Sunday 23 August 2015

620. IGPC's China Syndrome.

  I now illustrate more recently announced philatelic products released by IGPC, a US-based philatelic agency which also has a Beijing office, and issued in the name of the Commonwealth Queen's Realm of Grenada
  The first is an extraordinary set of 15 different stamps which between them depict a huge military parade through the streets of Beijing complete with tanks, marching soldiers, heavy guns mounted on vehicles and rocket launchers. The issue has been released "to honour China". The total face value is EC$ 67.50c (£15.93p). The date of issue is said to have been 3 August 2015.
   If Grenada wishes to honour The People's Republic Of China on its stamps, and it may well wish to for all I know, surely the producers of its stamps could have produced a more suitable subject to link the 2 countries than an enormous military parade. Then again, I don't suppose the Grenadan postal administration has had much input into the design of these philatelic products. Clearly these "stamps" have been produced with the sole aim of appealing to the large Chinese philatelic market and trying to increase sales there rather than having any consideration for what sort of stamps Grenadans may wish to stick on their mail. Rating:- 0.

  A second set inscribed "Grenada" from IGPC which is also clearly aimed at the Chinese philatelic market (much of the inscription is in Mandarin) is a set of 5 "stamps" which depicts Allied World War II leaders (De Gaulle, Churchill and Roosevelt together with Stalin plus Mao Zedong). The hatched shading of the stamps' background suggests that the designer of the Beijing military parade set was also responsible for these items, each with a face value of EC$ 4.50c (total $22.50c or £5.31p). In modern times, Stalin is viewed in the West at least, as a monster responsible for the death of millions of people and so I'm sure that Grenadans will be delighted to see his image depicted on one of their stamps. The stated date of issue is 3 August 2015. Rating:- 0.

  The IGPC website says that "one third of the world's philatelists reside" in China and that "always on the lookout for opportunities to expand the stamp markets of its government clients, IGPC was the first  foreign philatelic agent to open a permanent office in China". "From the capital of Beijing, IGPC promotes the sales of its clients' postage stamps, while facilitating consumer research amongst this grandiose population of collectors. The research here is used to devise stamp design and marketing strategies to boost sales in the Asian market, and ultimately greater income for the agency's government clients". 
  So it appears that research carried out in China dictates what will appear on stamps which are produced in the name of Grenada, Ghana and Papua New Guinea (but presumably not St. Vincent And The Grenadines and St. Kitts both of which have produced stamps emphasising diplomatic ties with Taiwan in recent years - though interestingly the latter set, issued over a year ago, has not yet  been promoted on the philatelic market since, one supposes, such an issue might annoy IGPC's mainland Chinese clients). This research in China has therefore, one assumes, identified that if Grenada 
has a large Chinese military parade depicted on its stamps along with the likes of Stalin and Mao Zedong then it will receive a "greater income" from its "boosted" philatelic sales. Interesting isn't it? 

  On the subject of St. Kitts, in Blog 618 I illustrated some recently released philatelic items from IGPC inscribed with the name of St. Kitts and I now add more illustrations of those issues:-

  3 August 2015 -  Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo - 1 miniature sheet now illustrated:-

   3 August 2015 - Domestic cats - Sheetlet of 6 different stamps now illustrated:-

   3 August 2015 - Birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge - Sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-

   3 August 2015 - Singapore 2015 Philatelic Exhibition - Sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

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  1. Their Beijing office does more then only boosting sales. All IGPC stamps are printed in China by the same printer which prints the Chinese stamps. The IGPC stamps and the Chinese stamps have the same sizes and perforation.

  2. In terms of monsters and victims, Mao isn't that far behind Stalin. The Great Forward and Cultural Revolution carried with this a high human cost. Given their names, I wonder if they shouldn't be celebrated with an issue too.