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.

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Let Toys Be Toys Awarded the BRIO Prize

Let Toys Be Toys has been awarded the BRIO Prize in a ceremony at the Swedish company’s headquarters in Malmö.

Our campaigners Jess Day and Tricia Lowther travelled to Sweden to pick up the award on behalf of Let Toys Be Toys. Tricia writes here about their day as guests of BRIO and what winning the award means for the campaign.

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Buster Books becomes 10th publisher to agree to #LetBooksBeBooks

We are pleased to say that UK children’s books publisher, Buster Books, an imprint of Michael O’Mara, has become the tenth publisher since our campaign began to ditch gendered book titles and agree to “let books be books”.

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Let Toys Be Toys 2015 Silliness Awards

Working on the principle that if you didn’t laugh, you might cry, it’s time to look back in amusement, and indeed some anger, at the worst that’s been thrown at us in terms of tortuously gendered products and sexist shenanigans in 2015.

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Who gets to play? Boys and girls in TV toy ads

words used in TV toy ads featuring girls: most prominent words magic, fun, beautiful, princess, glitter, style, hair, sparkle

We’ve been taking a look at TV toy ads to see how they show children’s play, and what picture they give viewers about boys and girls. The results are pretty depressing.

It’s that wonderful time of the year, when the toy industry goes into overdrive trying to convince children which toys they desperately need Santa to drop down the chimney. But many of Santa’s surprises will have been produced and promoted in the belief that boys and girls should have different toys and should be targeted separately. ‘Tis the season for excessively stereotypical selling practices.
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words used in TV toy ads featuring boys. Most prominent: battle, control, power, adventure, blast, build, action, launch, rescue

PRESS RELEASE: The sexist messages of TV toy advertising

If you think toys and toy ads are trivial, just ask a kid how much they matter.

Research carried out by Let Toys Be Toys volunteers shows that toy ads reinforce limiting gender stereotypes, and sell children a narrow view of boys’ and girls’ play.

Download the full research report: Who gets to play? What do TV toy ads tell children about girls’ and boys’ play? Dec 15

Research highlights: Read more…

No adverts for baby or fashion dolls featured boys

No adverts for baby or fashion dolls featured boys - lettoysbetoys.org.uk/tvads

Read more about our TV toy ads research.

Just 4% of ads for toy vehicles featured girls

Just 4% of ads for toy vehicles featured girls. Read our research: lettoysbetoys.org.uk/tvads

Read more about our research.

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Asda – why are you still using ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ signs?

In the three years that Let Toys Be Toys has been up and running we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from retailers. Fourteen major UK retailers, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have engaged positively with us and have agreed to remove ‘Girl’ and ‘Boy’ signs from toy aisles. Asda however, has yet to respond.

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Winter

Books for Young Children – Let Toys be Toys Gift Guide

Who doesn’t love the gleam and smell of a freshly unwrapped book on Christmas morning? We believe all children should be able to choose freely the books they like best and we celebrate all the marvellous writers, illustrators, publishers and booksellers that avoid putting boy or girl labels on books. Here we list some of our favourite reads for the very small people in our lives.

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Fashion dolls - new signage in Toys R Us

Toys R Us drops ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ categories from UK website

We’re delighted to see the end of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ categories in the major retailer’s online store, as well as clearer, inclusive signage in stores.

Back in 2013 Let Toys Be Toys met with Toys R Us to discuss concerns about the gendered way in which toys were being marketed. At that meeting Toys R Us committed to replacing gendered signage in its stores and producing more inclusive catalogues. They also promised to look further into whether they could make changes to their web categories and consider how products are grouped in store. It’s great to see the results of those discussions now online, and in stores.  Read more…