Monday, December 30, 2013

Classic Pretender Starscream
For some reason people don't respect Pretenders.  I posted a pic of my latest purchase, Classic Pretender Starscream on a couple of Transformer Facebook groups and there were those who asked "Why?" or "I hate Pretenders!"  Really?  Apparently I was the only 11 year old that head the phrase "Pretenders hide the Transformer inside" and thought it was cool.  Whatever.

To coincide with the 50th issue of the Marvel Transformers comic, Starscream became an all-powerful megalomaniac who gained his powers from the Underbase.  It made him extremely large.  The two beings in the bottom of the picture?  Scorponok and Optimus Prime in his Powermaster form.  So, yeah, huge.  As a result of absorbing the vast knowledge contained within the Underbase, Starscream exploded and died.  His remains were collected and somehow wound up back on Cybertron with Megatron.  After a kidnapped Ratchet was coerced into repairing Starscream, we were given this:
Pretender Starscream!  Once his repairs were completed, he went to Earth and wreaked a bit of havok.
And then the shell was never seen again.  It's purpose had been served, however.  I wanted this guy.  After some cajoling with my parents, I was finally granted an opportunity to get him, and I was pleased as punch when I did get him.  This was my first ever Starscream.  I was denied the original version when I was younger due to my parents constantly getting me Autobots.  Finally, I had a Starscream.  Then after a bunch of moves, I lost most of him.  Here is all that remains of my Classic Pretender Starscream:

There are a few things I never really liked about this version of Screamer.  The first being the grey head.  I'm just not fond of it.  Second, there's the blacks on the figure.  I have no idea what kind of paint they used, but it scratches off very easily.  The same thing happened to my Classic Pretender Jazz.  As you can see. I attempted to use a Sharpie to color in the canopy once the original paint came off.

I've been actively looking for a complete Pretender Starscream for quite some time, but that's a tall order.  It's very difficult to locate a good condition figure.  There's the aforementioned paint issues with the blacks an then there are issues with the shell.  Thanks to the helmets, most humanoid pretender shells have a lot of paint wear on their heads.  Quite fortuitously, I stumbled into a great deal on eBay.

Do you like heavy metal?
 Starscream's shell is very spiky.  Spikes equate to evilness, I guess?  I also imagine him as the mascot for a cheesy '80's metal band.  

As you can see, there is very minimal paint wear to his head, which makes me very happy.  One note about that face - even as a kid, I thought the face was very funny looking.  I nicknamed the shell Bubba because he just reminded me of a redneck.  What's the condition of the inner robot, you ask?

Other than the jacked up leg stickers, this is a perfect condition figure, in my opinion.  I'm amazed that I got one with the paint still on the canopy.  Especially considering the price I paid.  I really to wish that this version of Starscream had arm mounted Null Rays, however.

Here is a back view.  There is one tiny nick on the canopy, but I can live with that.

Jet mode.  As you can tell, the guns become tail fins.  Starscream's transformation is extremely simplified.  Just flip up the nosecone, flip the wings around and place the guns in  place.  Voila!  Instant jet.  

When Starscream goes into his shell, the wings tab into the back.  This will be the only time that the wings are in there because I know from experience that the posts will break from doing this too much.  Unfortunately, the small weapons have nowhere to go.  Guess they'll stay in a tackle box until needed.

I am so excited to have this figure again, you just don't know.  In my head, I keep hearing the familiar refrain "No, not Starscream!"  Now, I only need to finish my Pretender Jazz, and I'll have all of the Classic Pretenders again.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and I'll see you in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Did I ever tell you that my collection was featured in a movie a few years ago?  I have several friends that like to enter short film contests around the city and after some pestering, they decided to put me in one of them.  And my collection, albeit briefly.  For your viewing pleasure, I present to thee, "Dial T for Trouble!"  Behold my permanent smirk!  Laugh at my nerdy voice!  Marvel at my horrible acting!  Enjoy!

Monday, December 23, 2013


Triggerbot action coming at ya!  I don't know what I love the Triggerbots, but I do.  They're magnificent.  I've ever only owned one, Backstreet, but I love the whole gimmick of the guns flipping out.  Which brings us to my second Triggerbot - Override!  Not to confused with Overdrive the Omnibot.  Which I've done numerous occasions.

Primary colors at their finest.

