Jumpers for goalposts. Oranges at half-time. The World Cup sticker book. Panini's commemorative albums are an institution. And they're also an incredibly canny money-spinner.
The book (as part of a starter pack with a few packets of stickers thrown in) costs under a fiver, and individual sticker packs cost just 50p. All sounds reasonable, right? 639 stickers are needed to complete the set, and with stickers coming in packs of five, you'd need 128 packs to get 640 stickers to nab them all. That'd set you back £64.
In a perfect world that is. As anyone that's ever walked around a school playground with two dozen Carlos Valderrama stickers wrapped in an elastic band will know, the random nature of each pack means you'll always get doubles. Conspiracy theorists even believe certain stickers are deliberately held back to encourage even more sticker buys, making it insanely difficult to complete a set.
So how many packs are you likely to need to buy in order to finish the book? And how much will that cost? Codehesive has put together this clever sticker book simulator to give you an estimate. And it's pretty shocking. Without trading any doubles the simulator (and taking an age even to simulate, stressing just how tough it is), the Gizmodo team would have to have cobbled together £429.50 for 859 packs, giving us 4,294 stickers to get all 639. And leaving us with 3,656 doubles.
And, if you're particularly unlucky when it comes to being left lumbered with doubles, that cost could be even higher. Your kid's (or big kid's) fun little hobby is probably looking like a really bad idea now. [Codehesive via UsVsTh3m]