Top Gun: Collecting in the Danger Zone

by Josh Robbins

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Recently, Top Gun: Maverick soared into theaters and won over critics and audiences alike. The lauded return of the now-franchise has me thinking; what collectibles from the original 1986 phenomenon should we be taking a look at?

Video Games

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A Wata 9.4 A+ sealed copy of Top Gun for the NES sold at Heritage on April 24, 2022 for $10,200. Like the film, the game was very popular upon its release, selling over 1.8 million copies in the United States by 1989.  Only one sealed copy of this variant is graded higher (per Wata’s November 2021 population report) out of 12 total graded.

The popularity of the film and game led to further versions for Gameboy, Nintendo DS, Playstation, Xbox, and more.

Movie Posters

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This international one-sheet poster measures 27″ x 40″. It sold in 2013 via Heritage Auctions for $125.48.

Movie posters and concert posters, while being an ever-present collectible, are being more sought after, as of late, by collectors of comics and video games. Original copies of Style B and Japanese variants in very good condition are also highly regarded.

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Anticipating and responding to the hype surrounding the sequel, a 2021 teaser poster for Top Gun: Maverick in Very Fine condition and featuring the originally-planned release date sold for $228 back in August of 2021, also through Heritage.


Home video cassettes were very expensive upon their release. Original tapes would cost around $80-100 at the time, which adjusted for inflation, would be about $211 today.  Paramount paired with Diet Pepsi in an effort to bring down the costs of VHS. This led to a tape that cost around $26.95, which would be approximately $68 in 2022 dollars. In exchange, home viewers would have a Diet Pepsi advertisement before their home viewings.

This ended up costing Diet Pepsi close to eight million dollars but revolutionized the home video market. In later years other companies would get on the advertising action. Early 90’s home video fans may remember a Pizza Hut commercial on copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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This extremely rare Diet Pepsi promotional copy features a totally different cover than the version released for sale and has rear Paramount Home Video watermarks. It received a box grade of 8 NM and a seal grade of 8 NM; it is the highest graded example that IGS has graded. This copy recently sold via Heritage for $17,500.

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Goldin Auctions also recently auctioned off an IGS graded copy for $1,080. The featured copy has a “Paramount 75th anniversary” label. Encapsulated and graded EX 6 with a seal rating of EX 6 by IGS. This copy was released a year after, in 1987.

The original film grossed around $356 million dollars at the box office, which adjusted for inflation would be around $941 million today, just to drive home how popular of a movie this was at its release.

Quick Review

Let’s take a quick look at the new film. I’ll be honest, when I saw the first trailer way back in 2019, I didn’t think much about it and thought there was no way it could be a good movie. A sequel set 30+ years after the original? For a film that doesn’t rank highly on my favorite Tom Cruise movie list? And yes, I’m completely aware it’s often heralded as one of his best. Still, I’d reach for something like Mission: Impossible, A Few Good Men, or even Collateral before Top Gun. That’s not to say it isn’t a good one, I just have my lists.

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Fast forward to 2022. Reviews begin trickling in, telling me it’s surprisingly good, and maybe the best of his career, and I decide it’s time to check it out. I’m happy to report that I agree with those reviews! The sentimentality that they’re able to achieve without feeling too hokey is an astounding wire act that I’m not sure how director Joseph Kosinski pulled off. As dismissive as I seemed earlier about the original 1986 film, when I was done watching Top Gun: Maverick, all I wanted to do was rush home and rewatch it.

Tom Cruise, when at the top of his game, reminds us of a time before CGI-everything and when action heroes weren’t just comic book characters.

What Do You Collect?

Personally, I love seeing tie-in merch, whether it’s items like crew t-shirts, fast-food licensed toys, and on into comics, posters, video games, and VHS. The weirder the better! So here’s a little homework. Down below in the comments, let us know your favorite Tom Cruise flick AND separately, tag us at @GoCollect on Instagram and/or Twitter (use hashtag #WHATWECOLLECT) and pose with your favorite movie-related collectible!

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CheckOutTheVideoGamePriceGuide_Footer Top Gun: Collecting in the Danger Zone*Any perceived investment advice is that of the blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Gregarious Rucker June 18, 2022 - 1:55 pm

Risky business. Always.

Red Spartan July 6, 2022 - 10:31 pm

Am struck more by the inflation than anything.


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