Monday 3 October 2022

Aardman Classics set & MS 19 October 2022: not such a blockbuster

Readers who keep a look out for new issue information may have noticed that Royal Mail briefly showed their next issue on their shop webpage today (3 October).  I don't know how my readers find them, but this one was gone by the time I looked!

Others will notice that cover producers websites (and their emails) will reveal that the next issue features Aardman Classics.  The full details will not appear here until the embargo is properly lifted on the issue date - crazy isn't it?  However we have received the October Postmark Bulletin which includes handstamps related to this issue.

The reason for this issue, according to Royal Mail:

Royal Mail celebrates stop go animation and the creative genius of Aardman Animations with 8 special stamps. Showcasing some of Aardman’s most celebrated work, the stamps include fan favourites from Chicken Run to Frank the Tortoise. We also pay homage to one of the British public’s favourite duos, Wallace and Gromit, with an exclusive miniature sheet, featuring four of their most iconic moments.

Meanwhile here are some earlier Aardman stamps.

2nd class large Christmas 2010
Classic Children's TV 2014

The stamps & MS
Set of 8 Aardman Classics stamps issued 19 October 2022

UPDATE 5 October.  I have received supplies of these today, Royal Mail are evidently clearing the warehouse as early as possible to make way for Christmas and what should be large stocks of the In Memoriam issue both due early next month.

As you know I confine my interest in the modern special stamps to reporting them and looking briefly at them before passing them on to customers.  So I may be wrong - if so you will doubtless tell me - but I think these may be the first Special Stamps (non-Christmas) to be printed with Security Backing Paper? 

There have been other self-adhesive specials since 2016, which I have handled, but I didn't notice the SBP2.  These are the actual stamps:


Wallace & Gromit celebrate four of their favourite ‘cracking’ moments by displaying them proudly on their wall, in their humble abode at 62 West Wallaby Street. Key moments on the stamps include memories from A Matter of Loaf and Death, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and A Grand Day Out.  This is an exclusive miniature sheet created especially for Royal Mail by Aardman.

Aardman Classics miniature sheet issued 19 October 2022

2nd Class - Rocky and Ginger (Chicken Run)
; Feathers McGraw (The Wrong Trousers)

1st Class - Wallace and Gromit; 
Frank (Creature Comforts)

£1.85 - Timmy (Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time)
; Morph and Chas (The Amazing Adventures of Morph & more) 
£2.55: - Robin (Robin Robin, 2021); Shaun and Blitzer (Shaun the Sheep).

MS 1st class -  A Close Shave; A Matter of Loaf and Death.
MS £1.85 -   The Wrong Trousers; A Grand Day Out.

Technical Details

The stamps and miniature sheet were designed by Studio Up and Royal Mail Group and printed by Cartor Security Printers.  All are self-adhesive, and printed in litho.  

The sheets of 60 are perforated 13.5 x 14.  The sheet stamps are 37 x 27 mm (basic),

The miniature sheet stamps are 27 x 37 mm (A Close Shave) 34 x 24 mm (remainder), all perforated 14.

Collectors Sheet

Aardman Classics Collectors sheet issued 19 October 2022

This is a sheet of only 8 stamps, ie the full set with no duplication.  It's self-adhesive, so the stamps may not be materially different to those in sheets.

Other products

First day covers (2), presentation pack, postcards, press sheet of 12 miniature sheets (edition of only 500, 4 barcoded (on the right), and 8 non-barcoded.   Additionally there is a medal cover and framed set, MS, and collectors sheet.


© and TM Aardman Animations Limited/Wallace & Gromit Limited 2022. All rights reserved. ‘Wallace & Gromit’, ‘Shaun the Sheep’, ‘Timmy Time’, ‘Robin Robin’, ‘Morph’, ‘Creature Comforts’ and ‘Aardman’ (word marks) and the characters ‘Wallace’, ‘Gromit’, ‘Timmy’, ‘Robin’ and ‘Morph’ are trade marks used under licence from Aardman Animations Limited/Wallace & Gromit Limited. ‘Robin, Robin’ animated feature © Netflix. ‘Chicken Run’ © DreamWorks Animation LLC, Aardman Chicken Run Limited and Pathé Image.

