During the World Cup year of 2002, Corinthian produced a special series of Microstars as a promotion for Coca-Cola in Japan. Twenty players made up the set and featured World Cup stars in their club colours. Purchased blind in a sealed sachet placed over the top of bottles of Coke, this figures were a huge success.
These figures were all produced in a special Coca-Cola red base and had no base markings. A special promotional box set was also produced featuring all 20 players.
The Japanese figures are not called Microstars, but Miniatures. This to distinguish between the Japanese and UK products, even though the figures are numbered in the same sequential series.
The first Miniatures series was released in 2003. They were sold in sachet bags and not with any chocolate as in the UK. This series contained 36 figures previously released in the first three UK Microstars series. An extension to the series was released a month later with two special Japanese chaser figures (Roberto Baggio in Brescia home kit and Junichi Inamoto in Fulham away kit).
Series 2 followed very quickly and saw a move to the current small box packaging containing a single Miniature in a sealed sachet. This series was a duplication of the UK Microstars Series 6. Again the extension release saw chaser figures released. These were again Baggio and Inamoto in the reverse kits from Series 1. Also, the David Beckham England figures from the UK release was included in this series due to his massive popularity in the Far East.
The third series was the equivalent of the UK Microstars Series 7. One difference saw Kazuyuki Toda appear in the Tottenham home and away kits rather than in the Japanese national shirt.
December 2003 saw the first exclusive release in Japan. Miniatures Series 4 was an all Serie A range featuring 26 players from the top Italian league. The chasers for this series were Manual Rui Costa (AC Milan away) and Christian Vieri (Internazionale away). The extension series chaser was a Francesco Totti kicker figure in the Roma away kit.
Further Miniatures releases have followed. Some are duplicates of the UK releases, while others are exclusive to Japan. On this site we only list those Japan Miniatures which were exclusive to to Japan in this Miniatures section.
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