Products: Gromit Unleashed and Comics

May 9th, 2015

I plan on writing a more news-based post soon, but right now I wanted to pause to give a quick tour of some of the latest products made available by the Gromit Unleashed folks. I talked about placing my order in a post back in November and was pleased to later receive the order, fully intact here in California a few weeks later. While the shipping does almost make orders prohibitively expensive, it did save to order a few things at once. I’ll hold off on any Shaun in the City orders until selection increases and I can buy a few pieces.

As I mentioned in that last post, I got the Creature Comforts Gromit Figurine and the Gromit Classic. They both came out beautifully.

Creature Comforts Gromit

I also purchased a copy of Wallace and Gromit Monopoly. So much fun!

Wallace and Gromit Monopoly

Beyond Gromit Unleashed, over the past 18 months we’ve also had the pleasure of seeing the Wallace and Gromit Comics by Titan be released in book form, so far with 3 volumes released. The first was released back in October 2013, second in November of 2014 and the third that I pre-ordered and had on my doorstep at the end of March.

Wallace and Gromit Comics

The books are wonderfully bound and the comics within are beautifully colored. The book is organized so that there are several pages of comics and then full color spreads of pictures from their various adventures, from movies to shorts, as seen here.

The release in the US of these comics made me particularly happy, because aside from shipping and cost issues that I often run into, as far as I know it was the first time these comics are available in printed form (not digital) on this side of the ocean.

I highly recommend picking up all three if you haven’t already, with a lean $16.99 price tag each you won’t regret it. They’re all available via Amazon and other major book sellers here in the US.

I’ve added a few more photos of the products mentioned in this post here:

Wallace and Gromit in 2014

November 14th, 2014

Wow, it’s been a while! Lack of updates is completely on my end, with work and other responsibilities piling up on my end this year, finding time to update this site with Wallace and Gromit news has slipped through the cracks (note: if you’d like to help, please drop me a line: The year has also been quite busy for Wallace and Gromit, so I’ve missed a lot! I shall now attempt to do a whirlwind tour of what the lads have been up to.

First up, exciting news today about the availability of Gromit Unleashed Monopoly. I’ve long resisted the branded Monopoly games, but in this case I gave in. The game costs £29.95 and shipping to the United States is expensive so I decided to also purchase a couple Gromit figurines as well (Classic and Creature Comforts). All told, shipping came out to a whopping £34.53, but I think it was worth it. It’s also worthy to note, that they support International orders through their system now, so there is no longer a need to email them directly.

In more shopping news, I was delighted to learn earlier this year that Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Newspaper Comic Strip Collection Volume 1 was released, and doubly so that just last week (November 4th), Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Newspaper Comic Strip Collection Volume 2 came out! It’s on my way to my home as we speak. Check out a great review of Volume 1 by Victoria Irwin here: The Complete Newspaper Wallace & Gromit Comic Strips Collection.

In other Gromit Unleashed news, they launched a YouTube channel back in March that continues to host a bunch of goodies:

They also decided to have a Gromit Unleashed exhibition in Hong Kong over the summer! It kicked off on July 21st and went through August 31st, with Gromit Unleased Newsletter saying:

For the first time outside the UK, 70 Gromit Unleashed sculptures have come together to create a unique exhibition at ELEMENTS mall in Hong Kong, with each Gromit individually designed and decorated by an array of top designers, celebrities and international brands – including four designs from Aardman Animations!

The Bristol Post wrote a couple articles about it:Gromit Unleashed launches in Hong Kong with a 4 metre tall Gromit and Gromit unleashed on Hong Kong for new exhibition. Also check out a video and some photos of the exhibition over on Gromit Unleashed Hits Hong Kong! I’ve also embedded the video in this post.

The Bristol Post reports that the auction in Kowloon a total of £45,389 was raised.

Finally, Shaun in the City was announced! A follow-up to the Gromit trail, this time London will be welcoming statues of one of our favorite Wallace and Gromit characters who has gone on to make success in his own series, Shaun the Sheep! I’ve been following their Twitter account @shaun_inthecity and the preparations are well underway for the installation. News about this was shared by The Telegraph Giant Shaun the Sheep take to the streets

Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Over the summer, from from May 24 to September 7, Bristol was host to a Wallace and Gromit Exhibition at M Shed Museum. The exhibit featured concept sketches, models and actual sets from the films, some great photos from the exhibition were shared in this article from Bristol Culture: Wallace & Gromit exhibition at M Shed. And Tricia Orchard shared another series of photos here: Wallace and Gromit at The MShed. A post by The Guardian also gave some show highlights: Wallace and Gromit – a sneaky preview of the M Shed exhibition.

And last but not least, here’s a sampling of articles talking about other news from the past several months featuring the duo:

Thanks for reading, until next time!

