By Janet Klug
Remember when you were a kid and waited for Santa to bring you that one special toy?
My favorite toy of all was a swing set installed in our backyard by my father when I was about 4 years old.
I spent most sunny days swinging on the swing set with local neighbor kids, just like the little girl on the 1948 Netherlands 10¢+5¢ Swinging semipostal stamp (Scott B192) shown in Figure 1.
Every Christmas I got a box of Crayola crayons, usually one of the big boxes of 64 with a built-in sharpener.
I loved opening that box, seeing the bright colors, smelling the wax and imagining all the great stuff I could make with the package of construction paper that came with the crayons.
In 1998, the United States Postal Service honored Crayola crayons with a 32¢ stamp (Scott 3182d), shown in Figure 2, part of the 1900s pane of its Celebrate the Century series.
My husband loved toy airplanes. The British nondenominated (first class) Meccano Constructor Toy Biplane stamp (Scott 2153) shown in Figure 3, left, depicts one. This stamp was also issued as a self-adhesive booklet stamp (2158).
The stamp was part of a set issued in 2003 that included several other transportation-theme toy stamp designs, including the 42-penny Hornby M1 Clockwork Locomotive and Tender stamp (Scott 2155), shown in Figure 3, right. Its subject is another of my husband's favorite toys, a toy train.
The five British Toys stamps were also issued as a souvenir sheet (Scott 2157a), shown in Figure 4.
Collecting the British Toys stamps in all of their formats is a wonderful way to begin a toys topical stamp collection.
I had never really thought much about it, but different forms of transportation seem to be recurring themes in popular toys, especially toys that are considered boys' toys.
The block of four U.S. 6¢ Antique Toys Christmas stamps (Scott 1418b) shown in Figure 5 depict four transportation-theme toys: a toy train, a wheeled toy horse, a wind-up tricycle and a doll in a baby carriage.
These stamps were also issued with wavy-line precancels (Scott 1415a-18a).
The precancels were used in 68 cities across the United States to see if issuing stamps as precancels would speed the processing of the great influx of holiday greeting cards.
Four more transportation-theme toys rolled their way onto U.S. stamps in 2002. A block of four 37¢ Antique Toys definitive stamps (Scott 3645a) is shown in Figure 6.
The toys featured on the small definitive stamps are a locomotive, a mail wagon, a fire pumper and a taxicab. They were issued in several formats for the convenience of mailers.
Stamps with these designs were first issued June 27, 2002, as nondenominated (37¢) self-adhesive booklet stamps. The following month, after the postal rate increase took effect, the stamps were issued as 37¢ stamps in both coil and booklet formats.
The 100th birthday of the teddy bear, one of the most endearing and best-loved toys of all time, happened to fall in 2002.
A block of four U.S. 37¢ Teddy Bears Centennial stamps (Scott 3656a) is shown in Figure 7.
I must confess that I have a small collection of teddy bears. Many of them live atop the desk where I wrote this article.
I love the Teddy Bears stamps so much that I used them on my holiday mail in 2002 instead of the Snowmen Christmas stamps issued that year.
Good little girls might hope to receive a doll from Santa this year.
Dolls have been popular stamp subjects too.
The ubiquitous Barbie doll appeared on a U.S. 33¢ stamp (Scott 3188i), shown in Figure 8. It was included in the 1960s Celebrate the Century series pane of 1999.
I was too old for a Barbie doll when it first made its appearance on the toy scene, but every year of my childhood Santa brought me a baby doll not unlike the doll pictured on the 32¢ Doll by Martha Chase stamp (Scott 3151d) shown in Figure 9. The stamp is one in the pane of 15 American Dolls stamps issued in 1997.
Many countries, such as French Polynesia, have depicted indigenous dolls on their stamps. The ones showing children in traditional costumes are great ways to teach kids about people in other countries.
I knew that I was getting older when I began to see the toys I played with as a child being offered in antique shops.
With today's electronic toys, I wonder how much longer today's children will enjoy really old-fashioned playthings that have been feature on stamps, such as tops, kaleidoscopes and Flexible Flyer sleds.
At least these toys are now enjoying a second life as antiques and collectibles for the nostalgia-minded.
If you are looking for a family project over the Christmas holidays, why not flip through your stamp albums and see what stamps you can find that illustrate toys.
It will be a treasure hunt for your children or grandchildren, and you can explain what your favorite childhood toys were. What better way to spend quality time with the family, reminisce, play with your stamps, and mentor new collectors all at once?
August 01, 2015 07:37 PMIt didn’t take long for the doom-and-gloomers to weigh in with their prognostications following the July 24 announcement from the American Philatelic Society that it hired former political aide Scott English to be the next executive director of the nation’s largest stamp club. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 08:04 PMIn the Editor’s Insights columns in the July 20 Linn’s Stamp News monthly and the Aug. 10 weekly Linn’s, I mentioned Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board without giving too much detail. Linn’s goal is to engage its audience both in print and online and to grow this audience. The role of the newly formed Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board is to assist us achieving these goals by keeping us focused on the needs of our audience and helping us adapt to today’s market. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 09:01 AMAs in previous years, Rarities Week, the series of sales conducted June 22-26 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York, included several name sales as well as an assortment of notable items from around the world. The week kicked off with something of a do-over: a sizable assortment of better United States stamps and covers that had appeared in four previous sales, but whose winning bidder then failed to pay for them. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 04:35 PMThe Tieton, Wash., post office is a simple 1935 cement block building with a slat wood facade. Townsfolk in the agricultural community of 1,200 in central Washington believe the post office could become a landmark, if only the United States Postal Service would allow them to cover the front with a stamp-like mosaic. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses the largest souvenir card produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The card is one of three issued to honor the centenary of San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke discusses Canada’s recently recalled $1.20 Dinosaur Provincial Park stamps featuring inaccurately described Hoodoo rock formations.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the discovery of another pane of the intentionally created upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert stamp.
Chad Snee discusses the recent sale of the glass locket containing the famed 1918 Jenny Invert airmail error stamp.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.