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The following article contains an overview of Barney through the years on video and television. Depicted as a live-action costumed character for Barney & The Backyard Gang and its successor Barney & Friends, the look for both series has followed a look that's remained the same design wise, with minor touches in addition to the previous iteration it follows. While these appearances have mainly been used in live-action, they've also been used in illustrative and licensing depictions at times, still conveying the original depiction and design that was captured on video during its respective time. The look of Barney during Barney & Friends and Barney & The Backyard Gang would eventually be dubbed as the classic iteration of the character.[1] Following the classic iteration of Barney, Mattel would redesign the look for the upcoming CGI series Barney's World, giving the character additional fingers, pupils, marks on his stomach, etc.

Variants

Classic

The following design appearances are based on the live-action appearances of Barney (as shown in Barney & The Backyard Gang and Barney & Friends).

Image As seen in Year Notes
1998 BarneyCostume
A Day At The Beach, The Backyard Show and Three Wishes 1988-1990 Dubbed as the "blue dog" costume, and internally known as B-001, this is Barney's first design, which is a far departure from later Barney designs by resembling more of a Tyrannosaurus Rex look. The body was made with reticulated foam and spray painted with a royal purple dye (which it made him look grey or blue on screen since a blue screen was used to film the first trilogy of videos). The suit's rough foam texture (mainly the stomach area) felt like sandpaper when trying to hug him and hot inside for the performer according to Brian Eppes (who played "Michael") when he made an appearance on the Purple Tales Podcast. Disney Dan on his channel for episode 56 of DIStory explains it would get 100 degrees inside the suit for the performer and weighs over 70 pounds. This Barney costume was operated in a similar way to other full body puppets (one hand controlling his bottom jaw with a lever attached inside, and the other in an arm (although if both arms were required, the performer would simply bob the head). Barney also has a red tongue and a floppy snout (square shaped). He has eight spots on his back and three on his tail, the eyes and eyelids are also able to move and blink in some scenes. This costume appeared at public libraries and parties. Barney is performed by David Voss and voiced by Bob West (who used a deep, mature tone of voice). This costume also had several public appearances until November 1990, when it started to fall apart and look unrecognizable.
1990BarneyCostume
Waiting for Santa, Campfire Sing-Along, and Barney Goes To School 1990-1992 Internally known as B-002, Barney's eyes become larger and broader, his legs and stomach become rounder, his skin color changes to magenta/purple, and his mouth shrinks. This costume now has a new lighter foam body and is fleece-free. Barney's snout is no longer floppable. Also, while speaking, this version bobbles and shakes a lot more. He now has his current amount of spots (five on his back and three on his tail). Barney (voiced by Bob West) raises his voice slightly to appeal a friendlier tone since the original voice scared young audiences. This costume made just a few public appearances until January 1992. This is also the last costume that David Voss wore before his departure to the army.
Barney in Concert and Rock With Barney and Barney & Friends, Season 1 and 2 1991-1994 Internally dubbed as B-1, this costume is now made out of Antron Fleece (Muppet/Puppet Fleece). The mouth mechanism is rare in Barney in Concert, almost not present. Unlike the previous two suits, Barney no longer has a tongue. The pupils are also smaller. Barney's stomach has no foam base near the bottom, and his tail gets a little shorter. His feet are given a redesign, appearing boxier, allowing for better movement for the actor inside, and the top of his head is lifted even more. Now, Barney is performed by David Joyner, who implemented the "bite bar" method, which is the costume performer biting down on a bar padded with a sponge attached to the inside of Barney's bottom jaw to nod his head, while giving access to both arms of the costume to move simultaneously.
  • 1991-1992: This costume would undergo repairs for Season One and Two of Barney & Friends, the eyelids have been lowered midway, which included having a blinking mechanism (which hasn't been used since the Barney and The Backyard Gang on B-001 and B-002). The bottom of Barney's stomach comes to a triangular point at the bottom, matching up with the seams at the top of the hips. The body also is rounder. In some episodes, especially the earliest ones in production for the television series, Barney's voice sounds similar to his dry Backyard Gang voice.
  • 1992-1994: In season two of Barney & Friends, the costume went through several tummy tucks and even had Barney's green belly replaced due to the green fabric yellowing at the armpits. The Antron Fleece (Muppet/Puppet Fleece) used here is fuzzier (Possibly not shaved as much as the final suit). Barney's snout is also slightly shorter, and his feet are rounder. His top tooth strip is taller. Barney's voice sounds similar to his dry Season 1 voice, but a little higher-pitched and sillier, making him more excitable. This costume is very nimble. It would continue to make a few other appearances until April 1994 such as a visit to London and the cover for Barney's Alphabet Zoo.
Imago0100025034s
Imagination Island 1994-1998 Internally dubbed as B-6, this was the first costume to have Barney's arms permanently attached. In this costume, Barney becomes smoother again and brighter. His jaw and his nuzzle are square shaped as well as his teeth, especially with the bottom row becoming larger, and his body appears rounder. His tail gets a little less curly, making it a little shorter. The bottom of Barney's stomach also gets to a triangular point at the bottom again. The eyes appear much less sunken than the previous costumes, while the blinking mechanism remains. The toes on the feet appear larger than the costumes used previously and also appear shiny. This costume is also a prototype version of the Season 3 suit.
  • Though he seems to retain his 1993 voice in Imagination Island, Barney's voice then becomes louder and more cheerful beginning with Barney Live! in New York City, but the excitable silliness has been dialed down slightly. Apart from said projects, this was also used in photographed books, VHS covers, various promotional material onward, and Kids For Character. By then, the mouth could appear less angular than before and much rounder.
BarneyC S3
Season 3 This outfit is a duplicate of several that will be used this season. Barney's tail gets less curly at the end than in the previous costumes. Barney's eyes grow larger and closer together. During this season, he rarely blinks. At the bottom, Barney's stomach grows a little rounder. Furthermore, his feet grow less square, his toes move closer to the rubber soles and seem smaller than the previous costume, and his hips and top of his head get rounder.

