Twelve months ago I was so looking forward to this issue, but as usual The market will be once again flooded with loads of stamps that no one really wants.
Due for release in June to compliment the miniature sheet and Prestige booklet which will be issued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Machin definitive The "Machin Smilers Sheet" was added to the program. This sheet is said to have been designed to look like a page from a collector's album.
Originally called "Smilers" due to the fact several of the first issues of this type contained "Smilers" special issue stamps .
Recently collectors have given these a change of name to that of "Generic Sheets". I have my own name for them "Rip off sheets" Just my opinion but there are far to many of these sheets being issued. I think its fair to say that one is issued with every other release, not to mention extra sheets for shows and exhibitions.
I feel and find from comments of other collectors that this is just another money making exercise from Royal Mail that has got out of hand, saying this someone must be buying them, well they would as they were designed to extract as much money as they can from poor collectors wallets.
I have to admit I have never bought one for my self, they do nothing for me whats so ever. Anyway now that I have had a moan, I will get down to business and describe what will be on offer.
The Machin sheet (shown above at a reduced size) will consist of 20 x 1st class Machin Special issue stamps with a difference, these will depict a portrait of Arnold Machin himself smiling for the camera.
Sadly there are no official Machin definitives that will be of interest to Machinites or are valid for postage on this sheet. What will be of interest are reproductions printings of pre decimal Machins which will be depicted on the labels ajoining the stamps . These are the complete basic range ½d, 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d sepia, 4d red, 5d, 6d, 7d, 8d red, 8d blue, 9d, 10d, 1/-, 1/6, 1/9, 2/6, 5/-, 10/-, £1.
The labels are very nice, but I would have prefered it vice versa ( postally valid Machin stamps and the labels depicting Arnold ). Its my guess, so would the majority of Machin collectors.
What is interesting is the labels will also show the issue date and official colour descriptions of the re production pre decimal stamps.