Leading the way – Retailer Giant Toys R Us has stopped categorising it’s products by gender

Leading the way – Retailer Giant Toys R Us has stopped categorising it’s products by gender

Retail giant Toys R Us has stopped categorising it’s products as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ toys on its website after coming under pressure from campaign group, Let Toys Be Toys.

The move occurs two years after a meeting with campaign group Let Toys Be Toys, which will now see shoppers  search products by age group, brand or type of toy rather than by gender.

Following complaints that categorising toys puts girls off playing with science and construction sets, and makes boys feel they can’t take an interest in dolls, the company has chosen to become entirely gender neutral, both in stores and online,

The pressure group met with the retailer two years ago to discuss concerns, and the company made their marketing material more inclusive and their in store displays gender neutral

In 2013, Toys R Us agreed to make their marketing more inclusive and stop categorising products as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ toys in their branches.

The pressure group which represents thousands of shoppers concerned with sexism in the toy industry and its impact on children, regularly post examples of sexist marketing of toys and products to children.

They recently urged Boots to change the way they sell toothbrushes after a follower shared an image of pink Barbie brushes for girls, while the boys’ version was emblazoned with Spiderman.


‘Could you change this please,’ they wrote. ‘Boys and girls have the same teeth.’



Shoppers regularly share images of what they perceive as sexist marketing to children. One user slammed John Lewis for this shop display as well as Lego for putting girls’ sets in pink boxes

John Lewis has also come under fire for the layout of their Lego products.

A Let Toys Be Toys supporter called Rob Bell posted an image of the store’s Lego shelves, which were divided by gender.

Disney products in pink packaging sat on one side, while the kits to build cars and spaceships were kept separate on the other shelf.

‘Warning!’ he wrote. ‘Children don’t like how you define them, pink or blue.’



Meanwhile toy company Mattel has been praised this week for its advertisement for the new Moschino Barbie, which features an adorable boy with a mohawk.

The boy is seen giggling with two female friends as they play with the dolls

‘Moschino Barbie is so fierce!’ he then says to the camera as he holds Barbie’s bag.

It’s the first Barbie advertisement to ever feature a boy playing with the doll, and has been braised for challenging gender stereotypes.



‘This almost made me cry!’ wrote one person on YouTube. ‘I used to play with my sister’s Barbies and felt such shame afterward. I’m so glad we can just let kids be kids.’

‘Thank you for this! Boys like dolls too!’

Another YouTube user said they wished the commercial had been around when they were growing up.

‘This makes me so happy for the future generation and I hope it’ll catch on and destroy gender stereotypes when it comes to toys.’

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