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album: Amici Cucciolotti 2023 (Pizzardi)

stickers: 476 (1-460, MS1-MS8, T1-T8)P + 72 cards (1-72)

starter pack: album + 1 packet 0,70€

starter pack: hard cover album + 8 packets 4,90€

box: 100 packets (6 stickers + 1 card per packet) 0,70€ each

Welcome back Cucciolotti! The news is not always positive, in the case of the annual album by Pizzardi Editore the pleasant news is that, in terms of spending for us (small and large) collectors, nothing has changed. Despite the complicated period, applause to the publisher who met the finances of the families and kept the offer unchanged. Same price as the packets, always 6 stickers plus a card inside them, same format, same total number to complete the collection.

Rightly so, the €0.70 price makes a great impression both on the album and on the packet box, it seems to us to be the lowest on the market. On the contrary, the quality remains among the best, both on the paper front of the album (the hardcover, practically free, is a delight), and on the variety and work of graphics and contents of the album. Certainly Mr. Pizzardi put himself on the line, rather than playing defense he aimed to go on offense, in the hope that the public, the families, will be able to appreciate the effort, because it certainly was. Let’s hope the response is positive and widespread, this collection deserves it!

The other always pleasant aspect of the Cucciolotti is that, unlike the cost of the packets, especially in recent years the contents are not a mere repetition of previous years. Not an easy or obvious detail, considering that it is mainly an album about animals and the species, unfortunately, are decreasing over the years, not the other way around. As happened with others, curiosity grips us and with the Cucciolotti we leaf through all the pages avidly before starting this review, aware, we are sure, that certainly and while paying attention, many aspects of the album will need further viewings to be discovered and appreciated. That’s what stickers are for!

What is the big difference between an album of illustrations and one of stickers? The first is already complete, the second loses much of its charm and potential, without sticking the stickers. Without our little paper friends, it’s impossible to fully enjoy what the rather imaginative creators at Pizzardi have been able to give us in the new edition that hits the newsstands.

Flipping through the pages, the collection gives a feeling of continuity, as if it were a long and unique adventure, there are interiors dedicated to the various continents and their inhabitants, animals and humans. It actually remains an important part but still only one aspect of this very rich album. The whole is a successful mix of printed illustrations, didactic texts and other more impromptu ones, such as the interludes of the comic strips of our big noses.

The Cucciolotti albums have never risked being static and cold, in 2023 they are even less so. Several pages are “challenging”, there are questions to answer, curiosities to discover, animals and puppy friends to collect. The dynamic sense is also given by the stickers themselves, many shaped and naturally an explosion of colors. If we go back to the initial discussion on the cost of the packets, it is an aspect to take into account and which we will reiterate again. Same price and same quality and variety of stickers, including special, transparent, metallic, shiny, etc. The stickers in all their glory.

The didactic and encyclopedic setting of the album cannot fail to take into account the animals that “are no longer among us”. It is an important aspect, we also hope parents can devote some time to explaining to children. If Mammoths and Dinosaurs are distant ancestors, it is much more impressive to think of types of elephants or tigers that are at risk of extinction. They too, one day, damn close, could only find space in stickers and school books.

Bees are important protagonists of life on our planet. Well done Cucciolotti to always dedicate a page to them, the stickers are nice, the texts are necessary to understand the serious risk we are running. This double aspect, which you also often see in the creation of our solidarity stickers, is a trademark of the album: learning while having fun but also trying to change things, knowing and understanding the uniqueness of many living beings, also necessary for our future, not just theirs.

The pages that deserve a specific comment are too many for this review, but not for the completeness of the album. We chose “The History” because it deals with a delicate but fundamental theme: if on the one hand each of us is unique and alone, we are all children of “Mama Africa”, therefore we are not all the same but we are all equal. Perhaps in the future Cucciolotti could devote even more space to evolution, however well present in this 2023 edition, this page talks about men, in others about the evolution of animals.

Amici Cucciolotti has done a lot over the years to support non-profit organizations involved in the protection of the environment and the animal world. Indeed, as the years go by, not only do the projects increase, but also the space within the album. An original and significant way to introduce the world around us and those who work to make it a better place. How to help them? By following the advice for good habits both at home and away, 10 brilliant stickers remind us. Also by purchasing the Cucciolotti packets. Living on a peninsula, we are well aware of the importance of water and the sea, a suggestion for Pizzardi? Dedicate a year entirely or almost entirely to the underwater world, perhaps through a long adventure of our Nasoni for the seas and large rivers.

Dog or cat? Could we have been missing from the Cucciolotti album? They are friends of many of us, they have dedicated entire albums to them over the years. We like it better when they are involved with all other living beings, but a special dedicated part fits all right. Indeed, the advice you find written in the album can be very useful for understanding the behavior of our puppies.

Our friends but also heroes. Sometimes there are animals that also play an important role in saving people and other animals in emergency situations. Well done Cucciolotti to remember it. There is little room for imagination here, they are true stories, sometimes incredible but always real.

The 2022 cards had been a big step forward compared to past years. Those of this year continue the initiative and indeed we can define them as an expansion. In fact, the game explained at the bottom of the album is suitable for both 2023 and 2022 cards. This therefore allows you to have 144 cards to have fun! Not only that, for families who do not intend to buy more than a certain number of packets, they can also use last year’s ones to make a single deck, full-bodied enough for the playful aspect.

We have already mentioned the stickers, once again parents will tremble at the fear of finding these small paper objects scattered on the furniture or on the fridge at home. Naturally better not, but many stickers have a social purpose and a message that can also become a small gift to a friend or sometimes even to an “enemy”. Cucciolotti stickers are always something special, we can’t imagine having them different from how they are. With the “easy peel” method they are also easier to remove from the tissue and to attach. Details? True, but you know that we are crazy about details!

The central insert is also appreciable where the internal part remains “defensive” to reinforce the pins and not risk the dramatic detachment of the pages. Actually with the Cucciolotti albums we don’t seem to have ever noticed this problem, but they were keen to do it, the “save album” is also patented. Well, we can trust those Pizzardi big noses!

One last consideration: last year we wrote that a perfect album could also have fewer stickers, perhaps around 400. Looking back, it should be borne in mind that the Cucciolotti album is not a seasonal product; usually a sticker collection stays on newsstands for 3-5 months. The Pizzardi album remains available 10-11 months. It is therefore logical that it has a suitable number of stickers which, if desired, can be searched for throughout the year.


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