Campaign Supporters

Take a look at some of the support the Let Toys Be Toys campaign has received from the worlds of media, science and politics.

Malorie Blackman, OBE, author and former Children's Laureate: "Part of reading for pleasure is letting our children and young adults choose the books they want to read for themselves"

SF Said, author: "I love the idea of books for everyone. Books that don't make presumptions about who you are or what you're going to enjoy, but instead tell a thrilling story that everyone can enjoy"

John Dougherty, children's author, poet and songwriter: "There are no boys' books, or girls' books. There are just books. Writers write books for readers, and if you are reading a book and enjoying it, then the writer wrote it for you"

Bel Mooney, journalist and author: "Why should boys be given books of action adventure and derring-do and girls be given books about fairies, mermaids and princesses? It's absolute nonsense"

Hollie McNish, poet and author: "When I first saw Let Toys Be Toys, it was a like a huge sigh of relief that someone's noticing how important this is, and not just moaning about it but actually working to help!"

Katy Brand, actor writer and comedian: "I went into a toyshop and asked if they had a bubble blower. The shop assistant asked me if it was for a boy or a girl. I asked why, and she said she needed to know if she should find a pink one or a blue one... I thought, it's a bubble blower, not a gender construct. There should be no such thing as girls' toys and boys' toys. It's all just play."

Leighton Noyes, Illustrator: An illustration of a dozen children of different genders playing with a range of different toys

Frances Hardinge, writer: "No child should be made to feel they're 'wrong' to like what they like, or enjoy the stories that they love"

Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow: "Childhood should be a time of creativity, imagination and endless possibilities, so it's infuriating to see the toy industry limiting children's horizones. It's great to see campaigns such as Let Toys Be Toys pushing back"

Sid Sloane, TV Presenter: "I'm getting involved with Let Toys Be Toys because by believing in children and sparking their imaginations we encourage them to shine. By not reinforcing gender stereotypes upon kids you are promoting free thinking and empowering self-esteem, which is essential to healthy person-centred development"

Shappi Khorsandi, comedian and author: "I support Let Toys Be Toys as it made me so sad to see my toddler son eventually become self-conscious about playing with dolls and sewing kits because the marketing was clearly aimed at girls and because of comments from thoughtless adults. It's a battle as a parent to show your kids they can go their own way, be who they want to be, but we are up against it with the relentless gender stereotyping in the toy industry"

Robin Ince, comedian and writer: I'm happy to support Let Toys Be Toys. Why restrict the freedom of play? There are enough rules to hinder joy in adulthood without gender division zealotry in the toy shop. We don't need to build the walls of gender division in the toy box; playing together, sharing common ground of imagination, surely creates a healthier society."

Natascha McElhone, actor and equality campaigner: "I support the Let Toys Be Toys campaign. I think it is simpler than we imagine to challenge gender stereotyping. Even if babies & toddlers are given toys which are unisex and have no hidden messages, as soon as they start groups or watch TV, most of the messaging for girls is centred around how they look. The 'girl' toys don't perform any function, or encourage girls to pursue any purpose just to 'look nice' and be looked after. What could be less exciting?!"

Cordelia Fine, Neuroscientist: "I think one of the great things about your campaign is that it is putting pressure and responsibility onto marketers and retailers. While of course parents can challenge stereotypes with their children and support counter-stereotypical play, they don't have massive marketing budgets at their disposal to promote an egalitarian perspective of the world"

Chi Onwurah, MP & Shadow Minister: "At some point over the past three decades, the toy industry decided that parents and children could not be trusted to figure out what to buy without colour-coded gender labelling. Forcing their stereotypes on children is bad for children, bad for society, bad for the economy. Let Toys Be Toys is doing tremendous work to highlight the presence and impact of gendered toy marketing and ensure retailers and toy companies are held to account"

Carrie Goldman, anti-bullying campaigner and writer: "Gendered toy marketing limits the creativity and curiosity of children. At worst, it contributes to a culture of bullying by reinforcing homophobic and misogynistic believes. Let Toys Be Toys is a leader in the campaign to take back childhood and let kids play without outside agendas imposed upon them."

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and Co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales: "The Let Toys Be Toys campaign is right to challenge retailers to stop limiting children's interests, and it's encouraging that a number of big toy brands have made the change"

Anthony Finkelstein, Dean of UCL Faculty of Engineering: "Good toys feed the imagination and provide the seeds for creativity, problem-solving, and persistence. When you combine these attributes with a drive to change the world you get a great engineer. Why would we restrict the opportunities to an arbitrary subset of children? Let toys be toys and let girls be engineers"

Chuck Wendig, novelist, screenwriter and game designer: "Books don't have genders. No boy books, no girl books. We must be exposed to all voices, not just ones that sound like ours or mimic our experiences"

Neil Gaiman, author: "Books are for people. Stories are for people. Limiting that is foolish and shortsighted"

Catherine Johnson, writer and screenwriter: "Girls and boys need all sorts of books. Don't let anyone limit their choices?

Anne Fine, author and second children's Laureate: "Good books are not pink and blue; they're just not. It's a serious matter because it does narrow children's sense of what they're allowed to do or like in a horrible, horrible way"

Joanne Harris, author: "What may seem to be a harmless marketing strategy is, to an impressionable child, really a form of brainwashing, repeating the false message that boys are brilliant and brave, while girls are mostly just decorative"