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2021 USPS Issues... News? Thoughts? Opinions?

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Valued Member
13 Posts
Posted 05/25/2021   2:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As someone a bit new to stamp collecting I have gotten or will get the following in 2021:

a) Go For Broke - Japanese Americans in World Wars because I enjoy collecting engraved and intaglio stamps (I am a big fan of some post war engraved Austrian stamps too).

b) Sanchez commemoratives as I like this series and especially enjoy how well designed this one was done (The Asawa of 2020 would have been fantastic if they had them engraved or used intaglio for some of the designs).

c) Priority MailStamp of 2021 - I like the series and the places and history it highlights. Plus I think it is a good investment as it seems to hold or modestly exceed its value well.

d) Yogi Berri First Day Cover - I usually don't get these but I like the design and the portrait of Berra is excellent.

e) Mallard double reply postcards. One area of postal stationary I collect. Plus I think getting a few to send to friends and family is a thoughtful way of staying in touch.

One thing I notice about ultra-modern stamps, the amount produced for some commemoratives and even definitives is not as tremendous as some think. The Innovation stamps of 2020 had under 20 million made, the $5 Head of Liberty I believe had only 5 million produced. Of course there are those made in 100's of millions but it is possible to find well-designed and interesting stamps that have not been produced in large volumes.




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Canada
244 Posts
Posted 05/25/2021   3:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've only collected for a number of years, not decades. I have never been excited about new issues or made special trips to the Post Office to see if something 'was in' yet. I totally missed out on that part of collecting. I'm indifferent to any stamp made after 2000 or so. That's just me.
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my best friend has four legs
and a soft pillow
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Posted 05/25/2021   7:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
only 5 million produced
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United States
53 Posts
Posted 05/25/2021   9:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gwanghoops to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just restarted collecting modern US...why?
- with forever stamps, there is little loss of value due to inflation
- some issues are visually striking, non-traditional, or unusual while many just question USPS stamp design sanity
- trying to get all the recent modern US at face value is a challenge
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United States
75 Posts
Posted 05/29/2021   10:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eraserman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like and will collect the Message Monsters and Happy Birthday And the Colorado Hairstreak Flutterby.

The rest that are know as of now I will pass.

Now I wonder what they will release for Christmas and hopefully Halloween.
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Posted 05/30/2021   01:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've said it before and I'll say it once again, whatever era you're in, there are a lot of people who don't like many of the stamps issued, think the subjects chosen are silly, and don't like the number of stamp issued. This goes at least as far back as the lengthy and seriously expensive Columbian set of 1893. It was so expensive most collectors could not possibly buy the high values. And why so many stamps for just one subject? Columbus deserved some stamps, of course, but did his voyage require 16 stamps -- or so people said at the time. And I kind of agree.

Then we got more stamp sets for every new world's fair -- in St. Louis, Omaha, Buffalo. I mean, what was the point? Or so people said the time. And yet these stamps are beloved today and very beautiful, too. And how about the absurdly complex Washington-Franklin stamps. How in the world could any of us have survived that era of collecting? It would have driven most of us out of our stamp collecting minds. And the Farleys are seriously absurd. Accidentally discovered, then reprinted for no postal purpose but just so collectors could own them, ie. taking more money out of collectors' pockets.

And always along the way there were stamps honoring things like poultry and truckers and dozens of obscure people and organizations. The Turners? I still have no idea who they are. Or is it "were"? Now we have extremely expensive Express Mail stamps you never actually see on Express Mail. You see printed stamp labels instead. Not once have I ever seen an Express Mail stamp on a box. Am I looking in the wrong places.

Rants and more rants. But so what else is new? Either collect all the stamps, collect some of the stamps, or don't collect any of the stamps. But when I'm tempted to jump on the Whiner Wagon about how "awful" and over-issued stamps are, I remind myself of these things -- the Columbians and so on.

For the most part, stamps today are about as good as ever. For me, there are too many flags, too many flowers, too many people being honored without bothering to explain who they are, too many abstract shapes like hearts and "Love" and . . . . But so what?

The postal service issues what people buy. They're not in the historical award business, they're in the "what do people want to see on stamps?" business. Apparently people want flags, flowers, birds, hearts, "Love," and people I've never heard of before. It's a big complex country, so you might as well get used to it. in additon to the Poultry Industry, at least Curious George got a stamp. And the "Fox in Soxx" . And Bugs Bunny. I ask you, what would America be without Bugs Bunny, Doc?

