ONTD Political

Daily Fail finds out Swedish toy companies X-mas ads are gender neutral!

7:40 pm - 11/27/2012
Dolls? They’re not just for girls: Swedish toy firm forced to become ‘gender neutral’ for Christmas catalogue.

  • Top Toy pictures girls holding guns and boys holding baby dolls in catalogue.

  • Comes after company was criticised for discrimination in previous catalogue.

  • Sales director: 'Gender debate in Sweden so strong that we had to adjust.'

  • Sweden's largest toy chain has been forced to become ‘gender neutral’ by picturing boys holding baby dolls and girls brandishing toy guns in the pages of its Christmas catalogue.

    Top Toy - which holds the franchise for Toys R Us - made the move after being reprimanded by the country’s advertising watchdog for ‘gender discrimination’ in a previous catalogue, which featured boys dressed as superheroes and girls playing princess.

    A comparison between this year’s Toys R Us catalogues in Sweden and Denmark, where Top Toy is also the franchisee, showed that a boy wielding a toy machine gun in the Danish edition had been replaced by a girl in Sweden.

    Elsewhere, a girl was photoshopped out of the ‘Hello Kitty page, a girl holding a baby doll was replaced by a boy, and, in sister chain BR’s catalogue, a young girl’s pink T-shirt was turned light blue.

    Top Toy, Sweden’s largest toy retailer by number of stores, said it had received ‘training and guidance’ from the Swedish advertising watchdog, which is a self-regulatory agency.

    "We have produced the catalogues for both BR and Toys R Us in a completely different way this year," said sales director Jan Nyberg.

    "For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we have had to adjust."

    He added: "With the new gender thinking, there is nothing that is right or wrong. It’s not a boy or a girl thing, it’s a toy for children."


    The Headline from Daily Fail is ridiculous and does not reflect what the toy company actually said. There was actually one news story about this in Sweden 2-3 weeks ago but no one cared. Most comments are males being afraid that we're "feminasing" young boys and that Sweden is not "thinking of the children" enough!

effervescent 28th-Nov-2012 05:38 am (UTC)
Yup, I think he is, it looks like one my grandparents had for the small cousins in my family :)
tabaqui 27th-Nov-2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
From what the sales director said, 'forced' seems a bit strong. But oh well - nice to see a company actually paying attention to this!
rebness 27th-Nov-2012 11:29 pm (UTC)

Let's get this straight: we're supposed to be up in arms because little girls are depicted playing with toy guns and all those fabulous kinds of toys I desperately wanted as a child, and had to wrestle from my brother?

Won't someone think of the children and force toys on them they don't want to suit The Daily Fail's latest crusade? :(
the_physicist 27th-Nov-2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well... the source. What to expect really from the commenters there? >_>

And it sucks for the kids who can't get to play with the toys they want because of some kind of gender deterministic bullshit. So it's good the catalogue is changing stuff, I wish more of them did. And without only doing it after being criticised, but at least they are doing something, I guess. :/
othellia 27th-Nov-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)

This girl looks all kinds of fierce. I like to see someone from the Daily Mail just try to her gun away.
rebness 27th-Nov-2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
Love it! :D
johnjie 27th-Nov-2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
NOne of those kids seem like they're being forced to play with those toys...they all look pretty happy tbh

ANd when I was a kid, I can distinctly remember playing dolls with my boy friends and water pistols with my girl friends, as well as vice versa. If a kid likes a toy, they'll play with it.
alicephilippa 27th-Nov-2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Aw teh poor Daily Fail is all butthurt at a Swedish Toy vendor actually breaking the gender mould. It's long past time thay moved into the 1990s let alone the 2010s.

Here in the UK there is a chain of toy stores 'The Entertainer'. They have threem main areas, an eye searingly yellow area for preschool toys. Guess what the other two are? Bright blue for 'boys' toys and a nice(!) bright pink for the girls. It's quite quite sad really, but I'm sure the Daily Fail would love them for upholding the standards of gender stereotyping.
malikxbakura 27th-Nov-2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
Most of the independent toy shops in Southampton, England are the same :/ If you're a girl, it's bright pink for you!
ragnor144 28th-Nov-2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Children absorb what society says about gender roles at an amazingly young age. Some of the biggest gender fascists I've ever met are three year olds. I'm all for showing them that there aren't "girls" toys and "boys" toys. My 9 year old daughter can't wear her favorite Pokemon shirt to school because many boys make fun of her for wearing "boys' shirts.
the_physicist 28th-Nov-2012 01:12 am (UTC)
My 9 year old daughter can't wear her favorite Pokemon shirt to school because many boys make fun of her for wearing "boys' shirts.

I honestly think the problem is getting worse, not better, from everything that i hear. kind of scary to think that. :/
bluelarkspur 28th-Nov-2012 02:20 am (UTC)
There is nothing that kills the Christmas spirit faster for me than seeing little kids asking for non-gender normative toys at the mall and their parents getting angry or embarrassed.
pamelalillian 28th-Nov-2012 02:25 am (UTC)
oh god! my goddaughter was denied a toy only bc her parents didn't want to buy it and she said if it was pink could i have it?
ughhhhh i get so angry, toys are toys dammit!
pamelalillian 28th-Nov-2012 02:23 am (UTC)
Yay Sweden!

Their education system is about being gender neutral and that's all kind of awesome. I didn't have the boy toys or girl toys issue at home. I had ninja turtles and princess dresses, doll houses and creepy crawlers kit. No one died so...

I had a dad take issue with me because I let his toddler boy play with a baby doll *rolls eyes*
liliaeth 28th-Nov-2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Hell I used to play with dolls alright, except for the part where me playing with dolls meant dressing them up as ninjas so they could have adventures fighting bad guys and kicking ass.
tallycola 28th-Nov-2012 04:42 am (UTC)
FORCED, or decided to appeal to their entire consumer base because it's good business sense?
mermaid88 28th-Nov-2012 07:06 am (UTC)
i'm all for it.
as a kid, i always thought that k'nex and legos were The Best, and Hot Wheels tracks were like rollercoasters. and i remember having this awsome (garishly colored) neon pink and purple super-soaker that made shooting noises. but one thing i never noticed was brought up in an article i read awhile back somewhere; the topic was similar, but mainly about kitchen playsets being mostly geared towards girls. my own personal solution? think of Food Network Channel. at 22 years old, i would TOTALLY deal out cash for a 'Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium playset (includes talking timer!)'.
the_physicist 28th-Nov-2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
i actually recently read they were selling more kitchen toy sets to boys in the UK because of the 'Jamie Oliver' effect or something. but i don't know if they are getting the pink sets or if the shops are brining out 'boy kitchen ranges'. :/ part of me thinks that if they aren't doing that, it's only a matter of time.
maladaptive 28th-Nov-2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
Forced! omg the feminists/PC brigade/social justice warriors are stealing the company's free speech! They held the catalogue for ransom until the toy company complied with their demands! ;-;
redstar826 28th-Nov-2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
lol let's be real, if you have kids of both genders that are close enough together in age, all the toys tend to end up mixed together anyways at some point. My brother and I always played with each others toys.
the_gabih 29th-Nov-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
Seriously. And since all my male cousins were older than me, and I used to get all their hand-me-downs, I had a lot of cars and trucks and stuff.

(What continues to amuse me is that when said male cousins were really little, my Mum managed to convince their right-wing Dad to let her buy them a toy tea set for Christmas because 'it develops their maths skills!' What she didn't mention was that the tea set would be quite as cutesy as it was...)
the_gabih 29th-Nov-2012 12:32 am (UTC)
forced to become ‘gender neutral’

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