Collectibles Video Games Special Stamps Visual

Published on January 22nd, 2020 | by Sam Rose

Royal Mail Bring the Nostalgia with the Video Games Special Stamps 2020 Release – Out Now!

Royal Mail are kicking off 2020 with a dose of nostalgia in the form of the Video Games Special Stamps issue this January!

There can be no denying the monumental impact that the video games industry has had on the world throughout the years.

From humble beginnings to now becoming an industry worth approximately £4 billion just in Britain alone, the sudden popularity boom of video games as a hobby and as a form of interactive entertainment can be traced back to the early 1980’s.

In their very first Special Stamps issue of 2020, the Royal Mail have delved into the annals of gaming history to unveil some of Britain’s most loved and treasured video games, with many spanning on to become worldwide successes.

Evoking a real sense of nostalgia and joy, the Video Games Special Stamps issue contains eight exquisite designs to help mark the UK’s contribution to the gaming world during the 80’s, 90’s and up to the modern day.

So grab a joystick or a control pad as we take an in-depth look at each of these exciting featured stamp designs!

Video Games Special Stamps

2nd Class – Elite

Video Games Special Stamps - Elite

Video Game Background:

Created originally in 1984 by David Braben and Ian Bell for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron home computers before then being released on all major platforms within the era just shortly after, Elite is a seminal 3D space-trading combat simulator.

With the aim of travelling the galaxy in search of action, adventure and profit, the player is thrust into the action with the use of a basic spaceship and with a meagre 100-credit in-game bank balance, with an end objective to amass a financial fortune.

Players are then encouraged into achieving this feat by engaging in thrilling activities such as asteroid mining and the trading of goods from star system to star system.

Additionally, players can opt to take part in more risky pursuits towards their prize through piracy, bounty hunting and special military themed missions.

Succeeding within any of these epic endeavors earns the player credits which can used to buy more powerful and sophisticatedly equipped spaceships to enable them to take part in even more dangerous and perilous adventures with the ultimate goal of reaching the game’s top rank of ‘Elite’.

£1.60 – Dizzy

Video Games Special Stamps - Dizzy

Video Game Background:

The brainchild creation between a pair of young coders named Andrew and Philip Oliver, better known to many in the gaming world as the Oliver Twins, Dizzy was released in 1987 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC home computers.

A whimsical platform game at its core, the game stars Dizzy, an anthropomorphic egg, who players must guide through the fairy-tale land of Katmandu in search of a number of magical items, which when combined in a magic caldron, can be used to defeat the evil wizard Zaks.

Straight forward in its principle, the game soon enthralls gamers by making Dizzy’s mission much tougher than players would perhaps expect, with a number of fiendishly difficult riddles and object-based puzzles along with the incoming threat of many on-screen enemies only intensifying the challenge that lies ahead.

Whilst Dizzy is a notoriously difficult game, the challenge it provides hasn’t swayed a large proportion of today’s gamers, helping to further solidify it as a video game classic.

£1.60 – Populous

Video Games Special Stamps - Populous

Video Game Background:

Whilst Dizzy might have had some gamers feeling powerless at times, cult video game designer Peter Molyneux and his team at Bullfrog Productions decided to put the power back into players hands with the release of Populous in 1989 for the Commodore Amiga.

Regarded as one of the very first ‘god-games’ to capture player’s imaginations, Populous places you in the role of a deity, capable of supreme levels of power whilst tasked with overseeing the health and well being of your devoted followers.

The game advises players to take responsibility for the power they are able to wield by cultivating their land to allow their followers to prosper and grow in strength and in numbers, as the player soon realizes they are not alone in this in-game world, with an enemy god with its own followers making its presence known.

In order to set back their enemies development, players are given access to element based powers such as the ability to unleash earthquakes, create swamps and disperse floods across the land but would be mistaken to think that the opposing enemy was not able to cast the same mayhem upon them.

This often results in an apocalyptic scale battle, in which only one true victor can be crowned…

1st Class – Lemmings

Video Games Special Stamps - Lemmings

Video Game Background:

Beginning life as an animation experiment on the Commodore Amiga Deluxe Paint software package, Lemmings was adapted into a full-scale video game in 1991 and was released on the Commodore Amiga.

