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EURO2024 GERMANY (Topps)

EDICOLA NEWS: LE RECENSIONI nr. 362

album: Euro2024 Germany (Topps)

stickers: 786

starter pack: album + 3 packets 5,99€

box: 50 packets (6 stickers per packet) 1,00€ each

multipack: 7 packets 6,99€

tin box: 8 packets 9,99€

Let’s dispel an ongoing discussion in this period: there are no 2 Euro 2024 albums. Like it or not, whether you are an extremist Panini fanatic or not, there is only one official album: this one. Other publishers can publish, having the rights, but it is not the official album. This is nothing new, something similar happened exactly 30 years ago.

Summer 1994, World Cup in the United States. The rights go to Upper Deck, an American company, which creates a rather basic and questionable album but it is still the official one, without the Germany stickers, for rights reasons. Panini makes an unofficial album, but in fact in line with the previous ones, so much so that years later it is seen as Usa94’s album. FIFA itself, in its museum in Zurich, has the Panini one. When business short circuits ..

Thirty years later we could have been in a similar situation and indeed if Panini had followed the same editorial line perhaps the doubt could have been asked. But this is not the case. The European championship is not just the result of a few teams, however important, it is an increasingly larger group of national teams. A collection that does not present all of them is not and cannot be considered a European album.

However, there is only one culprit here and it is called UEFA. Incidentally, the same ones who, when faced with the hypothesis of the Super League, bring up good feelings, everyone’s football, the people’s football, etc. True, but with their inappropriate choices they have made the current situation a joke. Our accusation is aimed at them and only them, the money that dominates everything and makes passion disappear. Naturally that can be found in the homes of fans, certainly not in the centers of power of European football.

But is there a person responsible for UEFA’s image? What is he doing, sleeping? A half-baked product like the Topps one and the other even more unlikely ones proposed by Panini are not good for football. We ask for protection for us collectors, the old ones but also the new generations who have every right to dream, have fun, attach an album that is complete, with all its logos and all its shirts and all its samples.

The lack of a top player like Mbappè is significant of the times we live in. The French billionaire should also think about certain aspects, not just about earning more money than he can spend in two lifetimes, perhaps three. The scenario before us is extremely dangerous and disturbing. Let’s not be surprised if one day, even perhaps in the Calciatori, we find ourselves without a club, especially if the official album of Italian football itself changes hands and is no longer Panini.

UEFA, beyond the economic agreements, must protect his image, but it hasn’t done so here.

The Topps album is actually less worse than we had imagined, but also many flaws. First of all we would like to have the name of the pusher who supplies the Topps graphics… our joke is strong but necessary, the album numbering is absolutely crazy, senseless, complicated, impractical. It almost makes us smile to think that the creator of this massacre is perhaps even convinced that he has done something memorable. The collection already has almost 800 stickers, the taste that makes the collection complicated remains a mystery, if not for a certain dose of sadomasochism.

The teams that qualified directly for the European Championships each have 27 stickers, 21 with the classic numbering plus P, PTW, SP, TOP. All absolutely avoidable. The teams coming from the play offs have 16 stickers, of which 15 with the classic numbering and the SP which in reality has very little special about it.

Here is an aspect that many have little appreciated while the idea is not bad, namely to include all the national teams taking part in the play-offs with the formula of fewer stickers and doubles. This allows us to have an even more complete album, to have stickers of teams that until then had never been seen in a European album. After all, we are talking about players who have really reached the final stage in Europe, they have some merit for being in the album.

Returning to the colorful numbers, beyond the fervent imagination of the Topps graphics, in reality the stickers have nothing particularly different from what we saw before. It seems (we await confirmation) that SP stickers are not so easy to find. In practice, being within the album numbering, they make it very complicated to complete it. If so, let’s wait to open some boxes.

The Topps graphic designers certainly won’t find us nice but in reality they haven’t put themselves in a position to be appreciated, in part. We actually don’t mind the stickers, after a period with a lot of information on them, finally here they are proposed in a simpler way. The horizontal format is nothing new, they are not bad, in fact better than some versions seen in recent years. The problem is the national teams that Topps doesn’t own the rights to. To overcome the problem of image rights, here are some close-ups that we couldn’t imagine even with our worst “selfies”.

Is the solution better to use the same formula with the unicolor shirt seen for example in the latest album “UEFA Nations League”? It’s difficult to answer, also considering how unwatchable the Panini stickers of the English national team were until they recovered the rights. There is only one solution, that whoever holds the rights to the competition (UEFA, FIFA, etc.) creates the conditions to have a complete and beautiful album to look at.

The choice of some players is questionable, many have noticed the presence of Bonucci, out of time with the Azzurri circuit and not even with that emotional charge that for example led Panini to include Pirlo in the 2014 Brasil album, although the midfielder was clearly not going to never participated.

Apart from these “details”, in reality the general graphics of the album are interesting, young, in step with the times, for us who are very involved in social work we like the inclusive solutions and the choice of fan drawings. All the colors of Europe, as it should be.

After the years of 10 stickers for 1 euro proposed by Topps, for the European Championships we return to a solution which, in reality, is ultimately more expensive than the last Footballers. Even the box of 50 packets in an album that contains 786 stickers makes completing the album even more complicated. Adding the difficulty in making a request for missing stickers, it is absurd that Topps (so those who have tried tell us) does not have national representatives to manage the request and everything is in charge of England. Mocking, considering that the stickers are printed in Italy!

If Topps aimed to pass the exam with this album, ours is not a failure, but it certainly needs to be reviewed. The hope is that Topps, through UEFA, will be able to create a complete album in four years and that the Anglo-Saxon company, at the same time, will decide to make the collection less complicated. The same goes, of course, also for Panini.

(EN)


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