Editor’s Insights — By Donna Houseman
A popular commemorative stamp series remains in limbo as the United States Postal Service refuses to update collectors on its status.
Asked by Linn’s Stamp News if the Legends of Hollywood stamp series will continue or if it has come to an end, USPS Corporate Communications spokesman Mark Saunders replied with a rather brusque statement: “If and/or when we have something to announce regarding stamps, we will announce it.”
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The Legends of Hollywood series began in 1995 with the issuance of the 32¢ Marilyn Monroe stamp (Scott 2967). A single stamp in the series has been issued each year since, though no stamp was issued in the series in 2012 or 2013.
The most recent stamp in the series is the nondenominated Shirley Temple forever commemorative (Scott 5060), which sold for 47¢ when it was issued April 18, 2016.
When it appeared that there would be no Legends of Hollywood stamp in 2012, Saunders told Linn’s that the Postal Service “decided to honor Great Film Directors in 2012 and will resume the Legends of Hollywood series in 2013.”
The Great Film Directors forever stamps (Scott 4668-4671) issued May 23, 2012, are not part of the Legends of Hollywood series, but the stamps feature prominent film directors as well as actors from some of their best known movies.
No Legends of Hollywood stamp appeared in 2013 either, but a film series was featured when the Postal Service honored Harry Potter movies with a 20-stamp booklet (Scott 4825-4844).
The Legends of Hollywood series resumed in 2014 with a Charlton Heston forever stamp (Scott 4892), followed by a Paul Newman forever stamp in 2015 (5020), and the Temple stamp — the 20th stamp in the series — in 2016.
The series has been popular with collectors and with the mailing public. Each pane consists of 20 stamps with one design, plus decorative selvage that shows a scene relevant to the honored subject.
Collectors have come upon some unusual varieties in the series. The 32¢ Marilyn Monroe stamp was found to have nine different tagging varieties, was processed with star-shaped perforations at the corners of each stamp, and was issued in collectible press sheets consisting of 120 stamps, along with the standard 20-stamp pane.
Collectors of the popular Legends of Hollywood stamps want to know if they can expect to add new stars to their collection.
Thus far, Linn’s attempts to get an answer from USPS Corporate Communications have elicited responses similar to those we received when we asked if the imperforate press sheets program had ended. In other words, no answer.
Why leave collectors wondering about the future of the Legends of Hollywood series when a simple “That’s all Folks!” would suffice?