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Toys “R” Us to drop ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toy labelling

Toy giant Toys “R” Us has become the latest UK retailer to commit to the Let Toys be Toys campaign which works to stop gender-based marketing of toys to children.

BRANDS

Toys “R” Us to drop ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toy labelling

The announcement follows a meeting between Toys “R” Us UK board members and the campaign group which represents shoppers who are concerned about the influence of sexist stereotypes used by the toy industry in advertising and marketing. 

The retailer has now confirmed that it will draw up a set of principles for in-store signage meaning that, in the long-term, explicit references to gender will be removed and images will show boys and girls enjoying the same toys. The retailer will make a start by looking at the way toys are represented in this year’s Christmas catalogue.

Toys “R” Us managing director Roger McLaughlan said: “We very much enjoyed meeting Let Toys Be Toys. We will work with the Let Toys Be Toys team to ensure we develop the best plan for our customers.”

The changes promised by Toys “R” Us follow in the footsteps of similar commitments from several other major retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots, The Entertainer and TK Maxx. All have agreed to banish ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs from their aisles following intervention by Let Toys Be Toys.

Megan Perryman, Let Toys Be Toys campaigner, said: “We’re delighted to be working so closely with a major toy retailer and believe that there is much common ground here. Even in 2013, boys and girls are still growing up being told that certain toys are ‘for’ them, while others are not. This is not only confusing but extremely limiting, as it strongly shapes their ideas about who they are and who they can go on to become. We look forward to seeing Toys “R” Us lead the way to a more inclusive future for boys and girls.”

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