It may happen that seeing new albums on newsstands, some collectors ask themselves “who are these?”, As if the publishers were dedicating productions to unknown realities. Perhaps if you are no longer very young and do not follow the news.
Cocomelon more than a cartoon, in the classic sense of the term, is a YouTube channel. In 2021 it was among the most viewed programs in the US and in the world. So, right there is an album.
This review, rather than our usual analysis of interiors, details and stickers, is a brief analysis of the market for stickers in newsstands. This new Panini release gives us some ideas for reasoning, we are not marketing people and not even economics, we are passionate, so they are reasonings that start from the base, from the bottom.
The presentation of this album on newsstands, taking into account the new market rules, could lead the way. We are not sure if the problem is the decrease in newsstands or the turning point towards direct internet sales of Panini but the Cocomelon product offers a substantial novelty: instead of the classic box with many packets, less and less bulky (from the classic 50 we had reached 24), now the packets are sold not individually but in boxes of 5 each.
Basically you can no longer buy the single packet, classic for collections especially intended for children where those who buy are parents or grandparents. It is perhaps not wrong as a basic concept, we hope it is an evaluation in the case of albums that are not born to be completed, but only to cover a certain moment of market demand. So the parent buys a box and maybe some extra but doesn’t go any further. Although the very idea of the concept of “albums that are not meant to be completed” makes us horrified.
Impractical and disastrous if instead you want to try to complete it, because in the classic box of 50 or 36 there were usually a few doubles (in those of 24 it already works little), but buying boxes of 5 packets each, the risk of finding the same is very high.
It is likely that this formula will be adapted for all the albums on which Panini does not consider a potential success, so perhaps as to limit, on the one hand, the returns from the bulk sticker kiosks, on the other hand to push the purchase of a minimum of 5 packets. The cost of the packets is extremely questionable, 1 euro for 5 stickers, although of good quality, it will also be in line with the market, the Panini one, other publishers are cheaper, but we find it too high. But if we go back to the initial reasoning, that is to push the parent to a minimum purchase, knowing that maybe it will not go beyond 10 or 20 sachets, then from an economic point of view it makes sense.
However, and even more wrong at this point to make a useless and lengthened album of 192 stickers, better album with 110 maximum 130 stickers as we are finding on newsstands and that, with a box of 24 packets for a total of 20 euros (other publishers, such as written, they still sell the packets at 0.70 or 0.80) you can almost complete.
As collectors it leaves us perplexed, we fear this 5-pack mini box formula will be the novelty and probably, at least as far as we are concerned, it will also bring us precise choices on which albums to try to complete. Much more correct than done with the Score cards, which will surely be repeated with subsequent albums, or rather a reasoned choice of covering only the newsstands with good sales feedback. So the product is supplied only to those who have a market, perhaps the possible sales are limited but on the other hand the waste is also limited. Sergio Bonelli Editore, with comics, is moving in the same direction. Just read what was written in this month’s comic book editorial.
From our point of view, it is right to reward those who work well or simply have the good fortune of having a school nearby, even if you run the risk of burying a good percentage of newsstands, but the problem is much wider, with a lot of material sold only on Panini website. If this can lead to a “natural selection” of newsstands but those that remain will be strong subjects, let’s say that perhaps it is the only way forward, whether we like it or not.
BABY SHARK (PANINI)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 244
album: Baby Shark (Panini)
stickers: 196 (1-196)
starter pack: album + 5 packets 3,90€
box: 24 packets (5 stickers per packet) 0,80€ each
Don’t try to cheat us, as soon as you read the title you sang the tune. Adults or children, parents or not, we all really know the hit song. About 9 billion views on YouTube, the most viewed in history, 11 million copies sold of the single in the United States alone, since last year the cartoon has also arrived in Italy on television and with it, the Italian version of the famous song.
“My first album” is written large on the cover and that’s it, because the target is aimed precisely at the little ones. Small collectors luckier than the big ones, since the album is offered with a good matte paper without creases or other problems, as opposed to other recent albums where bad glossy paper causes disasters. Well, Panini proves to have at least a good heart for the little ones!
The collection is very dynamic and nice, perhaps a little repetitive but seen by adult eyes, children will surely find it fun. Very colorful pages suitable not only for attaching stickers but interacting with games, sometimes coloring, solving quizzes. Each page tells a different story, so that each page is somehow unique and, seen from the eyes of a child, many adventures to live.
Certainly after this album you have a knowledge of the whole world of Baby Shark, since there are so many characters represented. We like to emphasize once again the graphic layout, which is really pleasant, as if it were an illustrated book for children with stickers to stick on.
The stickers, we are sure, will also fill diaries, notebooks and wardrobes, perhaps even some walls, to the delight of mum and dad. Larger in size than the standard, their, somehow, simplicity is also synonymous with immediacy. They are used to complete the album, but they also have their own charm on their own.
If you wanted, taking into account that it is aimed at children, you could have avoided many stickers, almost 200 are an exaggeration. It would have been a good album even with only 140 or 160 stickers, therefore easier to complete, even taking into account the boxes of just 24 packets. Despite being among the most popular brands in the world, perhaps Panini, after all, did not believe it enough to make a box of 36 or 50 packets.
THE GRUFFALO (Gazzetta dello Sport)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 241
album: Il Gruffalò (Gazzetta dello Sport)
stickers: 180 (1-160 + 20 A not numbered)
starter pack: album + 2 packets 3,50€
box: 50 packets (5 stickers per packet) 0,70€ each
What a surprise Gruffalo! We often go around with albums to review, waiting to be able to do the review. In this case we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of many mothers and fathers who read the books of this fictional character to their children.
Created by Julia Donaldson in 1999, this cute creature has been the protagonist of children’s illustration books, before becoming a cartoon as well. As you know, we believe in stickers and therefore we are very happy that it has also become an album!
It is also interesting that the editorial proposal comes from a giant like RCS and that the album is linked to Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere della Sera. Definitely an attempt to enter this world directly, made up of packets and stickers. In recent years, Gazzetta has made several albums, always as attachments to other products (comics by Tex, Zagor, Alan Ford, etc. or the DVDs of Holly & Benji, Lupin III), but this time it is an old-fashioned proposal .
The albums “attached to” were very affected by the quality, some more or less, especially the stickers were rather, if you allow us the term, cheap. Here it is clear that it is a test, but like all tests it must be done with a certain commitment and it seems to us that Gazzetta has hit the mark, although we have found some really avoidable errors.
The feeling of rehearsal is also in the setting of the album itself, a presentation of Gruffalo, of the leafy forest where he lives and his animal friends. The interpretation is therefore an introduction with the prospect, possibly, of making other albums that tell the adventures in detail.
If you are not new to our reviews, you know that we do not really like static stickers, here is an explosion of shapes, there are so many. Not only that, also transparent and hairy. Wanting album, it is not easy for children to attach, but today’s little ones are quite smart and with the help of their parents or uncles we are sure we can achieve excellent results.
At the center of the album is the poster for the stickers numbered A, the legendary “stick & stack”. Given the type of product and the target, a great way to make children interact with the characters and perhaps always create new stories. First big mistake: stickers A do not have any type of numbering, luckily we found them all by opening an entire box, so here is the image of the 20 special “stick & stack” stickers 😉
The album is a mix of fantasy, illustration and teaching. The captions tell about the oddities of our friend with the monster face, but also provide notions about the real animals his friends, the ones that really populate our planet. Useful and fun at the same time.
The stickers are well made, very light but full, specially made to be attached to the album. Given the giant RCS as a publisher, surely it can afford it, the cost of the sachet is an appropriate choice, in good contrast with products with similar targets currently on newsstands. The same number of stickers, 180, without the addition of useless and expensive cards, could entice parents to buy even more. Even the cardboard of the starter pack is not to be thrown away, it is possible to cut out the characters. Insignificant detail? We don’t think so.
Second (and third) mistake: in the album there is no reference on how and when to order the missing stickers, we hope it’s just a “sin of inexperience”, if it were through the classic service on the Gazzetta Store, not everyone knows how do. Furthermore, the big question is whether stickers A will be available and how to recognize them. Panini, at the time of Gorjuss made a similar mistake but then later saved himself by putting a pdf file on the site to find out which number the various stickers corresponded to. As other publishers do, however, it could be that the “attach and detach” simply are NOT orderable .. hopefully the others are at least!
In general, this “take the field” of Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere della Sera, an Italian publishing giant that could decide to make other products, who knows, maybe even sports products, is generally interesting .. in the meantime, one wonders if this product can do from forerunner to a new synergy between books and stickers (for the writer, I have always dreamed of the album of stickers of Richard Scarry’s characters, the oldest among you will know who I am referring to). Time will tell if it will be a success or not, we personally hope and cheer on it, the project must be supported but also the choice of quality, paper and economic proposal.
UPDATE: after some checks also made by other collectors, RCS’s crazy choice not to provide the missing stickers service, this necessarily causes not only the considerations on this collection to change suddenly but also puts a big question mark on any future collections. Bad, really bad and completely without logic, especially if you wanted to open a cycle.
METEOHEROES 2 (Idea Lab)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 240
album: MeteoHeroes 2 (Idea Lab)
stickers: 160 (1-160)
starter pack: album + 2 packets 3,50€
box: 40 packets (5 stickers per packet) 0,80€ each
Welcome back MeteoHeroes! One year later, here is the new superhero album for the environment. In 2021 we, in our own small way, supported the initiative. Both for the quality of the proposal and for the charitable purpose, linked to Lega Ambiente and the protection of our friendly bees, fundamental for the ecosystem and for everyone’s future.
