As the World Cup edges ever closer (and those cocky Brazilians face certain probable possible a small chance of failure) the country seems to be getting very serious. So how about a light trip down a 21st century renovated memory lane to get us all relaxed again…
First up: hands up who remembers Panini Stickers? I, for one, recall blowing a mountain of cash as a kid trying (and actually mostly succeeding) to complete everything from the Beano to Transformer to World Cup albums. All harmless and mostly parentally bankrupting fun.
In a rather more troubling discovery last weekend, however, I realised that a Brazilian girl friend of mine (Six World Cups? No chance!) had spent in excess of £100 trying – adult style – to complete Panini’s latest World Cup album. Having no friends of a similar 12 year old disposition mean she could find no swaps either so she simply got ever more frantic trying to attain her missing trio of Shawn Wright Phillips, Ludovic Guily and Edmilson (ironically none of which will actually be at the World Cup!). Had my nameless amigo started her financially reckless endeavour a few weeks later I would have instead recommended she try this rather more elegant solution instead…
Called mSwaps, and invented by a start up of the same name, they take trading cards into the 21st century. The idea is simple: download packs of mSwaps directly to a mobile phone either by browsing to www.mswaps.com/wap or texting ‘mswaps’ to 60066. A random pack of three mSwaps is sent for £1 (though it is buy one get one free during the World Cup) and the aim is to collect all 50 mSwaps that make up the current England World Cup Squad and that of the 1966 winning side.
This can be done either by purchasing more mSwaps or trading them with your friends from mobile to mobile using the company’s website. League tables and prizes (including entry into an Xbox 360 draw for all those who complete the set) are also available, while a free pack of mSwaps is on offer for every friend a user manages to sign up. Finally, one rather funky extra is that all mSwaps can set as mobile phone wallpapers.
The idea certainly has legs (yes, I know, 100 of them to be precise) and the mSwaps World Cup trading cards are now off and running. I’ll do my best not to taunt my newly poor Brazilian friend as I disparagingly flick through her Panini album, at least until we thrash them in the semi-finals… ;)