Serious and amateur collectors alike are always hoping to find the next ‘big thing’. With rarity and mint condition comes value and so the hunt is on to unearth hidden treasures that may net the owner a small fortune.

Then there are those collectors who are looking for stamps which also coincide with another interest.

In this instance, special issues that may not be worth a great deal (because they have been printed in large quantities) will still hold an appeal for somebody with a particular hobby or pursuit. An example may be a sci-fi enthusiast who loves all things fantasy, space and interplanetary.

These are the philatelists who are looking for that stand-out stamp to complete a collection that, although may not be hugely valuable, is still out of this world.

Star Wars stamps

Following its release in 1977, Star Wars went on to become one of the most profitable and influential franchises in film history.

Not surprisingly, it produced a whole industry in terms of memorabilia, toys and must-have items.

When the Royal Mail issued a series of special Star Wars stamps in 2015, diehard fans were quick to get their hands on the designs.

Iconic characters including Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker all featured. Meanwhile, the stamps also paid homage to some of the films’ most striking space ships, such as the Millennium Falcon and Death Star.

There was a further release in 2017 to celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Depicting a mix of old and new characters, Chewbacca, BB-8, Supreme Leader Snoke and R2-D2 were all given a starring role in the specially commissioned artwork. Some of the stamps even featured secret details, which could only be revealed by UV light.

Superhero designs

In a parallel fantasy universe, it’s the superheroes who are on hand to save the earth and fight off evil.

It’s no surprise then, that characters such as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man have featured on Royal Mail special issue stamps.

Then there are the real-life superheroes who have actually made it their life’s work to chart the unknown territory of space.

The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions have all been celebrated on American stamps, to mark the advancement of spacecraft and exploration.

Contact the experts

The team at Tony Lester Auctions has years of experience in valuing stamp collections and we are proud members of The Philatelic Traders’ Society. Our next stamp auction will be held on September 1. For more information, here’s how to get in touch.