Barney fans react to childhood character’s ‘terrifying’ new look in franchise relaunch

Mattel has shared the first look at its reimagined take on the much-loved childhood character Barney the Dinosaur, and fans are iffy about it.

On Monday (13 February), the famous American toy brand announced that it was relaunching the iconic franchise in an effort that will span television, film, YouTube content, music and a full range of children’s products.

“Mattel will relaunch Barney to a new generation with a brand-new animated series, set to debut globally in 2024,” the company wrote in a press release.

Following the news, many original Barney fans took to Twitter, reacting in horror at the purple dinosaur’s refreshed look: a wider grin with an added space between his front teeth, big green eyes and eye ridges that arguably give him a more realistic dinosaur face.

One user decried the transformation, writing: “I don’t like the new face. What happened to if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“Wtf did they do to Barney?” a second questioned, with a third claiming: “Well that’s terrifying.”

“To be clear: I REFUSE. My child will never know of this,” another added.

Someone joked: “I think it’s safe to say Barney has had some work done.”

Others felt Barney’s makeover wasn’t that bad, including The Independent’s Nicole Vassell, who said: “He looks fine.”

“Listen, I’m just gonna be real with you. This Barney redesign is so goddamned cute. I love it. The little gap tooth? *chef’s kiss*,” a second agreed.

A third added: “It looks... alright. Don’t really see the problem. It’s f***ing Barney.”

“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, of the forthcoming reboot.

“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.”