31 August 2023

LEGO® DREAMZzz™ review: 71456 Mrs. Castillo's Turtle Van versus 71458 Crocodile Car

Posted by Eero

As a kid, I was far more interested in the diverse members of the animal kingdom than cars. In our dreams the distinction is far less clear, as shown by these two LEGO® DREAMZzz™ sets, 71456 Mrs. Castillo's Turtle Van and 71458 Crocodile Car.

One is slow, stable and hippie-ish; the other is low, toothy and dangerous. Which one fares better? One, two... Go!

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® DREAMZzz™ 71456 Mrs. Castillo's Turtle Van
US$47.99/ £42.99/ 47.99€/ AU$72.99
434 parts
1st August 2023
Buying from Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

LEGO® DREAMZzz™ 71458 Crocodile Car
US$59.99/ £57.99/ 62.99€/ AU$104.99
494 parts
1st August 2023
Affiliate links: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

The parts of set 71456

 New moulds

  •  1 x "Splat" Flame/Vapor Trail 3 x 14 with Axle Hole and Bright Light Orange Center in Trans-Yellow (6447085 | 1995)

The signature mould of this theme. The colour combination looks pretty and energetic.

  • 1 x Brick Curved 1 x 2 x 2/3 Double Curved Top, No Studs in Reddish Brown (6433392 | 3563)

This new mould is used for Mrs. Castillo's backpack and is only in this set. It is like the missing link between the 1 x 1 and 1 x 4 variants.

Recoloured parts 

The maxaroni in the pretty Bright Light Orange is a very welcome recolour.

  • 4 x Brick Round 2 x 2 D. Tube with 45° Elbow and Axle Holes (Crossholes) at each end in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6439715 | 65473)


  •  4 x Wheel Arch, Mudguard 2 x 4 x 2 in Sand Green (6439725 | 35789)
  •  1 x Window 1 x 4 x 1 2/3 with Spoked Rounded Top in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (643971 | 20309)
  • 1 x Equipment Hourglass with Pearl Gold Sand in Trans-Clear (6440804 | 23945pat0003)
  • 1 x Weapon Bow and Arrow [Large] in Medium Lilac/ Dark Purple (6451947 | 4499)

The Hourglass appears in almost every set of this theme. The curved window is used as the turtle's lower jaw.

Decorated parts

  • 1 x Tile, Round 1 x 1 with hourglass logo in White (6434196) - with 1 extra
  • 1 x Tile, Round 2 x 2 with hourglass logo in Bright Light Orange (6434197)
  • 1 x Large Figure Shoulder Cover, Armor, Round, Smooth with Turtle Face Print in Bright Light Orange (6434231 | 21560)
  • 1 x Brick Round 3 x 3 Dome with Center Stud with Cat Face Print in Lime (6434232 | 49308)

The Dreamcatcher logo tiles appear in almost every set of this theme. Both the Cat-Cactus head and the Turtle armour add-on are appropriately weird, but I'm sure MOC builders will find uses for them. 


Sticker sheet

Given the size of the set, these stickers play a quite prominent role. They're well designed graphically and are mostly used logically on parts, but I feel that applying some of them to the two sides of a 1 x 4 x 3 panel - namely the funky taco turtle and the Dream craft chalkboards - makes them very hard to re-use, so I didn't apply them and saved them for future use. 

The extra stickers are very fitting for the hippie feel of Mrs. Castillo and her kleinbus-imitating van.

Rare parts

  • 1 x Rock 1 x 1 Crystal 5 Point in Satin Trans-Purple / Trans-Purple Opal
  • (6442192 | 28623) - also in 43215 The Enchanted Treehouse
  • 1 x Wave / Flame Rounded with Base Rim in Transparent Bright Bluish Violet/ Trans-Purple (6408044 | 28618) - also in 71408 Peach's Castle Expansion Set
  • 2 x 25214 Brick Round 1 x 1 diameter Tube with 90 Degree Elbow (2 x 2 x 1) and Axle Holes (Crossholes) at each end in Lime (6327441 | 25214) - in 2 other sets
  • 1 x Bar 4L (Lightsaber Blade / Wand) in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6376752 | 21462 | 30374) - in 2 other sets
  •  1 x 64567 Weapon Lightsaber Hilt with Bottom Ring in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6134252 | 64567) - also in 10294 Titanic, with 1 extra

The Bright Light Orange parts appear in Mateo's staff in several DREAMZzz sets.

