Under the mounting pressure of a campaign led by the group Let Toys Be Toys, toy retail giant Toys R Us (UK) has agreed to drop its gender labels from all of their products. Let Toys Be Toys consists of shoppers who are concerned with the “sexist” labels in the toy industry. They feel having gender specific labels on toys can be detrimental to children.
In response to the campaign, Toys R Us decided they will be more inclusive in their marketing efforts, which includes removing gender references in their stores. Future toy advertisements will show boys and girls playing with the same toys. Girls will play with guns, and boys will be seen playing in kitchens. Managing Director Roger McLaughlan said they will take further steps after meeting with representatives from Let Toys Be Toys.
“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,”he said.
But response to the decision to remove gender labels from toys have been met with criticism.
As one commenter put it, “Oh for goodness’ sake, yet another pile of right-on PC leftie stupidity. All it needs is one company to actually grow a pair and tell ’em to take a hike to start turning this tide of absurdity, but none of them will, they are all too much in the grip of their ‘image consultants’ !” How about you go to the PC rightie “boys’ aisle” and work on your reading comprehension? The company is reacting to customer complaints, not to image consultants.”
Growing up it never really dawned on me that certain toys were for boys or girls. I had everything from WWF figurines, to the occasional Barbie Doll. My brother also had toys that weren’t necessarily considered “boy” toys.
So far no announcements have been made to make US stores more gender neutral. Last year a successful campaign was launched to make specific toys more inclusive like the EZ Bake Oven, because boys like to bake too!