Mattel announced that it is bringing the beloved purple and green dinosaur back to the screen, relaunching Barney.
- Mattel, which owns the rights to Barney, recently announced that the dinosaur will be making a comeback—relaunching across TV, film, YouTube, and merchandise.
- The company is launching a new animated series set to debut in 2024, giving Barney an all-new animated look. The show is aimed at its original audience of preschool-aged kids and will feature Barney and his classic group of friends.
- The hit TV show Barney & Friends ended in 2010 without reason and was acquired by Mattel with the purchase of HIT Entertainment for $680 million in 2011.
Why it’s news
A hit 1990s staple is coming back to the screen as Mattel announces the relaunching of the famous purple and green dinosaur—Barney.
Barney was created in 1988 and by 1991, was generating more than $3 million in annual sales.
Between 1996 and 1997, Barney was being watched by more than 2 million preschoolers, and by 1998 retail sales of licensed Barney merchandise reached $750 million.
Mattel acquired the rights to Barney & Friends in 2011 after purchasing HIT Entertainment, and the company is relaunching the popular children’s character for a new generation.
The company is launching a new animated series set to debut in 2024, giving Barney an all-new animated look. The show is aimed at its original audience of preschool-aged kids and will feature Barney and his classic group of friends.
“Barney’s message of love and kindness has stood the test of time,” says Mattel’s Chief Franchise Officer Josh Silverman. “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.”
Mattel says it is important that the series reflects the world kids live in today and will feature a modern take on Barney to help kids navigate the current world.
Barney is among other nostalgic characters that have recently made a comeback to drive sales. Mattel has other characters relaunching, including the upcoming $100 million live-action Barbie movie set to reach theaters this year and future films based on Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, and Uno.
Last year, Matel’s fourth-quarter net sales dropped 22% to $1.4 billion, and it had a year-over-year drop of 93%, falling from $225.8 million to $16.1 million. Many think the nostalgic comebacks are part of the company’s plan to generate more income.