Review > Kid Flash (DC Universe Classics)

Marvel Comics fans have often made fun of DC Comics’s abundance of sidekicks and “kid” versions of characters. There’s a simple reason for the differing traditions, though. In the early days of superhero comics in the 1940s, child sidekicks were believed to be both a way to help kids identify with the situations and the comics as well as give them a role model (Robin’s early appearances in Batman comics featured numerous lectures about moral behavior).

It was also a simpler time, when the audience of superhero comics was entirely adolescent children. Sidekicks made sense from a business standpoint, and the simple nature of the stories–busting gangsters and petty thugs, rather than world-devouring demigods–made having a sidekick less like reckless child endangerment and more like plain old adventure.By the 1960s, when Marvel Comics debuted, comics readers had matured through the era of EC’s horror comics and so forth, and so the superheroes themselves became younger–Spider-man and the X-Men were teenagers–while the stories became more complex and mature. At the same time, the 1960s Batman television series made sidekicks into walking punchlines thanks to Robin’s campy portrayal.

DC eventually responded to Marvel with series such as the New Teen Titans, which featured younger superheroes (including many sidekicks) fighting crime on their own while dealing with the timeless issues of being teenagers. Robin emerged from Batman’s shadow and became Nightwing, and by the end of the 1980s, Wally West–a.k.a. Kid Flash–found the mantle of being the Flash thrust upon him when Barry Allen died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

In what can only be described as lightning striking twice in the same place, Wally West gained the same incredible powers as his idol, The Flash. While visiting his uncle, Barry Allen, Wally was doused in electrified chemicals when lightning struck Allen’s lab, a virtual replay of the accident that had imbued Allen with superspeed years earlier. Discovering that Allen and The Flash were one in the same, Wally was even more thrilled when he was given the opportunity to be the Scarlet Speedster’s sidekick, Kid Flash.

Sculpt: Kid Flash is an odd figure. There’s no getting around that. For one thing, I think he’s too small–this is a 12-year-old Kid Flash, not a 16-year-old. His physique is slender enough that the teenaged aspect is evident without having to make him a midget. I’m not sure whether the smaller size is the result of the Four Horsemen’s sculpting or Mattel’s production process, but judging from two-up photos and given Mattel’s track record, I suspect it’s the latter.

Second, when I opened my Kid Flash, I actually wasn’t sure whether his biceps were reversed or not. Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and I puzzled over it and decided they were. But here’s the thing–the forearms were also swapped (the flare of the gauntlets should be on the outside, not the inside), so all that was required was to swap the arms at the biceps and then swap the fists (which is very easy–a quick dip in boiling water or a minute or so under the hair dryer is all that’s needed).  And yet, even now, I’m not 100% sure the arms are right. (Usually you can tell whether biceps are swapped because the outer part has a significant space between the biceps and triceps, as opposed to the inner part; but on Kid Flash the differences are so slight it’s hard to tell.)

Body aside, the head sculpt is great. Wally looks like a George Perez illustration come to life.

Plastic & Paint: Unfortunately, the yellow plastic used to mold the majority of Kid Flash is not particularly forgiving. It has the same vague translucent quality that marks the bright red figures, and as a result, Wally ends up looking and feeling more like a plastic toy than most DCUC figures.

The paint applications on the head are good, with very little slop, and the tampographed chest symbol is sharp. The edges of the red paint around the pelvis are a bit uneven, however.

Articulation: Kid Flash features the usual DCUC articulation: ball joints at the neck and shoulders, swivels at the waist, wrists, biceps and lower thighs, and hinges at the elbows, knees, ankles, and abdomen, with an H-hinge at the hips to allow for a ball joint-like range of motion. The ball jointed neck on my figure is very stiff and doesn’t allow for much movement, while the bonus rocker motion on the ankles is very good.

Accessories: Kid Flash comes with his Atom Smasher part, and that’s all.

Quality Control: As I mentioned, (I’m pretty sure) the arms were swapped. Other than that, he appears to be in good shape.

[raven 1.5]

More than anything, the small size of this figure disappoints me. He looks a bit silly next to Teen Titans teammates Starfire or Cyborg. Add to that the toy-ish look and feel of the plastic and you have one of the lesser DCUC figures thus far. As a completist on this line, I would have bought him regardless of his Atom Smasher part, but begrudgingly.


The DCUC Batman I want


Pic of the Day


  1. captainzero

    "I’d say….save your money and don’t bother with dcuc."

