2018 marks the five year anniversary of the Let Toys Be Toys Toymark – our good practice award recognises toy retailers and booksellers who are marketing inclusively to all children, without ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ labels or colour-coded signage. Over 50 retailers throughout the UK have received our award since 2013. Read what some of our retailers have shared about winning the award.
Letterbox Library – Children’s booksellers
“Happy Birthday, Toymark Award! Letterbox Library was very proud to receive its award 5 years ago. For us, it felt like a seal of approval from a group of campaigners whose opinion we truly value. Let Toys Be Toys want toys and books to be for everyone. And so do we! Books are a critical tool in helping build children’s self esteem and a positive sense of self. That only works if children have genuine choices in what they read.
Gendered marketing is a pernicious force which, at best, artificially dictates children’s reading tastes and, at worst, curbs their ambitions and aspirations. Let Toys Be Toys have done so much to push back against these limitations – so to have their approval means a great deal to us!”
Letterbox Library sells inclusive children’s books celebrating equality and diversity. Visit their website: letterboxlibary.com
Inaugural Toymark Winner, 2013
First multi-shop winner of the award, 2018
“Whirligig was awarded the Toymark in the first year of our business. The award really validated what we were trying to do and whilst we had not gone out to be gender neutral, it made complete sense to us to add this into our approach. Being a Toymark holder is clearly important to some of our customers and people do seek us out because of this. We want people to think that we have bothered with our shop – in the display and presentation, the choice of products, the knowledge of our staff members and the way we work with the children who visit us. Being inclusive is part of this being bothered – and it really doesn’t take that much effort.” Peter Allison, Director, Whirligig Toys
Kit & Caboodle Parties
“Let Parties be Parties for Girls and Boys! Kit & Caboodle are thrilled to be the first party retailer to be awarded a Toymark Good Practice Award from Let Toys Be Toys. Uninspired by all the gendered themes and pink and blue party merchandise out there, we wanted to offer an alternative with our colourful party kits. We sort our parties by theme not boy/girl so that children can decide for themselves what they think is fun Why shouldn’t girls be into dinosaurs or boys like unicorns?
We also want children to be free to invite friends of both gender to their parties without anyone feeling out of place. They play together so why shouldn’t they party together? With themes including Science, Chocolate Factory, Narnia and Star Wars, Kit & Caboodle party kits are designed to be playful and inspiring for boys and girls.”
Kit & Caboodle Parties can be found at kitcaboodle.co.uk
“It’s important to provide children with books that do not enforce gender stereotypes. Immerse girls and boys in the truth that it’s possible for them to achieve anything; this will give them the confidence to make their own choices and the conviction to follow their own path.”
Visit Child’s Play book shop online here www.childs-play.com.
GenNeu offers a lovely range of children’s toys and books. Visit their shop at genneu.co.uk.
“We were honoured to receive the Let Toys Be Toys Toymark earlier this year as it showed how hard we have been working to promote our activity kits to all children and encourage them to learn through play whilst getting excited about their futures.”
Ingenues offers activity kits based on the lives and careers of brilliant women. Find out more at www.ingenues.co.uk/
Little Wise Toys
“There are so many different important skills to be gained from different toys. If certain types of toys are directed at boys, and other types are directed at girls, then both boys and girls can lose out on the different developmental opportunities provided by some toys. This is why I think that toys should just be marketed as toys for anyone to use and enjoy, regardless of their gender. I am delighted that the Little Wise Toys’ range of travel friendly and educational toys are enjoyed by both boys and girls.”
Little Wise Toys offer award winning educational and fun toys for children ages 3 – 6 years old. Visit their website at www.littlewisetoys.com/
- For a full list of awarded retailers, browse our Toymark directory of shops across the UK.
- Find out more about our Toymark good practice award for inclusive toy marketing.