treading a non-Panini sticker book path and here again, we take a look at someone other than the mighty P attempting a sticker collection of their own.
This time it's Merlin, who had only come into existence the year before, with only their 2nd attempt - the first was Team 90, which I'll review another time. While Team 90 covered the domestic league, for their second outing, they went international with their first World Cup collection.
As with Team 90, which featured flip-book style goal animations on the corners of each page, 'The World Cup Sticker Collection - Italia 90' featured its own little extra hook to reel you in. This idea was fully integrated not only with the album, but the stickers themselves.
|So long as the value of...ah whatever!|
The inside cover details the (very lengthy) rules, which basically amount to...you know what, I've tried to get the gist of the thing, but trying to wade through that lot is like slow death.
|Money, Money, Money!|
|£3m? That's a lot of crisps Mr. L!|
Anyway, enough of the sideline, let's get down to business - the business of stickerage!
The first sticker in the book is reserved for...a sticker! Despite having 2 albums, neither of them has the first sticker in, though I'm going to take a leap of faith and assume it's the World Cup trophy...anyone that can confirm this for me, I'd be very grateful.
The following pages detail the history of the World Cup from 1930-1986, each one granted a neat little summary of the tournament and a sticker featuring a photo of the winning team.
While this sort of thing is standard fare in World Cup albums, the execution from Merlin is first class and is so much more than the usual "Team Photo + Final Result" that goes in these things.
There's the usual team shot and foil badge, though they've opted to only show the nation's flags, possibly down to the copyright issues that now blight all Panini albums. Alongside the stickers, there's also the familiar 'Past Performances' and 'How They Qualified' sections showing the results from previous world cups and the current tournament's qualification scores.
While this lends itself rather well to team photos, as demonstrated here by Scotland (in a World Cup? I know!), it naturally doesn't quite work so well for player head shots. But wait, what's that there on the right of the players' mug-shots? Why it's all the info you need to play MWSLSG! Genius!
|Camer-who? Nah, they'll do nothing...|
Looking through the team stickers, it's obvious this album suffers from the same problem that all non-Panini ones seem to...the player shots are not staged photos and so we're treated to a variety of backgrounds and kits. While this isn't a huge issue, it just adds to that slightly cheaper feel, like getting your favourite band's calendar from a market stall rather than an established retailer.
The final page of the album is the standard 'How To Complete' your collection. Interestingly, unlike the usual Panini 50 stickers, here, you can only order up to 30 and no more than 5 of those can be foil ones. Each sticker is a mere 4p and they don't even charge for postage! Just do NOT send stamps or cash!
|Bum bags and turquoise...Hello The 90s!|
I had a 'Head' one of the latter and usually a Puma one of the midi size for my school bag. They lasted barely a term, but they were freaking awesome! I always wanted an electric blue one with green piping, but they weren't cheap, unlike the navy n red one you could get from Argos. Er...where was I?
Finally, from the back cover shot, you can see the album cost 40p...though mine was free with the Sunday Post newspaper and I can still remember it making the perfect start to my easter hol as it flopped through the door on the first day. Ah memories!