Barney the purple dinosaur is bringing the I Love You song to a whole new generation of kids — while also hoping to capitalize on the nostalgia of older fans.
The toy company Mattel announced their plans to relaunch the Barney franchise on Monday. The announcement came with a new photo of the anthropomorphized, lilac T-rex, who has been given a makeover from a real-life giant mascot into a wide-eyed, animated character.
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The relaunch kicks off with a brand-new animated series, set to debut globally in 2024. Targeted at pre-school aged children, the program will take viewers on “music-filled adventures centred on love, community, and encouragement.” Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, a producer and distributor of children’s content, will co-produce the series alongside Mattel.
Barney’s rebrand will extend beyond the new TV show. Mattel also announced plans for Barney to star in films and YouTube content, release music and sell kid’s products including toys, books and clothing. Adult fans, including millennials who grew up with Barney (or at least the ones who don’t find the friendly dinosaur cringe-worthy), will be able to buy merch too, as adult apparel and accessories are currently in the works.
“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 experiences.”
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The original Barney and Friends TV show aired on PBS from 1992 to 2010. Mattel has yet to announce where the new Barney TV show will be broadcast.
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Barney’s revival is not the only Mattel reboot hoping to capitalize on the nostalgia factor. The company recently relaunched its Monster High property and the popular Masters of the Universe franchise from the 1980s.
So, whether you love him or hate him, Barney still wants to be “a happy family.” Won’t you say you love him too?
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