WORLD CLUB LEGENDS
The Corinthian ProStars World Club Legends series was a hugely popular release, proven by the range's longevity, with the series having it's first figures released in May 2000 and the final ones in July 2008. In total there are 49 World Club Legends figures and a series which gave collectors many first and only time sculpts, along with many collectable pieces.
The inaugural figures in this series were released in May 2000, with 2 figures from 'The old lady' chosen, those being the 'Divine Ponytail' himself, Roberto Baggio and Michel Platini, both released in Juventus Home kit. The figures were commissioned by Corinthian's 2 largest Japanese customers 'J.S.V' and 'Foot Circle' and originally available only in Japan, however Corinthian were able to get 2500 of each and made them available at the 2000 Corinthian Convention. In Total Corinthian produced 7560 of Baggio and Platini, each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 7560'
Collectors had to wait until January 2001 to get their hands on more Prostars World Club Legends , this time 4 being released which were once again done under commission from JSV and Foot Circle in Japan. The figures were once again from clubs in the Italian Serie A, with the focus on the fashion capital of the world, Milan. 3 from AC Milan and 1 from Inter Milan. The 3 from AC Milan was their deadly Dutch trio of Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten, all in home kit, with Lothar Matthaus in Inter Milan home kit. A superb quartet of figures and ones which remain very collectable and sought after, each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 7560'
April 2001 saw Ian Rush in Liverpool away kit added to this range and was a quick sell out, again with his figure being in high demand in countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong, where Liverpool have a huge fan base. The figure was released at the 2001 Corinthian Convention which was held at Villa Park on the 28th of April, with Rush on hand to personally sign his blister pack. each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 2001'
July of that year saw another 11 added to the range, which were all from the 1960's. Manchester United were represented by legends Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, with Bobby's brother Jack Charlton released in Leeds United home kit. West Ham United had a formidable trio of figures released, Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst. Liverpool has legendary manager Billy Shankly and Roger Hunt released, with 'the Cat' Peter Bonetti in Chelsea home kit. Completing the line up players representing both halves of Glasgow, Billy McNeil for Celtic and John Greig for Rangers.
It is worth mentioning that those 11 figures were also released inside the 'Legends of the 60's' box set, which also featured George Best in Manchester United Away kit, however Best was exclusive to that box set and not released as a single blister pack, however the figures were assigned new collector codes for the box set. Each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 1840' for Bobby Charlton, Hurst, Peters, Moore, Hunt and Jackie Charlton, while the blisters of Shankly, McNeil, Greig and Bonetti had 2840 produced, with the lowest being Law with just 1800 made.
4 Barcelona figures were added to this series in November 2001, a superb line up consisting of Brazilian strikers Ronaldo and Romario in home kit, the Ronaldo was an all new sculpt while the Romario was the same as previously released! Also in Barca home kit was Michael Laudrup, with Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov being released in Away kit. The Stoichkov is a personal favourite of mine, a superb figure of a very talented player, and was for a long time the only release of the Bulgarian, until the ProStars Elite range. Each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 5000' All 4 Barcelona World Club Legends were also released as Platinum blister packs but they were ultra limited, Corinthian made just 50 of each, making them some of the most prized and sought after Platinum's in the entire collection!
May 2002 saw 2 more figures added to the series, those being Welshman Mark Hughes in Chelsea away kit and Manchester united away kit. They were released at the 2002 Corinthian Convention, which was held at Villa Park on the 25th of May. Each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 1,362' for the Chelsea verison and 'Limited Edition 1 of 1,542' for the Manchester United figure, with Corinthian making 1,002 available of each in the UK. Both of these were very well received by collectors and proved difficult to acquire after their initial release.
Roberto Baggio in Brescia away kit was released in May 2003 and the Corinthian Convention held at Villa Park on the 31st of May and had by far the most made of any WCL, a whopping 18,373! Dino Zoff in Juventus kit was added to the range in July of that year, being part of that set of 5 repaints from the Club Gold World Greats range (the other 5 being released as part of the International Tournament Greats Series) with each one game with a non numbered collector card, just stating it was 'Limited Edition 1 of 3,870'
There was a lengthy gap until the next wave of ProStars World Club Legends were released, collectors had to wait until 1st November 2004 to add another 4 to their collection. Ronald Koeman was sculpted again and released in Barcelona Away kit, with Serie A represented by Franco Baresi in AC Milan home kit and Faustino Asprilla in Parma home kit, and Spurs legend Steve Archibald released in the famous White kit of Tottenham Hotspur.
The Asprilla is a superb figure and like the Stoichkov in this range, is a personal favourite of mine and was Tino's only release as a ProStars, the same applies to Archibald who too would never be released by Corinthian again. The set marked a change in how the World Club Legends were presented, they now came with individually numbered collector cards, volume wise Corinthian made 2551 Koeman, 1291 Archibald, 3451 Baresi and 2191 Asprilla. The number of 1291 for Archibald was incredibly low considering it was a new sculpt and would only be used once.
15th March 2005 was the release date for the next set of 4 World Club Legends, with Pat Jennings coming out in Spurs home kit, Lothar Matthaus in Inter Milan away kit, Trevor Fancis for Sampdoria and Gheorghe Hagi in Barcelona home kit. Produced in low numbers, these figures quickly sold out and would be the only Corinthian release of Jennings, with there being 1775 blisters made. Corinthian produced 3762 Hagi, 1777 Francis and 2317 Matthaus blisters, each coming with individually numbered collector card.
