Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Classic Children's Television: The Genius of Gerry Anderson - 11 January 2011 

Royal Mail kicks off the new year with another issue playing on nostalgia of 60-somethings - the Genius of Gerry Anderson.

In 1961 the ITV network broadcast a revolutionary new puppet show called Supercar. Frustrated by the primitive technology of previous puppet shows producer Gerry Anderson had devised a new kind of animation called Supermarionation. This featured much more technically sophisticated puppets that were able to lip-synch dialogue while the problem of locomotion was solved by the simple expedient of putting the characters into vehicles for much of the show. 

Combined with a fast moving sci-fi plot and plenty of special effects the show become an instant success and launched Anderson’s career. Anderson was to produce five more iconic Supermarionation shows during the decade that followed before moving into live action TV with UFO, The Protectors and Space 1999.

Stamp showing Gerry Anderson tv show Joe 90.Stamp showing Gerry Anderson tv show Captain Scarlet.
Stamp showing Gerry Anderson tv show Thunderbirds.Stamp showing Gerry Anderson tv show Stingray.
Stamp showing Gerry Anderson tv show Fireball XL5.Stamp showing Gerry Anderson tv show Supercar.
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The stamps are in se-tenant strips
of 3 (x2) within the sheet.
Click on links below for 1st & 97p blocks.

Stamp designs

1st class - Joe 90 - 1968 to 1969
1st class - Captain Scarlet - 1967 to 1968
1st class - Thunderbirds - 1965 to 1966
97p - Stingray - 1964 to 1965
97p - Fireball XL5 - 1962
97p - Supercar - 1961 to 1962

The stamps are in reverse chronological order.
Lenticular printed miniature sheet of 4 stamps showing Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds Thunderbirds 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Miniature Sheet

The Miniature Sheet focuses on Anderson’s most successful show Thunderbirds.

The four stamps feature Thunderbirds 1, 2, 3 and 4 and are Royal Mail’s first stamps to use lenticular

The Miniature Sheet can be tilted to show the launch sequences that were such an iconic part of the show’s opening titles that counted down to ‘Thunderbirds are Go!’.

The border completes the line up with Thunderbird 5

1st Class – Thunderbird 4
Often transported in one of Thunderbird 2’s pods Thunderbird 4 is a submarine piloted by Gordon Tracy.

60p – Thunderbird 3
Piloted by Alan Tracy Thunderbird 3 carries out deep space rescues.

88p – Thunderbird 2
Piloted by Virgil Tracy Thunderbird 2 transports International Rescue’s equipment wherever it’s needed.

97p – Thunderbird 1
Piloted by elder brother Scott Tracy Thunderbird 1 is always first on the scene of a rescue

The six iconic Gerry Anderson shows of: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90 were identified and this information was supplied to designers, GBH. GBH spent many hours trawling through video footage and stills to find the six images chosen to depict the shows which are shown in reverse chronological order.

Stamp by stamp - backwards in time

1st Class – Joe 90
Each week nine year old Joe would download special skills from the Big Rat computer to carry out secret missions Broadcast 1968 to 1969.

1st Class – Captain Scarlet
Rendered indestructible by the alien Mysterons, Spectrum agent Captain Scarlet and his colour coordinated colleagues save the world in 32 episodes broadcast from 1967 to 1968.

1st Class – Thunderbirds
From their island hideaway International Rescue coordinate amazing rescue missions with their fantastic machines - like transporter Thunderbird 2 seen about to blast off. Broadcast from 1965 to 1966.

97p – Stingray
From 1964 to 1965 Troy Tempest and Phones of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol, kept humanity safe from various undersea threats, in their submarine, Stingray. This was the first of Anderson’s shows in colour.

97p – Fireball XL5
Together with his robot sidekick Robert (who was voiced by Anderson) Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol kept the Earth safe from any interplanetary threat with his rocket ship Fireball XL5.

97p – Supercar
Featuring the adventures of inventor Mike Mercury and his amazing vehicle, that was equally at home on land, under water and in the air. First broadcast between 1961 and 1962.

