As stamps become more high-tech, not all collectors are thrilled with the changes


Posted 1 day ago
Postage stamps are becoming more about Superman, Cinderella and Jurassic Park than about the Queen, old steam engines and battleships, says one collector who laments the loss of "workmanship" that used to go into them.
"Stamps are much more attractive than they used to be," said Hugh Anderson, an Oakville collector at the Niagara Philatelic Society's annual exhibition.

A 2005 page of superhero stamps issued by the United States Postal Service shows Superman, Wonder Woman and their colleagues in vibrant, full colour. While that kind of commemorative stamp is popular, it lacks the detail that went into stamps back when they were engraved using a printing process like newspapers.

"If you ever look at an E3 and look at the background, just take a look at all the stuff you see in the detail," Anderson said at the Stamford Lions hall Saturday.

The 1927 E3 shows a steam locomotive with a mountain in the background and biplanes flying overhead. A horse with rider runs alongside the train tracks. Commemorative issues like the superheroes series, Star Wars or Disney movie series catch the eye, but they look more like photographs than engravings that were common until the 1960s.

"These are more like labels," Anderson said, thumbing through some of the movie-inspired stamps the US Postal Service issued in recent years.

Anderson said he understands why the postal service and Canada Post would churn out bright commemorative stamps.

"Because they'll sell."
They're probably lucrative for the post office because they sell the stamps to collectors who never use them. The post office gets the money, but doesn't have to provide a service for it.

"That's what the post office wants you to do. It's pure mint for them," Anderson said.
A sheet of superhero stamps did catch the eye of one of the youngest budding philatelists.

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