Potter stamps were released by the USPS on Tuesday in an effort to shake off its financial difficulties, but this angered many collectors.
The decision by the United States Postal Service to include characters from the super successful franchise Harry Potter has made fans of the books very happy.
Some of the more familiar Harry Potter characters such as Harry himself, played by Daniel Radcliffe in the movie adaptation of the novel, plus his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) made it to the Potter stamps.
This has angered many collectors and philatelists who are complaining the fictional characters are not American and should not be included in the images of the “forever stamps.”
Forever means that, once a stamp is purchased, it can be used at any time in the future, regardless of whether the prize changes.
According to The Washington Post, some members of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, which has recommended subjects for new stamps since 1956, are upset after the USPS did not consider their suggestions.
“Harry Potter is not American. It’s foreign, and it’s so blatantly commercial it’s off the charts,” said John Hotchner, a former president of the American Philatelic Society who served on the committee for 12 years. “The Postal Service knows what will sell, but that’s not what stamps ought to be about. Things that don’t sell so well are part of the American story.”
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told The Post that after the losses the agency has suffered lately, it has to change its direction and make more commercially popular stamps.
What better than the Potter stamps?
The limited edition is made up of 20 stamps that feature images of author J.K. Rowling’s best-selling saga “with the friends, heroes, villains and creatures that make up his world,” said postal service said in a statement.
The Potter stamps were revealed at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, and went on sale online and at selected post offices.
Reactions are mixed between those who are fans of the books and true collectors that want to keep the spirit of the American stamps intact.
“The attitude should be that stamps are works of art and little pieces of history,” philatelic blogger Don Schilling complained. “They shouldn’t be reduced to the latest fads, (to) whatever’s going to sell.”
The USPS posted a $5 billion loss for the fiscal year ending on September 30, which is the seventh year it has done so.
The Potter stamps come just in time for the holiday season for those who are excited about the news.