Corinthian followed up the success of Prostars series 26 by releasing Prostars series 27 Super Strikers, which comprised of 16 figures, all of whom are strikers. The series was released on the 7th of February 2005, making it Corinthians first series release of 2005.
This series made Corinthian history by introducing a couple of new teams to the regular Prostars series, with 2 the lesser known Italian club sides chosen, they were Cagliari and Siena. The player chosen to represent Cagliari was Gianfranco Zola, the sculpt was the same as used in Prostars series 14 and despite the fact it was a mere repaint, it still sold remarkably well, which goes to prove the popularity of the player.
Enrico Chiesa was sculpted for the first time and released in the colours of Siena. It is amazing how long it took Corinthian to release a Chiesa figure when you look at the clubs he played for and his goals to appearances ratio, however the figure was well worth the wait, a fine sculpt painted in an unusual kit.
Italy’s Serie A has always been blessed with World class strikers and perhaps one of the best they have even seen is home grown talent Alessandro Del Piero. He was a must for inclusion in this series and is the all time leading goal scorer for Juventus. This figure was a new sculpt of the iconic Italian and, for me anyway, an improvement on the previous figures and Corinthian knew demand would be high so produced over 8,000 blisters, more than any other figure in this series.
Fans at the San Siro have always enjoyed a great goal scorer and it was only fitting that both Milan clubs had a striker released in this series. Hernan Crespo is a prolific striker who has scored goals wherever he went and the AC Milan fans really took to him during his time at the club. The Crespo figure is a repaint of the series 17 release. Inter Milan fans had a new sculpt to celebrate, as Nigerian Obafemi Martins was released for the first time. This is a stunning sculpt and my personal favourite from this series.
Completing the line up from Serie A is Parma’s Alberto Gilardino, another first time sculpt which is a spot on likeness of the player who was very prolific during his time at Parma, averaging a goal every other game. This form earned him a move to AC Milan in the summer of 2005, and cost his new club around £20,000,000!
Young Spanish forward Jose Antonio Reyes really lit up Highbury during his time there and Corinthian really did the player justice with this fine release, which, as it turned out, would be the only release of Reyes in the Prostars series range. Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea had recently signed Mateja Kezman, a striker who was a goal scoring machine during his time with PSV Eindhoven in Holland, averaging nearly 1 goal per game, however he never really settled at Stamford Bridge and scored just 4 goals for The Blues during his 1 season there, a fine figure, which like Reyes was only released once.
Djibril Cisse lit up the French league while at Auxerre and his goal scoring form earned him a more to Merseyside giants Liverpool. Cisse never got a steady run in the side and his progress was hampered when he suffered that horrific injury against Blackburn, which ruled him out for several months. A nice looking figure with an unusual hair style made this a favourite amongst collectors. Another of the first time sculpts is Blackburn Rovers Jonathan Stead, a young striker with a lot of promise but he never really matched up to the hype and like a few in this series, would be the only time he appeared in the Prostars range.
Jermaine Defoe and Alan Smith were both re sculpted and released for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respectively. I feel both sculpts were a vast improvement on the previous efforts, the Defoe in particular being of very high quality and both figures sold well despite being re releases.
Mark Viduka was repainted into the kit of Middlesbrough after first appearing as a Prostar in series 12 for Leeds United, the sculpt is the same and the sales figures reflect it was only a repaint, really just one for Boro fans or long term collectors. Completing the line up from the Premiership is Fulham’s Tomasz Radzinski, who was another repaint after being fist released in series 23 for Everton. Corinthian knew demand for the Radzinski would not be as high as the rest, so produced him in the lowest numbers, only 2,454 blisters of Radzinski were manufactured.
Fans of the Old firm were not neglected and both sets of supporters had a brand new sculpt to add to their collections. Celtic had Senegalese international Henri Camara, who was only on loan at the club but still managed to bag 8 goals in his short time there. Shota Averladze was at Rangers for 4 seasons, making nearly 100 appearances for the club and scoring 44 goals.
Corinthian produced 2 special editon figures for this series, with Jose Antonio Reyes and Gianfranco Zola chosen, both were painted in their respective clubs away kits. However, no redemption tokens were produced; instead you were able to purchase the figures direct from Corinthian in sachet format with card, for £5 per figure. In addition, collectors who purchased a case assortment received the 2 redemption figures free; this was perfect for the long time collector who wanted every figure released.
In total, Corinthian produced 74,613 blisters for this series, a higher number than for series 26 but slightly less than series 25 and 24. Overall this series sold well but it never really caught the collectors imagination like series 26 did, despite containing 9 first times sculpt.
Jose Antonio Reyes
Alessandro Del Piero
To read more information on this range, including images of the packaging formats used, please click the link button opposite.
Jose Antonio Reyes