August 2005 saw 4 more added to the World Club LegendsL series, 2 from the English Premier League and 2 from Italy's Serie A. Ray Wilkins for Manchester United and Peter Withe for Aston Villa represented the premier league, both in home kit, while Serie A was represented by Ciro Ferrara in Juventus home kit and Alexi Lalas in Padova home kit. The figure of Lalas was the only one ever released for Italian club Padova. Ferrara, Wilkins and Withe would never be released by Corinthian again, with this Lalas figure being a repaint on the International Tournament Greats figure of him in USA 1994 home kit. Each blister pack came with an individually numbered collector card and volume was kept tight with 2247 Ferrara, 1527 Lalas, 1345 Wilkins and just a mere 988 for Withe which is a staggeringly low number for a standard issue blister of a figure which was only ever released once!
The 2007 Corinthian Convention at Villa Park on the 2nd of June was the release date for 5 new additions to the ProStars World Club Legends series, with Claudio Gentile in Juventus home kit being the only one not from the English premier league. Gunners legend Michael thomas was released in Arsenal away kit, with the other half of North London represented by Argentine Ossie Ardilles in Tottenham Hotspur home kit. Andy Gray was at last released, in Everton home kit, with Remi Moses in Manchester United home kit completing the set. Ardilles was the only repaint, he was first released for Argentina as part of the International Tournament Greats Series, with the other 4 all being new sculpts, in fact only Gentile would be released again, part of the Juventus Legends Team Pack, the other 3 of Gray, Thomas and Moses would never again be released by Corinthian.
Production volume was kept tight for the range with Ardilles having 1564, Gray 1505, Moses 1475, Thomas 1482 and Gentile 1747 blisters made, each coming with individually numbered collector card. Corinthian also produced Platinum Packs of all 5, making just 360 of each and each coming with individually numbered collector card.
The last figures released as part of the World Club Legends series came out in July 2008, originally planned to be released at the 2008 Corinthian Convnetion, but sadly the convention was cancelled. This release heavily favoured Italy's Serie A, with Thierry Henry in Arsenal home kit the only figure from the English premier league. The cities of Milan and Rome were once again represented, with Roberto Donadoni for the red half of Milan, and Andres Brehme for the Blue half, in AC Milan and Inter Milan home kits respectively, both were first time sculpts and never released again. AS Roma had Bruno Conti in home kit which was another first and only time sculpt, while Lazio had Jaap Stam and fiery Italian Paolo Di Canio in home kit released.
Production volume was scaled down again and was as follows, 1627 Donadoni, 1267 Stam, 1447 Brehme, 1267 Conti, 1513 Henry and 1267 Di Canio, each blister pack coming with individually numbered collector card. Corinthian also produced Platinum Packs of all 6, making just 360 of each and each coming with individually numbered collector card. This can be an incredibly hard set to complete, with Brehem and Donadoni being incredibly popular and highly sought after, though you seldom see any from this set available for sale.
PRO301 - Roberto Baggio - Juventus - Home
PRO302 - Michel Platini - Juventus - Home
PRO386 - Ruud Gullit - AC Milan - Home
PRO387 - Frank Rijkaard - AC Milan - Home
PRO388 - Marco Van Basten - AC Milan - Home
PRO389 - Lothar Matthaus - Inter Milan - Home
PRO442 - Dennis Law - Manchester United - Home
PRO443 - Bobby Charlton - Manchester United - Home
PRO444 - Martin Peters - West Ham United - Home
PRO445 - Geoff Hurst - West Ham United - Home
PRO446 - Bill Shankly - Liverpool - Suit
PRO447 - Peter Bonetti - Chelsea - Home
PRO448 - Billy McNeil - Celtic - Home
PRO449 - John Greig - Rangers - Home
PRO450 - Jack Charlton - Leeds United - Home
PRO451 - Bobby Moore - West Ham United - Home
PRO452 - Roger Hunt - Liverpool - Home
PRO454 - Ian Rush - Liverpool - Away
PRO483 - Ronaldo - Barcleona - Home
PRO484 - Hristo Stoichkov - Barcelona - Away
PRO485 - Romario - Barcelona - Home
PRO486 - Michael Laudrup - Barcelona - Home
PRO601 - Mark Hughes - Chelsea - Away
PRO602 - Mark Hughes - Manchester United - Away
PRO823 - Roberto Baggio - Brescia - Away
PRO850 - Dino Zoff - Juventus - Away
PRO1040 - Ronald Koeman - Barcelona - Away
PRO1041 - Steve Archibald - Tottenham Hotspur - Home
PRO1042 - Franco Baresi - AC Milan - Home
PRO1043 - Faustino Asprilla - Parma - Home
PRO1118 - Pat Jennings - Tottenham Hotspur - Home
PRO1119 - Gheorge Hagi - Barcelona - Home
PRO1120 - Trevor Francis - Sampdoria - Home
PRO1121 - Lothar Matthaus - Inter Milan - Away
PRO1223 - Ciro Ferrara - Juventus - Home
PRO1224 - Alexi Lalas - Padova - Home
PRO1225 - Ray Wilkins - Manchester United - Home
PRO1226 - Peter Withe - Aston Villa - Away
PRO1541 - Osvaldo Ardilles - Tottenham Hotspur - Home
PRO1542 - Andy Gray - Everton - Home
PRO1543 - Remi Moses - Manchester United - Home
PRO1544 - Michael Thomas - Arsenal - Away
PRO1567 - Caudio Gentile - Juventus - Home
PRO1766 - Roberto Donadoni - AC Milan - Home
PRO1767 - Jaap Stam - Lazio - Home
PRO1768 - Andreas Brehme - Inter Milan - Home
PRO1769 - Bruno Conti - Roma - Home
PRO1770 - Thierry Henry - Arsenal - Home
PRO1771 - Paolo Di Canio - Lazio - Home