Mattel announced Monday that the big purple dinosaur Barney will be back in an animated series to debut next year, along with a line of “apparel and accessories for adult fans.”
A message from Josh Silverman, the toy company’s Chief Franchise Officer and Global Head of Consumer Products, said Barney’s “message of love and kindness has stood the test of time.”
“We will tap into the nostalgia of the generations who grew up with Barney, now parents themselves, and introduce the iconic purple dinosaur to a new generation of kids and families around the world across content, products, and experiences,” Silverman added.
Get a first look at the revived Barney franchise here: https://t.co/1vJhZNP6vL pic.twitter.com/ZTnt0VtpAM
— Variety (@Variety) February 13, 2023
The reboot of the iconic brand “will span television, film, and YouTube content as well as music and a full range of kids’ products including toys, books, clothing, and more,” a statement on Mattel’s website read. “Apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring classic Barney, are also in development,” it added.
The animated series is set to debut in 2024, with the product launch in 2025.
“In creating the new series, it was important to us that we properly reflect the world that kids today live in so that the series can deliver meaningful lessons about navigating it,” Fred Soulie, SVP and General Manager of Mattel Television said.
“With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big,” he added. “We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too.”
The children’s program “Barney and Friends” debuted on PBS in 1992 and ran for almost two decades, with the final episode airing in 2010. However, this time around, the dinosaur will be an animated slimmed-down version rather than played by an adult in a costume. The change has drew ire from some.
A Vulture headline read, “Even Barney Isn’t Safe From Societal Beauty Standards.”
With a great big hug and buccal fat removal too. https://t.co/xQIPk3CXzC
— Vulture (@vulture) February 14, 2023
Another Twitter account posted, “Maybe it’s because I’m use (sic) to the OG Barney I grew up with during the ’90s, but this new Barney looks like they gave him a face lift and some botox.”
Maybe it’s because I’m use to the OG Barney I grew up with during the ’90s, but this new Barney looks like they gave him a face lift and some botox. pic.twitter.com/ltwIleBlSt
— Mat Brunet (AniMat) (@AniMat505) February 13, 2023
Conservative commentator Brigitte Gabriel tweeted, “Barney is returning. They better not make him woke.”
Barney is returning. They better not make him woke.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) February 13, 2023
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