In December 2007, Corinthian released a series of 10 ProStars figures in Brazil, this series was called 'Craques Da Bola' and featured 10 players in their club kits.
This series proved to be very controversial, just due to the complexity and problems collectors outisde Brazil encountered when trying to acquire these figures. For a long time it was widely accepted that not all 10 were released, it was assumed by collectors that just 2 had been released, as they were the only 2 which had been seen, which were Rooney and Ronaldinho.
I myself used to scoure Mercadolibre, which is the South American equivellant of Ebay, in the vain hope of finding the elusive 8 figures. My trawling and persistance paid off when i encountered a seller who was advertising full sets! I enlisted the help of my friend in Brazil, a big thanks to you Joao Guterres, who provided assistance in purchasing them.
So onto the figures themselves, the set was largely made up of latin america players, with the English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spanish La liga being represented. Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were released in the home kit of Manchester United, with Thierry Henry for Arsenal completing the English Premier League trio. The Rooney and Henry were both released as part of ProStars Series 35, the figures are exactly the same baring the different PRO code, the same applies for Cirstiano Ronaldo, who was previously released in ProStars series 34.
There was a trio of figures from Barcelona, Ronaldinho was a re issue from ProStars Series 35 with a subtle difference. The Brazil Crauqes Da Bola version actually feauture his name and number on the back of his shirt, the ProStars Series 35 version does not! The other 2 Barcelona figures are unique and exclusive to this Brazil series, those 2 being Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi.
AC Milan also had a trio of figures released, with Kaka and Cafu both being solely exclusive and unique to this series. Making up the trio was Ronaldo, the figure is the same sculpt and kit as the ProStars Series 37 version, with a couple of subtle changes. The Brazil series has him with Gold boots, the series 37 has White boots, his name and number on his shirt are White for the Brazil series and White for the series 37 release, with his hair being a much lighter shade in the Brazil series issue.
Completing the collection is Brazilian power forward, Adriano, in the home kit of Inter Milan. This is the most unique of all figures released in this series, as the kit is so distinctive from any other previously released Adriano figure and is my favourite from the set.
Each figure was released in single blister packaging with collector card, however no Platinum packs were released for this series. This is a highly collectible and greatly sought after series of figures, with blister packs selling from £25-75 depending on the player. Messi is the most in demand for obvious reasons, with the Cristiano Ronaldo following close behind, which almost mirrors how the 2 players are seen in terms of footballing ability.
A wonderful set of figueres, made all the more desirable by the rarity and difficulty encountered in obtaining them.