31 October 2023

LEGO® DREAMZzz™ review: 71469 Nightmare Shark Ship

Posted by Eero

There a generally 2 types of action & adventure theme flagship sets: the Castle and the Vehicle. I usually find the Castle type more interesting as they tend to offer unique architectural structures. The flagship of the LEGO® DREAMZzz™ theme is of the Vehicle type: a pirate ship, stuck in a shark, with jet engines.

For the last of my LEGO DREAMZzz reviews I'm taking a look at 71469 Nightmare Shark Ship. Spooked yet? You will be!

Products in this article were gifted by The LEGO Group; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® DREAMZzz™ 71469 Nightmare Shark Ship
US$139.99/ £119.99/ 139.99€/ AU$239.99
1389 parts
1 August 2023
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Set 71469 on LEGO.com

Interesting pieces

New moulds

  • 2x Splat 3 x 14 with Medium Lavender Center in Trans-Pink (6435598 | 1995)    

New splat pieces appear in almost every set of the theme, but these pretty purple ones are exclusive to this set, and are the rarest of all. For a closer look on this part check out our LEGO DREAMZzz introductory article.

New recolours

  • 4 x Cylinder Half 2 x 4 x 5 with 1 x 2 cutout in Transparent Brown with Opalescence/ Satin Trans-Black (6395366 | 85941)

Large half-cylinders look pretty in Satin Trans-Black. These are not the easiest pieces to use, but they're used very effectively in this set.

  • 2 x Creature Body Part, Dragon Wing 19 x 11 with Marbled Black Pattern in Bright Reddish Violet/ Magenta (6433445)

The marbled Magenta dragon wings are the most eye-catching pieces of this set. They're also available in 71457 Pegasus Flying Horse.

  • 1 x Cable, Flexible 21L with 2 Connectors and Bars in Bright Green (6443503 | 2630)
  • 1 x Brick Round 4 x 4 Dome Top with Round 2 x 2 Recessed, 4 Studs in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6395096 | 79850) - has appeared in Pick-a-Brick
  • 1 x Large Figure Weapon Sword, 3 Bar Holes and Axle Hilt in Titanium Metallic/ Pearl Dark Gray (6377830 | 35633)
  • 1 x Equipment Hourglass with Pearl Gold Sand in Trans-Clear (6440804)
  • 2 x Animal Body Part, Bat Wing with Shaft [Chima Bat Wing] in Trans-Pink (6207783 | 15082)

The Bright Green handle-line, the hourglass and the Trans-Pink wings are common in this theme, whereas the Yellow dome and the Pearl Dark Grey sword are only available in this set.

New prints

  • 1 x Tile, Round 1 x 1 with Dreamcatchers logo in White (6434196) - with 1 extra
  • 1 x Animal, Rabbit / Bunny with Bunchu Print in Medium Azure (6434193)
  • 1 x Light Cover with Internal Bar / Bionicle Barraki Eye with Z-Blob Eyes Pattern in Transparent Bright Green/ Trans-Bright Green (6434204) - with 1 extra
  • 4 x Tile Round 2 x 2 with Cat Eye Print in Yellow (6434242)
  • 5 x Tile Round 1 x 1 with Cat Eye Print in Yellow (6434207)

Lots of eyes. They're staring at you... Also a little bluish bunny, and my my, the mini Z-Blobs are amiable and cute.

Rare parts

  • 1 x Aircraft Fuselage Curved Aft Section 8 x 12 x 2 Top in White (6433447 | 67245) - 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
  • 4 x Ornament with Bar in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6358938 | 28870) - in 2 other sets

The Black angled bar connectors are actually minifigure parts for the little dude Snivel. Light Bluish Grey ornamental vines should work well as architectural ornamentation.

  • 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
  •  4 x Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 in Sand Green (6423397 | 79389) - in 2 other sets
  •  4 x Plate Special 2 x 2 with Only 2 studs in Sand Blue (6398673 | 33909) - in 2 other sets
  • 2 x Slope 45° 2 x 1 Triple with Inside Stud Holder in Sand Blue (6392959 | 15571) - also in 10311 Orchid
  •  2 x Tile Special 2 x 2 Corner with Cut Corner - Facet in Sand Blue (6398674 | 27263) - in 2 other sets

Sand Blue and Sand Green are popular colours so builders will be happy to see these parts become more common. The Bright Light Orange parts are in most LEGO DREAMZzz sets as they make up Mateo's pencil spear.

Sticker Sheet

The sticker sheet is quite small and not really essential for the set's look. I only applied #6, the cool portrait of The Nightmare King, as stickers on tiles are easiest to re-use. The most important details, namely the eyes, are done with prints. Here's an official image of the set with the stickers:

©2023 The LEGO Group

The Shark Crew

Izzie and Mateo are brother and sister and they're saving their schoolmate Nova, as well as Izzie's plush toy Bunchu the Bunny, from the Shark Ship. Both Mateo and Izzie are the premium versions with cape, skirt, pauldrons and sword. Nova's sloth pajamas are so amazing.

The Nightmare King looks like he has awakened in a pyramid and is ready to stab you with a Morgul knife. His sword uses the same mould as Izzie's so they're both primed for a dramatic and spectacular fencing finale. His mooks are little dudes: the big-headed Snivel and winged Susan. 
I like Snivel with his beasty expression, but Susan is mostly irritating. With those wings she can't stay standing unless she's holding a large accessory; hence I swapped her fork (?) with Snivel's Uruk-Hai sword. The Nightmare King, of course, looks great in the black rubber cape. None of the figures in this set are exclusive - except the tiny Z-Blob, if it can be counted as a figure. For a closer look at these figs check out our LEGO DREAMZzz introductory article.

