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Halifax, NS – 19 January 2018 – DHX Brands, the dedicated brand management and consumer products arm of DHX Media (TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B; NASDAQ: DHXM), announced today the introduction of “First Steppers,” a new, expert-endorsed subcategory for the younger end of pre-school supporting the unique socio-developmental and entertainment needs of children from 6 months to 2 ½ years. 

With their strong track record of In the Night Garden, Teletubbies and Twirlywoos, which are all aimed at the younger end of pre-school, DHX Brands fully understands the significant developmental differences between the needs and abilities of the lower and upper ends of pre-school. DHX Brands therefore created “First Steppers” to provide a clearer definition of this younger age range and, in doing so, offer guidance and unlock fresh opportunities for licensees, retailers and consumers.

collage of baby photos and colourful characters. First Steppes logo

DHX Brands enlisted the help of leading child development and play expert Dr Amanda Gummer from Fundamentally Children, who undertook both qualitative and quantitative research with parents of “First Stepper” children. The research findings reinforced DHX Brands’ belief that there is a bigger retail opportunity at the younger end of pre-school.

Dr Amanda Gummer, Fundamentally Children, said: “Children develop rapidly through the first months and years of life. Creating a ‘First Steppers’ framework helps everyone understand the important developmental milestones that are achieved typically between the ages of 6 and 30 months, so they are able to make developmentally engaging products, and support parents in what is a critical time in any family’s life.”

The research also discovered that parents, especially first-time parents with children in the “First Steppers” demographic, can become confused by the age appropriateness of products within the broad traditional pre-school categories, often leading to fewer purchases.

This provides the opportunity for licensees to create more age-appropriate products and for retailers to meet the needs of parents through a more tailored approach to in-store merchandising and consumer communication across all categories.

Peter Byrne, EVP DHX Brands, said: “The ‘First Steppers’ initiative represents a child’s first meaningful relationship with character brands and our aim is to provide better clarity of this very specific core demographic for licensees, retailers and consumers. There is a clear opportunity to create a more targeted offering for this audience and genuinely help make parents’ lives easier.”

For more information, please contact:

Trade Media: Valerie Taylor at Valerie Taylor PR Ltd. +44 (0) 7889 666594

About DHX Brands DHX Brands is the dedicated brand management and consumer products arm of DHX Media Ltd. (TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B; NASDAQ: DHXM), one of the world’s leading children’s content and brands companies. DHX Brands specializes in creating, building and maintaining high-profile global entertainment brands within the children’s and young adult markets. With expertise in brand development, licensing, marketing and creative, we build and manage brands that captivate and inspire through engaging content, first-class distribution, quality consumer products, immersive live experiences and digital media. DHX Brands’ world-class portfolio includes Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Twirlywoos, Massive Monster Mayhem and In the Night Garden. DHX Brands has operations in London, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

About Fundamentally Children and Dr Amanda Gummer Fundamentally Children is an organisation dedicated to helping children develop skills through play. We provide independent expert advice on a range of topics including play, toys, apps, children’s tech, e-safety, child development, special needs and other parenting issues. Fundamentally Children’s founder Dr Amanda Gummer has over 20 years experience working with children and families. Widely considered as THE go to expert on play, toys and child development, Amanda combines her theoretical knowledge with a refreshingly pragmatic approach to family life, that resonates both with parents and professionals. Amanda is regularly in the media, and continues to take an active role in research, presenting a paper at the International Toy Research Association’s World Congress in Portugal in July 2014.Fundamentally Children is the bringing together of Amanda’s research consultancy, FUNdamentals, her parenting support, based on the Parent-Centred Parenting Model of family life and the Good Toy Guide website alongside the all new Good App Guide.


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