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 (229)

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  • anon

    USPS should not be supporting commercial interests of any kind. Nor should it be running a lottery as it is doing with the "uninverted" inverts. Management needs to be reminded that USPS has a public purpose and that total revenues from stamps sold but not used is budget dust. The Harry Potter stamps, in particular, suffer from a bizarre distribution system which is compounded by a woefully inadequate normal distribution system.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Give the people what they want and I mean all the people, not just the traditionalist or modernists, young or old. Just make sure the stamps are appropriate for everyone and all ages. This not some sort of private club. The United States Postal Service serves all the people.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Should the Postal Service market stamp images that focus on a younger audience in hopes of reaching beyond traditional collectors and generating sales? Yes -- absolutely!! If the Postal Service wants to encourage young philatelists, they have to appeal to this market. That doesn't mean you ignore the more traditional collectors. Market stamps to both groups. Should the Postal Service be allowed to develop themes and images that do not focus on American heritage for the sake of sales? Of course. American heritage is a wonderful thing, but I do not see the sense in limiting stamp images to a few moldy historical figures or overdone iconic imagery. Every now and then, a break from tradition is refreshing. Get rid of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee -- don't they realize that if the Postal Service fails, stamp collecting will go away? On a side note -- the Harry Potter stamps must be doing well. I tried to buy some at my local Post Office this morning, and they were sold out. Or, should stamps be works of art and pieces of history and not based on fads or celebrities? Develop both kinds of stamps. People like different things -- why not generate interest with a broader offering? What stamp images would you like to see? How about a celebration of classic rock groups? I would love a Pink Floyd stamp series. Just sayin' . . .

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    What a great idea! I was an avid stamp collector as a youth and am in great despair that this wonderful hobby has lost traction with today's youth. Hopefully this will engage some kids and make for some new members in the American Philatelic Society.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Stamps are tradtionally depictions of literary or cultural figures. So tell me how stamps depicting characters fron a series of books that sold millions of copies and inspired thousands of costume parties and other events would not be following in this tradition? Oh I see the problem is that these are books and culture for young people. I can understand the narrow point that the books didn't begin in the United States, but I have to wonder if every other stamp face was also born in the US.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I appreciate the desperation which is driving USPS to Harry Potter, but this is not a solution to the system's economic woes. Issuing Harry Potter stamps may prompt some youngsters to buy and keep a few Harry Potter stamps, but this unfortunate decision is unlikely to turn them into serious collectors -- and, even if a few do stick around, serious stamp collecting is more likely to prompt them to buy Penny Blacks than pop icons, which will do nothing for the USPS bottom line. I would much prefer to see USPS honor the dedication and knowledge of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee and not make any further end runs around their advice and counsel. Let's keep our stamps on a higher plane than Harry Potter offers...

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The USPS is on a slippery slope, changing and then violating their own rules about stamp subjects. There are good reasons for not allowing living persons portrayed on our stamps, but they cut the time limit from 10 years deceased to 5, then ignored that entirely. If they had relaxed such rules in the recent past, we would've probably had Lance Armstrong stamps issued - think about it. We've got enough reminders already illustrating how our politicians cave in to moneyed interests, and we've already had plenty of stamp subjects chosen just to suck up to Time-Warner (big shippers and users of the mail). Time Magazine honored Adolf Hitler with a cover in the late 1930's. Do we want our USPS to make a similar blunder? I'm just saying...

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Why not? It might help matters. It certainly won't hurt matters.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Harry potter would make a great stamp. My niece is crazy about harry potter and she would collect all the stamps.please make harry potter stamps

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    What does it matter if the only stamps available where young adults shop are flag stamps?

