Mattel gives Barney an animated makeover

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Mattel is relaunching its Barney franchise bringing the famous purple dinosaur back to television, film and YouTube content as well as a full range of products including toys, books and clothing.

Courtesy: Mattel Inc.

Millennials’ favorite purple dinosaur is returning to TV and toy shelves.

Mattel is relaunching its Barney franchise through a series of television, film and YouTube videos alongside a line of toys, books, clothing and accessories. A new animated series is set for release in 2024, followed by a product line in 2025.

“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.”

Barney has been off the air since 2010, after a nearly two-decade-long run on “Barney & Friends,” a popular live-action children’s television show. The new animated series, set to debut globally next year, makes his first appearance in 14 years. Mattel previously announced plans for a theatrical film in partnership with “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya.

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

Mark Perlstein | The Chronicle Collection | Getty Images

Mattel’s resurrection of the famed purple dinosaur comes after successful relaunches of its Monster High and Masters of the Universe franchises, both of which have have launched new content and consumer products in recent years.

The toymaker has been delving deeper into content creation since launching its film division in 2018. It’s “Barbie” movie, a co-production with Warner Bros., is set for release in July and stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

The company is looking to better engage consumers through film and television series, which it hopes will ultimately lead to a stronger connection with Mattel’s brands and help drive toy sales.

The division has more than a dozen additional projects in development, including films based on Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and Uno.

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