More interesting than the actual Rebel vs. Galactic vote was the list of other "commemorative stamps" that the USPS is releasing in '07; everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and Jimmy Stewart to Peter Pan and The Incredible Hulk will be immortalized on a postage stamp this year.
And that got me to thinking...and since I've been overdue in unleashing yet another one of my theories upon the blogosphere, here's the next one:
Products made obsolete by technology
are resurrected by collectibility
Commemorative stamps are far from new, but with the advent of email, IM, texting and other instant digital communication, they are more vital than ever to the bottom lines of postal services all over the world. I couldn't track down the exact percentage of revenue, but with more than 20 million stamp collectors in the USA alone, you know that these guys have become more important a target to the USPS than the middle American, "send a letter to Mom & Pop" market.
Stamps are just one product caught in this utility-to-collectibility paradigm shift. Milk bottles, to name just one, have gone from the ubiquity of our front doorsteps to the display cases of antique stores (not to mention the tables of weekend collector shows and the pages of collector magazines).
So what's next? Well if I were an investor (actually, I am in some cases), I would lay some cash down on those gas station roadmaps. GPS systems have replaced 'em in cars, and Google Maps and Mapquest have taken the art of driving directions to an extreme, granular level.
Think I'm off the beaten track with this one? Well, what goes around comes around. When--not IF--this happens, it will be the second coming for maps. Check out the walloping prices on these old sea-faring charts at New York's Martayan Lan...then head to your nearest Shell or Chevron and start loading up on tomorrow.
While you're at it, you can send one to me as a thank you commission.
And use the Rebel stamp...