All posts in Campaign news

Covers of toy catalogues

Progress from toy retailers – time for manufacturers to catch up

Our research this year shows that retailers have made big strides forward in letting toys be toys, with boy/girl signage on the way out, and more imaginative adverts and promotional imagery. It’s another picture from toy manufacturers, whose packaging, ads and catalogue images still rely on stereotypes.

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Toy shelves - Lego Friends building sets under a 'Fashion and dolls' sign

Help Let Toys Be Toys – take our 2016 shopping survey

Which toy retailers are letting toys be toys? Help us find out!

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Why we partnered with the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign

Let Toys Be Toys recently agreed to partner with UK SAYS NO MORE – a national campaign to raise awareness to end domestic violence and sexual assault. The NO MORE campaign started in the United States and launched in the UK earlier this year, overseen by London-based charity Hestia.

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Four women holding up a large card reading 'Science Toy Award'

LTBT helps pick Science Toy Award 2016 finalists

We were thrilled to be asked to help judge the inaugural Science Toy Award – science writer, physicist and campaigner Laurie Winkless reports back on the tough job… and the shortlist of great toys that spark science learning.

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First new Toymark awards of 2016 go to Scottish shops

Toymark Logo

We are delighted to announce our first brand new Toymark winners of 2016.  Our good practice award recognises toy retailers and booksellers who are marketing inclusively to all children, without ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ labels or colour-coded signage.

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Let Toys Be Toys Awarded the BRIO Prize

Let Toys Be Toys has been awarded the BRIO Prize in a ceremony at the Swedish company’s headquarters in Malmö.

Our campaigners Jess Day and Tricia Lowther travelled to Sweden to pick up the award on behalf of Let Toys Be Toys. Tricia writes here about their day as guests of BRIO and what winning the award means for the campaign.

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Buster Books becomes 10th publisher to agree to #LetBooksBeBooks

We are pleased to say that UK children’s books publisher, Buster Books, an imprint of Michael O’Mara, has become the tenth publisher since our campaign began to ditch gendered book titles and agree to “let books be books”.

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Who gets to play? Boys and girls in TV toy ads

words used in TV toy ads featuring girls: most prominent words magic, fun, beautiful, princess, glitter, style, hair, sparkle

We’ve been taking a look at TV toy ads to see how they show children’s play, and what picture they give viewers about boys and girls. The results are pretty depressing.

It’s that wonderful time of the year, when the toy industry goes into overdrive trying to convince children which toys they desperately need Santa to drop down the chimney. But many of Santa’s surprises will have been produced and promoted in the belief that boys and girls should have different toys and should be targeted separately. ‘Tis the season for excessively stereotypical selling practices.
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Fashion dolls - new signage in Toys R Us

Toys R Us drops ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ categories from UK website

We’re delighted to see the end of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ categories in the major retailer’s online store, as well as clearer, inclusive signage in stores.

Back in 2013 Let Toys Be Toys met with Toys R Us to discuss concerns about the gendered way in which toys were being marketed. At that meeting Toys R Us committed to replacing gendered signage in its stores and producing more inclusive catalogues. They also promised to look further into whether they could make changes to their web categories and consider how products are grouped in store. It’s great to see the results of those discussions now online, and in stores.  Read more…

Changes at Target hit the mark

It’s great to see that one of the largest retailers in the US, Target, have acknowledged customer concerns and decided to move away from gender based signs.

In an official statement released on their website on Friday they say:

Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender….we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary. Read more…