The Pre-Olympic 'Venues' Generic Smiler sheet has appeared, looking quite unlike the publicity images. Here's the sheet
UPDATE: At the time of writing this is not on the Royal Mail shop website, nor is it mentioned in either the Olympic or regular Summer Collection brochures issued late last month. So for those who want to buy it direct,
The Stock Code is AT072 and the price from Royal Mail is £15.22Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0) 131 316 7483
following concerted action via twitter, the sheet is now on RM's shop site!
See the original blog message, now updated, here.
For the 'Welcome to the Olympics' issue on 27 July there will be a miniature sheet and a prestige stamp book - see our webpage. Two weeks ago no details had been announced and we didn't know whether the definitive pane would be Machins or Olympics or a mixture, and we expected that some of the stamps from (or the whole) miniature sheet would be included.
We now have the pictures - but no technical specification - and it's all Olympic definitives and no miniature sheet stamps!
definitives are gummed* (which would make them new) or self-adhesive. If the book is printed by Cartor in toto then the definitives will be from a new printer; if the definitives are self-adhesive by Walsall then the 20g will be new but the 1st class were issued in booklets printed by Walsall.
The 'sports' stamps on the other three panes were originally printed by Cartor in sheet form so, again, if the PSB is printed by Cartor these are not prima facie new stamps - but the phosphor may be different - heck, the perforation could be different as well!
UPDATE 10 July: The panes (but not the book) are now to hand.
All panes are gummed. The definitive pane has darker 1st class stamps than the pale orange shown, close to the sheet and booklet self-adhesive stamps but slightly paler. The 20g airmail stamps are a good match.The Sports stamps on the other three panes look very similar to the stamps issued previously in sheets and have the same perforation as before, with all-over phosphor. The shade differences are minor, and the micro-printed years remain the same as on the original stamps. The se-tenant combinations are, of course, new.