    Oh, Jimmy, I disagree. Man, I think these DCUC figures are the best we've EVER had… and they are as good as many of us(like me, for example) could have ever dreamed of them being.!!

    I DON'T have a problem with his size. He and Robin are comparable …. and he seems right.!! I remember him from his earliest adventures with The Flash(so I remember him as being very young)… and I want to see the earliest Teen Titan group represented, …so he "seems" just about right.

    The problems I have with the figure is his hair..which doesn't seem quite right… and the lack of sculpting ..or something ..on the chest. Yea, he seems a bit too "plastic-y" or not well-defined enough on the chest or body area.

    And, as has been mentioned,–the biceps problem. They don't look quite right.

    I still like him but maybe not one of their strongest figures!

    I think all Four Horsemen would have to come to my house and ask me to "please stop collecting the DCUC figures" …for ME to quit. (Thank goodness they are too busy to make the trip!! )

    I wished that the Marvel figures would be as good as these. They aren't….by a long shot. (IMHO)

  2. Jim

    hmmmm….were the MOTU 2002 figures 8.99 or 9.99? Can't be sure. I guess what i meant was 8.99 for a MOTU 2002 figure and now we get mini figures for 8.99

    I can't rememember how much those figures were.

    but you are correct it was just last year. Pretty sad.

  3. Scott

    2001? Just last year Marvel Legends and DCUC were $9.99! Not long before that, ML and 6 inch Spidey were $7.99.

    To the stores this must be great though. They can fit A LOT more product out using less space than DCUC and ML and they make almost as much money.

  4. Jim

    @poe: "@Jim: Unfortunately, I think Toy Guru would have to come to my house and personally spit in my face for me to stop collecting DCUC. And even then, if I was able to beat him up for it, I’d probably be OK."


    However, I wonder how sales are doing? I know a few ppl like myself who recently quit the line.

    I do think DCUC is the best line out there though. I wonder if all the shrinking marvel figures are due to the poor economy. I see these 3 inch figures all over the place…..figures are SHRINKING! lol and they cost almost 10 bucks a piece. I remember in 2001 when figures were 5-6 inches and were $10!

  5. Chuck20

    i hope this is the las time they use this body. The sinestro body would have been perfect, but I think they were too far along to change it ( as they plan these things a year in advance). The paint apps on my Kid Flash's pelvis are also horribly uneven, like yours. But it doesnt bother me as much because I'm just not big on the figure anyways, tho I'm not as down on it now as I was a week ago.

  6. Frowny McBeard

    The money I'm losing on DCUC is less than the money I'm saving by not buying any of the Marvel figures at 3 3/4" scale. I'm not bitter, nor do I think they're terrible figures, but I'm just not really interested in the same characters but smaller. (Outside of Minimates. I loves me the Marvel Minimates.)

  7. I agree entirely with the review–if he were just a bit bigger, he'd be great. Sinestro-sized would be perfect.

    That said, I do like him. And that last photo of him running is great!

  8. Poe

    @TAO: Well, I'm sure the flared part of the gauntlets should be out, based on the 2-up.

    As for the biceps, I think only the Horsemen know for sure.

    @Jim: Unfortunately, I think Toy Guru would have to come to my house and personally spit in my face for me to stop collecting DCUC. And even then, if I was able to beat him up for it, I'd probably be OK. The figures are just too good, and I love the Four Horsemen's work.

    Actually, the only way I can see myself quitting DCUC is a.) losing interest in the property, which does happen with me from time to time, or b.) my wife asks me to. Which she'd probably never do unless there was a really good reason, like I was making us bankrupt.

  9. Jim

    I'd say….save your money and don't bother with dcuc.

    I used to collect but quit. It's just not worth the headaches. Holes in your collection, bad quality control, etc etc.

    dcuc is not worth it's price tag. A friend of mine bought a case from csc as well and had the same problems with the arms on kid flash as well as other issues with the other characters.

  10. Poe, I'm having the same issue with the arms. Who the heck knows if they're right or not?

    This might very well be my least favorite DCUC figure yet, and I think you'll see that reflected in my upcoming review.

  11. Jim

    On the plus side of the scale issue, he seems very easy to swap parts with a regular Flash. One quick repaint later and you have a correct scale Kid Flash…

  12. Frowny McBeard

    It's frustrating that he looks good with Flash but out of place with the existing Titans, because Titans is where I remember him from. (I'm not exactly as up on my Silver Age DC as I could be.)

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