Override had the great honor of accompanying a young Optimus Prime to the Temple of Knowledge so Prime could speak to Boltax.  Later, Override fought some Western-themed alien vampires.  Man, I miss those wacky Marvel comics.  Later, in the Generation 2 comics Override was ripped to shreds by a barehanded Megatron.  Sure it happened in G.I. Joe, but it was still part of the G2 fiction.  And then he worked for Perceptor in the Dreamwave comics and then he popped up once in the IDW universe.  Override has led a very nonproductive life.

Override's alt-mode is that of a futuristic motorcycle, I thought, until I checked out his TFWiki page.  Turns out that his alt-mode is based on a Suzuki motorcycle, which is odd since I really thought that after the few 1986 cars that were just repaints or retools of older figures, Hasbro and Takara decided to just make up their vehicle modes.  Perhaps paying a licensing fee for the vehicle is why Override only has two colors: red and blue.  Well, three if you count the chrome on his guns.

I managed to find an amazing instance of this figure.  Everything about him is mint.  His joints are so tight that I wonder if he had ever been transformed.  During my initial transformation, I worried that I was going to break him.  The chrome is beautiful and appears to be all there.  The only drawback would be the decals.  Override only has the one decal on the front of the motorcycle.  I may get some Reprolabels for him, but I doubt it.

Override features a very simple transformation - pull out the legs, flip up the fenders and you have a robot.  There really isn't much to say about the robot mode.  His fists are absurdly large compared to the size of his head.  See those blue buttons on the sides of this arms?  Press them and his guns pop out.

Now he's a gun slinging cowboy.  Who fights psychic vampires.

Guns kinda holstered.

So all that's left for me to get to complete the Triggerbots is to get Dogfight.  That, that makes me happy.

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Buying Habits - Buying Under the Influence

No, I'm not bidding on eBay while drunk. Well, not anymore.  Seriously, I've never done that.  What I'd like to cover for this article is the way that outside factors can influence what I'm buying at any given time and the benefits and dangers inherent with these influences.  Surely it's something that has happened to everyone else.  I'm going to break each influence into it's own header and discuss from there.

Other Blogs

Certainly this is pretty obvious.  There have been numerous times that I've read a blog and immediately went about searching for the figure that's being reviewed.  There have been many culprits in the two years that I've been doing this blog.  One such culprit is Maz at the SourceBlog.  Reading his entries wreaks havoc on both my self esteem and my thought line when I'm thinking about my collection.  Maz's review of GT-R Maximus is what pushed me over the edge on buying him.  Every time he makes a post about some rare European or Japanese exclusive, I find myself spending hours on eBay searching for it.  I don't know how many times I've almost pulled the trigger on a purchase only to bring myself back from the brink of sanity.

Maz's fault
Heroic_Decepticon is another culprit in my brain.  Thanks to him, I have a permanent saved search on eBay for a Canadian Slag.  He is also responsible for the a figure that I recently purchased.  I hope to one day be as good as getting the finds that he gets.

Toy Archive
Flywheels is responsible for my recent purchase of Monstructor.  After reading his reviews on Dinoking, I knew that I'd probably never have him (more on that in another article), but I knew that I could get Monstructor.  I actually consulted a bit with him before I made the purchase and his encouragement gave me the nudge I needed.  And thanks to a comment he made on another blog, I made yet another purchase.

Lastly, the good folks over at Pax Cybertron deal a lot with third party figures.  I enjoy reading their reviews so much that they've started to soften my stance a bit on third party figures.  Don't get me wrong, the glacier that is my dislike of third party is still frozen, but Pax's enthusiasm has thawed it a bit.


This mainly has to do with the comics, but I have managed to watch the first disc from the Japanese Headmasters series.  One day, maybe when I'm bored, bedridden, or forced, I'll watch the rest of the series.  But I'm going to have to be forced.

It all goes downhill from this shot.
First, James Roberts and his fine, fine writing have made getting Star Saber a priority for me.  While I've been aware of Star Saber for quite awhile, it wasn't until he popped up in More Than Meets The Eye that he became important to me.  It will be awhile before I get one, but I'm keeping my eye open for one.  I'm still trying to decide if it would be cheaper to get him on eBay or yahoo Japan.  Maybe with the Masterpiece version coming later next year, we can get treated to a reissue.
Takara, if you read this, reissue him!
Having watched one whole disc out of the four that make up Headmasters, I've been seriously fighting the urge to get every Headmaster that I can get my grubby little hands on at the same time.  I've been having fever dreams about getting a big box chock full of Headmaster goodness.  I have to take it slow and steady.  I just have to constantly remind myself of that.

