The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia in less than three months and to get you fully in the mood, Panini’s World Cup stickers are set to go on sale at newsagents up and down the country this Thursday. Only what is usually met with unadulterated (and probably unjustifiable) excitement from kids and big kids alike has caused a fair amount of controversy, with a packet of 5 stickers this time around costing a whopping 80p.

Panini 2018 World Cup Stickers: Got, Got, Greed?

Though collectors young and old will no doubt still be queueing for their sticker fix, the cost of completing a World Cup sticker album has never been higher. At 80p for a packet of 5 stickers, each Panini sticker will set you back an incredible 16p. When you take into account that there’s 682 stickers to collect overall (50 shineys, for you aficionados), you’re looking at an eye-watering £109.12 minimum to complete a collection.

But as anyone who’s had the joy of tearing open a packet of stickers before will testify; to complete an album you’re going to go through hundreds of duplicates. So unless you’re a master swapper or have some unfathomable luck, the actual cost involved is much likelier to be towards the £130 mark. Or even as high as £150.

In truth, stickers have always been expensive considering they’re a piece of paper with some adhesive. But to put it in perspective, the previous Panini 2014 World Cup album stickers were sold at 10p a piece with a packet of 5 costing 50p, meaning in theory the 642 sticker collection cost £64.20 to complete. So in real terms, the jump in price between 2014 and 2018 is therefore a 70% increase.

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This will be the 13th Panini World Cup sticker album with the first being the 1970 tournament in Mexico. And just to give some perspective on its popularity, in 2014, it was estimated that eight million packets of stickers were sold every day. So naturally the spike in prices have been met with some serious backlash.

As full grown adults, the disappointment of having to say ‘no’ to a sticker collection – while harder than we’d care to admit – is not the end of the world. But you’d have to say Panini have seriously missed the point here. The reason many pay above the odds for stickers is because of the nostalgia factor. By pricing younger consumers out of the market, they’re alienating customers for years to come.

The backlash may mean that Panini rethink things, and you can buy a box of 100 packs from Argos at £69.99. But even then, it’s 70p a pack and the damage may have already been done to sticker loyalists anyway.

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In other World Cup news, check out adidas’ kits for some of the qualified teams.

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