on Dec 2nd, 2013 in Products & Services | 226 comments
 

Young or old Elvis? That was the question 20 years ago when the U.S. Postal Service considered artwork for the Elvis stamp. The Postal Service put the vote to the public and controversy soon followed. Members of Congress debated the worthiness of an Elvis stamp, then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton weighed in, and the whole thing became fodder for cartoonists and late-night comedians, according to the National Postal Museum.

Elvis Mania paid off and the Elvis stamp went on to become the most popular U.S. commemorative stamp of all time.

Now comes the Harry Potter stamp. He may not be the cultural icon Elvis is, but he’s created no less controversy. The Postal Service hopes the stamp will be a blockbuster to rival the king of rock n’ roll. The organization also hopes a Harry Potter stamp – and other youth-themed stamps – will spark interest in stamp collecting among the younger generation. But some philatelists think the idea of a Harry stamp is all wrong. For one thing, Harry Potter isn’t even American. Philatelists tend to view stamps as works of art and small pieces of American history. They balk at images that are blatantly commercial.

The disagreement has put stamp collecting and the entire process for choosing a stamp in the news. The news reports also raise the issue of the future of stamps. Stamp collecting is seen by some as a dying hobby, as fewer young Americans participate. The stamp controversy actually underscores a larger Postal Service dilemma: How does it stay relevant among a generation that doesn’t really think too often about stamps or even hard copy communications? The postmaster general, for one, has said the Postal Service needs to start thinking differently. In an interview with the Washington Post, he said the agency “needs to change its focus toward stamps that are more commercial” as a way to increase revenue to compensate for declining mail volume as Americans switch to the Internet.

Tell us what you think:

  • Should the Postal Service market stamp images that focus on a younger audience in hopes of reaching beyond traditional collectors and generating sales?
  • Should the Postal Service be allowed to develop themes and images that do not focus on American heritage for the sake of sales?
  • Or, should stamps be works of art and pieces of history and not based on fads or celebrities?
  • What stamp images would you like to see?

Comments

I think putting stuff that appeal to kids is a great idea! They should make stamps of famous things like famous people,memes,movies,cars,brands,and others famous stuff. I would start collecting if I saw those stamps.

I think they should sell stamps with cool stuff on it. I would actually design one of my own . That would be very cool. Then they would be very rich in an instant. I don't get why the U.S postal service tells people. Then they would go crazy for this stuff in a second. They could be lots of more money.

I think they should make stamps about Harry Potter and other movies like the Hunger Games, Despicable Me 2, Transformers, Avengers, etc. I think they should make these kinds of stamps because these are good movies and it will make people buy them.

From,
Anonymous

What I think should happen is that they should do whatever makes them money. It's not about what kids or teens like, it's about making money. For example, fast food places doesn't care about your health, they just care about their profit on what they're making.

I think they should not make stamps with kid pictures on it.If they make stamps with kid pictures and nobody buys them they will lose money.If they make kid picture stamps that kids don't like no more or parents think the stamps are bad influences they will lose a ton of money.

I think stamps should only be for serious purposes and not for collecting.I also think its not worth when yournever going to actually use them.Its also a huge waste of money.

Yes,yes you should make Harry Potter stamps. Most kids love Harry Potter. Also,you should range from food to real people. I would love to have a hello kitty stamp in my collection. Then again,you have to remember the good old days like Michael Jackson and some old kid shows like cat-dog. Other than those ideas, I would like if you made new stamps.

I don't think they should put kid pictures on stamps because it won't help them sell any. Not to sound harsh,but no one really uses stamps any more ,my parents do, but not everyone. Stamps can sometimes be nice looking,but even if they do look nice, kids won't really care. So I say no.

I think The U.S postal office should not sell Harry potter stamps.one reason is Harry potter is not american and it is bad to take advantage of kids and their money.in my opinion I think they should put presidents on postal stamps.

