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CALCIATORI 2021 (Panini)

EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 165

stickers: 864 (1-743 P1-P20, MVP1-MVP9, X1-X23, sticker Tim, M1-M48, C1-C20)
starter pack: album + 2 packets € 1.00
packets: € 0.80 (5 stickers, 100 packets box)
tin box: € 9.90 (15 packets)
hardcover: € 19.90 (from January)

Welcome back Queen of Stickers! We like this album, Panini would have passed the exam again this year. Indeed, it would have done it better than in previous years, in our opinion, were it not for practical problems that affect the result. In fact, confirmation arrives from many parts that the quality of the album is very poor, so much so that the central pages are lost on the first breath. We hope Panini’s policy has not become that of distributing an album deliberately of poor quality for the benefit of other products on sale and this year we have even three: the priced (the exact same BAD quality of the free version album), the limited edition (not still out but announced as finely worked) and the hard cover. All beautiful, Panini is free to make an album in human skin, but the standard version that arrives in newsstands MUST be of good if not excellent quality. At least, by writing to Panini’s customer office (CONTACTS on the home page of the site) it is possible to request a new copy of the album, which however could have the same problem, often happens. Given the widespread disaster, a “mea culpa” and not this deafening silence would have been lawful, correct and dutiful. In addition, at least the priced version had to be reprinted, truly a fall in unimaginable style, especially in the year of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Panini.

Yes, this is an important year, 60 years of Panini, 60 years of Calciatori. Who knows what Panini had in mind if we lived in a different period. Maybe we would have had a Panini Tour full of surprises, not being able to do otherwise Panini tried to make an album that could satisfy both nostalgics and modernists, maybe many of you will not agree, but in our opinion they have achieved the goal. It is certainly not perfect, but the perfect does not exist and making everyone happy is impossible. Then, in the details, we have something to say, you will find it by continuing to read.

SERIE A

Four pages per club, as in recent years, with some differences. In the first two pages we find the rich squad of 22 players, in some cases with three goalkeepers present, perhaps the first time in a Calciatori album. The photo under the name of the club is splendid with a sort of “hall of fame”, to be perfect it had to re-propose only stickers, perhaps, but it remains a beautiful sight. The most important note, the most captivating aspect, are the stickers themselves, no more white background but a reference to the team colors.

We like the second part, only three stickers from the packets and a mysterious numbered P that we will find in the update set: “the most loved Panini”, makes us hope that in Modena they have found a way to get the stickers of great champions from the past authorized, one per team. Or it will be something else, let’s hope not. Last year’s bus were a nice novelty but repeating it would have been too much, just as reporting the team with a single sticker is an excellent choice. The trainers’s sticker is also back in its right place, a fundamental part of the clubs, right here and not in other parts of the album. The graphic impact is not bad, the most beautiful remains that of 2018/19 but not repeatable, inserting the tables of the players in these pages, as requested by many collectors.

We believe it is really too much to insert the photos of the eGamers, at least there are no stickers like for Fifa365. We would have preferred the photos perhaps of the most promising young players (those good with the ball, not with the joystick), certainly it is a marketing need linked to entice the younger generations or perhaps there are simply commercial reasons behind it, perhaps at the invitation of the Lega Calcio itself. . Avoidable, however.

The Serie A calendar closes, for the sake of the traditionalists and the nightmare of those who in 20 years will find perfect albums but with written results. Who knows if there will be blatant errors like last year, let’s leave the statistics lovers in control and indeed we invite you to report it to us, thanks! 🙂

SERIE B/LEGA PRO/WOMENS

Essential Serie B, well crafted, the team is just a printed image, the trainers as well, as necessary as for A in order not to make an album of 1000 stickers. Players always in blocks of three stickers, separated so as to make it more fun to complete the album. The great news is the return to the big badge also for B. Perhaps the graphics of the players could have followed the line of A, but being much smaller the effect was probably different. So Panini solved it by making the background of B as the stickers of the players of A.

In an album where not even the B has a team sticker, it is right that for the Lega Pro there are only the badges, but there are! We complained in all possible ways and occasions when Panini took them off years ago, now they are back for the second year and we hope they will stay forever!

