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 (230)

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  • anon

    I think they should put sport players,and celebrities on stamps because nowadays kids are into T.V. and the internet. Kids these days like to text, go on Facebook, or on Vines. If you want stamps to be a blockbuster follow my idea

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think they should put cartoon characters on stamps because children think history is boring. Secondly,children are attracted to bright colors. Thirdly,children like watching cartoons so why dont they put like Spongebob or something. In conclusion,if you want children to buy stamps put cartoons on them and bright colors.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think they should put celebrities on stamps because nowadays kids are into a lot of technology , and they should focus on working; not just pressing a button and your done. If they put celebrities on stamps kids will start writing letters and not be on their cellphone all the time.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    They should put like cartoons on stamps or a picture of the military. They should put sesson stamps

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I agree with the idea that the USPS should definitely market stamps toward a younger audience. Older people who collect stamps will not live forever, but with younger-skewed stamps (like the Harry Potter ones) grandparents can give a gift to a grandchild and create a mutual hobby that can cross generations. I don't think having non-American heritage stamps will lessen the quality or "specialness" of the American stamps, and it also teaches a non-isolationist idea for younger generations. Of course it's good to love your country, but there is a whole world about which to learn. Or, should stamps be works of art and pieces of history and not based on fads or celebrities? Elvis. That's all I have to say about that. Okay, Marilyn Monroe. Johnny Cash. All of them icons, and I think preserving an extremely popular (and extremely important literary empire) moment in time is a work of art in itself. What stamp images would you like to see? I would love to see more literary characters, authors, films, international foods (like the baguette as "the food" of France, or a vegetable curry dish for India), Values (like the values.com posters)

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think they should try to get younger people into stamps because what if you know someone from far away and they don't have internet or a phone and you want to talk to them but you cant.I also they should try to get younger people into stamps because they can try to get them of there phones and laptops.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I would agree and say yes, they should create Harry Potter stamps. They should focus on younger things like Diary of a Wimpy kid, the Simpsons, etc. It would get kids to get stamps and kids would love them!

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think they should focus on the younger audience.the first reason i think this is because it will help younger people focus on something else and not be in their rooms all day.Next i think it will help the postal service.These are some of the reasons I think they should focus on the younger audience.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think they should do those types of stamps.First of all its true right know the internet is taking over. Second of all the young are concentrating on electronics. And last but not least it could give them one new hobby to do.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think people won't even buy the stamps.One reason is because we have cell-phones now.Second reason is because why waste your money when you can text/email them.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I think that the USPS should have stamps with famous people in it. One reason I think this is because the USPS just wants to make money on stamps. Another reason is that people rarely use mail because using email is faster and easier.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    Should Post offices make fun and interesting stamps? yes ,Because if kid or adults see something they like they will surely star collecting it.For,Instance Since I like angels i would like to buy a stamp of what I like .I think a good idea would be celeberties,history,some thing we like, like christ so we should get more stamps.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I see nothing wrong with having a Harry Potter stamp (they looked good) because the movies and books did so well in this country. They perked some peoples interest in reading again, especially young children. I still send mail and every once in awhile put a collection of stamps together of various postage to add up to the correct amount. I love seeing envelopes with interesting stamps on them. When I receive mail the envelopes that get my attention are the ones that have different stamps on them. I would like to see better religious Christmas stamps because the past several years the selection has been bad. We are trying to help the post office out by sending mail and buying stamps. Besides bills, I send cards to my grandchildren at least once a week and to friends for special occasions or just to say hello. I miss having the stamp backs that you just lick. I used to collect stamps and still put ones that interest me on the side or purchase them from the post office when I see ones I enjoy. But frankly, how do you insert a mint self-adhesive stamp into an album?

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I am against this idea. Stick to American History. If you persist in chasing the almighty buck you might as well go right to selling advertising on the stamps - and thereby kill what you say you are trying to save.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    The USPS should do what it can to raise revenue and to interest young collectors. Harry Potter and other popular themes may well appeal to the 6-12 age crowd and get them started on a lifelong love of stamps. Does the USPS get paid by Scholastic Books/Warner Bros /Disney to use their images? So much the better. I think stamps should be broadened beyond the American Heritage criteria - why not include international themes as well? Other countries have wonderful American themed stamps. I collect animal/bird stamps, so would welcome more of them. Do consider reviving the Nature of America series; I'd collect them forever. Also, I support the fella who wants 1982 Beirut Bombing Commemoration stamps issued, altho I get that the USPS and the public might perceive them as negative and they wouldn't get sold. So maybe it's more a financial decision, rather than a deny/ignore-our-history one.

