The Royal Mail Olympic Stamp pins arrived today, so here's an update.
As mentioned previously, each pin is presented with the matching stamp on a card. The stamp is held in a type of blister pack which exactly fits it, so the stamp does not move.
The card measures 8cm x 10cm and carries the London 2012 brand and logo. The top left of the card contains the name of the collection, the bottom left, the name of the sport and the bottom right the number of the pack in the series.
The back of the card carries a short piece about the sport represented as well as the usual bar code, manufacturer and copyright information. The holographic sticker is also on the back.
The back of the card also lists the next sport in the series, so for example, set 1 - 'Athletics: Track' shows that Cycling is the next in the series, even though the Cycling stamp wasn't released at the same time as this stamp. We presumed that the first pins would run in order and show the first stamps issued.
So onto the pin. Each pin measures 29mm x 29, and is printed because the detail and complexity of the images means that soft enamel would be impossible, and in fact the printing suits the fact that this is a 'stamp on a pin'. Here are images of the pin and a close up to show the print effect and the 'perforated' edge
The back of the pin is also printed and has the pattern and information box. The pins have an issue size of 20,000 and are marked
TM (C) LOCOG 2011
Overall a well thought out collectable, which has been thoughtfully presented.
However, for pin collectors who are only looking for the pin and not the 'pack' there are two things to note.
Firstly, the packs are priced at £7.99. Not too bad for a stamp/pin collectable where the packaging is of good quality. However if you are just interested in the pin, it's a little expensive for a printed pin. Maybe the pins will become available on their own rather than in the pack.
Secondly, each pin has been stuck to the card with a type of small sticky fixer. Presumably this is to stop the pin moving in transit and on display, and therefore ensure the pack always looks correct, rather than the pin spinning upside down. But the glue used is too strong and leaves residue which you need chemicals to remove. If you want to detach the pin from the card to wear or to even see the pin number, you need to slide a knife behind the pin, avoiding damaging the card and then slice the foam fixer so that part stays on the card and part stays on the pin. The part left on the pin needs to be cleaned off with some sort of adhesive remover (without scratching the back) and we've yet to think of a way to remove the sticker left on the card without damaging that. We can't help but wish they had used the type of rubber-glue that publishers use to stick things to the front of magazines. That way the pin could be easily detached and the glue 'rolled-off' the card.