MEGA Bloks time again, and once more we're back in the weird and wonderful world (worlds? solar systems?) of Halo. Last year we had fun reviewing the UNSC Fireteam Venom figure pack, so when we had the chance to check out another, we jumped at it. Clearing yet more space on our special 'sorry kids, those are our toys' shelf, we build the UNSC Fireteam Taurus.
More little green dudes! This set consists of 152 parts, the majority of which go into making the four Spartans. All but one of the figures need assembling once you open the box (as one is already built and displayed in the packaging), as do the few bits of terrain. The whole thing took us about 15 minutes.
If you've already clicked on the Venom link above you might now notice that the Taurus Fireteam is missing a member. Unfortunately, in only the second year of releasing these figure-heavy sets, dear MEGA have decided to reduce the overall value. If you do look at the Venom review you'll see five figures, instead of four, and a hell of a lot more terrain bits and bricks. That's a shame, as the price of the two sets (at time of release) was the same.
Still, not dwelling on value too much, the Taurus team looks pretty awesome and the included accessories and weapons make for some dramatic poses.
This set's terrain involves two small base plates, one with a power cell, the other with some foliage and the team's standard, while in the middle is a multi-part cannon.
This turret cannon is where you'll spend most of the build time. Made up from mostly metallic grey bricks, it features a printed 'unlock' symbol part, as well as a few interesting weapon parts to make up the gun section.
Fold down that gun, close the lid, and the cannon is all shut up awaiting the Spartans to come and unlock it. Opening it back up again is a bit tricky however, as the gun inside tends to get stuck, forcing you to yank it out and risk parts coming free. And, y'know, it kind of looks like a giant bin with a gun in the lid.
What looks much cooler are the figures. This set includes a pretty awesome sniper rifle, which, when held in the hands of one of the highly-articulated micro action figures, looks very realistic. This is the Enforcer Spartan doing just that, and because of that it is by far our favourite of the four.
This rear shot of the Soldier Spartan (holding a rocket launcher!) shows that, unlike the Venom figures, the Taurus boys don't feature speckled armour. Although the green used here is far kinder on the eyes than the acidic green used in the other set, we do miss the now standard MEGA Bloks multi-coloured textured 'swirl' effect in these parts.
Here the Recruit Spartan is proudly holding aloft the team's banner, which is a printed flag part. The base plates certainly do come in handy when posing the figures, but in terms of playability there is a lot less here than we've previously seen.
Last up is the Warrior Spartan who here we've posed up holding the range finder accessory. Either that or he's the meanest looking speed ticket-issuing cop we've ever seen. "You were going 0.3 lightspeed in a 0.2 max lightspeed zone, sir."
So... although collectors and kiddos alike are getting a little bit less bang for their buck with this set, there is no denying that the quality of the figures and the selection of weapons is far superior to previous Fireteam releases. Even if you're only buying this for the figures, and couldn't give two hoots about the garbage can cannon and the flag pole, at least you know that you are getting some interesting parts to add to your collection. Here's hoping that next year's figure packs don't just contain three figures!