September 2001 saw Corinthian undertake a commission by Japan distributor New Wave
to produce 3 limited edition figures. Usually Corinthian did not make figures by request, however such was the power of the Japan collectors market at this time, it almost felt like Corinthian were being dictated to by the Japan distributor, so it was not surprising to see special figures released for that lucrative market.
Hidetoshi Nakata was the biggest and best player to have emerged from Japan and a real talent, add to this the fact he was playing in Italy's Serie A, well that made him a dream figure for Corinthian to produce. Corinthian, under commission from New Wave, released Hidetoshi Nakate in AS Roma home and away kit, in a body pose Nakata had not featured on before, the one without a football at the feet.
The Nakata figure was released on a specially designed blister pack card, complete with collector card. These 2 Nakata figures in blister were not available to UK sellers or collectors, however Corinthian struck a deal with New Wave to acquire 500 of each in clear sachet format and offered these to collectors free as part of the 'introduce a member scheme.'
The scheme was launched on the 1st September 2001 and encouraged existing members to get new collectors to sign up. Nakata in AS Roma home kit was given to sign up's at Silver Level Membership, the Luis Figo Ballon D'Or figure was given to Gold Level Membership, with the Nakata AS Roma away kit figure being obtainable at Platinum Level Membership.
The 3rd figure which Japan distributor New Wave had specially commissioned was Dragan Stoijkovic in the home kit of Japan J-League side Nagoya Grampus Eight. This was the very first figure Corinthian produced of a player in a Japan J-League kit, which was a sign of things to come. Corinthian initially tried to acquire stock of this figure for the UK market, however licensing issues haltered their attempts, leaving collectors to rely on the resellers or the secondary market to acquire this limited edition ProStars figure.
The Stoijkovic was released as a single blister pack, on a club specific backing card, used only for this player, with a collector card included, which featured the career stats of a true legend in the J-League.
Nagoya Grampus Eight