All posts in Toys R Us

Only boys were shown playing with Nerf blasters or spy gadgets in the Smyths catalogue

Stereotypes rule in toy catalogues – research findings

Our new research shows that the promotional images used in toy catalogues fall back on the same old tired stereotypes, with only a handful of boys shown with dolls, and girls accounting for just 11% of the children shown with cars or other vehicles. Read more…

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…

Checking in with Toys R Us

You may remember we met with Toys R Us in September 2013 when they committed to a more inclusive approach to toy marketing. We’ve certainly seen improvements since then, but we still have some questions over their timescale for change.

We’ve contacted Managing Director Roger McLaughlan by e-mail to find out if they have any updates. Read more…

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Do girls love trains?

Abbie loves her train set, but is fed up of being made to feel there’s something strange about a girl liking trains. Can you help us find her more loco-loving girls and women?

Send us your pics and stories via Twitter tagged #girlslovetrains or email us at lettoysbetoys@gmail.com Read more…

The Entertainer instore signage, before and after

Retailer update July 2014

In 2014 we’ve concentrated our efforts on gendered books and are starting to look at how we tackle the manufacturers themselves. So have the retailers stuck to their promises in the meantime? Read more…

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Toys R Us Christmas catalogue

We’re pleased to see more gender-inclusive pictures in the new Toys R Us Christmas catalogue – take a look.  Read more…

Toys “R” Us agrees to drop ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toy labelling

Press Release

Toy retail giant Toys “R” Us today committed to being more inclusive it its marketing of toys to girls and boys. This announcement follows a meeting on Friday between Toys “R” Us UK board members and Let Toys Be Toys, Read more…

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  • ToysRUs_Enfield_scienceScience toys at ToysRUs. The heading 'Let's discover Science', and images of boys and girls are appealing to all. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_CreativeCreative play for all. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_costumesDressing up clothes are grouped together. You might be surprised there aren't more dresses... (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_dreamdazzle... that's because they're in the Pink Zone, under the heading 'Girls Girls Girls Dream Dazzlers'. Girls may dream and dazzle. But within a very limited colour palette! (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_NewburyPark_dreamdaDream Dazzlers sparkly dressing up is only for 'Girls girls girls'. (Newbury Park, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_NewburyPark_makeupThe Dream Dazzlers range includes make up sets. (Newbury Park, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_girlzSylvanMassive 'Girlz' signs make it clear who is supposed to like Sylvanian families... and who is not. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_umbrellasAnd, bizarrely, same goes for 'umbrella's' [sic] (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_GirlzcollecAnimal collectables, including Zhuzhu pets for 'Girlz'. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_Girlz_FrLego Friends displayed under 'Girlz', away from the rest of the Lego (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_construcSo if Lego friends is for 'Girlz' the rest of it would be for...? Only boys appear in the construction section. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_NewburyPark_construWith powerfully branded 'Girlz boutique' and 'Girls girls girls' aisles, the implication that the rest of the store is for boys won't be lost on children, especially when all the children in the signage are male. (Newbury Park, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_DisneyprincAnd while the featured boys are active, all the girls seen in signs are passive: standing still, maybe showing off a tiara. (Enfield, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Reading_GirlzMore smiley Girlz (Reading, JUne 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Reading_BarbieGirls' play is shown as focused on appearance and display: being, not doing. (Reading, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_woodenWe'd like to see more signage and organisation by theme and type. Here, wooden 'small world' play is grouped together. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Portsmouth_boxgamesBoxed games grouped together and organised alphabetically. (Portsmouth, June 2013)
  • ToysRUs_Enfield_jigsawsYes. Jigsaws are for kids. So why are so many of the toys in store labelled for 'girlz'? (Enfield, June 2013)

ToysRUs toyshop gallery

ToysRUs claim that their stores are ‘gender neutral, really’. And it’s true that many of the displays promote toys well to girls and boys alike. Our photos from stores around the UK show some of the things we think ToysRUs are doing well, and highlight some of the problems.  Read more…

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Toys R Us: Did they get it?

We’re genuinely pleased that the Managing Director of ToysRUs has taken time to engage with the campaign, but we’re disappointed that it seems they’re not really getting it yet.

Read the email below from Roger McLachlan, Managing Director of ToysRUs, and the reply we sent him today. Read more…

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Let’s play… spot the logic, with ToysRUs

Some retailers claim that ‘Boys toys’ and ‘Girls toys’ categories ‘help shoppers’ but we’re stumped as to how, since what goes where can seem pretty arbitrary. If you can work out the logic behind ToysRUs’ decisions as to what’s a ‘boy’s toy’ and what’s a ‘girl’s toy’ in their online store, please let us know! Read more…