The Comic Packs were an ingenious idea. Three figures and a story to act out for a cheap price should have been a home run. And, initially, they were. The first wave sold well enough. But, over ordering on the first wave created backups around the country. For collectors, the first three packs were great with the long awaited release of Kwinn, new takes on Clutch, Hawk and Stalker and a Cobra Trooper. But, after they had two of each pack, collector interest turned elsewhere. The problem was compounded when the 2nd wave of packs looked very much like the first wave. Confused parents saw the familiarity and thought they had already bought the pack. Wave 2 ended up on clearance throughout the country and the third wave (with the Oktober Guard) ended up getting a truncated production run due to lack of retailer interest. Hasbro's initial insistence to go chronologically likely doomed the packs since there was too much homogeneity in the initial 10 issues of the comic. Had they skipped around to get a more diverse figure crop, the outcome might have been different. (Sadly, Hasbro learned from the Joe mistake and didn't repeat it when they introduced comic packs into the Star Wars line and later brought them into the Anniversary style Joe releases.)
By the time Comic Pack #76 was released in DCT, collectors had tuned out the comic packs. They were generally thought of as clearance fodder and many people simply waited for discounts rather than pay full price. The additional shipping cost caused by the comic pack's bulk also made online ordering far less attractive. The pack, in the package, looked decent. A redesigned 1986 Hawk, 1987 Tunnel Rat and this Flint were a compelling cast of characters. The execution of them, though, was deeply flawed. Hawk was overly bright and the recast 1986 chest did not mesh well with the Talking Battle Commandos version's legs. The figure was a definite downgrade for the Hawk character, even if the flat topped blonde head was a welcome addition. Tunnel Rat was awful. The new head was far too large. Tunnel Rat's trademark gear was missing and the base colors were too similar to the '87 versions. The two figures seemed like a wasted opportunity for Hasbro to appease the neglected vintage Joe collecting base.
For me, though, Flint was the most disappointing. V1 Flint is my favorite mold in the entire Joe line. The prospect of getting a new version of it, even with a new head, was tantalizing. But, the actual figure was not. This Flint is done up in colors too similar to the original's. At the time, Funskool Flint's were readily available for $4: and those included the original accessories. If you wanted a V1 Flint derivative, the Funskool was a vastly superior option. Aside from the color snafu, though, the new head was underwhelming. Flint's cocky grin shaped his personality. This figure's blank stare showed a laissez-faire attitude by the Hasbro design team that was obvious to collectors of the time. It was a dismal showing for my favorite character. The main redeeming point was the inclusion of the newly sculpted M-16 rifle. It was a staple of the comic packs, but actually looks decent with the figure. The newly sculpted shotgun, though, was awful and a dreadful reminder that Hasbro didn't use the vintage accessories that were available from Funskool.
To say that DTC was a failure understates the epic failure that it was. Hasbro cut bait on the experiment in 2006 and sold all their lingering overstock to Toys R Us for deeply discounted prices. Toys R Us rolled out the line nationwide and promptly saw the items collect dust on their toy shelves, too. Comic packs were available well into 2008 in most parts of the country. Toys R Us's online arm as well as the Hasbro Toy Shop discounted the comic packs down to around $4 each. Even at these slashed prices, the stock was slow to move. Collectors were leaving the hobby in droves and the figure offerings just weren't compelling enough, even at below wholesale price for a pack.
As such, this figure is worthless today. Collectors don't care for him and there are multitudes of better Flint alternatives available. Even MOC, this set can be had for less than original retail from a decade ago. It's a fitting fate for figures like this. Hasbro mailed in their design efforts. Those who threw this junk at collectors, though, have moved on: sometimes to better things. As they aren't collectors and weren't really concerned with the legacy of the franchise upon which they were working, it's unlikely that the general absence of this figure from the collecting conscience is something they even consider. For those of us still left, it's a bitter reminder of how the line was treated as it's second retail run sputtered to an ignominious end.