Dragons fire up StampShow

A big hello to any US (or visiting) readers attending this weekend’s Stampshow in Columbus, Ohio!

USA 2018 Dragons Green Forever stamp

I read in a news report that organizers (jointly the American Philatelic Society and the American Topical Society) are seeking to tap into more of the pop culture appeal of stamps at this exhibition. Sounds like a good idea to me. I appreciate the effort that old-school philatelists put into their exhibits on obscure paquebot markings or the plate proofs of Upper Biddlonia, but the hobby is evolving with the times. If that means that more fun begins to sneak into philatelic exhibitions in the form of stamp art or dragon mascots, then I’m all for it.

Australia 2011 Mythical Creatures $1.20 Dragon stamp

And dragon mascots it is at Stampshow 2018. The USPS has released a set of colourful stamps celebrating the mythology of dragons. I’m not aware of the USA ever having had actual dragons, but nor is the USA the first country to put dragons on its stamps. My homeland, Australia, released a whole set of Mythical Creatures in 2011, none of which actually exist. Normally it annoys me when stamp issues aren’t relevant to a nation, but Mythical Creatures was that year’s annual release designed specifically to appeal to kids, so on that basis, I’ll allow it. (The UK recently put a dragon on a stamp too, but at least it was commemorating the UK-based Game of Thrones TV series, so it almost passes muster.)

USA 2018 Dragons Purple Forever stamp

I was overjoyed to read that Stampshow’s mascot is the superbly named Perf, the Magic Dragon. I’m gunna go ahead and assume that’s a pun on the song Puff, the Magic Dragon, and I’d like to say: excellent work, whoever came up with that. Does everybody here realise that Puff’s best friend was Little Jackie Paper? How very appropriate for a stamp show attempting to appeal to the young while also catering to the old, who are really into things like perfs and papers.

USA 2018 Dragons Black Forever stamp

I’ve previously written about stamp shows. If you’re off to Stampshow this weekend, I’d love to hear what you thought, in comments either on this post or that old one. Especially if you were a first timer. Did Perf the Magic Dragon fire up a passion for  philately in you?

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© Philatelic product images remain the copyright of issuing postal administrations and successor authorities.

USA 2018 Dragons Orange Forever stamp

14 thoughts on “Dragons fire up StampShow

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  1. These are definitely different times and things need to evolve. They have done well on the technological side, but definitely we need more people in the door.
    Wow! I am talking like a vet, even though I am an absolute beginner/newbie. The show was a little far for me to travel to, but I’ve got one a bit more local in September to take part in. Now that I have gotten my feet wet, I am looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YESS, I am here now with one day to go. The theme definitely helped drive enthusiasm, there is still a lot of work to be done to promote the hobby, and I feel it while walking around. I was impressed with the APS and ATA working together and really recognizing the need to make changes and push new ideas out there. Check out my instagram highlights for commentary on the stamp show, all in all it was a great experience for me.. PS I met Perf and worked closely with her, (the social media guru for APS named Mara)… she is awesome. 🙂 Great post as usual!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not the upper biddlonia type of collector (lover cuddlegrandmania though ☀️)
    But I agree with u on this. The stamp hobby need to think alternative in order to survive.
    Just my 5 cent (or 25 øre where I come from😁)
    Regards from 🇩🇰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Was there for the first three days of the show, unfortunately under the weather today so giving the last day a pass but overall amazing show with some absolutely brilliant exhibits on display. I posted a lot of images over at stampboards.com in the thread I started before the show about the show in the main discussion forum. As someone who lives in Columbus it was wonderful to let people see what a wonderful city we have here as well. And Perf definitely rocked – was able to get a selfie with her on the first day of the show. And Exploringstamps presentation was absolutely BRILLIANT – his youtube videos are an excellent way to introduce new people into the hobby and if the APS were wise they would partner with Exploringstamps to help promote the hobby to the next generations of collectors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have often thought about appearing on You Tube but I don’t have the face for it. I have the perfect face for Radio. I don’t think Philately and Passion work well together. Nor am I convinced that new themes will help Stamp Collecting. For example, recent British issues like Star Wars, Dr Who and Dads Army are more akin to Memorabalia….stamps would be like Star Wars backpacks, Dr Who action figures and Dads Army DVDs.
    In my locality we are entering Stamp Show “season” where shows seem to come thick and fast….a local club (Portadown) hosts one in September, the Irish National Show is three days in mid-October and the “Northern Ireland” Show is at the end of October in Belfast.
    Essentially the same part time dealers will attend Portadown and Belfast.
    Dublin will be more cosmopolitan….but no more than ten dealers. Exhibitions will likely include Upper Biddlonia with a heavy emphasis on the airmail service to Upper Biddlonias outer islands and the postal history of the Serbian Occupation of Upper Biddlonia during the fourteenth Balkan War….it will be almost as interesting as it sounds.
    As I am now 66 years old, I define anyone who is one year older than me as being “old”. And it is just a fact of Stamp Collecting life that 99.99999% of Stamp Collectors are old….male………and politically to the right of Atilla the Hun. They don’t recognise Lesotho, Equatorial Guinea, East Timor. I suspect they still have black and white TV sets. I feel like an outsider at all stamp shows.
    I tend to go to maybe buy one or two stamps from my Ireland want list. I only buy from established dealers.
    At smaller shows, I tend to WANT to buy a lot of cheap foreign rubbish. The problem is pricing. Small part-time dealers tend to think of themselves as major auction hoses and price accordingly.
    I should add that I might actually become a part time dealer soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this excellent reply, John! You’re only as young as you collect, so if one collects East Timor, one is only 16. Not sure I agree with you about philately and passion working well together. I know plenty of passionate philatelists! Some a little too passionate if you ask me. On a side note, great to hear of the diversification in Biddlonian philately…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I use humour to create a barrier between me and the other stakeholders (I hate that word) in the hobby. I feel at the centre of a circle and I am surrounded by Dealers, Post Office and (organised) collectors.
        My mantra is that collecting works best when these three components are in harmony and have mutual respect.
        I continue to tilt at these three windmills.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. There is a dragon in the US. He’s in the White House. Surprised he and his hatred toward so much haven’t burned it down yet. I wanted to spend three days driving across this great land to Ohio, but gave it up when I looked at the dealer list. For me, as a longtime postal history collector, there is little incentive to go to stamp shows anymore because all the good dealers are gone. Time is better spent shopping on eBay, Delcampe, etc. Especially after the bad experience I had at Westpex this year. Cheers for the fun blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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