Review > The Flash (DC Universe Classics)

A week ago, if you’d ask me who my second-favorite DC superhero was (after Batman, of course), I probably would have said Superman without hesitation. However, after receiving the DCUC7 Flash in the mail (thanks Paul!), I suddenly remembered just how much I used to love the Flash.

The Flash television show (1990-1991), starring John Wesley Shipp, came out shortly after the first Burton Batman movie–and it was great. It featured a kickass theme by Danny Elfman, an awesome costume designed by Dave Stevens (creator of The Rocketeer) and constructed by Stan Winston Studios, and episodes written by the likes of comics legend Howard Chaykin.

I had the Toy Biz DC Super Heroes Flash (which was made from the Super Powers mold) [EDIT: this is apparently incorrect–my mistake!], and I distinctly remember an episode of the show where the Flash goes to the future and finds himself a hated outlaw, and a citizen gets in trouble with the police for having a Flash action figure–the same one I owned (though I suppose it could have been a Super Powers version, since they were identical). I was very fond of that action figure; its red-and-yellow paint scheme was very appealing, as were the treads on his boots, which were unusual for toys of the time [EDIT: it was actually the Toy Biz Riddler figure who had the treads, since Toy Biz re-used Flash parts for the Riddler, for whatever reason].

In a bit of serendipity, Mattel has produced this Barry Allen Flash just as the character returns to comics after a twenty-year absence. Apparently his protegé, Wally West, will be getting a new, modified costume that will be more distinct from Allen’s classic outfit.

Packaging: The usual.

As Barry Allen went about his business in the police crime lab, and electrical storm broke over Central City. Soon the lab exploded with a blinding bolt of lightning, bathing Barry in the supercharged fluids. This random combination of chemicals turned Barry into the fastest man alive! As The Flash, Allen vowed to use these powers to help humanity and guard Central City with high-velocity vigilance!

Sculpt: I was slightly worried the DCUC Flash might feature the “large male” body used for other A-listers like Superman and Batman, but fortunately, Flash features the more slender body used for Green Lantern and Mister Miracle.

The only newly-sculpted parts the head and boots, which have little wings on them–a characteristic of Barry’s costume (as opposed to Wally’s, which has no boot-wings). The wings are fairly sturdy, and I’m not concerned about them breaking off without effort.

While the head sculpt doesn’t require a lot of detail, I think it looks good. One thing that would have improved the figure would have been a flat, open hand–it makes for better running poses–but I’m just happy he has two closed fists and no open hands like the Hong Kong test shots had.

Of course, the coolest part of the figure are the treads on the bottom of the feet. The Super Powers figure had them, so it’s not surprising the Horsemen remembered this all-important detail for their version.

Plastic & Paint: I’ve been critical of the red plastic used in many previous DCUC figures, but the Flash seems to have come out better than many of them. With a less glossy finish than Captain Marvel, the red looks and feels less like plastic, and a subtle wash on some parts (or perhaps a light airbrush spread? It’s so subtle, I really can’t tell) inhibits the translucent effect that sometimes troubles red-molded figures.

The yellow trim on the belt and gauntlets is nice and clean, and I like the shade they used to contrast with the red. The tampo chest symbol also looks fantastic (though perhaps the black outlining is just a tad too thick).

Articulation: Standard DCUC articulation: ball joints at the shoulders and neck, swivels at the biceps, waist, wrists and thighs, and hinges at the elbows, torso, knees and ankles, with some excellent side-to-side movement on the ankles as well. The legs are the usual H-hinge joint, allowing for ball joint-like articulation while minimizing interruption of the sculpt.

Accessories: The Flash comes with a blue display stand and that’s it. No BAF part for this A-lister, which will be the way DCUC waves work from now on.

For once, though, I can’t think of any good accessories that would have made sense. The Cosmic Treadmill would have been a bit too big, methinks.

Quality Control: Mattel definitely appears to be improving in this department, as I had no problems with my Flash at all–no incorrect limbs, no stuck joints, no sloppy paint.