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I believe that the USPS is making a big mistake in producing a Harry Potter series of stamps. I doubt seriously that they will appeal to a generation so use to electronic communication, sometimes it seems that there thumbs are actually part of their smart-phone, and have no idea that there is another way to communicate with one another. Now that schools no longer teach cursive writing I fear that the demise of the personal letter is close at hand. There are way too many original images to publicize the beauty, history and people of the United States than to waste taxpayers money on something entirely British, even though the movies were made by Hollywood. The USPS was wrong to ignore the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee and produce these stamps which even though some might sell I fear the vast majority will remain to be destroyed at some later date. Instead of trying to find some way to make more money, perhaps the USPS should find a better way to save money, the prime example of this would be to produce fewer new issues and improve their delivery to local Post Offices. The USPS should recognize the fact that increasing first class mail volume is never going to happen and that a large part of stamp revenue is going to come from collectors. Increasing the number of new issues is making it harder for the average collector, with limited resources, to acquire them. Just my two cents.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I stopped collecting stamps when USPS went to self-adhesive stamps. They can't be removed from an album to trade with other collectors or removed to rearrange a collection.2 I think the Harry Potter stamps look cheap. What happened to the engraved look of commemoratives? I'd like to see more art and crafts featured on stamps. I buy every sheet of art related stamps that my local post office has.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I agree with you Chuck. I was surprised when I saw the Harry Potter stamps. They do look cheap and nothing special about them - almost like children's stickers instead of stamps. I thought at least the images would be drawn instead of photographs.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    This ship has long sailed. The Post Office has been killing stamp collecting for many years. I am 72 and have collected since I was 12. When one goes to stamp shows today, most there are of my age or older. When my generation dies, so will stamp collecting. The first blow by the post office was when they greedily began making plate blocks so big they wouldn't fit on an album page. Collectors quit collecting plate blocks and dumped their existing collections onto the scrap postage market. Then the post office started issuing more stamps per year than a sand dune country. Instead of a dozen commemoratives per year, they put out several hundred with a total face value of hundreds of dollars. I haven't bothered saving new US issues since the 1970's. The final blow was when they put out self-stick stamps that weld themselves to the envelope. Today, even if you occasionally get a letter with a commemorative stamp on it, you can't soak it off. Whether you put Bugs Bunny or Harry Potter on a stamp that few will collect anyway makes no significant difference. Put a dodo bird on it.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I love the Harry Potter idea!!! Stamp collecting is fading and you need to reach the younger generation. I feel that you all do an awesome job and hope you all continue with your innovative, creative ideas!! Keep up the great job!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Selling more stamps comments: 1. USPS made it harder for postally used stamp collectors via self adhesive stamps (off paper). 2. Too many commemorative stamps issued in a year. Stick to themes that sell stamps and drop the rest. 3. USPS does not aid or promote stamp collecting. They spend money on advertising but practically nothing on the hobby. 4. Younger adults, in general, are seemingly not interested in joining anything that costs money in which there is no return on investment. Hobbies are not very popular. 5. Young ( under 40-ish) adults do not use stamps, write letters, etc., as much. They use electronic communications to do just about everything. 6. Increasing stamp sales suggestion: print a small group/lot of multi-colored beautiful stamps that only collectors would be interested in and the rest of the stamps in one color. (create an interest in collecting which could be financially beneficial) 7. No commercial issues, but select some themes of stamps that are beautiful and meaningful, i.e., (se tennant) stamp(s) for holidays to include past heroes like General Lee, stamp(s) for the 4 seasons of the year with each season as a stand alone...etc...All new issue stamps to have initial lots issued in color then changing to one color, however, if the initial color lot size is issued in too large a quantity, the desire to own stamps will be diminished.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Postage stamps, no matter how scarcely used, reflect the ideals, heritage, and art of the nation that issues them. They are seen not only by our own citizens, but by people worldwide. When our postage stamps celebrate cartoon and fantasy characters, they trivialize our nation in the eyes of others. In so doing, we join the likes of Granada Grenadines, Tonga, Marshall Islands, and others that issue postage stamps with no connection whatsoever to the issuing nation. They are desparate and transparent attempts to make money rather than to commemorate worthwhile national accomplishments. If any other quasi-Government or actual Government agency attempted to raise money by similar means, there would rightfully be national outrage and condemnation. A national postal service is one of the many costs of doing business (running a government in this case). It shouldn't have to make money or break even. Subsidize it!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    What is the business model for the USPS? I hope selling stamps for profit is not the answer. I am a life long (old) stamp collector and I have become frustrated and disgusted by countries that sell stamps only for profit by publishing stamps about subjects that have no relevance in the country, only to republish the same stamps with overprints, etc. Is the USPS going the same direction as Burkina Faso and others. This approach actually turns off stamp collecting. Stamps should be limited to Americana. We are the most culturally diverse, geographically gorgeous, scientifically creative countries in the world - lets shown that off.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Stick with the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. A small proportion of new stamps can be aimed at appealing to young people. But these should be chosen with discretion. Many people worldwide collect stamps. What they see on our stamps affects their judgment of the U.S. Blatantly commercial stamps do not give a good image of the U.S. Stick with the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee for new issues.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Yes, please. The Harry Potter books are a phenomenon that should be celebrated. Think of how many young people began to read books or went back to reading books because of them. Plus perhaps this will draw more young people becoming interested in philately.