Minifigures in set 71456

The Van comes with its owner, Mrs. Castillo, the two aspiring Dreamcatchers Zoey and Mateo, and two Little Dudes: an evil Grimspawn and good boy Z-Blob. Mrs. Castillo is an amazing figure - she looks like she's got the lifting power of an ox. 

As this is a mid-sized set, the Dreamcatchers lack the capes provided in the largest sets; however, this Mateo is the only version with a red skydiver backpack.

I find the Little Dudes slightly irritating with their Funko-Pop attitude, but on the other hand, Z-Blob is quite cute with the amiably simple eye print. For a closer look on these figures, check our introduction article.

A turtle. Also, a VW bus.

Upon seeing the first pictures of this set I wondered how the leg movement was enabled as the maxaroni pieces, with their axle holes, are stuck right on the wheels. The sad truth is that it isn’t – the legs don’t move at all. I feel it would have been possible to enable a type of friction in there; perhaps by using a couple of gears connected to long friction axle-pins. It would have made the bottom of the car more robust, but I think it would have been worth it.

The legs are connected simply by axles with the pin hole wheels rotating freely in-between. It sure makes the model stable, but also quite dull. Sure, they can be removed and adjusted to other poses, but only at 90 degrees angles that don’t look natural. The head also has a very limited range of motion. It can rotate (to upside down) and swivel down (where there isn’t much room) but the turtle can’t look sideways.

The lack of motion is a shame especially as a turtle-kleinbus van is a fantastic playset concept - cute, peaceful and gleeful - and the model looks good with its printed CCBS armour head and elegant maxaroni legs. Now it feels like a statue of the turtle car more than an actual animal-machine hybrid. Perhaps this elevated taco-car would fit an amusement park or an outdoor art exhibit.

The left flank is simpler - the turtle taco sticker would be applied to the panel here. The slight curve near the hem looks good, and the exhaust bursting out some dream energy adds a cool twist. However, it's slightly annoying that the pipe doesn't lead anywhere, as visible on the next photo. The stuff on the roof looks great though - the cat cactus is weird and cute, the stickered 2x6 tile looks great and the palm tree adds some motion to it all.

The interior is very simple with a shelf featuring magical items. The floor patterns continues the shell motif of the roof stickers. The Dream craft builds sticker would be applied to the inner wall of the panel on the left.

The set includes alternative axle-pins for the wheels, so the model can be turned into a normal van selling something; probably tacos. It looks decent as a car, with a nice white-and-sand-green colour scheme, but is relatively large for minifigure scale.

The parts of 71458 

New moulds

  • 2 x Barrel Joint 2 x 2 x 4 in Dark Blue (6435596 | 1994)

This is a new character-building element in this theme. Dark blue is a nice, royal colour for it, but having only two somewhat limits the uses.


  •  2 x "Splat" 3 x 14 with Dark Azure Center in Trans-Blue (6435597 | 1995)

Two splats might come as a surprise to some; the other one is only used in the alternative model. Nice!

Recoloured parts


  • 1 x Aircraft Fuselage Curved Forward 6 x 10 Bottom in Neon Yellow/ Vibrant Yellow (6442977 | 87611)
  • 7 x Plate Special 3 x 2 with Hole in Neon Yellow/ Vibrant Yellow (6442976 | 3176)

"Neon" Yellow is still a newcomer in the colour chart, and these parts broaden the available inventory. 

