Thursday 26 July 2012

New Smilers Sheets at Olympic Village - Royal Mail ignore collectors.

As reported earlier, there will be a Smilers Booth at the Olympic Games Village in Stratford.

Graham Howard has now provided further information on this, and it represents another missed opportunity Royal Mail.
They are available in two denominations 1st class Olympic/Paralympic NVI's and Worldwide NVI.
The 20 x 1st class sheet bears a passing resemblance to the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games generic sheet but is on a green background not red. The Worldwide stamps are available in half sheets of 10 on a  sheet of similar design but in yellow instead of red.
The 20 x 1st class sheet has the legend: Hello from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  The graphics are the same as the red generic sheet but in a different order and there is no legend down the centre of the sheet - this is replaced by London Eye and Nelson's Column graphics
The 10 x WW NVI sheet has the same legend and the style is repeated on both halves of the sheet, one graphic top right - Houses of Parliament and the bottom three graphics are of St. Paul's, Battersea Power Station and The Tower of London.
The sheets retail price is as follows:
  • 20 x 1st class (green background) personalised sheet - £18.25 
  • 10 x WW NVI (yellow background) personalised sheet - £18.50
Whilst the WW NVI sheets are marketed as a 10 stamp, A5 sheet they are in effect half of 20 stamp A4 sheet separated in the middle. As collectors items they are best collected in sheets of 20 stamps which would increase the price to £37 a sheet.
That said, here comes the bad news!
The sheets are not being made available to the general public - only athletes, volunteers and visitors with an accreditation pass or an accompanied day guest invite within the Olympic Village Plaza!!  If you can gain entry to the Olympic Village then you can buy these sheets. Conversely, if you can't gain access then you won't be able to buy these sheets.
Graham has managed to acquire some sheets - we'll publish pictures as soon as we can after he does!

Royal Mail will probably argue that the Generic sheet will satisfy collectors. For most Smilers, the personalised sheets have different borders to the generic sheets, so the yellow and green backgrounds are no surprise - but normally collectors who want these variants can buy them through the Smilers service.  Not this time.  It would have been money for old rope, but it seems that they don't want the bother of handling these other than through their agent, Yink, with the booth at the Olympics.

Here's the rubber stamp that is applied to the inside of the Folder containing the Smilers sheets:



  1. The special Olympic smiler sheets being confined to people with access to the Olympic Village is just unbelievable; and probably akin to commercial suicide.

    Whilst I don't particularly collect smilers these days, and openly acknowledge that I have, in the past, voiced my disquiet at RM's multitude of releases, I just feel that RM will completely alienate their regular, 'bread and butter' customers if they persist with their stated stance on wider availability of these items.

  2. Anyone know how to get hold of these Olympics Village Post Office Personalised Sheets?

    1. The only way I know is to know somebody who is there or going there.

      And you only have this week and the Paralympics to do it.


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