71455 Grimkeeper the Cage Monster. Is this one of the most terrifying LEGO® sets of the modern era?

You look around and suddenly find yourself in a fantastical world, full of colour and wonder.

Suddenly it appears before you: a tall skeletal creature with glowing eyes and a mouth full of yellowish-green teeth. You take another look. There, where its belly should be, is a cage. In that cage, you see the sleeping body of your best friend. It is now up to you to save them, and you have no idea what is going on. Truly the stuff of nightmares.

Is this one of the most terrifying LEGO Sets ever?

We have looked at Hero-centric sets in the upcoming DREAMZzz theme so far. Today, I thought we would turn our attention to one of the servants of the Nightmare King: 71455 Grimkeeper the Cage Monster. This gangly creature with spindly claws gathers sleeping dreamers for the Nightmare King. Several versions of the character exist throughout the first wave of LEGO DREAMZzz sets, but this is the largest and most detailed. Let’s take a closer look.

Whats in the box?

There are 274 pieces in this set, spread through three bags. The set has a predominantly black and grey palette, with a few white and violet elements for contrast. Spring yellowish-green tooth/horn/tusk elements, both in the small and larger form are present, and almost feel like they want to glow in the dark. Alas, I was disappointed. Some transparent bright green and lime elements are included as part of the small side build that Mateo and Z-Blob Pilot. (these do fluoresce under black light.)

The DREAMZzz instruction manual art never disappoints, from the front cover to the end of the story.

The Minifigures

The set has 2 minifigures and Z-Blob. We have seen Mateo before: the detail is fantastic, from the bandolier to his trousers/basketball boots. Again, he has a #2/HB pencil as his weapon of choice, as well as an hourglass. This figure is identical that seen in 71454 Mateo and Z-Blob robot

Cooper is in his ‘real world’ pyjamas, with checked patches appearing on the torso, while the legs are unprinted (as is often the case with pyjamas.). His dual print face is sleeping on one side whilst showing a little bit of determination, and a bit of anger on the other. His tousled ‘Bed Hair’ in light/cool yellow is a highlight for me! Of note, at this stage, this is the only one of the core heroes that we have both ‘real world’ and Dream Realm figures for.

The Build

We start our build with the torso and head of the Grimkeeper. I love the use of the grey elements as ribs, as well as the violet highlights. The construction is similar to that of many mechs, except for the minifigure sized compartment behind an Olde Schoole LEGO Jail door. There is a ball joint for the head to be attached to, while new 1×2 technic click joint bricks (seen already in similar builds such as Mateo and Z-blob Robot and Izzie and Bunchu Bunny are used to form the hips and shoulders.

Moving forward, we add the limbs and head. The arms and legs are of a similar style used in 71454 Mateo and Z-Blob Robot – incorporating the round barrel joints as well as the 2×2 macaroni element. – but with sinister claw-like hands and feet. A clip built into the hands allows for the addition of the Serious Spooky Lantern, with another of the evil eye tiles, and wings.

Grimkeeper’ s head is printed, and there are two new spiral elements in white serving as horns for the monster. The hinged jaw is filled up with spring yellowish-green teeth. There are four Bionicle spikes in bright red-violet behind the head.

Just moving the head and jaw, back and forth, I am amazed at the variation in expression that can be demonstrated.


Every DREAMZzz set comes with an alternate build and on this occasion, it is in the form of Mateo’s vehicle, with Z-Blob as a copilot:

We have the option of a glider-type craft, with wings to the side, as well as a couple of forward-facing stud shooters. I think this is the ideal attack craft to free Cooper from the Grimkeeper’s cage. Perhaps Mateo has taken over Z-Blob’s seat, to ensure Mateos pencil can pick the lock with ease…

The Alternative is more like a Speeder Bike – just what you need when trying to make a quick getaway from such hideous creatures, as suggested by the Manual art.

Of the two, I prefer the glider, but we will all have our own preferences.

In conclusion

Overall, I think this is a satisfying build. Grimkeeper is suitably scary: with its elongated torso and long arms, the proportions are otherworldly. The character reminds me of a combination of the Child-Catcher from Chitt-Chitty Bang-Bang, crossed with a skeletal Slenderman. The notion of a monster taking sleeping children in their dreams and stopping them from waking up can be quite anxiety provoking. Some parental discretion is advised if the program is going to be watched by very young children, but I do not feel it s a set that requires torches and pitchforks to be picked up and taken to the doors in Billund for corrupting and terrifying the nation’s youth. That said, our heroes Izzie and Mateo set out to rescue the captured dreamers as soon as they realise what they can achieve in the Dream World.

While this set is just a little larger than 714533 Izzie and Bunchu – 270 rather than 230 pieces, it is virtually twice the price! Admittedly, there are a number of larger elements included compared. to the other set, but it appears disproportionately expensive at this time. Is it strategically priced to allow for big box retailers to discount it at release? Is this the price of the exclusive Cooper Minifigure? I don’t think this. is a particularly good price, despite the greater play value in this set compared with the smaller sets in the range (71453;71454). If making a decision about which 2 of the 3 smaller sets, I would probably opt for this as well as 71455 Izzie and Bunchu Bunny, for the final minifigure selection as well as the appearance of a significant antagonist.

  • If interested, you can pick up this set from LEGO.com on August 1, 2023 for $AUD62.99/$USD37.88/37.99€/£31.99/$CAD49.99. (This link should take you to your local online LEGO.com store) Please consider using this affiliate link: the Rambling Brick might receive a small commission, but you pay no more.

I’d love to know what you think of this set. Is it getting a little too scary for the 7+ rating? Please leave your feedback in the comments below, and feel free to share this post with anyone you think might appreciate it.

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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Play Well!

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