As for "Yet, because of the immense need for Western Wear and Expresso drink stamps, USPS couldn't honor the centennial of the birth of Jean Shepherd, American Humorist, author, radio storyteller, multi year winner of the Playboy Humor prize, and author of the stories that the holiday favorite movie "A Christmas Story" is based on," wiser words were never spoken. Jean Shepherd was one of the most insightful, comical, and just flat-out clever humorists of any era. If Will Rogers got a stamp, there should be a stamp honoring Jean Shepherd, author of many books, radio story teller for many years, and screenwriter. A genuinely original and very funny man. Speaking of getting cranky over stamps issued, there are dozens of dullards who've made it onto stamps (Quck! Who's Moina Mitchell? See Scott no. 977), so maybe it's time for someone who was drop dead funny and insightful, too?
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Edited by DrewM - 05/30/2021 01:25 am
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Posted 05/30/2021   07:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For Jean Shephard, the issue would likely be a merchandising of "A Christmas Story" but that would take getting rights that owners of the estate would not grant. "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash". That includes the USPS.
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Al
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Posted 05/30/2021   08:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have always emphasized Classic era stamps, but having said that I don't avoid looking to see what new issues are being produced. I pass on purchasing the majority of them because I don't fancy either the subject matter or design, but occaisionally I find one worth buying, like the Transcontinental RR issue. Like many of you I have tons of sheets and plate blocks that could be broken up and used for postage and since my use of snail mail is very rare, I think I have more than enough postage to cover the rest of my life.

Still, the topics of US stamps are part of the culture of our great country. The diversity of subjects parallels the demographics and interests. As a previous poster said so well, it is a big complex country. Celebrate it! No one is forcing you to buy anything.
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Edited by funcitypapa - 05/30/2021 08:21 am
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Posted 05/30/2021   7:30 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Now we have extremely expensive Express Mail stamps you never actually see on Express Mail."
The only Express mail I see is that sent by dealers, auction houses or collectors, and they often do use an Express stamp (although often not the current one).

"The postal service issues what people buy. They're not in the historical award business, they're in the "what do people want to see on stamps?" business."

The postal service issues what they THINK people want to buy. Also the committee have their own agendas.
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Posted 05/30/2021   8:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stephen J Bukowy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Auction houses and dealers are the only ones to have sent me express mail, but most of the time they do use the express mail stamps.
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332 Posts
Posted 05/31/2021   02:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think the 2021 topics and artistry are weak overall.

The USPS should consider conducting focus groups to help gauge what topics or persons should be commemorated on stamps.

Some of the people commemorated on stamps are obviously worthy, but from a sales perspective, aren't exactly a household name. Literary figures come to mind. Can't imagine those stamps are big sellers.

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Posted 06/03/2021   8:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DrewM - great post. As someone new to stamp collecting it was VERY informative. And yes the Transcontinental issue was a gorgeous one. When I was looking for something to buy a Mint sheet to start at the post office, the clerk said get the Transcontinental. I really enjoy looking at that mint sheet and scrutinizing its design with a loupe sometimes; It did get me to favor stamps with gold embossing or hot foil stamping (the Thank You calligraphy stamps of 2020 were delightful and the Innovation stamps are neat for their design).

One modern stamp issue that was only pulled off the USPS site and possibly can be still gotten from your local post office (especially if it is a philatelic center) are the Scott 5295 - 5297 stamps. Classic design done beautifully. I ended up buying a Mint sheet of each one and then used the some for mailing packages and priority mail . My only regret is I wish I kept a few loose ones as back-up, but no matter hopefully the receiver of my missives with these stamps will keep a few for themselves.

As for the older stamps, right now I favor some from late 19th to mid and early 20th century non-US stamps such as the Kenya-Uganda ones when under British colonial rule and others that catch my eye.

As for 2021 - I would not say this year was stellar but rather just OK, a few nice ones and others quite frothy and ephemeral.

Two observations:

5 million is a low issue for ultra-modern stamps and it sure beats the mintages of your common circulating coinage (Lincoln cents, Roosevelt dimes, and Jefferson nickel run from 500 Million to the billions). I enjoy collecting coins but I envy that you can find stamp issues under 10 million.

