Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Sticky Situation

Recently, Angus of Dawg Day Cards put up a great review of the new Panini Stickers set for his chosen sport, football. It prompted me to finally write this post, something I've been hemming and hawing on for a while.

The Panini Stickers set...they have been producing them for the NBA since at least 1990, but I have mostly ignored them. Now, I'm having second thoughts about them.

My big question: Do I want to incorporate them as part of my NBA collection? As of right now, I count them as a separate collection. I don't have a paper listing of what I have/don't have, which is something I do for pretty much every card set. They aren't counted as part of my collection. That's a big thing for me, as I am majorly OCD. I don't consider something as part of my collection unless it's got a paper listing and counted.

For many years I didn't count the USA Basketball sets, the Michael Jordan tribute sets, or the Starting Lineup cards as part of my NBA collection. I counted them as separate collections. In fact, I only integrated and officially counted the SLU and Jordan sets in 2014 or possibly even early 2015.

Now I'm seriously debating adding the Panini stickers to my collection as well.

One of the reasons I have not made them part of my official collection is that they are made of really flimsy material and have no real back to them. Basically the backs are all the same but with a different number, every year.

Say I do decide to make them part of my official collection. That opens up another can of worms. Of the 13 years of stickers produced, I only have 2 of the years in my collection. In fact there may be more than 13 years of them made, I'm not totally sure. They were so off my radar, I've never actually researched them. I know for a fact that I only have 1995-96 and 2015-16 in my collection.
All my efforts of having every set represented in my collection would be out the window, at least for a while. That's a fairly small tradeoff, though, and the stickers are not that expensive, so I could probably hunt down multiple stickers for each year for under $20. That's doable. Actually finding them may prove more of a challenge than paying for them, in this case.

I know, also, that the only "card" produced for Elton Brand in the 2014-15 season is the Panini Sticker. They couldn't be bothered to include him in any actual card sets in 2014-15 OR 2015-16. I don't have any stickers from 2014-15, but that is one I would like to get weather I make them part of my NBA collection or not.

The Panini Stickers do have some things about them that I really like. Each year has Team stickers. I'm a BIG fan of team cards, and there have not been any team cards issued since 2010-11.
Here's one from 1995-96 and one from 2015-16.

The team stickers back in the day were much nicer, with a super sparkly affect that looks much better in hand. Now they are just mirror foil, blah.

Here's a base card sticker design from 1995-96 and 2015-16.

The designs are unique and the photos are pretty good. Arguably better than Panini does on actual cards.

One other bonus is that the sets are large- they refuse to make an actual card set larger than 300 cards, but the sticker sets usually go past 400. The 2014-15 set is 470 stickers long. I don't know yet how large the 2015-16 set is, but in the limited packs I purchased I got one numbered 471 so I know it's larger.

The stickers almost act like what a flagship Panini set should be, only they have nothing on the backs.
This is the back of the Mavericks team logo. They are all the same except for the number.
The gray square and line at the bottom is from when my remote hard drive crashed. I was able to recover a lot (NOT everything) but some of them didn't recover properly. I just noticed this when I posted the image, so now I have to fix it. Normally I'd just fix it and not talk about it but I wanted to show some of the stuff I've been fighting with for the past nearly 2 months now.

So, what do you think? Should I add these to my collection officially, with a paper listing and counting them as part of the actual collection, or should I continue to count them as a separate collection?

I know which way I'm leaning but I want to hear some opinions before I say what I'm thinking (it will be in the comments).

One thing I do know for sure...I won't ignore them in the future, and when the new set comes out, I will be getting some every year...maybe even a whole box. They are cheap enough I can afford a box, a rarity these days.

Thanks for reading and hopefully giving me your thoughts.


  1. Lots to think about with this. I am guessing you are leaning towards including them.

  2. Obviously I count them, but it may be easier for me as a team collector to include the stickers as part of my Browns collection than it is to acquire complete sets. And, as you mentioned with the Brand sticker, it is nice to have players represented in the stickers that don't always get cards in the card sets. I wonder if that will add new players to your collection. I see that there are checklists on the Trading Card Database for at least the last couple of years, have you looked to see if there are some players that would be new to your collection?

    1. Now that is a good question! I don't think so off the top of my head, but it may make finding cards of some of the guys who were in and out of the league during my 2006-12 hiatus much easier. It's something I'm going to have to research some more...

  3. I like the stickers but I'm never quite sure what to do with them. It helps when they are regular card size and some of my favorites are the old 1971 ABA sticker cards which I've been able to pick up. Team/team logo stickers are great. I like having those around or using on storage boxes. Great post.

    1. Just spotted your post now, when I went to reference this post in a new post. Sorry, I wasn't trying to ignore you! I am not familiar with those ABA stickers, but as I love the history of the ABA I will have to look for some.