WASHINGTON (AP) _ What's up, doc?

Bugs Bunny, it seems. The happy hare hopped into first place among postage stamps, with 45.3 million stamps collected in 1997. Tailing bugs this year were stamps depicting classic aircraft, dinosaurs, endangered species and dolls.

But not to worry, Elvis is still the all-time king, with 124 million stamps collected since it was issued in 1993.

Among the 10 most popular stamps of 1997, more than 231 million were saved, an increase of more than 31 million over last year.

The popularity of stamps is measured by the number collected -- not pasted to envelopes and mailed. The year-end collection statistics are determined through quarterly surveys mailed to 60,000 households grouped according to Census Bureau statistics. Figures are based on fiscal year 1997, which runs from mid-September, 1996 through mid-September, 1997.

The Postal Service issues 40-45 billion stamps in an average year, the majority of which are so-called definitive stamps intended for day-to-day postage needs. Commemorative issues honor anniversaries, important people, aspects of American culture, or special events and are printed, in most cases, just once, in much smaller quantities.

The most popular commemoratives of 1997, and the number collected, according to the post office:

Bugs Bunny, 45.3 million stamps collected; classic American aircraft, 35.6 million; world of dinosaurs, 35.3 million; endangered species, 28.8 million, classic American dolls: 24.4 million.

Other popular stamps this year included: Humphrey Bogart, 18.1 million; legendary football coaches, 17.8 million; songwriters, 11.6 million; lunar new year, 8.4 million; Pacific '97 - Franklin, 6.55 million.

The post popular commemorative stamps of all-time remain: Elvis, issued in 1993, 124 million; wildflowers, 1992, 76.2 million; rock 'n' roll, 1993, 75.8 million; moon landing, 1994, 47.9 million; Civil War, 1995, 46.6 million;

Other popular editions include: legends of the West, 1994, 46.5 million; Marilyn Monroe, 1995, 46.3 million; Bugs Bunny, 1997, 45.3 million; summer Olympics, 1992, 39.6 million; centennial Olympic Games, 1996, 38.1 million.