Corinthian celebrated the new Millennium by releasing ProStars Series 5, the 'international' was dropped from the brand name, with Series 5 being their biggest release to date.
ProStars Series 5 was once again a split release, with 24 figures released as single blister packs and 12 being released as a window box, with only the English and Scottish Premiership players getting released in the window box, the other 12 were initially planned but due to various licensing issues that was not possible.
The standout figure from this packed series is without doubt Taribo West, such an incredible sculpt and his devil horn hair style made him an instant collectors piece, as it was unique and eye catching and proved to be one of Corinthians best selling blisters to date, as collector centres struggled to keep the figure in stock.
Barcelona once again had a trio of figures released, and what a trio it is, headlined by Luis Figo, this sculpt had been released before in the Protugal national kit range of Headliners, however that figure is incredibly rare, so this new release was a welcome one and to most it will appeared to have been an entirely new figure. Figo is joined by Barca team mates Philip Cocu and Jari Litmanen, both sculpts were used in the Dutch club range of Headliners, for PSV Eindhoven and Ajax respectively.
Lazio have 2 figures included in the series, Alen Boksic who's sculpt was first released in the colours of Juventus as part of the Superstars range, with the Croatian being joined by a first time release in Juan Sebastian Veron, a top class player and the sculpt did not disappoint and would be used for all subsequent releases of the player.
For Parma we have the very first ever Corinthian release of Gianluigi Buffon, an excellent sculpt and vastly popular figure which captures the keeper at the start of his career. Buffon is joined by Lilian Thuram in the iconic yellow and blue hoops of Parma, with the sculpt being the same as used in the France national kit set of Headliners.
AC Milan have a sole representative in Zvonimir Boban, the figure being the same sculpt as first seen in the SuperStars range of Headliners. Juventus keeper Edwin Van Der Sar makes his ProStars debut, the sculpt being the same as released for Ajax in the Dutch club range of Headliners.
The remaining 2 from Serie A are both first time sculpts which would never actually be released by Corinthian again, we have Nicola Ventola on the home kit of Bologna, although was initially to be released in the kit of Inter Milan, it was swapped once he made his loan move; as part of a joint ownership deal, to Bolgna.
Completing the Serie A contingent is Japan star Hiroshi Nanami in the very colourful kit of Venezia, he did feature in the Japan national kit set of Headliners, however this was an entirely new sculpt, with Corinthian having the initial intention of releasing him in away kit, however that plan never came to fruition.
ProStars Series 5 saw the very first release of Thierry Henry in the ProStars range, another very fine sculpt, released here in Arsenal 99/00 away kit. Dion Dublin is released in the away kit of Aston Villa, the sculpt being the same as released for Coventy City as part of the FAPL Collection.
Didier Deschamps is in Chelsea away kit, the sculpt was used twice in the Headliners range, for France and Juventus and also appeared in the Chelsea 1999-2000 team pack. Another who appeared in the team packs is Sander Westerveld for Liverpool, this was his first and only single blister pack release.
Harry Kewell makes his ProStars debut, here in the away kit of Leeds United, joined by an all new sculpt of Paul Ince, here in the Middlesbrough away kit. Kieron Dyer first appeared in the Newcastle United 1999-2000 team pack, so this was his first blister release and sees him in the toon away kit.
Rio Ferdinand is in the West Ham United away kit, the sculpt first being used in the England 1999-2000 team pack. David Ginola gets a fresh sculpt, and one which is a vast improvement on the one used as part of the FAPL Collection, the talented Frenchman being one of the standout sculpts in this series.
The best seller in this series was of course David Beckham in Manchester United away kit, a wonderful sculpt with Becks sporting his trademark curtain hair style, this blister has always proven to be highly collectible.
The Scottish premiership is represented by both halves of Glasgow, as we have Andrei Kanchelskis in the Rangers away kit, his sculpt being the same as seen in the SFL Collection. Completing the series is the highly anticipated release of Super Swede Henrik Larsson, complete with his dreadlocks, with the blister version seeing him in Celtic away kit, this is another highly detailed sculpt and a vastly popular figure upon it's release.
ProStars Series 5 blister packs were available from collector centres from the 1st of February 2000, priced at £3 each, being available in stores such as Beatties, Toy Stack and Hamleys. Included in the blister pack was the figures collector card, one side has the figure image and the other has the player ratings, which you could fill in to create your own version of a top trumps style card game.
Also included in each blister pack was a collectors information file, which detailed the range available and also came with a token, 8 tokens were needed to claim a free Platinum Pack. 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, however you could also buy them from official Corinthian Collector Centres. The figures are identical to those in the standard blister but are placed on a specially designed blister card.
To mark the new Millennium Corinthian made a special change to the platinum pack figures for Series 5, they released them on a silver base and was assigned a PP (platinum pack) collector code, which was the same number as the PRO code for that figure. The change made this series of Platinum packs all that more appealing to collectors, with acquiring all 36 being something of a challenge, especially the Luis Figo which is by far the hardest to find.
Corinthian did not make public how many of each blister pack or platinum pack were produced, only to say that the best seller in the series was of course David Beckham and the ones made in the lowest volume were Kanchelskis, Dyerm Ventola and Van Der Sar.
Edwin Van Der Sar
Juan Sebastian Veron
West Ham United