ProStars Series 8 was the first Corinthian release of the 2000/01 season, the first season release was always difficult for Corinthian, due to all the transfer activity and the late availability of new kits and sponsorship changes.
Series 8 contained many of the players which collectors voted to be made via an online poll on the Corinthian website, and contained many of the squad players as opposed to a team's top star, with many first time sculpts amongst them.
For Arsenal we have a first time sculpt on goal keeper Alex Manninger, this would prove to be the only figure Corinthian would release of Manninger, while North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur also had a new sculpt in Tim Sherwood, who was released in the FAPL Collection however that was an entirely different sculpt.
Jody Morris was a first time sculpt and released in the home kit of Chelsea, and for Aston Villa we have Luc Nilis, which was first released for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Headliners release, however Nilis career was tragically cut short when he collided with Ipswich Town keeper Richard Wright and resulted in him having a double compound fracture on his right shin, as it wrapped itself around the shin of the on rushing Wright, Nilis would never play again.
We take figures from the FAPL Collection for the Leeds United and Newcastle United release, both first appearing for Blackburn Rovers, with Jason Wilcox for Leeds and Gallacher for Newcastle.
For Liverpool we have a first and only time release in striker Titi Camara, an excellent sculpt however Camara would only have one season at Liverpool before he was sold the West Ham United. For the Hammers we have a first time release in Trevor Sinclair, with this sculpt only being released one more time, as part of the Club Gold range.
Middlesbrough completed the signing of Colombian striker Hamilton Ricard, his signature signed on a napkin due to a lack of official documents. Always been a huge fan of the Ricard figure however this would be his only release by Corinthian. Completing the line up from the English Premiership is Manchester United left back Mikael Silvestre, another superb sculpt and it would only be used once more, as part of the Club Gold range.
Both halves of Glasgow we represented, with a first and only time sculpt in Mark Burchill released for Celtic, and for Rangers we have Billy Dodds, who was first released for Aberdeen in the SFL Collection, that particular figure can prove hard to find, so this gave collectors a much easier way of adding Dodds to their collection.
We have 2 figures from Italy's Series A, Filippo Inzaghi in the home kit of Juventus with the figure first been seen in the Italy national range of Headliners. My personal favourite from this series is Clarence Seedorf, this was a much requested figure and Corinthian did not disappoint and delivered a highly detailed sculpt which was used for any subsequent releases of the Dutch midfielder.
Luis Enrique is released in the home kit of Barcelona, having appeared in Series 7 European SuperStars a few months earlier, this was a nice easy repaint release for Corinthian.
Completing the series is Denilson in the Brazil home kit, to many this will have appeared to be a first time release, however he was initially released for Sao Paulo in the Brazil club series of Headliners, however that is one of the all time rare figures, so it was pleasing to see Corinthian release this new version so collectors could add Denilson to their collection, his final Corinthian release would come a couple months later in the Brazil 4 pack, where he would be in Brazil away kit.
Corinthian had a heavy release schedule planned for the end of 2000 so they decided to keep production volume as low as any other ProStars issued to date, with many in the series being made in amounts of 4,000 or less!
Series 8 blister packs were available from collector centres from late August 2000, with blisters priced at £3 each. Included in each 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.
There was no redemption figure, in it's place was the free platinum pack offer, with 6 tokens 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.
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 Mikael Silvestre, the surprise sell out was Billy Dodds and the ones made in the lowest volume were Wilcox, Ricard, Gallacher and Sinclair.
West Ham United