Prostars series 13 was Corinthian’s first release for the 2001/02 season and was the company’s best opening range for many years. This series made history as it was the very first time a figure had appeared in a Leicester City shirt as part of a standard Prostars series. The figure chose to represent the Foxes was Mr Marmite himself Robbie Savage, a very fine sculpt of the aggressive Welshman and a figure, which unlike Marmite, all collectors loved!
Henrik Larsson was always a popular figure, he appealed to Celtic collectors of course but the casual collector also liked him due to the detailed sculpt and his trademark dreadlocked hairstyle. Corinthian were repeatedly asked to produce a new sculpt of the super Swede with his shaven head, they willingly obliged and it turned out this new Larsson sculpt was the best seller from this series, a testament to the global popularity of the player. Larsson had been released before, with his dreadlocks of course, first in series 5 and later in series 7, but his first appearance was part of the Dutch Staatsloterij sachet release as part of the Headliners range.
The most requested sculpt from this series was that of Spaniard Gaizka Mendieta, who had recently moved from Valencia to Lazio for over £30 million. The player was not a huge success at Lazio but his figure sure was and he was none too far behind Larsson in the sales stakes, a great figure of a very gifted player and the very first time he had been released.
Corinthian chose this series to release some of the best young English talent, following their impressive display throughout the previous season. West Ham United midfield magician Joe Cole, Tottenham Hotspurs Ledley King and Manchester United’s Wes Brown were all sculpted and released for the very first time. All are stunning sculpts and great likeness of the players themselves, with the Joe Cole proving the more popular of the 3.
There was also another 2 first time sculpts as part of series 13, one of which was Newcastle United’s target man Carl Cort. The figure was hugely detailed and held his own in the sales stakes. Sadly Cort was plagued with injuries during his time with the Toon, so for the figure to be truly life like it would have needed to be sculpted with a cast on one of his legs and a neck support!
Completing the line up of new sculpts is Arsenal’s Oleg Luzhny, a decent enough figure but he was not popular enough with his home fans to be a huge seller but for completeists and collectors of new models he was a must have figure.
The remaining 4 figures in Prostars series 13 are all repaints of previously released figures. Frank Lampard was released in the colours of Chelsea for the first, but certainly not the last, time having previously being released in the England home kit as part of Prostars series 7 England squad. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was released in his national colours for Holland after previously appearing in Prostars series 9.
Rio Ferdinand was a player growing in popularity and Corinthian decided to capitalise on this popularity be releasing Ferdinand in the kit of Leeds United, the figure was released originally in series 5 in the colours of West Ham United. Finishing of this series is Liverpool’s Jari Litmanen. This figure, albeit a repaint, proved to be very popular with collectors, perhaps as this figures was first released as part of the Dutch Staatsloterij range of figures in the kit of Ajax some years previous many collectors will have thought this new figure to be the first time he had been released.
The figures produced in the lowest quantity were those of Luzhny, Lampard, Savage and Brown.
Corinthian had taken note of how popular their redemption figures were becoming, with many selling out very quickly, so they decided to continue producing them and chose Jari Litmanen to be the redemption figure for series 13. Litmanen was painted in the home kit for his native Finland and with only 1,000 figures being produced, collectors really did have to act fast to avoid missing out on this figure. To get the redemption figure all you need do was collect the tokens which came issued with the figures, 1 token per figure, with just 6 tokens needed to get your hands on the Litmanen in Finland kit. This figure is very scarce today and has sold for near the £20 mark on more than one occasion.
Value wise some of these figures can be tricky to find, especially for those who collect them in original mint blister packaging. All that being said I can not imagine any figure costing more than £5, whether that is loose or in blister. A very nice range with half of the figures being new and first time sculpts; this series was definitely one for the seasoned collector.
West Ham United
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