It seems nearly impossible that the movie Top Gun is now already 35 years old. Tom Cruise led the movie as Maverick, and outside of a tragic end to his sidekick Goose in the film, Val Kilmer’s Iceman character was constantly antagonizing Maverick to push the envelope further. There is not just one movie prop that might stand out from Top Gun as the one-and-only prop that defines the movie for collectors. Still, Tom Cruise’s signature flight suit is a key prop worn throughout the film that any aviator would recognize.
Heritage Auctions has one of the few surviving “Lt. Maverick” signature flight suits from Top Gun up for auction. The original 1-piece olive-green Navy flight suit has long sleeves, a short round collar, zippered chest pockets, cargo leg pockets, integral cinch waist belts, and it has the traditional long zipper down the front. The flight suit also features patches, decorations and status along with the “Pete Mitchell ‘Maverick'” in red lettering on the left breast with Velcro.
(Image above courtesy of Heritage Auctions)
The interior collar includes a faded “Cruise” printed on the interior back — “T. Cruise, 2-W.” (Image below courtesy of Heritage Auctions) Heritage also describes the flight suit as being in “vintage Very Good condition.”
This flight suit also comes with a letter of authenticity (LOA) from Wardrobe and Costumer Supervisor John Napolitano, stating that Tom Cruise wore approximately 10 flight suits over the course of production. The LOA also denotes that only a few of the flight suits survived after filming production wrapped.
This flight suit movie prop also comes with a certificate of authenticity from Heritage Auctions.
Heritage Auctions’ description shows how this suit in particular was used versus some of the other suits used throughout the film:
Director Ridley Scott asked Napolitano to keep one production used suit for Producer Don Simpson. A variety of patches were tested and approved. This suit bears patches that were rejected, so it was worn in non-closeup scenes such as background and cockpit shots and most notably when “Maverick” (Cruise) is in the water with “Goose” (Anthony Edwards). Exhibiting production wear and some minor discoloration to components due to the dye in the water scene.
It may seem at least a little surprising that a prop of this sort would come up for auction this far ahead of the expected May 2022 film release. Then again, after 35 years and no real Top Gun sequel, the film has been “in the can” since pre-COVID and by the time this gets released most of the actors in the film will have already starred in multiple films that have either already been released or that are about to be released.
With 17 days to go, Heritage has seen 420 page views that have so far resulted in one auction. The opening bid of $15,000 is actually $18,750 after he buyer’s premium.
Many military movie prop buyers have never seen one of these Top Gun flight suit props come up for auction. One of the flight suits sporting the “The need for speed” is now up for grabs.
Another famous Tom Cruise movie prop was the Porsche 928 from the Risky Business movie that solidified Cruise’s position with a younger audience in the 1980s even before Top Gun was being made. It sold for $1.98 million.