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SERIES 9

ProStars Series 9 marked the 5th anniversary of Corinthian football figures and would be the last blister pack series release of 2000. Corinthian ran an online poll from March to July, allowing collectors to vote for the figures they wanted included in Series 9, with 90% of the players featured being chosen by collectors.

 

We start our Series 9 journey in North London, with the very first Corinthian release of Fredrik Ljungberg, a tremendous sculpt and an instant favourite with collectors, painted here in the Arsenal home kit. Arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur also had a first time release, which was Ukrainian striker Sergei Rebrov, in the Spurs home kit.

 

 

Staying in London we have the best seller of the series in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who was another first time sculpt and a real stand out in this series. Moving across London we have the player who finished number 1 in the online poll by collectors, Paolo Di Canio, the temperamental Italian was a much anticipated release and Corinthian did not disappoint with the sculpt. One thing to mention regarding the Di Canio is that the West Ham United badge is actually upside down on the figure, due to a factory error.

 

 

Journeying north we have David Ginola for Aston Vila, the sculpt being the same as seen in Series 5, with Ginola being a replacement for Benito Carbone, Corinthian had sculpted Carbone but decided against releasing him and instead went with Ginola once he signed for Villa in August. 

 

 

Leeds United fans were treated to a first and indeed only time sculpt, as Corinthian released Michael Bridges, a fine sculpt but feel he got lost in the shuffle of Series 9, not surprising when you see the line up. Emile Heskey got his first release for Liverpool and would be amongst the top 3 sellers in the series, his first appearance was in Series 7 England Squad.

 

 

Fabien Barthez got his first release for Manchester United, the sculpt the same as seen back in Series 1 and in the France national range of Headliners. The Middlesbrough figure also comes from that France range, as we see Christian Karembeu make his ProStars debut, the only other ProStars release would be as part of the Tiger Beer promotional set.

 

 

Completing the English Premiership line up is my personal favourite from this series and it is Newcastle United manager Bobby Robson, an excellent sculpt and a figure that has always remained in demand, which can also be attributed to the fact Corinthian never released Sir Bobby again.

 

 

Michael Mols in the Rangers home kit is the sole representative from the Scottish Premiership, this was a first time sculpt and would be used for all future releases of Mols.

 

 

We have 3 new sculpts from Italy's Serie A with Corinthian releasing an all new sculpt of Zinedine Zidane, with this sculpt being a vast improvement on the original Headliners version. For Fiorentina we have striker Pedrag Mijatovic, a truly excellent sculpt, a figure which would never be released by Corinthian again, maintaining this figures popularity and demand.

 

In the home kit of Inter Milan we have Argentina full back Javier Zanetti, a figure which was certainly long overdue. Corinthian would release 5 more ProStars figures of Zanetti, however they would never again use this sculpt, it was only released here in Series 9.

 

 

Our Series 9 journey terminates in Spain, as we get first time releases of Josep Guardiola in Barcelona home kit and Raul in Spain national home kit, with Raul being number 5 on the online poll. Raul would get many more releases, however this would be the only ProStars figure Corinthian would release of Guardiola, he would also be released as a MicroStars figure as part of Japan Miniatures Series 10.

 

 

Corinthian ran a very special promotion in Series 9 which featured 6 different redemption figures, and collectors needed 8 tokens to claim a free redemption figure. The 6 Series 9 redemption figures are John Harley in Chelsea home kit, Paulo Sousa in Inter Milan away kit, David Batty in Leeds United away kit, Steffen Iversen in Tottenham Hotspur away kit, Eyal Berkovic in Celtic away kit and Claudio Reyna in Rangers away kit.

 

 

Corinthian produced just 500 of each redemption figure, meaning collectors needed to act quick in order to add these very rare figures to their collection. Tokens were available in Series 9 blister packs, inside the Squad Builder secret sachets and 4 tokens could be found inside each Christmas 2000 4 pack. In fact all Series 9 redemption figures were sold out by February 2001 with Harley and Reyna selling out in just 7 weeks!

 

 

Series 9 blister packs were available from collector centres from late October 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. 

 

 

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 announced in the ProStars Club Members Newsletter Issue 9 February 2001 that a case containing Series 9 Redemption Platinum packs had been found in the warehouse, with the packs being produced in error. Corinthian stated they had located 23 sets and that a few sets may have already been sent out to collector centres before they were identified, so it is generally accepted by collectors there are no more than 30 of each Series 9 Redemption Platinum Pack, making the incredibly rare and viewed by many to be Grail pieces.

 

 

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 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, closely followed by Raul and Emile Heskey,  and the ones made in the lowest volume were Karembeu, Robson, Mijatovic and Zanetti.

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Fredrik Ljungberg

Arsenal

Home 2000/01

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Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Chelsea

Home 2000/01

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Fabien Barthez

Manchester United

Home 2000/01

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Emile Heskey

Liverpool

Home 2000/01

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Michael Bridges

Leeds United

Home 2000/01

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Sergei Rebrov

Tottenham Hotspur

Home 2000/01

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David Ginola

Aston Villa

Home 2000/01

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Michael Mols

Rangers

Home 2000/01

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Paolo Di Canio

West Ham United

Home 2000/01

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Christian Karembeu

Middlesbrough

Home 2000/01

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Javier Zanetti

Inter Milan

Home 2000/01

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Josep Guardiola

Barcelona

Home 2000/01

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Zinedine Zidane

Juventus

Home 2000/01

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Pedrag Mijatovic

Fiorentina

Home 2000/01

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Bobby Robson

Newcastle United

Suit

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Raul

Spain

Home 2000

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Paulo Sousa

Inter Milan

Away 2000/01

Redemption Figure

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John Harley

Chelsea

Home 2000/01

Redemption Figure

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David Batty

Leeds United

Away 2000/01

Redemption Figure

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Steffen Iversen

Tottenham Hotspur

Away 2000/01

Redemption Figure

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Eyal Berkovic

Celtic

Away 2000/01

Redemption Figure

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Claudio Reyna

Rangers

Away 2000/01

Redemption Figure

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