Firebox Inventor – the good, the better and the downright inexplicable

Stuff's been keeping a keen eye on the Firebox Inventor competition – a national search to find the next must-have gadget of 2010.The competition has

The competition has generated loads of interest from bedroom boffins, shed tinkerers and mad inventors from all over the UK – and it's no wonder since the winner will see their product go into production next year and share 50% of the profits.

Here's some of our favourites so far:

1) Real Thinking Putty by 12-year-old toy designer Tom: "it slithers, blinks and squeaks" apparently. It certainly unnerves, we'll give it that.

2) The Milk Safe by Oly Scott – a lockable top for those who live with lactose thieves:

3) The Ear Cap by Hattie Davies – like a shower cap, but for your ear. We'll take two please...

Some other noteworthy entries include the clockwork tumbleweed for when your colleagues say something deeply unfunny, a dual-tog duvet for those with partners with differing internal temperatures and a loo seat with iPod controls called the iPood. Ahem.

Think you can do better? Then get your invention off to Firebox Inventor now...