I will be the first to admit that I’m a little slow when it comes to buying and opening Panini Hockey Sticker packs.
This is because I’m too cheap to spend $1 per pack (plus tax) for however many packs it takes to build a set; it’s usually over 100. I also don’t want to spend around $40 plus shipping on a box. So, I usually wait until the season ends. Then the price drops significantly, I purchase a box or two, and trade for or buy whatever stickers that I still need.
Panini Hockey Stickers usually have terrible collation. Earlier this year, I purchased a 2016-17 box, and 57 out of 350 stickers (roughly 16%) were doubles. Despite shoddy collation, I still like Panini Hockey Stickers enough to try and build a set every year.
However, this box might be a turning point for me with Panini Hockey Stickers because the collation was actually darn near perfect.
About 2017-18 Panini Hockey Stickers
A box has 50 packs. Each pack has seven stickers, for a grand total of 350 stickers.
There are 509 total stickers in the 2017-18 Panini Hockey Sticker set: 338 of them are the standard “paper” stickers, and 171 are shiny “foil” stickers.
So a box is not enough to build a set, but should get you more than halfway there.
What I Got in My Box
273 paper stickers; 11 were doubles
77 foil stickers; 0 were doubles
Check that! Only 11 total stickers were doubles; about 3%. That’s awesome! Even better is that none of the foil stickers — which for all intents and purposes should be viewed as the short prints for this set — were doubles.
Breakdown by 100s
Just for the fun of it, I did a breakdown of how many stickers I got in each grouping of 100.
38 paper stickers
19 foil stickers
46 paper stickers
16 foil stickers
46 paper stickers
15 foil stickers
59 paper stickers (7 were doubles)
13 foil stickers
80 paper stickers (4 were doubles)
10 foil stickers
4 paper stickers
4 foil stickers
The Downside to All This
Compared to my break of 2016-17 Panini Hockey Stickers, I got a lot more foil stickers: 77 instead of 46, or about three in every two packs. That is definitely a good thing.
But the number of foil stickers needed to complete a 2017-18 Panini Hockey Sticker set jumped from 130 to 171. In other words, the 2016-17 set has 25% foil stickers, but the 2017-18 set has 33% foil stickers. By that logic, you should get at least two foil stickers per pack, or 100 per box, to keep the yield of foil stickers consistent with the percentage of foil stickers needed to build a complete set.
The collation of my box of 2017-18 Panini Hockey Stickers was so good that I wonder if the company finally did something about it. Who wants to get three or four of the same sticker in the same box? That was pretty much an annual occurrence in boxes of Panini Hockey Stickers for as far back as I can remember, but this one had near-perfect collation; 11 doubles out of 350 stickers is a number I can live with.
As a quick addendum, I purchased an additional seven packs of stickers, and got another 15 stickers that I needed. So they seem to be mixed up enough that you won’t get the exact same stickers in two packs.
If you opened any Panini Hockey Stickers from 2017-18 (or 2018-19), how was the breakdown for you? Did you get a ton of doubles, like in years’ past, or was the collation for your box or packs as good as what I got? ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.