Cracking Easter fun at W5 Belfast!

April 16th, 2014

We'd Love To See Your Cracking Ideas.

We'd Love To See Your Cracking Ideas.

We are excited to announce we will be visiting the W5 Science Centre, Belfast to give the young people of Northern Ireland to enter this year’s exciting competition.

We want to see your gastro gadgets and fantastic food innovations, and you could be in line to win exciting Wallace & Gromit models and goodies!

We will be at the W5 Science Centre, Odyssey, Belfast from 23rd – 24th April 2014.  We look forward to seeing you!

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A Cracking Idea for Schools

March 17th, 2014

Education Show

Education Show 2014

We are back on the road again, this week Cracking Ideas will be attending The Education Show 2014 at the NEC, Birmingham.

At Cracking Ideas we want to empower young designers, makers and creators to appreciate the value in their productivity, and to understand and respect  the creativity of others.  Cracking Ideas is led by innovative duo Wallace & Gromit, and features an annual competition, stuff to do – games and eureka challenges, lesson plans and a news blog full of fun and useful information.

To pick up your free teaching resources and to find out more about our exciting competition visit us on stand G22 at the Education Show, The NEC  Birmingham from Thursday 20th March to Saturday 22nd March 2014.

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Get Cracking at the Big Bang Fair

March 12th, 2014

Big bang Fair

Big Bang Fair Logo

What do you get if you mix Wallace and Gromit with a Big Bang?

Cracking Ideas at the Big Bang Fair 2014!

It’s all go at Cracking Ideas HQ as we ready ourselves to attend the 2014 Big Bang Fair at the NEC, Birmingham.  The Big Bang is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK; and we will be packing our stand with exciting contraptions and a daily competition.  Make sure you bring your thinking cap and a host of exciting ideas and creations!

We will be based in the Farm to Fork Zone, stand F99 from Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th March 2014.

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Oritse launches our new app!

February 25th, 2014

Music Inc Launch

We are excited to tell you all about a new app we have recently launched with those lovely people at Aardman Animations and UK Music.

Music Inc allows you to manage aspiring musicians, navigating your acts through their career by shaping their image, selecting songwriters, producers and studio technicians whilst making sure the bank manager is on side!  When releasing music you must choose how to release the music, and see the impact that decision could have on sales and piracy.

Oritse launched the app at Burlington Danes Academy, giving the lucky students a chance to play the game, find out about how it was developed and hear first hand form Oritse why he chose to support Music Inc, praising the app for teaching valuable business skills to youngsters.

If you have not tried Music Inc for yourself, it is available to download now for IOS and android devices from the Apple Store and Google Play.


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Festive Greetings!

December 23rd, 2013

At Cracking Ideas HQ we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a very innovative year with our successful space competition receiving over 4600 entries- how awesome! The 2013 Cracking Ideas award ceremony took place at the fantastic Blackpool Pleasure Beach where the winners got to enjoy the Wallace & Gromit “Thrill-O-Matic” ride.

For this year’s competition we are looking for your fantastic foodie innovations. The competition launched in May and over the summer we run a number of creative workshops at the Gromit Unleashed shop in Cribbs Causeway.  There is still plenty of time to enter this year’s competition, so get cracking on your gastro gadget, food machine or new lunchbox design…the opportunities are endless!

It has been a cracking year so we’d just like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us and helped make 2013 a success. It’s really inspiring meeting all you young innovators and seeing your brilliant inventions…so please keep your competition entries coming in!

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and we look forward to another innovative year in 2014!

Season’s Greetings from Cracking Ideas team.

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Have a cracking Halloween…

October 31st, 2013

That hair-raising time of year is upon us once again and here at Cracking Ideas HQ we’ve lovingly carved our office pumpkin.

Whether you’re throwing a ghostly party, trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples or bravely attending a mysterious ghost tour, we hope you have a spooktacular time!

