COLLECTOR CLUB SPECIAL EDITION
The Corinthian Collector Club Special Edition was launched in an attempt to increase membership numbers, by offering the product at a cheaper price to collector club members. Each blister was priced at £5 for collector club members, non members were still able to purchase the figures but at a cost of £10 each, so Corinthian hoped this price difference would turn casual collectors into collector club members.
The series ran for 16 months starting in February 2003, with the last set coming out in May 2004, and a total of 32 figures being included in the series. As this was primarily aimed at collector club members, Corinthian released them at a rate of 2 per month and on a specially designed backing card, that had no butterfly hook or j hook, denoting it was a product not available at any retail store, only via Corinthian Direct or from one of their official resellers.
17th February 2003 saw the released of the first 2 figures, which are Junichi Inamoto in Fulham away kit and El-Hadji Diouf in Liverpool away kit, as worn for the 2002/3 season. Despite having 5,004 blisters made, Inamoto sold out within 2 months, proving his popularity
especially with collectors in Japan, while Diouf had 4,0002 produced.
The next 2 came out on the 10th of March 2003, which were Gianluca Zambrotta in Juventus away kit along with Edu in Arsenal away kit, with there being 5,004 Zambrotta and 3,504 Edu blisters produced. Nwankwo Kanu in Arsenal away kit and Gennaro Gattuso in AC Milan away kit made up the next batch, being released on the 21st of April 2003, with 3,600 being made of each player.
10th May 2003 saw the next 2 released which were Francesco Coco in Inter Milan away kit which had 3,600 made, along with Olof Mellberg in Sweden home kit, which has 3,000 produced. 2 legends in club away kits were the next release, those being Liam Brady for Arsenal and Glenn Hoddle for North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, with Corinthian making 3,284 Brady and 3,276 of Hoddle, releasing them on the 23rd of June 2003.
The 7th of July 2003 saw 2 more legends figures released, both for Italian Serie A team Sampdoria, with Ruud Gullit in away kit and Graeme Souness in home kit. Souness had just 2,235 made while Gullit had over double that with 5,019 produced. The next set saw a return to the North London derby, with Francis Jeffers in Arsenal away kit joined by Kazayuki Toda in Tottenham Hotspur away kit. Corinthian produced 2,419 of Jeffers but 4,602 for Toda, with the increase allowing for demand in Japan.
The next set released comprised of 2 England players, Wayne Rooney in away and Jermaine Jenas in home kit, being released on the 15th September 2003, with 3,948 Rooney made and 2,412 Jenas. 20th October 2003 saw 2 more added to the series, with Kevin Keegan in Liverpool away kit and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in West Germany home kit, there were 1,555 Keegan made and 2,121 Rummenigge, with both proving relatively hard to find in todays market, given the player popularity and low production volume.
17th November 2003 saw the release of Michel Platini in France home kit and Zbigniew Boniek in Poland home kit, with Corinthian manufacturing 2,793 Platini and 1,545 Boniek. The year closed out with the final CCSE releases of 2003, with Salif Diao in Senegal home kit and Johan Mjallby being released on the 15h December, with Corinthian making just 1,195 of each player, which was the lowest in the entire CCSE range.
There was another which had just 1,195 made which is Emre in Turkey home kit, he was released in 12th of January 2004, along with Pavel Nedved in the home kit of Czech Republic, with there being only 1,387 Nedved made. Both Emre and Nedved sold out within 2 months and like a few others in this series can be difficult to pick up in today's market, especially for those wanting them in sealed blister pack.
The next 2 was an all English Premier League release, with Barry Ferguson being in Blackburn Rovers home kit and Robbie Folwer in the home kit of Manchester City. There were 1,215 Ferguson made and 1,214 of Fowler, both were very low production volumes for this or indeed any other series, with collectors being able to buy them from the 9th of February 2004. 15th of March 2004 saw 2 more CCSE figures released, added to the collection were Filippo Inzaghi in Italy away kit and Thierry Henry in France away kit, with there being 2,429 Inzaghi and 2,321 Henry produced.
The 19th of April 2004 saw the most popular CCSE released and the one which would appreciate the most in value, i refer of course to Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal away kit, with Corinthian making just 2,603 blister packs, which over time would prove to be insufficient, as demand for figures of Ronaldo would increase with his popularity. Released with Ronaldo was Jon Dahl Tomasson in Denmark away kit, with 1,643 being made.
The final 2 CCSE were released on the 24th of May 2004, with legend figures of Gerd Muller in West Germany away kit and Roberto Rivelino in Brazil away kit added to the series. Corinthian produced 1,559 Rivelino and 2,051 Muller.
This was a relatively well received series, with of course some proving more popular than others and in my opinion the hardest to come by seem to be Ronaldo, Nedved, Emre and Rummenigge. Corinthian listened to collector feedback and while collectors did like the series, it was made up primarily of repainted figures, with collector club members preferring new sculpts and specifically legend figures, it was decided that the Collector Club Special Edition Series would be stopped and be replaced by ProStars Elite.
The figures were released as single blister packs and came with an individually numbered collector card.
Platinum Packs were also produced for the series, each one came with a generic Platinum Pack collector card and it is widely accepted that Corinthian made 360 of each Collector Club Special Edition Platinum Pack.
Jon Dahl Tomasson