Wolverine Driver (Code Name: Cover Girl)
Cover Girl’s figure doesn’t quite live up to her code name or to the reputation put forth in her file card as a stunning beauty. However, consider this is a figure produced in 1983, when female action figures weren’t all that prevalent, and the production techniques of the time didn’t lend themselves to the kind of detail and realism that we’re accustomed to today. Even the licensed toys of the day, like Star Wars’ Princess Leia, didn’t much resemble their actor counterparts, and neither did some Joe figures when compared to package art. Not a complaint, just an observation.
It helps if you think about these early figures for what they are: representations of the human form, meant to be played with by children aged 4 and up. We had a word for them a long time ago–wait, I remember–toys. All things being relative, she is more attractive than ’82-83 Scarlett.
All those years ago, I picked up Cover Girl in a trade. Oddly, I didn’t get the Wolverine, just her. As a female figure, I suppose she was easy trade bait within my group of friends. I think I traded a Star Wars figure for her, the type of trade unheard of in our circle. Usually Joes were only traded for Joes, especially since Star Wars had mostly run its course.
Like most of the early driver figures, she was weaponless. Now that I think about it, I don’t recall using her much during my play as a kid. I don’t think it was just because she was a female figure, I just literally had nothing for her to do. I’m sure she would have remained in her vehicle had I owned it.
Cover Girl didn’t get another release until 2006, when she was made part of a comic pack. Her mostly forgettable presence in the 2009 movie, and her bumbum-ugly action figure based on it were disappointing to say the least. But she did get a revisit with the Collectors Club.
Being one of a few female on the team meant she got more use in the comics and the cartoon than she otherwise would have.
Like Wild Bill from the same year, her head was too big.
I recall Hasbro guy (probably Kirk Bozigian) more or less saying they included her with the Wolverine to see if that was a viable means to sell female characters in boy’s toy line and apparently it didn’t work (or well enough). I think I got my Wolverine for my birthday in 1985…months after it had been discontinued. So…maybe it wasn’t a great seller per se. But then again, old stock didn’t just disappear from stores. There was a lot more stuff produced and no scalpers and few collector hoarders.
Of course it didn’t help that the vehicle’s tracks didn’t move (like the M.O.B.A.T.) or that the missile racks weren’t spring loaded/firing. Otherwise it was a pretty decent vehicle concept-wise.
Being one of the few females in the line, I always think people are more forgiving of the early face sculpts. Considering scarlet was butt ugly as well. At least covergirl was dressed like a functional tank driver of sorts and she had an awesome vehicle. I wonder what sales data was like back then?
Thankfully the Hasbro Direct and Club figures have looked more like the Cover Girl in the Joe fiction. Still, I’d like to see an updated version of the original toy and look with slightly better detail.