Series 5 - Window Box Edition
As with Prostars series 4, Prostars series 5 had a range of figures released inside window boxes, this format allowed you to see which figure you were buying, whils also allowing that figure to be safely removed from the packaging and then allowed it to be put back into the package, without damaging it, at a later date.
The difference with this series is that only half of the figures were included in this packaging format. The blister pack version of series 5 had 24 figures but the window box version has just 12. The 12 figures were all those from the English and Scottish premier league, hence ehy the range is called Premiership Prostars.
Corinthian released this set of 12 figures shortly after the release of the blister pack series, in late February/early March. The window box range was produced in much higher volumes than their blister pack counterparts and were much easier to obtain with shops holding good stocks of the series.
This series saw 4 first time sculpts. ( disregard the fact they fisrt featured in series 5 blister pack a few weeks earleir) Harry Kewell for Leeds United was a figure which was highly requested by collectors and Corinthian did not dissapoint with a great sculpt of the attacking Australian international. Injury prone Kieron Dyer was released in the colours of Newcastle United, it was an accurate facial sculpt but the body pose could have been improved by sculpting him with crutches or at the very least one of his legs in cast!
Rio Ferdinand has been released many times but this was the very first sculpt of the influential defender, who was qucikly making a name for himself, as were many others who were at West Ham United at this time. Completing the line up of first time sculpts is Sander Westervled, who had recently signed for Liverpool, not the most popular figure by any means but it was good to see Corinthian release a new figure instead of just re-releasing an existing figure. Corinthian knew the Westerveld would not be the most popualr figure in the range, as it was he was produced in the lowest volume.
Included in this range were some awesome new sculpts of figures previously released. Thierry Henry was this time released without the Afro hairstyle he had while at Monaco, not the best Henry ever sculpted but a nice figure non the less. Dion Dublin was resculpted folling the FAPL figures of him in the Coventry City kit, this time released in the colours of Aston Villa, this was also the case for Paul Ince who was releasd for Middlesbrough following a few releases for a variety of clubs in the Headliner range.
The ever contreversial Frenchman David Ginola was a stand out figure in this range, simply as the sculpt was that good a likeness of the actual player and a vast improvement on the Newcastle version which was released in the FAPL collection some years earlier. David Beckham was released for the first time as a Prostar and it will come as no shock to find that his figure was the best seller from this range. A very good sculpt of the legendary player and one which Corinthian used for a few other Beckham releases.
The 2 Scotland premiership giants Celtic and Rangers had 1 figure each released in this series. Rangers had Andrei Kanchelskis painted in the home kit, this was a mere repaint of the figure released in the FAPL Collection for Everton. Celtic on the other hand had record breaking goal scorer Henrik Larsson released and of course this was an all new sculpt and for me one of the best figures Corinthian have ever produced. A vastly popular figure, due in part to the quirky hairstyle, along with the fact it also really looked like the player himself.
Completing this series is Didier Deschamps in the home kit of Chelsea. This figure had previously been released twice, once in the national kit of France and the other for Juventus, both were pre1999 issues, making this figure a repaint of an existing figure.
Corinthian originally intended to release all 24 figures in window box format, as they had done with series 4 and have the overseas players in national kits or even club away kits, as it was Corinthian decided against doing this and so we were left with just the 12 British figures. Here is the list of the unreleased series 5 figures, along with the kit they would have been released in:
Luis Figo Portugal Home
Jari Litmanen Barcelona Away
Philip Cocu Barcelona Away
Gianluigi Buffon Italy Home
Taribo West Nigeria Home
Juan Sebastian Veron Argentina Home
Hiroshi Nanami Venezia Away
Edwin Van Der Sar Holland Home
Zvonimir Boban Croatia Home
Alan Boksic Croatia Home
Lilian Thuram France Home
Nicola Ventola Italy Home
I can only assume that Corinthian shelved these 12 figures due to licensing issues, or perhaps they decided to keep demand for these figures high by not producing the same figure twice in quick succesion, who knows.
Each figure came issued with a collectors card and the collectors information file, which included details on how you could claim a free series 5 Premiership Prostars figure.
To find out more information on this series, please click the link button opposite.
West Ham United