• Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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"?

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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!!!

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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?

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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!

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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"!

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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'....

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    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?

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    I would be interested in buying these stamps. I think the stamps should reflect pop culture, and Harry Potter would certainly qualify.

  • Reply to: Will Harry Cast a Spell on Young Stamp Collectors?   1 year 7 months ago

    I'd like to see more stamps supporting pet rescue, and with dogs and cats in general. The SPCA stamps with dog and cat images sold out a few years ago, and so did "Owney the Postal Dog" As those were huge sellers, i don't understand why the Postal Service didn't issue more / repeat them. Please bring those back, as you did the popular and beautiful "Purple Heart" stamps.

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