It’s here! The Alex Rider Dream Gadget Contest launches today! Put on your thinking caps and dream up some awesome gadgets! To celebrate the release of the newest Alex Rider book, Crocodile Tears, and the Kids of All Ages edition of MAKE (both at bookstores today), we’re thrilled to be running this contest.

All of you adventure-seekers and gadget lovers out there are invited to join in. If you were Alex Rider, what gadget would you want in the upcoming adventure “Crocodile Tears”? Design your dream Alex Rider gadget, inspired by an everyday object (i.e. an iPod, toothpaste, a pen). The winning gadget will be built right here at the MAKE Labs. Send us a schematic of what your gadget is made from and how it works. (Your schematic can be a diagram, a drawing or an explanation by you). Remember that the winning gadget will be inspired by an everyday object that one could realistically build (as much as we wish we could create a pair of scissors that could fly us to the moon)!

So what do you do? Dream up a gadget, of course! And what could you win? We’re so glad you asked:

Grand Prize (one winner):

  • A signed collection of hardcover Alex Rider novels
  • iPod nano with a personalized message from author Anthony Horowitz
  • A backpack full of goodies and gadgets from the Maker Shed
  • The opportunity to have the winner’s dream gadget produced in MAKE Labs and featured on Make: Online

Runner-Up Prize (two winners):

  • A signed hardcover copy of Crocodile Tears
  • An Alex Rider t-shirt

With prizes this good, how could you not want to enter?! The Alex Rider Dream Gadget Contest is open to kids ages 8 to 18, so get your kid, nephew, niece, grandkids, and yourself involved!

Need some inspiration? Check out these gadgets and book excerpts from previous Alex Rider novels to get those brain juices flowing:

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


  • Cementtruck

    MP3 player keyboard keystroke logger –
    disposable or disposable camera taser
    Digital Camera EMP device
    Bluetooth/iPhone controlled mini helicopter with digicam