Harry Potter Stamps Apparently Not American Enough

Can Harry Potter wave his wand and magically fix the Post Office's budget woes?

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As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) launches 20 new Harry Potter-themed postage stamps Tuesday, some American stamp enthusiasts say they would have liked to see a U.S. character on postage instead of the star of J.K. Rowling’s hit books, the Washington Post reports.

“Harry Potter is not American. It’s foreign, and it’s so blatantly commercial it’s off the charts,” John Hotchner, a Falls Church stamp collector and former American Philatelic Society president, told the newspaper. Don Schilling, an L.A. collector who runs The Stamp Collecting Round-Up blog also told the Post that stamps “shouldn’t be reduced to the latest fads, whatever’s going to sell.”

Postmaster General Patrick R. Don­ahoe is banking on Harry Potter and Hogwarts to sell stamps and magically make more people send letters instead of emails as the volume of mail has gone down by 25% in the past five or six years, and the Post Office is expected to lose $6 billion this year, as TIME recently reported.

Of course, one could argue that Potter mania has been an essential part of American childhood — as the books have broken U.S. sales records, drawn hundreds to theaters for the midnight release of the movies, and spawned the Harry Potter World Theme Park at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.



Harry Potter and friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.



(clockwise starting top left) Hogwarts staffers Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Professor Minerva McGonagall, and Hagrid.



(clockwise from top left) Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort, aka “He Who Must Not Be Named.”