The UK is celebrating 30 "cracking years" of stop-motion clay animation series Wallace and Gromit with a commemorative 50 pence coin. The coin was designed by series creator Nick Park in combination with since its inception. It features the faces of Wallace and Gromit, a little rocket ship, the initials NP and the inscription "caseus praestans", which the Royal Mint said translates as "cracking cheese."
Wallace and Gromit debuted in 1989 with the first film, A Grand Day Out. It was followed by The Wrong Trousers in 1993, A Close Shave in 1995, Cracking Contraptions in 2002, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in 2005 and A Matter of Loaf and Death 2008. Starring an inventor and his canine companion, the movies saw the two travel to the moon for cheese, tangle with an evil penguin and be framed for a criminal sheep-rustling operation. The series of movies have won Oscars and BAFTA awards.
It also spun off successful TV series Shaun the Sheep, which has been running for 12 years and produced several movies -- and has itself spun off another show, Timmy Time.
The Royal Mint posted a YouTube video earlier in October showing a time-lapse of the making of a clay model of the coin, accompanied by a cheese-pun-filled description.
"Cracking news -- the beagle has landed!" the Mint says in the video's description. "To mark 30 years since blast off, Wallace and Gromit have touched down on their first UK 50p coin! Caerphilly struck to Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver Proof and Gold Proof standard, cheese the moment and make a brie-line to our website -- we couldn't camembert for you to miss out! How good is this timelapse of Chris Entwistle (Aardman's Head Model Maker) creating a model of the coin?!"
There's three coins to choose from: gold proof, which comes with a 22-carat gold finish and will set you back £980, with only 630 coins available; silver proof, which has the color version printed on a silver coin, costing £65 with only 25,000 in circulation; and the £10 brilliant uncirculated edition, which you can order in rocket packaging and won't be in general circulation.