When I reviewed Protector I said that 2010 had several Rodimus Prime related toys out. 2010's other craze was Targetmasters with several third party products available, Hasbro creating the Power Core Minicons as weapons which Takara repainted as Micron Targetmasters for the Transformers United toy range. Well Sidearm combines the two themes of the year by providing a Targetmaster for Classics Rodimus similar to Firebolt which came with Targetmaster Hot Rod.
Like Firebolt, Sidearm comes with a black chest and head. The arms & legs are mainly grey with black forearms and lower legs fronts. Again like Firebolt the face is painted red. Firebolt's articulation consists of the transformation hinge in the middle. Sidearm beats that by some distance: ball jointed hips, bending waist, shoulders that fold across the chest and turn and bending elbows. So not a bad little figure, on a par with many recent Minicons and Legends.
Transformation: Fold the arms straight down to the sides of the body and straighten the hips. Fold the arms upwards, then bring them together over the face. Fold the legs back at the hips and then fold the waist up locking the top of the legs into the top of the shoulders to form the gun mode.
Sidearm's gun mode is a mainly grey double barrelled gun with a black base and rear handle, barrel fins and stock. He's got two handles on the underside of the gun: the rear one is a 5mm peg which means he can be held by Protector, the original Targetmaster Hotrod and all transformers with a 5mm hole in the hand. The front peg is a 4mm one that should allow Classics Rodimus to hold it. *SHOULD*. Mine won't. The peg hole on mine, and the corresponding peg on his gun is slightly larger than the 4mm it should be. It appears I'm not alone here, as you'll see in some posts on the 2005 Boards Protector & Sidearm review thread, but it also appears as if Classics Rodimus affected by this problem are quite rare. I've got a Battle In Space Rodimus too and the 4mm peg on Sidearm fits him perfectly in both his hands and on his back, as well as fitting the 4mm peg hole on the top of Protector's roller drone. In addition there's a diagonal slit in the front of the base of Sidearm. This slides over the middle of Rodimus' spoiler allowing the weapon to be mounted on Rodimus in vehicle mode.
Sidearm comes with some bonus items: the fin for the front of Protector plus the extension fins for Rodimus, all chromed in gold. These might seem surplus to requirements but the extension fins, both chromed and those supplied with Protector, can slot onto the sides of Sidearm's gun barrels to turn him into a crossbow.
One small complaint: Sidearm doesn't feel that solid in gun mode and a little pressure on the gun barrels causes them to fold forward. Other than that it's a nice little add on. I suspect we'll see an inverse version and all black versions along the way. Yes he's designed for Classics Hotrod and Fansproject Protector, but the 5mm handgrip means that many modern Transformers can hold him so if you've got a toy that needs tooling up you might want to give Sidearm a look.