New Zealand is home to Middle-earth once again, with the release of the first of three films based on 'The Hobbit', entitled 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'.
‘In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.’
From this humble sentence coined by J.R.R. Tolkien in the early 1930s, the novel we know today as The Hobbit was born. Its sequel, The Lord of the Rings took New Zealand by storm when our very own Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson brought the trilogy to the big screen.
New Zealand is home to Middle-earth once again, with the release of the first of three films based on The Hobbit, entitled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The film follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers.
New Zealand Post is excited to issue official stamps and coins celebrating The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The range of stamp and coin products not only portray the characters and themes of the film, but also reflect New Zealand as the home of Middle-earth, and are destined to be collectables for years to come.
The set of six gummed stamps features key characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Use them to send a letter from Middle-earth, or keep them as special mementos of the film.
70c - Bilbo Baggins
Like all Hobbits, Bilbo Baggins is fond of his comfortable existence, but his life changes forever when he is unexpectedly swept away from his home in the Shire to embark upon an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
$1.40 - Gollum
Once a hobbit-like creature named Sméagol, Gollum’s body and soul have been poisoned by the power of a small, plain, gold ring that he has kept hidden deep in a dark cavern within the Misty Mountains.
$1.90 - Gandalf
One of the most powerful Wizards in all Middle-earth, Gandalf the Grey joins the quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor and the great treasure that lies within its stone halls from a fire-breathing dragon, Smaug the Terrible.
$2.10 - Thorin Oakenshield
A strong, fearless fighter and respected leader of The Company of Dwarves, Thorin is determined to reclaim his homeland and destroy the beast that brought such misery upon his people.
$2.40 - Radagast
Forgetful, easily distracted and quite eccentric, Radagast is more comfortable talking to animals than he is to people. A fellow Wizard and friend of Gandalf the Grey, Radagast is one of the guardians of the great forests of Middle-earth.
$2.90 - Elrond
One of the wisest and most ancient of the Elves remaining in Middle-earth, Elrond is Master of Rivendell, the Last Homely House East of the Sea. During The Company of Thorin Oakensield’s brief stay, Elrond provides shelter and supplies to Bilbo and the Dwarves.
For definitions on stamp products and terms that you may come across in this stamp issue click here.
|Date of issue:||1 November 2012|
|Number of stamps:||Six gummed stamps and six self-adhesive stamps|
|Designed by:||Stamps and Collectables Business, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Denominations:||70c, $1.40, $1.90, $2.10, $2.40 and $2.90|
|Printer and process:||Gummed: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography. Self-adhesive: Australia Post, Sprintpak, Australia|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours plus clear spot overgloss (self-adhesive stamps have phosphor screen)|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 50mm x 25mm (four vertical, two horizontal). Self-adhesive: 37mm x 26mm (four vertical, two horizontal)|
|Paper type:||Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper. Self-adhesive: Avery Dennison B90 Kraft Back WLK5 stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14.4 x 14. Self-adhesive: die cut|
|Period of sale:||Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 31 October 2013|