In 1969, Sesame Street debuted with a bold mission. Unlike many children’s TV shows of the era, Sesame Street put education at its core . While other programs often did have an educational component, Sesame Street was constructed around a learning curriculum designed by experts in the field.
And wouldn’t you know it, it worked. Key to the show’s success are Jim Henson’s loveable muppets. They appealed to young children and parents alike, and soon became nationally recognized and adored.
Fifty years later, the United States Postal Service has released a Forever 55¢ Sesame Street Stamp Collection  in honor of the show’s half-century anniversary. The set features sixteen muppets from the total cast, which numbers over 3,100 across various publications.
The Collectors Stamp Cast
1. Big Bird
Standing over eight feet tall with bright yellow feathers, Big Bird is one of the originals from ’69, and quite possibly the most iconic muppet there is. The mystery of Big Bird’s species remains a playful joke to this day.
One-half of Sesame Street’s famous duo, Ernie’s the loveable goofball that balances out his roommate and best friend’s more straight-laced attitudes. Ernie also arrived in Episode 1 of Sesame Street.
A list like this might be the only time you experience Bert without Ernie. A serious-minded fellow with a penchant for collectables (he’s into paper clips and bottle caps), Bert is also president of the National Association of W Lovers .
4. Cookie Monster
Do not let Cookie Monster near your collectibles. He will eat them all. Known for his wacky appetite and stunted speech, Cookie Monster has been making kids giggle since 1969.
A relatively new muppet, Rosita debuted in 1991. She speaks English and Spanish, plays guitar, and can (sort of) fly. Rosita often presents the Spanish Word of the Day on Sesame Street.
6. Count von Count
One, two, three, four, five, six! Six is Count’s number on this list, ah ah ah ah! Ahem. Count is a Sesame Street staple, appearing first in 1972. He’s been keeping track of things ever since.
7. Oscar the Grouch
Everybody’s favorite trash can-dwelling curmudgeon is also a cast original from 1969. According to lore online , he is named after a rude server from Oscar’s Tavern in New York.
8. Abby Cadabby
A 2006 addition, little Abby is a fairy, about three or four years old. Her parents are divorced and her mom remarried, introducing stepfather and stepbrother dynamics to the show.
9. Herry Monster
Perhaps of a similar species to Cookie Monster, Herry is also a furry blue beast. He’s an early arrival to the series, debuting in 1970. He runs the barber shop in Sesame Street.
Developed by a mother with an autistic child, Julia arrived on Sesame Street in 2017 after positive reception to 2015’s Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children .
11. Guy Smiley
He’s Sesame Street’s resident game show host, and boy is he ever excited about it. Even after 50 years of being on the cast, Guy brings nothing but energy to every interaction.
12. Mr. Snuffleupagus
Is he even real? From 1971 to 1985, the show maintained a running gag where it seemed only children and other muppets could see Mr. Snuffleupagus.
Elmo’s high-pitched voice wasn’t always what it was. It was improvised by actor Kevin Clash after another actor, frustrated with the role, tossed him the puppet. In that moment, a star was born.
His full name is Television Monster, and he came onto the scene in 1979 with a disturbing obsession of watching TV like a zombie. Producers quickly backed off the idea, due to being a poor example for children.
A classic muppet. His likeness was seen on TV even before Sesame Street aired, on a 1967 Christmas Eve episode of The Ed Sullivan Show.
Zoe is a ballet-loving, tutu-sporting three-year old who came on cast in 1993. At the time, the roster was predominantly male and showrunners wanted to create more opportunities for little girls to relate.
A Common History
As Sesame Street turns 50, so are we in our 50s! Collectibles Insurance Services has been around since 1966. The release of this Forever 55¢ collection has a special place in our hearts, as our founder was an avid stamp collector.
Collectible memorabilia are precious things, and it’s important to protect them beyond a vacuum seal! Homeowners insurance often does not cover items like stamps or collectibles, so be sure to research and understand what options are out there for insuring your items.
For more information about Stamp Collecting visit the American Philatelic Society at https://stamps.org.