Pixie Post, or Phantasy Philately

Today, Royal Mail release their Mythical Creatures stamps, six designs by Dave McKean:


Not being a stamp collector, I wasn’t sure whether to get a first day cover (which sounded like it might appreciate in value) or the presentation pack (which sounded more fun), so I stumped for both. The first day cover comes with the stamps stuck on a specially-designed envelope, and franked with a faun postmark, while the presentation pack has the stamps (unstuck) in clear pockets on a fold-out card with more Dave McKean designery inside, and some short pieces by Neil Gaiman on the mythical beasties in question.

My favourites have to be the dragon, the mermaid and the unicorn. They’re the simpler designs, both in content (just the creature in question against a misty-swirly background) and colour (each one being predominately one colour).

I was interested to read, on Neil Gaiman’s blog entry announcing the stamps, that one of the designs was going to be a banshee, till someone pointed out it might be thought letters bearing the banshee stamp were going to contain bad news. Did no-one point out that the 62p pixie stamp might be classed as snail mail?