Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Christmas with Wallace and Gromit - 2 November 2010

This year’s Christmas stamps will feature the much-loved animated characters, Wallace and Gromit. The cheese-loving, tank-top wearing Wallace and his misunderstood hound, Gromit, will appear on seven Christmas stampss, a miniature sheet and a Smilers Sheet.   Since 2006 all Christmas stamps are standard definitive size except for the 1st and 2nd Class Large stamps where the 1st and 2nd Class images are repeated but with more detail revealed on the wider format stamps. All Christmas stamps are self-adhesive.

Tthe two 2007 Madonna stamps will also be reissued this year to provide a religious alternative.

Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp 2nd. Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp 1st.  Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp 2nd Large.

Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp 1st Large. Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp 60p.Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp 97p.Wallace and Gromit 2010 Christmas Stamp £1.46.
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Details of designs:

2nd Class - Wallace and Gromit carol singing
Suitably wrapped up against the cold Wallace and Gromit go carol singing, the wider format of the Large stamp shows a lit up Christmas tree in the background.

1st Class - Gromit posting Christmas cards
A robin watches Gromit as he posts the duo’s cards. The wider format of the Large stamp reveals the wicked penguin Feathers McGraw about to
launch a snowball from behind the pillar box.

60p - Wallace dressing the Christmas tree
Wallace places a Christmas fairy that looks suspiciously like Feathers McGraw on top of the Christmas tree

 97p - Gromit with Christmas pudding
Gromit arrives with a magnifi cent Christmas pudding.

£1.46 - Gromit’s Christmas pullover
Wallace gives a thumbs up as Gromit tries on his seasonal gift of a bone-themed pullover

Christmas 2010 Wallace & Gromit miniature sheet.

Madonna - 2007 stamps reissued
The two Madonna & Child stamps feature two classic paintings of the image, printed by De La Rue on self-adhesive paper in sheets of 50.

2nd class - William Dyce, c. 1827.
1st Class - The Madonna of Humility, Lippo di Dalmasio, c. 1390-1400. 

Backrgound to the stamps and production

Taking a look at how Wallace and Gromit prepare and enjoy the Christmas festivities sounds straightforward, but the challenge was making the world of Wallace and Gromit that we are familiar with through the films, work at stamp size.

Royal Mail worked closely with creator Nick Park and the team at Aardman Animations in the genesis of the designs. The approach to the stamps was similar to how Aardman create a film.  First Nick Park drew scenes and visual jokes involving the characters, refi ning the designs to work in miniature. After many such roughs a core of scenes was agreed upon.  When he and Royal Mail were satisfi ed they would reproduce in a very small format, Nick Park created coloured versions of the illustrations which were reduced to stamp size.

Then the Aardman model-makers were brought in to make the illustrations come to life, with Nick Park overseeing production. Each stamp was created like a scene from a film, with models, props and background sets especially constructed. For example, in the 2nd Class stamp design, the lights in the background of the lamp (and on the Christmas tree in the Large 2nd Class design) are real light sources, and the envelope being posted on the 1st Class stamp features a Wallace and Gromit 1st Class stamp.

The scenes were then photographed and Royal Mail formatted the images into stamp designs.  

Photography background
There was a large, specialist team at Aardman involved in the production of these stamps including model makers, animators, continuity checkers, photographers and lighting specialists. The images feature close up shots of the characters in detailed scenes. The brief was to create a shallow depth of fi eld effect but retain the focus on Wallace and Gromit.  Multiple shots were taken of each scene with the focus point changing each time so that on the final image designers could select the exact part of the scene to keep in focus. The photography alone took over two weeks, and the post-photography phase took a further three weeks, and involved pulling together all the different shots and making them work as a composite image.

The stamps have been more than two years in the making.

Technical details:
The stamps were designed by Aardman Animations Ltd and Royal Mail.  The sheet stamps & MS are printed in gravure by De La Rue Security Print in sheets of 50.  The individual stamps are 20 x 24mm (30 x 24mm large) self-adhesive; the 115 x 102mm miniature sheet is conventionally gummed. Booklets of 12 x 1st class and 12 x 2nd class stamps will also be sold - technical details to be confirmed. 

Smilers Sheet

The Smilers® Sheet contains 20 stamps: 8 x 1st class, 8 x 2nd class and 2 each of the two airmail rate stamps, 60p & 97p.   This extension to the Smilers range may be welcomed by people who want to Personalise stamps for overseas mail but this arrangement means that, as last year, there are only two sets per sheet, rather than 4 in previous years.  Collectors of Smilers singles are advised to place their orders early to avoid disappointment!

