Monday, April 19, 2010

Panini sticker albums. I never ever finished them. Always a couple short, with the best intentions of sending off for the ones I needed, but never ever got round to it.

My mum would bring me home a couple of packets with her shopping every week. Such excitement opening them and if you saw some shiny foil in there, well wow!

You'd carry your doublers around everywhere with you, ready to swap in the vain hope of getting the obscure card you needed from some other obscure kid that you'd just randomly bump in to outside of shops that your folks had gone in to.

Got, got, got, need, got, need, got, got.

Few friendships were born out of this routine, you knew it was just business. It also seemed impossible to complete your collection. Some stickers just didn't seem to exist. Others, mostly of eastern European teams it appeared, had obviously been the results of the repeat print button being stuck at the printers.

You'd hear the rumours that someone knew this kid that had the complete set, but you never saw the proof.

It's great to see that they're still around today and still going strong. I'm not sure the excitement is quite the same amongst kids when they have some violent video game to play instead or some random thought to tweet or post on Facebook.

It does seem that the new releases are more anticipated and welcomed by grown ups trying to relive their own childhoods whilst forcing it onto their own kids!

This is especially true when it comes to the Panini World Cup sticker collections, the latest of which was just launced earlier this month. I know it's a four yearly event I avidly look forward to!

But it's not the same. Kids don't cherish them as gold. And you don't even have to buy the stickers in packets of five any more if you don't want to.

In this technological age, you can buy full boxes of 100 packets of stickers on ebay. That's what I did for the 2006 World Cup! Whilst this got me most of my collection, I was obviously still short of some, although there were very little doubles in the box - an "interesting" side note there!

Of course I still never got round to sending off for my missing ones and my collection sits in beside all my other football memorabilia and previous incomplete World Cup sticker albums that I kept hold off going back to 1986.

This year ebay still has all the boxes you can buy but there's also a lot of people around the world selling complete sets of all 640 stickers. Some of them will even stick them in the album for you!

Even swapsies have taken on a new modern day twist, with a Facebook page set up to help facilitate people's wants.

Sure it may be safer than going up to some strange kid who pulls a knife on you and takes your cell phone of you, but it's not the same!!! I pity the poor, lonely fat kids who will now be devoid of any human contact.

I hate myself for doing it, but I'll probably just go down the route of buying a complete set online this year. At least I'll have my first ever complete album.

Obviously I'll buy the stickers loose and attach them myself. How can you get someone else to do it for you? You're already losing the joy of ripping open the packets. To remove the sticking in from the whole experience would just be sacrilege!


  1. Two words: Barry Daines. The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and my panini sticker nemesis.

    But for him - sticker 333 - I would have the complete set for the 1979-80 season. Never forgotten. Never forgiven.

  2. Was just think bout this comment the other day.

    This could be a Dave Gormanesque show for you as you travel round the world trying to track down a copy of this sticker.

    You could even go and meet the man himself and explain the heartache he's caused you all these years!


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