Purple dinosaur purists, beware: Barney is returning, but with a very different look.
Mattel announced on Monday that it is relaunching the franchise centered on a purple T-Rex, and among the new offerings will be an animated reimagining of the iconic (and polarizing) live-action Barney & Friends. The OG series, which bowed on PBS in 1992 and ran for nearly two decades, featured a human actor in a dinosaur costume.
“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,” said Fred Soulie, SVP and General Manager of Mattel Television, in a statement. “With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big. We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too.”
The new iteration of Barney is slated to premiere in 2024.
Mattel’s relaunch will also include new merch, YouTube content and, potentially, a feature film.
“Barney’s message of love and kindness has stood the test of time,” said Josh Silverman, chief franchise officer and global head of consumer products at Mattel. “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 experience.”