Even though they lost their license to make NHL trading cards, Panini is soldiering on with their annual hockey sticker set for 2014-15. I probably won’t collect this year’s sticker set, but I’m still glad it came out. Panini has made NHL sticker sets since 1987-88, and it is nice to see that trend continue. Plus, this gives people a choice if they don’t want to collect any of Upper Deck’s offerings. A pack costs $1.00 and has seven stickers. There are 500 stickers in the set. I recently bought a pack to see what this year’s set was like.
411 – Winnipeg Jets Road Jersey – Each team gets two jersey stickers — one for the home jersey and one for the road jersey. Panini did something similar in their 1988-89 hockey sticker set. Too bad the socks aren’t also shown on these stickers.
218 – Alex Ovechkin – What the…Certified?!?! I guess Panini used some of their trading card set logos on their stickers. Each team’s top star is printed on shiny foil stock, and adorned with the “Certified” logo.
There are nine rookie stickers too, which have “Rated Rookie” logos on them. That’s funny, since Panini didn’t use the “Rated Rookie” logo for the last three years of their contract to make hockey cards.
Plus, there are stickers about the Winter Classic, Stadium Series and 2014 Playoffs.
What I like about 2014-15 Panini Hockey Stickers: You get seven stickers per pack. Sure, the stickers are smaller than usual, but I’d rather have more stickers at a slightly smaller size than less stickers that are nearly-card sized. There’s a lot of variety in this year’s set, too, with logos, jerseys, trophies, outdoor game recaps, playoff game recaps and rookies. And there’s something satisfying about sticking that last sticker to complete a page in your sticker album.
What I don’t like about 2014-15 Panini Hockey Stickers: At $1 per pack and with 500 stickers to collect, putting this set together becomes an expensive proposition. You’d need 72 packs, assuming you get no doubles — BUT YOU WILL, BECAUSE PANINI HOCKEY STICKERS HAVE THE WORST COLLATION EVER! That means you’ll probably have to order the 50 or so stickers you end up needing online via their convoluted, poorly translated web order form. (I warned you).
While a buck a pack isn’t a bad deal, most kids would probably go after cards…and most adults would probably want to go after something a little more high-end; or at least a set with more than nine rookies. (By the way, including Jake Allen in the “Rated Rookies” subset seems odd; sure, he IS a rookie this year, but even Panini issued rookie cards of him two years ago.) Overall, this sticker set is probably too low-end for most adults and too expensive for most kids to put together. However, there is a lot more variety — logos, jerseys, etc. — than what’s included in this year’s hockey card sets, making it an interesting alternate to collect. ■