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WASHINGTON — “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the nation’s longest-running and highest-rated Christmas television special “went down in history” to receive its stamp of approval today. The set of four Limited Edition Forever stamps depicting Rudolph, Hermey, Santa and Bumble were created from still television frames from the special which premiered 50 years ago in 1964.
The stamps were dedicated as part of the Postal Service’s Holiday Kickoff news conference at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Visit the Holiday Newsroom formailing tips, mail by dates, letters to and from Santa and other information.
“Rudolph’s story of guiding Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve has been revered by families for five decades,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the stamps. “We’re celebrating that milestone by having our fleet of 212,000 ‘sleighs’ deliver Rudolph and his friends on 500 million Forever stamps to nearly 153 million addresses this holiday season.”
The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Limited Edition Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.
The name Rudolph appears on the left side in white in the same typeface used for the credits in the original special. Santa waves cheerfully from another stamp, the reins of his magical sleigh held in one hand. The name Santa is printed in the lower right corner. On a third stamp, the Abominable Snow Monster stares menacingly from behind crags of snow. Bumble, the nickname for the Snow Monster used by prospector Yukon Cornelius is printed along the right side. The final stamp shows Hermey, the misfit elf, touching Rudolph’s glowing red nose with the name Hermey printed along the bottom edge.
50 Years of Television
Rankin/Bass produced the television special using stop-motion animation. In this type of production, moveable models are photographed against backgrounds, giving the images their distinctive look. Art director Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, designed the stamps.
The Dec. 6, 1964, premiere featured the voice of Burl Ives as Sam, a singing snowman, who narrates the tale of a misfit reindeer who finds his own special way to shine.
In addition to the Rudolph song, the special also contains five of composer Johnny Mark’s previous songs and seven new songs that include “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” Silver and Gold,” “Jingle, Jingle, Jingle,” “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year, “There’s Always Tomorrow” and “We’re a Couple of Misfits.”
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by Jan. 5, 2015.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are eight philatelic products available.
689624, Framed Art, $19.95
689606, Press Sheet with die cuts, $58.80 (print quantity 1,000)
689608, Press Sheet without die cuts, $58.80 (print quantity 1,500)
689610, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $11.95
689616, First Day Cover (set of 4), $0.93
689621, Digital Color Postmark (set of 4), $6.56
689630, Ceremony Program, $6.95
689631, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © & ® or ™ The Rudolph Co., L.P. All elements under license to Character Arts, LLC. All rights reserved.
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