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Getting animated about stamps.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

MUSIC: "M-I-C…K-E-Y…M-O-U-S-E" and under :04

This summer's U-S stamps featuring Disney Villains reminds us of the long relationship between Disney and stamps.

"The first U.S. Disney stamp was 1968, and it pictures Walt but because of the lack of a contract with Disney, the Postal Service could not use any Disney characters on that stamp." RUNS :11

That's right, if you look closely, the cartoon characters around Walt Disney aren't his!

Retired minister Edward Bergen collects Disney on stamps. He says it wasn't long before Disney characters did show up on stamps…but not in the U-S.

"1970, San Marino." RUNS :02

and there have been many since then, not always with permission.

"There were some other stamps later on issued not under license and Disney took the countries to court and got those removed from the marketplace." RUNS :09

Disney is known to be tough on rights.

Bergen collects Disney material related to stamps and the mail. Mickey Mouse debuted in the movies in late 1928, and—

"My earliest postcard is dated February 20, 1930. So apparently, merchandise did not come on the market much sooner than that. And all of that was international. Those postcards were all European. That's the earliest I've been able to document with the postal cancel on the back of the postcard."

Eventually, Disney characters WERE featured on U-S stamps, starting in 2004… although Snow White is on the Celebrate the Century 1930s sheet from 1998 — but the Postal Service couldn't publicize it!

Edward Bergen has written a book on Disney and postal material: "The Pictorial Story of Walt Disney's First Superstar: Mickey Mouse." It's available on Amazon.

I’m Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, and a link to the book, visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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