The Smilers sheet, featuring Wallace’s Stamp-O-Matic machine, was designed by True North and illustrated by Bill Kerwin.  It will probably be printed in litho by Cartor Security Printers. 

Royal Mail Wallace and Gromit Stamp-o-matic Smilers stamp sheet.Christmas 2010 presentation pack - Wallace & Gromit Advent Calendar.

Christmas 2010 Wallace & Gromit Mug. Christmas 2010 presentation pack - Wallace & Gromit Advent Calendar.Product range:
Set of 7 stamps & miniature sheet
Retail booklets of 12 x 2nd or 12 x 1st class stamps
Set of 7 stamps on Post Office FDC
Miniature sheet on Post Office FDC 
Presentation Pack containing set of stamps
Set of 8 mint stamp cards (PHQ cards)
Pair of 2007 Madonna & Child stamps
Smilers Sheet: Mint Smilers Sheet 

Christmas Cards featuring the 1st & 2nd class Wallace & Gromit stamps will be available from main post offices, price £3.00 for 10 (5 of each design).  Other products may be announced later.

Special postmarks available on the Day of Issue are shown below: these postmarks cannot be obtained from the PO after 2 November.

Postmark showing Wallace & Gromit. Postmark showing Wallace & Gromit in motorcycle. Non-pictorial Postmark first day of issue Bethlehem, also in Welsh. Postmark showing Phil-stamp on motorcycle. Postmark showing Christmas pudding.
Ref FD1037
Official Bureau postmark 
Ref FD1038
Official Bethlehem postmark
Ref FD1038NP
Official Bethlehem non-pictorial postmark
Ref M11911 Endon, Stoke-on-Trent Ref M11910
Wallace Road, Birmingham
Postmark showing Postbox. Postmark showing Christmas presents. Postmark showing Christmas tree. Postmark showing carol singers. Postmark showing Christmas pudding.
Ref L11907 Christmas Common, Watlington Ref L11908 Toys Hill, Edenbridge Ref W11919 Nasareth, Carenarfon Ref W11918 Bethlehem, Llandeilo Ref W11917 Puddington, Tiverton
Postmark showing pawprint. Postmark showing cheese. Postmark showing Christmas Tree. Postmakr showing Royal Mail logo. Postmark showing Christmas pudding.
Ref N11912 Wigan, Gt Manchester
(home of the fictional Wallace & Gromit)
Ref N11913 - Cheesden, Gt Manchester Ref N11916 Merry Christmas 2010, GBFDC Association, Christmas Street, Liverpool
Ref L11904 First Day of Issue, Selfridges & Co, London / Royal Mail Ref N11914 40th Anniversary, Cotswold Covers, York
Postmark showing school badges. Postmark showing St Mary's Church Centenary Logo. Postmark showing cow's head and slab of cheese! Postmark showing scene from Wallace & Gromit

Postmark showing Royal Mail logo.
Ref L11906 Merry Xmas from Whitfield & Aspen School, Whitfield, Dover Ref N11915 - St Mary's Church Centenary, West Bank, Widnes Ref N11490 - West Witton, York Ref W11942  Christmas with Wallace & Gromit, Bas Ferry Road, Bristol Ref L11923 First Day of Issue, Selfridges, London / Royal Mail  Readers will note the similarity with 11904 above - Royal Mail have not indicated whether this is additional to or a replacement for 11904.

This page was updated 29 October 2010.

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2010 stamp issues
Visit our online shop!
7 Classic Album Covers
7 Olympic Games retail book 1
26 Business & Customised Smilers MS
2 Girl Guide Centenary
25 350th ann of the Royal Society
25 Olympic Games retail book 2
1 Castles of Wales
11 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
23 House of Stewart
30 Machin & Country Definitives
30 Festival of Stamps retail advertising book
13 Endangered Mammals
6 Accession of George V*
8 The King's Stamps* &
London 2010 Souvenirs *
Britain Alone (1940)*
* London 2010 Festival of Stamps issues
18 Halley's Comet Commemorative Sheet
15 House of Stuart
15 Endangered Mammals Retail Booklet
8 British Grand Prix Commemorative Sheet
Olympics & Paralympics II
& Olympic Games retail book 3

10 London Eye Commemorative Sheet
19 Great British Railways I
19 Retail booklets: 12x2nd, 6x1st
15 Battle of Britain - Spitfire Generic Sheet & Retail booklet
16 Medical Breakthroughs
17 Faststamps: Bird pictorials
12 Children's Books
12 Olympic Games retail book 4
26 Special Delivery Machins
2 Christmas


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Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB. -- UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic