Panini stickers not to be confused with the toasted sandwich, are specifically dedidcated to sporting events (mainly football).
When Argentina '78 was on and it was time for pupils to go to the courtyard to play, it was all about comparing and exchanging Panini's duplicate images, in order to complete the teams and countries involved in the championship.
But the passion for the promotional stickers is not recent. It is just that it is there for a short period but collectors are on the case way before the competition starts. Some are trying to get their album complete before it all kicks off.
There is as well an exhibition dedicated to it:
...the World Cup Wonder exhibition is open from 8am until 10pm daily at The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Road, London N1 5ET from June 12 until July 13. For details, see theproudarchivist.co.uk... Source
Something rather special as it's a unique show where all Panini's World Cup stickers have been brought together for a single exhibition.
But there is a kind of paradox about this past-time: when technology is all around us, people still appreciate basic fun by adding these stickers to a book. Which is in fact great. This shows that there is entertainment in the 21st century without the need of the internet, smartphones or tablets.
The World Cup taking place in Brazil, seems to be almost iconic, because football is associated to this country. Certainly because the name of Pelé is directly linked to Brazil too (read full article HERE).
Some players such as Mario Balotelli is having a play with Panini's too. He has decided to cover Italy team with his own stickers (Source The Guardian).
Social media #Panini hashtag is also working well:
Instagram got it as well:
What is interesting though is when the World Cup ends. Some will keep their album in a specific/precious place. But others, will try to sell them for a high price because they believe it can be seen as an exclusive memorabilia (or souvenir) of that football tournament which has been watched globally.
But watch out for the Tour de France. Maybe a special Panini event for it? From the 70s to 2013, there was the popular Panini Sprint focussing on professional cycling. Maybe a come back soon considering the importance of pedal power? We can always hope! There isn't just football in life...