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    As a taxpayer and consumer of USPS services, I applaud (nearly) any effort to improve the Postal Service's cash flow, but this was one wave of the wand effort at magical thinking that was, well, not well thought out. A British writer's imagination on a stamp featuring a still living British actor failed to inspire me to go out and buy these stamp set. The inverted Jenny, on the other, hand, got me in early for a few sets worthy of framing and gifting. Suggest you continue to find themes that appeal to local patriots (meaning, regional and sub-regional images that local Americans can relate to), or finding ways to weave US and foreign stamps into social studies in elementary and high school curricula. In conclusion, nice try by two thumbs down.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I think its a great idea! I believe that it will drive younger individuals to start collecting stamps! Yay!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Sell advertising space on stamps. Users get free or discounted stamps, while advertisers get exposure in return for subsidizing USPS.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    1. Postal Services should not market stamp images that focus on young audience. 2. Postal Services should not be allowed to develop themes and images that do not focus on American heritage. 3. Postal Services should develop stamp images based on works of art and history, not based on fads and celebrities.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I believe that the USPS should issue stamps to honor and commemorate real people and events. Issuing stamps for pop culture and characters popular among the masses, denigrates those who are truly worth honoring.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I feel strongly that the United States Postal Service should commemorate the United States with stamps dedicated to historical persons and events, scenic wonders and the like. The USPS should not pander to passing fads like Harry Potter. In my most recent visit to the Post Office, I asked to see the most recent stamps so that I could purchase some interesting ones. After seeing the most recent array of a dozen or so different stamps, I found them so uninspiring that I left the Post Office without purchasing any.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    As a librarian and lover of literature, I support the use of literary characters on U.S. stamps. In general, our stamps should reflect home-grown cultural figures and concepts from artists, authors and cultural creators from our country. As a young philatelist, I appreciated the unique cultural voice that each country used for its stamps. Therefore, I support the creations of our own country's unique artistic minds being used on our stamps, for the most part. However, given that the Harry Potter books have sprung from Scotland specifically and the U.K. more generally -- countries with whom we share a good amount of cultural DNA -- this instance of "borrowing" is acceptable. Also, given the fact that so many young people lack basic epistolary writing skills and do not know about the joys of stamp collecting, I see this as a *magical* opportunity to create an access point to these important concepts. Furthermore, consider the dominant themes of the series: loyalty to friends, love of family, selfless acts of kindness, appreciation for variety of the skills of others and respect of individual differences. These themes echo important concepts to American representative democracy and a psychologically healthy society as a whole. Considering these aspects of the question, I support the Harry Potter stamp series and applaud the public debate on the issue. Thank you, USPS, for many years of beauty and efficacy, in all that you do, come rain, sleet or falling show.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The Harry Potter stamps are terrific. We could get only two booklets, because they had sold out at our post office. If the Postal Service wants to make money, this is the way to do it. I've purchased stamps from miniscule countries which have a huge portion of their GDP coming from selling stamps of things like Disney films. I would love to see the US issue Lord of the Rings/Hobbit stamps. It's important to remember that the U.S. produced those films and the Harry Potter films. I am a big fan of the Marvel & DC stamps which have been issued and would like to see more. Tying into the science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comics communities would be a great way to go--these people are avid collectors.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Don't we have something more than witchcraft and sorcery to aspire to?? I would like to see something inspiring with actual purpose, something that is a role model for the youth, including myself... What about a stamp of St. Joan of Arc... What a courageous leader she was! She fought for what she believed in with all of her heart and persevered to the very end... That is something we could all look up to... Have we ever had Abraham Lincoln stamps? If not, that is a must! What a man of true character and integrity...Mother Teresa a most humble giver devoted to the care of the poor, even those who contributed some of the most beautiful music like Beethoven, Bach, Mozart...Even Captain Philips! Someone or something with real meaning, real heart, that makes us want to be a better person.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I understand that some decisions are difficult and also understand the Post Office's need for additional revenue. However, the Harry Potter stamps appear to benefit the commercial interests of others in addition to the USPS. I much prefer stamps that commemorate U.S. history, important figures from our country's past and to maintain traditions that make philately an enjoyable hobby. The post office's decisions to issue stamps whose purpose is to generate revenue from collectors is a short term solution to a long term problem and is not likely to encourage youngsters to collecting stamps. In fact, I had been collecting for many years but stopped when I felt that too many stamps were issued with insignificant historical value. The Harry Potter series certainly fits that category. Further, the advice of the advisory committee appears to have been disregarded in the quest for some quick cash.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I I am convinced that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter is an important contribution to literature for young people (and old people like me [82 years]). I predict that the seven books in the Harry Potter series will remain popular well into the 22nd Century. They may even be added to the lists of required reading to counteract the move to all-digital text. Further, the Harry Potter books emphasize the virtues of courage, friends and loyalty -- not bad for what has been disparaged as merely children's literature. and honesty. The fact that they were written by a talented English author merely points our how poor the selection of American authors of children's books is. Is the best we can offer the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"?

