Tuesday, 26 February 2019

And one becomes four - ISP take the P again.

We have now received initial supplies of the Marvel Comics PSB and can reveal that the Machin definitive pane has the source code once again missing the 'P' from MPIL.  This means that, contrary to what I suggested here in the first report, there are FOUR new stamps all of which will have full catalogue status in Stanley Gibbons GB Concise catalogue.


Shown here from top left, the 1p, 20p, £1.25 and £1.45
(Norvic numbers 4001P.8a, 4020P.8a, 4125P.8a, 4145P.8)

 


 
 


These will be available in our webshop in due course.

Also received, the mixed content retail booklet, coded M19L MCIL  (Norvic number 2936aC.9 - but as previously announced we will not be stocking any 2019/M19L stamps.)

 



11 comments:

  1. Can anyone explain why/how the 'P' (and only the 'P') is missing again, or have I missed an explanation somewhere? Thanks.

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  2. I am interesting in the "again" comment. Which other PSB's are missing the "P" from MPIL? And were there two versions (one correct, one not), or just the one? Many thanks.

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    1. It was wrong in all copies of of RAF centenary. They then got it right for WW1, Harry Potter and Leonardo da Vinci. Only to have the same error again here ...

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  3. SLOPPY QUALITY CONTROL

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  4. Yes, that may be true, but I was hoping for a technical response/explanation. As machinmania above states, they first missed out the ‘P’ with the RAF issue. They got it right for the next three issues, and then regressed. Does anyone know how the coding process is undertaken and how it can go so wrong?

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    1. We don’t know how long cylinders last in relation to the print runs, nor do we know the size of the primary sheet which the panes were cut from.

      Supposing the primary sheet was larger for Harry Potter - say 24 panes instead of 16. A new cylinder would be required. That sheet could then be used for other PSBs. And the cylinder used for the RAF book might then be used for the Marvel book.

      Alternatively a new cylinder might have been made up for each PSB. The primary image (whether it is for a stamp or iridescent image) would be taken from the library. Why the P was missing in the first place nobody knows. Whether ISP even know about the omission, we don’t know.

      We no longer have the inside knowledge from Royal Mail that we had a few years ago, and we are all the poorer for Martyn Fry’s retirement!

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    2. Thanks Ian. At least it makes for four new Machins instead of one!

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    3. Well its obvious that Royal Mail 'don't care' whether the 'P' is there or not. Are they man enough to say to ISP scrap the lot and get it right. No to them its just a book and because of the missing P more will be sold.

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    4. I can't see why more should be sold. They are not variations, all books will be the same.

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  5. Before we all start getting our knickers in a twist over "missing" letters, let's just remind ourselves that these codes were included in the stamps by Royal Mail simply for their accounting purposes and were never intended to be collectable variations.

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    1. Not accounting purposes. They were actually introduced so that if there were any problems with the machine processing of letters bearing the stamps, the code would identify the source (and year) which would point to the printer, and therefore lead to improvement/correction. This was never likely to matter with stamps from PSBs, though. This was covered in one of our early reports (2009) - https://blog.norphil.co.uk/2009/04/security-codes-b-b-c-t-f-s-codebreakers.html

      Although you are correct in principle about them not 'intended to be collectable variations', it's difficult to believe that the P and M codes were not introduced with no real necessity. Given the number and variety of forgeries which have these codes, and the lack of any information about the primary reason fulfilling its state purpose, it's difficult to believe that there is any real purpose to them now.

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