• ToysRUs_Dreamdazzlers
  • 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 our letter to ToysRUs and add your comments below.

2 Comments

  1. Mari Booker

    I so hate seeing this wall of pink. What are these companies trying to do to our children?

    They are trying to make parents believe that that if they have children of different gender, they have to buy a different coloured push chair, new clothes and different toys in another colour.

    It’s called profit. Our children are worth more than this.

    Parents. Resist. Buy pushchairs, clothes and toys that are not pink.
    Any colour but not pink.
    My children grew up wearing navy blue, red, purple, brown and mutli-coloured clothes.

  2. 30 year old Girl, London

    How about just letting your children choose what colours they want to wear?

    Until puberty the clothes “for boys” and “for girls” are interchangeable anyway.

    I don’t mind a wall of pink or a wall of blue (or toys in pink or blue boxes) but I do mind them saying “girls” or “boys” or having exclusively pictures of girls or boys on them.

    Using the colours is not wrong, tying them to a specific gender is.

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