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.

6 comments

  • ”Flash , being from the 1982 Hasbro G.I.Joe Series 1 line of very popular vintage action figures, has a place in every G.I.Joe’s fan base, including mine.Flash was with Airborne , on the 1985 cartoon episode about special gifted individuals who were forced to use their powers for evil. Cobra Commander decided to use their special gifts to serve Cobra. Airborne’s younger brother, Tommy, was kidnapped by Cobra, and forced to use his special powers against his brother Franklin(Airborne)when he and Duke try to rescue him (Tommy) atop K-12(The Himalayas).”

  • SpiritoftheBeachhead

    Who did the artwork for the early releases? And did that stay the same through several years (maybe 85 or 87)? Was it one person?

  • Laser gun + visor + orange pads makes this figure pretty exciting to my inner 8 year old boy. Really stands out from more subtle 82/83 Joes like Grunt, Zap, or Short Fuze. Too bad the 83 version lost the bicep pad texture.

  • Flash…aww….aww! If only he wasn’t named after a DC hero, he might have gotten an update. I’m not sure that was the reason he was “replaced” by Sci-Fi, though.

  • Past Nastification

    Flash will always have a special spot in my nerd heart.

    My brother and I were with our Mom in a Woolworth’s back in 1982. I got a Flash and he got a Snake-Eyes. Our first Joes!

    It survived my purge of early Joes, which were destroyed when I switched back to Star Wars for the Return of the Jedi lineup. Somehow that Flash figure got lost under my parents’ stove, where it was lodged next to the floor for more than a decade.

    It was magic when it showed up. The first- and only- of my original Joes to survive.

    I had to re-purchase all of the others!

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