On one of the streets parallel to the main street in Valletta, there was a Panini shop. Panini is the name of an Italian sticker company (not to be confused with the sandwich). When I was growing up, they did sticker albums and collectible stickers for the Disney Company. I decided I wanted to see what was in this shop that could sustain an entire business, and it was all the Panini stickers, mostly focused on soccer, you could ever want. Then I saw the Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection with stickers. I bought a couple to see what they were like and decided I needed the entire collection.
Each pack contained one figure and five stickers. There are 24 figures in the collection and 228 stickers. Since the store didn’t have any sticker packs by themselves, I decided that I probably wasn’t going to get the entire collection. The figures were more interesting to me anyway.
Buying the Collection
Every week I set aside a certain amount of money to go get a couple of packs. I don’t remember what that figure was, but I’m sure it was somewhere around four or five. As I got closer to completing the set, I may have purchased more or fewer depending on where I was and what I believed the supply at the store to be. This collection was from 2003, I doubted I would run across it randomly anywhere else in the world. It was an only-in-Malta kind of thing.
One week I went in and bought the rest of the box. I thought that was it. When I opened the packages inside the box, I didn’t have a complete set. I looked on the Internet for the pieces I was missing, and they wanted more money than I was willing to pay. (Plus, it doesn’t have the excitement of surprise or the bonus stickers.) I went back to the store and didn’t see what I wanted. I decided to ask. The person behind the counter brought out another box. When it came to the end, the last character I needed to complete my Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection was Mickey Mouse.
Collecting is one way to capture those things that inspire you and drive your imagination. For more ways to improve your imagination and creativity, subscribe to this blog, join our Patreon, and get my books: “Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” and “Penguinate! Positive Creativity.”