Social Media

I'm a member of several Transformer groups on Facebook, and I also occasionally check out Twitter and Flickr.  The one thing I've noticed is that most of the people on these Facebook groups love to show off their newest additions.  Then again, so do I, hence the blog.  At any rate, seeing these posts drives the competitor in me.  You got a new Transformers Prime Vehicon?  Check out my recently acquired Pretender Classic Starscream!  Does that make me a jerk?  I don't know.  I don't engage in exchanges that way; the thoughts never leave me head.  I'm just competitive.

Flickr has influenced me in ways that don't have to do with purchases.  I like to look at the photography.  People such as brr-icy have inspired me to attempt to improve my photography.  The key word here is "attempt", because I haven't gotten the nuances down yet.  I'm getting better, but I still lack the patience needed to get my pictures looking as good as I'd like them.

The Wrap Up

Every day I wrestle with the things that I see.  Every click of a link, turn of a page, or simple conversation plants a seed in the back of my head.  Do I let that seed sprout, or do I pour salt on it, killing it forever?  This is something that I give a lot of thought to.  Being influenced isn't a bad thing, as all of the things listed above have led me down avenues I hadn't thought of before.  Collecting in a vacuum isn't very fun, or practical, so just being in the world will bring about some sort of influence.

I really wanted to throw all of this out there, because each of the things that I've mentioned will play a big part of this blog over the first few months of this blog.  As I've mention before, I pretty much stick to a schedule with this blog - reviews of my newest additions on Mondays, and then an article on Wednesday.  To maintain the review portion, I pretty much write them in advance.  Well, thanks to all of these great influences, I have the first three months' worth of reviews done for 2014.  I'll mention what influenced me to get each figure as I review it.  There may be a few figures that will interrupt the so-called "Influenced Buys", what with Masterpiece figures coming (I'm looking at you Smokescreen), but they're written.  Stay tuned to see what they are!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Overexposed Characters

This was a hard topic for me to cover.  I had envisioned this as another list of ten, but after easily coming up with four characters, I struggled to even come up with a fifth!  Which, I suppose is a good thing.  We could be seeing the same things over and over again, like in X-Men comics.  Here then, are the four characters that I feel should be retired for a long, long while.


I love the concept of the combiner.  Merge a bunch of guys together to form a super robot?  Yes, please.  What I'm not a fan of is using the same combiner over and over again when there are others who can do a better job and have been neglected since their creation.  Think about it, there's Piranacon, Bruticus, Menasor, and Predaking.  They're never used.  Occasionally Bruticus or Menasor will pop up if the writer wants us to know that he's a True Fan and knows his Transformers.  But the others?  Never.

Here's the thing about Devastator - he's not bright and he's constantly conflicted on what to do because of the six components always arguing.  He's an inarticulate brute who just breaks everything in his path.  Maybe that's why he's used so much?  Bruticus and Menasor can do the same thing.  And Piranacon features a turtle!

This tortoise is not endangered
Please, I implore the imaginary writer that is definitely not reading this, if you need a gestalt, please use someone else.  Be that writer who dares to be different.  It's time to take a stand.  You can win if you dare.

Didn't I just rant on about how Devastator is overused and how I wished that writers would use a different gestalt?  I'm also sick of Monstructor.  Seriously sick.

Imagine how giddy I was when I read Spotlight: Optimus Prime to see Monstructor.  Hey, a gestalt that isn't Devastator!  Do you see how evil and scary Monstructor looks?  He's truly a Cybertronian nightmare.  Then he went into action and failed miserably - all Optimus Prime had to do was shoot him in a few connection points and Monstructor was out of commission.  When he appeared again the same thing happened.  As a matter of fact, this happens every time he appears.

The supposed weak point was fixed by Jhiaxus, and Monstructor seemed a bit more powerful during his last appearance, but it was still kind of weak.  He showed up, ripped up a couple of monsters, and then left.  Scary.

Do you how sad this makes me?  Monstructor just kind of floated around in the ether, never having a defined personality or any kind of presence for over a decade before Dreamwave gave the profile a go in the More Than Meets the Eye profile series they did.  He had been around for 18 years before he even appeared in an actual story!  And then to just have him appear for a few pages or even a panel only to get shot in one or two places and then fall apart is ridiculous.  Seriously, surely someone can make him dangerous.