  • 1 x Equipment Hourglass with Pearl Gold Sand in Trans-Clear (6440804 | 23945pat0003)
  • 2 x Animal Body Part, Bat Wing with Shaft [Chima Bat Wing] in Trans-Pink (6207783 | 15082)
  • 2 x Brick Round 2 x 2 D. Tube with 45° Elbow and Axle Holes (Crossholes) at each end in Dark Blue (6449297 | 65473)

More maxaroni are always welcome. The Dark Blue ones are exclusive to the set, whereas the bat wings and the hourglass are common in LEGO DREAMZzz.


  • 2 x Tile 2 x 2 with Crocodile Eye print in Dark Azure (6453223)
  • 1 x Tile, Round 1 x 1 with hourglass logo in White (6434196) - with 1 extra
  • 2 x Tile, Round 2 x 2 with hourglass logo in Bright Light Orange (6434197)
  • 1 x Tile, Round 1 x 1 with cat eye and lid pattern in Black (6434213) - with 1 extra
  • 1 x Tile, Round 1 x 1 with Cat Eye in Yellow (6434207) - with 1 extra

Lots of eyes! This should fulfill a monster builder's needs.

The sticker sheet

I only applied the jagged teeth sticker (#5) as the rest felt unnecessary and their slight colour difference with the background colour stood out a bit. Trust me, the crocodile will look amazing even without those patterns. The teeth are nice though and are placed on a 1 x 2 tile, which would be the most useful piece for reuses in MOCs. Here's an official render of the set with the stickers applied.


 ©2023 The LEGO Group

Rare Parts

  • 1 x Technic Driving Ring Connector Smooth [2 rounded and 2 flat side walls] in Green (6443225 | 42195) - also in 42157 John Deere 948L-II Skidder
  • 4 x 61409 Slope 18° 2 x 1 x 2/3 with 4 Slots in Dark Azure (6219248 | 61409) - in 2 other sets
  • 1 x Bar, Angled with Stud on End in Black (6443416 | 65578) -  with 1 extra, also in 21340 Tales of the Space Age

The black angled connector is used on Snivel Little Dude.

  •  1 x Windscreen 6 x 6 x 1 2/3 in Transparent Light Blue/ Trans-Light Blue
    (6394284 | 65632) -  also in 76248 The Avengers Quinjet
  • 2 x Brick Curved 2 x 2 x 2/3 Two Studs and Curved Slope End in Medium Azure (6439273 | 47457) - in 2 othe sets
  • 2 x Wedge Curved 4 x 4 No Top Studs in Dark Azure (6021779 | 47753) - in 2 other sets

I was surprised that 2 x 2 Curved Bricks are that rare in Medium Azure given that both this piece and the colour in general seem to be very common.  

  • 8 x Bar Holder with Hole and Bar Handle in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (6384643 | 49755) - also in 10302 Optimus Prime

  • 4 x Wheel 30 x 14 in Dark Azure (6443915 | 56904) - also in 42162 Bugatti Bolide Agile Blue

Minifigures in set 71456

Cooper is the best-equipped version of him, with a cool sci-fi style helmet and a blue utility belt. He also comes with an interesting Thor-esque hammer and the car appears to be from Cooper’s dreams; which explains the matching colour. 

Logan is a little dude, for some reason – some kids just imagine themselves as naked little blue goblins, I suppose. I respect that. He shares his colour scheme with the crocodile parts, so the crocodile add-on is his doing – I respect him even more! 

They’re ready to save Jayden, who sports a heavy bracing and some amazing unicorn pajamas.

The bad guys include Night Hunter, who is the Nightmare King’s sergeant-at-arms, and a huge-headed lizard-like little dude Snivel, who looks ridiculous and is probably the best of the evil little dudes in this theme. 

A car. Also, a crocodile.

The crocodile car is vibrant with a Dark Azure, Vibrant Yellow and Red colour scheme – with plenty of other blue hues thrown into the mix. 

It is amazing and I am honestly touched by how cool it is. It captures the lazy reptilian guile of a crocodile so perfectly. Just look at its sideways glare, teeth and the position of lower legs. This is some good creature design. 

There are no special techniques nor SNOT shaping prowess, but the total design is a killer. Actually, I don’t think that the official box images present the lizard-like stance near as well as the real thing.

