Corinthian released Prostars Series on the 4th of May 2001 and was timed to coincide with the FA cup final and also the race for European glory. The initial plan for Prostars Series 12 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.
Prostars series 12 did not have the superstar names like series 11 did, no Beckham, Owen or Batistuta but what it had was 5 first time releases of new sculpts, one of which was the release of Sami Hyypia in the Liverpool home kit. Hyypia was released in series 11 as the redemption figure, so this was the first time release of him as a single blister and the first time he was made commercially available.
For me the best sculpt in series 12 was that of Celtic’s Bulgarian international Stilian Petrov, the player had never been sculpted before and I feel Corinthian did an excellent job on the figure and it remains one of my favourites still today. I was not the only person who liked the Petrov figure, Celtic football club actually ordered in excess of 1,500 single blister packs, which meant finding this figure in a collector centre very difficult.
Tottenham Hotspurs emerging full back Stephen Carr was sculpted for the first time and again Corinthian did an excellent job capturing the likeness of the player. Chelsea’s midfielder Mario Stanic graced a Prostars series for the first and only time, a great sculpt but the figure did not sell as well as expected, most likely due to the fact Chelsea were due to change their kit sponsor for the up coming season, this also affected the release of the other Chelsea figure Eidur Gudjohnsen, who was released in the Yellow away kit following his inclusion in the Xmas 2000 4 player packs, in which he was released in the home kit.
The other first time sculpt was that of Leeds United’s Australian international Mark Viduka. The Viduka sculpt was very detailed and perfectly captured the player and as a result was one of the best sellers in the series.
The remaining figures in this series were all repaints of figures released previously as part of other ranges or sets. The best seller from this series was Andy Cole who was released in the Manchester United home kit and the figure was the same as was released in the 1999 club edition 12 packs and was also used as a Prostars series 11 redemption figure. The Cole sculpt was by no means Corinthian’s best work but any figure released in the colours on Manchester United was always going to dominate the sales figures, such is the world wide support for the club.
Another 2 figures repainted here which featured in the 1999 club edition 12 packs are Arsenal’s Tony Adams and Newcastle United’s Shay Given. Adams had been released in the Prostars Series 7 England Squad range but Given had never before been released in a regular Prostars series. Aston Villa’s Paul Merson was released for the first time since the early days of the FAPL Collection, however the annual kit change dilemma blighted the released and Merson did not sell as well as expected, however the Merson was produced in the lowest quantity which is reflected in the figures scarcity today.
The final 2 figures were of players from European clubs and both had been released before. Barcelona’s Emmanuel Petit featured in series 2 for Arsenal and then for France in series 7 European Superstars, as well as in the 1999 club edition of Arsenal. Completing the series is Giuseppe Signori in the kit of Italian club Bologna. Signori did feature in the immensely popular Italian Superstars range, then in the kit of Lazio, so this re release was a welcome chance for new and old collectors to add this player to their collection.
The figures released in the lowest volume were Merson, Given, Signori and Petit.
This series also featured two 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 claim a free redemption figure, so buying the full series of 12 figures would give you enough tokens to get both redemption figures. The 2 figures chosen were Chelsea’s Mario Stanic and Leeds United’s hit man Mark Viduka, both were released in their respective clubs away kits from the 2000/01 season. The redemption figures were produced in very small numbers, in fact only 1,000 of each redemption figure was produced, so collectors had to act fast if they wanted to add these figures to their collections. The redemption figures were packaged in clear sachet and came issued with collector cards.
As it worked out, Viduka proved to be the more popular of the redemption figures but both are very hard to find these days. Price wise the regular series 12 figures can be found relatively easily and cheaply, most in blister sell for less than £3 but the redemption of Stanic can sell for near £10 with the more popular Viduka going for around the £15 mark.
To read more information on this range, including images of the packaging formats used, please click the link button opposite