Brace yourselves, because, for the next months, you’ll be stuck into the World Cup fever!
After the trading card collection, Panini released the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Sticker Collection. The manufacturer began rolling out the collection in mid-March all over the world. By the end of the April, most of the countries around the globe will have it.
The 2018 Sticker collection is the 13th consecutive World Cup album, traditionally released by Panini every four years since the 1970 World Cup held in Mexico. The collection features 670/682 stickers to collect. One significant change is that this is the first Panini World Cup album which will have the license for all the teams (English players included).
In this guide, we will do our best to provide in-depth information about the collection and all of its features. No matter if you’re a seasoned collector or a newbie just starting out, we’re sure you’ll find the information gathered here helpful. We would like to thank our entire CardzReview community for restlessly providing data across all of our platforms.
We’ve seen an increasing number of questions regarding the release date on our social media channels. People have been commenting: “There will be mistakes!” or “Wait until May!” While we agree that collection may come a bit early, there are plenty of factors to consider before giving that sort of conclusion. The most important thing is – the collection of this magnitude takes time to plan, market, manufacture and distribute. If Panini waited a bit more, it could potentially cause the delays in the entire supply chain.
According to Panini Brazil CEO, it’s 8 million stickers are printed every day in their factory. Imagine how much time it takes pack everything, send millions of products to dozens of countries and prepare for the launch in every single one. If we waited that long, we’d be probably collecting stickers in the winter.
So in the end, Panini has to take a risk and rely on “guessing”. There is no way to know with a certainty which players will play in the World Cup, but they’ve been quite good with their methods so far. Good news is that we’ll probably have an update sticker set.
Most importantly, if you’re like us, it’s never too early or too late for Panini stickers, the momentum is always right!
Is it available in my country?
It’s not easy to tell this. Most likely it is (or will be), so the best way is for you to check in stores and if you can’t find, ask local sellers if it’s on sale and if not, if there’s any release date scheduled. If they also don’t know, better ask Panini themselves.
- Number of Stickers: 670 or 682;
- Sticker Size: 49mm x 64mm;
- Album: Softcover or Hardcover (only available in certain countries, see below);
- Album Pages: 80 (may vary, see details below)
In 2018 release, Panini decided to make things complicated and released different versions of the album. The most significant difference is the number of stickers. We will cover that in a moment, but now, let’s take a look at the collection content and sections included.
The introductory section of Panini World Cup album features a standardized pattern. The goal of this section is to introduce collectors and fans with the primary symbols of the World Cup 2018. This section includes eight shinies (foil) stickers, some of which are puzzle forming a picture. Stickers in this part of the album are numbered from 00 to 7.
On the left-hand side of the page labeled as “0”, there is a group table with all 32 teams and groups from A-H. Each group consists out of 4 teams. National squads in the album appear in the same order as they have been drawn in the group stage. Below the Panin logo, which is the first 00 sticker, there is a little advertisement for the official trading app and the part called “Symbols” which covers the meaning of the icons and symbols which appear in the form of stats on each player sticker.
Roll of Honour is a subsection in the introductory part that shows a list of all World Cup champions from 1930 until 2014, leaving the blank space for the 2018 winners.
|Sticker Number||Sticker Name|
|1||FIFA Fair Play Poster|
|2||FIFA World Cup Trophy|
|3||FIFA World Cup Poster (puzzle 1)|
|4||FIFA World Cup Poster (puzzle 2)|
|5||FIFA World Cup Logo (puzzle 1)|
|6||FIFA World Cup Logo (puzzle 2)|
|7||FIFA Official Ball|
Another usual feature in Panini World Cup albums, with the 12 stadiums where the matches will take place. On page 2, above the first three stadium stickers, there is a large section called “Programme.” It features a fixtures table of the group stage, including the dates for each group stage match. Additionally, there are empty schedule tables where collectors can fill out (if that’s what they prefer) the scores and participants of the Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, 3rd place game and the most important – the finals.
|Sticker Number||Sticker Name|
|12||Nizhny Novgorod Stadium|
|15||Saint Petersburg Stadium|
A noticeable difference compared to previous collections is that stadiums come as single stickers. There are no more puzzle stickers, which once when compiled form a larger stadium image. For example, predecessors of this collection, Brazil 2014 and Panini’s South Africa 2010 album had puzzle stadium stickers.
