Friday, 18 October 2019

Nerdy Stamps Galore!

Hey guys! Happy Friday! Well, blogging is going just great for me this month, isn't it? :D Oops! I've been full of a cold and the seasonal changes in temperature are starting to have an effect on me already! I feel like I have been in a constant state of brain fog this past week, and so productive Sarah has gone into hibernation and sluggish Sarah has taken over my life XD I need to find a way to get my productivity groove on again! Any tips?

So anyway, a few months ago  (yeah, it's taken me that long to share!), I bought some fabulous nerdtastic stamps!! For those of you who don't know already, one of my hobbies, that I've been partaking in ever since I was in my early teens, is penpaling/ snailmailing/ good old fashioned letter-writing. I just love it!! I mean, who doesn't love receiving fun mail? And I find a lot of joy in brightening up someone else's day with my mail! One of my favourite things about getting letters and postcards from all around the World is the fact that I get to see so many different stamps :) There are some gorgeous, excellent designs out there, such as The Moomins stamps from Finland and Disney stamps from North America! Did you know that we also have 'fancy' picture stamps available here in the UK? Today's post is going to be all about two of my absolute favourite editions of stamps that we've had since I first started this beloved hobby of mine. I hope you all enjoy reading, as much as I enjoy telling you about them! 

A photo showing a selection of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter picture stamps

I usually hold off sharing a photo of the contents of my blog posts until later in the post, so that it doesn't show up as a the cover photo/ thumbnail/ whatever it's called, and thus give away spoilers before you all have a chance to read it. However, I really love how this photo turned out so I couldn't resist! How gorgeous are these stamps though!? Keep reading to see them up close :) 

Before I talk more about these fabulous stamps, I wanted to tell you guys all about the types of stamp sets that are available on the Royal Mail website (and at some post offices) and the sort of prices you can expect. The Royal Mail release several purchasing options when it comes to their new stamp editions. My favourite to buy are 'Presentation Packs'. By buying these, not only do you get one of every stamp in that collection but also the most awesome packaging, filled with artwork and information about the stamp theme, that you can use to keep your stamps in. These cost £11.20 each, but you get fifteen 1st class stamps typically, unless the stamps in that particular collection are valued at more than a 1st class price (such as £1.25 stamps, and so forth). There is also options to buy smaller design-specific set, such as a sheet of five individual 1st class stamps from that collection. I don't know if I'm explaining that well, but I will show you guys an example in this post :) These are £3.70 (because 1st class stamps are now 70-something pence each!). 

That's enough rambling... I don't want to bore you all :D On with the stamps! 

A photo showing a Game of Thrones Picture Stamps Set

The main reason that I did this haul in the first place was to get some of the Game of Thrones stamps. I wasn't sure if there would be any left, since they had been out for quite a while by the time I had the cash available to buy them. I was very happy to discover that they were still online!! (Although I don't think they are now, sorry guys!). I already had a book of the GoT 1st Iron Throne stamps that I bought from my local post office a few weeks before to keep in my wallet and use whenever I needed to post something, but I wanted all of the picture stamps to keep and never use :) I, of course, opted for the presentation pack, and LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS IT IS!! 

Inside this pack, you get fifteen stamps! These ten character stamps above, and also the other sheet which includes four giant stamps of the Direwolves, Giants, Dragons and The Night King and his White Walkers, plus a little standard-sized stamp of the Iron Throne. These stamps are honestly so stunning, even better in person! Every stamp is so detailed, featuring a background behind each character depicting a scene/location related to them. 

A photo showing a Game of Thrones Picture Stamps Set

My favourite are Tyrion and Arya, but I might be a little bias since they are my favourite characters from the TV series and the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Behind Tyrion, we get artwork showing wildfire burning bright green during the Battle of Blackwater Bay. I really like that they chose this scene because even though it was tragic for those on the receiving end of it, it showed that Tyrion had great skill when it came to battle tactics and his talents really got to shine in the scene! Plus green is my favourite colour so it's nice that my favourite character has been paired with it. As for the Arya stamp, it's fantastic that she's got her trusty needle in hand and looks ready to kick some ass, haha! 

My other favourite designs are the Eddard Stark stamp because I just love that they've chosen a beautiful weirwood tree as the background, and also the Direwolf stamp because it has all six one them on there: Nymeria, Shaggy Dog, Summer, Lady, Grey Wind, and a very angry-looking Ghost. I love all of the stamps to be honest, except for the dragon one. I absolutely adore the dragons from GoT, with my favourite being Rhaegal so it's great that he's made it onto the stamp, but for some reason they haven't include Viserion, and the picture that they decided to use for Drogon is really crappy looking in my opinion, out of all the amazing CGI used for them on the show, it seems they have chosen one of the worst... he looks very unrealistic (as far as fantasy creatures can look unrealistic), and it doesn't blend in well with the overall look of the stamp. Would you agree? Aside from that one stamp, I am super impressed! 

A photo showing a Westeros map from Game of Thrones and some stamps

As for the presentation pack artwork I mentioned before, inside the Game of Thrones one you get this huge map of Westeros, which is really cool and would look great up on the wall framed! It has detailed illustrations of key landmarks and is annotated. What's not to love, if you're a fan of the franchise!? Also, poking out of the left side of the map, you can see another item that I picked up from this collection, and that is a 'First Day Edition Envelope'. I only recently discovered, thanks to someone posting their envelope haul on Instagram, that the Royal Mail sell these envelopes along with each new collection that features a illustration keeping in with the theme. It only cost me 30p and it's a big envelope! I'm definitely going to be looking out for more of these with future stamp collections :) Did any of you guys know about these envelopes? 

