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PREMIER LEAGUE 2024 (Panini)

EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 339

album: Premier League 2024 (Panini)

stickers: 636 (1-636)
album 2,90€
box: 50 packets (5 figurine per bustina) 1,00€ each

For the first time, stickers from a foreign championship have arrived in Italy, and which one if not those from the Premier League? Panini decides to debut here too the stickers of the championship, according to experts, the best in the world, certainly the richest and which can more easily afford to steal the best footballers from the rest of the world if we exclude the sheiks in Saudi Arabia where, however, the quality of the game remains rather poor.

How can we interpret this decision? Certainly in various ways, for example it could be a test by Panini to see if and how much such a product will work on the Italian market, it will be enough the attractiveness of the Premier League champions to make this collection enter the hearts of fans?
Of course, the opportunity could be tempting: Panini has acquired the rights to make the Premier from album 2019/2020 season, but this 2023/2024 album is the first to be released in Italy so it could be tempting to own the first Premier album ever released in Italy.

Someone will certainly have already purchased it (it has been available in England for months), but the writing in Italian with the price of packets for Italy or the words “The great collections for youth” on the front did not appear on the back. Details but collecting is based on details.

Furthermore, Panini could use this product to evaluate the possible launch of other collections of stickers on the Italian market of foreign championships such as those of La Liga, in production in Modena for many years, but never officially landed on our newsstands.

In any case, the feeling is that they chose the best moment among those left to put it on the market: it certainly couldn’t have been released at the same time as the Calciatori album, in January, which would have overshadowed it, releasing it in the summer wouldn’t have made sense given the contemporaneity of the Europeans, so now, with the Premier League still extremely in the balance in terms of results and the footballers’ stickers having mostly been sold, is the most suitable moment.

Going into the specifics of the album it must be said that the quality of the paper seems slightly better than that of our Footballers album; if the one on the Italian championship seemed opaque, dirty, almost newspaper and extremely thin, this one appears vaguely shinier and slightly thicker to the touch but certainly not at the level of some of the educational albums that Panini produces. Therefore we assume that problems with wrinkles and creases could still arise due to handling the album and leafing through the pages to attach the stickers, exactly like for our Footballers album.

Slightly different story regarding the stickers: the Premier stickers are thicker and will be damaged less easily than those of our Serie A. This could probably help to reduce the amount of creases once the album is completed. The stickers are very elegant, with a white background on the edges and upper part, while the part behind the players features the team colors. There is also a lot of information such as the shirt number, height, date of birth and more, without annoyingly taking up too much space on the sticker, really spot on.

Unlike our Calciatori album, where Serie B, Serie C and women’s football are also present, the album is totally dedicated to the 20 teams of the Premier League, four pages per team with two pages that include the 21 most important players in the squad and the scudetto while in the other two 7 stickers must be attached, 6 of which show stickers of moving players with lots of captions and statistics regarding them and the team. In the remaining sticker, a section called Magic.

Moment reports one of the best moments of the protagonist team in the first 13 days of the season. Pages 2 and 3 are interesting where the stickers of the home shirts of the various teams are inserted, pages which once completed should give a nice optical effect. In the central part of the album there are 4 pages dedicated to the most important non-English footballers who are part of the championship, a section called World Class and a double page with 4 stickers dedicated to the legends and 4 to the future stars of the next generation. At the bottom of the album there is space to add 40 update stickers from the winter transfer market (it is hoped that they can also be purchased on the Italian Panini website, it is difficult to believe that they will arrive on newsstands).

The addition of the 7 stickers per team in addition to the roses allows the album to reach the notable number of 636 stickers which is comparable to our 690. The choice to exclude the important teams of the Championship makes us turn up our noses a bit because after all we are used to the Calciatori which also includes the long-established minor leagues. Panini evidently assumes that the lower series are not an added value for the album, especially born in the modern era, and that they only work in Italy because it is now traditionally set up in this way, a predictable choice although questionable for an album they started to produce for only 5 years.

A further addition are the parallel versions of the stickers of the captains of each team: this is something that we would gladly do without in every collection, they add hype to stickers that in reality have very little value: what difference will it make to own one gold or green version of a sticker, whether or not it has a number stamped on it? We are against this innovation and will continue to be.

Ultimately, do you like the Premier League? Do you like colorful and informative footballer albums? Do you think it could be a great opportunity to have this album, whether it becomes a tradition or remains unique? In our opinion, those who answer “yes” to all these questions and have the possibility of buying it, given the multitude of collections released in this period, are right to take it, otherwise we are certain that it is not essential and that you will survive even without it.

(AM)


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