Its packets of stickers have been selling by the millions every day with fans all over the world descending on newsagents and swap shops in a desperate bid to complete their albums.
But far from the Panini football sticker craze being the reserve of children, millions of adults have joined the pursuit ahead of this year’s World Cup.
Reliving their youth, when Merlin and Panini sticker books were collected by children across the country, adults have been reported to be buying 50p packets by the bucket-load.
Bankers have been spotted purchasing up to 60 packets at a time from newsagents, while one customer in Kingston-upon-Thames reportedly paid £50 to buy every sticker left in a shop.
In Gloucester, the sticker collection is proving just as popular.
Martin’s on St John’s Avenue has experienced big sales since the albums were released.
“We are probably selling 50 packs of stickers a day to a whole range of people,” said manager Caroline Chapel.
“Kids are coming in and buying between £5 and £10 worth of stickers at a time but adults are doing the same.”
But it’s not just in Britain where the sticker books have caught the imagination, with a teacher in Colombia accused of confiscating cards from pupils to complete his own collection.
While earlier this month in Brazil, thieves stole one of Panini’s vans containing 300,000 stickers.
The hobby isn’t cheap with the minimum it would cost to complete a book in the UK £63, however completed albums can bring their own return.
A 1970 World Cup album was recently seen on eBay with a reported price tag of £1,800.
Speaking before the release of this tournament’s book, Panini chief executive José Eduardo Martins said: “The launch of the sticker album marks the real start of the World Cup. It is a fever.”