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I am a stamp collector and think the USPS is wrong to issue stamps like Harry Potter because it is purely to make money with a goal unlikely to be achieved, getting kids to collect stamps. Let the CSAC be the ONLY ones to decide stamp topics!!! American stamps should be representative of America. Fie on the USPS morons who think stamps should be commercial vehicles issued for revenue only. Fire these idiots and fast!!!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Whose Big Idea was it to put Harry Potter on an American Stamp? I'll never buy that stamp. No wonder you're in debt. Do some research. I totally oppose using any one other than an American on our stamps. I realize in the past this was probably done. How many kids collect stamps? They don't have time because they're too busy texting or on twitter, or what ever. Why not ask the public for suggestions. I'll probably see Breaking Bad characters on future stamps. Good Bye America.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I think that the postal service is denigrating its brand by choosing pop culture images for stamps. Important historical figures in US history, cultural landmarks, and heritage sites are more appropriate in that they offer opportunities for young people to learn about the US in a meaningful way. Elevating Harry Potter, Elvis Presley, and their ilk to postage stamp status is just plain wrong.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The stamps should be limited primarily to USA important historical events covering people who achieved important and valuable achievements. which contributed to the welfare of the USA and the world. who created a niche for themselves which other people would like to emulate and thus are worthy of being remembered. For example these would include the founders of our country such as Christopher Columbus, Americus Vispucious (sic), the Vikings who sailed upon our shores prior to Columbus etc. Definitely important presidents like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, TR, Roosevelt, Truman and even Obama at the end of his presidency if he comes through as a honorable effective president who did the great things he promised, It should promote the arts, science agriculture, historical events in the USA, e.g. the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WW!!, Vietnam etc. It should emphasize education aspect amounting to a source of knowledge which will aid and assist in educating our young people about our country.. Many people do not realize that democracy is the best form of government anywhere in the world primarily practiced in the USA more so than most countries. From the above the sales will come because people buy what interests them . The object to is develop interest which brings sales. The system for approving a stamp for collection should be a point system where points are allocated for each category. While promotion of profit is important; it should not be the sole goal; Yet, it can be assigned points which can be used to break a tie when all factors are considered, I am not a stamp collector although I do have some of the First offering of President Kennedy and some other important t stamps that I found interesting.. Potter is ok, but not to consider him primarily.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Why? Why cannot stamps be fun, and help keep the USPS solvent in the process? I strongly support issuance of the Harry Potter stamps.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I believe the primary focus of new stamps issued by the USPS should be on the history & heritage of the USA. Harry Potter was a mistake, at least as a 20 stamp issue. I think it is a disgrace that no stamp was issued for the sesquicentennial of the Gettysburg Address, perhaps the most important speech in our history. Certainly some pop culture is warranted but multi-stamp issues for Star Wars, the Simpsons, Harry Potter are overkill. An occasional foreign person such as Churchill, Mother Theresa, etc is warranted but our primary focus should be on citizens of the USA. Thanks for asking for comments.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Anything that the USPS can do to earn money so as not to keep raising the price of stamps is fine. There are times when you just have to mail something so the USPS is here to stay.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The first living people on US Postage and they’re Brits and Irishmen???!!! This is absolutely appalling. The Transformers, 101 Dalmatians, Peanuts, Sesame Street, or Nora the Explorer couldn’t have been chosen? An AMERICAN creation is what deserves to go on a stamp, not a British novel gone cinema. The people making the decisions on stamps need to listen to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee and not just fly by the seat of their pants. What appears on US Postage is important and sends a message. The message sent by the Harry Potter Stamps is “we don’t care what we put on a stamp, we just see dollar signs.” Wonder if these stamps will even sell. If someone had done their research, they’d have found out that kids consider Harry Potter to be “very last year.” This won’t go down in Postal history in a good light and may be looked at as “the desperate period” for stamps.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    If stamp sales are slumping, perhaps the Postal Service can appeal to the broader audience; • by offering stamps with logos from Twitter - Facebook - YouTube that would appeal to a younger crowd • if permitted to issue stamps that do not depict American heritage, perhaps a boost in sales can be achieved from the non-conventional audience, and • issuing stamps depicting themes and images that appeal to philatelist, makes sense and probably most profitable since the stamp is rarely used