Additionally, the model is fun to play with. The swiveling tail function works well and has a good range and enough power to knock down some baddie bikes. The Technic pin-connected splat tip drops sometimes, but not very often. This function has also appeared in LEGO® NINJAGO® dragon sets.

The jaws naturally open and close making the mouth big enough to eat people; the disk launcher works from between the jaws, too. The obsequious limbs support the weight easily and offer some poseability. It’s easy to image this thing swimming though backwaters with it powerful tails, chasing the terrified nightmare crew.

The car is a well-designed sports truck with decent shaping, a simple red colour scheme and a disk thrower embedded into the fender. Click hinge pieces near it make a surprisingly good detail in addition to providing connection points to the crocodile’s jaws. Even the leg connectors read as some sort of machinery greebles. The cockpit fits two figures. But in the end, it’s just a sports car, and not so interesting as such.

Luckily, the fun doesn’t end there – and if you want your croc to be a bit faster on the road, simply dropping the legs in a favour of wheels turns it into a roadkill reptilian beast…

Just look at the smug face of this reptile monster. She knows she's gorgeous. The alternative build mutilates the crocodile into bigger engine parts of the car, plus a little lacklustre boat for Logan. As mentioned, the spare splat piece is used there too; bursting out from the exhaust pipes. They can't top the croc. 


Huge wide-wheeled bikes are common in LEGO action and adventure themes as they’re effective way to add on playability. Night Hunter’s bike uses relatively new fork pieces and has similar construction with most of these bikes, but it's equipped with Trans-Pink bat wings and other items of nightmarish nature while the teeth are a sticker. 

Akin to mini-dolls, Jayden is connected to 1 x 2 T-panel on the back of the bike. He seems to stay there without cage or chain or anything. He doesn’t seem to be much of a fighter, or maybe he’s just asleep?

If Night Hunter’s bike is somewhat generic, Snivel’s little version is plain delightful. It uses a similar but smaller Technic fork piece, which makes me happy. They’re a bit like Batman and Robin in there; only bad.

If Mrs. Castillo's Turtle Van is a peaceful hippie set, the Crocodile Car is full of adventure... and people being eaten alive by a nitro-powered semiaquatic predator. I initially thought I was more a fan of the first set, but oh boy was I wrong.


Both of these sets share a similar basic concept, and they summarise the LEGO DREAMZzz theme very well: In dreams, often relatively normal things (like cars and reptiles) collide in weird ways. They have also similar part counts and prices - US$47.99/ £42.99/ 47.99€/ AU$72.99 for 434 parts on the Turtle Van and US$59.99/ £57.99/ 62.99€/ AU$104.99 for 494 parts in Crocodile Car. Taking inflation into account, both of there numbers are relatively low, and while these sets have some neat parts - especially Bright Light Orange maxaronis in Turtle and the Neon Yellow parts in Crocodile - they are far from ideal parts pack with these prices.

As far as the looks go, both sets look nice with strong concepts. But on the play and set design aspects, the Crocodile Car sweeps the floor with the Turtle Van. I was disappointed with the Turtle and smitten by the Croc. And despite the similar part and minifig numbers, the Crocodile Car feels like a much larger set, packed with action and attitude - and a surprisingly exact understanding of the animal physique. It's not really an AFOL set - except for AFOLs that actually play with their sets - as it's low and long and takes plenty of shelf space without really being an eye-catcher. But if you are looking for a LEGO gift of value of around 60 € for a real, playing kid, it doesn't get much better than this reptilian menace.

READ MORE: LEGO® changed part 99206: find out what part 4304 cannot do

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  1. Hi. The "Brick Curved 1 x 2 x 2/3 Double Curved Top, No Studs" can also be found in 71425 Diddy Kong's Mine Cart Ride - and there's 55 pieces of that part in dark brown. Regards, r4

  2. I need those sand green wheel arches so bad... I've got a MOC waiting for them since the theme was revealed in April. (I think it was April?)