Probably one of the most beautiful pages contains places for 12 poster stickers for every host city of the World Cup. The capital of Russia, Moscow, has two stickers, numbered 21 and 22. What is interesting is that this section is available on all albums, but some versions (which we will cover later) contain only pictures and no stickers for the “Posters Section.”
There is a map of the Russian Federation showcasing the location of each host city.
There are 32 teams participating in the FIFA World Cup 2018 held in Russia. Each of the teams is featured in the official album. What is very interesting is that this time, Panini obtained the license for every national team, including English squad, which is known to cause licensing issue ever since 1998 France collection.
The teams are sorted by groups A-H. All feature the same amount of stickers – 20:
- 1x National Team Emblem (Shiny)
- 1x Lineup sticker
- 18x Player stickers
Naturally, this is the main and the most extensive section of the album. The background is the same for all squads, a stadium celebration with the team colors. Besides that, double-spread team pages contain the fixtures table and the group schedule.
Two pages were featuring one small celebratory picture for each of the qualified nations, with the exception of Russia, the hosting country. This section does not contain stickers, only images.
A section often requested by collectors in the past, is finally available. Legends feature all the eight World Cup champions until now, with one sticker for each. If the country won multiple World Cups, it has more photographs around the sticker, for each FIFA World Cup they won.
There are two more Legends stickers, now for specific players. First is Pelé for being the player with most World Cup titles and second is Klose for being the all-time goalscorer in World Cups.
Just like Pelé and Klose, there are more records to remember on a single page, such as Most Matches Played (Lothar Matthäus with 25) or Oldest Player (Faryd Mondragón at 43). The records page is also a novelty and is a sequel to the Legends part.
Yes, most likely your album will have some advertising pages, usually to FIFA store or Panini apps, but sometimes to some local brand too. Advertising pages inside the album will vary from country to country.
Depending on where you buy your album, you may NOT find some of these sections.
Just like past World Cup collections, Panini has chosen again the tiniest size they have for stickers, 64x49mm. It’s probably the best option because there are already almost 700 stickers and imagine if they were bigger, requiring more album pages.
Design of the stickers is excellent and as usual, Panini not compromising and playing safe. Starting with the players, their pictures are clear and well inserted in the stickers’ frame. The photos give a similar vibe as 2014, but there are some notorious differences regarding the statistics of the players, which is are now on the bottom of the stickers, inside of some circular-shaped pieces. The 2018 stickers also present a new piece of info about when the player debuted in the team, in the top right corner.
The stadiums couldn’t be missed, of course, each of the 12 with a photo of the inside or the outside of the stadium, with the name and attendance. But now we only have one sticker per stadium. This is good because we avoid being upset when we couldn’t fit the two pieces neatly, due to Panini cutting not always be the same, but also bad because the images are a bit cramped into the tiny frame. It leaves us the question what we would prefer.
Team pictures are the same as stadiums, but unlike them, there was always just one sticker for the team. It still features a starting lineup, usually the best one for each team (though there are dubious exceptions like England, which Panini used the starting lineup from a friendly match). Just like stadiums, the tiny size doesn’t allow for high sharpness.
Posters are a new addition and boy, are they pretty! Each city has a poster, and they are stunning, beautifully created to advertise the host cities. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, only some versions will have it as stickers, but the printed pages are also beautiful and each poster in a more prominent size too.
And then we’re left with the essential stickers (at least for some): the shinies as we call it. Also called “foils,” there’s 50 to collect, of which we have 8 for the Introduction, 32 for all badges/emblems and finally, 10 Legends, which is another new and very, very requested section in the past. Once again, Panini doesn’t disappoint with the chosen foil and design too, beautiful stickers that every person, be a child or an adult, loves to see.
Now let’s jump into the quality of the sticker and well, not such great feedback here.
