Monday, March 22, 2010

Spock Stamp Collecting Ad

Hey, welcome back, friends! Glad you joined us, we were just about to open up one of the legendary collection cabinets and see what we could find to look at today. Grab a soda from the fridge, dig into some of the snacks on the table, and let's see what's in the stack of stuff I grabbed at random...

Well, let's see... first, here's a cardboard tabletop standee advertising the Space Exploration stamps that the Post Office put out in 1991. They tied it in with the upcoming "ST VI: The Undiscovered Country" which was coming out that December, around the same time of the stamps' release. The standee is about 18 inches tall, and was given to me by the lady behind the counter after the campaign was over. (I always cultivated relationships with people in various places that I could sweet-talk into giving me publicity items; shallow, I know.) Sadly, I didn't get the set of Trek stickers.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

"When it comes to hobbies, stamp collecting cannot be licked. Did that constitute a joke?"

Not a lot to post today in terms of articles and such, so I thought I'd add some bonus items to make up for it. Below, a scan of a pair of 3-D glasses that came with a ST:TMP poster that had a 3-D version on the flip side. They gave a slight illusion of depth as well as a slight headache, not to mention making the wearer look like a complete loser.

According to this design, big ol' metal rivets were key in starship construction technology.

Below, another cover from the extreme nostalgia-inducing James Blish Star Trek novels, this time #8. I bought this in 1974, from the high school bookstore where the kind lady ordered my Star Trek books for me. I read it through during a couple of classes, lunch and a study hall before I got home. Blish was doing a much better job of adapting the scripts by this time, to the point they were more than a synopsis as they were in the earlier ones. Every time I bought one of these novelizations, it was like manna from the heavens and I would re-read them til I knew them by heart. This red-saturated cover art brings back a lot of good memories that my love of Star Trek generated in the midst of a tense home situation.

Cool, how this alien planet had stalagmites coming up from the ground with no cave ceiling above to create them! And dig the dude with the space helmet, which I suppose he brought along in case there was construction going on overhead. It certainly was no good if there had been no breathable atmosphere; which seems to be the case since the ship is only a few hundred feet high.

"I am so-o-o-o screwed."

I suppose he can always call them on his "futuristic" walkie-talkie he carried with him. But considering he's a "redshirt," I don't suppose his chances of returning alive are very high anyway. The extra liability of red pants practically dooms him immediately. I know my reader Jay probably really likes this one!

Next, another of the 1976 Random House Star Trek greeting cards. The inside text reads "You're different!" Which could be a kinder way of calling the person you gave it to "a freak."

Next bonus: below, another in the set of 1967 Leaf bubblegum cards with the kooky kaptions. This time they must have been fairly sober when writing the caption; otherwise it might have read "Mustard and Relish" or "Looking for A Leprechan!"

And the final bonus item, below: a publicity photo of Shatner as Captain Kirk, looking particularly flirty at the yeoman taking the log entry. Note the conspicuous direction of the finger on his armrest. A subtle, perhaps even subliminal hint?

"Check it out."


chunky B said...

I always thought it was strange that we have only had one Star Trek stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office and never a set. We've had Marvel and DC Heroes, Star Wars and just a sheet of Yoda, Muppets, Disney even the Simpsons. No love for Classic Star Trek.

CMX said...

One of the best things about your Trek blog is that it's almost like actually having these collectibles in my own hands again, even though virtually everything I had is now long gone. (I do still have my original '60s copy of The Making of Star Trek, which I carried around in Jr. High and High School.) Last night my wife told me she used to read the Blish books on the train, to make the long trips more bearable. So, it's all in the family for sure. :)

Jay said...

chunky B, I'm pretty sure you have to be dead to get on a stamp. Some policy of the post office in the US. In the UK, I believe you have to be dead or royalty. But I digress.

Thanks for the shout out! I always dig those crazy cover, daddio!

panickyguy said...

Blish No. 8 is one of the few I still have. I really liked the planetscape and ship on this cover. And who couldn't use a sturdy helmet on the ship? Oh, let's say you're delivering a piping hot bowl of plomeek soup to your science officer--or maybe just babysitting a rowdy bunch of telepathic devil children from Triacus. (The belt buckle is a bit much though.)

Frederick said...


Good point! Maybe the artist was being practical, and foresaw the need for security people to wear helmets like we saw in ST:TMP. It was about time they got SOME protection for the dangerous job they had!

Jay said...

Just an FYI, which I'm sure you gys already know, but those Blish novelizations can still be had on the cheap in used book stores or on eBay. I think I picked up most of mine, with the early printing covers, for something like a buck a piece. There's really a glut of Star Trek paperbacks out there. I have three copies of every Bantam novel, just for the sake of having the different cover art. They're like baseball cards! Except you can't put them in the spokes of your bicycle!

chunky B said...

Jay, Not sure about the UK stamp and you may be right on the U.S. in regards to a "real" person, but we do have all the ones I mentioned plus one that is of the Enterprise, I think these fall under the umbrella of art.

The Enterprise was included on a set of 1960's stamps.

Frederick said...

I think the "must be dead" rule only applies to actual people, but fictional characters, even when portrayed by living actors, are okay. Here is a USPS page about the Star Wars stamps:

Jay said...

Well, to clarify what I was trying to say earlier, I think that in order for a *human being* to be depicted on a stamp, he or she has to be dead - so DeForest Kelley would qualify, but William Shatner would not, nor would "William Shatner in his iconic portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk" because even though he has a Star Trek uniform on, he's still an image of William Shatner (or, God forbid, Chris Pine). But, for example, an original trilogy Darth Vader, as a fictional character who does not bear a resemblence to any person, would be okay, regardless of whether he was fictionally dead or not, or regardless of whether or not the portrait of Darth Vader was intended to portray the very much alive David Prowse "as" Darth Vader, unseen inside the Darth Vader costume (or, God forbid, Hayden Christensen). As long as you don't see David Prowse the man on the stamp, it would be fine. The same with Kermit the Frog or Betty Boop or the Boogeyman. Which would actually be kind of cool. "I'd like a book of Boogeyman stamps, please." But I did not mean to imply that the only kind of stamps the post office will produce is of dead people. Obviously all kinds of things end up on stamps that are neither dead nor human. I just meant that *if* a person is going to be on a stamp, they have to be dead. Or a muppet.

Did any of that make sense?

Frederick said...


I claim no knowledge of the subject, but the link I gave last time, of the SW stamps, include Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke, and others... wouldn't that fall under the category as a postulated Kirk/Spock/Uhura/etc set of stamps?

Jay said...

Yes! ANOTHER comment! Being extremely nerdy and desiring an answer, I wasted a half hour looking into it and apparently the Star Wars stamps were a controversial (among stamp enthusiasts) exception of policy because the post office wanted to make a lot of money selling those stamps!
A money quote: Still, it’s a blow to purists, who think stamps should continue the tradition of celebrating individuals and events of historic importance to the country — not celebrities du jour. “That gets you into egomaniacs honoring themselves,” says Chicago collector Eliot Landau.

Frederick said...


Sorry about the link, when long links are posted in the comments box, they run off the page and therefore can't be copied and pasted correctly. But thanks for your research, where you obviously turned up evidence of the stamps I was referring to. That solves the mystery and debate!

Iddy said...

I bought all the Blish novelizations through school book sales too! The best parts, IMHO, were the intros where he did a little bit of backstory about some of the characters. The covers were always interesting--if not "canon". I spent a lot of time daydreaming stories for those covers :)