This was also used in the VHS cover of "It's Time For Counting", as well as various books and promotional material onward, very much like its double and the previous costume.

SongsBarney1995
Barney Songs Another double for season three. The difference between this costume and other is in the face. All of Barney's features are squarer (particularly his lips), and his brow is closer to his eyes, which do not blink but move from left to right. The pupils are bigger, and the eyes are deeper set. Barney's eyes get wider, and his mouth expands somewhat toward the chin later on.

An early prototype was used as a double for quick entrances and exits "Barney in New York City".

This costume was always used during the "Barney Says" segments for Season 3 and would also appeared on the DVD menus of "Let's Play School", Barney's Night Before Christmas, More Barney Songs and Rhyme Time Rhythm, It would also be used on Season 1 and Season 2 segments on the Simple English versions of the show having this costume for it's first three seasons.

BAB PS
Barney's Adventure Bus 1996-1997 This a prototype of the season four costume, complete with Barney's feet from the season three costumes. The color appears paler in this version.

It would later be used with the feet of the actual season four suit

GDGDBC
Barney's Good Day, Good Night This costume allows Barney's eyes to move left or right. While this function was present in previous costumes, it's at its most noticeable here, due to the eyes not being as sunken in.


The costume was also seen in First Day of School, the first episode of season four, as well as the "Barney Says" intro and outro from seasons 4-6.

Barney Costume S4-V2

Oh, Brother...She's My Sister

1997–1998 A double for the fourth season. This costume is very similar to the one above and below. Barney's neck becomes skinnier, and his body becomes slightly like a pear shape. His head is also wider. His teeth are also square-shaped and narrow. His eyes are much smaller (like the suit from Barney's Adventure Bus and Camp Wannarunaround) and appear to only be pointed to the right.

This suit would also have the season three feet during Barney's Halloween Party and the floating sequence in Barney in Outer Space.

Barney Costume S4-V1
It's Time For Counting Barney's reddish-purple color becomes a little darker, his colors overall becoming stronger and vibrant than before, and his face gets a bit of a redesign, with the eyes becoming bigger and fuller than the last costume, and the head shrunken down slightly and becoming even rounder.

