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

140 comments

Monica Collier
Monica Collier2 years ago

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.

Monica Collier
Monica Collier2 years ago

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.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Melissah Chadwick
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks

Emily Drew
Emily Drew4 years ago

A step in the right direction. Yay!

Wendy F.
Wendy F.4 years ago

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.

Kimberly McMahen
Kimberly McMahen4 years ago

Bravo!

April Thompson
April Thompson4 years ago

Noted and thanks!

Magyar Girl
Past Member 4 years ago

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.

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson4 years ago

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.