More Unleashed news, music, Wesleydale, LeapPad and the BIG bake

January 4th, 2014

Happy New Year, Wallace and Gromit fans! For the holidays this year, I ordered a copy of The Art of Gromit Unleashed, which wasn’t cheap when shipping to the US was added, but was worth it. Between the articles I’ve read on the Gromits and the background information about every Gromit provided in this book, I almost have stopped regretting not booking a trip over the Atlantic to Bristol to see them in person.

Plus, the fine folks at The Grand Appeal included a hand written note with my purchase.

Speaking of Gromit Unleashed, the organization continues to release the figurines for sale on their site and at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway. I’m still hoping that in 2014 they’ll have enough to ship internationally! Finally, one of the Gromits has found a public home: Gromit’s grand new dog house decided by voters

In musical news, the duo just finished up their Musical Marvels events in London and Sydney. There are currently no upcoming shows but you can sign up for their newsletter to be notified of any updates.

I’m a big fan of Wensleydale cheese (sold at Whole Foods here in the United States) so it was great to see this news: Wensleydale cheese finally wins protected status

Have a kiddo with a LeapPad? This news should interest you! LeapFrog brings Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep to LeapPad

This fall through December 31st, Homepride Flour sponsored Wallace & Gromit’s BIG Bake which included a fundraising kit for individuals to bake goods and sell them for the Wallace and Gromit charity. The winner will be announced at 5pm on Monday 13th January 2014. Keep an eye on Wallace and Gromit’s Charity Pintrerest page for more.

In the spirit of things, here is a sampling of what came out of that!

Gromit Unleashed wrap-up

November 13th, 2013
Gromit Unleashed

I have already written about some of the exciting things Wallace and Gromit were up to over the summer, but the biggest one of all was the Gromit Unleashed art display in Bristol, UK! For 10 weeks from the first of July Gromit statues decorated by world famous and local artists alike dotted the city of Bristol in a walking tour that attracted thousands. The exciting summer wrapped up with an auction of the statues in September that raised over £2.3 million for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal charity for children and their families Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Back in June I wrote about couple of ads that were released promoting it. So, first up, an article from just before the launch: Gromit Unleashed: Celebrity line-up revealed

The unveiling of the statues themselves was seen over by none other than Wallace and Gromit Creator Nick Park!

Throughout the summer several outlets continued their reporting, featuring all kinds of Gromits and their artists from the trail:

Once the trail itself ended, the Gromits were moved to a temporary location where they were housed and on display for visitors:

Throughout their display time the wait times to see the Gromits were tracked on the @GromitUnleashed twitter account and at times reached up to 3 hours!

It was perhaps no surprise then that the auction of the Gromits was so wildly successful:

As a wrap up, the Bristol Post published a fantastic 32-page booklet titledThe Great Gromit Auction on ISSUU, so you can browse the whole thing online.

Looking for more photos of the gromits? Be sure to visit the Gromit galleries on the Gromit Unleased website for more.

There are figurines being produced of many of the gromits, which will be available on the Gromit Unleashed Shop. Unfortunately they are out of stock but have promised to fulfill demand next year. You can click on the “Newsletter” link on the website to be kept up to date with current developments, including when new figures will be available. And they don’t ship to the United States directly on their website, but I was able to follow the instructions to contact them and just sent in my payment for the The Art of Gromit Unleashed Book – a steep $41.46 including shipping to the US, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one of the figures too when they’re available again.

Thrill-O-Matic Ride and Wallace and Gromit endorsed UK Staycations

October 22nd, 2013

What a summer for Wallace and Gromit!

We saw the opening of the Wallace & Gromit Thrill-O-Matic at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This is the first amusement park ride featuring the duo to be launched, so a very exciting moment!

There was a lot of press coverage leading up to and around the opening in April, including lots of great photos with Nick Park as he was there to celebrate the opening of the ride.

Then Wallace and Gromit hit the trail to team up with VisitEngland promote “staycations” in the UK.

Announcement on here: Wallace & Gromit’s Great UK Adventure Begins!

And check out the great website here:

Press coverage, including some great pictures and a great slideshow from the BBC of a series of the images showcased in the campaign:

Finally, the promotional video is a lot of fun:

For Shawn fans, we also saw this news: Shaun the Sheep Movie is Announced!

And perhaps the biggest news of the summer? The amazing Gromit Unleased tour in Bristol where 80 Gromit statues decorated by 80 famous and local artists! But this requires a post of it’s own, coming soon.

“A Grand Tail” in Bristol and some costumes

June 19th, 2013

Sarah Chidgey has passed along the latest video promoting Bristol and the upcoming 80 Gromit statues coming to the city and writes:

A Grand Tail is a slapstick romp around some of Bristol’s most iconic locations, to publicise the unveiling on 1st July of 80 life-sized Gromits painted by a host of high-profile celebrities and artists, including Harry Hill, Cath Kidson and One Direction’s Zayn Malik. The summer trail and film are aimed at families and couples looking for a UK break or ‘staycation’.

The film features two hapless delivery drivers trying to drop Gromit off in time for the Trail, but getting hopelessly lost in the city.

