One of the joys of any major soccer tournament is the collecting of Panini soccer stickers. The quest to get enough stickers to complete the entire sticker book collection seems simple enough. However, anyone who has bought or collected Panini stickers knows that very few people finish the task. To me, that’s all part of the fun. Trying to find those last few stickers. And then being reduced to finding just that one. Some innocent player that sends you on a delirious quest to find it.
While Copa America isn’t EPL-centric, there are many Premier League players who have competed in the tournament. Plus, collecting Panini stickers is a hobby that many soccer fans from the United Kingdom have cherished. And now that hobby is fast becoming more popular in the United States. For example, many soccer fans in the United States “caught the bug” and began collecting stickers from the 2010 World Cup.
Now, thanks to Panini, the 2011 Copa America collection is available in the United States (and around the world). I was fortunate that Panini sent me a box and a sticker album, which I’ll reveal in a minute, but if you’d like to get your own, simply visit www.ICollectPanini.com to order.
The following photographs show a bird’s eye view of the Panini collection and give you a good idea of the quality of the stickers, the glossy album and more:
Overall, the sticker collection gets a thumbs up from me. The quality of the photography used in the stickers is excellent. The stickers themselves feel slightly different than the ones from the 2010 World Cup. Not worse, just different — a little smoother to touch.
The 2011 Copa America tournament has many fewer teams than a World Cup, so the sticker book itself understandably contains far fewer pages. All of the teams are represented, of course, in addition to the cities where the games are staged, the trophy, and some of the stars in action shots.
From the entire collection, the only criticism I have is that the sticker album doesn’t list the player’s name in the space where the sticker goes. That may seem like a petty criticism, but I like to see the player’s names listed in each spot so when I begin to place the corresponding sticker into the album, I have one last mental check that the sticker I’m holding in my fingers is being placed on the correct slot in the sticker album. Sometimes, while putting stickers in the album, I got interrupted after peeling the sticker off and getting ready to place it in the album. And because the sticker album doesn’t list the player’s name, I would have to find the piece of paper that had the sticker on it, check the number and then go back to the album to make sure the number matched where I was about to place the sticker.
That aside, this is another winning collection from Panini. As far as I know, the stickers are not available in stores in the United States which is a shame. However, the album and stickers are available from the Panini store at www.ICollectPanini.com.
If you’re curious about collecting the stickers, I would thoroughly recommend buying a box or set. It helps broaden your knowledge of the beautiful game by helping to learn the players of each team. Plus, at the end of the day, it’s a ton of fun. For me, we all sat down as a family around the table and took turns opening the stickers and placing them in the book. My children and I now look forward to each major tournament and participating in our new hobby. But whether you have children or not, collecting Panini stickers is an enjoyable hobby for all ages.