Headliners, ProStars & MicroStars
Corinthian's initial product name was "Headliners". The first ever offering was a set of 16 figurines in England national kit released in October 1995. Following on from the success of the England national Headliners, Corinthian new range was simply called "Collection" these figures hit the shops in January 1996 consisting of players from both the English Premiership (PL collector number) and the Scottish Premier League (SP collector number).
Originally aimed at children and voted "Best New Toy 1996" by the British Association of Toy Retailers they soon appealed to the mature collector who saw them as highly desirable. Corinthian continued to release figures in this range up until the end of the 1997-98 season. Unfortunately, due to copyright laws, Corinthian were forced to change the “Headliners” brand name to the now commonly known ProStars.
PL39 - Steve Potts
PL59 - Tony Cottee
PL79 - Ludek Miklosko
PL99 - Tim Breacker
COLLECTION 4 PACK - BLISTER
POTTS : COTTEE : MIKLOSKO : BREACKER
COLLECTION 4 PACK - BLISTER
DICKS : RIEPER : DUMITRESCU : BISHOP
COLLECTION (May 1996)
PL19 - Julian Dicks
PL119 - Ian Bishop
PL239 - Marc Rieper
PL248 - Ilie Dumitrescu
CATALOGUE PAGE (1996)
Page from the 1996 catalogue which clearly shows five West Ham United players that were not released that season and were withdrawn from production, presumably because all the players in question had moved to other clubs.
Figurines and Cards not Released:
The Robbie Slater card has turned up on Ebay, so others may have escaped the production line?
PREMIER POWER POPS (1996)
54. Ludek Miklosko
62. Julian Dicks
179. Iain Dowie
PL389 - Iain Dowie
PL409 - Slaven Bilic
Originally called International Prostars the Corinthian figures were initially seen as a toy product it was clear by 1998 that they needed to change the strategy for the brand or stop making it. The UK retail trade were increasingly reluctant to stock the brand as the initial huge volumes came down to a more normal level of sales. Corinthian released most of the players from most of the clubs and all of the players from the biggest clubs. They had no more new players to make. They decided to "rest" the product for 6 months in 1998 and come back with a new range, new name and new direction for the product in 1999. At the end of 1998 football season the Headliners products from the high street and toy shops and focus distribution on specialist retailers who understood the product and were prepared to devote time and space to it rather than demand just the star players. By 1999 the ProStars brand was introduced with Series 1. This dramatic change of direction for the brand marked the transition point of the original product from toy to collectible. The range benefited from being made up of genuinely top class international players from most of the biggest teams in the world football. The blister pack series took a little time to move off the shelves as relatively few collectors knew about the range until the advertising started. Once collectors realized they were out there demand went up noticeably. Some
Since 1999 the ProStars range has gone on to produce more than 40 series. In addition to the regular series, special releases including "England 1966 Winners" 12 Player Packs (signed by Sir Geoff Hurst) and Limited Edition ProStars "Elite" double packs of some of the world’s greatest ever players, including Geoff Hurst in England strip.
As before the figures were each assigned a collector number, this time the codes all started with 'PRO' and the last figure Corinthian released in the Prostars range was PRO1825 but only 1750 figures have actually been released, the other 75 are all unreleased figures!
ENGLAND 1966 TEAM (June 1999)
PRO105 - Bobby Moore
PRO108 - Geoff Hurst
PRO109 - Martin Peters
MILLENNIUM Limited Edition XL's (August 1999)
ProStars XL was first introduced in 1998 under the Headliners XL brand name. In fact ProStars XL was the first product designed specifically with the collector in mind. The original range was never the success Corinthian thought it was going to be, possibly because the expectation was that the larger figures should look even more like the players than the smaller ProStars originals. That said, a few hundred die-hard collectors had recognised what they were trying to do with the XL format. The lack of success meant retailers no longer wanted to stock the product so it was withdrawn until the Millennium XL Limited Edition. Bobby Moore is now one of the most sought after figures and can command a high price.
XL003 - Bobby Moore
SERIES 3 ENGLAND LEGENDS (August 1999)
PRO123 - Bobby Moore
PRO131 - Geoff Hurst
With the launch of the ProStars Series in January 1999 Corinthian introduced PLATINUM PACKS. These blister packs are packed at the factory in a special Platinum Pack blister card which carries a Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees that each Platinum Pack is produced in quantities that do not exceed 360 pieces making them one of the most limited products in the range.
PRO123 Bobby Moore - Platinum Edition of 360
PRO131 Geoff Hurst - Platinum Edition of 360
CLUB GOLD WINDOW BOX (August 1999)
CLUB GOLD CLUB EDITION
One of the primary reasons for being a Corinthian Collector Club Member is the exclusive access it affords you to the Club Gold Club Edition range. It is a series of gold base figures and remains one of the most limited edition ranges.
CG124 - Stuart Pearce
ENGLAND (October 1999)
PRO192 - Rio Ferdinand