I think you should make stamps. if you make stamps that kids like then they should be able to chose which one they want. most kids like cartoon picture. you should make more stamps that they could pick from. I think it would help you raise money.

You can make Harry Potter stamps if you want to,but I think you should make stamps with different people on it. I think this because a lot of of children don't like to see the same thing every day. You can put Harry Potter on it, just dont use the same thing, so make Harry Potter and Percy Jackson stamps.

I think the post office should still send mail and sell stamps because some people don't have internet or computers in some countries. Stamps should have better pictures on images so people would have more attention to the stamps. The Harry Potter and the Elvis stamps got popular because of the image or the theme. If they changed the stamp image it will cause a lot more attention and will start collecting again.

I think they should sell harry potter stamps and why not Harry potter,the Hunger games,Pacific rim,or batman for kid to have fun again and they can more money again too,and we can save the U.S poster office.

I think they should sell Harry Potter stamps and other stamps with characters they like too. First, there ate a lot of series that people like. Finally, it will increase money. I hope you guys earn more money.

I think the post office should make some cartoon stamps or movie stamps to get kids attention and adults. I know kids like cartoons and adults like movies so this will make them collect and buy stamps.

I think the post office should make stamps with picture from other countries. One reason is because it will teach people about other countries. It will also help make more money again.

I think you should sell stamps that appeal to a younger audience. You should make stamps of popular books or movies like The Hunger Games or Uglies and popular actors like Javier Calvo. People are going crazy over the The Hunger Games and One Direction, and they would go crazy over a Hunger Games or One Direction stamp. :)

Dear,post office
I like how you tried to put a stamp that children would be interested in. I think that you should not do that ,because that
is not what stamps are for. they are for post cards and envalopes.

Dear post office,
I think that you should make newer and younger stamps. you should try to apeal to the younger generastion. if you were to make those younger stamps , kids would probly start to collcet stamps again. This would help because your profit would rise and maybe more letters would be sent. There would probly be kids,teens,and maybe even some adults buying them.

yes, i think the post office should keep on selling stamps for any age. it will help you guys get more money.

Postal service I think you should make stamps of celebrities and children because it will draw more attention to more people.Also it would be nice if you can put more than one person on stamps.This will help your postal service by makeing more people love stamps.

I think kids should buy stamps. This would help because little kids would love to see cartoon characters on stamps and that will help them make more money.

Yes, I think the postal office should have up to date stamps. It will help a ton if they start to put celebrities on stamps, but in my opinion they shouldn't put Harry potter on stamps, they should put people like One Direction. Evan though there not American it would help their sales of stamps sky rocket

Postal Service,I think the idea of having icons from any country is a great.Having these things will help sales.Having people like Drake,One Direction and other international on stamps will help sales a lot.

From,
Anonymous

I think the postal office should make kid stamps like soccer players, football players, and cars. Kids and parents would like to buy them.

Yes to Harry Potter stamps! They honor Britain's excellent contribution to the arts. They will be welcomed as gifts to young and old fans of the Wizarding World. And yes, they might spark a new interest in stamp collecting. Next year you can comfort the traditionalists with a more historical design but for now let Harry soar to new heights.

I find it curious that "young audiences" are being referenced repeatedly with regard to Harry Potter. The first book was released in the late 90's, when some of that audience was still in diapers. You're not going to create a new generation of stamp collectors, if that's the goal. You're going to please Harry Potter fans with recognition of their cultural icon. If the USPS is looking for a way to make money, current iconic figures on stamps might supplement that.

If Elvis was the best selling stamp ever. I suggest a JERRY GARCIA stamp. Like Elvis he was an American Icon, a Musician, and would likely inspire similar debate. i.e. Young Jerry, or Old Jerry etc..
A 9/11, World Trade Center stamp might (definitely) be a hot seller..

