On November 8th, the Japan Post will begin selling stamps adorned with the faces of AKB48 members.
The images of the three booklets announced have been published on the Japan Post website. The booklets each represent a single AKB team – Team A, K, and B – and contain twenty stamps, 16 of which are head shots of individual members and four of which are of the 16 members grouped into groups of four.
The booklets also come with a holder for the stamps, a set of commemorative envelopes, 16 commemorative post cards, and a commemorative checkbook. The checkbook is necessary for tracking the obscene amounts of money AKB48 fans are spending on AKB48 goods.
In addition to the above goodies, customers who purchase the stamps also have a chance of winning one of 480 signed postcards. Five lucky customers will get signed postcards from all 48 members.
The most shocking aspect of these stamps is that each booklet is priced 5,700JPY or 73USD. Since each stamp is worth 50 yen, the booklets should only be worth 1,000 yen. Assuming that AKB48 fans are going to buy all three booklets, Japan Post will be making a hefty 5,700 x 3 = 17,100JPY off something that should only cost 3,000JPY!
The United States Postal Service can learn a lesson from the Japan Post and revive their failing business. My suggestion is commemorative Justin Bieber stamps.