Maverick (Force of Battle 2000)
Never really knowing much about Battle Force 2000, I’d always assumed Dodger was their commanding officer. After all, he’s the only one that ever showed up on the pegs beyond his original Battle Force 2000 release, so I just assumed that meant he was the most important member of the team. Imagine my surprise when I was reading the Force of Battle 2000 filecards when I learned that Thomas “Maverick” Kiley was actually the Battle Force 2000 team’s commanding officer. While I wasn’t initially sold on the Battle Force 2000 con set idea, that’s part of what I’m enjoying about this year’s set so much. The vintage figures weren’t really on my radar all that much, so for the first time in a long while, I’m getting introduced to a bunch of characters that are at least new to me and that’s kind of a refreshing feeling.
Like Avalanche, Maverick has a surprisingly complicated build. Maverick’s vintage figure was a pretty high tech looking guy, and that doesn’t quite carry through to the modern version, but it’s still a solid take on him. The legs are a combination of 25th Anniversary B.A.T. lower legs and 25th Anniversary Dusty upper legs. We’ve definitely seen the B.A.T. legs a lot in this set, but they stand in quite well for Maverick’s vintage boots and paired with the Dusty thighs, they do look quite different from the standard B.A.T. legs. Maverick’s torso comes from PoC Desert Battle Snake Eyes II, however, thankfully you won’t see much of it because Maverick gets 25th Anniversary General Hawk’s holster belt and 25th Anniversary Specialist Trakker’s chest armor and webgear. I do question the use of the Snake Eyes parts here since they don’t look much like a flight suit, but since they’re covered fairly well by the armor from Specialist Trakker, I’ll forgive it even though I do wonder if the 25th Anniversary Ace/Wild Bill torso might not have worked a tad better. The arms are a combination of RoC Flash’s biceps and Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander forearms. The Flash arms do work well to replicate Maverick’s vintage arms with the funky bands around the biceps and the high gloves from the Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander reference the vintage figure’s high gloves, but the forearms kind of lack the high tech detailing that the biceps have. Plus, like the other times the Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander arms have been used, the open, angry gesture hand doesn’t hold onto accessories all that well. Personally, I wonder if the 30th Anniversary Techno-Viper arms might have worked a little better. I’m guessing they weren’t used because they are awfully bulky, but I think the tech-y look they have would have fit with Maverick’s role as Battle Force 2000’s high-tech pilot a little better. Topping off the figure, Maverick uses 25th Anniversary Ace’s head. This isn’t a bad call, and it isn’t one that’s seen a lot of reuse by the GIJCC, but the Ace head is a bit lacking in character. It’s a pretty bland head sculpt, but it’s also one I immediately identify as Ace (especially since he and Maverick have the same hair color), so I’m glad I can at least have Maverick wearing his helmet all the time so the figure doesn’t look more like Ace. The helmet is the same one that came with the Resolute five-pack jetpack Duke. It’s a decent piece, but I would have loved it if the GIJCC had given Maverick his original helmet again. It’s an iconic piece and really screams Maverick and this helmet honestly doesn’t. I do wonder if RoC Flash’s helmet would have worked a little better to recreate Maverick’s vintage helmet since tooling up a new one clearly wasn’t in the cards, but the Resolute jetpack Duke does look okay here.
Maverick has always been a rather colorful figure. The GIJCC took the same colors as the vintage figure and applied them to this version to make a solid recreation of the original Maverick. Like Avalanche, Maverick is wearing a lot of white, with the base of the flight suit being done in that color. His boots are green and there’s some green accent work on the armor. The bands at the top of his boots, the pouches on his thighs, his gloves and his helmet are all blue. The armor is predominately silver, and, like the vintage figure the arm band on his left arm is painted silver while the one on his right arm is left unpainted because it would be off model. Maverick is a Caucasian person with brown hair, just like back in the day. While I’m still not a fan of Joe figures that are predominately white, the silver armor does help break up all the white and truthfully, if a Joe is going to be dressed in all white, I’m at least glad it’s a fighter pilot. There, the white can at least make some sense.
Like back in the day, Maverick really doesn’t have much in the way of accessories. In fact, when I first got my Maverick, he didn’t have any. There was a little goof at the factory and I wound up getting two sets of Blaster’s gear and no sets of Maverick’s. Thankfully, one quick email to the GIJCC’s customer service department and less than a week later, I was able to get Maverick’s gear. Kudos to the GIJCC for such speedy service. I’ve never had a Joe Con set that I received after the con have problems, so I was a little concerned whether they’d be able to replace the missing parts, but they were, and I am very glad it was such a simple and painless process. Maverick has a small pistol to fill the holster on his belt. Truthfully, I forgot to take a photo of him holding it because it’s not a terribly interesting piece. It’s nice to have, though, because it does give Maverick one non-futuristic weapon. Maverick’s primary weapon is a funky-looking pistol. Its role isn’t defined, so I see it as some sort of prototype laser weapon. It’s a fairly clunky-looking piece, but it still looks nice in Maverick’s hand. Truthfully, that’s the only beef I have with the Battle Force 2000 figures. I love it when Hasbro designs funky-looking weapons, but I love it even more when they give me an idea of what kind of weapon it’s supposed to be. As I’ll talk about in his review, Knockdown’s filecard actually explains what his prototype weapon is, and I kind of wish the other Battle Force 2000 figures had gotten the same treatment. I don’t fault the GIJCC for not defining what the weapons were since Hasbro never did back in the day, but it would have been nice to know what kind of experimental weapon each Battle Force 2000 team member was testing. The pistol is a great recreation of Maverick’s vintage weapon and thanks to the modern figures being larger, it looks slightly more in scale. It’s still not, but it doesn’t look nearly as oversized as it did back in the day.
Maverick is still kind of an odd duck to me, but he’s also definitely grown on me. Having never really paid that much attention to Battle Force 2000 until now, I never really knew what to make of Maverick. His funky armor just seemed there to look futuristic, but after learning he’s a fighter pilot (and considering he was created in the 80s, aka the decade of Top Gun, I should have figured that out a long time ago had I put any thought into it), I’m more okay with the funky armor since it’s a part of a high tech flight suit. It’s not what I immediately think of when I think of a fighter pilot, but considering Battle Force 2000 was essentially Hasbro’s designers spitballing about military technology in the far off year of 2000, I’m okay with it. Yes, it does mean Maverick especially looks a tad dated, but since he’s dead in the comics, I’m okay with the look not getting updated and looking a little more like what designers thought 2000s era technology was going to look like. Maverick is a solid entry in the Force of Battle 2000 set and a decent modern representation of the vintage Battle Force 2000 fighter pilot.
Great write up as always!