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First Gender-Neutral Toy Department Opens at Harrods

First Gender-Neutral Toy Department Opens at Harrods

When you walk into a toy store one of the first things you will notice is a sea of blue and pink separating the girl versus boy toys.

On one side you will find dolls, dress-up clothes, kitchen sets, and all sorts of toys for girls that encourage them to buy into traditional gender roles of women taking care of the home and children. On the other side you will find trucks, action figures, dinosaurs, and mountains of other toys for boys that encourage them to play rough and get dirty.

Harrods, a famous London department store, has decided to do away with gender specific areas and instead group toys by theme. The first gender-neutral toy department includes an enchanted forest, miniature toy world, circus area, candy shop, and reading room. That means no more pink and blue aisles! Hooray!

It’s refreshing to see a toy department take a different approach to unveiling toys to children, but that doesn’t mean that the very gender specific toys you see in traditional toy stores don’t still exist at Harrods’ new Toy Kingdom. The themed layout, however, may give boys and girls a chance to find toys that appeal more to their tastes as opposed to simply running to the pink or blue aisles.

What I’d really love to see is toy manufactures looking beyond traditional gender norms for toys, but Harrods’ gender-neutral department is a step in the right direction.

What do you think about Harrods’ gender-neutral toy department? Do you think it will make a difference in the kinds of toys boys and girls choose to play with?

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Photo by Janet Mck used under a Creative Commons license

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2:09PM PDT on Mar 31, 2014

It's about time stores do away with the boy/girl differential. Maybe we can get them to include more thought provoking educational toys too.

2:09PM PDT on Mar 31, 2014

It's about time stores do away with the boy/girl differential. Maybe we can get them to include more thought provoking educational toys too.

8:12PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

thanks for sharing

5:26PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012


2:22PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

A step in the right direction. Yay!

2:18PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

When I was 5 my favorite toys were a big red fire engine and an erector set. My brother had a boy baby doll and carriage and he loved them. He never played with my toys and I never played with his toys. Today he and his wife have 2 great kids and he's a wonderful dad to them. I have no kids and that's the way my husband and I wanted it. I guess my parents were always gender neutral even in 1960.

11:18AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012


8:21AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Noted and thanks!

8:53PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

I know of no store near me with pink or blue aisles. I grew up playing with Star Wars figures and train sets, and was a tom-boy. Girls and boys should be able to play with whatever they want. Maybe if little boys had dolls, they would learn how to change diapers as an adult.

3:28PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

I have been to the gift shops in museums. Non gender there. What we need to do is STOP making it WAR between men and women. Don't make it a big deal if a woman makes CEO or a man is a stay at home dad or whatever.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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