It's been almost 40 years since one of the UK's best-loved animation studios Aardman began, and they're celebrating with an epic exhibition of original artworks up for sale, merchandise and online content for fans to reminisce and discover less known work. 

A collection of rare drawings, storyboards and stills of the creative output from the Bristol-based studio are available to purchase now until the end of the year, and in September there will be a chance to win an original piece of Aardman art exhibited and sold at The Illustration Cupboard gallery in London.

A range of original artwork from Aardman Animations will be on show, including drawings and character studies of Nick Park's famous Wallace & Gromit and a specially produced sculpture of Morph by Peter Lord from the children's book Take Hart. Pieces will start from less than £500.

The studio has also created a digital package for each day in the 40-day countdown until September 4. These can be seen on the Aardman Animations website and social media sites – including classic clips, some of the company's less known work, behind-the-scenes videos and work they're most proud of.

An Isle of Man Post Office stamp collection, ornaments of some of Aardman's most popular characters, and The Art of Aardman book are all part of merchandise on sale for fans to indulge in.

Aardman Animations has been hugely extensive over its 40-year existence. It began in 1972 with animating partners Peter Lord and David Sproxton, and has since won four Oscars.

Aardman Animations work ranges from computer-animated feature films, including Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit films, Flushed Away and Shaun the Sheep to experimental model animation created for design festivals.