Let Toys Be Toys, a consumer advocacy group, announced that UK-based Toys R Us stores have recently committed to being more gender neutral when it comes to toy marketing. The announcement by Toys R Us came last week after the giant toy retailer met with Let Toys Be Toys to discuss how children are overly influenced by “sexist stereotypes that are still widely used in the toy industry.” According to Let Toys Be Toys, UK-based Toys R Us stores will be designing a set of principles for their store signage and perhaps holiday catalogs that do not draw correlations between genders and specific “boy” or “girl” toys. Basically this means that images of just girls playing with dolls or just boys playing with cars will no longer be part of the Toys R Us game-plan. Instead the toy seller will focus on representing all toys as suitable for both boys and girls based on interests, not gender. Megan Perryman, Let Toys Be Toys campaigner, said in a press release:
“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.”
Now, this is all swell for UK kids, but if you’re in America and would like to see Toys R Us promoting toys in more interest-minded vs. gender-biased way, make sure to sign this Change.org petition.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Mooganic