Laser Rifle Trooper (Code Name: Flash)
If you had asked me who was my favorite Joe figure back in 1983, I would have said Flash. He’s still high on my list, but you can understand why things would change considering the constant release of amazing characters throughout the 1980s. Coming from the world of Star Wars, I imagine the mere concept of a guy with a laser rifle was enough to sway me to buy the figure.
Flash is…flashy. Sorry for the bad pun, but it’s true when compared to his first year teammates. Thanks to the signature red pads, he’s the most colorful of the group. Even now, his accessories stand out among the Joe team as unique and memorable. The pad style would be used again for both versions of Grand Slam, and the silver JUMP version became a fast favorite of mine. More about the amazing silver pads GS in a future post, I’m sure.
Unfortunately, Flash didn’t see much action in the Sunbow cartoon, and that’s a real shame. His uniform and weapon design I think would lend itself well to animation, and since the Joe team all shot lasers rather than real-life ammunition, he would have been right at home in a firefight with Cobra.
Flash never got an update later in the original o-ring era, unlike teammates like Hawk, Zap, Grunt and Rock ‘n Roll. I imagine an update would have been pointless however, since his specialty was usurped by Sci-Fi in 1986. Oh well, Flash still remains a classic among classics, and in my mind a face of early 80s GI Joe alongside Grunt.