    Dec 05, 2013
  • anon

    I am against using popular culture icons (like Harry Potter) on US postage. These fads are ephemeral. The tendency lately has been to revert to cartoonish artwork without much meaning to them. The 100th anniversary of the completion of the building of the Panama Canal comes in a few weeks. This was a tremendous undertaking by our country, but instead we get Harry Potter. In May will be the 100th Anniversary of the official establishment of Mother's Day in the US.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    The USPS is increasingly ignoring the published stamp selection rules and now bypassing the CSAC group entirely. They have already issued several stamps featuring Disney content which is a commercial enterprise. Repeating the theme violates the rules. Not one, but two Yoda stamps appeared in the same year. There have been several non-US subjects. If I were on the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee I would resign as a result of this high-handed move. I fail to see how the issuance of the Harry Potter stamps does anything to further American subjects and doubt that it will have any measurable effect on enlisting youths to stamp collecting as a hobby. Most young people don't even think about using postage stamps in this digital age. My Suggestions for stamps: 1. 12 Birthstones . 2. Invertebrate fossils of the US. 3. A series about National Parks and National Monuments which have not previously been featured. 4. Indian tribes of the U.S. Wendell C. Mohr

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    While Harry and friends have had a positive effect on young people, the series is not yet iconic. It's too easy to seize on some hot Pop artist or movie character and use the public attention as a way to sell stamps to non- stamp users. That one- time buy will not change their behavior in the future; the temporary increase in revenue will prove irrelevant in the next quarter. A stamp is an honor, an act of recognition for something remarkable, extraordinary and worthy of attention. For example, the poet Joseph Brodsky was featured on the series on Poets, and because I knew him and his remarkable creative talent, it was particularly moving that this country honored him in this way. I bought several sets and sent them to friends. Please focus on real people and places of beauty, not fictional characters or cartoon heroes.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I am dead set against enriching commercial interests with stamps such as these. It would be far better if the customer service personnel in the Postal Service, especially clerks that meet the public were more cognizant of potential stamp collectors' needs. Just try to get a clean local postmark on a piece of mail today - and further, how about actually _USING_ stamps on packages instead of the PVI or meter postage? I also do not appreciate this end run around the CSAC (Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.)

