2007 JAPAN RELEASE
After a 12 month absence Corinthian returned with a new range of ProStars Select 500 figures for the Japanese market, it is fair to say they were worth waiting for. By this time Corinthian knew what the Japanese collector wanted to see in their Select 500 range, and that was Roberto Baggio!
Once again a set of 4 figures were released, 3 of which were of the pony tailed wonder Baggio, with Zinedine Zidane completing the exceptional line up.
The 4 figures which made up this set are:
Roberto Baggio Inter Milan Away 1998/99
Roberto Baggio Bologna Home 1997/98
Roberto Baggio AC Milan Away 1995/96
Zinedine Zidane Juventus 3rd Away kit 1997/98
The Roberto Baggio in the Inter Milan away kit was released inside the much fabled ‘Lucky Box’ These Lucky boxes were sold in Japan for around £10 each, with each box containing 1 ProStars blister pack, Microstars, or Miniature as they were called in Japan and also 1 sealed sachet ProStars figure. Your chances of finding a Baggio Inter Milan away Select 500 blister pack were 1/50.
It appears, unlike their 2005 counterparts, that the distributors got the logistics right with these figures, as the Baggio’s slowly but surely found their way onto the secondary market. This is the more commonly found figure from this set but it still remains an incredibly rare figure.
The Baggio’s in the Bologna home kit and AC Milan away kit are the same sculpt and both notoriously difficult to find. Of the two figures, it is the Bologna one which is slightly more obtainable, but is by no means easily found, in fact there is very little in it and any Japan release Select 500 has to be considered an ultra rare figure.
The AC Milan away figure is very much sought after, which can perhaps be attributed to the popularity of AC Milan both in Italy, Japan and all over the world. A fantastic trio of Roberto Baggio figures and all are a must for the avid collector, but with demand incredibly high and only 500 made of each of Baggio who is perhaps the most popular Corinthian figure, obtaining the full set takes some doing.
You would think any figure making up a set comprising entirely of Roberto Baggio figures would be destined for obscurity; however this was not the case here, as this Zinedine Zidane more than stood out in its own right. Figures in away kits have always sold well and being highly coveted by collectors, prime examples being the ProStars series 9 chaser figures, so when Corinthian released a Zinedine Zidane in the Juventus Pink 3rd kit, you just knew it was going to be a struggle to get your hands on one!
Zindane is a popular figure anyway, however once you place him into such an eye catching and striking kit, he become catapulted into a must have for all collectors. Like the Baggio’s it took some time for the Zidane’s to surface on the secondary market. This Zidane is one of my personal favourite models, mostly for the unusual and highly detailed kit he is painted in. Of all the Select 500 figures I can personally say this is the one I have seen the fewest of, it seldom appears on the secondary market, so if you get the opportunity to buy one my advice is to take it, as you probably wont see another for a long time.
In summary, this is a superb set of ProStars Select 500 figures and encompassed how Corinthian saw the Japanese market, elusive figures of the worlds best players with a focus on Italy Serie A and most notably Roberto Baggio. It certainly worked to drive demand for the figures, although at times it could be rather infuriating trying to fid all 4 figures, but that is all part of the fun of collecting.