Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Postage Comfort In Times of Political Stupidity

We live in a day where the US Postage Service is no longer fast or reliable. But at least it still produces interesting stamps of quality and purpose.

Postage stamps can be a great comfort especially in times of political stupidity such as today. We are stuck with a fool whom has mastered words but not numbers.

Gratefully, stamps can harken back the days where leadership meant something. The following stamps are clear reminders of what leadership actually looks like.

Lincoln where are you in our times of trouble?  He like many of us is holding his head down in deep disappointment of our fellow citizens. Most whom are addicted to getting something for free. Stamps, the smallest works of art, are not free----so why would anything else of value be free.

I would love to tell you to get a job---but our current President has done nothing to create any.
So get a stamp instead and meditate on what it takes to stand up and make a difference in your country instead of sitting down and waiting for another check.

I am not proud of my country today. Neither is Reagan, Kennedy and Lincoln.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Building A Basic Stamp Album

For the stamp beginner nothing is more challenging than believing you have to decide on which direction you want to take your collection. The truth is you don't have to take a direction---at the moment. Don't adopt a stamp album---US or Foreign. Collect stamps you enjoy keeping and purchase a set of Vario pages.

Vario pages are sheets of special paper with sleeves that protect your stamps but still allow you to view what you have put together thus far. You are not confined or cornered into a certain country or theme. These pages are left holes made for inexpensive loose leaf binders. $ 5 on Ebay plus $1 for the binder will allow you to build a basic stamp album without choosing a hasty and expensive direction.

As time marches on you will be able to assemble a collection of stamps that will allow you to start formulating what you want to keep and what you want to trade. This discovery is what inspires a collector to pursue, sometimes for a lifetime, a certain type of stamp.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Topical Collecting Soars to New Heights

Topical stamp collecting has shown stronger signs of increasing more than anytime in the recent past history. The topical collector has a specific interest such as space, flowers, shells, famous people, art, etc., that drives their collection. As with all sub-types of collection I respect it enormously but remind beginning collectors of its limitations. There a finite (a small finite number, ha) of topical stamps fitting the interest you crave. Once you have reached that plateau you might be waiting a year or longer for some other entity to produce a stamp. 

The old debate on topical collectors versus "regular" collectors is regulars might more forward with their collection by hundreds of stamps per year---where as topical collectors might only add one, two or a small handful per year. The humor in the debate is both collector is waiting while collecting whether they realize it or not.

I never frown upon it but remind collectors to be more aware of the world before diving into a sub-type collecting mode that limits their scope of the amount of truly diverse countries, cultures and stamps present in the world. I always felt topical collecting was better suited for the more experienced collector, but many are now topical collecting along side their general collecting.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Introductions: The Stamp Club

In an age where technology distracts the youth from educational endeavours, the stamp club continues to be the first introduction the fascinating hobby of stamp collecting.


Decades ago stamp clubs numbered in the thousands and were often linked with organizations like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, etc. The Boy Scouts even have a badge for stamp collecting knowledge. But society changed and stamp clubs dwindled.

At one point stamp collecting and stamp clubs were more popular in foreign countries than in the United States where the hobby was created and perfected. Then the most ironic of developments: the advent of Ebay started allowing people to reconnect with stamps and clubs started springing up with specialty features and often adult-only membership. Many focus on certain types like air mail, or states that no longer exist like Rhodesia.

Kids Need Stamps are happy to assist any efforts to create, enhance or further the efforts of adults working to educate children about the educational and recreational value of stamp collecting.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Typography: Fonts of the Heart


Typography is basically the font style used by the principle designer of the stamp. Many older stamps have a distinct font that makes them more collectible than other stamps even of the same time period.

Western Australia

Typography is a very highly specialized aspect of collecting stamps and I have not come across many collectors who assemble their lifelong collections along these challenging lines. You truly have to have a love for print-type more than art, subject, history, topic, country, geography or personage.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Special Art: Embossed Stamp Issues

Embossed stamp issues are a special breed of stamps each contains a raised texture one can actually feel with a finger. There are some embossed issues with Braille built into the stamp to assist the blind in reading the domination.

Others are special editions celebrating a great historical person or event and sold as a profitable venture to collectors throughout the world.

Whatever the agenda the embossed stamp issue is a valuable addition to any stamp collector and opens new possibilities to where stamps may go next in the future. Perhaps bar codes that can be scanned by smart phones will contain public service announcements or speak to the blind.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fires of the Imagination

One the deepest aspects of stamp collecting is how is fires the imagination of young people in such a way that it makes them want to learn more about the world around them. You wont hear that tale from kids who play video games unless it's some curiosity of how a kid is Japan is playing the same video game.