There were rumors about the lack of women’s football, fortunately this is not the case. There are only the stickers of the teams, perhaps it would have been nice to add the badges, perhaps in double.

OTHER CONTENTS

The extras are an important part of the Calciatori albums, they are often a source of debate among fans, sometimes considered superfluous, sometimes useless, sometimes successful. After last year’s disasters, downsized, indeed restructured, the “Film del Campionato” chapter, the stickers are 29 (last year they were 28) but they are divided into two sections, great news are the MVPs, one per month, nine total, distributed three at a time with Sport Week as well as the Film del Campionato with 20 stickers.

The updates part is very rich, the new arrivals are the usual 48 but in the set we will also find the P stickers we talked about before and the X of the Top Teams, 23 players chosen by a jury of experts and fans. Maradona, Van Basten, Baggio, Zoff, Facchetti, Rossi, Totti .. we had never seen them all in the same album! As for the P’s, we are very curious to see what kind of Panini sticker will be able to propose. On the Top Team page there is also the space for a TIM sticker. For those who have the contract with TIM will arrive at home or it will be possible to collect it in stores, for all the others it will be ordered like any other missing stickers.

Already seen on other occasions but it is only fair that the album opens with the stickers of 60 years of Calciatori covers, this time in a silver version. It’s never exactly a repeat, over the years the covers naturally increase, so that’s okay.

We come to the most discussed page of the entire album, 22 stickers dedicated to the Italian Singers National Team. On our Facebook and Instagram page, many disputed the choice, we think differently. The reasons? We like it when (just sometime over the years) the Calciatori goes out of the standard and proposes something connected to football but which Calciatori is not exactly, we had appreciated the Disney stickers of a few years ago, for example. Right to celebrate 40 years of this reality that has been able to do a lot in the field of solidarity and awareness. We are biased since, taking into account the monumental differences, we in turn make cards of singers as players, in our case joking about them, inserting them within their favorite teams. Finally, if there is a phenomenon that moves the hearts of Italians at par if not more than football, it is Music, represented here by some of its representatives. Beside that, the stickers are not memorable, they could have come out better in colors and in the background (Music is anything but a white abstract ..), right to select various artists who have made the history of the National Singers in forty years, on the most recent more than a doubt about some selected ones. We would have linked this page to a specific solidarity initiative by inserting information, we imagine Panini contributed to the fundraising but it would have been nice to allow collectors to do the same. Page that maybe will be repeated in 10 years, good idea, at least for us.

THE STICKERS

We have already written about the novelty of the backgrounds in Serie A players. In general the stickers seem lighter than last year, the badges are beautiful, perhaps not very “special” but for this very reason beautiful, we like to call them elegant. The satin shirts are a nice novelty, among the stickers we really like those of the trainers.

No more Gift Boxes this year (60 packets for the price of 50), replaced by Tin Box with 15 packets. Nice idea, especially for the price. The boxes are well made with the album covers of the various decades in relief. Hundreds of thousands of them will have been made, but it is likely that they will run out (this does not mean that they will ever take value), so not really a new Gift Box but something different could appear later in the newsstands. The box with the 6 Tin Boxes contains the six variants.

Stop with “Gommaglie”! If Panini continues to make them, it will mean that they have their success, de gustibus .. Fortunately we saved ourselves from the extra stickers of last year where the badges were a mere repetition and the idols / mascots would have made sense only if put inside the album itself and as stickers. No points collection, coupons needed to vote for the Serie A champions and participate in the final draw. So good!

In general, it is a good album, higher quality paper than the horrors of the latest albums released on newsstands, but as written at the beginning of the review, there are major problems with the holding of the central page and related staples. Unfortunately not only limited cases.

Particular year, of transition, without the health emergency perhaps Panini had different projects in mind, probably also different commercial proposals, perhaps even less advantageous than the current ones, we will see what will happen in 2022. For now we appreciate Panini trying to propose something new and different, without ever abandoning that taste of classic and traditional necessary in our beloved football players.

(EN)


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