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Collectible Star Wars stamps glow under ultraviolet light (pictures)

Iconic characters and vehicles from the Star Wars universe feature in Royal Mail's new set of stamps, which reveal a bonus surprise when viewed under a UV light.

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Luke Westaway, Andrew Hoyle
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Sending festive post to a galaxy far, far away? UK postal service Royal Mail is printing a collectible set of Star Wars stamps, as "The Force Awakens" prepares to make its thunderous debut next week. The stamps showcase the work of British artist Malcolm Tween and feature characters and vehicles from the ever-expanding Star Wars universe. Plus, there's a luminous surprise in store when the character stamps are viewed under a UV light.

You can buy the stamps in a variety of formats on the Royal Mail website. We've got hold of the Presentation Pack, which costs £12.35, which translates to roughly $19 or AU$26.

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Master Yoda looks sagely up at the silhouette of the Queen.

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Under a UV torch, the symbol of the Jedi Order becomes visible.

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Next up is Darth Vader, seen in a dramatic clash with Luke Skywalker.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi makes his postal service debut. An elegant stamp for a more civilised age.

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Give your post an intimidating edge with this Stormtrooper stamp.

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Under a UV light, the symbol of the tyrannical Galactic Empire shines out for all to see.

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On this stamp, loveable smuggler Han Solo takes a moment to reflect. Perhaps he's pondering whether his ship, the Millennium Falcon, is actually alive.

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New "The Force Awakens" character Rey is looking poised on this stamp. Spot the all-new droid BB-8 lurking in the corner.

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Beneath the UV light, the Star Wars logo appears.

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Little is known about the mysterious Kylo Ren -- but with a glowing red lightsaber, this sinister figure can't be up to much good.

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Meet Finn, played by John Boyega in "The Force Awakens". Now yours to own in stamp form.

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Feared bounty hunter Boba Fett gets the stamp treatment too.

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Under the UV torch, Fett's Mandalorian insignia is revealed. This is the icon the bounty hunter has over his chest armour.

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The prodigal son himself. No Star Wars stamp collection would be complete without Luke Skywalker.

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Under the UV light, the symbol of the Rebel Alliance can be seen.

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The Emperor, aka Senator Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious. A young Anakin Skywalker, who was converted to the Dark Side by the Emperor, broods in the corner.

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Princess Leia Organa, a first class soldier for the Rebel Alliance, now immortalised on a first class stamp.

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There are larger vehicle stamps on offer too. Check out this X-Wing Starfighter.

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AT-AT Walkers -- a fearsome weapon, deployed during the Battle of Hoth in a bid to crush the rebel forces.

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This is one of two stamps portraying the sinister TIE Fighter craft.

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This second stamp shows TIE Fighters screaming away from the Death Star.

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This second X-Wing stamp would spruce up any parcel.

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Finally, the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy -- Han Solo's Millennium Falcon.

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You can buy all of the stamps as part of this swanky presentation pack.

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