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    As a former 30-year postal veteran and PCES Manager I have seen a lot of revenue generating ideas and repeated campaigns attempting to promote the relevance of mail to a younger generation. As with Harry going off to Hogwarts, this train has left the station. Kids are not going to collect stamps. Get over yourselves. There are simply too many electronic distractions available that are more exciting, appealing and engaging. Buggy whip manufacturers would love for young people to get reengaged with the horse drawn carriage too, but unless you are of a certain religious belief, this is so highly unlikely that no one in that industry wastes energy thinking about it, let alone investing large sums of limited funds chasing it. I can only imagine that an inexperienced marketing manager arrogant enough to refuse the guidance of the ample data surrounding this issue must have green-lighted this campaign, probably against the wishes of subordinates. The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee was perfectly justified in being incensed by management's imperious actions here. Not only is the alleged objective misguided, but the stamps themselves reflect nothing of the beauty, power, and influence that America should be celebrating on these little patches of widely distributed art that Postal Service management has been entrusted with preserving. The subject matter as well as the artwork is ill conceived, appears hastily and poorly executed and devalues stamps. While Warner Brothers and Heyday Films must be flattered, they must also be incredulous at the amateur image choices, which surely would not have survived review as even a cheap promotional poster. One can only hope we secured rights to the images this time.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    Nothing has discouraged stamp collecting more than the proliferation of new issues in such numbers that few collectors can afford to keep up. The USPS hopes that collectors will buy these issues and store them away so that they never do postal duty, resulting in pure profit for the USPS. As the subjects shown on stamps have become more childish and more faddish they have only served to bring discredit to our country. They show that the USPS is driven by a crass commercialism, struggling in vain to balance its hopelessly indebted budget, rather than by a desire to promote the important historical and cultural achievements of our country. Quality control of design and subjects chosen has been thrown out the window in the race toward ever more inane subjects. It's time you returned to the more traditional values (and topics) that governed our stamp issuing policies in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. And twenty new stamps a year would be sufficient. THAT would be progress.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    The "pop culture" subject matter of Harry Potter stills is not so much the issue, as a fair amount of these stamps will sell to the non-collecting public (just as did the Elvis, Looney Tunes, Star Wars, Disney characters, etc.). The real issues in my mind are the following: 1. We should not be depicting living persons (even in character) such as in the Harry Potter series of stamps. And certainly one of the first issues depicting living people should not be citizens of another country. What if one or more of these actors later commits a crime during their lives? The USPS will then be in an embarrassing position by having those "Forever" stamps in circulation. 2, The poor distribution to only to "premier post offices" or online is a bad thing, and will only turn many collectors away from the stamps after they stand in long lines at their local post office only to learn they don't have the stamps to sell right now. 3. The USPS needs to get back to depicting images of people, places and things to promote American culture and that will "stand the test of time", not that of a popular series of books and movies that could very well be forgotten a few decades from now. The USPS needs to get off of the idea of "commercializing" the stamp program only to "sell stamps", as they are of a mistaken opinion that the world will collect more stamps because of it. Sure, Harry Potter fans will collect a certain number of stamps that will never be used for postage, but so did Elvis fans and Looney Tunes fans and Disney fans and Star Wars fans -- and the Simpson stamps would have sold better had there not been a postage rate change shortly after they were issued. Although a few "pop culture" stamps are not out of place, the history and people and culture of the United States should take priority. Also, here we are in early December and absolutely no schedule of dates for 2014 US Stamp Issues has been released. What's the hold up? Pending postal rate increase decisions should not hold up the announcement of "Forever" stamp issues. The USPS should be embarrassed that they have now taken a back seat to the UK and Canada and many other stamp issuing postal authorities by not yet announcing their 2014 stamp issue schedule of dates and locations of issue.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    As a long time philatelist (stamp collector), I wish the USPS would go back to the "lick and stick" stamp instead of the self stick. Look at the Swedish Postal Service (Posten). They still use engravers (artists in their own right), issue gummed stamps (lick and stick), have sheets, coils and booklets, and their modern stamps are highly collectable. There is nothing keeping the USPS from going back to the classic stamp. Keep the "self adhesive" stamp for the "Forever" stamp, and create worthy commemorative stamps in the "old fashioned" manner. I understand that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing no longer prints stamps, but couldn't the private printers create some engraved, artistic stamps?

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I am 24 and the Harry Potter stamps were the first set I have ever purchased. I know that seeing Harry Potter stamps will make several of my friends and family very happy so I bought them and am now looking for reasons to write a letter. So, this marketing strategy worked perfectly in my case. I support the use of literary characters and things that are culturally significant to Americans even if, like Harry Potter, they began outside the US. I also believe that this stamp will be successful because it touches on a fandom. If the post office were to release stamps based on a fandom about once a year I believe it could be a successful project. Ex: 2013 is Harry Potter, 2014 is Lord of the Rings, 2015 is Hunger Games, etc. People would be excited to wait for what is next and while I don't need tons of stamps I'd buy one book a year for the sake of having a stamp I was excited about. If the post office is expected to perform like a business then it needs to give the consumer what they want to make money. And it seems like that might be more modern stamps.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I started stamp collecting when I was about 10 years old in the late 1960s. I enjoyed learning history and geography through collecting (yes, I was a nerd and still am). But I was also interested in topical collecting and wondered why the U.S. didn't have the "colorful" and "commercial" stamps that other countries did. I would have loved to have had U.S. stamps with Looney Tunes or Hanna Barbera characters on them, so I applaud the USPS for having eventually done that. But once postal rates started increasing and the number of stamps issued each year started going up, I could no longer afford the singles, plate blocks and FDCs, so I essentially stopped. However, I do still buy stamps that interest me. And I will be buying the Harry Potter stamps, to add to my collection. I am a big hockey fan and absolutely love what Canada Post has recently done with their hockey uniform issue. I'm also a fan of their recent series of stamps for each team in the Canadian Football League. I think the USPS should follow with similar stamps to honor sports teams in America, both professional and amateur. With the USPS losing money every year, encouraging collecting is certainly a fine way to increase revenue. And to do that, you need to give the people what they want. If that includes commercial American and non-American topics, I'd say GO FOR IT! While celebrating American works of art and pieces of history are very important, not every stamp issue should be restricted to those kinds of topics.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    Yes, I support the Harry Potter stamp series! My father collected stamps and I inherited his stamp collection and have added to it. I would very much want Harry Potter stamps to add to it.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I think the post office should worry more about delivery of mail and maintaining a high service level , Stamps were no longer works of art when they stopped using engraving to produce them. Stamps that collectors don't use are not a huge financial lift for the post office. The post office is collapsing and they are worried about what goes on a stamp???? Incredible