The paper quality is one of the worst Panini have. And by “worst” it doesn’t mean it’s horrible, but as seasoned collectors, we can’t avoid comparing with other Panini collections where the paper was high quality. It’s too thin, too much malleable, prone to natural damage and yes, very 2014.
Then there’s also the sharpness of the pictures. Aside from the team and stadium stickers, which are naturally tough to have a high-quality picture into such tiny frames, the player’s pictures are “ok”. And again, the paper quality plays a major role here, because we’re sure the “ok” could be “good” or even “great” should the paper had better quality.
Below we state which products are available around the world. Be aware that some of them might NOT be available in your country.
The “old school” album everyone gets. Average quality, usually enough for most collectors who want to attach their stickers in it.
A regular choice too in the past years, but mostly for the seasoned collectors who demand quality. It’s way more expensive than the softcover album, but besides the hardcover/back, pages are thicker and of better quality.
Some countries have or will have on sale. To know which ones, just check “Variations” below.
Either with a soft or hardcover album, it also brings some sticker packets to start enjoying the collection right away. How many packs? It depends on your country.
The “core” of collecting, you can’t miss this. Many versions around the world, be the packet design or sticker version but all bring five stickers each.
Everyone buys from these rectangular boxes filled with packets. Many also purchase full boxes right away. Depending on your country, there are 50, 100 and even 104 packets per box.
Bundle of packets, usually cheaper than buying the same packets separately. How many each one brings depends on what’s available in your country.
Metal boxes with packets inside. You may also use it to store your doubles and carry it to swap with your friends everywhere.
This year, Panini has also introduced a Tin Set, with 14 different to collect. However, it’s only available in Brazil.
Panini promotes this collection in their magazines or partnerships with other magazines and newspapers. Many times you can get an (almost) free album or packets when you buy any of these products. Here are some known magazines were Panini always advertise their new collections in the specific issues:
- France: Panini Foot
- Germany: Just Kick-It!
- UK: Strike-It!
- Spain: Jugón!
Panini also has some partnerships with knows brands in a few countries. With the purchase of specific products from those brands, you get exclusive packets/stickers with extra stickers, not in the main set (but the album may have the pages to add those stickers).
More information on the promotional and extra sets, as well as the update stickers released at the later point, are added to the table under the next section. You can help us to keep the list up to date by leaving a comment below or letting us know in our forum thread.
Full 100 Packets Unboxing
We would like to express our gratitude to Panini Germany for providing us with some products to help us reviewing the collection.
Many people do not know this, but Panini issues different types of the World Cup collections around the globe. While in essence, they are similar; there are some differences between editions in some countries. In this section, we will provide you with the most in-depth information online about Panini World Cup 2018 variants. We gathered this data thanks to our community members. Many are still unknown, and so we hope you help us fill the blanks. Ready?
682 vs. 670
This is probably the main difference affecting the whole experience around the world. Excluding extras, some countries will have 682 stickers to collect; others – 670. The 12 sticker difference is due to Posters being stickers or printed images in the album. The 682 stickers version will have the Posters as stickers, while the 670 has the posters printed in the album. Why such difference? We have no clue, but it’s most likely due to the same reason: licensing issues in the countries with the 670 version.
This brings a problem when buying or swapping abroad. Since those 12 stickers are in the beginning, the numeration is affected, and so, only the intro and stadiums stickers have the same numeration in both versions. You can still buy any version you want, as all stickers have the same images everywhere, but when swapping with someone not from your country, be careful as the other person might have the different version of the album, and you end up receiving stickers you’re not missing due to the 12 gap.
In your country, you will quickly find out which version you have in stores. And here you may also find it too. One quick tip: the 682 version stickers have black backs, while the 670 version has pink backs.
Swiss Gold Edition
This is a unique edition printed only for Switzerland. Even though its name mentions the precious metal, it’s not made out of gold. This edition has 682 stickers to collect, as many countries have, but the main difference, besides the sticker quality, are the golden color frames of the stickers and the golden grain texture of the shinies.
This issue is exclusive to Switzerland; you can only find it there. If you’re not Swiss, you can purchase the Gold Edition here.
