FLASH GORDON – FLIGHT SUIT
FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)
When your name is the same name as the toyline that you’re a part of, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll get at least one more figure than everybody else. Especially in the ‘90s. This was the case with Alex “Flash” Gordon of…Flash Gordon. Yep, in a series of eight total figures, he still managed to get two of them. He was a whole quarter of the figures released!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Flash is the final figure from the basic assortment of the Playmates’ Flash Gordon line. He’s the only duplicated character in the set (though, plans were drawn up for a corresponding Dale figure). Where the last Flash was based on the character’s rather decade-specific main design from the show, this one’s based on his Flight Suit look, which was a bit more, shall we say timeless? The figure is a little over 5 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. Amazingly enough, this figure’s sculpt is 100% unique, sharing no parts with the prior Flash. Even the head, which looks more or less the same, has a slightly different expression. I actually prefer this head to the other, just because he looks a little less slack-jawed. The rest of the body is, obviously, new. It’s noticeably less pre-posed than the regular Flash, which is both a blessing and a curse. While the more standard pose is a bit more versatile, when coupled with the articulation, it makes him a bit stiffer looking. It’s not horrible, but if he could have at least gotten the articulation we saw on Ming, I think he could have been far superior. The actual design is pretty fun, and it translates well two action figure form. It’s still a little less detailed than I’d like, but it’s not bad, and at the very least he fits in with the rest of the line. The paintwork on Flash is pretty good. As with the Playmates Trek figures, the face stands out from the rest by featuring a surprising amount of detail, especially on the eyes. The body’s far more basic, but the colors are at the very least pretty exciting. There’s some bleed over here and there, but nothing truly atrocious. He’s still really shiny, but doesn’t look quite as glazed as some of the others in the series. Flash included a helmet, a TriBlaster, a communicator, and an AirSled (in a slightly darker red than the normal Flash’s).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This was my third figure from this line. I got him from Ageless Heroes’ legendary going-out-of-bustiness sale, around the same time as Ming. I think it was shortly after I got Ming, truth be told, and I know for a fact it was on a school night, as a reward for finishing up my homework early or something like that (I also got a Black Widow figure at the same time. Score!). I got a second of this figure in the set of eight that I picked up last summer. Ultimately, despite some tiny flaws, I think this is the better of the two Flash’s released in this line. The design is just better overall, and the final execution just barely nudges past the regular version. All-in-all, the ‘90s Flash Gordon line is kind of an oddity. It’s based on a cartoon that almost no one remembers, and the figures are at best a mediocre attempt at translating some of the designs. The thing the line has going for it is that it’s probably the cheapest way to put together a Flash Gordon set-up. Ultimately, I’m happy to have them all, but I’ll always wish they were just a bit better.