Sgt. Flash (2008)
If there was one figure from the 25th anniversary line I couldn’t wait to get in my hands, it was Flash. Most of that want was due to my nostalgia for the old figure, as he was one of the first GI Joes I had bought back in the day. But as much as I loved that old straight-arm Flash, I felt there was something lacking in it, especially as the years went by and the Joe line grew and evolved. As the line continued and some of the old Joes were updated and redesigned, I wanted to see Flash get the same treatment. But it never happened.
So it was with anticipation that I waited for the new Flash in 2008. I had seen the prototype pictures online for months, and the figure looked to be everything I had wanted. Unfortunately, the Hasbro press photos, through the wonders of PhotoShop, are sometimes more attractive than the actual production figures.
The wave in which Flash was included made for serious frustration. I could not locate it in my area stores, even when other folks online were reporting it showing up all over the country. This is the first instance in the modern line that I can remember of spotty availability of Joes. Having collected through the end of the RAH line and into the new sculpt era of the early 2000’s, I hadn’t had much trouble picking up new Joes at retail up to that point. The 25th line seemed to be different. I figured it was down to lower production, coupled with the influx of collectors coming back to the brand.
When Flash’s wave finally did show up on shelves, I eagerly scooped it up. Ultimately, I was a bit disappointed in the figure. There were some of the problems common to the 25th line, such as range of movement, some weird proportions and warped knees and leg joints in the package. Basically, it was a great looking figure (aside from the skinny legs), but lacked the playability of the classic Joes. The laser rifle irked me the most. The stubbornly inflexible laser cable still has a problem staying attached to the backpack, just like the old days. Why didn’t they make it from the old black flexible hose? Maybe it was all part of the homage. Speaking of homages, they did put the old Hasbro house on the belt buckle, just like the ’83 versions of the original thirteen Joes.