Toys R Us Agrees to End Gender-Biased Marketing Policy

Toys R UsPlan on seeing more girls with toy guns and boys with play kitchens in future Toys R Us advertisements, as the company has announced it will no longer promote toys as gender specific products. The Telegraph reports that the company agreed to the change after meeting with Let Toys Be Toys, a campaign group run by concerned parents saying the policy restricted children's choices.

Megan Perryman, Let Toys Be Toys campaigner, said: "Even in 2013, boys and girls are still growing up being told that certain toys are for them, while others are not. This is not only confusing but extremely limiting as it strongly shapes their ideas about who they are."

Toys R Us announced the move after meetings with the campaign group. Roger McLaughlan, managing director of the toy store, told the Independent: "We will work to ensure we develop the best plan for our customers."


  1. olympiasepiriot says

    Nice gesture…but what about the way things are stocked in the store? Proximity is another part of marketing. And the packaging…are they such a 5000 lb gorilla that they can influence the manufacturers?

  2. NotSafeForWork says

    Toys R Us doesn’t sell toy guns and realistic firearms, so that’s not something you will see. More thank likely you will see Nerf type launchers and such and other items marketed to girls.

  3. rroberts says

    “…the company has announced it will no longer promote toys as gender specific products.”

    Hey people, why can’t we just be glad about some positive news? Is that so difficult?

  4. ratbastard says

    Guess what? There are differences between boys and girls, and in general [there are always EXCEPTIONS to the rule] they enjoy different things, play differently, and so-on. IT IS NOT ALL ENVIRONMENTALLY BASED.

  5. Will says

    No one said there weren’t differences between boys and girls RB and Carl. In case you haven’t noticed society says boys should play with this toy while girls should not and vice versa. If big companies no longer promote that notion maybe the general public will follow? This is not catering to the ‘PC’ crowd, this is the 21st century, welcome to it.

  6. Luke says

    @Will, you’re missing the point. Boys and girls are naturally drawn to different activities and toys. It doesn’t matter to which gender they are marketed. There are exceptions to this rule.. When I was a boy I liked to play dress up and barbies, but all 5 of my brothers liked ‘typical’ boy toys. Society doesn’t say what activities kids are drawn to, nature does.

  7. Aly says

    Nature may say what they want to play with….society says what theyll be made fun of or even beat up for playing with. Id hate to be the poor boy used in comercials and ads for princess dressup dresses :-( its worse for guys then girls…we can play with just about whatever we want. My daughter loves diego as much as she loves dora, and pirates as much as princesses (sometimes more! Lol) Im sick of having to buy “boys” stuff for her. And my babies r us registry has a bunch of “boys” baby clothes just because theyre blue and/or have dinosaurs, so a wonderful mix of “boys” clothes and pink clothes and fluffy skirts 😛 so yes stop packaging and marketing stuff as “boys” or “girls” unless it definitely is….if it has the word girl on it, no it shouldnt be marketed as gender neutral. But pink or dolls or whatever doesnt mean boys cant play with it. Just be careful with the marketing thing…

  8. JJ says

    @RATBASTARD: “they enjoy different things, play differently, and so-on”

    OK, then they will choose different toys. What are you griping about?

    @LUKE: “It doesn’t matter to which gender they are marketed.”

    OK, then it doesn’t matter if they don’t market to them by gender. What. Are. You. Griping. About?

    @CARL: “Never understood why people want to deny there are differences between boys and girls.”

    People in the past thought girls weren’t as smart as boys and shouldn’t be educated. That assumption turned out to be false. Then it was thought that men were good and some jobs and bad at others, and vice versa for women. That assumption turned out to be false.

    We have a long history of making stupid assumptions about gender and then coercing everyone to believe those assumptions and conform their lives to them.

  9. JMC says

    Luke, how ignorant could you be? Boys and girls are drawn to certain kinds of toys because they’re socialized from birth to do so. Duh. My mother made an active effort to curb that in me so I had twice the fun growing up playing with my Transformers and my Easy Bake Oven.

  10. Anne_D says

    If this is true for US stores, all I can say is that it’s about time.

    My daughters liked cuddly stuffed animals, they liked dolls, but they also liked cars and trucks and dinosaurs and Pokemon. Every time we went into ToysRUs, I had to reassure them that it was just the store being stupid, and they could look at the “boys” toys all they wanted. Don’t even get me started on the teasing they got in kindergarten for liking “boy things”, either.

    For those of you who claim that children are “drawn to” certain kinds of toys depending on whether they’re boys or girls, I have two now-adult daughters who would strongly disagree. For that matter, so would I have as a child. Gah.

  11. Marc says

    As I kid I would always feel weird walking into a toy store because the “girl” toys were on one side, the “boy” toys were on the other, and the “gender-neutral” toys were in the middle. I’d often find myself in the “gender-neutral” aisle. But I often wanted to venture over into the girl’s side as well. But, because it was clearly separated from the boy side, I felt embarrassed whenever I’d try to go over there. People could see me. They’d wonder, “What’s a boy doing in the girl section?” Even as a kid, I was aware of my surroundings and knew what society wanted from me. So, to make it look like I was just a curious kid, I go up and down EVERY aisle to make it look like I was treating the whole store equally.

    For a kid in a toy store, this sort of thing is exhausting. Toy stores are supposed to be fun, not stressful. So if they could just throw all the girl, boy and gender-neutral toys together, life would be so much easier. There would be no stigma and kids could feel free to explore without shame. That’s what I would have wanted. Glad to see we are making progress.

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