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FRANCE NATIONAL

 February 1997 saw Corinthian release a set of figures painted in the France national home kit. There were 17 figures released initially in March and a further 4 released later in June. All the figures in this set were first time sculpts with the majority being used for the French club side series or the Serie A Superstar range. The figures were distributed in France by toy manufacturer 'IDEAL.'

 

 In this set are 2 figures which were never again released by Corinthian, those two being goalkeeper Bernard Lama and legendary left full-back Bixente Lizarazu. The Lama sculpt was a very fine one with a distinctive hair style that had him sculpted with a stump like ponytail. Lizarazu is regarded as one of the worlds best ever left full backs and it is amazing to learn this is the only figure Corinthian made of him and many a repaint has appeared of him in the kit of Bayern Munich.

 

 Also released for the first time was Christian Karembeu, a very memorable and popular figure, due largely to his massive dreadlock hairstyle, something which made this figure prone to falling over as it is simply top heavy! Unusually Corinthian released both goalkeepers and what was stranger still is the fact that they released one in the home jersey and the other in the away jersey.

 

 The figures released in March are the more commonly found ones, the exception being the Thierry Henry figure. Henry was not released as a single blister and was only included in the randomly packed 12 player pack, making him very difficult to find, couple that with his increasing populairty and the fact the figure had him sculpted with a huge afro and you can soon see why the figure is so rare.

 

 The 4 figures released in June were - Bruno N'Gotty, Robert Pires, Franck Gava and Jean Pierre Papin. These figures were made in smaller volumes than the other 17, making them much rarer and far more valuable in todays market. Papin was released in February but only as part of a 4 pack, the single blister was released in June.

 

 Corinthian also produced a redemption figure for this release, it was chosen to be Jean Pierre Papin the white France away kit, although it was originally planned to be Youri Djorkaeff in the away kit, as it was Djorkaeff who was pictured in the collectors information file as the redemption figure. To claim one of the redemption figures you needed to collect the 'points' found with the figures, 1 point per blister and 12 points was enough to claim the redemption figure.

 

 Corinthian released 5 different 4 player packs aswell as a 12 player pack. The 12 player pack was randomly packed from the figures in the range, the only time Corinthian randomly packed a 12 player pack. Each figure came with a collectors card aswell as the collectors information file.

 

 One thing which may have escaped many collectors notice is the fact that the Home kit version of Jean Pierre Papin was released with 2 different squad numbers. Papin was first released in a 4 player pack in February 1997

and later as a single blister in June 1997. The Papin found in the 4 player pack has him painted with a light Brown almost Blonde hair, with his squad number being 27. The single blister of Papin was released in June and this figure was painted with dark Brown hair and his squad number was 9.To get a light haired Papin purchase a 4 player pack and to get the darker haired version purchase a single blister. If you are not sure which is which, the redemption figure has the same hair colour as the number 9 home version so use that as a guide but both are pictured below for further clarification. Do you have both?

Bernard Lama

France

Home Kit 97

FRA001

Fabien Barthez

France

Away Kit 97

FRA002

Marcel Desailly

France

Home Kit 97

FRA003

Laurent Blanc

France

Home Kit 97

FRA004

Bixente Lizarazu

France

Home Kit 97

FRA005

Lilian Thuram

France

Home Kit 97

FRA006

Alain Roche

France

Home Kit 97

FRA007

ZIinedine Zidane

France

Home Kit 97

FRA008

Christian Karembeu

France

Home Kit 97

FRA009

Vincent Guerin

France

Home Kit 97

FRA010

Didier Deschamps

France

Home Kit 97

FRA011

Reynald Pedros

France

Home Kit 97

FRA012

Sabri Lamouchi

France

Home Kit 97

FRA013

Youri Djorkaeff

France

Home Kit 97

FRA014

Patrice Loko

France

Home Kit 97

FRA015

Christophe Dugarry

France

Home Kit 97

FRA016

Jean Pierre Papin

France

Home Kit 97

FRA026

Franck Gava

France

Home Kit 97

FRA030

Robert Pires

France

Home Kit 97

FRA032

Bruno N'Gotty

France

Home Kit 97

FRA034

Thierry Henry

France

Home Kit 97

FRA017

Jean Pierre Papin

France

Away Kit 97

FRA026(Redemption)

FRANCE BART FRANCE BLANC france papin x2 FRANCE DES FRANCE DESC FRANCE DJOR FRANCE DUG FRANCE GAVA FRANCE GUERIN FRANCE HENRY FRANCE KAREM FRANCE LAM FRANCE LAMA FRANCE LIZ FRANCE LOKO FRANCE NGO FRANCE PAPIN FRANCE PAPIN A FRANCE PEDROS FRANCE PIRES FRANCE ROCHE FRANCE THURAM france france banner france

 Pictured here are the 2 versions of the Papin home kit figure.

 

The one on the left with lighter hair was released as part of a 4 player pack.

 

 The figure on the right with darker hair was released as a single blister.

 To find out more information about this release, please click the France badge located opposite.

FRANCE ZIDANE