BBC launches 'Planet Earth' products


BBC is launching an eco-friendly consumer products and toy merchandising program for its "Planet Earth" miniseries featuring such items as plush toys filled with stuffing made from recycled bottles and a special edition Monopoly with the board, game cards and money made out of recycled paper.

Toy lines from master licensee Planet Toys include recycling kits and outdoor explorer kits. The Monopoly Planet Earth edition from USAopoly gives players the chance to buy, sell and trade the Earth's most natural resources, landscapes and animals. The Planet Earth DVD board game from Imagination International features footage from the series, and all components of the game, except for the disc, are made from recycled material. And 2-D and 3-D cardboard puzzles and packaging from the Canadian Group are made from 95% recycled content, with a minimum of 30% postconsumer waste.

"We are incredibly excited to be working with these best-in-class toy partners to launch one-of-a-kind product lines that celebrate our extraordinary world and embrace the environmental integrity of the series," said Anna Hewitt, head of international licensing at BBC Worldwide. "Planet Earth provides consumers and retailers with the opportunity to take a small step to help safeguard the planet with merchandise that educates and promotes respect for our environment, and we look forward to growing the brand with these and other partners."

The Planet Earth toy lines were unveiled this week at Toy Fair.

Filmed in high definition, the 11-part "Planet Earth" miniseries shattered cable viewership records in the U.S. -- where it aired on the Discovery Channel -- with more than 65 million cumulative viewers, BBC said. The high-definition DVD release has become BBC Video's biggest-selling DVD.