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Thomas the Tank rubbish stamps

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Thomas the Tank Engine stamps revealed

Thomas the Tank Engine stamps revealed

Six stamps and a miniature sheet to be issued June 14.

Jack26/05/2011 08:52:17
124 forum posts

I found the books and tv series very unappealling; they are not classic literature nor classic tv. Why, therefore, is it made into a stamps issue?

Yes, I know the answer, straight comemrcialisation worthy of 'appendix' listed stamps of the 1960s. So I will probably buy one ms to use on normal mail and hopefully get a cover or two back. They would be rare items.

David Staub15/06/2011 22:07:16
2 forum posts

I think that there are big differences between the appendix-listed stamps of the 1960s and modern issues like the Thomas the Tank Engine stamps issued by the Royal Mail.

First, the 60s stamps often had no connection at all to the subject matter. It was pure commercialization. At least the Thomas and Friends show was UK based.

Second, and more important, the 60s stamps were often never intended to be used on real mail. They came from small countries with little or no need for the stamps. The modern commemoratives issued by authorities like the Royal Mail and the US Postal Service are intended to appeal to users as well as collectors. The various "Love" stamps issued regularly by the USPS are a good example - I see them on wedding announcements, Valentines Day cards, etc...

Adrian17/06/2011 14:33:09
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Whilst I agree partly with you, David, regarding Thomas being a GB subject, I feel that your second point, stating that such stamps are at least partly made to be used, falls slightly flat when you know that part of this set (ie the miniature sheet) is not on general sale. Stamps not on general sale are, in my humble opinion, purely made for collectors, and from that point of view it would make sense to downgrade them to appendix-listed stamps.

David Staub19/06/2011 19:34:06
2 forum posts

Adrian, that's a good point. I think that what you say about the minature sheet is true, but the same could be said of almost every souvenir sheet ever produced, even if they are on general sale. Who is going to buy a sheet of four stamps with a decorative border simply to separate and use them? That is even more true when the stamps are of different denominations. I am sure most people going to buy stamps at a counter are looking for stamps of one denomination, usually the standard first class rate.

Adrian22/06/2011 08:44:07
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Yes, David, absolutely, that's why deciding to downgrade any stamp to appendix status is a tricky thing, because so many stamps are made for purposes other than to be used for postage. And that is not a new thing. If you look at the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina stamps of the early 1900s you'll find stamps which were made to fill the postal authorities coffers rather than prepay a current postal rate. Our stamp catalogues would be flimsy if only stamps were included that were really just made for postage. I would therefore say it's better to list it all and let collectiors decide what to collect. Or, if you really want to have a distinction: don't include stamps / products that are not available at every post office (that way you may relegate all stamps issued for countries where they have never ever been for sale). Or maybe we should just all go with the times and not bother about this. Just get what we want and that's it.

Julia Lee22/06/2011 10:30:35
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Well, I have two used on cover! Mum sent me a late birthday present and used two £1.10 Thomas stamps and a Machin to pay (I assume) the packet rate for 501-750g. I'll have to see if she insisted at the post office, or what.

Adrian22/06/2011 10:33:24
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Ah, but those are the normal sheet stamps, and I believe post offices are still "obliged" to stock these.

Julia Lee22/06/2011 15:23:06
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Mum bought them at the PO because they pay 2nd weight step to US (where we have family) and then assembled the packet rate herself at home.

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