1987 Taurus

1987 Taurus

A lot of Joe fans classically dropped out at 1987, and for years it was generally held as the year Joe quit being cool. This was probably caused in large part just by ARAH’s older fans aging out at that point, though there’s a definite shift in ‘87 that I don’t think struck a chord with most. The Cobra’s became way sillier, the colors became brighter, and the toys were largely pushed by GI JOE THE MOVIE, which was polarizing to say the least. Taurus has a lot of those hallmarks, though I think he’s an underutilized character in spite of all that.

Of the Renegades, Taurus is probably the least popular. Everyone loves Mercer, and while Red Dog isn’t that popular, he garners some interest from time to time. Taurus though, seems like one of the least popular Joes in the line. I suppose I could imagine some reasons as to why, including the yellow shirt, ‘86-style bulbous head, red eyes, and his relative lack of a specialty. The last one’s kind of a recurring problem with the Renegades, as while most GI Joes represent some odd military role, these guys were just churned out in a three-pack as what feels like A-Team expies. I see some good in that, though the Renegades as whole feel kind of phoned-in.

Because of his formerly mentioned lack of a fan base, I got a Taurus figure off eBay when I was 15. He was an early addition to my o-ring collection at a time when I was changing how I thought about life and toys in some ways, so I have some biassed sentiment around him. Back then, my parents thought Paypal was a scam that would get all of your money stolen, so I could only buy stuff off eBay when I had enough for a $25 pre-paid card to use. Because of this, I was very limited in what I could buy, and I’d always have a few dollars left over where I could only get something really cheap. Thanks to that though, I took notice of Taurus, who’s toy I’d never seen before, and who I barely remembered from the movie. It was fun for a few dollars, and it gave me the opportunity to discover a figure that seemed totally new, and find an interesting role for in my collection.

His bio is both somewhat interesting, and yet leaves something to be desired. His birthplace being Istanbul definitely makes me think about where’s he’s been and how he might’ve ended up with GI Joe, but the rest of the card doesn’t say much about that. The text about the Renegades is interesting, though there’s nothing much about Taurus besides the typical crazy/dumb tough-guy shtick. I like to imagine him as more of an intelligence operative, always discreetly gathering information in key areas, often operating alone. Also, because I hate The White Clown from the comics, I like to imagine Taurus replacing him in those stories, like in #66. Since The White Clown was a civilian and not a Joe, I just adapt it to imagine that most Joes think Taurus is a civilian, not knowing he’s actually on their team.

Taurus has a pretty solid sculpt too, though there’s elements I can imagine might bother some more than others. As I mentioned before, he’s got a somewhat bulbous head, though, I’m not really offended by it that much. I think the facial hair kind of hides how big it is (A benefit also enjoyed by Ripper.), While I kinda like the distinct look it has, his knee-pads bother me a bit for the way it looks when you bend his knees. Overall, he’s got a really strange look with the pointy shoulders, yellow shirt, sculpted facial hair and a few other details, but I like it. The character has room for a lot of creative liberties given that he’s not meant to be a stereotypical military professional.

Because this was the figure I got as a broke teen, I never got Taurus’s parts. Though, part of the reason I was okay with that (and never rectified it), is that his parts aren’t all that great. Like the other Renegades, Taurus’s backpack is just a rust-colored version of Recondo’s. His other part is a pistol, apparently a Claridge Hi-Tec C9. When I first got this figure, I saw that gun online and thought it just looked like an undetailed carbine, but I wasn’t aware it was based on a real gun. I’m always fairly stunned by some of the obscure guns featured in ARAH, and while they may have just been pulled from a gun magazine, I think it shows some impressive attention to detail. Still, I don’t often find an obscure pistol to be the most interesting choice of weapon for him, and the recycled backpack definitely makes the release seem more like filler.

A complete Taurus tends to sell around $10, though the pricing is oddly inconsistent on him. Occasionally, he goes for closer to $20, which is odd and certainly way more than he’s worth. Taurus has an advantage over Red Dog in that his pistol is much larger, and thus much harder to lose. I find a lot to like in him, but realistically, he’s a c-tier figure at best, and it’s hard to imagine someone paying more than a few dollars for him.

gi joe renegade 1987 arah Taurus cobra hasbro vintage toy gi joe renegade 1987 arah Taurus cobra hasbro vintage toy gi joe renegade 1987 arah Taurus cobra hasbro vintage toy

gi joe renegade 1987 arah Taurus cobra hasbro vintage toy

An old photo from when I was 15. Pretty terrible, but it’s a fun memory and serves as an example of him always being a solo-operator in my world.

1987 Taurus Links:

Half the Battle

3D Joes

Joe Battlelines

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 1987 Taurus

  1. Mike T. says:

    Taurus remains the only Renegade I still need to get. I figure I’m not going to buy one unless he’s mint and complete. But, it’s getting tougher and tougher to find figures with no gold paint wear. But, also, I don’t really care. If I never own him, that’s fine. Even as a kid, he was my least favorite of the figures. And, he was never a character I used. He was mostly a nameless civilian or terrorist who’d get killed by Cobra or Joes.

    If you were 5 or 6 when Joe launched, you were 10 or 11 in 1987. And, you’d been playing with toys for 5 years. So, it makes sense the fan base turned over. But, really, 1987 isn’t that bad. Only the Cobras are really terrible and they seem to be the function of one designer. And, 1988 is right back to Joe’s roots. So, it makes you wonder who pushed the movie plot and if that drove the figures versus the other way around.

  2. Josh Z says:

    I get why Cobra-La and Battle Force 2000 turned some people off, but 1987 also brought fan favorites Falcon, Tunnel Rat, and Outback. Not to mention awesome vehicles including the Mobile Command Center and the Defiant!

  3. General Liederkranz says:

    Nice pics–especially the rainy one and the poses on Sarge in the first and third! I like Taurus a lot. It’s a great sculpt and a distinctive head. Red Dog is too, but it’s a real letdown that he and Mercer have the same color scheme. (I think Mercer is blah, although the character is interesting and I like the ’91 version.) I also think he has the makings of a great backstory, even though it was never developed–his name is Armenian but he’s from Istanbul, where there’s only a small Armenian minority, descended from survivors of 1915. I have an interest in that part of the world so it gets my mind going. The White Clown idea is intriguing. I never did anything with he circus backstory.

  4. A-Man says:

    He never seemed big enough to be the circus strongman he used to be. His pale skin and red hair seemed odd for someone from Turkey. His shirt is strange with the shoulders.

    He has a shoulder holstered pistol like Mercer, adding to the image that the Renegades were too similar in some aspects. Mercer and Red Dog’s colors. They all have double belts. All have black details on their torsos. But it’s not stuff that gives them a fun unified team look like the original Dreadnoks with their blue jeans and sunglasses.

    Taurus is just okay. He debuted in the growing glut of new characters that wouldn’t slow down until 1991. So many of the JOES were just non-entities because of that, at least Taurus got his Movie appearance.

  5. R.T.G. says:

    Taurus is one of those figures where he’s only memorable to me, due to the fact he’s been used for so many Dreadnok customs.

    Red Dog and Mercer are much better figures, and they match up with each other so well, that Taurus has really found himself the odd man out. Like Mike T., I don’t own one, and the likelihood is pretty slim.

  6. Jester says:

    I’m surprised that they never used Taurus’s legs for the Oktober Guard’s Sturmovik (whose O-ring figure was 99% Red Star with a new headsculpt) because the design is almost identical.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *