Toy giant Mattel announced Monday that Barney, the friendly purple dinosaur, is making a return to TV and toy shelves next year with a switch from live-action to animation.
While reboots, relaunches, and epic returns of childhood icons are nothing new in this day and age, the return of Barney the Dinosaur has some fans giving mixed reactions, whether they enjoy seeing the franchise return, loathe the redesign, or believe that he was always a villain after all.
The Barney & Friends show, featuring the dino himself and an assortment of childhood friends like Baby Bop, BJ, and Riff aired on PBS in the United States from 1992 until 2010. A spokesperson for Mattel stated that it has no specific news to announce yet about what platforms the relaunched Barney will air on but added that the company has “confirmed streaming and broadcast partners that we’ll be announcing later in the year.”
“Mattel will relaunch Barney to a new generation with a brand-new animated series, set to debut globally in 2024,” the company wrote.
Mattel did say that the new franchise will include TV, film, and YouTube content, as well as music and a vast array of merchandising, including toys, clothing, and books. The company said in its news release that “apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring classic Barney, are also in development.”
“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,” said chief franchise officer and global head of consumer products at Mattel, Josh Silverman, in the release.
“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, general manager of Mattel Television, in the news release. “With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big.”
Whether you grew up with Barney or not, the classic purple dinosaur has always come with mixed reactions—even getting a documentary last year detailing the hate on Peacock.