Toys for boys, toys for girls…what say you?

image002Last month Target made a big announcement regarding toys for girls and toys for boys in their stores and more specifically, not labeling genders when it comes to toys, home or entertainment products and more. Here is a snippet from their announcement:

“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not. Historically, guests have told us that sometimes—for example, when shopping for someone they don’t know well—signs that sort by brand, age
or gender help them get ideas and find things faster. But we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary.

We heard you, and we agree. Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance. For example, in the kids’ Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves. You’ll see these changes start to happen over the next few months.”

The internet was a buzz about this decision. Some happy, some unhappy and some indifferent. Even in our house, we had conversations about it. Frankly, I don’t care with which toys my daughters’ 2015-09-07 18.55.25play. Even if they are stereotypically for girls or for boys. I just want them to play. Play indoors. Play outdoors. Just play! In a world where technology is so prevalent, I like that my daughters’ still want to play with toys and not sit in front of the TV all day long.

Lately, my youngest daughter Luna has become obsessssssed with “big machines” as she calls them. We live in a neighborhood that has a TON of construction going on right now so she sees dump trucks, tractors and big machines all of the time and she LOVES them. A few weeks ago, I received a sample of the John Deere Gear Force Mega Scoop Tractor and look at her face! She loves it! She has played with it in the house and out in the front yard. (It’s available this fall at Toys R Us and John Deere Dealers.) She still loves her stuffed animals and baby dolls but boy, does she love her new tractor! And I am alll about it!

So what say you my Surviving Mommy readers…how do you feel about the gender UNlabeling in stores?

XO Surviving Mommy



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  • Mandy says:

    So soon we forget that all of this ‘Gender Marketing’ of toys and bedding is such a new concept. When I was a kid 25-30 years ago, toys were mostly primary colors-and were displayed on plain white shelves with price tags. It wasn’t until the late 80’s or early 90’s that these things got ‘gendered’ and it was all these genius you marketers who found out that if you, the consumer, had a son, and bought him Legos, and then had a daughter- you’d buy MORE Legos in a pink box just for her. If your son had the blue doctors kit, then your daughter HAD to have the pink one.
    Or God forbid you had a little girl firstborn, and bought everything in pink- no way could your boy play with those things- so you had to buy everything again. Manufacturers Sell Double!! GENIUS!!
    All Target is doing is taking the Label off the shelf.
    They haven’t taken anyone’s choices away, all the toys and blankets are still there. They took the labels away. So what.
    Labels are for soup cans. Not people.
    My son had a baby doll that he adored, and cared for right alongside me when his sister was born. My girls first toys were matchbox cars and nerf because she wanted whatever big brother had. Once again, So What.
    Labels encourage assumptions, and assumptions limit understanding, and promote prejudice.
    You can label me
    And Pro-Target.
    Down with Labels- of all kinds.

  • robin says:

    At three years old, our daughter “knows” that blue is for boys and pink is for girls. I have tried very hard (sometimes overkill) to balance the pink toys and pink clothes she has with other colors. It’s so hard when the only options for girls are in shades of pink. Like the shoe options for little girls in Target, for example, are all pink and purple (or black and red for Minnie- but G does not like The Mouse). There are No pink options in the boy’s shoe isle, so no wonder she thinks boys can’t wear pink.

    It makes me sad, sometimes, to realize that we can’t shelter our babies from the world. They are so sweet and innocent- I want to protect that as long as I can! I don’t want her to start putting limits on herself or other kids, either! And the “pink isle” and “blue isle” doesn’t limit just girls- it is very damaging to our young boys, too. I’m not even sure how I’m going to handle that when the time comes in the next year or so for little J.

    Man- WHY are we so OBSESSED with gender in our society? Why do we even care if a 6 month-old is a boy or girl? Maybe it all comes from our language; we either have to say ‘he’ or ‘she’, because ‘it’ is considered disrespectful to a person. Anyway- I’m going off the deep end, as I am oft to do! Sorry– and thanks for bringing up these issues that parents face everyday over and over again!

  • Teresa Kick says:

    Not just for kids. I worked a job for 26 years working on envelope machines ” A mans job” I’ve always been mechanically inclined and have put together, repaired and done all sorts of things around the house. I don’t fit the stereotype that some people identify with this. It makes me sick to see these tool sets in all pink! Just because I’m female doesn’t mean I need pink tools.

  • Michele says:

    I believe in allowing children to play with toys for boys or girls. Yes, most stores have gender labeled their toys especially. When my children were little my daughter and son played with each other toys. They are children, they don’t know what gender identity is unless it is taught. Let kids be kids and stop the labeling. Just my opinion.

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