Here are a couple of ghoulishly good patents for you to get your fangs around:

On October 13th 1903 M.I.Barnes patented the “Jack-O’-Lantern”. (Patent No.US741293)

The “Halloween board game” was patented by Cyrilla Dianne Pecoy on September 2nd 1997. (Patent No.US5662328)

Remember a patent protects how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made.

We want to see your creepy and creative pumpkin carvings. Send us your brilliant pumpkin designs for Halloween to . If you are aged between 4-16 years old we will automatically enter you in this year’s Cracking Ideas competition -how fangtastic!

Happy Halloween from the Cracking Ideas Team

Happy Halloween!


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Cracking talent amongst UK’s youth!

October 16th, 2013

Four innovative youngsters from England and Wales have been awarded national prizes at the Cracking Ideas 2012-13 award ceremony held at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
This year’s competition was literally out of this world! Entrants had to come up with a space related concept and highlight the intellectual property – a new gadget or product (patents), the visual appearance of said product (designs), a brand or logo to accompany the idea (trade marks) and any other creative elements (copyright) such as a catchy jingle.
The UK winners are:
Age 4-7 category
Amelia Regulski from Caerphilly and her supersonic ‘Space Suit’, built with flame blasting rocket boosters to guarantee safe space travel. With a specially designed helmet complete with Wallace and Gromit style on/off button, Amelia has covered both style and practicality.
Age 8-11 category
Sydney Davis from Bristol who created the IBIB for brilliance in ballet, on earth and in space. The ‘rocket twist tutu’ with miniature swivelling rockets creates effortless spins and twirls, whilst jet propelled ballet pumps ensures speed is not an issue.
Age 12-16 category
Dom Aly and Eddy Backhouse from Bolton who invented the WG1GYRO to propel Wallace and Gromit into space. With specially designed space suits, a roving WG Buggy complete with logos and ‘the super blaster’, Dom and Eddy have created the complete innovation package.
The worthy winners sought off tough competition from over 4,000 entrants and were each presented with an original trophy created by Nick Park’s Aardman Animation studio. They also received an animation software package and a Wallace and Gromit book signed by Nick Park.
Tom Lawton, designer and inventor said:
“The variety of entries was fabulous and could only be inspired by young minds. Life in space might not be as far away as we think and the entries seem to have relished the theme of this year’s challenge.”
Merlin Crossingham, Creative Director at Aardman Animations said:
“Wallace and Gromit are old hands at space travel but with so many real life space adventures happening at the moment space continues to inspire everybody. This year’s entrants really reflect that the sky is not the limit!”
The 2013-14 fabulous ‘foodie’ competition is currently running until 30 April 2014. Download your competition form here or email to request a pack.

Cracking Ideas award ceremony 2012-13

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May 15th, 2013

Mixing it up!

We apologise for being quiet here at Cracking Ideas HQ, however we have been working on the ingredients for our exciting new venture for 2013-2014!

We are pleased to announce this year’s Cracking Ideas competition theme is going to be….1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato…4……FOOD!

If you didn’t already know, Intellectual Property can protect everything from the clever gadgets that help us make the delicious food, to the well designed labels and names that encourage us to buy them!

This year’s competition will allow you to be a gastro genius or fantastic foodie innovator by letting  you develop your incredibly edible cracking  ideas. We really want to see your fully loaded, yummy creations and once you’ve cooked up your gourmet treat remember to enter them in to the competition.

Entering the Cracking Ideas competition is easy-peasy lemon squeezy, as long as you are 4-16yrs old, live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales and enter by 30 April 2014. The competition form can be downloaded here or is available as a hard copy from Cracking Ideas Competition, Intellectual Property Office, FREEPOST CF4185, Newport, NP20 1ZZ and

There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs so don’t be half baked…Go gastronomic and get cracking!

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Anyone for Pancakes?

