StampNews.com is glad to inform our enthusiastic stamp collectors that the third and final batch of Rio 2016 commemorative postal stamps have been launched – with Olympic and Paralympic mascots Vinicius and Tom the stars of the show. While the 11 new sport-themed designs pay homage to 10 Olympic and one Paralympic discipline, there are also four mascot designs, two for Tom and two for Vinicius.
The mascot stamps were unveiled during the tennis test event on Saturday (12 December), shortly before an exhibition match between Thomaz Bellucci and Orlando Luz, with Brazil's three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten helping unveil the new designs.
The Vinicius and Tom stamps are likely to become valuable collectors' items as they are the first Olympic and Paralympic Games commemorative stamps to be inscribed in Braille. "They are rare and unique items", said Reinaldo Estevão de Macedo, president of the Brazilian Philatelic Federation. The print run is 150,000 sheets for each mascot. Each sheet has two stamps worth R$3.25 (US$ 0.84) each.
The sports-themed stamps were launched at the Brazilian Tennis Awards at the Gran Mercurio Riocentro Hotel in Barra da Tijuca, close to the Olympic Park where the new Olympic Tennis Centre is based. They feature tennis, sailing, judo, modern pentathlon, beach volleyball, gymnastics, athletics, shooting, equestrian, hockey and Paralympic swimming.
They complete the set of 31 designs – in recognition of the fact that the Rio 2016 Games will be the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. The first 10 designs were launched in March, with the next 10 unveiled in August. The print run is 3.75 million stamps, each priced at R$1.40 (US$ 0.36).