My personal collecting habits go back to the early iteration of Panini football sticker albums. Before the days of internet and easy access to ‘missing’ stickers, the endless frustration of yet another Glen Hoddle or my fifth Peter Shilton only rarely being offset by a glimpse of a much-needed golden club crest sticker. The challenge of course being to successfully collect the complete album, the desperate hunt for Bryan Robson to complete my set. Sadly, never to materialise and my first true experience of disappointment.
The whole point of the exercise from a manufacturer point of view being to encourage enough belief that completion was achievable whilst ensuring the amount ‘invested’ was a sum far higher than the individual cost of each sticker needed. The aim of the collector being to achieve the nirvana that was the complete set, to see it gather dust in a bedroom bookcase before being disposed of when you happen to leave home for university and ‘you’re too old for it and you never look at it….’