Overall:

11111/2

This is one of those reviews where my fondess for the character is definitely boosting the overall score. From a technical standpoint, this is probably a 3-star figure; but the Four Horsemen have given us the new gold standard in action figures of the Barry Allen Flash, and had he come with one flat hand, I would have given him 5 ravens.

Comments now closed (16)

  • This is truly one of my best action figures,hes joints are already a bit lose from playing with him so much. Although i got a bit of QC problem. His nose is missing paint so it looks like Barry has a nose bleed. Really hope i find one soon.

  • Great review Poe – I agree that it's not technically the most exciting figure of the wave but I do love it – want one!!!!!!

  • I'm excited to find the Flash. A friend found me Barda, Kid Flash, and Cold but after reading your review I must say I'm really excited to find the Flash. I was worried because so many of the figures that are primarily red have had problems. I'm also thrilled to hear the QC may be getting better.

  • I really enjoy this Flash, very excited to pick him up! When I found out there was going to be Flash tv show, I could barely stand having to wait for the first episode, I was a diehard fan of that show, bought it on DVD, and now it's one of my son's favorite shows too.

  • You're welcome.

    Oh yeah, the Flash TV show. I've had that on my Amazon wish list forever. I need to pick it up someday.

  • Hold it! Something's not right here! Let's travel back in time for a moment…

    The Toy Biz Flash and the Super Powers Flash were not at all identical. The Toy Biz Flash was made from a new mold, as were the Toy Biz Hawkman, Aquaman and Green Lantern. They were quite second-rate compared to Super Powers. There really is no comparison.

    Then Toy Biz re-issued this same new Flash figure with a rolling "turbo platform" to simulate his super-speed. This was to coincide with the TV show.

    The Toy Biz Superman, Robin, Mr Freeze and Penguin were pretty much identical to Super Powers, albeit pale imitatons. They were more like halfway decent knock-offs. The Toy Biz Joker had a very similar body to his Super Powers counterpart, but with a new head and removeable hat.

    The Toy Biz Riddler was made from a Super Powers Flash mold, including the treaded boots. Perhaps that's what you are remembering. It was 20 years ago. It's OK if the memories have faded. Actually, it's for the best. Toy Biz's DC figures really were disappointing. The only figure I hung onto was the Riddler because I thought he looked better than the Super Amigos Riddler, which was made from a Super Powers Green Lantern mold.

  • outburst…

    soft plastic. I personally wished his head wasn't so soft. I'm looking for one with a perfectly square jaw but can't find one.

    I'm guessing if Flash's head was as hard as Aquaman, Wonder womans and Green Lanterns…there wouldn't be any WARPING issues.

    Also, I'm hoping they get a repaint out with the Four Horsement 2-up's where his ear wings are metallic gold instead of bright cheap yellow. Sort of reminds me of McDonald's when i see his head. lol

    Head issues aside, I like the Flash figure. I wonder if I can do a head swap when they do the Wally West Flash (if it looks good that is)? hmmmm

  • @HarmsWay: You're right, my mistake!

    It's very easy to get confused between Super Powers and Toy Biz's line…please keep in mind, I never actually owned any SP figures (I simply missed that boat entirely), so without the Toy Biz figures I'd have no fond childhood memories of DC toys at all.

    Also, the Toy Biz Riddler re-used pieces from both Green Lantern and the Flash–I'm positive of that because it was actually the Riddler who had treads on his feet, not the Flash.

  • I saw one at a specialty toy store here in the Philippines for $25!!! It looked god – but not that good! But I'm happy to see that the figure is another excellent release from this wave!

  • I could verify your super powers flash claim about the treads on his feet, but man… it's all the way on the other side of the room…

  • Pingback Speed Reading: Silver-Age Guest Stars, Action Figures, Van Sciver and More « Speed Force

  • I've had this figure for close to 2 weeks now, and I'm surprised at how blown away I am at it, as I initially didn't want to acquire him in the first place! I actually wanted a Wally West version, the one with the "M"-shaped lightning on his waist similar to that of the Wave 5 Black Lightning figure……I know, I'm just being anal, but I totally agree with Poe's review above anyway. I guess a Professor Zoom variant shouldn't be too far away? Hopefully they can do a better shade of yellow than what Kid Flash has…….