How can you bring an extinct children’s character back to life without offending legions of his former fans?
That is no doubt the question toy giant Mattel is asking after its reboot of Barney the purple dinosaur left some people feeling a little bemused.
An image of the new Barney, who will soon appear on “television, film, and YouTube”, showed his fresh look.
But as one person responded: “Thank you, Mattel for giving me nightmares with this horrifying-looking Barney.”
The popular Barney & Friends ran on PBS from 1992 until 2010, and the new series will premiere next year.
Previously, the purple dinosaur was played by an actor in a costume, but this reboot will be animated.
While the original Barney had been a polarising figure – from beloved to reviled – the character was everywhere, appearing multiple times in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade even.
But the new glimpse of the character has sent social media spiralling, with many people longing for the version of Barney from their childhood.
One person quipped on Twitter that the new Barney had received an eyebrow lift and “Dino-plasty”.
“Trash, what a downgrade and that’s why the OG will always be the best,” another said.
Not all people were sceptical, however. “I actually love the character design – looks fun!” one person wrote.
While this might be seen as the most drastic change to Barney’s iconic appearance, the character has gone through adjustments here and there throughout the years.
In the late-1980s series Barney and the Backyard Gang, Barney was actually a darker purple.
In addition to the series, Mattel says there will also be a “full range of kids’ products including toys, books, clothing, and more”.
Mattel’s head of consumer products, Josh Silverman, said: “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.”