In Brazil, they are so popular that people say, “if you never collected these stickers even once, you didn’t enjoy your childhood.”
This 80-page sticker album holds stickers of players from each country participating in the World Cup, and you can see the countries’ flags and emblems. There also charts of matches.
All of the photos and drawings are stickers. There are 682 stickers in total.
After you buy the sticker album, you buy the stickers and stick them in yourself. The stickers are sold in packs of five, and you can’t see what’s inside when you buy the pack, so you sometimes get doubles in the packs you buy and it’s sometimes difficult to get the stickers you want. In these cases, you trade stickers with your friends. That’s part of the fun.
A pack of stickers is R$2.00 (about US$0.60) and you can buy them at kiosks selling newspapers and magazines.
When you collect the stickers, you come up with all sorts of ideas, like that instead of going to the kiosk you normally go to, you should buy them in a different area to get ones you don’t already have, and so on. It’s not only soccer fans that collect the stickers; men, women, boys, and girls from young to old enjoy it.
The sticker albums have numbers for each spot where the stickers go. So that you don’t have to carry around the sticker album with you, instead you carry around a piece of paper listing the numbers of all the stickers you don’t have yet. But from this year, there’s a sticker album app you can get for your smartphone, so you can mark the stickers you don’t have yet. It is more convenient now.
People trade stickers at school or work, but on the weekend, you can see people gathered around trading stickers in front of bookstores at the shopping mall or in the open areas in parks. The other day, I was watching some people trade stickers, and I noticed something. Adults check the numbers on the backs of the stickers to see if they have them, but children do this by looking at the pictures on the front. I was surprised and asked them, “do you remember the faces of all of the players?” They said that they had flipped through the sticker album so many times that they remember almost all of the stickers they have. They did say that, for Brazilians, Asian players all look similar, so when they aren’t sure, they check the numbers.
The children also have games they play with the stickers.
They gamble with the stickers with their friends. For example, they could bet four stickers. They choose four of the other person’s stickers that they want and then they each place the four stickers one on top of each other on the floor, and then tap the edge of the stickers once. The force from the tap flips some stickers over, and the one who flips over the most stickers wins the stickers that were bet.
World Cup sticker albums have been issued since 1970. When the World Cup matches start, you can open up your sticker album and look at it while cheering on the teams. I can’t wait.
Vamos Brasil! (Go Brazil!)