Those were the days. Thumbing through piles of stickers in the playground, swapping my ‘gots’ for ‘needs’ – pleasure didn’t come much greater. It went on for months, too – my album getting slowly fatter as my stack of doubles, and therefore my chances of swapping with other kids, grew.
The weird thing is, though I collected all kinds of stickers at school, from football and Disney to ET, I don’t recall completing a single album. The knack with these things is to keep buying or swapping until you have just 25 left to get. When you reach this point, the manufacturer lets you send off for the remaining stickers. I can only assume that I never actually made it that far with any of my albums, which is why I feel like a king today.
Y’see, I spent last night peeling the backs off 142 stickers and carefully placing them in my Doctor Who album, which I acquired last month. This means that, with the 39 I already had, plus the 12 on the poster in the middle (a Radio Times exclusive – oh yes), I now have just 27 left to get – a sweat-free two away from the magic number.
Now, you might think that it’s different collecting stickers as an adult, and in many ways it is. I don’t, for example, play ‘got, got, need’ with my friends. And the buying experience no longer involves cycling to the shop with a pocketful of small change. Instead, I buy in bulk online. But the joy I had last night as I peeled open a packet and saw a sticker featuring, say, the werewolf or the Dalek Emperor was just as I remember it from childhood. For that reason alone, it was the best tenner I’ve spent in ages.
In case anyone else out there is collecting these and is up for a swap or two (I have 41 doubles), here’s a list of the sticker numbers I’m after:
23, 25, 49, 50, 52, 61, 72, 84, 93, 105, 106, 109, 110, 122, 123, 128, 136, 139, 142, 145, 162, 167, 180, 189, 191, 204, 204
And for the sheer joy of it – a souvenir for myself – I’ve posted a pic I took of the Doctor and K-9 surveying the carnage of last night. Note the appearance of the sonic screwdriver – a futile attempt to clear up such a spectacular mess.