Nearly seven months ago I wrote about the release of a stamp honoring Mister Rogers
. My plan at the time was to make this my go-to stamp, to use it exclusively on all my mail. To spread Mister Rogers' attitude of support, acceptance, and love with each piece of mail I sent. I would stock up on these stamps and buy more every chance I got.
It didn't work out that way.
The day the stamp was released I hustled to my local post office. "Do you have the Mister Rogers stamp?" I asked. "Yeah, let me get that for you." The clerk checked the drawer. "Wait, we must have them in the back." He called to a co-worker, who looked at him and said "Well, yeah, but...remember what they said before..."
After a few uncomfortable minutes I was sold a booklet of Mister Rogers stamps. Twenty of them, at a price of fifty cents per stamp, good for First-Class postage "Forever," or at least until the United States Postal Service - or whatever replaces them after they are destroyed by the current administration - decides that "Forever" doesn't apply anymore. I began using them immediately, and realized I would be needing more soon.
I had to mail something a week later and I asked about the Mister Rogers stamp. Nope, fresh out. Everybody wants them. Can't keep 'em in stock.
I tried a bigger post office. Nope. Can't hold onto them. None to be had.
I made a point of stopping in at every post office I could, every chance I could. Same story, over and over. Fresh out, they would say with a laugh.
I don't know if there really was a run on the stamps, or if the postal workers were snatching them up for themselves and selling them at a profit to collectors. I've seen that happen often enough with Record Store Day premiums (not by the record store employees) and "chase figures" in toy collections (by the toy store employees.) Whatever the cause, for nearly seven months, I have not been able to track down these stamps.
USPS has a website
through which you can see all the currently available stamps. You can order stamps from the site, if you don't mind paying shipping and handling for them, which I do. Several times over the last seven months I have thought about ordering the Mister Rogers stamp from there, but have never gotten around to it.
Yesterday I heard that the price of a First Class "Forever" stamp is expected to increase to 55 cents. So now seemed like a good time to buy these stamps.
Unfortunately, the USPS store is fresh out of Mister Rogers stamps.
That's not entirely true. As of this writing, if you search the site you will find several Mister Rogers stamp products available - framed art, first day covers, things like that. And then you'll find the Mister Rogers Press Sheet with Die Cuts.
Six sheets of Mister Rogers stamps all on one page. Die cut so you can actually remove the stamps. (Some stamps have press sheets that are sold without die cuts, mainly for the collectors' market, but no such press sheets are available for Mister Rogers.) So I'm getting my Mister Rogers stamps. One hundred and twenty of them. A hedge against inflation, and a statement made with every stamp used.