Thank you :)
Today a great man who invented a great "toy" for kids disappeared (read La Repubblica article). The father of famous sticker-factory "PANINI" died today.
I can hardly count all the happy moments that "Panini" created during my childhood and keeps creating for many kids today.
I remember especially the Little Mermaid sticker album, I think I almost completed it. The interesting thing is that I did it in Peru, where the Panini stickers were not on sale and where there were not auto-collant stickers, but only the ones where the glue was dry on the back on the sticker and you had to get it wet in order to make it stick.
However, my Dad, who lived in Italy at that time, came often to Lima almost like a Santa Claus. One of the things he brought were this two Little Mermaid Sticker Albums, and a whole pack of sticker envelopes (as we could not buy stickers in Lima or exchange them with other kids). So we evenly divided the whole pack in two, half for me and half for my sister. Then we exchanged stickers among us.... but we also had a whole bunch of repeated stickers that we could not exchange with other kids.
My business talent and entrepreneurial skills came up for the first time! (hehe) I realized that there was a gap in the market (well, ok, probably I did not think it in those terms at that time) and I decided to fill it. I took a little orange suitcase I had (it was originally a suitcase for colours, pencils, etc), and I filled it with my stickers (kind of the movie suitcases filled with dollar bills, but filled with Panini Little Mermaid stickers). They were divided into groups, because of course, they had different values. The single stickers with the Little Mermaid or the Prince picture, were worth 250 intis, the single ones with another character were 200, the "half ones" (the ones where the picture is divided in two stickers) were worth only 50 intis, unless there was the little Mermaid or the Prince on them and that make them rise to 100 intis. I think I also had some valued 150 intis, but I can't remember which ones were those.
This business venture proved to be very successful! During the recreation I would go with my suitcase in the school corridors and sit there (almost like a drug dealer), then other kids would come to me and line up to buy my stickers. One day I could also help my mum pay for the car fuel (which I guess was not as expensive as it is today). At the end of the recreation I would close up my little suitcase filled with stickers and intis bills and go back into class.
The business started to be less successful when my sister open up the competition (she had useless repeated stickers as well). Probably I should have proposed to merge to rise prices hehehe but I did not know the rules of the market at that time.
Thanks Panini! (and thanks Dad hehe)