Characters in Britain’s best-loved fantasy stories, from ancient myths to modern best-sellers, are brought together in the Magical Realms set, to be issued on March 8.
The eight stamps illustrate two different enchanters from each of four series of stories, using a combination of film images and newly-commissioned illustrations.
Depicted in artwork by Howard Swindell are characters from medieval Arthurian legend, and from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld comic fantasy series, the first of which was published in 1983.
Portrayed from major film franchises of recent years are characters from two popular children’s stories, C S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, published from 1949-54, and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, published from 1997-2007.
Philip Parker of Royal Mail Stamps said: ‘For a thousand years wizards and magicians have been central characters to the British psyche. They appear in legends, poems, books and films, and are reinterpreted for each new generation.’

OUR VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   
The British have a rich tradition of fantasy stories, but this looks rather like a shameless cash-in

QUALITY OF DESIGN   
Is the marriage of new artwork and stills from films truly a happy one?

WOW FACTOR    
Little of the drama inherent in the stories comes across, but the Harry Potter pair will certainly get noticed

1st class Rincewind
Rincewind was the first protagonist of Discworld, a wizard with no skill, no qualifications and no interest in heroics. He is the archetypal coward, but is constantly thrust into dangerous adventures and manages to save the entire world on
several occasions.

1st class Nanny Ogg
Gytha Ogg is a Discworld witch, who lives in the mountain kingdom of Lancre and is known for being earthy, smutty and inebriated. Her best friend is Granny Weatherwax, a more powerful witch but a less sympathetic one.

1st class Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School, which Harry Potter attends, and acts as a mentor to Harry. Imagery from the film adaptation shows Sir Michael Gambon in character.


1st class Lord Voldemort
The bad wizard Lord Voldemort, more often known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, is Harry Potter’s nemesis. The stories cover his rise to power and ends with his final duel with Harry. Ralph Fiennes features on the stamp in character, having played the role in the films.

60p Merlin
Merlin is the wizard in the Arthurian myths, thought to be based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures. In different versions of the story he engineers King Arthur’s birth and rise to kingship, and acts as his personal adviser.

60p Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay, also known as Morgaine or Morgana, is a powerful sorceress in the Arthurian legend. Early versions do not elaborate her character beyond her role as a fay or magician, but in later works she becomes an important antagonist to King Arthur.

97p Aslan
Aslan, a powerful but benevolent talking lion, is a central character in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and the only character to appear in all seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia series. In fact it is he who calls the entire world of Narnia into existence.

97p The White Witch
Jadis, commonly known during her evil rule of Narnia as the White Witch, is
the main villain of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, freezing Narnia in the Hundred Years’ Winter. Tilda Swinton features on the stamp, in character from the film adaptation.

Other products
In the presentation pack, cultural historian and film critic Kim Newman takes a look at the evolution of British fantasy tales from King Arthur to Harry Potter. A first day envelope and stamps cards are also available.

PRICES

Set of 8 stamps    £3.96
Presentation pack    £6.21
Stamp cards    £3.60
First day envelope    £0.30
First day cover    £5.41
TOTAL    £19.48