Adults wince, but a giant huggable dinosaur is all the rage on children's TV and at America's toy counters

HE'S PURPLE AND GREEN AND 6 FT. tall, with perfect TV-anchor teeth and bright yellow toenails. He has a doofy chuckle and a bouncy waddle, and when he isn't singing syrupy songs ("I love you/ You love me/ We're a happy family"), he has a habit of exclaiming, "Stuuuupendous!" He gets 10,000 fan letters a week, and his recent tour of America's malls had to be cut short because the frenzied tens of thousands who turned out to catch a glimpse of him created safety hazards.

He's Barney, a pudgy, fuzzy Tyrannosaurus rex who stars on the smash children's public-television show...