JAPAN COLLECTOR'S CLUB
2002 saw Corinthians Japanese distributor launch the Japan Corinthian Collectors Club, with members receiving 4 exclusive figures as part of their membership package.
David Beckham was an icon in Japan and Corinthian produced an all new sculpt of Beckham exclusively for the Japan Collectors Club, which has Beckham with short hair and wearing a long sleeve version of England home shirt, this sculpt would never be released again and is my personal favourite of all the Beckham sculpts.
Javier Saviola was being hailed as the new Maradona so was featuring heavily in the Corinthian range during this time, with him in Barcelona away kit included in the Japan collectors club membership package, as does Alessandro Del Piero in Juventus third kit, the same Del Piero sculpt we saw in ProStars Series 17.
Completing the set of 4 is the ONLY figure Corinthian ever released for Real Madrid, which is Luis Figo in Madrid away kit. Corinthian had finally acquired the licence required to release figures for Real Madrid, however due to last minute problems their licence was revoked and were no longer permitted to produce or release any Real Madrid product, despite 4 players being ready for ProStars Series 17 and a team pack being under way.
I can only speculate as to why this Figo was allowed to be released, perhaps it was already to late to pull it from release, or perhaps Corinthian felt that as it was not being sold in a retail outlet they could still release it without it being noticed, but the Figo serves as constant reminder to all collectors of what might have been had we gotten Real Madrid figures.
Corinthian managed to secure 750 of each figure and made them available initially to collector club members at Platinum level only, with members able to purchase just 1 of each figure from the 1st September 2002 and priced at just £5.00 each, with the remaining stock then been made available to all collector club members.
The figures were released as clear sachets and came with collector card.
Alessandro Del Piero