Created by DMA Design’s Mike Dailly and David Jones, the concept of this action-puzzle game requires the player to safely guide a group of lemmings of marked exits over the course of several different levels.

Whilst the premise may sound simple, the reality soon proved not to be for many gamers, as each lemming in the game continuously walks in the direction that it currently faces, resulting in many of the in-games maps becoming populated with a plethora of dangerous hazards and obstacles that gamers must ensure their group of lemmings make it through.

Players are not left completely helpless with their objective of guiding each lemming to their safety however, as they are provided with different skills that they must equip lemmings with in order to make each perilous mission possible, such as a blocker that will force other lemmings to turn around, climbers that will create steps over hazards and diggers who can burrow through the landscape.

Each of these skills are essential in helping to create a safe route for the lemmings to reach the end-of-level exits, with each stage of the game proving more and more challenging as the player ventures on.

£1.55 – Micro Machines

Video Games Special Stamps - Micro Machines

Video Game Background:

Based on the popular toy-car product line of the same name, Micro Machines was released in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive, despite initially beginning out as an original racing game under the working title of California Buggy Boys.

The game was made a reality when the design team at Codemasters struck a deal with the US toymaker Galoob in order to procure a license for their game concept and was subsequently fully endorsed as an official product of the Micro Machines brand.

And the positive results of this collaboration couldn’t have been more telling, as gamers were soon transfixed by this exciting viewed-from-above arcade racing game, with the game itself receiving a critical reception and rave reviews upon its release.

The beauty of this title would lie in its overall simplicity which hid a wacky twist – players take control of a miniature car from the Micro Machines franchise and race against computer-controlled opponents in a bid to become the first past the finish post.

Whilst the action is already fast and furious due to the overall speed of the gameplay, the stakes are ramped up by the crazy environments that players traverse their car through, including the likes of tracks that take place on breakfast tables, pool tables and even within a tree house, with a smattering of humorous hazards and obstacles making each race both challenging but at the same time, extremely fun to be involved in.

1st Class – Sensible Soccer

Video Games Special Stamps - Sensible Soccer

Video Game Background:

The team at Sensible Software will probably have had no idea just how influential and beloved their football simulator would become once it was released in 1992 for the Commodore Amiga, but it would be no exaggeration to say that Sensible Soccer has gone on to cement itself as the epitome of a video game treasure.

Whilst football video games were consistently popular since the very start of the computer age, it was Sensible Soccer that would truly change the landscape of the genre, with what many regard as one of the finest digital iterations of the sport even to this day.

Featuring a zoomed-out, top-down view of the football field, Sensible Soccer utilises an innovative and highly responsive control scheme that delivers some truly satisfying slick and smooth football action.

One of the most unique aspects of the game is the player’s ability to bend and lift the ball once it has been kicked, which often results in some truly spectacular looking spinning shots and inch-perfect curled passes between players in each team.

Unsurprisingly, the competitive fun that could be had between two football-mad players on the game resulted in Sensible Soccer becoming an instant smash hit in the gaming world until later being advanced by football simulators such as FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer on today’s video game consoles.

£1.55 – Wipeout

Video Games Special Stamps - Wipeout

Video Game Background:

If you ever fantasized about taking part in the high thrills, fast paced world of anti-gravity racing, then you received your wish in 1995 with the introduction of Wipeout for the Sony PlayStation.

Developed in Liverpool at Sony Psynosis’s offices, Wipeout whisked you away on a trip to the year 2052 and thrust you into the driving seat of a floating, rocket-like craft to take part in the F3600 Anti-Gravity League whilst racing along tight, twisting tracks that took players through some awe-inspiring futuristic cityscapes.

The action of Wipeout is fiercely competitive, especially when considering the addition of weapons that players can obtain to help give them an advantage on each track including the likes of missiles, bombs and mines.

Whilst Wipeout featured some truly innovative gameplay, it was also one of the first games to utilise a fully licensed gaming soundtrack that players can hear booming in the background to already add to the heart-poundingly tense on-screen action.