Brilliant! That is what I think about the Postal Services latest choice to use Harry Potter on Forever Stamps. It's simply a natural thing to associate mailing letters with the Harry Potter fandom. The image of all Harry's acceptance letters whizzing about the boy wizard is hardwired in more than one generation of fan's minds around the globe. The world J.K. Rowling created is alive and growing, and for the US Postal Service to want to be a real life part of it is a perfect fit. I prepurchased sets in fear that my local post office wouldn't get them, as has happened to me in the past. For example, I was never able to buy this year's Chinese New Year stamp, a personal tradition of mine. The Harry Potter stamps are fantastically designed. A simply beautiful foldout presentation, and they show so many of my favorite characters, not just a few images repeated over and over. And I love the little bonus they created by placing a little red wax seal image in the middle of each page of four stamps. These little red seals are terrific to use on the back of an envelope. Sort of like a "gift with purchase". I am a huge fan of anything Potter, and I even went to Universal Studios Florida, to see the grand unveiling of the stamps where the actress Ivana Lynch (who portrays the character Luna Lovegood) was the highlight of the ceremony. It was wonderful to witness all of that in person in Hogsmead Village, with the Hogwarts Castle in the background, and then to wander into the Hogshead for a delicious Butterbeer. I am sending First Day of Issue stamps to everyone on my Holiday list. What a perfect gift to bring in the new year, but a timeless classic that will endure forever. The US Postal Service designers have made magic, and I am hopeful the spell is never broken.

How much is the Postal Service paying for the licensing for using Harry Potter and is this a prudent expense given the financial state of the agency?

Most people who buy stamps buy them out of need and not for whom or what is on the stamp. Harry Potter is a franchise that has run its course, all books and movies have been released. Any profits realized from stamp collectors from the Harry Potter stamp would more than likely not offset the licensing cost. Stamp collecting is not the answer to bring the Postal Service financials back in the black. Face the facts mail volume is not going to increase now or in the future. The agency is overstaffed for its current mail volume and obviously mismanaged. The Postal Service would be better served improving delivery services, reducing over time and standby time, combining duplicate services and reducing the use of contractors by substituting them with current Postal staff. The Postal Service has employees with the skill sets to perform any activity currently provided by high paid contractors at a much lower cost. We owe the employees the respect to use their talents and skills

I am grateful to Inspector General David Williams for soliciting public comment on the appropriateness of USPS stamp subject matter. While I am not a "stamp fan," I have used the Post Office for more than sixty years and have formed some opinions.

IF the US Postal Service is really assigned to subsist on its fee income [stamps, Registry, PO box leases etc.] then it ought to do all possible to make its product (1) desirable, (2) affordable and (3) as pleasant as possible for the consumer, from the stamp images to the personnel which they employ for delivery or brick-and-mortar outlets. The popularity of TOYOTA in USA is a little more than half based on the attitude of sales/service people. Otherwise, drop the fiction that USPS is independently funded and drop the ".com" for a ".gov" as its web site.

I recently had the opportunity to go through some drawers when an ancient relative died. I found many unused stamps. Let's take a look.

1¢ Thomas Jefferson. Now, which heart wouldn't skip a beat over using that one?

2¢ John Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright. Both interesting and cuddly guys, yeah?

3¢ Liberty Statue, Thomas Jefferson and the unknown "Francis Parkman American Historian" are represented, but do they represent anything of interest?

5¢ Poland's Millennium 966 -- 1966. Why go down THAT road? Where's the stamp commemorating the Albanian liberation from Turkish dominance? Also, one of the many nauseating "Virgin and Child" portraits that blur the Church/State line. [See also the 6¢ "Christmas Manger" scene and the undenominated 1975 stamp from the National Gallery.] Let us not forget the 5¢ self-tribute to United States City Mail Delivery [1863 -- 1963]

6¢ Douglas MacArthur, a verifiable figure in USA history, but whether for good or for bad remains in doubt. Better to make a statement with a Leopold and Loeb stamp. Surely even they had some "closet fans."