I'm pleased to see that there is no prestige stamp book for this issue, so not quite the blockbuster that it might have been. 


We will not be stocking the new stamps.

The next issues will be 

3 November - Christmas. These may be on the Royal Mail website on 25 October.

10 November - Queen Elizabeth II In Memoriam

24 November -  Tutankhamun's Treasures (Embargo date not yet announced!)



  1. I don't understand why Royal Mail Place an embargo on new issues. It is not as if they have any rivals who are going to beat them to an issue. Surely the more publicity the better?

    1. If I recall correctly, their head honcho of such things comes from a media and licensing background and thus embargo is probably ingrained as 'the way its done'. I have no problem with embargos, but to have set as the release day is dubious. I guess the thing to remember is that we philatelic types understand the mechanics of this more so than the general public and it is the latter who are the target market. What RM don't want is to make a noisy splash of a new product and then have customers rolling into post offices and being told these aren't available.......yes I'm aware of the irony in that and the general lack of supply to counters.

  2. Wasn’t this issue supposed to be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the BBC? Is there any connection or acknowledgement of the BBC?

  3. AAardman stamps very little proper information .hard to find out the format

  4. I reckon these will sell well. Aardman and in particular the Wallace & Grommit properties, which includes Shaun the Sheep, are very popular indeed with both kids and adults.

  5. The issue has reappeared on the RM website. Also CSO has pictures of the stamps. This issue was rumoured to be intended to celebrate the centenary of the BBC, but there's nothing on the stamps about this. CSO speculates that the BBC and RM couldn't agree on the financials.

    Ian - I shouldn't breathe too much of a sigh of relief on the lack of a PSB - I've seen suggestions elsewhere that the Tutankhamun issue will have one.

  6. RM haven't yet sent advice notes to customers re this issue

  7. Stamps are now on RM Website.

  8. I spy a gap in the calendar - so presumably we will have the Lionesses' triumph commemorated on 17 November 2022. Surely the first international football trophy won in my lifetime by a UK national team will not go unmarked (I was born in late 1966.)

  9. Do I need to buy stamps? NO, but will I buy any of these? Probably, as a stamp user, some of the recipients/their families of my letters do like Aardman animations (and other "popular" themes RM have produced).

    1. Well, it appears I totally and utterly forgot about the stamps last week. I think I might just go without... though might try my main/crown for the miniature sheet (that's all they'll have received, other than perhaps presentation packs I am not interested in).

  10. Thnx Ian I now know what i should do with my mounts great stuff

  11. I like Aardman and I know people who do - so like M above - I might well buy a few for actual postage use. Will I buy all the "collectible" options? No. I'll enter any competitions I find (there's often one on Twitter) but that's it.

    I don't think the issue is justified. As Ian's illustrations show - there's been Aardman related issues fairly recently. Given that we already have Shaun the Sheep videos with barcoded stamps, I wonder if there is an ongoing licensing deal and RM want to squeeze everything they can out if it.

    The BBC Centenary is a much better topic to mark. The challenge would have been which shows to choose. Or whether to go with behind the scenes shots over the years - control room, Alexandra Palace, transmitter, OB van, cameras old and new.

  12. Not what I expected I was hoping RM to highlight 100 Years of BBC1 would have been better, or it could have been 60 Years of James Bond as Dr No is 60 years old this October / November, or it could have been a Dr Who set as well its celebrating 60 years as well, or could have been part of the 100 Years of BBC1 commerative set. And we do have a HRM Queen set incoming for the date of 10th November.

  13. Perhaps an indication of where things are going very quickly but Royal Mail might want to check their press releases a bit more closely, otherwise they might just further accelerate the decline in collecting British stamps...

    "The stamps go on general sale on 19 October, with the Presentation Pack, containing all 12 stamps, priced at £55"


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