It's late October, Christmas is a-coming and the year is drawing to a close but these facts do not provide a reason for Australia Post to give us all a break and lighten up on its new issue programme. A tidal wave of new issues is due to flood out from Australia Post's philatelic service in the run up to Christmas at no inconsiderable expense to collectors who can still be bothered to buy new issues from Australia Post.
Firstly Christmas itself. Where to begin? Well, first of all there are 5 rather undistinguished gummed stamps (3 "religious" in nature and 2 "secular") to be issued on 31 October 2016 which were designed by Stacey Zass and Stuart McClaclan and lithographed by EgoTrade Pty Ltd (secular designs) and McKellar Renown (religious designs) and perforated 14 x 14.5. These are accompanied by a gummed miniature sheet which contains the 3 "religious" stamps along with various self-adhesive stamps - the 2 x 65c "secular" stamps from a booklet of 20, the same stamps but in "embellished" form from a sheetlet and the "religious" stamps with the 65c coming from a booklet of 20 and the $1.70c and $2.55c values each from its own "sheetlet" of 5 designs. Rating:- *.
A head-spinning collection of miniature sheets will be released from 2 to 6 December 2016 in conjunction with the Asian International Stamp Exhibition to be held in Nanning in Guangxi Zhuang in China. A single miniature sheet depicting the inevitable koala bear will be issued as shown at the head of this blog and then 5 different miniature sheets reproducing the designs of the recently issued jewel bugs stamps will be released, a different one on each day of the exhibition. One hundred each of these Jewel bug sheets will additionally be overprinted with foil date marks and sold only at the exhibition itself. Eleven miniature sheets in all, five in a miniscule edition of 100 each. It's all very silly and reeks of desperation. Rating:- 0.
Australia Post will also issue further Christmas stamps but this time inscribed "Australia Christmas Island". These additional Christmas stamps take the form of 2 gummed stamps and 1 gummed miniature sheet plus 1 self-adhesive $1.80c stamp from a "sheetlet" of 5 stamps and 1 "embellished" self-adhesive stamp from a "sheetlet" of 10. The designs by Shane McGowan at least are cheerful. The stamps were lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- **.