FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)
While everyone and their mother is out there celebrating the anniversary of that Star Trek thing, I think its about high time we all looked at the really important September 2016 anniversary: Flash Gordon! No, not the whole franchise (which, it should be noted is actually 82 this year), or even the original movie serial (which is 80), but rather the 1990s cartoon adaptation, which first aired this month 20 years ago, way back in 1996. You don’t remember that show you say? Okay, that’s actually fair. It only lasted for 26 episodes, never made it to any of the major networks, and the only official home media release was a VHS containing the first five episodes of the show. It’s not particularly widespread. However, it did manage to get a nice little toyline in the ‘90s, courtesy of Playmates. Over the course of the next week, I’ll be looking at those figures, starting with the titular character, Alex “Flash” Gordon.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Flash was released as part of the aforementioned Flash Gordon line from Playmates. As far as I know, there was just the one series (though other figures were planned and scrapped). This figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. He presents Flash in his main look from the show. If you thought the ‘80s Flash might be a bit dated, hoo boy, get a load of this guy. He is the most ‘90s of the ‘90s. The whole show had something of a ‘90s skateboarder feel to it, but Flash in particular stands out as being the most dated. The hair, the pants with the weird belt line, the inexplicable choice of a belly shirt. I’m not sure what they were thinking with this, but, well, here he is. The sculpt does, at the very least, do a pretty good job of translating the show design into three dimensions. It’s not spot on, but the animation was a bit inconsistent, so I think this is the best they could have done. He’s slightly pre-posed, but not too absurdly, especially given that he’s from the era of Total Justice. The paintwork on Flash is decent enough. The colors are nice and bright, and everything seems to be pretty clean. He’s really, really shiny, which bugs me quite a bit, but there it is. Flash includes a TriBlaster, Rebel VisiPad, and an Air Sled (which really is just a skateboard).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Flash was the first figure I got from this line, way back in 1996. I actually had not yet seen the show at the time that I got him, I just knew the character from the ‘30s serials that my dad had on Laserdisc (yes, you read that right). That figure was lost over the years, and in the mean time, I actually saw the show these guys were based on. At last summer’s Shore Leave, one of the dealers that I’ve bought stuff from before was selling the whole set of 8 figures for $20, which seemed like a really good deal to me. Is this figure a great one? Nope, but he’s fun enough. Really, I bought him because I wanted the rest of the set. Were they worth it? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.