The blinking mechanism is still present, but it is not as noticeable than in previous seasons (especially when Barney's jumping up and down). The toe balls on Barney's feet are also bigger.

From Seasons 4-6, this costume was always used during the "Barney Says" segments.

Due to Bob West having to dub over Duncan Brannan's lines following the production of "Barney's Great Adventure," Barney's voice becomes slightly but considerably deeper, especially around the time Josh Martin was in the costume due to David Joyner was also went in production for the film as well.

BGA C
Barney's Great Adventure This costume was used in the feature film, Barney's Great Adventure. The eyes and eyelids were moveable via remote control to add expression to Barney's relatively stiff face.

Also, to further accommodate the added expression, the teeth are shorter and thinner. Barney's feet are more square and more boxier, and his toes are a littler larger and slightly separated than the costume from the fourth season, and his tail starts to get slightly more curved/curly at the end.

The head is also slightly rounder, and Barney's eyes are slightly bigger and fuller to fit the added expression.

This costume was used in “Oprah Winfrey” along with Bear from Bear in the Big Blue House, Steve and Blue from Blue’s Clues, the Teletubbies, Big Bird and Baby Bear from Sesame Street, Bananas in Pajamas to celebrate the septuplets 1st Birthday.

Barney1999
Barney's Night Before Christmas 1998–2001 A slight makeover of Barney's face based from "Barney's Great Adventure" costume. His mouth is now rounder and his eyes are smaller. In magenta, he grows brighter. The blinking mechanism is no longer seen.(especially when Barney's jumping up and down).



When the suit makes his first appearance in the Season 5 premiere, Books Are Fun!, T Barney's face resembles the look from the first Season 3 Barney costume.

This costume was used throughout the "Barney's Open House" and "Barney's Zoo Tour" US tours. It can still be seen at public appearances in the United Kingdom.

BarneySeason5 version 2
My Party with Barney 1998-1999 The double costume used in Season 5 has Barney's eyelids sightly higher and the sides of the head and his mouth are bit wider.
Season-6BarneyCostume
Publicity shot for

"Stick With Imagination!", from Season 6 of Barney & Friends

1999-2002 The costume similar to the earlier Barney (above) used before it. This costume makes him a little taller. Barney's teeth are thicker and the bottom jaw wrinkles noticeably when at rest. His eyes also become slightly bigger and fuller than the previous suit, though not to the extent to the suit from the movie.

This particular suit's mouth is much wider and angular and the stomach doesn't come to a point at the seams, making the body appear rounder.

This costume's face is compared to the double Season 5 suit

MoreBarneySongs BCostume

More Barney Songs

With the double costume, Barney has a slightly slimmer body, bigger eyes, shorter and smaller teeth, and a slightly smaller jaw.

In Season 6, both costumes were used. Due to Bob West's retirement from the voice role, Tim Dever and Duncan Brannan provided Barney's speaking/singing role in a few Home Videos.

This costume was also used throughout the "Barney's Open House" and "Barney's Zoo Tour" US tours and in 2002 music video of "We are Family".

BPP BC
Barney's Pajama Party 2000-2001 The costume is similar to those used in "Season 4" and "Barney's Musical Castle." He also has a pear-shaped head that gradually becomes smaller. His feet are smaller and his legs are longer. This video's performer was Antwaun Steele.
BarneyS7PromoPhoto
Promotional shot for the Season 7 of Barney & Friends 2001-2005 Barney's teeth become higher and thinner, and his eyes get bigger. Additionally, his head becomes a little bit rounder and narrower. Barney's tail is likewise shorter and less curled towards the end.

Now, Barney is voiced by Dean Wendt and performed by Carey Stinson. Barney's voice is still a little dry and deep in Season 7, as Dean Wendt tries to replicate Bob West's performance, but now, he's given a more nasal voice.

In the early episodes of Season 9, the costume had become more taller, and you will be able to see Barney's ankles. This is the only costume that has appeared for three seasons, Seasons 7-9.

This costume was also used in "Let's Play with Barney" segment from Seasons 10-11, the Sprout Launch Party and the special delivery short, appearing with Bear from "Bear in the Big Blue House" to promote the DVD "We are Family: A Musical Message For All.”

