Just days after helping Italy beat England in their opening World Cup match with a headed goal in 2014, Mario Balotelli posted a photo of this completed Panini stickers album on his official Facebook page.

It was good fun and featured Mario in every position for Italy, including goalkeeper!

But it got us thinking. How long have Panini sticker books been around, and are they as popular today as we head into the next European Championship?

Do kids even like them anymore and more importantly, if your child decides to start collecting them for the Euro 2024, how much will it realistically cost you to complete the book?

Where Did Panini Sticker Books Come From?

It may surprise you to know that Panini sticker books have been around for more than 60 years.

The Panini brothers, Giuseppe and Benito, originally ran a newsstand in Modena, Italy, but they then decided to turn their hand to the collectibles market.

Recognising the growing popularity of football in the 1960s, they seized an opportunity to combine collectibles with sports enthusiasm.

Their first product, a football sticker album released for the 1961-62 Italian Serie A season, was an immediate success.

It was an interactive experience where fans could collect and stick pictures of their favourite players and teams into an album.

As the years progressed, the Panini brand became synonymous with football collectibles. Their sticker books evolved with the sport, capturing historic moments and the careers of emerging stars.

Each World Cup or European Championship offered a new opportunity to update the collection, adding a fresh layer of excitement for collectors.

By the 1970s and 1980s, Panini had become an essential part of football culture, especially in Europe.

The act of collecting, swapping, and completing a Panini album became a ritual for many as Panini expanded its reach, distributing albums and stickers globally.

Over the years, the quality of the stickers and albums has improved with better printing techniques and higher-quality materials.

And, moving with the times, Panini adapted by offering digital sticker collections and apps that complemented their traditional albums.

How Much Does It Cost To Complete A Panini Book?

Let’s not pretend that completing a Panini sticker book is a cheap way to entertain your child.

More often than not, your child will have dozens of multiples, be constantly in search of the ‘platinum’ footballers, and, in the process, cost you a small fortune.

Generally, the way around it is to buy multiple sticker packs in bundles, but with only six cards in each Panini pack, it can be slow going to get the book completed.

Most Panini sticker albums for events like the FIFA World Cup or the Premier League typically require collectors to find around 600 to 700 stickers, and the average person might end up buying several hundred packs to find all unique stickers unless they actively trade duplicates with others.

Given these factors, you can expect to spend anywhere from £500 to £800 or more, especially if they rely solely on buying packs and don’t trade stickers with others.

Trading can significantly reduce costs, making community swaps a popular and economically savvy part of collecting Panini stickers.

There are also online forums and local groups that facilitate sticker trading, which can help you fill in your album more efficiently and at a lower cost.

Is There A Euro 2024 Panini Stickers Book?

There is a Euro 2024 sticker book but it is produced by Topps, not Panini.

A main competitor in the market, Topps has moved in on major sporting events like the UEFA European Championship, where they now hold the licensing agreement to produce the sticker books.

The production of official sticker books for major events depends on securing licensing rights from organising bodies, such as FIFA, UEFA, or national leagues.

So, in the case of Euro 2024, Topps has the tournament rights; however, the sticker books specifically for England in 2024 are still with Panini.

Topps, historically known for its trading cards, especially in baseball, has expanded into football and other sports to diversify its product offerings and compete in international markets.

By entering the sticker market, Topps aims to tap into the global popularity of football, offering collectors an alternative to Panini’s products.

To get you started, the Topps Official Euro 2024 Sticker Collection Hardcover Album with 88 pages will set you back £11.99. You can generally buy it on Amazon.

The good news (I’m joking) is that you can buy a bundle with 100 packs, 6 cards per pack, for a snip at £90.

But if that’s not rich enough for your blood, you could always up the ante and increase your chances of filling the book faster with their 200-pack bundle for £180.

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