Since 2014 LEGO has been releasing amusement rides under the Creator Expert range. This year LEGO has killed the Creator Expert theme but introduced a new name for all of their amusement ride sets -The Fairground Collection. The latest addition is 10273 Haunted House.
Should you add this one to your collection or give this a miss? Read on to hear my thoughts.
When I first heard that LEGO was producing a Haunted House set I thought it would be a standalone set, possibly even a remake of 10228 Haunted House from 2012’s Monster Fighters theme. That would have been cool but the fact that this is actually a fairground ride is actually a more interesting take in my opinion.
This set is an 18+ set with 3231 pieces so as you would expect it’s a complex build, here split over 18 sections. I think the breakdown of the set is fairly good with each section containing enough parts to be engaging, but each bit won’t take too long.
The house can be presented closed or opened, which means there are three sections joined by hinges. The build switches through the three parts rather than in discrete sections like you’d find with a modular. I like that you work on one thing that keeps getting bigger rather than build a bit, put it aside and move on. By the end of the build there were bits where I had to stand up to do certain steps.
There is a lot of brick-built features throughout the model, which provide a nice little break from just building walls. For example the organ is a cool little build.
I really enjoyed putting this together. It was one of those builds where you finish a bag and check the time to see if you can get another section done before you need to go to bed – “It’s only 11pm, one more bit should be fine”. Not every build gets me staying up later than I should.
The only part of the build that I didn’t love was putting together the chain that operates the elevator. It’s just one of those tedious necessities that you sometimes get.
Beautifully spooky – inside and out
The finished product is packed with so many details. Yes this is a fairground ride but it’s one that has been given a lot of attention to detail.
The outside of the house features a small fenced off front filled with some spooky details; two different grave stones, vines and a pumpkin.
The front door features stairs as well as a ramp. I really like that the designers have opted for a little bit of accessibility in this build.
Also on the outside you get the Manor Von Barron sign, which actually doubles as a trigger for the internal light brick. The sign is positioned just above a simple stained glass window build.
The rear of the building features two giant flywheels and the crank to turn to make the whole thing work. This is also where you will connect your motors if you choose to add them.
Opening up the building you are presented with an amazing array of references to past LEGO sets. I’ll go through everything inside but I’m not going to point out every reference – learning about each thing during the build is such a fun part of the process. The general premise is that this is the house of Baron Von Barron, the villain from the Adventurers theme, and his house is full of objects he stole.
Minifigures enter through the large wooden doors, and immediately reach the ticket desk and ride control panel. Mounted on the wall behind the innocuous desk is the first of many artefacts.
On the other side of the elevator is an Egyptian obelisk with hieroglyphics on the front.
The final section of the ground floor is largely taken up by the impressive pipe organ. I really love this part of the build. Pipe organs are spooky. I don’t know exactly why, but they are.
Above the pipe organ are two Anubis heads and hanging above the central elevator shaft is a brick-built sphynx head. More Egyptian relics pilfered by the evil Baron.
The upper level of the building also features a painting of the Baron. A haunted painting that is. Built using two layers of printed elements and a red light brick a mummy will appear when the trigger on the outside wall is pushed. It’s a simple technique but the way it works is really great.
The rest of the upper level is packed with more references and spooky details such as skeletons and cobwebs.
The house is filled with lots of touches of gold that really elevate this as something that is meant to be the home of somebody evil AND wealthy.
What goes up must come down
With a simple turn of a handle at the back the elevator will lift until it reaches the top, where the doors will open up giving the minifigures a quick view of the fairground before they plummet to their doom safe landing.
The first time I wound that handle on the back and the elevator rose and dropped I was instantly turned back in to a kid, with a huge grin on my face internally yelling “THAT IS SO COOL”.
I don’t fully understand how the mechanism works but I know there are cogs, a long chain and two massive flywheels involved. As the elevator falls the energy is transferred to the flywheels to slow the decent. In my testing I have found the mechanism to be quite reliable.
Did I mention that it’s just super fun? If you didn’t watch it already scroll back up and check out the video.
To put your minifigures on the actual ride itself you will have to remove the seating compartment, place the minifigures in and slot that back in. It’s a little fiddly but not the end of the world. You probably aren’t going to be putting in different minifigures in all day every day.
The set includes 9 minifigures (10 if you include the skeleton).
There are two identical ride operators. Essentially acting as spooky twins. While I like the idea of spooky twins it does mean that you are getting two identical minifigures. Maybe LEGO could have mixed things up and given one a hook hand or something.
You also get two identical ghosts. At least with the ghosts there is a dual face print so you can have one happy ghost and one sad ghost.
I like to picture the rest of the minifigures as a group of friends from the local high school out on a Friday night.
There are three female minifigures; a blonde with light purple top and blue pants; a brunette with glasses, leather jacket and grey pants; and another brunette with black pants and a SQUIDS blue and orange varsity jacket.
Rounding out the “teens” are two male minifigures; there is one with dark blonde spiky hair, blue pants, teal puffer jacket and purple shirt; and last but not least one with brown hair, sweater and dark blue pants. This minifigure is the one presented in the instructions as being in the wheelchair, but there is nothing stopping you from placing anybody else in the wheelchair.
I really like the inclusion of a wheelchair. People in wheelchairs deserve to go on awesome amusement rides too, but the LEGO fairground hasn’t always seemed super accessible.
Several of the minifigures also include alternate terrified face prints.
Overall this is just an amazing set. The build is well paced and complex without being needlessly fiddly or frustrating. The end result – It’s visually stunning, whether it is folded closed or presented open so you can see the details packed inside.
As an 18+ set you may not expect it to include any sort of play features, but the drop ride part is a great inclusion. Just because you are over 18 doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy playing with a set.
One final word of warning if you are planning to get this set though – it’s really tall. It’s one of those “where the hell am I going to put this” sets. You’ll definitely want to find somewhere to put it, it just won’t be easy.
This set was provided to me by The LEGO Group. Opinions expressed are my own.