Online auction for Gromit figurines

An online auction featuring new merchandise for the popular Gromit Unleashed trail will take place this week.

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An online auction featuring new merchandise for the popular Gromit Unleashed trail will take place. (Gromit Unleashed)

An online auction featuring new merchandise for the popular Gromit Unleashed trail will take place this week.

Demand for the figures, which are miniature versions of 5ft-high sculptures decorated by celebrities and designers, has shown no sign of abating.

Hundreds of people have queued for up to five hours to buy the hand-painted souvenirs since their launch in the summer.

This week, fans will be able to bid on a new range of artwork, figurines and memorabilia on the auction website eBay.

The Gromit Unleashed trail attracted 1.2 million visitors to Bristol and later raised £2.3 million for Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal, which supports Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Speaking ahead of the week-long sale, which will begin at 10am on Wednesday, Nicola Masters, director of the Grand Appeal, said she was "amazed" at the demand.

"We are absolutely amazed by the continuing response to Gromit Unleashed and we're doing everything we can to meet the demand for figurines," she said.

"More stock of figurines will be available before Christmas and we will continue to produce many more of all existing styles throughout 2014, as well as releasing some sensational new designs.

"The online auction is the festive icing on the cake to celebrate the success of Gromit Unleashed and give people a chance to bid on a brilliant and unique range of one-off artwork and memorabilia.

"We want to thank all our artists and supporters for their ongoing support and for helping to raise funds for thousands of sick babies and children from Bristol and across the region."

The Gromit figurines are restocked at the Gromit Unleashed store at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol every Friday and Saturday ahead of it opening at 9.30am.

On Friday, the first person began queuing at 1.30am, with a further 400 joining the line by 8am.

All funds raised by Gromit Unleashed go towards the charity's appeal to support the expansion of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.