the manufacturers themselves. So have the retailers stuck to their promises in the meantime? Read more…

Recruiting – Toymark volunteers

Let Toys Be Toys is recruiting volunteers to help run our Toymark good practice scheme. Could you help us? Read more…

Girl and boy playing together with tea set and train set, surrounded by magazines and newspapers featuring sexual content.

Through a Child’s Eyes

Kirsty Hopley is co-founder of Child Eyes – a campaign challenging the intrusion of ‘sex sells’ media into children’s lives. She draws the connections between gendered toys and media in early childhood, and the highly sexualised media they encounter as they grow.  Read more…

Gender-bending opinions

Cartoon, Why do you force your gender-bending opinions on children?


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Not-so-Happy Meals at McDonalds UK

They may not be a toy shop but McDonald’s are the world’s largest distributor of toys. Happy Meals are enjoyed by boys and girls alike and although UK and Ireland branches have avoided gendered toy marketing for several years, Let Toys Be Toys supporters have raised concerns that separate toys for boys and girls are now being offered.

Our map shows that in over 70% of restaurants, rather than being given a choice of toy, customers are being asked if it is for a boy or a girl, another 13% are giving the toys out based on perceived gender, which means 83% of branches are not adhering to McDonald’s stated policy: Read more…


“Dads need to do more and speak up more”

To celebrate Father’s Day we talked to Dads Rock; the Scottish network of free playgroups which was set up by a couple of Edinburgh dads who saw a gap in services for fathers. Co-founder Thomas Lynch spoke to us:  Read more…


Paperchase to withdraw gendered activity books

We’re really pleased that high-street stationer Paperchase has announced it will be withdrawing its ‘Boys Activity Pad’ and ‘Girls Activity Pad’ sets following the summer sale, following customer feedback. Read more…

It's not hard to do without gender labels.

Let Clothes be Clothes?

Yellow Lolly is the latest retailer to be awarded the Let Toys Be Toys Toymark, recognising shops doing a great job of offering toys to girls and boys alike. Ellie Horry explains why they choose not to categorise the toys and clothes on their site by gender.  Read more…

Skylanders toy figure in front of pink box

Let Skylanders be Skylanders

Among video games, Skylanders is championed as appealing to both boys and girls. Games journalist and Dad Andy Robertson praises the strong female characters, but finds the gender balance still wonky.

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