Barney may come in purple plush, but he’s definitely evergreen when it comes to new licensed products and services.
The latest extension to the Barney franchise to hit retail is a new line of Barney apparel that will debut at Barney Boutiques in Sears stores across the United States, as well as Mervyn’s outlets this holiday season. ‘Lil Things locations and other retailers will pick up the line next year.
The new apparel, from the Haddad Apparel Group, follows a full redesign of the Barney brand that was completed this year. The new packaging and product design, aimed at reinvigorating the property at retail, has a particular ‘mom appeal’ and helps celebrate the spirit and innocence of childhood in Barney, according to Cecilia Anzaldua, director of licensing for Barney.
The Barney licensing program is also expanding next year along with Barney’s Big Surprise, the musical stage show, which continues to tour the United States and Canada. There are now more than 25 Barney licensees, with new licenses in footwear, bags and backpacks, foam puzzles and a variety of infant products.
Supporting the program next year is Barney’s first feature length film, Barney: The Movie, which is scheduled to begin production.
Also at Barney’s Richardson, Texas home, Lyrick Studios has expanded its creative facilities with the launch of its own in-house music label for children’s audio products. Lyrick, which produces the television shows Barney & Friends and Wishbone, will produce and distribute Barney’s fourth album. Barney’s first three audio releases, handled by EMI Records, sold more than three million copies.
The show Barney & Friends launched on the Public Broadcasting Service in April 1992. It now plays to a weekly audience of 13.5 million viewers, is seen by children on six continents and, in addition to his various incarnations in books, audio products and licensed merchandise, Barney just recently accepted the one-millionth member to the Barney Fan Club.
Wishbone, Lyrick’s TV show starring Wishbone the dog, which won an Emmy for outstanding costume design, is also expanding its line of children’s apparel and accessories next year. Sales of Wishbone merchandise were given a major boost this fall with mall tours and personal appearances by Wishbone. His tour of Target, FAO Schwarz and Store of Knowledge this fall attracted some 20,000 people to the stores.