Tom of Finland stamps on sale Monday; Finland’s biggest seller ever.
Stamps designed as a tribute to homoerotic artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen – also known as Tom of Finland – went on sale Monday. According to the postal service company Posti, the risqué stamps are the country’s biggest seller ever, with pre-orders made in 178 different countries. The stamps, which hold pride of place in the newly-opened postal museum in Tampere, attracted a long queue of individuals eagerly anticipating the first day issues.
The homoerotic stamps officially went on sale Monday, but even before then they had been in stiff demand, with pre-orders booked in 178 different countries. Apart from Finland, the greatest interest came from Sweden, Britain, the United States and France.
Touko Laaksonen or Tom of Finland is one of Finland’s best known artists. Posti said that the stamps have received more international attention than any other Finnish post mark, having been featured in traditional and social media, and online publications. Posti officials said the stamps’ popularity took even them by surprise.
“We haven’t seen this kind of interest before in Posti’s history and we probably won’t again soon,” said Posti development chief Markku Penttinen.
“Our starting point was to get Touko Laaksonen’s artwork in our stamps. We know that he was very well-known globally. Of course the subject matter is also topical and much discussed. This equation has worked better than we anticipated,” Penttinen speculated.