I really want to like Monstructor, I really do.  Each and every one of his appearances thus far have been fairly anticlimactic.  There is hope for Monstructor, however.  If the weakness that even my grandmother knows about has truly been corrected, then I think that Monstructor can be an effective gestalt.  Maybe he'll be featured prominently in the Dark Cybertron event that just started, so who knows.  If that is the case, maybe some much needed rehabilitation can be performed and Monstructor won't need to be retired.  I can only hope.


"Who, me?"

Thunderwing should have been left alone after the Marvel series ended, plain and simple.  That's the best representation of the character.  He was power hungry, anddriven insane by his thirst for power.  He was - magnificent.  And then he had to keep popping back up.

By Odin's beard do I hate Thunderwing. "Hey, we need a big bad that isn't Megatron.  Let's use Thunderwing!"  I know that I'm oversimplifying this a lot.  There have been lots of other big bads.  There's been Shockwave, Bludgeon, Overlord, Unicron, Galvatron and the list goes on.  Maybe I'm just tired of Thunderwing being the insane Pretender.

Things started out well enough for ol' Thunderwing in the IDW comics.  He was a scientist.  A bit of a genius, really.  He realized that Cybertron was doomed, alerted everyone about it, was ignored, and then created the Pretender process.   So far so good.  He then went insane, practically rendering Cybertron inhabitable in the process and then got swallowed by the planet.  It would have been perfect had he stayed there.  Alas, this would not last.

In need of a super threat, Thunderwing was again resurrected.  Sure, he was just a shell without any life, but he was still there.  The Regeneration One comic would do essentially the exact same thing several years later.  I would say that the writers just couldn't think of anything better to do, but since there was only one writer involved for both series, I can't help but think that Simon Furman just likes to recycle plots.  So maybe I shouldn't be ranting incoherently about Thunderwing's overuse and start railing against Simon Furman.  Either way, Thunderwing just needs to stay retired.  Please.


Starscream's ego made this happen
Yeah, I went there.  I used to love Starscream.  His scheming, conniving ways were charming back in the day.  Now, now they're just tedious.  Over time I've just realized that he's a one-note character.  I understand his importance as a foil for Megatron.  Whereas Megatron is about power as a means to an end, Starscream is about power for the sake of power.  Megatron is about loyalty to the Decepticon cause.  Starscream is loyal only to himself.

What I'd like to do to Starscream
But, by Primus, how many times do we need to be told this?  Every time he shows up, this happens.  It seems that the entire point of the More Than Meets The Eye series is about Starscream's treachery.  Frankly, I find it a tad boring.  How many times can I read about Starscream's plan of the week where he's decided to usurp power?  Enough is enough already. 

Look, I understand that treachery is Starscream's deal.  But isn't there any other dimension to the character.  Maybe if Starscream was a little more defined, I'd be on board with him again.  As it is, I almost always skip over any page or panel where Starscream is speaking.  I already know what he's going to say.

There you have it.  These are the Transformers I'd like to see retired for a while.  Or forever, I'm good with whichever is decided.  Agree?  Disagree?  Let's talk about it!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Recently, I purchased two Detolf shelves from Ikea.  I won't bore you with the details on how I got them, but suffice it to say that I have them and I'm loving them.  Thanks to the Detolfs, I had to take down quite a few shelves and do a lot of rearranging to my collection and in the process of moving my Minibots, I realized that I was still missing two of them from my collection - Bumper and Hubcap.  Bumper is a down-the-road purchase, but Hubcap, Hubcap was an immediate need.

Finding a good condition Bumblebee/Cliffjumper/Bumper/Hubcap figure at a decent price is not an easy task.  I've actually been on the lookout for Hubcap for over a year, and it's been a slow process.  I'd find one at a good price, but the arms were loose, or the head wouldn't stay up, or the back piece would be scratched to kingdom come.  When I'd find just the right specimen, the seller would want an arm and a leg.  Then within a span of a week, it all came together.  First, a Hubcap showed up with tech specs.  The seller had a "Best Offer" option, so I offered him an offer of $26, which was $10 off his "Buy It Now" price.  Admittedly, it was a bit of a low-ball offer, but I was expecting a negotiation, like every other "Best Offer" I've ever done.  The seller rejected without a word, so I upped the offer to $30.  Finally a response "Sorry, the listing was actually wrong, this doesn't actually include the tech spec."  But, there still wasn't a counteroffer.  Still, $36 for just the figure is a steep price, so I opted to just drop it.  The next day, an auction appeared for a Hubcap with the instructions cut out and the tech spec.  That, that I won.  For a heck of a better price than the other one.

