1988 Tiger Force Flint

1988 Tiger Force Flint

Certain figures I just associate with fun and good times, Tiger Force Flint is one of those figures. Well, I also associate a lot of Flint figures with good times, he’s a cool character and is easier to incorporate into adventures than Duke. As a young teen I was quick to add several versions of Flint into my collection, and that’s a move I definitely did not regret.

When I first got into collecting loose o-ring figures I was around 15 and had barely any money. Because of this, I chanced a really curious lot on eBay once, the photos were horrible, glary and of the figures in plastic bags. I could barely tell what was there, let alone what condition it was in, but is was something like $10 after shipping, so I took a chance and bought it, since I knew at least one of the figures would be in decent condition. When I finally received my figures, I realized I had actually done quite well, even at the time. Inside the box was Tiger Force Flint, a ‘97 Viper, ’97 Vypra, a decent Ripper, a Secto Viper (with helmet!), and a ‘93 Keel-haul, who even happened to be the logo variant that I didn’t already have. The figures were all relatively mint too, I miss the days when a broke teenager could get that much shit off eBay for $10…

I probably should have been the happiest with the Secto Viper, but really Tiger Force Flint was what I had the most fun with. I already had the Funskool version at that point, but the Tiger Force colors were more fun, and the paint-masks were much sharper on the Hasbro versions, so this figure really became my new default Flint. Despite that, I really didn’t take too many photos of him back then, especially without other Tiger Force figures. I’ve always been a little fussy about keeping sub-teams together, and he was my first Tiger Force figure, so that probably inhibited me from using him as much as I would’ve liked.

Flint has the best Tiger Force colors of the entire subset. I like the bright oranges and yellows on some of the figures (Roadblock, Tripwire), but Flint’s mixture of brown, green and olive looks fantastic. The original Flint colors are hard to beat, but these are a great alternative (and really, it’s the only decent Flint recolor, so that’s a big plus too). Despite the addition of the tiger pattern on his shirt, he still features some nice and fragile gold details, and a separate gray color for his boots and gloves. Objectively, there’s nothing that really makes the Tiger Force figure better or worse than the original, it’s just a matter of preference.

His parts were mostly the same as the Flint’s, just in a dark gray color. Flint’s backpack is a little bulky, but I think anything else looks like a poor substitute. His shotgun though, is his most fun part. Not really sure what model it is exactly, but currently I lean towards an Ithaca 37. It’s definitely a pump-action and it’s not too big, but shotguns all look kinda similar to me, so maybe it’s another one. This part is fun and easy for figures to hold, and the sculpt is sharp enough that it’s easy to tell what it is. For me, it’s hard to separate this gun from Flint, but some extras would probably make a nice side-arm for a variety of vehicle drivers. Hopefully someday someone will make some bootleg castings in black.

A mint complete Tiger Force Flint fetches a pretty steady $40. Ditch the parts and you can get one in nice condition for around $10, which frankly isn’t so bad an option when V1/Funskool Flint parts still match well with this figure. Tiger Force figures in general got really expensive between ‘17 and ‘21, but prices are cooling off a little, a trend I expect to continue as the economy melts. Even sitting that aside, we’ve probably passed peak value for a lot of GI Joe items, so I don’t think we will see too many more episodes where a bunch of weirdos pop online and suddenly inform everyone that previously common toys are rare and worth 2 to 3 times what you were paying a day ago.

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1988 Tiger Force Flint Links:

Attica Gazette

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

3D Joes

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