Stop promoting toys as only for boys, or only for girls
  • Petitioning Toy Retailers in UK and Ireland

This petition will be delivered to:

Toy Retailers in UK and Ireland

Stop promoting toys as only for boys, or only for girls

    1. Petition by

      Let Toys Be Toys

Retailers are reinforcing the message that certain toys are off-limits for girls or for boys. 

Toys are for fun, for learning, for stoking imagination and encouraging creativity. Children should feel free to play with the toys that most interest them.

Recent signatures


    1. Let Toys Be Toys launches resources for schools

      Our new resources will help teachers who want to challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom.

      Visit our new schools pages:

      Children are keen to fit in and quickly pick up ideas about what’s supposedly ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’, but stereotyped ideas can limit their aspirations and opportunities. They may worry if their favourite toys or hobbies don't 'fit', and parents and carers are often concerned that children who challenge these norms will be teased or bullied.

      We’ve worked with teachers to develop new materials including 'Ten tips for challenging stereotypes in the classroom', 'Why we must challenge gender stereotypes in school' and a lesson plan to get children talking about stereotypes and marketing through a topic that all kids love – toys.

    2. See the difference you're making - before and after gallery

      High street stores are less sexist this Christmas

      Our survey reveals that gender-based toy marketing is falling out of favour in toy stores, with significantly fewer 'girls' and 'boys' signs in toy shops this Christmas. In November, Let Toys Be Toys mystery shoppers across the UK and Ireland took part in a survey in designed to gauge the impact of the campaign.

    3. Reached 10,000 signatures
    4. Let Toys Be Toys wins marketing award

      Let Toys Be Toys Wins Progressive Preschool Marketing Award

      We are delighted to announce that Let Toys Be Toys has won the Progressive Preschool 2013 Marketing Award for our campaign against sexism in toy retail. We were really pleased to have have won the marketing category, as unlike conventional marketing departments with huge budgets, Let Toys Be Toys is a grassroots campaign, run on a shoestring budget with donations from supporters and the campaigners themselves.

    5. Debenhams to drop 'boys' and 'girls' toys signs

      Department store chain Debenhams are the latest retailer to agree to Let Toys Be Toys.

      Debenhams to Drop "Boys" and "Girls" Signs

      We're celebrating tonight as Debenhams have agreed to remove all 'boys' and 'girls' signs from their toy sections. Their announcement comes after a sustained campaign from Let Toys Be Toys and our supporters - in writing, on social media and in person.

    6. Reached 9,000 signatures
    7. Toys R Us agrees to drop 'boys' and 'girls' labelling

      Great news, as toy retail giant Toys R Us commits to more inclusive marketing following a meeting with Let Toys Be Toys campaigners.

    8. Reached 7,500 signatures
    9. Celebrate retailers who let toys be toys

      As well as challenging shops that use and reinforce gender-stereotypes in their marketing, we want to promote retailers that do a great job of letting toys be toys, displaying toys and books in a way that is welcoming and inclusive to all children. Find out more about our Toymark Good Practice Award, and get nominating!

      Let Toys Be Toys "Toymark" Good Practice Award

      The Let Toys Be Toys "Toymark" recognises retailers that are doing a great job of offering toys to girls and boys alike. As well as challenging gender-stereotyped toy marketing, Let Toys Be Toys is also keen to recognise shops and websites that are displaying toys and books in a way that is welcoming and inclusive to all children.

    10. Tesco agree to let toys be toys

      More good news. We're delighted that supermarket giant Tesco have committed to removing gender labelling from toys on their website, and in stores.

    11. Reached 7,000 signatures
    12. Great news! Gender signs gone from Entertainer stores by Christmas

      Following our meeting with The Entertainer toy chain yesterday, we're thrilled to announce they will be dropping the 'girls toys' and 'boys toys' signs as a result of customer feedback.

      Tesco UK have also announced via Twitter that 'boy' and 'girl' labels will be removed from toys on their website.

    13. Reached 6,000 signatures
    14. More news on our website!

      It's been a great few weeks for Let Toys Be Toys, with increasing press coverage for the campaign. Boots have agreed to withdraw 'Boys Toys' and 'Girls Toys' signage and Tesco's have been embarrassed into backtracking on labelling a chemistry set as a 'Boys' Toy' after initially claiming their categories were based on 'customer research'. Even the Royal Society of Chemists weighed in, stating: "Labelling toys is simply appalling. There should be no toys labelled for either gender."

      We've contacted the Entertainer and Marks and Spencer to challenge them on the way they label their toy displays – find out more, and about our recent successes on our shiny new website: Please let us know what you think!

      Let Toys Be Toys | Let Toys Be Toys - For Girls and Boys

      Let Toys Be Toys is asking retailers to stop limiting children's interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys. Toys are for fun, for learning, for stoking imagination and encouraging creativity. Children should feel free to play with the toys that most interest them.

    15. Reached 4,000 signatures
    16. Progress

      Let Toys Be Toys have seen several retailers making changes towards degenderization recently; Morrisons, Asda, Hobbycraft, Matalan and Galt Toys are amongst those who have made or promised changes after being contacted by the campaign. As well as this a motion of support for our aims has been lodged with Scottish Parliament. Thanks everyone who has supported us so far, please keep on sending us photos and examples of gendered marketing. Let's keep the pressure up.

    17. Reached 3,000 signatures
    18. Let Toys Be Toys in the news

      In just a few days since the campaign started we have reached over 500 'likes' on Facebook, 250 twitter followers and 250 signatures on the petition. We have also been on BBC Breakfast and BBC Three Counties Radio, and tomorrow the campaign will be featured in the Independent on Sunday.

      Please do tell people about the campaign and share the link to the Facebook page ( and this the petition at

      If you see any good or not good examples of the way that toy retailers are marketing to girls and boys do take a photo and share it on the Facebook page.

      Thanks for your support.

    19. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sarah Culverhouse LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 14 hours ago

      I have a son and a daughter, they both like to play with all kinds of toys: dolls, cars, everything. Toys do not need to be gendered.

      • 3 days ago

      I have a daughter and I am worried about the Pinkisation of the toy sector

      • 3 days ago

      Because in the 21st Century I should not *still* have to be signing petitions like this!

    • sarah eastwood FLINTSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 days ago

      I'm signing because I have 2 daughters, and never found problems with them liking/finding digger, dinosaur or Thomas stuff. Then I had a son and found it doesn't work both ways

      • 4 days ago

      I want my three-year-old son to stay a full-fledged human being.


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