06/07/2013 10:06 am ET

Kids' Toys: More Gendered Than Ever


Megan Perryman’s 5-year-old daughter was browsing toys in a store. She picked up a toy recorder and her expression quickly changed as if she had done something wrong. “Oh no,” she said. “I’ve got the boys’ one!”

In her own childhood, Perryman didn’t feel limited to only playing with “girls’” toys. She says boys and girls in the UK in the 1980s played with Transformers, princesses, knights—it wasn’t a big deal if the toy was pink or blue. Back then, she says, there weren’t signs up in toy stores telling her which toys were made for “girls” and which were made for “boys.” Perryman is now one of the leading voices in Let Toys Be Toys, a UK-based campaign that pushes retail stores to stop marketing their toys toward only girls or only boys.

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