The cover can be misleading, it is not an updated version of the previous one but completely different. Certainly the setting is similar but the two albums have a life of their own, even if the second can be seen as a continuation of the first. In fact, the first 16 stickers speak of the “origins”, to find out more you can always buy the complete set of MH 2021, available among our SolidAlbum https://figurineforever.com/figurine-disponibili/
Save the bees. The theme is not marginal to the album but is its substance, its purpose. A wise choice, therefore, that the first pages, after the short introductory part, are dedicated to the campaign for the purchase of bees’ houses. Each packet purchased corresponds to a house, simple isn’t it?
The most substantial part of the album is connected to the many adventures around the world of our MeteoHeores, the same ones you can experience following the cartoon. From Ex-Yugoslavia to Brazil the whole world is covered, so that alongside fun and notions on climate and environmental problems, perhaps the youngest can also learn geography.
Excellent news to see the graphics of the first album confirmed, if it works, just don’t twist it. Each page is a swarm of colors, information but also stickers, different from each other: large, small, shaped, holographic. Completing every single page is really essential to appreciate the content, without stickers, it could not be otherwise, it would be missing too much.
An album made to involve the family but also the school. An important role is to help children not only to attach the stickers but also to follow the stories to read and understand the information and advice of our MeteoHeroes for a better tomorrow. Also life-saving tips such as the captions that we find in yellow at the bottom at the end of each adventure. “Better never play with fire ..”, good advice also for adults, mind you.
It is commendable to continue the operation by Idea Lab. 20 stickers less than the previous one, without the poster in the center of the album to be completed. Good. Let’s dispel the myth that a good album must have many stickers; the didactic ones and for the very young it is right that they contain between 140 and a maximum of 180 stickers; 160, as in this case, is a good solution.
Cost of the packet raised by 10 cents, too bad. But the stickers are bigger than the previous album. Great choice, the new format is more suitable. Among the many information that the album is worth, the important one on how to request the missing stickers is missing. Or is it an “easter egg” and we don’t see it? 🙂
We are nobody and we do not count for anything, but we are increasingly convinced that inside Panini there is a sort of short circuit in place .. Let’s go step by step anyway.
The idea of the album is very nice, a guide to learn more about puppies and how to take care of them. A way to learn how to have a dog in the family through the stickers, which as always have a great meaning and a long history in the field of teaching.
We specify that in this album we speak only of dogs, not cats or other animals. It may seem a negative aspect, but the opposite is the case, dedicating oneself entirely to the brothers of Pluto and Beethoven (the Saint Bernard of the film, not the great composer, of course) allows you to create a successful album complete with lots of information, a detail difficult to get when you have to talk about so many species.
In the various pages there is a lot of information, of course having fun, mimicking the very nice Adrenalyn the cucc-ranking with the “values” per puppy, based on paw marks, to discover the largest, the most vital, the most suitable for training and also to .. take a bath. After completing the album, you cannot make mistakes, you will know how to feed, how to alternate physical activities with rest and much more.
Openable poster in the middle for the X stickers, to be filled in as the puppy grows. The stickers are of good quality, well-chosen graphics both in the pages and in the stickers, which have the advantage of being very different from each other with many specials, in addition to the brilliants and glitter we find the “scratch and discover” method, a method already used in several others collections (e.g. LOL) but always effective. Of 184 stickers we have at least a hundred non-standard ones, also counting the shaped ones that make the whole more dynamic and always make their little figure of .. figurine.
To complete this Puppies & Me 50 cards, not only to keep but also to play Pup Power, a very simple card game suitable for a very young audience, easier than actually to be used only for collectors. Another important detail, the matte album paper that does it justice, amazing how Panini uses better material for the albums of, let’s imagine, second level, instead of the main ones like Calciatori or others. Of course, they certainly print a lot less, but we are still perplexed.
At the beginning we were talking about a Panini short circuit, what are we referring to? To the fact that too often quality on the one hand is canceled out on the other. This is an album with its potential but suitable for a very young audience and for parents as buyers. The cost of the packets (the excuse of the card in this round is really a stretch) makes it unappetizing, much better Amici Cucciolotti.
In Modena they have perhaps forgotten what a collection of stickers, first of all, first of all, should be: POPULAR. For people and possibly for all budgets, especially this type of product. It is still made fun of the fact that the name Panini, rightly, has that important historical value, but for years and especially lately there are other publishers who make products suitable for boys and children. Also suitable for costs.