I'd love to talk about all of the awesome things that Hubcap has done in the cartoon and the comics, but that's an impossibility.  He was never featured in the cartoon, not even any of the Japanese series.  I thought that he may have been in Five Faces of Darkness, but that isn't the case.  This guy literally just had a few cameos in some comics and that's it.  He's had more involvement in the Transtech comics, but I don't think many actually read that series.  So, the con man has conned himself out of the fiction.

Behold!  The totality of Hubcap's fiction dialogue!

Ever own or been around Bumblebee or Cliffjumper?  Congratulations, you know how Hubcap transforms.  He's Cliffjumper without the spoiler and a new head.  He's the same color as Bumblebee.

No, not Cliffjumper
I actually never noticed that he was a slight retool of Cliffjumper until I read his TFWiki profile.  Then again, I've been known to be a little dense.  There isn't anything remarkable about the Porsche mode, other than the fact that unlike Cliffjumper, there isn't a spoiler.  There are those who have confused him for a yellow Cliffjumper.

The only interesting thing about Hubcap is his head mold.

Robot mode
There are a couple of scratches on the face, but I dig the head sculpt.  Really, I'm just thankful to have a penny-racer without horns on it's head.

There really isn't much to say about Hubcap.  He's an unremarkable toy, which is befitting an unremarkable character.  But he is a Minibot, and I'm now done with collecting them.  Except for Bumper, red Bumblebee and yellow Cliffjumper.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Head On!

So I just got the Japanese Headmasters cartoon on DVD from Shout! Factory.  Yeah, I'm just a little late on this.  I've had other things going on for the past few years.  Anyway, I've watched the first disc, and I have some random thoughts that I'd like to share.  I would've waited until I watched the entire series, but this all ties into the series of articles I have coming down the pipeline.  Just trust me.

I had a two minute conversation with myself about whether or not I should do an episode by episode breakdown/synopsis, but I ultimately opted against it.  That just sounded tedious.  Anyway, where was I?  Right, my thoughts on the Japanese Headmasters cartoon.

That Theme Song
The theme song is really catchy.  I've been walking around the house just saying "Head on!"  It's ridiculous how catchy that thing is.

It's Really Japanese
When I started watching the first disc, I wondered why it wasn't imported over to the States by Hasbro.  Then we started getting the static shots that made me wonder if I was watching old Dragonball or Dragonball Z episodes.  Couple that with a very subservient Arcee, there's really no way this would have worked in the U.S. in 1987 or 1988.  But that's just me.

Isn't He Dead?

I love the fact that, so far, characters like Prowl, Hound, and Sunstreaker have been featured in this series.  Hound even has a speaking part!  Throw in Jazz having things to do, and I know have a very good reason to love this series.

I don't think I've viewed an episode yet that hasn't featured at least one gestalt.  And the battle in the first few episodes where all the gestalts (including Devastator!) fighting was epic.  It's something that I've always wanted to see animated.

Blurr is More Annoying Than Wheelie

Blurr's double talking is just downright idiotic.  Sure, Wheelie is still pretty annoying, but not to the point that Blurr is.  Plus, Blurr is a coward?  That's the way he seems through the first disc.  And I'm kind of annoyed at how Kup, Blurr and Arcee are essentially office workers.  The one time they've ventured out of the confines of the base on Athenia was to watch Rodimus get rubble knocked on him by Galvatron.  Eh.

Talk About a Commercial!

This is the most fascinating thing to me.  When a new character appears, his name is displayed.  That makes it easier for kids to tell their parents which toy they want.  People complain about U.S. cartoons from the 80's being glorified commercials, but Headmasters takes it to a whole new level.

Well that's it for this article.  I'll have more of a review once I finish watching the entire series, but I really wanted to get these thoughts out as they tie together with what I'm working on at the moment.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pre-rub Wheeljack

Finally after 29 years, I got my grubby little hands on Wheeljack!  I've been looking for just the right specimen to show itself before I committed to a purchase.  He had to be clean with tight joints and most of all - I had to be confident that he wasn't a knock-off.  Stupid knock-offs.  Anyway, after what seemed like a life-long search, I have him!