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The Postal Service pays tribute to an individual or movement by placing the image on a stamp. The selection process is not easy, you have to go through a long vetting process to be selected. Being selected to be placed on a stamp is of the highest honor; at least in the Postal Service world. If the Postal Service really wants to get young people to buy stamps, then you need to put the artist/actor/comedian they currently like on the stamp. This will not go over well with the traditionalist, but young people will love it. Image if we put Mailey Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff, or One Direction (I google this list) at a local post office. The line will be crazy and the amount of stamps sold will be equally crazy. Even better, stamps can be made from the winners of the 2014 Teen Choice Awards which teens select to honor the best stars of movies, TV and music. The Postal Service needs to connect to the young generation, as many of them don't even know where their local Post Office is located. Is the Postal Service in the business of commemoration or in the business of selling stamps?

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I'm 33, and have collected stamps since I was 11. These "stamps" look blatantly cheap. They are downright tacky, and they look like stickers you find in the discount bin at the dollar store. To me it seems like this was a quick and dirty rush job to get these out before Christmas. I think these could have been better made had you not used generic stills from the movies that the studio provided to you. What about stylized interpretations of the actual book covers? What about deep, rich, colorful stylized painted portraits of the main characters? My wife is a huge Harry Potter nut, and she said she wanted the set of First Day Covers for Christmas, but I absolutely refuse to buy these for her. I think my money would be better spent buying these same exact stickers from Dollar Tree for 1/3rd the price and make my own "covers" with them. I'm not against the USPS moving in a more commercialized direction at all, as there are many products and brands that I would like to have stamps for, just don't be so damn tacky about it. I think the USPS needs to go back and reexamine the designs from the Celebrate the Century series. There are TV show stamps, toy stamps, movie poster stamps, music album cover stamps, pop culture stamps and general use merchandise stamps. These in my opinion are tasteful. They are mostly subtle, refined, and well designed. If the Harry Potter stamps were done more in this general style, I'd have bought a dozen press sheets to stockpile for all my future postage needs! Come on guys, take some time, slow down, and actually put some pride and thought and effort into what you do!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I think the postal service should print whatever stamps they feel like. This latest concern is a waste of time…since the postal service is is such dire monetary straits, how do they have the money to pay someone to actually worry about this issue, and someone to sit and read all the blogs in order to gather the statistical response to the questions? QUIT WASTING MONEY on these ridiculous "problems"!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I see no problem with the USPS releasing stamps on themes that attract a wider (and younger) audience. I also have no problem with the USPS releasing stamps on themes that are not strictly "American" in nature. Limiting stamp topics to strictly American arts and history tends to result in drab, boring issues, not to mention inevitable rehashes. There is frequently the perception that the topics and imagery chosen are decided by stodgy old fuddy duddies. That needs to change. Some "fun" injected into each year's issues, e.g., the Harry Potter set, keeps some semblance of vibrancy and modern cultural relevance in the program. That said, I wouldn't go overboard, and keep it tasteful. A stamp series on The Kardashians, Paris Hilton, or Beyonce would go a bit too far (although depending on the imagery used, might sell well...). Celebrating iconic films, TV series, or personas is perfectly fine, in my opinion.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Harry [Potter] was a great read and movies were fun ... but real living English actors on U.S.A. stamps was Wrong. This period of American history is full of events that should be honored on U.S. stamps. But of course as is the case ... no-one-is-home to read how I feel or cares. I have collected stamps for years and as with the current generation, if it is not face book or has keys to push there is No Interest.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I belatedly began collecting commemoratives: wonderful souvenirs of our culture. One suggestion about the USPS program: Young people (and some oldsters too) have limited funds for this sort of thing. Why not make it possible to buy **on line** or from USA Philatelic a single plate block with the plate number? Purchases at post offices are hit and miss: many do not offer all the issued stamps. I forego buying many commemoratives from USA Philatelic or on line just because I cannot buy a single plate block. That includes Christmas and holiday stamps (I'll spring for four, but I'm not buying a whole book). If USPS packages the stamps so that collectors - including young people - have the option to buy as few as a block, I humbly suggest that it's more likely to attract buyers and thereby keep collecting alive. Just sayin'....

