ProStars Series 18 was Corinthians first series release of the 2002/03 season, with the range boasting 16 new figures, with a host of first time sculpts amongst them.
The sculpt of Abel Xavier is superb and very distinctive, he is released in Portugal home kit and his figure literally flew off the shelves, becoming one of the fastest selling figures in ProStars history. Sticking with the national kit figures we have 2 more first time sculpts in Fernado Hierro for Spain and Vincenzo Montella for Italy, 2 excellent sculpts with the original plan being to have Hierro in the colours of Real Madrid.
For Arsenal we have Fredrik Ljungberg in home kit which is a previously released sculpt and for Tottenham Hotspur we have Jamie Redknapp, the sculpt used was the one we saw in the Liverpool 1999-2000 team pack.
John Terry was swiftly establishing himself at Chelsea and this figures was a much requested release, as was Italian goal keeper Carlo Cudicini, both Terry and Cudicini were first time sculpts.
3 further first time sculpts are Darius Vassell for Aston Villa, Jermain Defoe for West Ham United and David Weir for Everton, joined by Robbie Fowler in Leeds United home kit, the sculpt being the same as we saw in Series 15.
My personal favourite from this series is John Arne Riise, an exceptional left back and the sculpt did not disappoint and the figure was soon established as a fans favourite. Manchester United's new forward Diego Forlan gets his first ever release, as does Laurent Robert for Newcastle United, 2 excellent sculpts and fine additions to the ProStars range.
The remaining 2 are sculpts we had seen previously, Arthur Numan was released in Rangers home kit and Andriy Shevchenko is in AC Milan home kit.
Corinthian produced 2 special redemption figures for Series 18, which see Darius Vassell in England home kit and Fredrik Ljungberg in Sweden home kit. These figures were not available for direct sale, only by collecting the tokens found on the collectors information leaflets in Series 18, however Corinthian did not state how many of each were produced and they did not make platinum packs for those redemption figures.
Series 18 was released on the 30th September 2002, with blisters priced at £3 each and you could also order the figures from Corinthian Direct as figure and card in sachet for £2.49. Included in each pack was the figures collector card and Corinthian ran a free redemption figure offer, with 8 tokens needed to claim one of the special redemption figures.
Along with the regular blister packs, Corinthian produced something special called the Platinum Pack, these were produced in much lower numbers and not available for direct sale, they were given away free for money spent with Corinthian Direct. The figures are identical to those in the standard blister but are on a Silver base and assigned a PP (Platinum Pack) collector code, which was the same code as the PRO version, with the figure then placed on a specially designed Platinum Pack blister card, coming with collector card stating it was produced in quantities no higher 360.
Corinthian did not make public how many of each blister pack were produced, only to say that the best seller in the series was Abel Xavier who became one of the fastest selling ProStars in history. The ones made in the lowest volume were Numan, Defoe, Robert and Weir.
West Ham United
John Arne Riise