One finds children exploring different cultures and countries to learn what makes them unique and why they issued their distinctive array of annual stamps. Stamps inspire kids to ask about Abraham Lincoln, famous battleships, shells from distant beautiful islands and space exploration.

You won't find these fires in any other pursuit. Stick with stamps and their questions will stick with you for a lifetime. I promise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What A Friend We Have In Stamping

What a friend we have in stamping.

Yet in many respects it's a secret friend or an invisible friend. Stamp collecting still has a negative image that forces many to practice their hobby far away from friends. It's an irony since stamping has progressed with technology you can now own a complete catalog of every stamp ever produced anywhere in the where for a fraction of the print cost--because it is available on compact disc.

Stamp listings on Ebay outnumber nearly every other product sold if judged by category. Stamp collecting programs make collecting even more fun and educational. Not to mention the introduction of electronic mail, which supposed was going to make stamps obsolete, now serves as a communication device about stamps and stamp collecting.

Image scanners allow a collector to scan a stamp into his computer and then magnify it far better than any magnifying glass.  Smart phones have applications where collectors can keep track of their collections, their purchases and sales of stamps with people around the globe.

We have a friend in stamping. Let's share that friend with others and not fear they will not understand its purpose and potential.  Why are stamps any more strange than spending three hours trying to blow up aliens from planet Creepo. Don't let prejudice get in the way of spreading the word about the world's oldest and coolest hobby.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Madness: Our Fifth Year of Operation

Another exciting year is upon us at Kids Need Stamps. Thank you for the kind words and helpful comments. Our mission remains the same: helping parents help kids collect stamps. While we do branch out ocassionally to assist boys scouts, disabled students, war veterans, etc., KNS is first and foremost about helping parents connect with their children using stamps.

We live in strange and ironic times where so-called advanced devices like smart phones and video games tout brain stimulation and increased communication. But I question these remarks as merely commericial propaganda meant to reinforce sales. I have yet to hear and important or intelligent conversation using a cell phone. You can wait to get home to talk silly. And video games isolate our children more so than ever before. I wouldn't advocate banning these devices only self-regulating their usage in our lives. My own kids play video games but we restrict the time and games they play. They still must deal with homework, boardgames, and their parents.

Stamps are special devices that allow us to access our children's lives without leaning on them about sermons, rules and merely forcing "togetherness." The parental connection becomes natural and vital when learning why stamps exist and how their extistence educates and entertains the entire world.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stamp Alphabet Series: Z is For Zambia

Z is the last letter of the alphabet but also our last in the two year long series on displaying stamps and stamp information for the collective use of stamp admirers.


Also known as point roulette, this is a form of a stamp separation that leaves evenly shaped pointed teeth on stamp edges. No paper is removed during the process.

ZIP Block

A margin block of United States stamps bearing the inscription "Use correct ZIP code" in the selvage. These blocks were collected similar to plate blocks primarily during the 1960s and 1970s, when they were most widely issued.

ZIP Code

Stands for Zone Improvement Plan, which was a program launched in the early 1960s to speed the processing of mail by assigning a five-digit code to each post office or organized mailing area. The system was the keystone of modern automation and is still an important part of mail processing, although population growth has caused the five-digit code to grow to nine and 11 digits. The 11-digit code is not widely used, however.


A German term, meaning "printed together," that came into use originally as a result of the German state printing office. Beginning in the early years of the 20th century,it made available to collectors full printing sheets from which booklet panes were separated so that booklets could be manufactured. The sheets were too large to mount in an album, so collectors subdivided the sheets so as to yield every possible setenant combination and configuration of the stamps,labels,and selvage possible. Some of these, which might occur only a few times in an entire sheet,are quite valuable, especially when the sheet from which they came was sold in very limited numbers.Others are inexpensive and common.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stamp Alphabet Series: Y is For Yugoslavia

Y maybe for Yugoslavia but it's also for Youth, which is the future of stamp collecting worldwide.

As we begin a new year let us recommit ourselves to spending more time with our children teaching them the education and adventure possible through stamping.

2012 is an exciting year full of new friendships, partnerships and clubs ready to steer the young people of the world into a lifelong hobby full of learning and joy.

Thank you so much for supporting our efforts to help parents help kids collect stamps.