The soundtrack contained a plethora of futuristic beats from many electronic dance music artists of the mid 1990’s such as The Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Leftfield, with other notable visible touches added to the game and created by the famed graphics company The Designers Republic turning Wipeout into a true thrill-ride of a gaming experience.

2nd Class – Worms

Video Games Special Stamps - Worms

Video Game Background:

Another small project which soon blossomed into a video game titan, Worms was created initially by Andy Davidson as an entry for a magazine’s programming software competition.

Whilst the home-brew based game didn’t win in the competition, the concept soon picked up interest before Andy and his game were signed up by the development studio Team17, before receiving a general release on the Commodore Amiga in 1995.

Following in the simplistic type of approach of Lemmings and Dizzy, the foundations of the game that gamers soon would dig underneath the surface to uncover were what made this truly a gem in the gaming world and for years to come.

The game tasks players to take control of a squad of armed worms, with the objective to eliminate an opposing group of worms which are located on the opposite side of the screen using an assortment of weapons and environmental hazards.

Players must ensure to look after the health of each member of their squad, with each worm equipped with both limited and non-limited use weapons and tools which all contain their own unique functionalities and uses.

An element of challenge and puzzle work is added to the proceedings as gamers must put their thinking into gear on how to use each of these items in order to successfully take out the opposing army, with the cartoon style graphics and amusing sound effects delighting many amongst the fun chaotic gameplay.

The Video Game Heroics of Lara Croft Celebrated with the Tomb Raider Miniature Sheet

Along with these eight Special Stamps celebrating the success of some of Britain’s best regarded video game releases, this phenomenal new issue of Video Games Special Stamps also pays tribute to the thrilling Tomb Raider franchise.

Designed and created at Derby-based studio Core Design, the very first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996 on the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC and starred Lara Croft, an archaeologist thrown into a perilous adventure across the world in order to search for three parts of a sacred relic called the Atlantean Scion, which if in the wrong hands, can create an evil army of mutant beings.

Tomb Raider became a gigantic success, selling over seven million copies and kick-starting several other subsequent adventures which spanned seventeen further games and three movie releases.

This Tomb Raider Miniature Sheet contains four additional stamps which highlight some of the unique items and artefacts that Lara uncovers during her many gaming adventures.

These include:

1st Class – Atlantean Scion

First Seen In:

Tomb Raider (1996)

Background:

Discovered by Lara Croft in the very first Tomb Raider game, the Atlantean Scion is a three-piece artefact whose component parts were originally held by the rulers of Atlantis.

£1.55 – Ora Dagger

First Seen In:

Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft (1998)

Background:

Featured in the 1998 game, Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft, the Ora Dagger enables its wielder to summon terrifying beasts and manipulate static electricity to create powerful bolts of lightning.

£1.55 – Philosopher’s Stone

First Seen In:

Tomb Raider Chronicles (2000)

Background:

Imbued with the power to transform metal into gold, the Philosopher’s Stone is the artefact that leads Lara Croft on some very dangerous adventures in the 2000 video game release, Tomb Raider Chronicles.

1st Class – Ceremonial Dagger

First Seen In:

Tomb Raider (2013)

Background:

In the 2013 reboot of the original Tomb Raider game, Lara Croft collects a variety of objects as she battles the Solarii Brotherhood and the Stormguard.

These items include statues, urns and ceremonial daggers.

Other collectibles included as part of the Video Games Special Stamps issue are:

• A Presentation Pack containing all eight Special Stamps plus the Tomb Raider Miniature Sheet in a colorfully designed package which features the detailed thoughts and overviews of each game by video games expert, Julian ‘Jaz’ Rignall.

• A Framed Stamp Set featuring each of the eight Video Games Special Stamps professionally mounted and finished with a black ash effect frame.

• A Collectors Sheet based on the Tomb Raider franchise containing ten of the Miniature Sheet Stamps and ten accompanying labels, which all feature Tomb Raider’s main character Lara Croft in different scenes from the video games.

• A Retail Stamp Book containing four First Class Definitive Stamps as well as two Special Stamps depicting Tomb Raider, Lara Croft.

Get your game on – The Video Game Special Stamps issue is available on the Post Office Shop website now!

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