Technical details:

Thunderbirds retail booklet issued 11.1.11.The conventionally gummed stamps and miniature sheet are designed by GBH.  The stamps are printed in lithography by Cartor Security Printing. The stamp size is 41 x 30 mm in sheets of 30/60 with all over phosphor.
The miniature sheet is microlenticular printed by Cartor Security Printing, Meaucé, France and Outer Aspect Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 115 x 89mm, with stamps 41 x 30 mm. 

The retail booklet, contains 2 x 1st class Thunderbirds and 4 x 1st class gold Machin definitives. This is printed by Walsall Security Printers in gravure on self-adhesive paper.  The Machin definitives have a new security code MA11 for 2011.

Licensing rights: Joe 90™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1969 and 2011; Captain Scarlet™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1967, 2001 and 2011; Thunderbirds™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1964, 1999 and 2011; Stingray © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1964,2002 and 2011; Fireball XL5™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1961, 2002 and 2011; Supercar © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1959, 2002 and 2011. All licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved.

All images are Copyright Royal Mail 2011.

Products issued and available from Royal Mail:
Mint set       Mint miniature sheet       Presentation Pack (contains set and MS)     Retail stamp booklet       Set of 11 Stamp Cards
Set on PO FDC     MS on PO FDC      

We will service a small quantity of self-adhesive Thunderbird and Machin singles on FDCs.  These will be for existing customers and any spare will be added to our online shop in due course.

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue will be shown below these may not be to scale.  NOTE: These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

Tallents House FD postmark for Gerry Anderson stamps. Slough FD postmark forThunderbirds stamps. Slough non-pictorial FD postmark for Thunderbird stamps. postmark showing puppet. postmark showing space rocket, planet & stars.
Ref FD1101
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
Ref FD1102 Slough East Sussex Official Postmark  Ref FD1102NP
Slough non-pictorial Postmark
Ref L11999
Bloomsbury, London WC1
Ref L12000
Slough Berkshire
postmark illustrated with space rocket. postmark showing Stingray. Postmark illustrated with space craft. Postmark showing a puppet. postmark showing spacecraft over island.
Ref L12002  London NW3 Ref L12001 London SE1
Ref M12008
Anderson Road, Birmingham
Ref M12007
Aston, Birmingham
Ref M12009
The Island, Tamworth
postmark showing a space station. Postmark showing registration plate FAB1. Postmark showing space craft. Postmark showing teddy bear logo of Ilkley toy museum. Postmark showig Gerry Anderson.
Ref L12003
Space Waye, Feltham, Middlesex
Ref W12013
Newton Tracey, N Devon
Ref N12010
The Rocket TSO, Liverpool 13
Ref N12011 Ilkley Toy Museum, West Yorkshire Ref L12016 The Genius of Gerry Anderson, Pinewood
Postmark. Postmark showing Thunderbird scenes. Postmark, inscription as below.

Ref L12017
Tracey Avenue Slough Fanderson
Ref L12018  Century 21 Productions, Slough Trading Estate Ref L12015 Great Britain New Issues Commemorative Stamps of 2011 London WC1

If you wish to be told when this page is updated, please use the ChangeDetection panel alongside the stamps at the top of the page. If you have any questions about these stamps please email us.
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This page updated 8 January 2011

2009 - 2010
 2011 issues 
Visit our online shop!
11 Classic Children's Television: Gerry Anderson
11 Thunderbirds retail booklet
24 Pictorial Faststamps 2 - Garden Birds 2
1 Classic Railway Locomotives: England
12 Indipex Stamp Exhibition Generic Smilers Sheet
West End Stage Musicals
24 British Heart Foundation Retail Booklet
8 Magical Realms
8 Low-value Machins
22 Worldwide Fund for Nature
29 Machin & Country Definitives
30 50th Ann Jaguar E-type Com.Sheet
12 The Royal Shakespeare Company
21 The Royal Wedding
5 Morris & Company
19 Pictorial Faststamps 3: Water Birds
14 Rev Wm Awdry: Thomas the Tank Engine
27 Olympics & Paralympics III
& Olympic Games retail book

28 Exhibition Generic Smilers Sheet for Phila'nippon 11, Japan
23 The Crown Jewels
9 World's First Scheduled Airmail
15 Kings & Queens: House of Hanover
16 Pictorial Faststamps 4: Sea Birds
13 A-Z of the United Kingdom (1)
8 Christmas - 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible


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Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB. -- UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic

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