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    T his "Harry" stamp was a fantastic decision, an unusual and gutsy decision for a government entity. How about a /1/ GAGA stamp, or /2/ Elton Jon, or /3/ global warming stamp showing four glacers then and now, or /4/ four stamps showing the plastic pollution of our oceans and water ways, e.g Washington State beaches with the Japanese tsunome garbage, or the dead zones in the Chesapeake, or /5/ our returning solders from Irac and Afganistan,---Army-Marines-Navy-Air-Force, one stamp for the men and one for the ladies.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I love the Harry Potter stamps. (For demographics I am a 31 yom.) Even though I hardly ever send mail (I tend to send packages by FedEx or UPS, pay all of my bills online and only send cards by mail for Christmas/Hannukah), I bought a number of Harry Potter stamp sets because they looked cool. Most of the USPS stamps are boring. Often, I don't even understand what the stamps are getting at or what they are portraying. The Postal Service needs to end it's losses and its not going to do it by offering boring, artsy stamps that only appeal to a few old, gray collectors. They need to have designs that appeal to young people (such as myself) that hardly ever even use the mail. The Simpsons and Harry Potter are a great start. I hope the Postal Service continues picking stamp designs that mean something in today's current Pop Culture.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The post office should stick to stamps that feature USA, historically, arts, environment, sports, presidents, military, technology and national holidays. Forget featuring other countries history and stick with stamps that people who use stamps want to have on their envelope . Young people use the social media to communicate more frequently than snail mail. Stick with our American Heritage, no fads or fly by night celebrities.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I rarely buy stamps - they are something I use only when I pay a few bills. However, I do like using the Christmas themed stamps for my Christmas cards. I went online to purchase and have them delivered, and was amazed by the number of different stamps there were beyond what my grocery store carries. I bought several types that I ordinarily would not have - including the Harry Potter stamps. So, yes, I would say appealing to pop culture will truly help sales and that is a great thing. I would say to focus more on "lasting" pop culture than fads though. We already know that Harry has been around for awhile and will remain so for years to come. The Postal Service's mission is to deliver mail. It's nice that people collect the stamps, too, but if the USPS can't get the money to fund itself, then what is the point of having "works of art"?? It would be nice to find a balance between the two, but first and foremost, the goal should be to generate sales, if pop culture can help that, then I'm all for it. Additionally, the US is such a diverse group of people, I think it is hard to say that one thing is American heritage and exclude all of the different cultures that make up our country. I don't have any problems with stamps that are not grounded in American heritage. Personally, I'd like to see Doctor Who stamps like the Brits just had for the 50th Anniversary. There are all sorts of fandoms out there - why not explore some of them?

    Dec 03, 2013

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