8¢ examples including Eisenhower, EINSTEIN [now, there's a 3rd rail as he was not only a Jew but helped create atomic bombs] and another self-tribute to U.S. POSTAL SERVICE [no specifics].

The one exception in the deceased's drawer of tricks was the 4¢ PROJECT MERCURY [U.S. Man in Space]. There were more than two dozen of those, marked "Save" on the blank tabs of the sheets by a woman who was so under educated/old that I doubt whether she knew what a "scientist" was or what the goal of MERCURY was. It was merely a pretty blue/gold and patriotic. Also, 8¢ Condor and Polar Bear images calling attention to Wildlife Restoration was apparently a "hit."

While I'm as patriotic as the next fellow, my most recent coil of stamps with its "four seasons American flags" has been done to death. I brought home a special strip of "flower seed packet" stamps only because I knew that the colorful images would perk up a dull winter's day for the recipient and would amuse my wife. Harry Potter? I wasn't a BIG fan of the movies and never spent time reading the books, but I am certainly NOT offended. If the USPS is to "stay relevant," then it MUST get out of a historical groove, and it hurts me to say that because I know how many "younger" people do not know what Pearl Harbor Day is or care to keep its memory sacred.

In short, base the stamp images on fads and celebrities. Incorporate history, if possible, but if I never see a "Madonna and Child" stamp again it will be too soon. The Mars "Rover" would be fit. I can visualize a series on National Monuments/Parks [Yellowstone, Rushmore, White Sands] to keep folk interested in domestic travel and not merely focus on commercial travel to mass merchandised destinations which are "all inclusive" from air fare to alcohol. Avoid "fads" with as much taste as possible. "Justin Bilious" OUT. "Miley [Do Like Seeing My Panties?] Cyrus" OUT. Iconic American figures, more modern, like Bob Hope or the frightfully talented Meryl Streep is an IN. POTUS: don't go there on a bribe. Let the motto be: yesterday is history, today is brief and tomorrow is only a dream.

Let's reawaken the American Dream[s]!

C. Michael Becker

"To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric."
Theodor Adorno, German philosopher, [1903 -- 1969]

Let the British issue stamps of "British subjects." It was really a disappointment to see the US stamps advisory committee bypassed for the Harry Potter stamps. It's a bad idea to get further and further into such fantasies. I will not purchase Potter stamps for my collections. With many deserving inspirational Americans to honor, that a foreign fictitious character was chosen instead, is a disservice to our citizenry. Please keep future issues to the American topics, people, scenes, etc.

I think the Harry Potter Stamp will be a success, but not because the young collector is collecting them. And it will have no influence whether the Postal Service survives another day, or year! It will be a success because it's Harry Potter! There are far fewer youth aged stamp collectors than there were 10 - 20 years ago. Young America just doesn't write letters, nor do they send special occasion cards. They text and tweet and post everything they want seen on Facebook. I personally am not a stamp collector, but still purchase postage stamps and use the delivery of mail provided by the Postal Service. I would purchase the Harry Potter stamp. Not to keep, but to use. I think the commemorative stamps can be a colorful addition to a piece of sent mail. My grandchildren think their "GrandPa is cool" when a letter or card arrives addressed to them with a Disney character, a Looney Toons character or good looking car stamp adorns the corner of the envelope. The Postal Service is dying a self imposed slow death. When I'm gone they will have lost a whole generation of stamp users because no one after me purchases stamps. The Postal Service is far too heavy at the top of their administration and has looked, but not foreseen the changes that technology has thrust upon society. The Harry Potter stamp should have been released when Harry Potter was at it's peak and the public was in the Harry Potter mood. All those high-paid heads at the top and not one saw the advantage of using the popularity when it was a daily use word. The idea must have come to some marketer via 'snail mail'!

