Review: Official Set 10202 - Ultimate Dume
Much like the 2003 Titan sets, the 2004 Titan sets include the option to build a combination model composed of parts from the 3 base Titan builds. In this case, we combined Nidhiki, Krekka, and Turaga Dume & Nivawk to create the Ultimate Dume. The Ultimate Dume represents a winged form of Makuta after he absorbs the three base Titans in Bionicle: Legends of Metru Nui.
This set contains 552 pieces and is recommended for builders ages 9 and up.
The Ultimate Dume actually had its own exclusive set with packaging in case you wanted to go that route instead of purchasing the 3 Titan sets individually. It does add a considerable amount to the price in used condition, for the sake of my wallet I went the budget route of just breaking down the Titan set builds and using those pieces to construct this build.
The build was definitely not the longest set build coming in at 55 minutes, but the model itself is certainly the largest one we’ve seen so far. The design is very fluid in that the model flows very well from top to bottom and avoids having any sections that stand out too much. This is quite difficult to get just right with larger models, but the designers pulled it off exceptionally well. There’s a lot of neat building techniques sprinkled throughout the model which I appreciate since it means they really tried hard to make this thing the best they could.
Another example of going the extra mile when it comes to design was the choice to make each of their hands a unique style. One hand is a claw-like design that uses silver weapons to give it a sharpened look that could pierce with ease, and the other hand is a more traditional hand with a palm, fingers, and some nails. While the hands achieve a variation in their looks, they unfortunately come short in the articulation department, or should I say come up too far. There is almost too much articulation in the hands that make it frustrating to pose them due to the delicacy of the small hand area combined with also trying to keep the rest of the model steady at the same time.
Every so often we see combination builds solve issues that were present in the base designs, and the Ultimate Dume happens to be one of those combinations. I had a huge problem with the static mouth of Nivawk because I knew that it wouldn’t take much to make it open and close, yet the designers omitted it from their design. Ultimate Dume does include a mouth that opens and closes, and even manages to implement this play feature without taking up much extra space. It really just makes me wonder why the Nivawk set couldn’t have this as well. After all, they were designed in the same time period, right?
Moving on to the most prominent part of the build, the wings, I have to say I’m quite satisfied with them. They offer a fairly skeletal design but fill up a lot of space thanks to the silver weapon pieces that form the feathers. It’s a smart choice on the designers’ end because it maximizes surface area while minimizing weight. They’re even attached in a clever way where the rubber joints are not the only thing holding them in place. The wings rest on top of Toa Metru hip pieces, which takes almost if not all of the strain off of the rubber joints. The importance behind this is that the rubber joints degrade over time, and now that we’re 17 years and counting beyond the release of this set, in used condition chances are your rubber joints don’t hold much friction. This degradation of socket joints does cause the set to age really poorly because the worse condition your joints are in, the less playable your model will be and the less you’ll be able to pose it.
The set as a whole has nice stability as designed, but the legs are certainly the weak point. They’re just a little bit too thin, especially at the ankle which is composed of a single Toa Metru leg piece. The weight above them is just too much to get creative with posing.
A benefit of buying this set as the exclusive 10202 version is that you get an exclusive Mask of Power. I managed to grab one off of a third-party seller for a good price, currently they run for around $15 on bricklink. The mask looks nice, it has a sleek design with some added shine compared to the 2003 Mask of Shadows, but I wouldn’t classify it as anything you want to go out of your way to purchase. I think it looks just fine without the Mask of Power, but the exclusive mask does add a little extra touch to give your collection an added flare.
Overall, the Ultimate Dume was a fun build that offers the largest Bionicle set to date. The design aesthetics are quite captivating, but unfortunately the degrading rubber joints cause it to age very poorly. I would consider this to be a luxury build that should only be considered if you either have some spare cash or are unsatisfied with your 2004 Titan sets.
Speaking of luxury, the Ultimate Dume is most certainly priced like a luxury set. For the exclusive version that includes all 3 Titans with the Mask of Power, you can expect to pay around $175 for it in used condition, and $250+ in sealed condition. Between the two I would say it’s better just to pay extra for a sealed version since it’ll guarantee that your joints will be in good condition, but if you’re on a budget I see nothing wrong with doing what I did and disassembling the Titan sets so save that money.
At the end of the day I had a fun time with this combination model, but it fails to accomplish or provide anything that other Bionicle sets do not. It’s a neat build but leaves me regretting taking apart the 3 Titans from 2004 just to build it.