EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 230
album: Calciatori 2021/22 (Panini)
stickers: 835 (1-716, P1-P20, A1-A20, PM1-PM9, CM1-CM9, M1-M40, C1-C20, sticker TIM)
starter pack: album + 5 packets 3,90€
box: 100 packets (5 stickers per packet) 0,80€ each
box deluxe: 60 packets 39,90€
pack Super Calciatori: 40 stickers 5,00€
hard cover album + 3 packets 19,99€
album limited edition (end january 2022)
update set: stickers M1-M40, P1-P20 9,90€ (march 2022)
“Sorry for delay”. We can forgive Panini, we are his lovers, we could not do otherwise. The delay to which we refer is that this epochal change in presenting the stickers in the Calciatori could coincide with the 60th anniversary. At the same time it is right that it went like this, somehow close a period with a celebratory album and start the following year with something different.
Let’s start with a fundamental aspect, the keeping of the album. We will only have proof of it when it is weighed down by over 800 stickers but it looks absolutely improved after last year’s havoc. We took the central page and lifting it up, suspended, with all the weight of the album on it, it holds! And it holds very well, clearly we do not recommend doing it as a complete album. Unfortunately, many have already reported the exact same problem as last year (see photo above), too many to think of some flawed copies. What can I say .. making mistakes is human to persevere is diabolical, pay close attention and let’s not comment further.
The world of the web is colorful and interesting, sometimes it is deceiving. We had said everything and more, we too had commented with regret the “announced” disappearance of Serie C, but there is, as well as women’s football and a due tribute to the Azzurri Champions of Europe. Of course, like others, we dreamed of a cover that referred to that of 1983 with Bearzot lifting the Cup, it had not already happened in 2007 after the World Cup in Germany, it does not even happen this year after the Europeans and the final victory at Wembley. Cover that in any case live, with the parts in relief, is less ugly than it seemed only on the internet.
Substantial part of the album dedicated to Serie A (from sticker 1 to 524), rightly so, but the presence of the other professional leagues makes the Calciatori beyond any reasonable doubt always one step above (for us a mountain) compared to the Premier album League.
Serie A is presented in a different way from the last 40 years, even beyond, those who have always looked at the Spanish Liga album with a little envy have been satisfied. Each player has a double image, the classic bust and the one in game action. Finally! We are lovers of tradition, but it has been clear for some years that the Calciatori album needs a refresh, marrying, among other things, two distant generations. Who remembered the 70s albums and who among the younger ones prefer the cards because they see the player in action.
Not only this, the pages have been completely renewed, for obvious space requirements. No more a page with the players and the other with specials, team and coach. Now the players are equally divided into four sides, it loses a little the spectacularity of the album, but it becomes more effective. The number of players is still 22 stickers, to which are added the championship, the coach, the team. In addition to the “most loved Panini” sticker, this year dedicated to the great bombers, stickers not present in the packets but within the update set from March 2022.
The scores of the players are an integral part of the pages, statistics and captions reduced to a minimum, but the essential is sometimes enough. We really like the box on the last page at the top right where the history and curiosity of each individual club is found. Non-trivial information, therefore interesting. The egamers are also present, we are old and we do not understand it, but as long as they are a small non-invasive detail we can bear it.
With the clear aim of limiting the total number of stickers, the Primavera team, second and third kits, the stadium are only photographs. For the more technological, however, you will find a QR code to learn more about the temples of football. In general, it is a solution that we understand, especially if this still allows you to have Serie B, C, Womens in the album or on the contrary avoids reaching almost 1000 stickers as happened in the past.
Gigi Buffon is the sticker number 654a, so the collectors of the thematic stickers of the great champions is in place. Serie B (stickers from 561 to 701) is the same as always, excellent. Scudetto and 18 players divided into 9 stickers, The novelty of Serie A allows even more to differentiate the players of the top division from the cadet one. Only in photos jerseys, teams and coach. Here too it is an understandable choice in order not to overload the album with too many stickers. It is appreciable that, as for Serie A, they are still photos that reproduce the format of the stickers, standard or shaped, even the coach who closes each page with a mini sticker like the players of his team.
