2008 UK CONVENTION
Corinthian once again planned to have a collectors Convention, however due to Aston Villa’s match commitments the convention had to be cancelled and no alternate venue could be arranged in time.
The 2008 Convention would have been the release day for the new range of ProStars Select 500 figures, as it was the figures were instead released via Corinthian’s online shop.
A total of 8 figures were chosen for release, with collectors once again being eligible for a free figure for every £50 they spent. Collectors who did not wish to spend £400 on figures to get the set of 8 could of course purchase individual Select 500 figures direct from one of Corinthians official resellers.
The 8 figures chose for what would be Corinthians final ProStars Select 500 range were, Edgar Davids AC Milan Home Kit, Walter Samuel Inter Milan Home Kit, Anderson Manchester United Away Kit, Robin Van Persie Arsenal Away Kit, Jurgen Klinsmann Tottenham Hotspur Away Kit, Ronaldo Inter Milan Away Kit, Francesco Totti AS Roma Away Kit and Ivan Zamorano Inter Milan Home Kit
A very heavy Italian theme for this series, which was perhaps an indication that previous series had a higher demand for figures from Italy’s Serie A, as opposed to those from the English Premier League. There are some wonderful paint jobs in this series, most notably on the Totti.
One thing which may have escaped the notice of collectors who keep their figures in mint condition blister pack, relates to the Ivan Zamorano figure. The back of Zamorano’s shirt is unlike any other ProStars figure, it has 1+8 as his number! Like the Bergkamp from the Japan 2008 ProStars Select 500 range, this element of detail is superb, as it would have been very easy for Corinthian to simply put ‘18’ however with this being a Select 500 range I feel they went that extra yard in search of authenticity.
The reason why Zamorano had ‘1+8’ on his shirt is that the Chilean international was Inter Milan’s number 9 up until they signed the legend that is Roberto Baggio! Brazilian forward Ronaldo was actually number 10 and Zamorano was number 9, however Baggio insisted on wearing the number 10 shirt, and hey it is Baggio, he can demand what he wants, so Ronaldo was forced to relinquish his number 10 shirt to Baggio and in turn forced Zamorano to give up his number 9 shirt to Ronaldo.
It is a fair assumption to say Zamorano did not do this willingly, I feel he was forced into doing the shirt swap, so he adopted the number 18 shirt and simply placed a ‘+’ between the two numbers, which when you add them together made 9, so I guess in Zamorano’s own mind he was still a number 9 striker!
As we all know football players are a superstitious lot and shirt numbers bear heavy significance for many players. As a result of this unique and interesting shirt number choice, the Zamorano figure has really endeared itself to me as I have always felt the figures purpose is to remind football fans of great players and indeed great moments. The Zamorano figure certainly does that, it reminds me of how quaint these multi million pound players can be and how a seemingly insignificant thing like a shirt number can mean so much to a player.
The figures were very well received upon release and as with most of the ProStars Select 500 range they have certainly appreciated in value. Rarity is always driven by demand for the figure, so it will be no surprise to read that Ronaldo is by far the most sought after, with Anderson following closely behind given the amount of Manchester United collectors looking to complete the United collection.
It has to be mentioned that none of these figures appear frequently and you can expect to pay good money for any of them and as with all in the ProStars Select 500 range, if you see one for sale my advice is to pick it up while you can.
Robin Van Persie