Collecting Postage Stamp Sets

Some philatelists prefer to collect postage stamp sets rather than individual stamps. To do this they have to buy these stamps direct from the issuers or else run the risk of not getting the full set. It is not as expensive as it might appear as stamp issues are generally in sets of four stamps. The author has selected 3 different issuers from around the world to display the types of stamps that can interest stamp collectors of all ages. 

The issuers are Canada Post, USPS and Royal Mail but the subject matter differs in that musicians are included along with Sunday funnies and a puppet TV space program. Most stamp issuers have a ‘future issues’ section which shows sets of stamps that will become available for up to 12 months ahead. They will also have a back issues section so that you can order any sets that you might have missed previously.

Postage Stamp Set from Canada

Canada finest musical talent featured on its stampsThis set of postage stamps features Canada’s finest musicians. The set of four stamps shows Bruce Cockburn, Robbie Robertson, Ginette Reno and The McGarrigle sisters. Each stamp has a distinctive colored background into which is written, almost wallpaper like, the names of their respective well known songs. This set is actually the third issue from the Canadian Recording Artists stamp series. Each of the previous issues also featured 4 artists. The technical style of stamp differs slightly on each occasion but Series 3 contains the best looking stamps from a philatelist’s perspective. For stamp collectors (or music fans) who might be interested the Series 2 stamps depicted Bryan Adams, Edith Butler, Robert Charlebois and Stompin' Tom Connors. The very first series was perhaps the best from the musician viewpoint and had the legendary Joni Mitchell featured alongside 3 other music icons in the form of Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Anka and Anne Murray. Although all of the sets in the series were limited edition stamps, hundreds of thousands were issued so stamp collectors should have little trouble acquiring the Canadian Recording Artists sets. Another notable stamps set from Canada features astrology symbols

Postage Stamp Set from USPS

Dennis Garfield and friendsIf you have a fondness for cartoon postage stamps then this set is a must-have for your collection. Five stamps are featured and all the characters appear in daily or Sunday newspapers around the globe. The five famous characters, which need little by way of introduction, such is their popularity, are Dennis the Menace, Archie, Beetle Bailey, Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. These USPS stamps, called Sunday Funnies are great for comic fans as well as stamp collectors who will want a set of these stamps for their collections. They were issued in a pane of 20 stamps with each stamp featured 4 times. Each stamp was valued at 44 cents, rather than in the new FOREVER stamp format. The great news for collectors of stamps is that 80 million of Sunday Funnies were printed and are still available for purchase.

Postage Stamp Set from UK

Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were the creators of the ground-breaking TV shows in the UK which featured marionette style puppets. Six stamps were issued, one for each of the following TV programs that they devised.

Thunderbirds are goThunderbirds Postage Stamp: This stamp commemorates the science fiction TV series called Thunderbirds which featured marionette puppetry and ran, initially, during the mid-1960s but can still be viewed on television today.

Joe 90 Postage Stamp: This stamp commemorates the TV series called Joe 90 which ran for 30 episodes in the late 1960s. The main character is the nine-year-old Joe who is an intelligence special agent. Puppetry was used in the series.

Captain Scarlet Postage Stamp: This stamp commemorates the TV series called Captain Scarlet which again featured puppetry and ran in the 1960s on British television. It has been shown on TVs throughout the world including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States. 

Stingray Postage Stamp: This stamp commemorates the TV series called Stingray which ran for 39 episodes in 1964 and was broadcast in color, one of the first ever British TV programs to feature color.

Fireball XL5 Postage Stamp: This stamp commemorates the TV series called Fireball XL5 which was produced in 1962 and was broadcast in black and white over 39 episodes. NBC ran the series in the US.

 Supercar Postage Stamp: This stamp commemorates the TV series called Supercar which ran for 39 episodes in 1962. Supercar was able to do a vertical takeoff and was very futuristic for its time.

The three issuers selected are among the world’s top ten stamp issuers. Others of note are the French Postal Service La Poste, Australia Post and Magyar Posta (from Hungary) but it is worthwhile to be keeping an eye on developments in the philately world in order not to miss a unique stamp issue.

Postage Stamp Set from the movies

Popular sets can feature characters from movies like the Harry Potter stamps or the Chronicles of Narnia stamps.  Stamps featuring Walt Disney’s characters are always popular and numerous countries have featured the world’s most famous Disney characters on postage stamps. Stills from Disney movies are often used for the stamp images. Cartoon stamps are ever popular as kid’s stamps but adults too will like fun stamps such as the Sunday Funnies above.  

Postage Stamp Set from major sporting events

Sport is popular too and Olympic stars and World Cup heroes are frequently featured when these events occur every 4 years. Other sports stars that appear regularly are the Major League players from Baseball, Basketball and Ice Hockey. Golf stars and rugby players have been featured too and there are several events commemorated such as the Ryder Cup in Golf and the Rugby World Cup.

Postage Stamp Set from historic events and people

Every president has been featured on a postage stamp and many of them have had a full set of stamps dedicated to them individually or to their achievements during office. Famous buildings from across the world have been commemorated such as the Eiffel Tower in France, the Leaning Tower in Pisa, Italy and the Statue of Liberty in the US, but these are just a fraction of the vast quantity of postage stamp sets that are available. Be on the look out for new sets.   

World Stamp Album