Corinthian released ProStars series 33 Stars of the Season 2005/06 shortly after the 2006 convention, on the 17th of July. The series was eagerly anticipated by collectors, due in large to the fact the figures were displayed at the convention, just to whet the collector’s appetite and give all attending the convention a glimpse at the figures which would soon be released.
This is Corinthian’s 4th annual retrospective look back at the season, all previous series have sold incredibly well, and this series would be no exception.
The star of the series is undoubtedly Barcelona’s little magician Lionel Messi. The 2005/06 season was Messi’s breakthrough season, with him scoring 6 goals in 17 appearances and thrilling the Nou Camp with his superb skill and close control. This sculpt of Messi is not only the first, but also the best Corinthian produced. Of course Corinthian knew demand for the first time release of a rising star would be high, so produced in excess of 4,000 blisters, which is by far the most of any figure in this series, however it still pales in comparison to the 9,003 blisters of Ronaldinho we saw in ProStars series 32.
Figures from Italy’s Serie A were always very popular and well received with collectors around the world, with 4 being released in this series. AC Milan’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka would again feature in a Stars of the Season range, after first featuring in ProStars series 25, which was the 2003/04 range. Kaka had a fantastic season for Milan, scoring 14 goals in 35 league appearances and further establishing himself as one of the Worlds best players.
Mauro Camoranesi was sculpted and released for the first time by Corinthian and released in the colours of Juventus. Camoranesi had made a big impact during his time in Italy, helping ‘The Old Lady’ to win back to back Serie A titles 2004/05 & 2005/06, however Juventus would later be stripped of both title victories following the Calciopoli scandal! This is a superb sculpt and a fine addition to any Juventus figure collection.
Every once in a while a player comes from out of nowhere and really sets the world alight with his ability; this was the case for Luca Toni when he signed for Fiorentina. Toni had scored goals at whatever club he played for, however his goal scoring ability really came to the fore when he signed for La Viola. Toni scored an incredible 31 goals in Serie A during the 2005/06 season, which was the first time in 50 years that a player had scored over 30 league goals in 1 season! Toni’s goals helped Fiorentina clinch 4th place and earned them a place in the Champions League. The figure if Toni is a superb likeness of the powerful forward and a real highlight of the series.
Completing the quartet of Serie A releases is Livorno’s shot stopper Marco Amelia. The inclusion of Amelia surprised many collectors, by no means a star name; however he had been impressive throughout the 2005/06 season. As a long time collector I was personally pleased to see this figure included, much rather have a brand new figure of a relatively unknown, than a repaint of a superstar. Corinthian knew demand for Amelia would be quite low, sp produced just 1,142 blisters, the lowest of any in this series.
Of course the series was dominated by the English Premiership, with a total of 7 figures being released. Arsenal were sadly saying goodbye the Highbury, so it was very fitting that Corinthian released Thierry Henry in the memorial Maroon home kit as part of this series, for it was this season that Henry broke Ian Wright’s all time goal scoring record of 185 goals. Also in the record breaking season, Henry notched up 100 league goals at Highbury and also finished the leagues top goal scorer with an impressive 27 goals. Henry was prolific that season and Corinthian chose to produce a new sculpt, personally I feel this is the best sculpt ever created of Henry.
Manchester United collectors had a new sculpt of wonder kid Wayne Rooney to add to their collections. Rooney scored a total of 16 league goals that season, helping united to finish in 2nd place. One of the best selling figures from this range, proving just how popular Rooney had become in a relatively short time.
Chelsea won the 2005/06 Premiership title, their league win no doubt aided by Hernan Crespo’s 10 league goals. The Crespo is a repaint of the ProStars series 16 figure, so is really just one for the Chelsea fan, or those of us crazy enough to try have every figure released.
Liverpool signed Pepe Reina from Spanish side Villareal and Reina did not take long to settle in, he made 33 league appearances and kept an impressive 20 clean sheet! Reina was already establishing himself as not only one of the Premierships best, but one of the best keepers in the world. This sculpt of Reina was the very first created by Corinthian and the one they would use for all subsequent releases, no surprise given the quality of the model.
Blackburn Rovers Morten Gamst Pedersen had his best season to date in a Rovers shirt, scoring 9 goals in 34 league appearances. The Pedersen is a superb figure, a lot of detail in the face and of course it features his blonde highlights. Oh and in case you were wondering, the name on the back of the shirt is ‘PEDERSEN’ and not Gamst, as it would later become.
Like Pedersen, Bolton Wanderers Kevin Nolan also scored 9 goals from midfield, equalling his personal best. I am sure all Trotters fans will have preferred this all new sculpt over another repaint, which was the case for the Nakata in ProStars series 31. The Nolan is a perfect likeness of the player and a must for any long term collector.
Completing the 12 figure line up is Tottenham Hotspurs Egyptian forward Hossam Ahmed Mido. Mido joined Spurs on loan from Italian side Roma, he found the net 11 times during the league campaign, a return which eventually see him sign permanently for Spurs, a decision with both the player and club would later regret! This is the only release of Mido and given the amount of clubs he has played for I wonder how many of the 1,349 figures are still in the Tottenham Hotspur kit, no doubt many will have been used for repainting.
Corinthian once again produced 2 special edition figures for this series, with Chelsea‘s Hernan Crespo and Juventus Mauro Camoranesi 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 just 26,375 blisters for this series, which was even less than the previous series, and considerably less than most preceding series. The figure produced in the lowest volume was Dado Prso with just 1,154 blisters produced, in stark contrast to Messi who had the most produced, with 4,302.
This is a very fine series, with 8 of the 12 figures being first time sculpt, 2 more being new sculpts of existing figures and only 2 repaints, quite a line up. The series will forever be known as the first time Messi was released and immortalised as a Corinthian.
Hossam Ahmed Mido
Morten Gamst Pedersen
To read more information on this range, including images of the packaging formats used, click the link button opposite.