Will it really cost you €1,000 to complete a World Cup 2022 Panini album?

Every four years it’s the same story: finishing the Panini World Cup album seems like an impossible dream. Too expensive, too casual… We reveal the secrets of France’s most famous stickers.

In 1961, in Modena, Italy, Giuseppe and Benito Panini had a brilliant idea. Two brothers, newsagents, decide to sell small pictures representing football players. They come with a tube of glue and an album to store them. Panini collections were born.

In 1970, thanks to the appearance of self-adhesive image, the market became global. And above all, it is very popular in playgrounds. Especially every four years, during the Soccer World Cup. The next album will be launched on November 20 in Qatar, and all fans of small vignettes are already back in line to finish their album.

994 euros to finish the album?

This is one of the keys to the success of Panini’s images the relative rarity of certain images. And it seems that this requires some financial comfort. A few weeks ago, an English mathematician calculated that to finish the 2022 World Cup album, it would cost… €994! The number makes sense given the increased cost of five sticker packs, which has almost doubled since the 2014 World Cup, and the scarcity of images found in packs that are very random. However, Panini’s marketing and communications manager, Isabelle Fillon, refuted this claim as a “false rumour”.

Exchange value

In his calculation, the mathematician forgot the important element that made Panini cards famous: exchange. Greg Jousset, collector and creator of the Potes cartes podcast, like many others, discovered his passion at a very young age: “Our swapping started on the playground with Panini. We collected as kids, now we’re adults, and we still collect albums.”

Isabelle Fillon also mentions that the company creates “free tools for fans to connect with each other,” such as the Panini Collector app. There are also special accounts on Twitter and Facebook groups with very special topics where mutual help prevails. But to enter, “You have to make a commitment, it’s beyond a purchase, you have to show you’re a real collector,” warns Greg Jousset.

His advice to finish the album: “The Last Stickers, this is a reference to a great exchange forum”!

If the exchange is not enough, there is always the option to order the missing stickers directly on the Panini website. So the myth of the never-ending Panini album would be unfounded? “There is no malice on our part, the promise of the collection that is coming to an end exists,” assures Isabelle Fillon. “We generally manage to finish the albums well, explains Greg Jousset, it will always be more expensive to order the missing vignettes, but the taste is to change”.

Screenshot of the Panini website
Panini website screenshot © Panini

“one at a time”

The only remaining unknown comes from the novelty that Panini is offering this year: extremely rare cards, “one of a kind”. A unique card that should improve the rating of some stickers in the long run. But unlike the trading card business in the U.S., especially in the baseball world, Panini stickers have no real financial side. “We stick to the card-to-card principle for kids. Right now, rarity is all about state and seniority,” Greg Jousset recalls. Collectors’ behavior with these new “one-for-one” cards will determine whether or not they will be quoted in the sticker market in the future.

In the United States, if these cards are not affixed, they can already amount to a significant amount…

Therefore, the exchange should be preferred to reach the end of his Panini World Cup 2022 album. If you are not yet ready to mortgage your home to finish it, then you need to show good strategy and show your credentials to join the collectors. clubs and above all… Have fun. Because as Greg Jousset reminds us, cards and stickers are “more than just a piece of cardboard.”

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