Pac-Man Stickers Uncut Sheet CluesIn the last 5-10 years, a bunch of Fleer Pac-Man Stickers "uncut sheets" have been appearing on E-Bay. Sometimes it's a complete sheet 16 stickers wide by 9 stickers tall, and sometimes it's just a horizontal or vertical strip crudely cut from the sheet. The origin of all of these uncut sheets is unknown, but more often than not, they contain some printing defect, so they are probably factory rejects that were cut and then given out as souvenirs to Fleer employees.
In any case, the uncut sheets provide wonderful insight into how the stickers were produced. It explains why some black stickers will have a yellow streak on one side (because it is adjacent to a yellow sticker), and it also shows that some of the middle-numbered stickers are less common than the others - making it just a little bit harder to get that complete set.
Because they didn't just use stickers 1 to 48, they had to renumber them.
Strangely, instead of numbering them in some logical order, the numbers were
mixed up as shown below. It is not known if the stickers were printed in this
order on the European uncut sheet, but in any case there doesn't seem to be
any pattern at all to renumbering when compared with the American numbering.
Two other interesting changes were made. First, they changed the white background stickers to yellow. Not sure why, but it did make for some color combinations unique to the European version.
Second, "Counseling Available" was removed from the "Pac-Man Headquarters" sticker
(American #13, European #11). Why would they do this? Are Europeans not addicted
to Pac-Man like Americans? A closer look at the stickers reveals a more likely
The aspect ratio (width to height ratio) is substantially different for the European stickers. This means that not just "Pac-Man Headquarters", but ALL the stickers had to be adjusted to better fit the dimensions. Also, the "PAC-MAN TM" was added at this time, and Pac-Man's eyes were made consistent (rather than using different kinds of eyes as in American Set C).
In the European version of the "Weekends Were Made For Pac-Man" sticker below, you can see a small "scratch mark" under the "M" of Pac-Man. This is another clue about the aspect ratio adjustment that had to be done. Prior to digital pagesetting, someone would have cut the original sticker apart by hand and pasted the pieces in slightly different positions. Occasionally the edges of the pieces get dirty and the edges show up in the finished product, as shown.