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Courtney "Cover Girl" Krieger

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
by Artemis

Cover who?

Special weapons expert Courtney "Cover Girl" Krieger is a military assistant to General Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy. Using her commando training, she fearlessly faces the ruthless forces that attack the GI Joe Pit headquarters.

Serial Number: 973-24-CK44
Grade: Specialist (E-4)
Preferred Weapon: CQB-A1 selective fire submachine gun

Oh, okay. I'm not what you'd call a big GI Joe fan, so my knowledge of the characters doesn't really go past the first tier - so far as the Joettes go, that's Scarlett of the crossbow fixation, and someone called Lady Jaye. But as is true in life, a gorgeous woman is seldom unwelcome, so, Cover Girl.

Normally I'd start a review (aside from the random jokes) by discussing the figure overall, but today we're gonna shake it up a little and start with the face. Cover Girl, as her callsign implies, is a looker - before signing up to see the world and blow it up she was a successful model, and aptly enough the movie has signed up real-life supermodel Karolina Kurkova to play her. Google her, but make sure you've got a cover over your keyboard to catch the drool. Unfortunately the Rise of Cobra toyline has demonstrated a tendency thus far to muck up its women's faces, and not even Cover Girl is immune.

She's not ugly by any means, but she's pretty badly off-model (literally, as it happens). Instead of Kurkova's expressive, slightly elfin features, the figure has a squarish, slightly masculine aspect to its face - she's not unattractive as such, but she's got the kind of face that'd be described as "handsome" (not intended as an insult, mind you) rather than "beautiful," and she definitely should be the latter. She's got the lip colour that Scarlett missed out on, but unfortunately it's hot pink, and her narrow eyes give her a bit of a squinty look. As a female soldier, she looks tough and no-nonsense - as Cover Girl, she's nowhere near hot enough.

Also, since her hair is a separate piece, her skin is bare plastic rather than painted as Scarlett's was (her whole head piece is actually the colour of her hair underneath), and it's of the wildly shiny variety - it reacts badly to photographic flashes, but even to the naked eye it's a poor look. Adding insult, the skin paint on her neck and cleavage is flawless, perfect colour and finish - it'd have been another step in the manufacturing process, true, but she'd have looked so much better had Hasbro given her face (and exposed arms) a base coat of that to start with.

Anyway, enough complaining, on to the body. Cover Girl's wearing urban camouflage just like Scarlett, so you'd expect her body to be a re-use of Scarlett right? Nuh-uh. I've compared the two figures very closely, and I cannot find one single re-used part - not one. Obviously there are the blatant differences, like the rolled up sleeves, the different collar, and the traditional belt in place of Shana's fancy one, but even the boots - which are basically the same design - are unique, with more creases around the shins, and flatter soles to the feet. Courtney's uniform is also more utilitarian-looking as a whole than Scarlett's, with heavier, squarer thigh pockets, and extra pockets on her chest, along with an ID tag - that's a separate piece, but plugged in rather than glued on flat, and from the left side you can see the unpainted plug, but from all other angles it looks pretty good. Court's camo pattern is broadly the same as Scarlett's, but rendered in darker, more muted colours - to my eye, it looks much more realistic.

She may not share Scarlett's body (apart from in fanfic), but Cover Girl shares her articulation, right down to the neck joint that I'm pretty sure is just a swivel - why I can't imagine, but I swear there's no appreciable tilt in it at all. Her hair is designed to let her head turn a bit either way before it contacts the shoulders, and if you do want her looking way off to one side the hair is flexible. She's got swivel/pin shoulders and elbows (limited to about 45° by the rolled up sleeves though), swivel wrists, a swivel/pin sternum, swivel/peg hips, double pin knees, and swivel/pin ankles. The figure I got (the only one I've seen so far) has a couple of rather loose joints, particularly the sternum and the left knee; that'll presumably vary from figure to figure. Insert your own "Cover Girl is loose" joke here.

I had a quick Google to see if I could find a "CQB-A1" rifle (CQB stands for "Close Quarters Battle"); there's an M4-A1 CQB, which looks like something along the lines of an M-16, but if that's it, Cover Girl doesn't have it. Her primary weapon looks kind of like a jazzed-up Kel-Tec "Carbine" or something - it's a bullpup assault rifle (with the clip behind the handle), and actually a bit big for her; it's the whole exposed barrel's length longer than Scarlett's F2000, and it's too large for Court to get the stock to her shoulder properly. She also has a pair of silver pistols if she wants to engage in some two-fisted John Woo gunplay - both hands have extended trigger fingers, though the left is less prominent, and looks fine just bracing the rifle.

To help her keep track of Hawk's luncheon appointments, or whatever it is she does for him, she's got a laptop, a rugged-looking little silver thing with a hinged screen; the keyboard and trackpad are molded in, but there's no sticker or paint for the screen itself, which is a shame (it does have a tiny Joe hawk logo on the back of it though).

And, lastly, she has the obligatory Big Stupid Missile Launcher, which in her case is really big and stupid - at a conservative estimate you could say it should be vehicle-mounted, but frankly even then it's large enough to be a tank's main turret gun. A little handle flips out from beneath the ginormous barrel for Cover Girl to hold, but its weight is too much for her hand to keep it from tipping forwards. In the event that you hand a convenient superhuman to hold it up, it fires a techy-looking blue missile. To keep her upright she's got the usual dog tag base, with the Joe logo on the underside - the versatile leg joints let her stand on her own decently, but the base is handy for poses with one foot not flat to the ground, and while the pegs aren't fantastically tight, they'll hold her up unless you bump her.

This is three in a row now for GI Joe that's wound up as "would be awesome, except for the face." Presumably they're trying for actor likenesses - Scarlett and the Baroness were anyway, it's anyone's guess whose likeness this is supposed to be - but someone really needs to go down to the Hasbro factory and hammer it into their heads that you can't do a realistically proportioned likeness at 4" scale - you have to fudge it a bit, because it just plain won't come out of the mold looking right otherwise. The pity with Cover Girl is that while her face isn't right, it'd at least be attractive if it weren't for being shiny bare plastic. Her body is great work, even moreso than Scarlett, but she just doesn't look as good as she should.

-- 07/10/09

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