Anthony “Flash” Gambello (2013 Kre-O)

Many of my fondest memories of GI Joe revolve around trips to the toy departments back in the 80s. Just that term itself seems kind of odd now, doesn’t it? Can you really call those parts of your local WalMart or Target a toy department? The nondescript nanosections of toy product today just don’t measure up to the marvelously marketed materials in place at 80s Montgomery Ward, JC Penney, Sears, and the like. From shelf talkers to standees to Christmastime dioramas, the toy makers really knew how to sell product. It was a practice that was common since the postwar era of the 50s, has for the most part disappeared today.

Flash was the first GI Joe to pull me into the series. In this case, I didn’t need to see any fancy displays to want this particular toy. The toy itself attracted me. Why did he catch my eye? Most likely it was his uniform and accessories. Of the first series of Real American Heroes, his appearance was the most unique looking to me. From the red pads to the laser rifle and of course the ultra cool visor, Flash had all the sci-fi elements a kid raised in Star Wars could want.

This new Kre-O version must have struck the same chord with my son, as it has become his favorite of all the figures released thus far. He’s the classic plastic of ARAH GI Joe distilled in modern brick figure form. Hasbro’s tag line for its underwhelming Mighty Muggs satated that they were made from “100% Recycled Awesome”. I think that phrase better applies to little guys like Kre-O Flash.

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