All posts tagged gallery

  • Boots_Before_580Before: Science and construction toys under 'gifts for boys' at Boots in 2012
  • Boots_After_580After: Signs replaced by 'gifts for children' in May 2013.
  • Debenhams_before_580Before: Debenhams told us that 'Boys' and 'Girls' signs made it easier for shoppers. (Croydon, June 2013, tweeted by @sillyna)
  • Debenhams_After_580After: In October 2013 Debenhams announced the would change toy departments with inclusive colours and thematic shelving. (Cork, November 2013)
  • Entertainer_before_580Before: The Entertainer toy chain organised all their stores into 'boys' and 'girls' sections.
  • Entertainer_After_580After: From 2013 the Entertainer's new store decor organises by theme, and includes pictures of girls and boys.
  • Fenwick_Before_580Before: Toys organised separately at Fenwick in Newcastle early in 2013.
  • Fenwick_After_580After: : Organised by theme by November 2013
  • Hobbycraft_Before_580Before: Craft kits for girls at Hobbycraft in March. (Reading, March 2013)
  • Hobbycraft-art-580After: Great, inclusive signs, organising by theme and activity, and new inclusive own-brand ranges. (Reading, June 2013)
  • M&S_Before_580Before: Science toys, watches, pens and animals labelled as 'Boys stuff' at M&S, while all the craft materials were branded 'Lil' Miss Arty'. (Cardiff, September 2013)
  • M&S_crafts_Dec13-580After: Marks and Spencer have said that all their toy ranges will be gender-neutral by the Spring, like this colourful new art and craft range.
  • Morrisons_@seany85_GuiseleyBefore: Morrison's told us in July that they would be removing these 'Girls' toys' and 'Boys Toys' signs from stores. (Guiseley, November 2013, supplied by @seany85)
  • Morrisons_Bolton_@JoshHapleAfter: The old signs are still up in many stores. Some branches now have these signs. We don't think this is much of an improvement. (Bolton, November 2013, supplied by @JoshHapless)
  • Next_Before_580Before: All toys were labelled as 'boys' in Next at Christmas 2012. (Cardiff, December 2012)
  • Next_After_580After: A more inclusive Toy Shop at Next this year. (Cardiff, December 2013)
  • TKMaxx_before_580Before: 'Boys' and 'girls' signs and shelf-edge labelling at TKMaxx.
  • TKMaxx_After_580After: Toys organised by theme and type.
  • Wilkinson_Before_580Before: 'Girls' and 'boys' toys signs at Wilkinson in 2012.
  • Wilkinson_After_580After: New signs, and also home-play toys in gender neutral colours with photos of girls and boys on the packaging at Wilkinson this year.

Before and after – see how toy stores have changed this year

This Christmas, far fewer toys are displayed under ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ signs, we’re happy to say. Take a look at some of the changes and read more about what retailers have committed to do.

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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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  • Fagins_june13Games and toys in the window at Fagins Toys, Muswell Hill, north London. June 2013
  • Fagins_jigsaws_June13Jigsaw puzzles and games grouped together at Fagins Toys, Muswell Hill. June 2013.
  • Barnums_June13_ageToys organised by age group at Barnums toyshop in Penarth, South Wales. June 2013
  • WithLoveAndHope_June13With Love and Hope in Loughton, Essex. Toys organised by theme, with vehicles grouped together, and play food and home-corner toys together. June 2013
  • WithLoveAndHope_June13_presBaby and toddler toys grouped together at With Love and Hope, Loughton, Essex. June 2013
  • 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)
  • Koolmami_displayKoolmami toys in Bristol displays toys by age.
  • Hobbycraft-art-580Hobbycraft have dropped their old 'Kits for girls' signs in favour of signs promoting craft for boys and girls. Gender-neutral signs for 'Face painting' and 'Science and nature' kits are also visible. Hobbycraft Reading, May 2013
  • Morleys_art_580Morleys department store in Tooting say, 'We have made a conscious decision to try to keep things as gender neutral as possible.'
  • Morleys_construction_580'We opened the Toy Department in September 2012 and it has proved very successful and popular. Our aim is to try to make the department as simple and easy for people to find their way round.' June 2013.
  • Morleys_figures_580'We have listened to customer feedback about the layout/signage/product range of the department, in addition to our own ideas, to try to create a Toy department that children and parents love!', Morleys Tooting, June 2013
  • Funlearning_580Fun learning's website organises toys in categories such as 'Science toys', 'Craft kits' or 'Building and construction'.
  • Elys-gamesElys department store in Wimbledon organises its toy department by theme and type of toy.
  • Elys-constructionElys, Wimbledon. Construction, Outdoor Toys and Skylanders all labelled without mention of boys or girls.
  • Elys-Science-580Science toys grouped together at Elys, Wimbledon
  • ToyShopUK-580ToyShop UK is a toy and toy retailer directory, which offers a number of different ways to browse toy ideas, without gender labelling.
  • Hobbycraft-baking-580Baking sets and equipment for boys and girls at Hobbycraft Reading, May 2013.
  • Hobbycraft-dressing-580Boys and girls can enjoy dressing up as a knight at Hobbycraft Reading, May 2013.
  • Koolmami_puzzlesPuzzles and books grouped together at Koolmami, Bristol.
  • LittleScholars_Watford1Little Scholars, Watford, uses no gender labels in store.
  • LittleScholars_Watford2Toys organised by theme, including 'Creative Play' and 'First words' at Little Scholars, Watford

Good practice gallery

It’s perfectly possible to display and organise toys for shoppers without labelling them for boys or girls. Here are a few examples of websites and shops doing a great job. Please contact us with more suggestions of good practice.

  • Only boys play in the bath? (Entertainer Westfield Stratford, March 2013)
  • Lego is for boys?Lego under 'boys toys', including the girl-targeted 'Friends' range. (Entertainer, Bluewater, March 2013)
  • No daddies then? Dolls under 'girls toys' (Entertainer Bluewater, March 2013)
  • No creativity for boys? Crafts, including badge maker, dough animals under 'girls toys' (Entertainer Bluewater, March 2013)
  • Games for boys? (Entertainer Westfield Stratford, March 2013)
  • Ent_Reading_1303_boyssciencScience sets, including 'make your own perfume' categorised under 'boys toys' at the Entertainer, Reading, March 2013
  • Step away from the glue, boys! Creative crafts, glitter, glue, filed under 'girls toys' at Entertainer Reading, March 2013
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_boysmagicMagic sets under 'boys toys' (Entertainer Cardiff, April 2013)
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_girlscookiHenry Hoover has a boy on the packaging, and the cooker and shopping trolley are in a cheerful, neutral red. Does The Entertainer really think cooking and shopping are just for girls?
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_girlsmusicMusical instruments labelled as girls toys. Entertainer Cardiff, April 2013.
  • Ent_Cardiff_1304_girlsolympNice to see some cars under 'girls toys', but were the Olympics just for girls? I could have sworn I saw some male athletes...

Toyshop gallery – The Entertainer

We think toyshops should stop categorising toys by gender because it limits children’s choices and imaginations.  But it also doesn’t make any sense. 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…