Sticker books have been around for what seems like an eternity and, like everything else, have moved with the times with FIFA and Panini launching an online version of the popular pastime.
I completed my one and only Premier League sticker book as a nine year old back in 1994 after months of haggling and swapping with my mates.
The playground at school was buzzing as we swapped three Steve Boulds, two Gary Abletts and a Stuart Ripley for a ‘shiney’.
It was the most addictive thing ever, essentially a paper based version of drugs for kids.
At one stage, my pile of Kevin Pressman stickers had hit double figures and I had no chance of shifting them.
Fast forward 16 years and, thanks to FIFA and Panini, I’m addicted all over again.
The duo have brought sticker collecting back to the mainstream by creating a free online version of the hobby to compliment the regular shop-bought one.
All you have to do is register with the FIFA site, activate the game, and get ripping open those sticker packets.
Every day you are given three packets of five, and the internet is littered with promo codes that you can enter to get extras, though I seem to have exhausted all of those.
I’ve also joined a ‘Collector’s Group’ which is essentially a chatroom to discuss with ten other equally hooked folk who you have and need before arranging trades
Genius, but more than just a bit geeky at the same time.
My album is currently 63% complete, with only the Australian and Nigerian pages finished (you get that all important ‘shiney’ once the team is done).
It’s gotten to the stage where the site is always open in my browser, and there’s a little warning that comes up after a while asking if you are still here.
Of course I bloody am, I’m waiting on my swaps to go through!
The only real downside is that the album features a number of players who won’t actually feature in South Africa, including Ronaldinho, Alexander Pato and David Beckham amongst others, but of course that is part and parcel of the book being released before the squads were announced.
It’s definitely worth a look as a bit of fun to pass the time, and to bring out the kid that is still inside us all, so get signed up.
And if you happen to get a double of Xavi, let me know.
To register, simply go to the official FIFA website and select ‘Games’.