Corinthian released Prostars Series 11 in March 2001 and was made up of 12 figures. The initial plan for Prostars Series 11 was to release it as a 24 figure blister only series. However after the range went into development Corinthian decided that releasing all 24 figures at once would be tough on collectors and stockists alike, the solution was to simply split the range in half and release 12 figures for series 11 and then a further 12 for series 12.
As a collector you alwasy want to see new and first time releases in a series, as opposed to the big name stars over and over again, however commercially it is always the big name stars that sell out, this was the case with series 11. Beckham was released in the Manchester United home kit and the sculpt is the same as was used for the Xmas 2000 4 player packs, and it is no surprise he was the best seller in the range, infact stockists were selling the figure quicker than Corinthian could suply them with it! This was also the case for Liverpool's Michael Owen who was second in the sales stakes, despite also being released on a number of occasions and also very recently in the Xmas 2000 4 player packs.
Another 2 figures to feature in this series are Jorg Albertz for Rangers and Olivier Dacourt for Leeds United, both were included in their repsective teams 4 player packs for the Xmas 2000 release, however this was the first time release of these figures in thier home kits in single blister format.
The stand out sculpt for me from series 11 is that of Arsenal's Sylvain Wiltord, a fantastic likeness of the player and the sculpt had a lot of character. Another reason i like the Wiltord is for personal collecting reasons. The shops in my town always stocked the FAPL Collections but stopped, like many around the country, in 1998 and did not stock the Prostars, i had to travel to find them. I was up town shopping and went to go buy a birthday card for my cousin and to my amazement my card shop, called Diary Dates, had Prostars Series 11 displayed in the window! I could not beleive it and the first figure i saw was Wiltord, needless to say i spent all my money on them and recall buying about 6 and totally forgot to buy the birthday card,oops! This shop stocked Corinthians for a good while and i was able to get all the new releases from there as well as some great and rare previous releases too, they would even save the figures for me while i saved up my money too, was a real shame for me when they stopped stocking the figures.
That is enough reminiscing for now, back to the figures. This series also gave us the first time releases of Hernan Crespo and Francesco Toldo, both were highly detailed sculpts and welcome additions to the collection. Both Toldo and Crespo had been highly requested for by collectors, however the figures did not sell aswell as the requests for them would have had Corinthian believe.
We were also treated to some new sculpts of existing figures, one of which was Middlesbrough's new signing, Croatian forward Alan Boksic. Boksic had previously been released in Prostars Series 5 aswell as in the Italain Serie A Superstars range of Headliners way back in 1998. This new sculpt was a vast improvement on the other release and the same can be said for the new sculpt of Gabriel Batistuta, this time released with his goatee beard, with Batistuat having featured in the very first series of Prostars.
Making up the series are 3 repaints of existing figures. Rangers forward Tore Andre Flo had been released in Prostars Series 2 and West Ham's Davor Suker had featured in Series 4. Oliver Bierhof was released in the colours of Italian giants AC Milan, with the sculpt previously been found in series 7. As these figures were repaints they did not sell aswell as the others in the series.
The figures produced in the lowest volume were Boksic, Toldo, Dacourt and Bierhoff, however despite this fact it is still Beckham who is most sought sfter from this range, as is Wiltord and Owen of course.
The series also feautred to very special redemption figures, these figures could be obtained by collecting the tokens which came issued with each figure, with only 6 tokens needed to claik 1 free redemption figure, so buying the full series would give you enough tokens to get both redemption figures.
England were due to play Finland at Anfield in March in a 2002 World Cup qualifcation match in group 9, a game which England went on to win 2-1, with goals from Beckham and Owen. To mark this game Corinthian decided the redemption figures should be Andy Cole in the England home kit and Sami Hyypia in the Finland kit. These figures were produced in very small quantities, infact only 750 of each figures was produced! The redemption figures were packaged into clear sachets with collector card.
It was Sami Hyypia which proved to be the most popular of the 2 redemption figures, no surprise really as the figure had not been released upto this point, but would feature in the up coming Prostars Series 12, so collectors scrambled to get this new and first time release, Corinthian's stock of Hyypia was very quickly exhausted.
Tore Andre Flo
West Ham United
To read more information on this range, including images of the packaging formats used, please click the link button opposite