    Dec 04, 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. I am the mother of three young children and for the first time they are getting stamps in their Christmas stockings--per their request! They are now talking about pen-pals and mailing Nana homemade cards. Will it last? I'm not sure, but you've got their attention and a little extra revenue. Should the Postal Service be allowed to develop themes and images that do not focus on American heritage for the sake of sales? I think the USPS should be allowed to focus on themes that are significant to American culture even if they're not of American origin, including Harry Potter. Although HP has British origins, Americans embraced Harry as a universal character. Young and old were reading these books everywhere. Remember the erudite-looking adults on the Metro reading these books with other dust jackets on the outside to cover "the boy who lived" books? Or, should stamps be works of art and pieces of history and not based on fads or celebrities? I think there can be a mix. I foresee controversy with fads or celebrities certainly, so perhaps there should be a "waiting period" as a litmus test of enduring staying power. What stamp images would you like to see? Well, this may seem odd but when the time comes, I would like to see Louis Zamperini on a stamp. I hope he's with us for many years to come, of course. When the time is right, he's an American deserving of recognition.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I'm 68 years old and Thrilled!!! with the HP stamps! Ordered four sets on line as soon as I learned they existed, and hit the PO the next day to buy more. Will send them as pressies to all of my HP fans, ranging in age from 25 to 79:-). So enough of the 'youth appeal.' HP is just a huge part of our culture and thus a brilliant idea. Do wish USPS would reprint some of the more popular recent stamps--loved the 'flowers' and 'bonsai trees' -- they seem to have disappeared. Tho not a collector, enjoy checking out the new releases and buying whatever connects to me personally...so will definitely stock up on Harry. Thanks for asking.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    Stamp images should glorify the U.S.A., by showing its history, people, places, goals, and accomplishments. They should help educate people about the best of this country and its history. They should show pictures of U.S. people, places, things, literary figures, inventions, artistic and scientific accomplishments, etc. that accomplish this glorification. Besides these, there are many potential simple stamp designs of U.S. items like national and state birds, capitals, maps, and parks, as well as sports, literary, and scientific figures to provide more than enough pictures. Every stamp does not need a picture, some can be words only. But, under no circumstances should they show either pictures of Harry Potter, Adolf Hitler, Queen of England, or other foreign people, literary figures, or objects or gangsters or refuse piles.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    I've reconsidered my initial (negative) response to "pop culture" stamps. I love my local post office and I'm grateful to the good people who work there. Quick snapshot: I handed over ten one hundred dollar bills to the man at the counter today to pay for several bill-paying money orders and was credited with only $900.00 paid. The counter worker and the manager assured me that they would "count the drawer" at close of day. Happy ending: I received my uncredited $100 promptly at closing time. Just an example of the integrity (and honesty! how easily a single missing bill might have "disappeared"!) still to be found at our Post Offices. So, to return to the question of what sort of stamps our U.S. Postal Service should sell: I yield to those who acknowledge the wisdom of potential earnings--as opposed to purity of representation. ANYTHING--within reasonable taste--that adds to the USPO coffers and allows these good neighbors and friends to continue their service to our urban and rural communities has my support.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    Most philatelic hobbyists, as well as other postal and non postal persons, familiar with the operation of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committe, will likely agree the proposal to put Harry Potter and other subjects of contemporary popularity with young people on stamps is unrealistic , even disingenuous, as a means of resurrecting the moribund hobby of stamp collecting in a digital age of widely popular video gaming and ubiquitous text messaging. Considering that increasing the rate of stamp retention significantly is unlikely, associated revenue gains will, therefore, be marginal in helping to mitigate the USPS's muti- billion dollar budget deficits. Taking such realistic, albeit harsh, considerations into account, USPS should not allocate requisite costly production, distribution, and marketing resources while also sacrificing the venerated historic , customary selection of stamp subjects of a uniquely American character.

