Let Toys Be Toys is asking retailers to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys.
Toys are for fun, for learning, for stoking imagination and encouraging creativity. Children should feel free to play with the toys that most interest them.
Isn’t it time that shops stopped limiting our children’s imagination by telling them what they ought to play with?
The answer is simple – we’re asking retailers and manufacturers to sort toys by theme or function, rather than by gender, and let the children decide which toys they enjoy best.
About Let Toys Be Toys
We’re a parent-led campaign, that grew out of a thread on parenting site Mumsnet which brought together parents frustrated by the increase in gender-based marketing and promotion to children.
None of us is paid; there’s no budget. We do this because we think it matters for our children.
Find out more in this short radio documentary: Why are we selling our children a gendered worldview?
What we’ve achieved so far
As well as our petition asking retailers to Let Toys Be Toys, we’ve written to a number of retailers. With the help of our amazing supporters on Twitter and Facebook we’ve scored a number of successes, including persuading The Entertainer, Boots and Tesco to take down ’boys’ and ‘girls’ toys signage in their stores.
Toys R Us have committed to work towards more inclusive signage and marketing.
Sainsbury’s have said that they agree with the direction of the campaign, and that they are already phasing out ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ signage on toys.
The Entertainer have announced that they will be replacing ‘girls toys’ and ‘boys toys’ signs with thematic headings such as ‘Construction’ and ‘Arts and Crafts’ in all stores by Christmas 2013.
Tesco have said they are removing all gender labels from toys on their website and in store.
Morrisons have said they’re updating all their in-store signage.
@lettoysbetoys Hi there, we’re really sorry about this! Please be assured all of the old signage is currently being updated.
— Morrisons (@Morrisons) April 16, 2013
Next acknowledged that labelling all their Christmas toys ‘Boys stuff’ in 2012 was ‘misleading’ and have brought in new toy packaging and displays for 2013.
Hobbycraft have replaced their ‘Kits for girls’ and ‘Kits for boys’ signs with ‘Kits for kids’, and launched a new range of ‘Crafty monkey’ kits with gender-neutral packaging.
TK Maxx have told us ”boys” and “girls” signs in their toy departments will all be removed.
Marks and Spencer have said that their own-brand toy ranges will be gender-neutral by Spring 2014.
Wilkinson’s have taken down ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs in store, and replaced ’Just for girls’/'Just for boys’ packaging with inclusive packs.
This is a movement that is gaining momentum.
For more detail on how retailers have responded see our Who’s doing what? page.
If you agree that children should be free to decide for themselves how they want to play, here’s how you can help.