Comics : Marvel Heroes: 8 Sticker Puzzles (Set 1)

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: The Magic of Color

This review was first published on: Jan 2013.

Background...

Sometimes it's a little hard to decide what belongs on our "comics & books" website and what doesn't. My collecting rule (and the rule which SpiderFan uses to determine inclusion/exclusion) is that a pure "booklet of stickers" does not qualify. However, if it incorporates paper with artwork where the stickers are to be placed, then it crosses the line into being a "book", and it can be included.

This one really sits on the borderline.

In Detail...

Marvel Heroes: 8 Sticker Puzzles (Set 1)
Year 2007 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Publisher:  Lee Publications
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Marvel Heroes: 8 Sticker Puzzles (Set 2)
Year 2007 : SM Guest
Find ISBN 1562975137
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Publisher:  Lee Publications
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Physically, this "product" incorporates a pad of paper, folded and stapled at the top to form a 5.5" x 8" booklet.

Inside the booklet are 16 full-sized pages, of which the front side of which is printed a grid 4" x 5.5", divided in to 30 numbered squares. The reverse of each sheet is blank.

Also bound into the booklet by the staples are 8 small sheets of stickers. Each page contains 30 small stickers. Together, when placed in the correct order in the grid, the stickers form a complete image. The stickers are mixed-up on the sheets, but each is faintly numbered in one corner to help you get it onto the right place in the grid. This numbering is important of course - being a sticker, of course, you only get one chance to get the placement correct!

So, it's basically a collection of eight independent 30-piece jigsaw puzzles, where the pieces are numbered rectangular stickers. The final assembled pictures form bold-coloured artwork featuring Marvel characters, including Spider-Man in at least a couple.

But wait! That's not all! Order now and you will also receive at no extra cost... one sheet of flexible fridge magnets, 6" x 5.5" in size. This sheet includes 20 magnets, each 1.2" x 1.4" in size. Spider-Man features on one of these magnets, naturally.

In General...

I guess, strictly speaking there's no real reason why we can't consider this to be an "Activity Book" of the most minimal format. Remove the sticker from the sheet, and place it in the numbered spot on the adjacent page. It is, indubitably, an activity associated with a product which is constructed using stapled paper on which patterns have been printed.

Yeah, OK. It qualifies.

Is it a good "Activity Book"? Well, that's another challenging question.

Despite being positively Spartan in its construction, a combination of both stickers and magnets is always going to be appealing on a purely intrinsic level. Mind you, it looks damn fiddly. The little sticker pieces seem rather well attached to each other, requiring a bit of tearing to remove before placing.

Also, I suspect that a six year old in the back of a car attempting to get 30 stickers placed neatly side-by-side is going to struggle to produce a satisfying result. Even a twelve year old sitting at a table will need a great deal of patience and care.

Finally, the magnets also are an odd element to have included. There's nowhere in the book to place them. They're going to have to separate from the book and stuck on the fridge, which makes this book almost two entirely separate products wrapped together in the same cellophane packaging.

Overall Rating...

On the plus side: Magnets, Stickers, and not very expensive.

On the not-so-good-side: Adequate but not-stunning production quality. Stickers are very fiddly. Magnets feel somewhat disassociated from the main product.

Ah what the heck. Magnets are always cool. Yeah, it's an incongruous little product, but it is what it is.

Three webs.

Footnote...

When you pick it up from the shelf, the product feels very solid and substantial indeed. Do not be fooled. This is because it contains a large study piece of hefty brown cardboard as a stiffener. The bulk of the weight is made up of the cardboard and the magnets. The booklet itself weighs practically nothing.