Danish toy company Top-Toy says it will “look into” the criticism from a Swedish advocacy group that its Christmas catalogues are “too white”.
Swedish campaign group Equalisters, which aims to correct imbalances of ethnic minority and gender representation in media, criticised four Swedish toy catalogues, including two from the Denmark-based Top-Toy, for not reflecting diversity.
"These catalogues are too white. I think it's really sad for non-white children," Equalisters chairperson Seher Yilmaz told The Local’s team in Stockholm.
Top-Toy says that it has heard the criticism and will take it into consideration.
“Lately, we have been criticised for not having enough diversity in our BR Toys and Toys R Us catalogues in terms of models and dolls of different skin colour. As always when we receive input from customers, we will look into this. Our aim is that our catalogues reflect the demands of our markets and the society we are part of,” the company said in a statement.
Speaking to The Local, Top-Toy spokesperson Liselotte Gjerdrum Carlsen said that “we always appreciate feedback from our customers and take into consideration that our customers should be able to identify themselves with our catalogues”.
“It’s important to reflect the demands of the market and the society we are part of and that is also what we try to do,” Carlsen said.
Carlsen pointed to changes Top-Toy made over the past years when its catalogues were among the first to reject gender stereotypes.
“The debate over gender-neutral toys started in Sweden and was later picked up in Denmark, the UK and the US. We have now implemented that into all of our catalogues,” she said.
“We now have both boys and girls playing with the same toys, and many different age groups so that everyone is given the opportunity to play with the toys of their own choice,” Carlsen added.
Top-Toy’s statement did not commit to any concrete changes in future catalogues, but pointed to the success of toys based on the character Doc McStuffins, a dark-skinned girl who gives health check-ups to her stuffed animals. According to Top-Toy, Doc McStuffins items are already hot sellers in their catalogues for BR and Toys R Us.
Top-Toy is headquartered in Tune, just outside of Roskilde and is represented in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Germany.