Comics : Spider-Man 2: The Movie (Panini Sticker Album)
This review was first published on: 2004.
I'm pretty sure that this book was released in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand market only, and isn't available in the U.S. Format is pretty big, 8.25" x 10.75". It's 100% movie tie-in. If you weren't careful, you could easily confuse it for Spider-Man 2: The Movie Souvenir Book (UK).
Spider-Man 2: The Movie (Panini Sticker Album)
Jun 2004 : SM Title
This book is a big-time "me too" cash in. I'm not sure of the current commercial situation, but Marvel used to own Panini (no doubt through a complicated series of holding companies). Stickers are pretty popular collectables in Europe, and this book is a major fund-rasing movie tie-in.
Basically, the book is 32 pages of full-color photo movie-still loose retelling of the story. Naturally it's a pretty cut-down version of the script, and it misses out all the same sorts of aspects that most of the Spider-Man 2 Movie Tie-In Books tended to leave out. That means no John Jameson, no Tritium Sphere and consequent explosion. No fight on the train, etc.
Now, watch closely here, because I'm going to explain the sneaky trick they use. You see, they "damage" all the lovely photo stills. They take a few sticker-sized rectangles, and fade the picture, or put a box around that part of the picture. So, in order to see the full picture, you have to buy a whole heap of stickers, and open them, looking to find a complete set of 156 stickers to repair the whole book! Of course, they could have just put out a book which had the unspoilt artwork, but then you wouldn't have fun collecting, and they wouldn't make all that lovely money!
Among those 156 stickers, there's also a sub-set of 24 glitter stickers that go on the back of a pair of pull-out double-spread mini-posters. However, if you put the mini-posters on your wall, you won't see the glitter stickers. Tough choice, I guess!
The chain-store that sold me the sticker book here in New Zealand didn't actually sell stickers... so I'm out of luck. I can buy them by mail order, using the address inside the back cover. I can buy packets for a dollar each, or when I'm down to just a few missing, I can buy singles for a dollar each. It doesn't say how many stickers are in a packet, but either way it's going to cost a fair bit to complete a set!
Alternatively, if I wait a bit, I'll probably be able to buy a complete box of 100-odd packets on eBay for $5 plus shipping in a year or so. Either that or they'll sell out completely and I'll never collect the set. I guess I'll just take my chances on the eBay auction!
Judging just the book alone, the photo art is the same photo art that the rest of the movie tie-in books used. The story is pretty majorly cut down in order to fit it into 32 pages - if you've seen the movie, you're likely to be rather disappointed with this "heavily abridged" version. It's all pretty average stuff.
The other factor is the stickers. I have a set of Panini stickers that were tie-ins to the 1990's TV cartoon series, and the stickers were OK. However, with 156 to collect, you're going to be spending a heck of a lot of money if you want to make up a complete set! Really, it's such a blatant cash-grab that I really feel rather turned off by it all.
Average book, blatant attempt to soak up any remaining spare cash. Let's call it two and a half webs.