Mattel outlines plans to relaunch Barney franchise

Published on: 14th February 2023

The global reintroduction of the famed Barney brand will include TV, film, toys, music, apparel and more.

Mattel has announced the relaunch of the iconic Barney franchise. A comprehensive revitalisation of the Barney brand will span television, film and YouTube content as well as music and a full range of kids’ products including toys, books, clothing and more. Apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring classic Barney, are also in development.

Mattel will relaunch Barney to a new generation with a brand-new animated series, set to debut globally in 2024. Created for pre-school kids, the series will feature the ubiquitous purple dinosaur and friends, introducing new audiences to the world of Barney through music-filled adventures centred on love, community and encouragement. The series will be produced by Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, a leading international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content, and executive produced by Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television and by Colin Bohm and Pam Westman for Nelvana.

Mattel’s Barney relaunch is emblematic of the company’s strategy to mine the depth and breadth of its IP portfolio to relaunch legacy franchises. Most recently, Mattel successfully brought back its Monster High property and relaunched its popular 1980s Masters of the Universe franchise, both with new content and consumer products programmes.

“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.”

“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. “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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