Toy Tales Style Guide

Last updated: October 15, 2022


Spell out acronyms on first use in the body copy of a webpage or article, followed by the acronym in parenthesis.

After first use, the acronym alone may be used.

Do not use periods in an acronym unless it is a convention of the brand name.


Always respect and use the capitalization and punctuation conventions of a brand name, even if the convention does not match this style guide.

e.g., A&E, LEGO, Play-Doh, Totally Tubular ’80s Toys (book title)


Use sentence case for Toy Tales story titles.

When brand names, proper nouns, and titles of creative works are in a title, maintain the original case of the work:

Example title: Link Roundup: Barbie, Tonka turns 75, BeyBlades, and more


Always include commas around a proper noun in a sentence.

e.g., Toy company, Mattel, released a new widget today.

Always use the oxford (serial) comma in a list of three or more items.


Format dates as follows:

February 6, 2022
Friday, December 8, 2021

Always spell out days and months in full.

Use the full year on first use (e.g., 1972; the 1970s)

After first use, the year may be truncated (e.g., ’72; the ’70s)

Pluralized years do not have an apostrophe unless a possessive is required:

The game was released in the 1970s.
In true 1970s fashion, the oven was orange.


Spell out the province, territory, state, or country on first use.

After first use, the postal code abbreviation can be used:

  • Canada (CA)
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • United States (US)
  • British Columbia (BC)
  • Alberta (AB)
  • Saskatchewan (SK)


Default to Imperial measurements unless the original packaging/documentation of the toy was given in Canadian/British measurements.

Always spell out the unit of measurement on first reference (e.g., 2-inch x 4-inch; 4-feet x 18-inches)

After the first reference, it is acceptable to use the abbreviation for the unit of measurement. Do not use periods in these:

  • km (kilometre)
  • cm (centimetre)
  • in (inch)
  • ft (feet)
  • lb (pound)
  • kg (kilogram)
  • mph (miles per hour)
  • min (minutes)
  • sec (seconds)
  • hr (hours)
  • MB (megabytes)
  • KB (kilobytes)

For multi-plane measurements, use “x” in place of “by”.

For cubic measurements, include the plane (e.g., 2-inch wide x 4-inch long x 6-inch high x 2-inch deep).


Single-digit numbers should be spelled out. Numbers 10 and greater can be written as numerals. The exception is the call-out boxes for ages, number of players in the Vintage Toys & Games posts, and numerals in measurements.

For numerals greater than 999, use commas (e.g., 1,000; 150,000)

Do not start sentences with a numeral—either change the sentence construction or spell out the number in that case.


As a Canadian entity, Toy Tales uses Canadian/British spelling. (e.g., colour, humour, organize)


Never use the ampersand (&) unless it is part of a brand name (e.g., “a new series from A&E”).

Always use the percent (%) symbol instead of spelling out “percent”. (e.g., “toy sales increased 38% during her tenure as CEO).


Format times as follows:

10:30 AM
12:45 PM (ET)

When the time is on the hour, do not include minutes:

10 AM
2 PM (PT)

Do not include S (Standard) or D (Daylight) in time zones:



Italicize the following titles of creative work:

  • Book titles
  • Movie titles
  • Series titles (e.g., Hidden Role Podcast, What’s it Worth?)

Use quotation marks around the titles of these creative works:

  • Stories or chapters inside larger books
  • Episodes of larger series (e.g., The “John West is a Game Scout” episode of Hidden Role Podcast)

Do not capitalize or use quotation marks for:

  • Business names (e.g., Hasbro, The Strong)
  • Exhibition names (e.g., The Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play at The Strong)
  • Website names (e.g., The Mouse Haven website)
  • YouTube Channel names (but do italicize YouTube video series names)


Generally, Toy Tales articles are written in the present tense, except articles of the following type, which should be written in the past tense:

  • Vintage Toys & Games
  • Vintage Advertising
  • Toy Capsule
  • Articles and infographics written about a deceased individual, such as a Profile of Ingenuity