So here are the first NCR 'Open Value' labels on Spring Flowers that I have seen. In fact they're the first on any pictorial Post and Go label that I've seen. These are the new denominations, as are the Machins that I have also acquired.
Now I still don't know whether these represent all that can be obtained or whether, by pressing different buttons, other codes and denominations can be printed, as listed and suggested, or should I say, feared, in an earlier post.
Whilst I think the Machin head issues are a must for any GB definitive (and, of course, any Machin) collector I am not sure I feel duty bound any more to keep up with the pictorials. It's good to have some early examples of almost any series but, if this style becomes standard then I am seriously considering collecting just the Machin head items. I suppose that'll have to include the ruddy overprints which I dislike but just feel very relieved that they're not on ordinary definitives!
I do collect pictorial definitives for Regional issues but they have been extremely modest in output. In 5 years there have been 67 different pictorial labels. That's just the picture, no account taken of fonts, date codes or whatever. The Regional Pictorials over 14 years have been just four main and a few odd additional items for each of the four nations. And if there has been a change then we haven't had to buy six denominations for each image!
As it is my understanding that any roll can be fitted into the NCR style machines, there is a possibility of almost any of those 67 designs appearing. OK, some must be pretty remote but they're the ones that make the headlines and we all wish we'd found. This business of stamp collecting is all about completeness - you really do want to feel that you stand some vague chance of getting a complete set of things. I just don't feel that way about the Post And Go pictorials now, especially now with the NCR potential for huge additions to the series, old rolls being found in cupboards and six more of each for every rate change introduced.
If it wasn't for the fact that I have only recently added back in Post And Go overprints on a standing order with a dealer I would cancel any new pictorials now. I can live without Flowers II, III and whatever comes next. I could happily watch news of the latest overprint on Dogs IX appearing on NCR 60g varieties in font style 8.5. The Machins would be more than enough. I think I had better wait for a few months though and just try and sell all the pictorial stuff that I have and comes in.
I do think I have finally come to a conclusion. Basically - stick to Machins. Duh, of all people, I really should have figured that out long ago!