February 12th, 2013

Yes, today is Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday or Mardis Gras and at Cracking Ideas HQ we dont need more of an excuse than the day being labelled ‘Pancake’ day to participate in some cracking flipping fun and then munching on the sweet (or savoury) treats! Wallace & Gromit are keen on baking as you know from their adventures in ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’  but can you think of a cool pancake mixing and tossing gadget or gizmo of your own? If so we’d love to see and hear about your designs, innovative features and what makes your cracking contraption the best it can be in fritter flipping fun! Post your comments on this page here or upload your cracking pancake flipping gadgets and see them appear in the Eureka Gallery.

Anyone for Baking?

Anyone for Baking?

In addition this February and as an alternative to the standard ‘giving up’ of something for lent we at Cracking Ideas HQ have decided to start something new instead!  To these ends we are planning our splendid next competition and what an adventure it is proving to be so far!  It’s looking like its going to be cracking great fun with a brand new fun theme and we are all very excited.  However, don’t panic  if you havent yet entered the current galactic themed competition  where you are challenged to develop a cracking space innovation for Wallace & Gromit …  there’s still time to enter before the closing date of 30 April if you get your supersonic space skates on!

It would be cracking to hear from you this February.

Oh, and enjoy your pancakes!

Nick Jenkins

Cracking Ideas




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What Have Rodents, Rainfall and Resourceful Ingenuity Got in Common?

January 31st, 2013

‘Not a lot’ you might say but here at Cracking Ideas we beg to differ! Read on to find out more:

Predicting the Inevitable
This week in the UK we’ve experienced snow blizzards followed by heavy rain, thunder and lightning and hailstorms and no doubt you’ve been following the forecasts of the weathermen as closely as we have at Cracking Ideas HQ.Cracking Ideas innovative ambassadors Wallace & Gromit, as you might expect, have created their own weather predicting equipment dictating whether they wear a bobble hat, sou’wester, take an umbrella or (if they’re lucky) don a knotted hankie as a sun hat! If you were able to visit the recent World of Cracking Ideas Exhibition you will have seen this cracking contraption in all its spinning weather forecasting glory!

Shadow Tradition
Well, in celebration of all things weather-wise this week at Cracking Ideas HQ we’ve discovered a rather unusual ‘this week in history’ anniversary which on February 2nd marks the first Groundhog Day of 1887 in Pennsylvania, USA. According to tradition a rodent meteorologist (aka groundhog, aka woodchuck) comes out of its burrow on this day and by his / her actions lets the local Pennsylvanian human residents know what the future weather is going to be! If groundhog sees its shadow there will be six more weeks of winter weather; (brrr … more snow, hailstones, wintry rain and gales …no thanks!) Whereas if the rodent observes no shadow this means an early spring accompanied by warmer weather is imminent (bring it on we say!)

Big Squirrels
Groundhogs or woodchucks live in North America and our equivalent in the UK would be a large squirrel although their cousins in USA and Canada dig burrows like rabbits and don’t bury their nuts! In the absence of weather predicting rodents and not having access to Wallace & Gromit’s fair or foul weather-accessory-selecting-contraption this might be just the conditions for staying in and creating your own storm or fair-weather forecasting gadget. Have a look at the ways you could measure, rainfall, collect samples, tell wind direction and gauge temperature then describe it, draw a plan, make a model of it or write a list of instructions of how to use your weather measuring and predicting gadget and let us see what you come up with. Upload your cracking forecasting gadget ideas into the Eureka Gallery and let’s see if any of you can match the predictive powers of squirrel-like woodchuck. Don’t forget if your idea is space related you can enter it into this year’s Cracking Ideas competition and be in with a chance of attending the 2013 award ceremony and scooping up some fabulous Wallace & Gromit goodies and cracking prizes.

How Much?
If you’re not in a contraption-making kind of mood why not have a go at some literary creativity and develop a weather-wise story, poem or blog article or maybe have a go at a tongue twister like the one here featuring good ol’ rodent meteorologist himself:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could
if a woodchuck could chuck wood

I Spy a Shadow!

I Spy a Shadow!

Go on, get cracking on some resourceful ingenuity of your own! Upload your ideas and lets see what your made of!

Nick Jenkins
Cracking Ideas

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