Let Toys Be Toys 2018 Silliness Awards

maths times tables gender stereotypes primary school ofstedSo folks, it’s nearly 2019 and there’s no doubt that lots of progress has been made in terms of fewer products on the shelves labelled ‘boys’ or ‘girls’. But we still get sent plenty of examples of gender stereotyping and unnecessary labelling and, in time-honoured fashion, we take this opportunity to look back, not so much in anger, but in disappointment at the silliest examples to come our way in the past couple of years.

Snap judgements

pink blue kids cameras

Picture: @ajtartt

Winners of the best worst textbook illustration of how the same product is marketed differently to boys and girls is Vtech. A suspiciously similar looking camera is packaged in two colours (no prizes for guessing which ones) and labelled in one instance as an ‘ActionCam’ and in the other as a ‘SelfieCam’. As @ajtartt comments: “Shocking! Gender stereotyping to the max. Boys have adventures. Girls beautify themselves.”


Bitter sweet

mentos fruittella
Not even sweeties escape the pink and blue divide, the cool/action vs glam/beauty stereotyping, with this selection snapped by @IsaNaidoo in contrasting packaging.
“Really? Glamorous pink for girls and cool blue for boys. Whatever next?”.

The first cut is the deepest?

umbilical cord scissors gender reveal



Surely the most bizarre example of the year, if not the century, is these umbilical cord scissors, available in pink and blue – get ‘em early takes on a whole new meaning. Brought to our attention via @stud_hebkunde, a trainee midwife in Germany.






Another contender for most odd pinkification was sent to us back in 2017 by @CalebParkin, and features pink and blue bags for disposing of your doggie’s doings, which we are pretty sure does not vary much in colour whatever the sex of your dog. Surely we can’t scoop any lower?


From poo to glue


If you thought that babies and glue were a potentially perilous combination, think again. With their tendency to be a bit lacking in hair, some way was needed to affix adornments to those pretty little heads – enter ‘girlie glue’. “It’s never too early to be girlie’ & stick stuff to your baby’s head & ears with GLUE oh it’s only #girlieglue To prove she’s a girl,” explains @cctheatreco.



Count me out

Ah, the rote learning of times tables, a chore for some schoolkids, a highlight for others, but either way something that has been a mathematical certainty for generations. But, what’s this? Some bright spark has seen that the way to make this task more successful is to produce two separate posters for boys and girls.“I feel like such an idiot! I always thought #TimesTables were the same regardless of your gender! ????????‍♀️”, tweets @myatticlibrary

Rooting out sexism

Need a succinct definition of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ to display on a tree trunk in your garden? Luckily your wait is over! Spotted by @lapsangsusie on Pinterest. We can only assume the ‘n’ here stands for ‘nonsense’.

girl boy gender stereotype sign

Dr Lindy B (@lapsangsusie): And today’s first @LetToysBeToys @PinkstinksUK eyeroll is brought to you by Pinterest. Seriously, WTF?


Seen any silliness recently? Tweet us at @lettoysbetoys using the hashtag #facepalm. Happy New Year everyone!

Guest blog by Janetta Willis (@jettawillis)

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