Waterstones_1304_activitybooks

A great week for Let Toys Be Toys!

Last week saw several major retailers agreeing to make changes to their signs, and let toys be toys for girls AND boys.

Liz Jordan from Let Toys Be Toys said, “It’s been quite a week for changes. It seems like retailers are really starting to take notice.” 

Morrisons

On Monday the campaign tweeted about the supermarket chain Morrisons’ pink and blue boys’ and girls’ signs and received the response: “…we’re really sorry about this! Please be assured all of the old signage is currently being updated … We are working on it at the moment and it may take some time. However, all stores’ signage will be replaced.”

Asda

On Wednesday we were delighted to hear that Asda had also made changes, this time to its website, which no longer contains girl and boy toy sections. We talked to Asda about their website layout in January and after admitting that the campaigners had a point, were told that the taxonomy of the site would be reviewed.

Matalan

On Friday Matalan were asked about their dressing up section which showed a ‘boys doctor dress up’ costume and a ‘girls nurse dress up’ outfit, alongside ‘boys policeman’ and ‘boys fireman’ outfits. Matalan responded to tweets with an apology and a promise to change their website wording:

Craftyarts

Also this week; online craft shop www.craftyarts.co.uk agreed to change the boys’ science section on their website after an email from Let Toys Be Toys supporter, Michaela Brown, who posted a comment to the Let Toys Be Toys Facebook page; “I did get a lovely response from their Customer services manager, who had actually made a complaint about this section herself to the website director. She was going to forward my email to him. I’ve pointed her in the direction of this page too”.

The webpage in question now reads as a Science Projects page with kits for boys and girls.

Hobbycraft

Earlier in April we contacted Hobbycraft about emails featuring ‘Kits for Boys’ and ‘Kits for Girls’ signs, which they have said will be changed to Kits for Kids’.

Waterstones

The Bluewater branch of Waterstones also responded positively when a photograph showing separate activity books for girls and boys with stereotypical selections was publicized. Waterstones posted the following message to Let Toys Be Toys’ Facebook page: “Hello, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Obviously it wasn’t intended in a negative way, but we’ve changed the signs and display to one featuring activity books for all. Apologies for any offence caused.”

3 Comments

  1. Helen Grint

    Tesco have shelf labels for “Boys’ Toys” and “Girls’ Toys”. It took me ages to find a game of UNO as I couldn’t work out what gender it is.

  2. Yes, retailers argue that these signs help shoppers, but that sounds really unhelpful! A sign saying ‘Games’, perhaps? We don’t think any toys need gender labelling – children can choose for themselves what they like – but we’ve seen some very silly examples.

  3. Amanda

    Early Learning Centre’s website allows you to search by gender. Doctor, fire fighter, and police outfits are found under boys but not girls. TWO nurse outfits are found under girls but not for boys. As they’re not individually labelled for boys or girls I don’t understand why all of these outfits don’t come under both searches

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