THE CARTOON WORLD (Gamma 3000 Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 188
stickerss: 30 (1-30)
album + complete set 3,50€
After a few albums dedicated to the animal world, Gamma 3000 raises the bar and aims at the world of cartoons, more or less. The formula is always the interesting one, a complete set of few stickers already sold with the album, a way to the pleasure of attaching stickers for the little ones.
This album is something more, the previous ones on animals were very basic, this one instead is a real illustrated album with a very important didactic part. We can go so far as to say that more than a sticker album it is an illustrated book with the addition of some stickers.
We are not marketing experts but we are left with the doubt that the layout of the cover could be reversed, the big title that recalled cartoons and, in a small way, the detail of an album that is already complete. Leafing through the album it is clear that the concept of cartoons is just a starting point, ample space is also given to several other non-animated characters, from Harry Potter to recent Marvel and DC films and more.
The text inside the album seems to us curated, written with knowledge of the facts and divided in some way by genres. It starts with the princesses, continues with the superheroes and then with the fantastic worlds. In the following pages we find the “tender puppies” from Winnie The Pooh to Pimpa, the Great Classics from Disney to Star Wars and the new heroes such as Ben10, Kung Fu Panda and Dragon Ball.
In short, the whole is nice, the stickers could be more than double if desired, one would think that Gamma 3000 had to limit the stickers for agreements on the images from the various owners. On the stickers the copyright is indicated for each one but it is strange to see together so many characters from Marvel, DC, Disney, Harry Potter and even Pippi Longstocking all together. The publisher will excuse us but we have some doubts, perhaps the use of a single image per characters makes the album possible.
Nice basic idea, given the cost it would be inappropriate even to list the defects, perhaps and if you wanted you could only deal with cartoons and then dedicate a subsequent album to the characters of films and TV series. For impulsive collectors of the various characters an album to have, difficult to know how long will remain on newsstands.
CRY BABIES (Panini)
EDICOLA: THE REVIEWS nr. 139
stickers: 180 (1-180)
starter pack: € 3.90 (album + 5 packets)
packets: € 0.80 (5 stickers)
What fun! Someone will think that doing reviews of particular albums, especially non-sporting ones, can be boring, in reality it is much more fun and rewarding. Especially because, if you want to do a good job, you go in search of information and often you discover cartoons or characters that you would never have known otherwise. Every so often at Panini they make “simple” albums, like those of the past, 180 stickers, without cards and without packets or special stickers to look for elsewhere. It was needed! Not only that, after the poor quality of the paper of the last albums (Marvel 80th, Animals), the return to the non-glossy paper album and the quality gains a lot.
Album for the little ones, dedicated to this world of baby girls who, in addition to cartoons, are having success in the field of toys and school products. It seems to understand that they are all female, in short, a village of miniature Amazons. They are somewhat reminiscent of Masha & the Bear’s little girl but are so much sweet and friendy. Above all they are many, many.
The first part of the album is dedicated to the main Babies and to all the other inhabitants of the Biberon Valley. The second part, which also includes the central opening poster, tells us about their world. The basic idea is always to make small collectors interact with the Babies, the stickers are large and very colorful, with many beautiful faces in the foreground, really nice.
In the third part, here are the adventures! Short episodes of two pages but very effective, with images both on the album and on the stickers to get to know how it end.
Of course, there is no shortage of special stickers, the classic glitter and the increasingly used “scratch & off”, the most strongest collectors must have two copies, one to be left dark and the other with the image under relief . Good research. We also have a contest and so be careful to throw away the tissues, finding the 10 different characters on the back, you can win one of the 250 winged houses.
Minimal album, but in the positive sense of the term. Beautiful!
TRULLI TALES (Panini Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 80
stickers: 192 (1-157, T1-T17, G1-G18)
packets: € 0.60 (5 stickers)
box: 50 packets
comment: the Trulli, just those of Alberobello, become a cartoon TV series created by two sisters, Fiorella and Maria Elena Congedo. All the magic of the characteristic city through the adventures of four little chef magicians.
They will not be the Smurfs but also these characters know how to give us sympathy, combining the charm of the Puglia with the magic of their magic wands and making fun of another Italian landmark like the kitchen, for which we are known and appreciated all over the world.
The cartoon drawing is modern but at the same time classic, suitable for current television formats, the album is a nice continuation. In the first part we find the presentation of the village and its protagonists: Ring, Zip, Sun and Stella, through the places of history, starting naturally from Miss Frisella’s kitchen. And yet Nonnatrulla, Trullosovrano, the tearchers of the school and the enemies (because in a self-respecting cartoon there are always some bad ones) Copperpot and Athenina.
Advice for parents, buy 2 albums because the second one is used to cut out the characters from the back cover and use them for “Il gioco del Trullo” (figurines G1-G18), the Game of the Goose of Alberobello!
A very funny little gem to complete, very colorful stickers, including silver and shaped.