#1056: Dale Arden




One of the standard tropes of popular media, especially action and adventure oriented media, is the need for the main hero to have a love interest of sorts. In terms of sci-fi stories, many of these characters are patterned after Flash Gordon’s gal Friday, Dale Arden. Interestingly enough, Dale has rarely been simply a damsel in distress, unlike so many of the characters who followed in her footsteps. Dale has pretty consistently been just one of the team associated with Flash. In many ways, she’s aided by the fact that she’s never really been the sole love interest for Flash, allowing her to be a more fully formed character. The ‘90s cartoon stayed pretty true to form, and, in fact, Dale is probably the best thought-out of the main three characters.


dale2Dale was released in the basic figure assortment of Playmates’ Flash Gordon line. The figure stands a little under 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. She’s based on Dale’s primary design from the ‘90s cartoon, which isn’t quite as dated as the Flash design, but it’s still got a pretty clear ‘90s bend to it. The sculpt is a pretty decent translation of the show design, though it’s not quite spot-on. Her face in particular seems a bit too wide at the bottom, and the proportions of her body as a whole are far more exaggerated than they were in the show. She’s got a slightly pre-posed nature (which doesn’t really help the slightly off proportions), which kind of makes her articulation kind of pointless. You can sort of mix up the pose, but not a whole lot. It’s worth noting that Dale is probably one of the more attractive female figures from just about any toy company in the ‘90s, which is certainly something Playmates can be proud of. Dale’s paintwork is about on par with Flash’s. The colors are bold and bright (though the green’s a touch too bright for show accuracy), and the application is pretty clean. She’s still really shiny, but it bugs me a bit less here than it did on Flash. Dale includes the same assortment of accessories as Flash: a Triblaster, Rebel Visipad, and an Airsled, this time in a nice bluish green.


I picked up Dale during a somewhat nostalgic period of my Freshmen year of college. I had pulled out a lot of my old 5-inch figures to be put back out on display and was filling a few holes here and there. I already had Flash and Ming, but not Dale, so I got her from a seller on Amazon. She’s a pretty cool little figure. She’s got her flaws, but I like her more than the basic Flash.


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