Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Incoming: ZCWO IMINIME 1/6th Air Force Pilot "Carson" or Tom Cruise "Maverick" in Top Gun

Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with the Paramount Pictures company. The film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt. Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Edwards) are given the chance to train at the Navy's Fighter Weapons School. The film depicts Maverick's progress through the training, his romance with a female instructor (McGillis), his overcoming a crisis of confidence following a fatal training accident, and the killing of several enemy pilots of unlisted nationality in a dogfight.

The primary inspiration for the film was the article "Top Guns", by Ehud Yonay, in the May 1983 issue of California magazine, which also featured aerial photography by then-Lieutenant Commander Charles "Heater" Heatley. The article detailed the TOPGUN fighter pilots at the Miramar Naval Air Station, located in San Diego, self-nicknamed as "Fightertown USA". [source: wiki]

This 1/6th scale "Carson" Air Force Pilot 12-inch figure or Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell as seen in Top Gun is going to be released by ZCWO and IMINIME (from "I-Mini-Me"). Quite a good resemblance to the actor, especially with the photoshopped background :) Brings back a lot of memories. Great film and the soundtrack at the beginning was just AWESOME!

The Top Gun soundtrack is one of the most popular soundtracks to date, reaching #1 on The Billboard Top Pop Albums chart for five weeks. Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock worked on numerous songs including the Oscar winning #1 "Take My Breath Away" and "Danger Zone". Kenny Loggins performed two songs on the soundtrack, "Playing With the Boys", and "Danger Zone". Berlin recorded the song "Take My Breath Away", which would later win numerous awards, sending Berlin to international acclaim. After the release of Loggins' #2 single "Danger Zone", sales of the album exploded, selling 7 million in the United States alone.

The film opened in the United States in 1,028 theaters on May 16, 1986. It quickly became a phenomenon and was the highest grossing film of 1986. It was number one on its first weekend with a $8,193,052 gross, and went on to a total domestic figure of $176,786,701. Internationally it took in an estimated $177,030,000 for a worldwide box office total of $353,816,701.

Bomber jacket sales increased and Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses jumped 40%, due to their use by characters in the film. The film also boosted Air Force and Navy recruitment. The Navy had recruitment booths in some theaters to attract enthusiastic patrons.

The United States Navy stated that after the release of the film that the number of young men who enlisted, wanting to be Naval aviators, went up by 500 percent. People saw the movie and said, "Wow! I want to be a pilot."

The Navy made available several aircraft from F-14 fighter squadron VF-51 Screaming Eagles (which Tom Skerritt mentions in the scene at his home) for the film. Paramount paid as much as $7,800 per hour for fuel and other operating costs whenever aircraft were flown outside of their normal duties. Shots of the aircraft carrier sequences were filmed aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), showing aircraft from F-14 squadrons VF-114 Aardvarks and VF-213 Black Lions.

Air-to-air shots were filmed using a Learjet. Grumman, manufacturer of the F-14, was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to create camera pods to be placed upon the aircraft that could be pointed toward either the front or rear of the aircraft providing outside shots at high altitude. Hand-held cameras were used for some of the interior cabin shots. Navy F-14 pilots flew the planes, changing helmets as needed. The aircraft used for the fictional MiG-28s are Northrop F-5E (single seat) and F-5F (two seat) Tiger IIs, flown by pilots an RIOs who were instructors at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, the real-world squadron known as TOPGUN.

ZCWO IMINIME 1/6th scale "Carson" Air Force Pilot 12-inch figure or Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is that of Mitchell when he arrives at the base on his Kawasaki GPZ900R (Ninja 900) in his Bomber jacket, Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses and jeans.

Although it's called "Air Force Pilot", the figure is not wearing any pilot flight suit or gear but more of a civilian attire. To see how Tom Cruise looks in his flight gear including pilot's helmet, check out my earlier "TOP GUN" post with pictures of Hot Toys 1/6th scale Tom Cruise as LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, United States Navy F-14 Tomcat aviator 12-inch figure.

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