In 1995 Chelsea were not the footballing power house that they are now, however they were still considered big enough to have 13 figures released by Corinthian as part of the FAPL Collection range.
Amongst them were many first time sculpts and a fair number of which have never again been released. The sculpt of Dennis Wise was exactly the same as was previously released as part of the England National range, however the body pose was different.
Russian keeper Dmitri Kharine was released for the first time and a fine job Corinthian made of the sculpt too, a real likeness of the player was achieved and the sculpt was used for all subsequent releases of Kharine.
The range also boasted these six first time sculpts, all of which were never released again, the figures are Mark Stein, Gavin Peacock. Frank Sinclair, John Spencer, Erland Johnsen and Scott Minto. All were really fine sculpts too, the Johnsen was noticeable for his bright orange hair and the Minto is a favourite of mine purely for the size of the head sculpt and the detailed work that went into the figure, a really fine sculpt.
For me the two highlights of this range were the very first releases of legends Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli. The Gullit was a fine sculpt and very memorable, mostly due to his amazing dreadlocked hairstyle. The Vialli sculpt was the first figure released that was completely bald, both are fantastic sculpts and well worth adding to
The remaining figures which complete this set were originally intended to be released for other clubs! The figure of Mark Hughes was originally destined to be released for Manchester United, however, as was the case with many figures, the player moved during the production process. Sparky left Manchester United in the summer of 1995 so will have been assigned a Manchester United FAPL base code which was PL61 unlike the other Chelsea base codes which end in 9 and the Manchester United base codes end in 1.The master of Hughes was originally painted in the kit for Manchester United but no plastic figures of him in that kit were ever released.
The same occurred for the sculpts of both Dan Petrescu and Terry Phelan. Phelan left Manchester City in November of 1995, so the figure was already past the master model stage at this point and had been assigned a base code which was PL111 and previous club Manchester City's figures all end in 1. The master will have been repainted into the Chelsea kit but the base code was, as always, kept the same.
As for the Petrescu, well he left Sheffield Wednesday after just one season at the club, in the summer of 1995, so like the Hughes he had already been assigned a base code which is PL193 and all the sSheffield Wednesday figures base codes end in 3. I have never seen any pictures of the Petrescu or Phelan masters in any other kit than Chelsea so not suggesting they were 100% painted in the other kits but at the point of original design and assignment of base codes they were not at Chelsea, hope this explains why the base codes vary for this club.
3 of the figures were not released as single blister packs, those 3 being Scott Minto, Terry Phelan and Erland Johnsen, they were only found in the Chelsea 12 pack, and while on the subject of the 12 pack, the only player to not be included in that pack is Gianluca Vialli, the 12 pack was released in October 96, with the Vialli blister hitting the shelves in January 97.
There was also 2 different 4 packs listed as being released, however i need to obtain images of those before i can commit to adding them here, as the information in the Corinthian yearbooks was not always 100% accurate.
All figures come with collector cards and a collectors information file.
PL09 - Dennis Wise - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL29 - Dmitri Kharine - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL49 - Mark Stein - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL61 - Mark Hughes - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL69 - Gavin Peacock - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL89 - Ruud Gullit - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL109 - John Spencer - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL111 - Terry Phelan - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL169 - Frank Sinclair - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL189 - Scott Minto - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL193 - Dan Petrescu - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL209 - Erland Johnsen - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
PL309 - Gianluca Vialli - Chelsea - Home 1995/96
12 Figure Team Pack