Just as the name says, below is the list of all album variations we are aware of. Credit to our forum member Bidus who gathered this amazing list on our forums, which is even more detailed than this table (reduced to basics to fit here).
Qty = Number of Stickers; HC = Hardcover
|Austria||682||Yes||10 CC Legends|
C1-C6 + C8-C11
McD C7 + C12
|Belarus||682||No||Same as Russia||??||??|
1 pack w/ 5 stickers
No details for now
Pack w/ Happy Meal
|Liechtenstein||682||Yes||C1 to C12|
|Mexico||682||Yes||9 Coca Cola|
|Portugal||682||No||8 McD M1-M8|
|Russia||682||No||8 McD M1-M8|
|Switzerland||682||Yes, in |
|C1 to C12|
|UK & Eire||682||No||No||??||??|
It’s unavoidable, so let’s get into where it hurts. This World Cup will be known to us, sticker collectors, like the one with the most price increase EVER, more expensive than 2014 by 20 to 100%, depending on the country and the product. I’ll leave here some examples of previous -> current sticker packets prices:
- Euro (€): 0.70€ -> 0.90€
- United Kingdom: 0.50£ -> 0.80£
- USA: same price (1$), but less two stickers per packet (7 to 5)
- Brazil: 1 real -> 2 reais
- Mexico: 7 pesos -> 14 pesos
- Peru: 1.20 soles -> 2.20 soles
- And many more
Grabbed already your torch and pitchfork to furiously march into Panini’s HQ? Well, they aren’t the only culprits. FIFA, federations, players, agents, all of these contributed massively to this huge increase. You probably noticed how football business has become more and more valuable in the past years, with outrageous transfers fees we never dreamed of just a few years ago, players wages becoming quite absurd and yes, fans willing to pay a lot just to see their idols.
And you want to know more about the price increase and behind the scenes? I bet you do, so we already have here an in-depth article written by one of our contributors. Feel free to check it out and share the wisdom.
Where to buy?
We recommend that you always try to get your Panini packs locally and support local businesses. However, in some cases, it’s not always possible. There are plenty of online stores selling this collection. We recommend you take a look at eBay or Amazon, here are some links below.
Where to swap stickers?
One does never try to complete album on his or her own. This hobby is all about swapping and meeting new people with the same passion. To complete your sticker album easier, we highly recommend that you engage with your friends or local swap meetings.
Your friends don’t collect, and you’re not familiar with such swapping event? No worries, you can either try to organize one yourself on Facebook or register on plenty of international stickers and card swapping sites. Google “swap stickers” and tons of sites will appear.
Furthermore, we at CardzReview have a Panini World Cup 2018 Swapping Group on Facebook, so feel free to join there as well and find someone to swap with. People in our group swap everything from Adrenalyn cards to Online Panini albums.
Online Sticker Album
Just like in 2010 and 2014, Panini and FIFA have created again the virtual sticker album for this collection. It’s a minimalistic version of the real album, with the 8 sticker intro, but just 12 stickers per team (badge + 11 players) and no stadiums, posters or legends.
Let’s start by saying it’s FREE to play. You need to create a FIFA account or sign in with your google or facebook credentials and start playing immediately! Every day you get two free packets and if you think it’s too little, don’t worry, as there’s already plenty of promo codes where each will give you a free packet. However, you can only open 5 packets per day.
Of course, there’s also the option to swap those virtual stickers doubles you have with other people. Leave your proposals public, so the swap system can find you swapping partners, or create/join a group of 10 people, where you can discuss which stickers you can swap.
Until August 31st, you can have fun with this online collection. When you finish it, you’re automatically enrolled to win a free (and real) hardcover copy of the album, plus free personalized stickers.
With this, we conclude our guide on Panini’s FIFA World Cup 2018 sticker collection, but not before thanking everyone who contributed to create this in-depth guide: Carlos (dantzig), Pavle, Panini Germany and our amazing, unparalleled community who shared so much info spread across the world.
To become engaged in a severe collector discussion, visit our forum, we know you won’t regret it.
We welcome any comments and suggestions on how to improve the article, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or ideas.