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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…

Cash registers at Target

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…

Recruiting – teacher volunteers

Let Toys Be Toys is seeking qualified teachers to volunteer to help build up our schools resources. Could you help us? Read more…

Care2 impact prize

Care2 Impact Prize for Let Toys Be Toys

We’re thrilled to have been recognised for innovative and high-impact campaigning in the Care2 Awards.

The Awards, presented at the annual eCampaigning Forum event in Oxford, recognise campaigns and initiatives with an outstanding impact on the field of online advocacy, online fundraising, or both. The winner receives a cash donation of £1000 from Care2. Read more…

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Scholastic responds to petition from Els, 8

Good news that young campaigner Els has heard back from publisher Scholastic, in response to her petition asking them to stop promoting books labelled ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ in their school book fairs. Read their response, and find out what Els and her friends have to say. Read more…

Children hold up Let Books Be Books written on pieces of paper

WIN: Scholastic agrees to let books be books

Following a petition from 8-year-old Els, Scholastic has become the ninth UK publisher to agree to drop ‘for girls’ and ‘for boys’ labels from books.

Els has written to Scholastic asking them to stop stocking books labelled ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ in the book fairs that regularly visit the school. Says Els in her letter, “No books should be ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’… Books should be for everyone and we all like different things.” She gathered support from friends at school, getting over 80 signatures for her petition. Read more…

Child's drawing of a person holding a book that says 'Let Books Be Books' on the cover, surrounded by children's names

‘No books should be ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls” Els, 8, tells Scholastic

Eight-year-old Els was really annoyed to see books labelled ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ in the range brought to her school by the regular Scholastic book fair. Annoyed enough to want to write to the publisher, and get her school friends and their grown ups behind her. Read more…