British Toy Store Scraps ‘Sexist’ Sections for Boys’ and Girls’ Toys

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Luke MacGregor / Reuters

Hamleys, the famed toy store on London’s ritzy Regent Street, has stopped grouping toys by gender. My Little Pony, meet your new neighbor, Transformers 3 Cyberverse Commander.

This month, the 230-year-old toy store confirmed that it has dispensed with its pink “girls” and blue “boys” floors. From now on, toys will be organized around types like “Soft Toys” and interests like “Outdoor” and “Arts & Crafts” with gender-neutral red and white signage.

(MORE: All-TIME 100 Greatest Toys)

London blogger “Delilah” has taken credit for the change after waging a campaign against what she describes as the “categorization of toys by gender and sexist stereotypes.” Delilah, whose real name is Laura Nelson, took up the cause after visiting Hamleys to buy a gift for her niece, only to be shocked by the fuschia-hued girls’ floor “filled with fluffy objects, beauty and hair-related toys and play cookery sets,” not to mention a beauty salon called ‘Tantrum.’ The boys’ floor, she writes, was “all about action and adventure. There are cars, trains, spaceships, science sets and construction toys.” (You can see before and after photos of Hamleys signage on her blog.)

Hamleys denies that Nelson’s campaign had anything to do with their decision, saying they made the change to “improve customer flow.” But some conservative British commentators think it will do anything but. “Henceforth, dads looking for Scalextric and mums searching for My Little Pony will just have to wander aimlessly around the shop’s five floors until they stumble across them. Most, I imagine, will give up and go home,” writes Toby Young on his Telegraph blog.

Yes, NewsFeed is certain this is the beginning of the end for capitalism. But in the meantime, we can be glad  Junior won’t have to don a wig if he wants to go play with Princess Celestia.

MORE: Where’s the ‘Must-Have Toy’ of 2011?

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