I don't recall when Fender started putting them on the neckplate. I'd guess in the last 10 years maybe? Anyhow, I told myself they would be the first thing I took off. I lied. The pickguard plastic and sticker came off, but I've left the little black ones on the neckplate. Somehow it's like that's last reminder I have a new guitar. Anyone else hold out on these things? I imagine a lot don't give them any thought either way. When they come off, I guess I have to tell the wife I need another guitar.