“The toy store has bowed to pressure from campaign group Let Toys Be Toys to stop promoting toys as gender specific over concerns about the impact this has on children when they are growing up and developing their personalities.
Toys R Us will now draw up plans for how to make its marketing more inclusive, and remove explicit references to gender in store. Adverts will eventually show boys and girls playing with the same toys, such as kitchens, toy guns and lego.
Let Toys Be Toys, a campaign group run by parents, has called for the removal of gender bias, saying it restricts 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.”
Harrods also launched its toy collection last summer based on theme rather than gender.
Last year the Swedish branch of Toys R Us launched a gender neutral advertising campaign at Christmas, showing girls shooting a toy gun and boys and girls playing together in a kitchen.”