Startribune.com Target is going to use gender-neutral signage in toy aisles, a change prompted by social media backlash over separate aisles for "boys" and "girls" building sets. After a tweet showing a sign in a Target store that distinguished between “building sets” and “girls’ building sets” sparked a social media firestorm earlier this summer, the Minneapolis-based retailer said Friday that it will use gender-neutral signage in its toy aisles, as well as in other areas such as kids’ bedding.
The shift comes as toy manufacturers themselves have begun to move away from labeling their products as being just for girls or for boys in recent years, said Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of TTPM.com, a toy review website.
“We’ve seen girls that love Nerf and girls that love Hot Wheels,” he said. “And there are boys who like to play with E-Z Bake ovens.”
Silver, who often visits toy departments, added that he doesn’t see as many gender-specific designations of toy aisles in stores these days as in the past. Rather, the signage more often relates to a category such as Star Wars or educational toys.
Target’s aisles generally follow that more category-specific formula, with the exception of “girls’ building sets,” which referred to products such as Lego Friends. Those Lego toys include items such as hair salons and flower stands. On Friday, Target also said it will remove the pink, blue, yellow and green paper on the walls of its toy shelves that indicate a gender and will replace it with more neutral wood paneling...
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