The Shark Ship

First, note that the stand is not included in this set. It is a custom build that I used here to capture the shark ship in its elegant glory, swimming through the bad ocean of dreams. It looks decent without a base, too, due to being a relatively horizontal model with the eye-catching dragon wing sails. But woo - I think the slight angle captures its essence better than expected.

This set is truly unique. It's a big, brick-built white shark, most of the skin rotting off, revealing it's Dark Pink, Magenta and Coral-coloured insides. A small pirate ship has been merged on top; its sails replaced with dragon wings. There's also a pair of nightmarish rocket engines on the sides, featuring groups of eyeballs staring through the nightmare goo. Not even LEGO® NINJAGO® has stuff this weird. Usually.

Most of this is well designed, using relatively advanced building techniques. I really like the use of smaller dragon wings as the tail and side fins and the blade replacing the bow mast looks menacing and creates a nice silhouette. Yellow lamps and eyes add nice contrast to the pinks and I'm happy to see pinks used here in the flagship (literally!) set of a new action & adventure theme. Traditionally (that is, modern times traditionally) they have been perceived as "girl colours" by many and thus sneered at; but the different pinks look pretty here.

I think the main shortcoming is the tail; the fin is great, as are the colours, but the shape with only one angled segment looks crude; it doesn't flow elegantly. Adding one hinge would have somewhat lessened the stripe effect, but I nevertheless think it would have improved it as the rest of the model flows so nicely.

The most intriguing technique in the shark ship is the angled captain's cabin's wall that uses a swivel plate hinge while also connecting it with a Pearl Gold round plate. I wonder if it's geometrically in the system or simple using the tolerance of the parts. I am not sure.

The shark's head is really well-shaped! I also prefer it without the stickers, as the shape is cleaner this way. The unprinted eye is also very effective - both elegant and scary. One would almost expect the teeth to glow in the dark, but I think these Bright Yellowish Green ones look better than Glow in the Dark Opaque would. 

Turning the round brick on the left side opens and shuts the mouth, damped by a rubber liftarm. The round brick on the right controls the winch hanging from the mouth. It's a nice detail, effective for play and quite disturbing; like the shark had eaten an angler and their rod whole with just the remaining hook now hanging out.

Nova sleeps in the shark's stomach, under a scary portrait of The Nightmare King. The bed is wide and comfortable, albeit quite windy in there due to the leaky ribcage walls.

The large eyeball is actually a jellyfish-like creature buried in the ship, guarding the entry to the captain's cabin. An unique and well-designed detail. Quite disturbing too.

Due to his large rubber cape, The Nightmare King cannot sit or even stand on his throne as the armrests get in the way, but he can hang on the wheel and hope for the best.

The engine tanks with the eyes staring amidst the haze are very well done. Great use of satin parts!

The skull throne is very nicely shaped, reminiscent of similar structures other action and adventure themes have used in recent years.

The cabin section can be removed and opened, though it's not the most elegant play feature as the opened cabin doesn't form a decent space. It includes room for some equipment and a... prison for Bunchu the Bunny? I think it looks more like the hare's running this whole nightmare business from there.


Removing the captain's cabin reveals a treasure chest. It can be freed by pressing the keyhole, but this effect doesn't work very effectively.

The alternative model is called a tank, though it's missing tracks. I think having a rolling alternative is good, as it enables a different play pattern, but generally this is lamer than the main model. I feel the altered details could have been more polished, given that there are plenty of parts left over. Additionally, the eye-bat can't really stand with its little clip-connected legs.


71469 Nightmare Shark Ship is a bold concept, executed successfully. The pirate ship part is relatively small, but the shark is big and heavy, and the model feels decently sized. It's sturdy and swooshable with no easily falling bits. It looks good on display, partly due to its eye-catching colour scheme. As a parts pack it's decent - there's something new, something unique and something rare. 
There isn't a huge number of figures, but the ones included are great. The shortcomings are minor - Susan can't stand up, The Nightmare King has problems using his throne and the tail doesn't flow elegantly - but these aren't nightmarish flaws.
Of course, US$139.99/ £119.99/ 139.99€/ AU$239.99 is a big sum of money for a playset, so no matter how cool it looks, consider that first. It does still fares well compared to other flagship sets of similar numbers and 1389 parts is decent and a better value than most larger LEGO DREAMZzz sets. In conclusion, the designers aimed for the Vehicle of The Nightmare King, and they nailed it.

READ MORE: LEGO® ICONS™ review: 10329 Tiny Plants

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  1. Good review! Before I was fully convinced about the Dreamzzz theme being worth the hype, I was still very determined to pick this one up. It's just so cool, features two of the main hero characters in their most deluxe versions, and has a great array of recolored and printed parts.

    The eye prints are great and I'm tempted to use some of them in an Owl House MOC. The tiny Z-Blob print is great too, and I love the way one of the small magazine promo sets used it for a mini Z-Blob robot. We don't get the magazines here in the U.S., but I'm tempted to put together that mini-build out of spare parts.

    The geometry of the captain's cabin does work out cleanly, by the way—a simple trick where the distance between the centerpoint of the hinge and the gold stud matches the distance between the same hinge and the center of the farthest anti-stud on the assembly. 5 and a half modules across by a half a module deep for both assemblies—just in a different direction on both.

  2. The stacked swivel plate hinge and Pearl Gold round plate are "in system", but only because the top swivel plate is at 90 degrees and does not follow the angled wall.