Panini was founded in 1961 with the launch of its first Calciatori/Football Players collection. The founders, the Panini brothers, had already opened a news stand on Corso Duomo in Modena in 1945 and by 1954 had started the Panini Brothers Newspaper Distribution Office.
In 1988, the company was sold to the Maxwell Group, then bought by Bain Gallo Cuneo and De Agostini in 1992. Panini then joined the Marvel Entertainment Group. On October 8th, 1999, Panini was bought by Vittorio Merloni's Fineldo SpA, an Italian conglomerate engaged in the manufacture of various consumer products and financing businesses, together with the Senior Management of Panini.
The Panini Group, with headquarters in Modena, Italy is today the world leader in the collectables and trading cards market.
It was not until 1978 that Panini came to the UK in force with Football '78. Since then, Panini has published a diverse range of sticker collections, from football collections, to pop, to TV series, along with Disney collections and great toy brands such as Barbie™ and Action Man. Some of the most popular current collections include The Simpsons, The Champions League and the Scottish Premier League. Although Panini is most famous for its sticker collections, it has a range of other products, such as trading cards, telephone cards and children's comics and magazines.
Did you know...?
We've been contacted by a former Panini employee who has confirmed rumours that suggested Merlin Publishing was initially formed by ex-Panini employees who left the firm when it was bought by the Maxwell Corporation! Our contact says that Peter Dunk, the Panini editor and the sales director Kelvyn Gardner, both set up Merlin with a third individual who'd worked previously at WHSmiths.
This contact also gave us some very interesting information regarding the market surveys done one year in the mid-80's - "over 90% of 9-11 year old males had purchased Panini football stickers that year". Astonishing figures there from this source who went on to describe the product as "selling itself". Thank you for the interesting information!