This great product required lots of production know-how...
Once upon a time... now you know this is a long story. When I worked at Relizon Canada (now The Data Group of Companies) we worked with Canada Post to develop a new retail product for them to sell in their postal outlets. The product was a greeting card with two first class postage stamps and a 15 minute long distance card and. Hence the name; Write Me Ring Me. The calling card was produced as an integrated card that had a unique PIN number on the back and the stamps are both removable and pressure sensitive. There are four creative versions in English and French.
In order to produce these produces we worked with a stamp printer and a long distance carrier. Stamps have to make it through the security levels at the Post Office for clearing and there are only a couple of authorized printers capable of producing this security product. The long distance card had to clear through a telephone switch. In both cases, the project required no duplication. For the Post Office stamps are like money and it is fraud if too produce overs or unders and for the long distance carrier, only one PIN will be cleared so the second duplicate PIN would be useless.
How to produce the product
The integrated cards are a patented Relizon paper product, run on a continuous roll with in-line finishing, variable imaging for the PIN and a unique barcode for tracking. The postage stamp security printer supplied the official stamps which were applied in-line with the use of a label affixing technology.
The barcode and scanning software assured that there were no duplicates and unused PINs (destroyed during manufacturing) were recorded and credited. The scanner gave an accurate count and all unused stamps were destroyed. The product went to market for $5.99 each and was a sold-out.
Here is the punch line. Many of the long distance minutes and the postage stamps have never been used. What was not sold to retail customers was bought up quickly by collectors and you can still find them today on e-bay selling for about $25.00 per card and more for the set of four.
Interesting enough, during the development of the project, we didn't take the concept of these being collectors items seriously. The was only one run and therefore the collection value is still strong.
It took a lot of wide array of production skill sets in security printing, telephone prepaid cards, in-line finishing, in-line data match tracking, secure waste auditing, secure warehouse storage and secure shipping across Canada in order to produce this product.