Ian McKellen - The Hobbit Trilogy’s Gandalf - sings praises of world exclusive coins celebrating the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

5 October 2012

Award-winning actor Ian McKellen has officially given his seal of approval to stamps and coins being produced by New Zealand Post to celebrate the eagerly anticipated movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

Bilbo Baggins silver coin with gold plating.New Zealand Post is collaborating with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Warner Bros. Pictures, and the filmmakers to produce official stamps and legal tender commemorative coins for all three films. 

New Zealand Post has today unveiled its designs for the world’s only legal tender coins linked to the first movie in Sir Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films based on The Hobbit, and for a set of stamps based on the movie.

Ian McKellen - who reprises his role as Gandalf in the new film after having embodied the character in Jackson’s Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – says the coins and stamps capture the essence of his iconic character.

“To put Gandalf on these splendiferous coins is a wizard idea,” Ian said from London, England this week.

Ian McKellen is also impressed by the specially designed stamps, noting: “The pointy hat, the beard and the illuminated staff – the $1.90 NZ stamp is pure Gandalf.” 

Exclusive arrangement

“We’re the only country in the world with the rights to produce these highly collectable coins, featuring iconic characters from what is sure to become a classic series of films,” New Zealand Post’s spokesman for stamps and coins Simon Allison said today.

The coins - which are legal tender - will go on sale from 1 November 2012, alongside a set of six stamps celebrating the film.

“The items announced today are appropriate mementoes of the film, and fit in with the mythology of Middle-earth – New Zealand.”

“We’re committed to honouring the legacy of Sir Peter’s films, by creating stamps and coins of the highest quality,” Simon Allison says.

For more information about these exciting collectables visit: www.nzpost.co.nz/thehobbit

Selected products will be available from 1 November at PostShops, REAL Aotearoa stores, and online at www.nzpost.co.nz/thehobbit or by phoning 0800 782 677.

Note: New Zealand Post is authorised by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as the only official issuer of legal tender New Zealand commemorative coins.