5 million and a few issues have lower runs (I believe the $10 Waves one from several years ago had 1 million made) is also low compared to some of the commemorative stamps issues of the "classic" years. Take the 1920 Pilgrim Tercentary Commemorative issues. According to the Mystic Stamp Company's site the one and two cent ones ranged around 150 million, the 5 cent about 11 million. If you peruse a few of the stamps on sale at the USPS site ranging from 2017 to present you find the following production total for each (this info was procured from the USPS Production Specification section upon clicking each stamp)

Chien-Shiung Wu - 18 million
Go for Broke, Japanese Americans in WW2 - 20 million
Thank You 2020 - 200 million
American Innovation 2020 - 14 million
Walt Whitman 3 ounce - 12 million
California Dogface Non Machinable 2019 - 100 million
Father Theodore Hesburg (from 2017) - 2 million
Grand Island Ice Caves Priority Mail Express - 1.26 million

So today you have a few stamp issues with runs that are lower than a many from as far back as the late 19th century, a few more that match that period, and a some that exceed that era. Of course the production of and demand for stamps has vastly changed since the late 19th century plus as all know, there are many factors aside from production run that determines the value of a stamp. However it does put in perspective just how many stamps the USPS has ALWAYS produced. And for today the problem is, as has been mentioned, that stamps are used far less than in the past but production of them has not been reduced too much.

Still I like to check the production specs of current issues by the USPS as it offers some wonderful info in addition to production runs - printing method, printers, designer as well as a short summary about the stamp, some of which is fascinating. I appreciate greatly the USPS offers such detailed information about their new and current issues as it makes stamp collecting more fun and interesting for me.
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Edited by chris s - 06/03/2021 8:53 pm
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United States
68 Posts
Posted 06/03/2021   10:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldboldandbrash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I love reading what people think about each particular new issue because it shows me just how different we all are as collectors. At some of the stamps some of you guffawed at (I like the Year of the Ox issue! I started with the rat last year and loved the gold design!) I almost felt defensive! But then there were ones which some of you liked (The Japanese soldier intaglio print, I don't particularly like or care for stamps which honor war or its components) which I couldn't agree with. I love talking about stamps I'm so glad I can read all of your responses!

Just to share my own take on the new issues:
Year of the Ox: Beautiful and purchased
Love: Ew
Chien-Shiung Wu: Who?
Garden: Makes me think of a hallmark card you give to your mother in a hospital
Mystery Message: If they didn't say what it says in the description, I'd have absolutely no idea. Who came up with this?
Colorado Hairstreak: I mean, ok?
Barns: Well, they sure are barns.
Backyard games: Hideos
Day of the dead: Why not but also why?
Brush Rabbit: Actually adorable, makes me want a Durer stamp. I actually might get some of these.
Heritage Breeds: I love animal stamps and these pictures are quite cute
Raven: I can appreciate its beauty but I wouldn't buy.
Japanese American Soldiers: If intaglio I'd just like to run my fingers along it, but I hate how it looks graphically in terms of text placement.
Western Wear: Hank Hill would buy these and no one else. I didn't even know these existed
Lighthouses: I feel like with every denomination there has been some lighthouse issue and I'm tired of it. Who here has actually seen a lighthouse in real life? Apparently there was one for sale recently with a starting price of 300,000$, but its on an island off the coast, not on the mainland.
Missouri: Roll tide? Is that Missouri?
Message Monsters: Eh.
Espresso: I agree with the sentiment that flag stamp buyers might use these instead and for that I'm grateful.
Happy Birthday: HIDEOUS makes me feel like I'm looking at Word Art in MS Office or something.

I'll drop the 10+$ for a stamp if it's cute or makes me think of childhood. I recently purchased (my local post offices apparently have lots of back issues) the Scooby Doo stamps, the Sesame Street stamps, the Moon Landing, the Ox, and was lucky enough to come across a Transcontinental RR which I had never seen before and which MESMERIZE me.
Stamps stamps stamps. Also I've decided to apply my own local post stamps to anything I sell on eBay that is stamp related. Excited about that, hopefully someone doesn't give me a negative review complaining about bad designs and whatnot
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Posted 07/19/2021   01:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it would be helpful if the USPS published actual sold numbers of their stamps issues. Comparing the sold numbers to the quantity issued would provide valuable insight into the demand for a certain issue.

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