Wheeljack has always been a favorite of mine.  There are a few reasons for this.  The panels on the side of his face light up when he speaks, at least in the cartoon.
But most importantly, Wheeljack is responsible (in the cartoon at least) for the creation of some of the most popular Transformers ever - the Dinobots.

The Dinobots are Wheeljack's legacy, as well as the only thing that he created that actually worked.  Just about everything else manufactured by Wheeljack kind of blew up or didn't work.  It was kind of his deal.

Things fared a little differently in the comics.  Thanks to the hard work and keen intellect that only Wheeljack possessed, the Autobots were able to add the 1985 assortment of cars to their ranks.  Wheeljack also designed the Aerialbots and their combined form of Superion.  After that, he was pretty much just a background guy.  Sure, he tried to talk some people into overthrowing Grimlock's leadership, but that was really about it.  The most interesting thing he did after this was make a funny face when he realized that a destroyed Optimus Prime was still alive after his fight with Unicron.

Seriously, I love Andrew Wildman.
Wheeljack actually did more than I thought in the IDW series.  Looking at his TFWiki profile, Wheeljack was apparently involved from just about the beginning.  I just don't remember him doing anything of much up until Robots in Disguise; maybe it's because all of the major league science stuff was being done by Jetfire and the Technobots.  Or maybe it's because I have a faulty memory.  Still, when I think of Wheeljack in an IDW comic, I think of Prowl shooting him in the head.  Which is kind of unfair, but it's still true.

Anyway, let's get on to the actual figure.  Until Wheeljack showed up on my doorstep, I had never seen one in person.  My first and, up to this point, only Wheeljack was the Action Master version that I know longer own.
It's hard to imagine that I went 29 years without at least seeing a Wheeljack, but there it is.  The kids that I knew who were into Transformers seemed to just have what I had.  Whatever the case, he's now in my possession.

Wheeljack's alt-mode is that of a Lancia Stratos Turbo, an Italian car that I would have told you was made up if you had asked me about it when I was a kid.

Seriously, it looks fake

This is a toy, not the real car
Comparing the two pictures, it's obvious that Takara left out quite a few of the sponsor decals on ol' Wheeljack.  Looking at the real car, I can't help but wish that Takara would squeeze out one more GT-R figure so they could do Wheeljack.  Maybe the Masterpiece figure will have all of the sponsors?  I doubt it, since he'll be cartoon accurate.  Where was I?

This specimen is pretty white, which is a relief.  I'm always worried about buying any figures that are white due to yellowing and just plain old dirt issues.  There's nothing worse that getting a figure and having to do a waay too thorough cleaning just to get rid of smudges and the like.  This is a pre-rubsign version, which means he's early in the run.  I didn't save the picture, but Wheeljack is stamped "Takara Co. Ltd. 1980, 1982 Japan", which makes me very happy.  I think that this is currently the earliest Transformer release that I own.

The decals aren't in the best of shape, but that's a matter of some reprolabels.  As you can see, they were applied haphazardly by the original owner.  I'm assuming that the original owner was 8 or 9 when they applied the decals, but I can never be sure.  There is also a bit of chipping on the front of the car mode, but that's something I can overlook.  Amazingly, the only die-cast on Wheeljack is at the front of the car.  For some reason, I was expecting it to be at the back which doesn't make sense once you transform him.

Mad scientist?
 Speaking of transforming, here is Wheeljack in robot mode.  He's shorter than I imagined.  I knew he wouldn't be tall, judging from every other 1984 car that I've ever owned, but man.  He's not as short as Hound, he's actually about average height for a 1984 Autobot.  I think that the length of his arms coupled with the fact that his legs actually don't really show make Wheeljack seem shorter than he actually is.  As you can see, Wheeljack also has two ginormous cannons that mount on his shoulders.  In the cartoon, he was only ever shown with one shoulder mounted launcher.

Articulation on Wheeljack is limited to his arms moving up and down and, thanks to his transformation scheme, his head can turn left and right.  The panels on the sides of his face, sadly, do not light up.  How awesome would that have been?

With the addition of Wheeljack to my collection, I now have every Autobot car released from 1984-85.  There are still the rest of the Omnibots and the Deluxe Autobots to get, but as far as the subcategory "Autobot Cars", that box is completely filled.  And I must say, that makes me happy.  It's nice to get subgroups complete.  Also, I now have every 1984-released figure now.  Onward, to finishing 1985!  I'll leave you with a picture of Wheeljack with his Brigade.

Charge of the Wheeljack Brigade