The more stamps are like this, the more I will buy. Love it... Keep coming out with new themes that go along with what's hot!

Younger audiences are not interested in stamps and nothing, not even the foreigner Harry Potter, will get them to buy U.S. stamps and save them. Why should they mail a letter tomorrow when they can send an email now? So, marketing images that focus on them will not generate sales. Increasing the sale of stamps will not solve the financial problems of the USPS. Congress needs to step in and fund the USPS, like prior to 1971. The USPS provides a public service for everyone!
The USPS should stay focused on American heritage.
Stay with works of art and pieces of history, not fads and celebrities.
I would like to see more Italian Americans who have contributed to this country on stamp images.

The fact that J.K. Rowland got the young to read books that approached the size of War & Peace is truly a great achievement. However, the books really have nothing to do with this country. As far as getting international sales of stamps by Harry Potter fans, I have no idea.

Stamp Collecting IS Dead
Why Collect Stamps?
1. People don't send letters any more.
2. When people send letters, they don't use stamps....especially commemoratives.
3. When they send commemoratives, Postal Service has made the stamps uncollectable--self-stick stamps that don't soak and with spray on cancels that blot out designs.
4. Postal Service doesn't want people to collect used stamps--No profit there!
5. Postal Service thinks that putting out 100s of stamps per year maximizes their profit as collectors will feel obliged for completion....but all they have done is accelerated the death of philately. Postal service has diluted the significance of the individual stamps.

Why Collect Labels?
1. Postal Service is trying to get people to collect labels, i.e. sticky pieces of paper--with no functionality (see 1 above).
2. They have little value (mint stamps from the 1950s on can be purchased at 80 % of their face value).
3. Commemoratives should commemorate--Harry Potter stamps, etc. do nothing to promote stamp collecting, because YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THEY EXIST, because they will never appear on any mail.

I stopped collecting US stamps in 2000...a good date to declare the death of the hobby.

I am not a young one----in fact I am 70----but I immediately bought a book of the Harry Potter stamps as soon as I saw them. Yes, please keep issuing such stamps. I love this direction! More, more, more!

Going "commercial" with designs is a long term losing option as there are too many other providers out there racing for the bottom. Why buy the US version of Harry Potter when dozens of other nations have already issued such wallpaper?

The Elvis stamp may have been a hot seller, but at the cost of multiple future sales as it drove collectors away from US post office windows. Many former collectors feel the US has not issued "stamps" for many years. "Stickers" more aptly describes its current offerings not so much for how they get affixed to envelopes, but for the quality of designs and craftsmanship.

A better strategy would be to target the high end again. The engraved issues from a hundred years ago were artistic and continue to inspire collectors even today. The trendy holograms, cartoon characters, and scented issues are novelties with little staying power.

Or have it both ways. Issue a few classy stamps and concurrently sell semi-postal stickers. Instead of raising funds for worthy causes, print up sets allowing users to express themsleves (elephants and donkeys, sports team logos, Bugs and Donald, etc...).

Harry Potter was not written by an American, and the movie was not filmed by Americans. I feel this is an embarrassment for the USPS and it's counterproductive.

I don't like how the stamp board has been manipulated by USPS management: they were by-passed in the stamp approval process in this and other instances. Given the stature of the people on the stamp committee, if they'd had a chance to truly approve of the Potter stamp series, I'd say it's ok then - at least it passed muster at the USPS level. But this was the USPS operations leaders doing a runaround to make this happen.

Every cravenly commercial stamp the USPS has done (Disney series, Simpsons, Star Wars, etc.) have been pretty ghastly - including these Potter stamps. I became interested in stamps on because of great choices over the years - not because the USPS chose pop stamps from when I was a boy: Brady Bunch? The Partridge Family? Scooby-Doo? Kids either find their way to stamps or they don't: why not use stamps to keep young people's eyes on the REAL prizes? Like Mandela?

