Corinthian released Prostars Series 16 at the height of World Cup fever with the series comprising of 20 players from 10 of the nations competing in the 2002 World Cup.
The series was released as single blister packs in official collector centres on the 8th of April 2002, with the 3 player packs following in retail stores shortly after.
A great range of figures even though it was entirely made up of repaints of figures previously released. Repaints they were but as the figures were of top class players the range still proved to be immensely popular with collectors.
It would have been great to have a series of 31 figures (discounting England of course) 1 from every nation competing at the World Cup, however this would simply not have been possible, not only would Corinthian have to produce a whole host of new sculpts but some of the licenses would have been very difficult to acquire.
The 10 nations which were represented are: Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, Croatia and Nigeria.
Argentina was represented by Batistuta, Veron and Crespo with Brazil having Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo released in their famous Yellow home kit.
France had a total of 4 figures released in this series, those being Henry, Zidane Vieira and Trezeguet. The best seller in the range proved to be Zidane, with fellow country men Henry and Trezeguet selling very quickly. Trezeguet was not released in the 3 player pack but was included in the Argos exclusive 5 player pack and as a single blister was made in very small numbers, along with Veira, Luis Enrique and West.
Italy had 3 figures released, Totti, Del Piero and Maldini, with the Del Piero amongst the best sellers in the series. The 3 figures released for Spain were Luis Enrique, Raul and Mendieta, all proved to be very good sellers, Raul in particular. Portugal had just the 1 figure released, which was of course Figo, no surprises to hear he was near the top of the sellers charts.
Larsson was released in the colours of Sweden, Croatia was represented by Boksic and Ireland had Roy Keane released in their colours.
My favourite figure from this series was undoubtedly Taribo West, who was finally released in the colours of his native Nigeria. West was not released in any of the multipacks, not in any of the 3 packs or the 5 pack either, he was solely available as a single blister and to keep the figure collectable he was produced in very small numbers. When this figure was released the Prostars Series 5 version of West in the Inter Milan kit was very hard to find and also very expensive, so this new release gave collectors the opportunity to add such a unique figure to their collection, at a fair more reasonable price.
Corinthian also ran a free redemption figure offer as part of both series 15&16, with 2 figures on offer. The 2 redemption figures were chosen to be Claudio Lopez in the Argentina home kit and also Jose Luis Chilavert in the Paraguay away goal keeper’s jersey. Both figures proved very popular with collectors, especially as you needed just 6 tokens to claim a free figure.
As for the figures themselves, all 20 were available as single blister packs and then in addition Corinthian also released 6 different version of the 3 player pack, with West and Trezeguet omitted form inclusion in any of those packs. Corinthian produced a special 5 player pack which was exclusively sold in Argos stores, the 5 figures included in the pack are Rivaldo, Totti, Figo, Raul and Trezeguet.
These multipacks contained the figures only, no collector cards were issued with the packs, and only the single blister packs contained the collector cards.
Something worthy of mention with regards the figures is that none of them actually had the nations badge on their shirt, a small omission for what ever reason but it did not detract away from the fact this was a great range of figures.
Value wise all can be found loose but blisters can be harder to come by, especially the Taribo West figure who can sell for over £10. The Platinum packs are also very collectable, with West leading the way again in the money stake, with a Platinum pack selling for around the £20-25 mark.
Juan Sebastian Veron
To read more information on this range, including images of the packaging formats used, please click the link button below.
Alessandro Del Piero
Jose Luis Chilavert