The Phantom ‘Plasteco’ sticker set was released by MIO Locatelli (a cheese manufacturing company) in Italy from approximately 1967 until 1972.
For over 150 years, the MIO Locatelli name has reigned dominant as Italy’s finest cheese producer. Mattia Locatelli opened his dairy factory in Lecco, Italy in 1921. The company quickly grew becoming renowned for its Gorgonzola and Reggiano cheeses.
Plasteco stickers were a free gift with the purchase of a MIO Locatelli cheese packet, a common sight between 1963 through to the late 1970’s in Italy.
Plasteco stickers are simple in design, a screen-printed image on one side and left blank on the opposite side, which are heat-sealed along the edges with a light padding on the inside. They can be attached to smooth walls, fridges or tiles by wetting the back with a little soap and water.
Various characters and designs were made available to the public, with the Phantom set consisting of 12 images.
These 3” to 4” vinyl plastic stickers were printed in color on one side while the name and details of the series were printed on the back. Each of the Phantom stickers were titled ‘Serie Uomo Mascherato’ and numbered from 1 to 12. We also see the wording ‘Regalo Del Formaggino’ (translating to ‘Cheese Gift’), followed by the King Features Syndicate copyright stamp and the MIO Locatelli logo.
There are no specific manufacture dates on the back of each Phantom sticker, but an approximate time frame of manufacture can be found by using two sources.
The first being the MIO Locatelli logo which was frequently changed; the 1967-1972 logo coinciding with the trademark design on the back of the Phantom sticker set (as seen below on the left). The second is via a variety of advertisements found in Italian Magazines (as seen below on the right).
Spanning for over a decade, these free ‘give-away’ stickers proved so successful, there were literally 100’s of Plasteco designs produced. In 2014, Marco Mario Valtolina wrote a book titled ‘I Pupazzetti Del Formaggino Mio’ which chronicles in great detail each Plasteco sticker produced.
There were also a variety of poster ‘Play Mats’ produced for each set to create your own diorama (see examples below). A Phantom jungle play mat is believed to of been produced.
Today, MIO Locatelli is still the number one brand of imported Italian cheese in America and abroad, found in the finest gourmet supermarkets, club stores, restaurants, and delicatessens throughout the world.
Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.