The 1982 Flash design is one of the best in the entire G.I. Joe line, it was unique, eye-catching and despite being slightly more science fiction oriented, still didn’t seem outlandish for the G.I. Joe universe. One of the big laments about the Flash sculpt, was it wasn’t used enough. Sure there was Flash, Grand Slam, and Silver Pads Grand Slam, but of those three uses their’s two base colours, that are very similar. The massive progress and change in direction that Hasbro took on with G.I. Joe by 1985, kind of made the possibilities for Flash repaints moot, even if it was a mold that really could’ve used a few more uses.
The Flash mold did have some more life to it, as the straight arm mold, found it’s way into South America, later on in the 1980s. The Comandos Em Açao line in Brazil featured the most famous international version of the Flash mold, but also wound up doing a really nice version of Flash as well. Cast in a deep dark green, that really set it apart from the Hasbro version, the basic overall Flash design of green with red, silver and brown highlights is recreated for the Brazilian market. However the different plastic and plastic colours used, make this figure seem like much more than just an international version of a common American figure.
After Hasbro had run it’s course using molds, they’d license them for production in other countries, so the obsolete by 1983, straight arm molds, wound up gaining new life in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico. One thing that is a knock against these international repaints is the fact they’re straight arms. To me, it’s not the end of the world, but I’m not going to choose Elétron over a Hasbro Flash 90% of the time.
The fact the Brazilian figures, used slightly lower quality plastic, as well as straight arm molds early on, means A LOT of Brazilian figures don’t have thumbs. That’s one of the saving graces for the Flash mold, is that the laser rifle is one of the safest guns in the line for a straight arm, since it’s got such a thin handle. It’s rarer to see a broken thumbed Brazilian Flash, than some of his contemporaries.
I wound up making trades for Brazilian figures in the late 2000s, because I’d gotten solidly into G.I. Joe photography, as well as being almost dogmatic in my usage of only 82-84 molds, so figures from the early Brazilian series’ were both new things to photograph, but also fit the style I was most into at the time.
The Brazilian figures are ones I’m fond of, but haven’t used often in years, Flash was my favourite of the bunch, but the novelty of having the mold in different colours began to lose it’s lustre when you could see the straight arm mold in a bunch of different colours via The Black Major.
At the end of the day, figures like this Flash fall into a part of my collection, I don’t think too much about, but I like owning. This figure is one I have some fond memories of making the trade with a crazy Brazilian artist, who’s G.I. Joe photography was incredible and is now hard to find. Plus it’s something different, but not outrageously so, that it becomes less identifiable as a G.I. Joe. Some figures are just things that are nice to look at.