    Dec 04, 2013
  • anon

    Please go ahead with this series. It is a win-win for the U.S. public and the USPS. As a consumer and advocate of the USPS, we need to find ways to make this service both sustainable and profitable. I agree, US postage stamps are mini-cultural educational lessons, they reflect aspects of our history, values, popular culture, and future (eg, Space stamps). Stamp collecting also provides our young people an opportunity to collect part of our American hertitage. However, there will be a challenge with the USPS and pursuing this line of stamps - defining what is "popular" and what is not. I hope this concern does not prevent the USPS from pursuing a wider design for commemorative series (perhaps - limit the number of copies to increase the value?). Finally, I endorse the policy that we should not place a living person on a stamp, please continue this practice. I look forward to collecting more USPS stamps, varied and unique, in the future.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I prefer American subjects and love stamps of lighthouses, the 50 states, ecosystems, recycling, wildlife, & historic figures. I have trouble believing that many younger people will ever be drawn to the hobby, but if a Harry Potter stamp is successful, fine. I think it's okay to have more commercial stamps AND the traditional ones. I'm not a collector; I just like to put interesting stamps on the mail that I send.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    1) I vote NO for Harry Potter 2) Stamps should reflect USA themes (history, pop culture, geography, people, etc) 3) Pop culture and celebrities are acceptable (Elvis, Ray Charles, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Movies, comics, etc.) Pop culture themes have been fun & great. Keep them coming! 4) Stamp Suggestions: VISTA - Volunteers In Service To America; AmeriCorps; RSVP - Retired Senior Volunteer Program; Jerry Lewis; The Three Stooges; comic book covers featuring mailmen or characters receiving mail; The Andrew Sister;, U.S. Coast Guard; more Motown; Million Dollar Quartet (Presley, Cash, Perkins, Lewis);

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I do not like these "fad stamps". I believe stamps should reflect the heritage, vistas and portraits of great Americans, and not cartoon characters or commercials for movies.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    the commemorative stamps should be based on American Heros & Sheroes. How is Harry Potter pertainate to our many many unsung Americans past and present? Really Harry Potter???

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Harry Potter is as much an icon of a recent young generation as Dr. Seuss was of mine. We should encourage that generation to be buying stamps. As for commercialization of the USPS, Congress said it's supposed to act like a business, so let it.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Both the numbers of new issues and the cost of the new issues has destroyed U.S. postage stamp collecting. Harry will not solve the problem. The U.S. isn't the only country to do this. The hobby is now for wealthier folks or older collectors who still enjoy collecting. It appears that you will have many comments from a turned off stamp collecting community.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I don't believe U.S. postage stamps should be replaced by advertising labels and I don't think any decisions about appropriate designs should be made by going around the design committee. The committee should make all decisions concerning new stamp designs.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I think stamps should represent the best of art and history and not be thrown open to the ever encroaching commercialism that has just submerged Thanksgiving!

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    A stamp for a fictional character that is nothing more than a commercial, money making success? I'm still waiting for a stamp dedicated to the 241 brothers I lost in Beirut, Lebanon October 23, 1983. The reason 911 happened was because this country chose to forget what happened that horrible day. This was the true begining of the "war on terror" yet they don't teach that in school, do they? There is no commemoration at our nations capitol of the best young men America had to offer in that era, just an occassional small blurb on the news once a year. Yeah, a Harry Potter stamp, great idea afterall he's a fictonal, British "hero"; excellent choice for a U.S. postal stamp! 22 MAU, MSSG-22, BLT 2/6 Beirut ,Lebanon 14Feb.83 - 31 May.83

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    As a life-long fan of the Postal Service, an avid purchaser of stamps, and as a person who still writes letters by hand to a variety of friends across the country on a very regular basis, I find the notion of the Harry Potter stamps depressing. Our stamps are best when they educate us about our history and affirm the depth of our nation's cultural contribution. Must everything go the way of kissing the ass of the least common denominators in pop culture? Keep those Potter stamps away from me. Most sincerrely, Robert Kokott