Tourist attractions in the city include Bristol Zoo, Clifton village, the Harbourside area of town, where the SS Great Britain is docked, two theatres, the recently revamped music and comedy venue Colston Hall, Bristol Museum and @Bristol (a science museum suitable for adults and families), two cinema complexes, plus an enormous range of restaurants and the recently-built Cabot Circus shopping area. Other attractions include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Downs, and Leigh Woods.

Check it out here:

In related news, Brunel’s ss Great Britain has announced the arrival of their very own Gromit, “staying with us over the summer and presiding over Brunel Square for ‘Gromit Unleashed’ from Monday July 1st 2013.”

From their press release:

The artist is Thomas W. Dowdeswell; whose piece ‘Being Gromit-Malkovich’ incorporates an abstract cityscape in a Vorticist style. It is an industrial yet contemporary construction which strikes an interesting balance with the historic engineering of Brunel’s ss Great Britain.

Thomas W. Dowdeswell said: “As Gromit is taking over the streets of Bristol, I thought it would be an interesting twist to turn [him] into a cityscape in his own right. Gromit now is not just a dog but an idea, a vision and a hope which encompasses the whole city; on the streets, in our homes, under blue skies and neon-lights people are volunteering to live, at least for a while, in Gromit’s world”

And thanks to the folks at Carbon Costume who create “Famous outfits made from everyday gear” and also reached out to show me a couple recent posts featuring Wallace and Piella Bakewell costumes!

See the Wallace costume here and Piella here.

Gromit Unleashed ads unleashed!

June 12th, 2013

The Gromit Unleashed campaign features a series of 80 Gromit statues made by area artists that will be placed throughout Bristol for 10 weeks from July 1st to September 8th 2013.

In preparation, a series of videos have begun to be released:

Wondering where you’ll find 80 Gromits this summer?”A Grand Tail” coming soon

Gromit stirs up the Clifton set in this outtake from “A Grand Tail,” coming soon

Thanks to Sarah Chidgey for letting me know about these videos!

Gromit in CACM

February 16th, 2013

It’s rare when my love for Wallace and Gromit intersects with my career in technology, but today was one of those days! While reading an issue of Communications of the ACM this morning I found an article titled “Saving Private Gromit” (membership required to view, alas) about efforts to preserve and legal issues around preservation of video games, with a focus on the industry in the UK.

Here’s hoping video games of our beloved duo can be preserved for future generations!

Wallace and Gromit star in Google+ Hangouts ad!

December 18th, 2012

Thanks to my friend Miia Ranta for showing me this – Wallace and Gromit, along with a host of other Aardman characters “get together” for the holidays via a Google+ Hangouts advertisement!

BBC Proms wrap-up, Gromit sculptures coming to Bristol and a new amusement park ride

December 1st, 2012

It’s been a few months since our last roundup update! Here’s a roundup of some of the news that came in since then.

It will probably not be a surprise to long time fans, but at an interview back in July Nick Park talks about the origins of the characters: Gromit was ‘nearly a cat’ says animator Nick Park

Last time we talked about the upcoming performance at the BBC Proms, and with those long behind us there were some great articles that came out covering it, including…

The Telegraph did an amusing interview with Wallace: Proms 2012: Wallace and Gromit: interview. And not to be outdone, The Guardian also featured an interview with Wallace: Wallace: ‘I have a feeling Gromit has a hankering to be a composer himself’.

As for the event itself, this article from the BBC covers it and has a great photo from the event: Wallace and Gromit take over Prom

Wallace and Gromit brought some animated anarchy to the BBC Proms on Sunday with a family-themed concert featuring new sequences created by Bristol-based film studio Aardman.

So, what was the music actually like? Julia Savage of Bachtrack writes a great description and review here: Prom 20: Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels!

With the proms behind them, where did the duo surface next? One event was the Preston Guild celebrations as reported here: Wallace and Gromit creator honoured at the Preston Guild celebrations. They also showed up at Wensleydale Creamery following a cycling event for charity as reported here: A grand day out at creamery. And while on the topic of charity, it’s been announced that Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal to be official partner for this year’s Bristol 10k.

Finally, a couple pieces of news that I’m pretty excited about. First is news brought to my attention by Emily Koch Gromit sculptures to be unleashed on Bristol. I’ll probably not be able to see it in person, but Gromit sculpture all over Bristol, how cool!

And the other big news, a Wallace and Gromit amusement park ride is coming to UK’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2013!

Set to open in 2013, the $7.8 million Wallace & Gromit Thrill-O-Matic dark ride at the United Kingdom’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach will whisk visitors through the world of the eccentric cheese-eating inventor and his anthropomorphic dog.

The 4-minute ride will feature a dozen scenes inspired by the animated short films starring the beloved British claymation characters, including “A Grand Day Out,” “The Wrong Trousers,” “A Close Shave” and “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”

Quote from the Los Angeles Times article Wallace & Gromit ride heading to UK’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Artist’s rendering of the ride:

How exciting! Now this may be worth a trip over the pond for… :)