Corinthian released ProStars series 34 in October 2006, just after the start of the new 2006/07 football season.
The 2006 World Cup was still fresh in every football fans minds, who could forget the antics of Zidane in the final when he head butted Italy’s Materazzi in the chest, or the spat which occurred between Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo during their quarter final match, causing Ronaldo to be dubbed the ‘winker’ in my opinion that nickname is just one vowel off from being accurate!
Francesco Totti is featured here in the kit of Roma and is sculpted with his new short hair style as seen during the 2006 World Cup. This was a long overdue re sculpt of Totti and I personally feel it was an improvement on the previous effort.
The other Serie A figure included in this series is Juventus’ David Trezeguet, with the figure being the same as featured in ProStars series 20. Trezeguet himself also featured in the 2006 World Cup final, coming on with 10 minutes of extra time left to play. It was Trezeguet’s miss in the penalty shoot out which enabled Italy to win.
Series 34 featured a trio of new and exciting sculpts, all of who were up and coming English talent. Theo Walcott made his breakthrough into the Arsenal first team following his transfer from Southampton and made 16 league appearances for the Gunners. Walcott was fast establishing himself as a fan favourite and household name, a wonderful sculpt and one which Corinthian would use for all subsequent releases of him.
Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur also had a pace merchant in their ranks, Aaron Lennon. The 2006/07 season was Lennon’s second for Spurs and by now he had firmly established himself as a regular first team player, with him making 26 league appearances and scoring 3 goals in the process. Another fine sculpt and it even featured Lennon’s trademark 3 stripes eye brow style.
Completing the trio of young English talent is West Ham United’s Nigel Reo Coker. This was a turbulent season for both Nigel and West Ham, with the club narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day of the season. As with Lennon and Walcott this Reo Coker sculpt is superbly detailed and is the only release of the player as a Corinthian ProStar.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a controversial World Cup and his on the field confrontation with Manchester United team mate Wayne Rooney threatened his career at United. Ronaldo weathered the early torrent of abuse from both home and away fans, however it do not stop him from going on to score 17 goals in 34 league appearances, his best tally for United up to that point. Corinthian created a new sculpt of Ronaldo for this release, one which Corinthian would use for many subsequent releases of Ronaldo.
Corinthian sculpted an all new figure of Tottenham Hotspurs Robbie Keane, although I actually prefer the previous version. Keane managed just 11 goals in this campaign, far fewer than the previous few seasons. Keane is the lowest produced figure in this series, with Corinthian producing just 1,869 blisters.
Tottenham Hotspur had 2 figures in this series, so of course Corinthian had to also release 2 Arsenal figures. Francesc Fabregas joined team mate Theo Walcott in this series. The figure of Fabregas is the same as used in ProStars series 29, although this was a repaint Corinthian still released 2,537 blisters of Cesc, which was slightly less than the 3,315 blisters released of him in ProStars series 29.
Michael Owen made a staggering 3 league appearances for Newcastle United during the 2006/07 season following an injury sustained while on international duty for England. Owen still managed to pocket well over £5,000,000 in wages during his lengthy injury, nice work if you can get it! This figure is the same as used in ProStars series 31. Corinthian released 2,110 blisters of Owen, I wonder how many of those 2,110 figures were bought by Newcastle United fans, and how many of those suffered the ‘Microwave’ treatment, and I can guarantee you at least 1 did!
Completing the 12 figure strong line up for ProStars series 34 are 3 players from 2005/06 Premiership winners Chelsea. New sculpts of Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko were joined by a repaint of Arjen Robben, who had first featured in ProStars series 26. The sculpt of German international Ballack is far superior to the previous release, however in stark contrast I feel the Shevchenko is the poorest sculpt Corinthian ever created of the Ukrainian, I much prefer the ProStars series 29 version.
Shevchenko and Ballack share the highest blister production volume for this series, with both having 4,269 blisters manufactured, further indication of Chelsea’s increased worldwide following.
Corinthian once again produced 2 special edition figures for this series, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Andriy Shevchenko selected and 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 32,253 blisters for this series, which was fewer than the previous series and half that of series 31, which had 61,752 blisters manufactured. Corinthian had halved their blister production volume for a regular series in around 6 months!
An acceptable series of figures, which gave collectors 3 exciting new sculpts amidst the usual array of repaints, however those 3 new sculpts more than made up for that, but this was by no means a stand out series.
Nigel Reo Coker
West Ham United
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