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    This may be a neat idea to work with social media to create an interest in stamps and written correspondence. Working with Zazzle, the USPS could offer competitions that allow the public to offer their preferences for new stamp lines in their stamp purchases. Both amateur designers and stamp design professionals could enter their designs for competition. The best selling designs that meet established criteria could win cash prizes and winning stamps could have the honor of a national production run. This could also very much help the USPS know what kinds of stamp designs are of interest to the public.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I think USPS should do whatever is necessary to encourage use of the mails, including designing stamps that appeal to different users. I am a senior citizen, but I just bought the Harry Potter collection because I love the stories. What DOES bother me is that the new four-stamp holiday collection includes kwanza, the Muslim religion, Hanakuh and one other but NOT Christmas. The last is the reason this holiday season began. This country is losing sight of - denying. If you will - it's Christian roots in favor of the so-called political correctness. Correctness does not mean excluding an idea just because you don' agree with it.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I am absolutely in favor of the Harry Potter stamp! Harry Potter is on par with the cultural icon that Elvis is - just for a different generation. Also, Literature and Film Making are both art forms. Who is to say that Harry Potter isn't art? Why shouldn't the Postal Service celebrate great books or movies - even if they also happen to be commercially successful ones? A picture of Harry Potter is at least as much art as a picture of Elvis (one of the most commercially successfuly musicians of all time, by the way) I'll be buying these.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    USPS should market stamp images focusing on a younger audience to generate sales. However, displaying living British actors, is NOT the way to do it. There are enough U.S.-centric themes, but if you must honor something generated overseas (i.e., Harry Potter), then use illustrations from the books, not screenshots from some commercial film conglomerate. Why should Tom Felton be on a stamp representing my country?! Who is Tom Felton? EXACTLY! The Postal Service should be allowed to develop themes and images that do not focus on American heritage, but since stamps are a national enterprise, such themes should be ones that further U.S. values or aspirations, such as international peacemakers, authors, or scientists. Purely entertainment themes cheapen the entire USPS brand.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    Unfortunately, the Harry Potter stamps crossed a line for me. The release reminded me of stamps I used to see as a kid from other countries - with the sole purpose of those stamps being to make money. Many issues from Manama, Hungary (Soviet-era), etc. were even pre-canceled for collectors without any pretense of actually being used for postage. I love the Postal Service and use it constantly. I'm working hard to get my children to appreciate the value of a handwritten note or card and sending it to someone via the mail. Not too many years ago, the Postal Service began crossing many lines with stamps that were entirely commercial in nature with little other real American significance. But where the Harry Potter stamps fail is that there is absolutely nothing American about them whatsoever. It's one thing to have a joint issue with, say, France honoring Edith Piaf or Miles Davis. Both were artists with deep ties in both countries. Such a stamp celebrates the arts in both countries. It is a ridiculous fantasy to believe that Harry Potter stamps will either encourage stamp collecting or use of first class mail by young people. The only thing that will encourage such use is to teach the value of this communications channel directly. A handwritten letter is to e-mail as a newspaper is to its website. Both forms of communication have their place and value. Years ago, I watched as one venerable newspaper in California remade its front page to 'sound' like television. It was a farcical effort later reversed. So, too, must the Postal Service realize that for this next generation the value of first-class mail and stamp collecting will need to be taught directly and not imbibed from one generation to the next. If the Postal Service wants to appeal to younger people, it had better get into schools and educate. All a Harry Potter stamp will be is a pop collector's curio that cheapens other Postal Service releases and dumbs down that standard. And if too much of that happens, I'll just kiss my collecting days goodbye as well - and I've been collecting since I was 5.

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    I don't think the postal service should be in the business of promoting commercial endeavors. It should stick to its roots. Otherwise, what's next: Corporate America paying to place ads on stamps?

    Dec 03, 2013
  • anon

    The Harry Potter stamps appeal to a younger audience and have the potential to generate revenue from new sources. I think this is a great idea and the Postal Service should use stamps to promote itself.

    Dec 03, 2013

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  • 1 day 8 hours ago
    Scanning has improved business for USPS from FedEx and UPS. Cutting corners to scan before or after the delivery point will lose business. Need Trust. The customer is paying for a service and...
  • 1 day 9 hours ago
    Lisa, I don't think you work for the USPS. If you did you wouldn't have made the accusation that the carrier is falsely scanning your packages as delivered. You would KNOW that it'...

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