A photo showing a set of Harry Potter stamps

Since I was already buying stamps, I wanted to snap up some from the Harry Potter collection before they ran out. Just like with the GoT stamps, I had already picked up a couple of the stamps featuring Harry himself when I went to my local post office to send some postcards, and I had no idea that there was actually a Professors sheet available!! I bought the presentation pack as soon as I noticed this sheet, and I am delighted to add all of the others to my small collection of stamps (*ones that I want to save, which so far includes an Alice in Wonderland collection and a Beatrix Potter one). As always, you get fifteen stamps in the pack: Hagrid's Motorbike, Ginny, the Triwizard Cup, Neville, the Knight Bus, Hermione, the Hogwarts Express, Harry, Ron and his dad's Flying Ford Anglia, as well as Professor Sprout, Slughorn, Trelawney, Lupin and my main man, Snape. 

My favourite stamps are Hagrid's Motorbike, the Knight Bus, Neville, Ginny, Lupin & obviously, Snape *insert gif of Snape saying obviously* :D Even though Neville and Ginny are not my favourite characters from the franchise, I really like that they have been featured in this collection since I feel like their characters don't get a lot of representation, even though they are integral to the story. Just like many other fans, I feel like the movies really neglected Ginny, when in the books she's an brilliant character! So yeah, it's great to see her and Mr Longbottom getting some love. 

A photo showing a set of Harry Potter stamps

The reason I love the stamp of the Knight Bus and Hagrid's Motorbike has more to do with the backgrounds. As with the GoT stamps, these HP ones have very detailed backgrounds. Hagrid's Motorbike has dementors looming behind Harry and Hagrid, and the Knight Bus has a picture of the Sirius Black's Animagus form. They both feature the moon as well, and I'm a big fan of the celestial aesthetic :) 

The thing that I like most about this presentation pack is second sheet featuring the Professors. I am absolutely lovin' that the background for the sheet is the Marauder's Map and that it has the infamous line, I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. It makes the potterhead in me smile :D Like with what I said about Ginny and Neville, it's marvellous to see some of the other Hogwarts teachers getting more focus. I'd have expected to see a stamp of Dumbledore, McGonagall, and maybe Quirrell or Lockhart, or another stamp of Hagrid. Instead we get Professor Slughorn, Sprout and Trelawney (I really like that she's holding a crystal ball, too) and I think that's wonderful! If you've been following me for a while, you will know that I am a massive fangirl when it comes to Severus Snape, so it will be no surprise to you that I would immediately love his stamp. What I like most about it though is his facial expression; in typical Snape fashion, he looks thoroughly unimpressed. 

A photo showing Harry Potter information poster and stamps

The artwork inside this presentation pack is a lot more simple than the GoT one, but not any less awesome. I love the wisps of smoky purples, blues and greens throughout, and how it borders the stills from the movies, especially the train one in the centre. It has information on each of the topics/objects featured on the stamps, which means it's also great for anyone who isn't a fan of Harry Potter to buy and still be able to learn about the subject. 

I said that I would show you all an example of the individual character packs that I was trying to describe at the start of my post, so here it is. The sheet that you can see above is the set of five 1st class stamps that I bought for just under £4. I love that these stamps still come in their own little illustrated presentation card. It's very pretty! I bought these stamps to actually use on my snailmail, and I'm considering using the card afterwards to store any loose stamps that I might happen to pick up from the post office in the future. 

Before I finish up this post, there's something more I want to show you...

A photo showing a set of four Game of Thrones stamp postcards

And that's stamp postcards!! I first discovered these a few years ago in the bigger post office one town over from my hometown, and I think they are really cool! For each collection that the Royal Mail releases, they also make matching postcards! Of course, they are intended for you to use with the stamps, but I just buy them to use for my postcard swapping hobby. They always feature a huge picture of the stamp, surrounded by a pale brown shade that makes the stamp stand out even more. 

The post office in the town next-door to mine opens up the packets and allows you to buy them individually, but when you order them online, you have to purchase the whole pack. It cost me £7.20 for sixteen Game of Thrones postcards (one for each of the stamps, and then one featuring a picture of the entire sheet with the Direwolves, giants, etc.) Not bad considering that they work out at 45p each! You could send them, keep from or even frame them/stick them up on your wall. I don't know if I will be able to bring myself to use them; we'll see! 

A photo showing a haul of Royal Mail Harry Potter and Game of Thrones Stamps

So those were all the stamps and other postage goodies that I ordered a few months ago. I am over the moon with them. They always look so much more stunning when they arrive! I know not all of you will be into stamps and snailmail stuff, but I hope that you all enjoyed reading about them nonetheless. The stamps are lovely to look at, at least :) I cannot wait to see the next nerdy stamp designs the Royal Mail comes out with... I've got some Star Wars ones, and there's even been a Marvel collection this year. It would be fantastic if I was able to bring these picture stamps to the attention of whose who might never have heard of them before, so please let me know if I did! Even if you're not a letter writer, picture stamps can be a nice way to decorate an envelope when you are sending birthday cards to your loved ones and such, so it's worth looking into the upcoming collections. I am looking forward to seeing what this years Christmas stamps will look like! If only we had special Halloween stamps, don't you think? (pretty please, Royal Mail, if you're reading this!). 

I'd love to know which presentation pack you guys prefer: Harry Potter or Game of Thrones? I'm also very curious which individual stamps are your favourite. So definitely let me know in the comments :) 

Thankyou for reading! 


Who are the best Game of Thrones characters in your opinion? 

How about Harry Potter characters? 

Also, have you ever bought picture stamps? Tell me about them! 

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