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JAPAN NATIONAL

 In 1998 Corinthian teamed up with Japanese toy manufacturer Epoch to produce a simply sublime set of figures. This set comprised of 16 players currently playing for the Japanese national side.

 

 Corinthian and Epoch certainly pulled out all the stops when producing this range. Each figure was a first time sculpt with so much detail, character and expression carefully crafted into the face of each figure. The figures were all finely painted in the home kit for that period with exact number replication on the shirts too.

 

 I must pay special attention to the figure of goalkeeper Kawaguchi, the paint job on his kit is simply breathtaking and amazing that they were able to mass produce such a complex paint job. This figure is for me the very best paintwork Corinthian have ever done and it is by no coincidence that the Kawaguchi figure is the most sought after from the entire range and can sell for well over £25.

 

 We also saw the very first release of Japanese icon Hidetoshi Nakata, i personally feel this is by far and away the best Nakata figure Corinthian ever produced, the others just do not come close to being as detailed as this. Fellow icon Nanami was also released for the first time and the figure of Shinji Ono became very popular with Feyenoord fans who wanted the figure to repaint it in the Feyenoord kit, following his successfull time there. As this was a collaboration the figures were placed onto 'Oval' bases.

 

 These figures were unlike the other Headliners in that they were not released as single blister packs nor as sachets but a 4 different 4 player packs. The first of these packs was released in June 1998, the second and third in august 1998 with the fourth pack coming out in October 1998.

 

 The figures were not issued with collector cards and a collectors information file was not produced, a real shame as i feel it would have been very well designed and beautifully finished, perhaps the difference in languages was the main reason why no cards or file were produced.

 

 All 16 figures are immensly hard to find, even more so in the original packaging. The Nakata can fetch the most, usually over £25 with the others going for between £10-15, a full set could easily sell for £200. some of Corinthians finest work and an absolute must for the serious collector, with the Kawaguchi being a must for all!

Akira Narahashi

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 001

Naoki Soma

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 002

Masami Ihara

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 003

Motohiro Yamaguchi

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 004

Hidetoshi Nakata

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 005

Masashi Nakayama

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 006

Hiroshi Nanami

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 007

Kazuyoshi Miura 'Kazu'

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 008

Lopes Wagner

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 009

Tsuyoshi Kitazawa

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 010

Masayuki Okano

Japan

Home kit 98

EPF 011

Yutaka Akita

Japan

home Kit 98

EPF 012

Shoji Jo

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 013

Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 014

Atsushi Yanagisawa

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 015

Shinji Ono

Japan

Home Kit 98

EPF 016 

japan banner top japan japan JAPAN AKITA JAPAN IHARA JAPAN JO JAPAN KAWAGUCHI JAPAN KAZU JAPAN KITAZAWA JAPAN LOPES JAPAN NAKATA JAPAN NAKAYAMA JAPAN NANAMI JAPAN NARAHASHI JAPAN OKANO JAPAN ONO JAPAN SOMA JAPAN YAMAGUCHI JAPAN YANA

 To read details about the 4 player packs released as part of this range, please click the Japan badge opposite.

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