I started collecting stamps when I was about 5 or 6. Now at 67 I am trying to take apart the collections. Too much of a historian to trash them but too tired of the last 20 years of trivia stamps. As I look over my US and Australian stamps, I have fond memories of many US issues up to about the 1980's. History, geography, science art, famous (real) people...Now it just seems that stamps are the visual equivalent of the 130 decibel vibrations emanating from too many cars. There was a certain dignity in the art, colors, designs and subjects of many of the stamps up thru the 1980's. I notice that Australia seems to have maintained some of that dignity in their recent issues. Oh well, old geezers just die off. But it will be hard to beat many of the 1920's to 1950's issues. The more recent $1.00 and $5.00 issues reminiscent of the older design work are good examples of what can still be turned out.

I think the USPS should stop kidding itself and stick to what they know. I doubt the Elvis stamp or the Potter stamps have created any new collectors, just pleased people who had an interest in those stamps alone. As a 70+ year old lifetime collector and sometimes dealer, what I've seen that interests people are scenes they can relate to such as the National Park airmail series, the transportation coil series and great Americans who actually were great Americans. The US Mint had a successful series of state coins until they stopped allowing people to buy rolls at their banks and tried to sell them instead at a bloated price. The current series of quarters have suffereed the same fate, not available to the average citizen. Ditto their presidential dollars. The USPS then made the same mistake by issuing the recent state flag series as coils which were not even available at most post offices.
The older generation is your curent stamp collectors and if you want that legacy to continue, you should listen to them not to someone who THINKS making commercial images on stamps is a good idea. I've asked all my grandchildren what was their favorite stamp and all i got were blank stares. They use email and texting for messages not written mail. Alienating your collector base by issuing stamps of little relevance is not the way I would go. I collect very few USA postage stamps from the last 5 years because they are terribly designed and the subjects are uninteresting. I stopped collecting Australia and Canada as they are nothing but commercial. The recent Superman issue of Canada ended my collecting their stamps as I couldn't buy it except from a dealer as our neighbors signed a licensing agreement that prohibited them from selling to USA collectors. I hope the USPS ends all licensing agreements and goes back to it's an honor to appear on a USA stamp and they shouldn't have to pay for it. I leave you with one question. How are young people going to be collectors when they don't purchase stamps?

I've no objection to the USPS issuing stamps that may (or may not) appeal to young people. But really, if the USPS is going to issue stamps picturing living actors to help their careers, can't they find American actors to put on US stamps? Surely some American actors and their films would appeal to some younger people.

The USPS isn't alone in trying to get young people to think of hard-copy communication rather than electronic communication. Has the USPS contacted and consulted with other countries such as those in Europe and East Asia to see what they are doing to attract young stamp collectors?

I am a young stamp collector myself. I inherited the hobby from my grandfather. I specialize in US stamps prior to 1980 and Vatican Stamps. In answer to you questions I can say the following:

Should the Postal Service market stamp images that focus on a younger audience in hopes of reaching beyond traditional collectors and generating sales?

This question itself appears to assume that interests of younger audiences/collectors are substantially different than those of "traditional collectors." Such an over-generalization seems to be one of the root causes of this debate. Stamp collecting, if it is going to be a sustainable and life-long hobby, cannot be focused simply on 'fun' or 'relevant' one-off stamp issues. No, a hobby such as stamp collecting stems from an appreciation for the breadth of content depicted on stamps as well as the depth of content. Commemorative stamps which honor the greatest luminaries of our culture and which highlight the events (tragic as well as celebratory) of our nation and world are most likely to appeal to a collector/audience of any age. Stamps allow one to travel throughout the world and throughout time without ever leaving your living room. Stamps which seek to memorialize luminaries of the moment are destined to become 'dated' and appear ill-informed in retrospect. Who esteems the stamps of the United States? A vast number of people with varying interest in collecting. Who esteems the stamps of San Marino or other "commemorative issue factories"? Only the specialist or the individual interested in purchasing a single stamp issue.

