|Code Name: TAURUS|
Taurus was dropped into the G.I. Joe animated film along with Mercer and Red Dog as hardcore disciples of podgy fitness Nazi Sgt. Slaughter. He had a slightly comical Russian accent, cut his finger with a sword, was on the receiving end of the classic line "Don't bet your beard on it" and then largely disappeared - though his occasional background appearances in the epic Devil's Due story "World War 3" at least nudged him ahead of team-mate Red Dog.
His toy history's not been much to shout about - big headed original, recolour of the same and then finally a place in the BBTS Slaughter's Marauders set - renamed Bull for copyright reasons.
From a distance the new Taurus looks good - the muscular build you'd expect from a former circus strongman (remember, his party trick was apparently breaking planks of wood on his own face... Good work, Larry!), the uniform looks decent enough, he's got a beard and so forth. He's faintly ridiculous but in a charming way - you've got to hand it to Taurus, none of the other Joes look quite like him.
Sadly when you get in closer there are several problems. Firstly his shoulder pad and holster are the same as those on Zanzibar and don't sit quite as well on the bulkier Taurus - the guy must basically bang his face on the pistol holster every time he looks to his left. Second the head cast is far too wizened. Having just a beard instead of a moustache/beard combo doesn't help but the snarl Hasbro aimed for just doesn't convince, instead just making him look about sixty. It's also a bit annoying that he's down a cutlass when Road Pig has an unnecessary one - easily resolved, but you feel the Dreadnok set was given a lot more love. Taurus is difficult to evaluate in some ways because he was always going to end up looking a bit silly because it's in the basic nature of the character - I just can't help but feel he didn't really need to look quite so silly. A better head cast and shoulder pads would have helped the toy a lot.