71454 Mateo and Z-Blob Robot [Hands-On Review]

LEGO DREAMZzz is shaping up to be one of the most significant theme launches in the recent history of the LEGO group – with an original IP, an appealing story, as well as the wide open scope for storytelling in the dream realm, the scope for creativity is endless. Lots of the appealing aspects of this new theme are seen in 71454Matteo and Z-Blob the Robot, which is where I will start my reviews. You can find it on YouTube and Netflix if you have not yet caught up with the animated series. It’s reasonably engaging, even for an adult who has allegedly outgrown such things.

Lets read on… This review features UV lighting and home-built dream realms using cardboard, glue and cotton wool.

Mateo is the central hero of our story: a dreamer and artist by nature he has created Z-Blob. – a gelatinous mass who features in his comics.

When Mateo enters the dream world, Z-Blob is realised. Z-Blob’s ‘robot’ form allows the blob to run faster and evade the forces of the Nightmare King.

The LEGO Group have sent the first wave of sets over for review, and we will work through them over the next few weeks. All opinions are my own…

The set comes with 2 minifigures, a grim spider as well as the robot build. On the dark blue box, the DREAMZzz logo is prominent in the upper left hand side of the box, and a callout extols us to watch the series online.

The model is shown on one of the floating islands that make up the dream realm – predominantly grassy, except where the Grim spider is walking. The rear of the box shows the core build – and points to two options for the final look for Z-Blob: either as a flying, masked robot like something out of Japanese Pop culture or a gun-toting hero.

With a predominantly white body, and transparent bright green elements and black accents, I find myself thinking back to Blacktron 2.

Let’s take a look inside:

Three sealed bags, but only 237 pieces, means that the knoller-in-chief has been able to lay them all out on one tray. As we go, I’ll highlight a few elements of significance to the theme.

First a quick UV survey, and we see that all of the transparent bright green elements fluoresce under UV light.  None of the other colours here demonstrate obvious fluorescence.

Of greatest significance to me, as well as mech and dragon builders will be the new technic click joints: the brick is now only 1×2 compared to the previous 1×2. The pin/hinge element is unchanged, and there is a new round element that connects to the hinge pin : the 2×2 round element is 2 modules long, and has circumferential lines. There is a hole to accept a 2 module long Technic pin at the other end.

Another element that recurs throughout the theme is a large leaf/feather-like element- 12×3 modules, with a technic axle socket at one end. This one is transparent bright green, with an opaque colour mixed in. (other colours will feature across the theme.) In this set, it is used as a jet pack exhaust or as a weapon blast, to great effect.

The set comes with a small sticker sheet, which has a slight satin sheen.

The lower rows of the sheet have no specific role in the set, but can be placed ‘just for fun.’ Additional stickers are a feature of all the sheets in this theme.

Before we start with the build, I just want to give a huge shout out to the instruction manual! The DREAMZzz set’s manuals do not feature the irritating flat render art on the cover that we have barely tolerated over the last 12 months. Rather, we have painted art depicting a scene involving our characters, making the forthcoming project appear quite attractive. As we go through the instructions, the story progresses – showing our characters, good and bad, in action.

If note, in this set at least, there is no progress bar to be seen.

With the set, we have two mini figures. The first is Mateo. Mateo‘s face features a lighter coloured area around his right eye, which would suggest that the character has vitiligo. The first time we have seen this demonstrated on a normal yellow mini-figure. As these figures are in the dream world, Mateo is dressed in Dream Chaser garb. The intricacy of the torso and leg elements is exquisite. He has a bandolier featuring the Dream Guardian’s timeglass emblem and a couple of pockets printed on it. His dark blueish-grey pants have details of a belt and pockets printed on the front, while red basketball boots are dual moulded. I appreciate that he has been given a staff that resembles a pencil, with an eraser at one end, although it does look a little interesting: We also have a small hourglass accessory one by one by one and 2/3 bricks tall with a 1×1 round tile with an hourglass symbol to be placed on the end. He has a dual-sided face print and his hair is in dreadlocks.

The other figure is a sleeping child – Jayden – with colourful unicorn pyjama prints on his torso and plain lilac legs. His dual sided face shows orthodontic headgear. It is great to see this sort of night gear, being demonstrated in Lego form, as there are a good number of kids that might discover they need to use it for orthodontic alignment, having never been exposed previously in their life. His black hear looks like it has been recolored from a young Ron Weasley.

Let’s look at the build

We start with a small bed for our sleeping child a simple construction with a 1 x 2 cheese wedge to use as a pillow and a couple of studs at the bottom to hold him in place. This bed is able to be carried by the grim creature, one of the Nightmare King’s Nightmare Monsters. This construction has awesome printed 1×1 round tiles with a yellow print and a narrow black pupil. Just perfect for a microscale build of Baradûr. It was only in post production that I realised these eyes have a feint upper lid.

The build is fairly quick and simple, starting with the torso, hips and legs. The new technic click joint reduces the overall space required, and provides greater resistance than the similarly sized ball joints.

The length in the arms and legs is due to the curved macaroni bricks, which also give us the organic-looking sense of movement. The wrists rotate and have 2 fingers and a thumb. The feet consist of white and black sloped elements, with ball joints at the ankles.

Having completed the core of the model, the real fun begins: you are presented with a couple of options for the final model: one wielding a ray gun, while the other wears a mask and jet pack. The same set of remaining elements become the parts pool for these two ‘completeness builds. they are both pretty simple, and are easy to undo and rebuild in alternate forms. “Both models cannot be built simultaneously.” There are some parts of the Ray-Gun build that do not appear to be properly integrated in the final model. The jet pack, and ray gun both incorporate the large leaf element

Mateo and Z-Blob captures the intrinsic drama of the series: sleeping children under threat, while bringing us two of the core key characters from the series. I enjoy the two alternate builds, and it is certainly much easier to switch between the variations than it is with a typical Creator 3in1 Set.

If you haven’t yet had a look at the DREAMZzz series, I highly recommend it. Mostly fun. Some excitement; Classic Saturday Morning TV villains. And it gives some of the sets a little more context.

Now I just need some of the Dream Realm to display the model on: These areas are floating islands, Green grass, autumn leaves, but turning purple-grey with lava flows as they are overrun by the forces of the Nightmare King. Regular readers will know that I love. a bit of card-craft. Special thanks to @tashjonesdesigns for her help with the terraforming and cloud positioning.

Prepare for Photoshop.

As for this set? 71454 Mateo and Z-Bot is a fun and engaging build, giving us a couple of characters who are fun to play with, some peril, and a chance. torescue a child in peril. I love Mateo’s pencil, and the leftover printed tiles are just the thing to add to your favourite DOTS bracelet. The fact that the final robot bears a striking resemblance to a Blacktron 2 colour scheme makes the set more endearing to me. Would I change anything? I might look to make Jayden’s bed perhaps a little more complex: legs or a bedhead. But it is otherwise pretty reasonable for what it is.

At $34.99 AUD, it is one of the least expensive sets in the range. I am still adjusting to the new post inflation pricing regimes, and continue to feel that many sets in Australia seem to be priced for immediate big-box discounting.

That said, it will be available from 1st August at LEGO.com for $34.99AUD, 19.99USD, 20.99€, £18.99,CAD24.99 [Affiliate Link]

What do you think of this set, and the DREAMZzz theme in general? I’d love you to leave your feedback below. We’ll be looking at some other sets from the themes over the next few days, but you might find a few sneak peeks on Instagram in the meantime. Let us know what you want to see. in the comments. -you can find more details here.

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Play Well!

6 thoughts on “71454 Mateo and Z-Blob Robot [Hands-On Review]

  1. Looks like just the thing to order in two of, one for my grandson, one for me. It looks great for a kid just starting on robots, and great for a storyteller (me :)! The booklet is an interesting development … will that start to resemble manga/comics? I love your terraforming, it’s giving me ideas on how to display my mocs

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