Should the Postal Service be allowed to develop themes and images that do not focus on American heritage for the sake of sales?

Restricting stamp subjects to themes and images which focus on American heritage allows US stamps to speak to collectors around the country and around the world about a unique heritage. Young collectors can learn US history through the stamps they collect. Expanding the subject matter treated on our stamps is neither unwise nor impossible. This, however, is a task that should be undertaken carefully and with due consideration. Treating contemporary themes is difficult as we lack the perspective that time gives us. There is a reason saints are not named until they have been dead for at least five years. Similarly, the highlights of Western culture and the world at large could find appropriate honor and mention on US stamps.

Or, should stamps be works of art and pieces of history and not based on fads or celebrities?

Yes. Doubtless, there is a desire on the part of many to increase revenue through the use of stamp images which hope to appeal to buyers who will never cash in on their postal value. Nevertheless, this devalues our stamps as communicators of culture. Our stamps speak to the world about who we are and what we value. Pop culture certainly has a place in this pantheon of subjects, but the perspective of time allows us to see the difference between a cultural high-water mark and cheap effervescent celebrity.

What stamp images would you like to see?

-A series on small-town America
-More issues which focus on American industry (cars, trains, manufacturing)
-More historical commemorations (Revolutionary war, Civil war, Civil Rights movement)
-Popular culture issues relating to the 1950's-1970's

So nice to know there are still such erudite young voices in the world. Thanks for adding your comments. I wonder if Pope Francis will appear on US postage before a Vatican City Issue.

Stampsare printed and sold to create revenue for the postal service and not exclusively for the philatelists (of which I am one, albiet a bit younger than most I see at stamp shows). If the general public buys and uses (or saves) these new stamps, I'm all for it. America is made up of diverse cultures and lifestyles. Not all stamps will appeal to all collectors or stamps users. The USPS issues so many stamps each year that having a few issues each year that do honor significant people or historic events should not be a big deal. Stamp collectiing is supposed to be fun. I'm in favor of issuing stamps that promote the "fun" part of collecting. I believe that the Harry Potter stamps fall into that category. Are the Harry Potter stamps as important as the "March on Washington" or the "Medal of Honor" issues? Of course not, but every issue doesn't have to address important issues.

I think both artistic and historic stamps can coexist with more modern themes. I, myself, prefer the former but I am introducing my young grandson to stamp collecting and, at his age, I know he would prefer more contemporary subjects.

1] Good attempt at capturing the young, however, you are still not using water soluble glue... How are they going to collect used stamps ??? Cut around the stamp ?? Not good if not enough space, Use a petroleum product & bathe the stamp in cornstarch powder to de-activate the glue... lot of work for an amateur or beginner..
2] Stamps sheet measured 12"... paper is 11 1/2 " .. even turned sideways will not fit... Break apart to see but devalue the product if collecting mint.. I think the design left a little to be desired to attract young collectors.. Store the product folder mint and not see the stamps ???
3] Where was the advertising ?? Everything was 'kept under wraps' and I didn't see the stamps until mine were delivered.. Didn't see any advertising after the release also... Postal clerks at my most frequented PO didn't even know about the stamp[s] until I told them..
4] As so ofter happens at this PO, supply is far exceeded by demand and they were sold out in less than a week after getting their shipment. To assure that I get a supply of stamps, I order most of my from the Philatelic Center on line.
5] You have to train 'the boys in the back' not to use pens or killer magic markers to cancel stamps, will kill any interest from would be youthful collectors..
6] You need to also train delivery personnel that the press sheets [imperf stamps] are legitimate postage.. Their supervisors as well..

I don't think they are mutually exclusive, but don't want to see too much focus on pop culture fads and marginalization of history, scenic, and other stamps about the U.S. This is how I learned a lot about history,people and places as a kid and is what makes the U.S. unique.

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