Stamp lovers are all stuck on Marilyn

THOUSANDS of stamp collectors lined the staircases of the General Post Office yesterday to get their hands on legendary Hollywood bombshell Marilyn Monroe.

Collectors gathered outside the post office from as early as 7 am to be first in line for the 32-cent (HK$2.47) stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.

The stamps, sporting a portrait of the late sex symbol, came in three separate packages - a HK$50 stamp sheet, a $39 stamp folio and $78 First Day Ceremony Programme.

By the time the doors opened at 8 am, the queues meandered from the first-floor philatelic counter down into Connaught Place. And by 2 pm, all 20,000 of the stamp folios and programmes had been sold.

'Following the success of last year's limited-edition Elvis stamp, which sold out by noon, we decided we should offer more stamps this time,' said Post Office controller (management) Ellen Siu Wong Wei-ling.

'The stamps were only available from seven philatelic offices but the General Post Office had the longest queues.' Ms Siu said collectors were limited to just five folios, five programmes and 10 sheets each so that more people would have the chance to get in on the act.

Meanwhile, a few stamp sheets were still available at closing time and they will be on sale again today, she said.