Greetings, Learning Expressions Readers!
This week, we will be putting the spotlight on the 2011 NFL Sticker Book and Sticker Sets from Panini America. I will be making use of the Learning Express 3Fs of toy quality (form, function, and fun) as well as letting you know why I (and more specifically my husband) think they are just. so. awesome.
Indulge me for a moment, and let me take you back to the second grade. Mr. Bell’s class. Room 306. The Ray School. I was the proud owner of not one but FOUR sticker books containing every variety of sticker that a young girl could dream of. I had fuzzies, oilies, and shinies galore—I had pages devoted to scratch n’ sniff stickers, still others featuring the casts of all my favorite cartoons. After school I would beg my mom to take me down to the local university’s school supply store – where hoards of youngsters would push aside college students and count out their allowance for sheets of stickers (and later where mothers would stampede each other in hysterical attempts to obtain the latest Beanie Baby). My friends and I would spend countless hours at recess and on the school bus trading, haggling, and coveting each others’ stickers…circa 1992 we were true sticker aficionados, and life was good.
Until a couple of days ago, it had never really crossed my mind that my husband might have collected stickers growing up—I just assumed he collected sticks and dead bugs and that sort of thing instead. That all changed when I brought home Panini America’s NFL sticker book in the hopes of getting some work done one evening. I expected Chris to merely feign interest while I explained to him all about the latest, hottest trend in toys – how wrong I was.
While sports team sticker books in America are a fairly novel item (Panini only began distributing theirs in the US in 2009), in the United Kingdom Panini has had a devout following since 1978. Little did I know that while I collected pink stickers that smelled of strawberries in New Hampshire, my husband was collecting football (soccer) stickers in a small town outside of Edinburgh. As it turns out, the annual Scottish Premier League Sticker Book and Sticker Sets from Panini were one of his all-time favorite toys from childhood.
When he saw the NFL sticker book come out of my bag it no longer mattered that he didn’t know a thing about American football (he still thinks the Miami Dolphins are an aquarium attraction in Florida) – his face lit up with glee, and he immediately ripped open my sample sticker packets with all the relish of an over-excited five year old. Seeing my astonishment, he explained that these kinds of sticker books had been a staple of his childhood – and just because something was new in America didn’t mean it was necessarily a revelation for everyone else. Touché, husband, touché.
So now you know I have first-hand knowledge of the kind of enthusiasm and devotion these little stickers elicit, let me tell you a little more about them.
There are two essential components here: the sticker album itself, and the stickers you put inside.
Album: The 2011 NFL sticker book album is 72 pages long and retails for $2.00. Each of the NFL’s 32 teams is represented by 13 stickers (including rookies) and takes up two pages in the album. There are 494 available sticker slots in each album. Each album also includes the 2011 football schedule, and lets you write in which teams make it to the various stages of the playoffs. We love these albums because they are fun, interactive, and visually stimulating!
Stickers: There are 494 total stickers available to collect, 354 of which are glossy “base” stickers, 100 of which are holographic foil stickers, and 40 of which are micro-etched stickers. Sticker packets each contain 7 stickers and retail for $1.00 each. On the back of each sticker is a number that tells you where it goes in the album – simply find a match, peel, and place!
The functionality of these sticker albums is pretty simple: collect, share, complete. They encourage kids to work towards the long term goal of completing the album, and also foster peer collaboration as kids trade and share the stickers with friends. They also have the added advantage of teaching kids (and Scottish husbands) all about the NFL teams and their players.
In and of itself, the Panini NFL sticker album is a ton of fun. However, Learning Express Toys has just made it a whole lot more awesome.
In conjunction with Panini America, Learning Express is offering 50 autographed items of NFL memorabilia to the first 50 Learning Express shoppers who complete the sticker book! All you need to do is bring your completed sticker book in to your local Learning Express store, and the store owner will call up one of our friends at Panini and see if you are among the first 50 completers! Your prize will then be sent to your Learning Express store, and you will pick it up from there. Awesome, right?
And the fun doesn’t stop there. One lucky Learning Express store, somewhere in the country, will also win a visit from an NFL player sometime in late December/early January! We don’t know yet which store that will be, but I’ll be sure to let everyone know as soon as we get word.
Winners will be selected on a first come, first serve basis so remember DON’T DELAY – START COLLECTING TODAY!**
**If you see a 6’3” Scotsman trying to redeem a prize for his completed sticker book, be sure to remind him that (in accordance with the terms and conditions of the competition) family members of Learning Express staff members are not eligible to win.
Talk to you again soon!