EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 330
album: Mickey & Donald – A fantastic world (Panini)
stickers: 276 (1-276) + 54 cards (C1-C50 + 4 limited)
starter pack: album + 10 packets + card limited (Donald/Paperinik) 14,99€
box: 36 packets (4 stickers + 1 card per packet) 1,00€ each
blister: 5 pack + 1 card limited (Mickey/Donald or Mickey/Goofy random) 4,90€
edizione cartonata numerata + 1 card limited + litografia 49,90€
Topolino magazine nr. 3544: 1 packet + card limited (Uncle Scrooge/Rockerduck)
“Are we looking at the album of the decade?”
How we love it when Panini remembers that it is Panini and does… Panini! If the world’s leading publisher of stickers is also the publisher of Disney, can we have the claim to ask for above-average albums? Indeed, well above average?! We believe so and this time we have something to be satisfied with.
Before the content, a praise for the format, which sees us take a pleasant step back towards the albums released a few years ago by Tex, Zagor and the first Mickey. Quality paperback and above all the pockets to keep the cards inside the album! No space for unedifying little boxes. Clearly it is not possible to think of a solution of this kind for all Panini albums where cards are added (too many times, often useless, we will never tire of writing it), but for collections that know they are attracting the variegated world of collectors, not of stickers only, it should be a must.
Is the problem plastic? The respect for the environment is appreciable but in this case we are not talking about “disposable”, on the contrary to something that is an integral part of the album and which is unlikely to be thrown away. An album as you can see, already in its presentation, the interior does the rest and makes it a little gem.
The other good fortune of having Panini and Disney which are the same thing also allows for joint work between the graphic designers of the stickers and the editors of the comic titles, the latter have history on their side, they know the characters, they don’t they limit themselves to just Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and it shows. It’s a family album, the right tribute to many comic book heroes but also several equally famous supporting characters.
The album is European.. you can see it! From the start, although it is called Topolino (Mickey Mouse) to refer to the famous italian weekly magazine, in reality and rightly it begins by telling about the ducks, much loved in the old continent. A case? In our opinion, no, it was intentional. Furthermore, the name Topolino is only in Italy, reading on the packets you understand that in the rest of Europe the title is “Mickey & Donald”.
We must be proud of the Italian Disney school, perhaps the first in the world. Many think that stories originate in the USA and are translated in Italy, in reality it is often the opposite. American production is much less dynamic than ours, without taking anything away from the great historical authors such as, for example, Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson and Don Rosa. If the first, however splendid, albums by Mickey 90th and Donald Duck 85th were very Made in the USA, this one celebrates old Europe.
In a not too distant future it could be that, among the many crazy ideas that pass through our heads, we could create a t-shirt with the words “#instickerswetrust especially the shaped ones!”, it is undeniable that browsing through this product has excited us. There are many splash pages that present the most famous environments and points of the two cities, as mentioned first in Duckburg and then in Mouseton. Comic pages that become irresistible once completed but also fun and challenging to attach them correctly, so that they match perfectly with the image printed underneath.
Welcome to Duckburg! In the first part of the album the large comic book scenes, two pages each, of Donald Duck’s house and Paperinik’s refuge, Scrooge’s warehouse, Archimedes Pythagorean’s laboratory house, Grandma Duck’s farm, the modern choice of Huey Dewey and Louie is their Area 51 in place of the historic Junior Woodchucks and a corner of Italy with our Amelia in the refuge on Vesuvius.
There are also pages with a mainly more classic layout and the format of the rectangular stickers with the “secondary” characters (so to speak!), in the first part of the album Fantomus, Rockerduck, Beagle Boys, Daisy Duck, Ludwig von Drake, Fethry Duck and Gladston.
Welcome to Mouseton! In the third part of the album the journey continues in the city of the infallible detective, we start with Mickey Mouse’s house where we also find Horace, Clarabelle and Pluto. Few know it but it was Horace in Walt Disney’s first comics who acted as Mickey Mouse’s sparring partner, at least until Goofy arrived, to whom the next page is dedicated which also pays homage to his many ancestors and alter ego Super.
The yellow-tinged stories have always been a distinctive sign of Mickey Mouse’s stories, it is normal that ample space is dedicated both to the police station of Chief Seamus O’Hara and Detective Casey, as well as to the main alter ego: Peg Leg Pete. More classic but still full of ideas pages are dedicated to Minnie and Zapotec. In terms of overall pages, let’s say that Duckburg wins against Mouseton.
The second part, the central one, of the album is the usual unpublished story, masterfully drawn by Casty and scripted by Vito Stabile. Often the stories included in sticker albums are not special, it is also difficult to manage to make something unique in so few pages available. Here the story is delightful. Let’s avoid spoiling but we find all our heroes together, indeed a few more presences and the entire state of Calisota as protagonist. This aspect is known only to those who read Disney comics and perhaps the more recent ones, but there is a real world beyond the two cities, starting from the well-known Goosetown, often cited in sports stories for the famous derbies.
The fourth and final part of the album is a short but effective summary of some of the most famous Disney sagas, recent or not, but unforgettable, revived in many versions over the years, never enough, given the demand. We like to remember in the world of ducks the long story of how Scrooge’s fortune was born in the Klondike, on the other hand the incredible Ice Sword Trilogy. Well before Game of Thrones, there were generations who grew up with the fantasy myth of Disney!
There is another important detail to underline, we feel obliged to thank Panini for this. The card pockets can hold 54 (9 each), 50 are in the packets, the other 4? They are limited edition cards but in reality they are not complicated to find, just follow the releases. One in the starter pack, two in rotation in the blister packs, one in Topolino 3544 released on October 25th. Probable, but it is our guess, that in the hardback version of 1000 copies there will be one of the single releases and not a fifth special card. However, it would be curious to find out in other countries whether cards that are the same or different from the Italian edition are distributed.
The stickers are appreciated, the special ones are beautiful, the shaped ones are fundamental if attached to the album. Forget the trend of keeping empty albums and sets aside, it would be like going to a restaurant and just looking at the dishes without tasting anything. Let yourself be carried away by the fun!
In the starter packs there are also 3D characters, everyone is free to spend their money as they want, but collecting them doesn’t make much sense. They are products that have already been released previously and except for some characters (Eta Beta for example) they are not even particularly successful.
Fabulous album, it’s true that Tex has yet to be released but it’s difficult to think Panini, or anyone else, could do better. For Scrooge lovers, like us, we invite you to find the famous tuba in several scenes. Album of the year, for us also of the decade, at least until today.