This shares a resemblance to the Season 4 and 6 costumes.

The Land of Make Believe BarneyS9Costume2004
The Land of Make Believe (video) 2003-2012 Barney's head receives a complete makeover, including a slightly bigger and more angular head shape, larger eyes, a larger mouth, teeth that resemble squares, and less rounded hips. His eyelids are now flatter. His colour also gets brightened (this especially applies to the home videos filmed on location). Barney also raises his voice a little bit.

Barney's hips have slightly rounded out, his eyes have shifted somewhat higher and his toes are larger and separate in most of the Season 9 episodes, The Land of Make Believe, Let's Go to the Farm", Can You Sing That Song?, Best Fairy Tales, and this was also used in notable appearances.

Sometimes his mouth would appear rounder and smaller and his eyes are slightly smaller in size

He shares a resemblance to the costume used in Barney's Pajama Party and the 1995 suits from A Day in the Park With Barney.

331621
Publicity photo for

"Singing", from Season 10 of Barney & Friends

2006-2007 Similar to the costume from Season 9, but with slightly downward-facing eyes and a slightly rounder head. In comparison to the costumes before it, Barney's toes are split, and his feet look longer and considerably boxier.


Barney also appear slightly taller, and his magenta/purple color is lighter.

LetsGototheFirehouse BarneyCostume2007
Let's Go to the Fire House 2007-2008 Compared to the previous costume, Barney's mouth gets rounder and his teeth grow significantly higher.

Barney's eyes and eyelids were slightly twisted toward one another in "Let's Go to the Fire House" video.

S11 BarneyCostume2007
Dino-Mite Birthday 2007–2009 This costume resembles the one above a little bit, but Barney's head is bigger and rounder, and his eyelids are pushed up a bit. Additionally, the teeth get thinner.
CATW BS S11 D 2008

Celebrating Around The World

This is another season to have a double costume. Barney's eyelids been downward and rotated a bit toward each other.
S12 BarneyCostume2008
The Magic Lamp: A Travel Adventure 2007-2008 This costume was only used for one year. It includes more of a squarer nose, and connected ankles, only in the back. This costume is even given a lighter shade of magenta/purple.

The Reluctant Dragon: A Fairy Tale Adventure and at the end of The Misbegotten Moon: A Space Adventure, the eyelids are noticeably downwards, making the costume similar to the double Season 11 costume.

The eyelids are visibly downwards in "The Reluctant Dragon: A Fairy Tale Adventure" and at the ending of "The Misbegotten Moon: A Space Adventure", making the costume comparable to the double Season 11 costume.

LetsGoOnVacation BarneyS13
Bienvenido, Barney: Mexico / Let's Go on Vacation 2008-2019 This costume has rounder feet, entirely attached ankles, a smaller mouth, and a shorter tail to provide the performer with better footing within the costume.

Carey Stinson is the only person who can wear this costume because it was made just for his measurements.

The costume is attached to the feet but the soles of Barney's feet are separated from it. Stinson's shoes are linked to the soles to make entering simpler.

Barney's World

The following iteration of Barney is seen in Barney's World.

Image As seen in Year Notes
Barney's World 2023-present First seen in various press releases in 2023, this iteration of Barney now features four fingers on each hand (along with having fingernails), a lined stomach, green irises, chipped teeth, and a tongue for the first time since his 1990 rendition.

Then in March 2024 during Mattel's 2024 Virtual Analyst Day Presentation, a new image of the render was seen with a slight modification - including a lesser big teeth gap, different looking feet, a bigger torso, and a more magenta shade, letting him stay true to his classic costumed counterpart.

See also

Evolutions

  • Baby Bop Through the Years - officially produced costumes used on camera for Baby Bop's appearances on Barney & The Backyard Gang and Barney & Friends.
  • BJ Through the Years - officially produced costumes used on camera for BJ's appearances on Barney & Friends.

Barney

References

  1. Mattel Announces Barney Franchise Relaunch February 13, 2023 Retrieved December 14, 2023
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