Womens, Serie C and Serie A are there! Their disappearance was hypothesized on the web, we too fell into fake information, but they are absolutely confirmed and indeed this year presents a great novelty. The Serie C (from 702 to 716) has the stickers of all the championships, small (four per sticker), but let’s be satisfied. Especially for the first time, in reality we also have the stickers of the players of the third national series. In each packet there is a coupon to download the codes and obtain the digital stickers. A very interesting aspect is that, once the album is completed, you will be able to receive the paper version of the 3 albums (one for each group). Of course, the extra expense is not painless, 150 euros (49.90 euros per album) but for a total of 1320 extra stickers to attach and also considering the low circulation, it makes more sense than, for example, buying the limited copy in “human skin”on sale from January. If desired and in the future, the initiative could also be extended to women’s football, currently only present in the album with the stickers of the teams (from 550 to 561).
An important page because it was important, the right tribute to Mancini’s national team, European Champion. Not really really, for those who want the stickers of all the Wembley champions, a poster with dedicated stickers has come out. Here we find strip stickers as already happened in past footballers, numbered from 525 to 539, which give space to the young Italy, you will not find Bonucci or Insigne, but only players born from 1998 onwards. Somehow more a page dedicated to the Under 23 team than to the senior national team, Panini’s original and in some ways risky choice, not everyone will agree. We were a little confused but even so it has its reason.
The extra part of the Calciatori album has always been at the center of great debates among collectors. Getting everyone to agree is practically impossible. Who would like a memorabilia part on the history of football, who would like subjects out of the classic (in the recent past the Disney characters or last year the singers), who would not want extra pages, who would like them closely linked to the players themselves. For example, the 20 Top Performers (from 540 to 549), one per team, in the strip format that Modena seems to like very much.
This year the most interesting news is the Avatar page (from A1 to A20), in collaboration with TIM. Very particular figurines, in some ways futuristic, are not bad, certainly they are very far from the classic stickers with mascots or caricatures seen in recent years. Be careful not to fall into the trap of what is written on the album, these stickers (A1-A20) are attached to the bill or in Tim stores but are also found inside the packets. Fortunately! Only the one on the left, not numbered, will be distributed at the Tim stores or arrive with the bill.
The extra part closes with all the stickers found in the Film Del Campionato packets (4 packets between January and June), the PMs with the top players confirmed, and the CMs that will award the nine coaches of the month are interesting news. The Cs with the history of the championship are always distributed with the Gazzetta dello Sport, the first 5 in the packets, from C6 to C20 with special packets.
After many years Panini says goodbye to Sky and the famous “Calciomercato” program, too bad, the update stickers are linked to the Dazn platform. From the traditional 48 we go down to 40 cards (M1-M40), an opportune choice, given that in recent years we have not seen a few important names in the “repair market”, perhaps precisely this year will be different!
We have already said of our appreciation for the decision to renew the Calciatori with double-image stickers. The statistics may be affected by being less legible, but we would be about to remove them and therefore it is a fact that excites us little. If you see the differences it is because the players who can count successes in their palmares, also have details on the right and not only on the left. Definitely thumbs up for the coaches’ stickers, beautiful with the background, the tactics board and the club colors.
Special stickers a little at an all-time low, nothing particularly exciting, the most intriguing certainly the Avatar Tim. The rest is all very standard, it is the less successful side of the album. We would have liked to see more variations, maybe even shaped ones or more. If you look at what Panini can do in other non-sporting albums, a precise choice has probably been made with the Calciatori. Perhaps also to avoid having to touch the cost of the sachets, if so, the better. We like to emphasize a detail, if the badges are classic, the choice of not putting the name of the club at the bottom but re-proposing the paint-effect stripes with the social colors as the whole album is already set up is nice. Maybe next year we will have the stickers that glow in the dark 🙂
In general, it is an album that, while it is certainly innovative on the one hand, is very traditional on the other. An essential album, not exaggerated in terms of the number of stickers, which tells about football as it should be told without too many frills. Can it be an excellent album even essential? For us, yes, this Calciatori 2022 is a great product for us, pity only for the renewed problem with the card, perhaps not as widespread as last year, but still present. That the world leader in stickers doesn’t find or doesn’t want to find a solution is at least embarrassing.
Good opening of packets and for swap we remind you of our appointment with FIGUCON 2022 next January 15th in Bologna, Estragon Club. We are waiting for you! (https://figurineforever.com/en/2021/12/14/figucon-2022/)