Maverick (1987)

Before I started this blog, Battle Force 2000 and I had kind of a weird relationship. The last GI Joe figure that I bought as a kid was a member of BF2K, Knockdown to be exact. He didn’t leave the greatest impression on me, and my days as a kid collector of Joes ended with a whimper. I think in some way I blamed the poor guys for making me dump all my old toys.

Flash forward to last year, and the digging out of the members of the Joes’ future-tech team required me to spend a little more time checking them out than I ever had before. As the figures have gone by, I’ve become more and more attuned to the weird vibe these guys give off. I have to say that I’ve been swayed by the look into the future as envisioned by Hasbro circa 1986. It’s just amazing to see today’s fighter pilots clad in bubble helmets and pointy shoulder pads. Who knew the GI Joe designers would be such perfectly prescient prognoticators!

Looking at this figure now, and having spent a lot of time checking out my father’s collection of 1950s toy spacemen, as well as being exposed to a ton of vintage sci-fi films in my college days (an interest rekindled mostly due to the wonderful Mystery Science Theater 3000) I can see the homages to earlier Sci-Fi designs going on in this figure’s outfit. More than the other members of the team, Maverick looks to be a callback to those days. The artwork, toys and the television shows of the time were frequently festooned with bulbous helmets, silver suits and fantastical rayguns.

He’s got a few details of his own that really stand out, particularly the circuitry elements throughout the flight suit. He’s also sporting a unique pistol, one that wasn’t remolded a dozen times over. Little touches like those make me more and more a fan of the short-lived sub-team. Once again, I’m sorry, Battle Force 2000, for not recognizing your cool quirkiness sooner.


  • I actually like BF2K a lot, especially with Maverick for the reasons you cite. My first one (when I got into the line in 2005) was Dee-Jay, and just recently I finally got my second member, Blaster. I believe Maverick will be my third one, ’cause I am a big fan of classic sci-fi.

    Of course, Maverick (or most of him) would be used for the Brazilian-exclusive Eco-Warrior Biomassa, and his pistol would be remolded in black when it came with 1990’s Sonic Fighters Law.

  • Did anyone else notice that they added the one African American BF2000 figure a whole two years later, almost as an apology?

    1987: six carded single figure white guys
    1988: the same six white guys, this time on double packs
    1989: “OMG, we forgot to be diverse! Let’s release a single carded black guy.”

    I think I was 10 years old and noticed that was odd.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    Maverick actually looks a lot like Lanny Poffo.

  • Looking at your first pic, doesn’t it just say: “Take me to your leader”?

    The retro sci-fi look of some members of Battle Force 2000 was quite apparent. Unfortunately, it did not seem to resonate well with kids then (maybe because so many of the movies that would be airing in that slot were Japanese monster movies, kung fu movies, and ’80s sci-fi & horror and not ’50s- early ’60s B-movies?). I think the concept might’ve had the potential to resonate, but they came out in a busy year for GI Joe. There were a lot of other vehicles to catch people’s eyes. The lack of accessories I also think hurt them. Most 1987 figures (except Chuckles) came with a fair number of accessories/fair-sized accessories. Combined, what kind of appeal would figures branded as drivers with just 1 weapon each (and some having helmets too) for average to dull vehicles in a crowded field have? That said, Maverick does look like a test pilot for some futuristic prototype aircraft. The Vector Jet also seemed to be the most stand-out BF2000 vehicle too.

  • It’s funny–I don’t even get why guys who are supposed to be vehicle drivers never came with the vehicles they were intended to drive.

  • He does kinda look like Genius Lanny Poffo.

  • I remeber as a kid thinking that the year 2000 was so far off and by then we’d all have flying cars and living on the moon. Then it came and went and none of that stuff had come true.

    I thought he was inspired by Tom Cruise from Topgun? or atleast thats what i heard.

    The only BF2K guys i have are Dee-jay [i have a few of him he was so unpopular] and the sonic fighters Dodger.

    I think the reason these guys were so unpopular was that they deviated from the millitary aeusthetics and looked too much like something from MST3000.

    Maybe if their vehicles were done up in drab millitary colours instead of “futuristic” chrome they would have been more well recveived. And if they werent based on that dumb gimmick. The Germans also tried to do the same thing back in ’45 with the “Grasshopper” tank. That never really worked.

