Corinthian Prostars Series 10 was Corinthian's first release for 2001and was released in late January in the UK but late december in the Far East.
This series saw a total revamp of the blister backing card and also the collector cards the figures were issued with. The quality of the backing card had been improved and Corinthian chose to use a generic dsign for the regular Prostars series, which meant that all regualr Prostars series would look the same, the first time Corinthian had done this sonce the FAPL Collection back in 1995. The collector cards were also improved in terms of quality and the 'rate the player' section was removed and in it's place was the figure image, all changes were welcomed by collectors.
Series 10 consisted of 16 figures, 8 were first time sculpts, 2 were new sculpts of existing figures and the remaining 6 were repaints of existing figures. The star of series 10 was without question Francesco Totti for Roma, he had been requested many times by collectors and Corinthian did not dissapoint with this sculpt. The Totti was the best seller in the series, by some margin too, with many collector centres placing multiple replenishment orders for him.
Corinthian liked to include a goal keeper in each of it's series and the one chosen for series 10 was the exccentric Paraguayan Jose Luis Chilavert. Collectors went mad for the figure, no surprise given the quality of the sculpt and the interesting kit he was painted in. Claudio Lopez for Lazio was another which caught collectors imaginations and was not too far behind Totti in the sales stakes. AC Milan was always a popular team, with their figures selling consitently well, so it was no surprise to see the figure of Fernando Redeondo sell particulary well.
Leeds United were really preogressing well during this period, due in large to the quality of their young players, one such player was Alan Smith. Corinthian got the likeness of him spot on with many retailers in the Yorkshire area struggling to keep up with demand for him, i doubt he sold as well in Manchester though.
Liverpool's new signing Christian Ziege was sculpted and released for the first time, by no means a top seller but he held his own against some of the stars in the series and all collectors love a new sculpt so it was alwasy going to do reasonably well. Rangers fans were treated to a new figure too, the player chosen was Lorenzo Amoruso, a fine sculpt but Corinthian were unsure how well the figure would do commercially as at this time he was rumoured to be moving to West Ham United, however the move never materialised but it certainly affected the figure sales.
Completing the 8 first time sculpt is Robbie Keane, he has been released by Corinthian many times but this was the first and the captured the cheeky Irishman's character really well i feel. This figure would have been a top seller i am sure, had it not been for the fact he moved to Leeds United before the figure was released! This meant Inter Milan collectors would not really be interested in it, neither would Leeds United fans, they would simply wait for him to be released in a Leeds United kit, still a great figure though and one which, depsite the kit change, sold fairly well.
The 2 new sculpts from series 10 were Arsenal's Patrick Vieira and Manchester United's Roy Keane, both were huge improvements on all previous releases, particulary the Vieira, have you seen the FAPL Collection version, even Vieira himslef would struggle to recognise it was him! The Vieira was on the best sellers from the series, however the Keane was a different story.
Keane had recently made his famous 'Prawn Sandwhich' commet in reference to Manchetser United fans, this did not endear him to them, nor to football fans in general, so the figure struggled to sell as a result, he was not exactly a fans favourite player at this time. Here is what Keane said in December 2000,following a 1-1 draw against Dynamo Kiev at Old Trafford "Away from home our fans are fantastic, I'd call them the hardcore fans. But at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don't realise what's going on out on the pitch. I don't think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell 'football', never mind understand it." Keane was never one to shy away from contraversy or confrontation, if anything he thrived on it.
The remaining 6 figures in this series are all repaints of existing figures, despite this fact they all sold really well and were well recevied by collectors. Marc Overmars was released in the Barcelona kit, having previously featutred in Prostars Series 1 in the kit of Arsenal and as part of the 1999 club edition Arsenal 12 pack. Nolberto Solano had previously featured in the 1999 club editon 12 pack for Newcaslte United, this was the same figure however Corinthian decided to release him in the current away kit, making it the only figure in series 10 not painted in the home kit. Another previously released in the 1999 12 packs was Lee Hendrie, then he featured in the England kit but this time he was in his club colours for Aston Villa, making this the first single blister release of Hendrie. Frank Lampard had been released in England colours before too, as part of Corinthians Prostars Series 7 England Squad range, this time he was released in the colours of West Ham United.
The final 2 figures in this series were both previously released in overseas range, Winston Bogarde formed part of the Dutch Staatsloterij collection, in the Ajax kit, however this figure was and still is today incredibly hard to find, often selling for around £25, so this figure in the Chelsea kit gave collectors a realistic chance of adding him to their collection. It was certainly much easier getting this new Bogarde than it is finding the Ajax version, cheaper too!
Sergio Conceicao had featured in the Portugal national team range of Headliners, however like wih Bogarde the figure is very rare and seldom seen for sale, so this re-release was very much welcomed by collectors, infact many stockists placed multiple top up orders for Conceicao and was the surprise seller in the series.
Any series which can boast 8 first time sculpts is always going to sell well and be very collectable, that was certainly the case with Series 10. The new generic packaging certainly added to the collectability of the series, some still remain hard to find today with the blisters produced in the lowest volume being Solano, Lampard, Hendrie and Conceicao.
There was sadly no redemption figure for this series, instead Corinthian ran a free Platinum pack offer, with collectors needing just 6 tokens to claim a free Platinum pack.
To find out more information on this series, please click the link button opposite.
Jose Luis Chilavert
West Ham United