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News Archive

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There seems to be less and less news around these days so as an experiment I have reverted to an annual update.  Below is our 2019 edition providing an update on any Smilers related information, news snippets and anything else we think you might be interested in!  Full details of all new issues will appear under the New Issues menu option.

Earlier News Reports (e.g. Q1-18) are provided in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format and are generally available during the first couple of weeks following the preceding quarter. Click on this link News Archive to go to the Smilers News Archive page

Q1- Q4 2020

  • Tomb Raider Generic Sheet 

    Royal Mail's first issue for 2020 celebrates classic Video Games! Honestly!

    Clearly nothing of significant interest happened in history to fire Royal Mail's imagination sufficiently so they have adopted yet another pop-culture theme for their first issue of 2020,  presumably in the hope that this will add to their bottom line rather than perhaps the birth bicentenary of Florence Nightingale or Beethoven, not to mention artist Sir John Tenniel, original illustrator of Alice in Wonderland!  Casting even further back 2020 is the 500th anniversary of the birth of Renaissance Master, Raphael. 

    According to Royal Mail ....

    "The roots of Britain’s £4 billion video game industry can be traced back to the very early 1980s. In this stamp issue we look at some of the best loved games, many of which were worldwide successes, and mark the UK contribution to ‘gaming’ during the 80’s and 90’s and up to the modern day. This classic video games issue will evoke nostalgia and celebrate the joy of gaming through landmark UK-designed games."

    It's yet another expensive issue for the GB collector and I think you will be lucky to see any of the stamps and other products in use on mail.  There is the usual multi- denominational stamp issue, mini sheet, presentation pack and retail booklet and a collector/generic sheet based on the stamps only available in the mini sheet.  

    The collector/generic sheet is based on the Tomb Raider theme and contains 10 of the miniature sheet stamps and 10 labels. The labels all feature Tomb Raiders main character Lara Croft in different scenes from the video game.  The sheet is produced as a self-adhesive sheet printed in Litho by ISP/Cartor making these stamps different varieties to the mini-sheet gummed issue but Gibbons will not list them as they are sold at a premium over face value.  I wouldn't mind if Gibbons were consistent but they are not on this point.   Yet another example of Neanderthal thinking imposed by Gibbons on the British collecting pubic.  Royal Mail are moving towards more and more premium products whilst Gibbons refuse to list them - how daft! 


    Whilst I am sure this foray into pop- culture by Royal Mail is not sustainable or even undesirable, as a service primarily to our overseas customers, we will be stocking this sheet priced at £19.95 plus p+p. (07/01) 

  • Royal Mail Stamp Programme 2020   

    Royal Mail have announced details of their proposed 2020 stamp issue programme as follows. 

    • Video Games - 21/01/20 
    • Visions of the Universe - 11/02/20 
    • James Bond - 17/03/20 
    • The Romantic Poets - 07/04/20 
    • End of the Second World War - 08/05/20 
    • London 2020 - 08/05/20 
    • Coronation Street - 28/05/20 
    • Roman Britain - 18/06/20 
    • Queen - 09/07/20 
    • The Palace of Westminster - 30/07/20 
    • Sherlock - 18/08/20 
    • Rupert Bear - 03/09/20 
    • Brilliant Bugs - 01/10/20 
    • Christmas - 03/11/20
    • Star Trek - 13/11/20 
    • Lunar New Year Generic Sheet - Year of the Ox (not officially acknowledged at time of writing but likely in my view)

    Other 2020 Exhibition products include; London2020 mini-sheet plus a Declaration of Arbroath mini-sheet but apparently neither of these will contain new stamps. 

    The issues highlighted in bold are those with possible interest for Smilers Collectors - my guess and not an official confirmation.  No further details exist so we shall all have to wait and see what 2020 brings! (07/01)

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                                    Last updated: January 08, 2020