We’re pleased to see new signage going up in refitted Toys R Us stores in the UK. Let us know what you’ve seen in stores near you.
In 2013 Let Toys Be Toys met with Toys R Us directors to discuss marketing in a way that includes all children. We were delighted that they committed to drawing up a new set of principles for in-store signage meaning that, in the long term, explicit references to gender will be removed and images will show boys and girls enjoying the same toys. They also promised to consider more inclusive images in their Christmas catalogue.
Stores that have recently opened, including Portsmouth and Stirling, do not have any explicitly gendered signs.
They also stock toys according to type rather than perceived recipient. We’re especially pleased for example to see Lego Friends along with the rest of the Lego rather than with dolls as in the past.
We’re also pleased to see pictures of girls and boys playing together in the Christmas catalogues for 2013 and 2014, as well as some images of children playing with toys that might not traditionally be associated with that gender.
However, there is certainly more work that could take place to make the catalogues more inclusive. For example, there are no boys featured with Frozen toys and no girls featured with Star Wars toys.
We are also keen to find out when existing stores will catch up with new ones, and for signs like the one below to be a thing of the past.
It’s a shame then, that toys can be sorted by ‘boy’, ‘girl’ and ‘unisex’ on the Toys R Us website. Over half of the websites we looked at in our recent survey were selling toys without using gender in navigation or filters – shoppers don’t need these signs, just as they don’t need ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ signs in store.
We’re pleased with the progress so far – please let us know what you see in stores near you, and let Toys R Us know what you think.
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