Mattel to relaunch Barney franchise, introduce ‘iconic purple dinosaur to a new generation’

America’s most beloved, iconic dinosaur is back. 

Mattel announced Monday it will relaunch the Barney franchise — made popular in the early 1990s — with a revitalization of the brand. 

The global toy company said it will develop television, film, music and YouTube content, along with a large range of kids’ products including toys, books, clothing, and more. Apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring the classic Barney, are also in the works. 

"Barney’s message of love and kindness has stood the test of time," Josh Silverman, Mattel’s chief franchise officer and global head of consumer products, said in a statement. "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."


Barney, the purple dinosaur, in scene fr. (The Lyons Group) PBS TV series Barney & Friends. (Photo by Mark Perlstein/Getty Images)

Mattel said it will relaunch Barney to a new generation with a new animated series, set to debut globally in 2024. Created for preschool kids, the series will feature the ubiquitous purple dinosaur and friends through music-filled adventures "centered on love, community and encouragement." 

"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, the SVP and general manager of Mattel Television. "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."

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Mattel is a large toy company and owner of a large catalog of children and family entertainment franchises including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, Thomas & Friends and UNO. 

Mattel recently brought back its Monster High property and relaunched its 1980s Masters of the Universe franchise, both with new content and consumer products.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.