  • The concept itself bombed back in the the day. It just wasn’t the right time or the execution wasn’t done properly. I’ve never truly figured out what happened but the vehicles being lame had a lot to do with it. And then you had the Future Fortress which couldn’t be properly assembled and looked nothing like a playset, just a bunch of parts bunched up together.

    Maverick had a cool name and a detailed headsculpt. The silver paint on his suit is pretty nice. Ron Wagner got his likeness spot on in issue #71 of the series. And he also had an issue of Special Missions where he outshone the other Joe pilots after they were grounded by Firefly. Herb Trimpe featured some real life characters and places around his neck of the woods.

    It made the story extra special and I always think of it whenever Maverick is discussed.

  • They were all killed/”exterminated” (except Dodger) in the Marvel comics run…I know why…

  • @Clutch didnt Maveric defeat/outwit Firefly in an old cropduster?

    @Neopolitan joe. I think that maybe Dee-Jay may have sold better if he got to do something in his introduction issue instead of just being killed

  • I can see how Knockdown can leave a less than favorable impression, I still think he is the weaker of the BF2K figures.

    Maverick was an essential figure when I had a huge motor pool, mostly since I had more jets than pilots! While Ghostrider is pretty neat, and the originally included figure, I think Maverick works out the best in the Phantom X-19.

    Maverick also fits in with Star Brigade and other astronaut figures (like Countdown), too, which rounds out more realms of possible adventures.

    Mavericks pistol was with a sonic fighter figure, I think, was it Tunnel Rat?

  • I only have this guy and an incomplete Avalanche.You see a lot of BF2000 figures in lots, but almost never with those odd mike pieces they came with. As for Maverick, his jet the “Vector” reminds me of the absolute hottest thrash metal band in the metal underground, VEKTOR. They are extremely technical, they call their music “Sci-Fi Thrash”. They make Slayer and Metallica’s music seem like nursery rhymes in comparison. In fact their logo is my avatar!

  • @Carson

    BF2000 was a late 1987 release, like near the end of the year, and those were single carded versions. The vehicles were really an 1988 release in most places. Basically, the whole team was early 1988. They didn’t appear in the pack-in 1987 product booklets. Dee-Jay was a later 1989 release than other, but It wasn’t a whole two years.

  • I’ll never forget how bummed I was when I collected all six of the vehicles to create the “Future Fortress” only to see… they really didn’t go together.

    I also remember the single-card versions only being around for a short time; I had gotten Dodger, and I can’t remember how and when I got the other one that he was later double-packed with, because the single-cards seemed to go away quickly, at least in my area.

  • Maverick’s pistol was packed with Law (version 2): .

  • @Skymate: That’s right, in Special Missions #12 Maverick goes after Firefly in a crop duster after Firefly steals the Vector and strafes Ace and Slipstream’s respective jets, grounding both men.

    After successfully spotlighting the character, I was bummed to see Maverick killed off in a single panel along with most of the other BF2000 members. It just didn’t sit right, but neither did most of the deaths except perhaps, for Sneak-Peek’s sacrifice.

  • In the UK we never had ‘Battle Force 2000’, but these guys were released on ‘G.I.JOE THE ACTION FORCE’ as it was known briefly in 1989 / 90 cards. We even got some of the BF 2000 vehicles but again, no mention of them being an actual sub team. Same went with Destro’s Iron Grenadiers, we got the toys, all except the AGP and Nullifier, with correct stickers but the boxes in the UK had marked them as ‘Cobra Enemy’ items. I kind of liked Maverick, but its useless without the Vector jet, which wasn’t released in the UK sadly. I owned the figure and hated the head mold and the fact it was re-used and amended a bit to create Charbroil and Knock Down’s heads as well, and I didn’t like his bulky torso and thighs. My Dad got me him from his way back from Greece when he was at Athens Airport, same UK card lol. I also got Law and Order as well…didn’t like his face or ‘bowl cut’ hair do…lol

    I never saw anything ‘wrong’ with Battle Force: 2000 as a sub team at all. I’m amazed others did / do. If the Cobra’s and I.G.s could have weirdo experimental stuff, why not the Joes? I do think the concept should have stuck to the classic style i.e. vehicles SOLD WITH exclusive drivers / pilots rather than sell the figures separately. It could have led to totally different BF 2000 figures being released on card whilst all the existing characters would have been released with their respective vehicles.

    I think a new sculpt box set of all the BF 2000 figures would be a very cool idea, or if Hasbro could get their act together release them all either with their vehicles remoulded each or on single cards as part of an ONGOING Joe line – at reasonable prices of course.

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