Families with children of all ages came to the presentation yesterday. The shop does not split toys into “boys” and “girls” sections or use gender in its marketing, a move which Let Toys Be Toys claims has been welcomed by many families, and which is the essence of the award.
Peter Allison, Whirligig owner, said: “We’re delighted to get the Toymark. Let Toys Be Toys is a great campaign and we’re really pleased to be part of it. When a shopper asks us for gift buying advice we don’t ask the child’s gender – we always start with their age and interests.”
Sid added: “I was very honoured to be asked to hand out the inaugural Let Toys Be Toys Toymark to Peter Allison, owner of Whirligig. I grew up in a single-parent family of five and we were lucky to even get toys to play with. But I did have a sister, and she always encouraged me to play with her toys, so I’m all for not being gender-specific when it comes to toys. I think it’s fantastic that Whirligig lets children be children.”
The Toymark award is a new venture for the Let Toys Be Toys campaign, which campaigns retailers to be more inclusive in their marketing of toys to girls and boys.
Rebecca Brueton, Let Toys Be Toys campaigner, said: “Whirligig is a wonderful example of best practice in toy selling. It’s an amazing treasure trove of beautiful toys, which adults and children are free to browse without having to negotiate limiting and outdated stereotypes. We’re really pleased to be able to award them our very first Toymark, and plan to add many more great shops to our online directory of recommended retailers.”
Let Toys Be Toys promotes Toymark awardees on its website and social media. Retailers or their customers may nominate stores for a Toymark award via Twitter @lettoysbetoys or on the campaign’s website www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk.
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