Haunted House (10273) Review
The Haunted House (10273) is the latest set in the LEGO® Fairground collection. The theme already includes the Ferris Wheel (10247), the Carousel (10257), and the Roller Coaster (10261). The earlier installments all fell under the Creator Expert moniker. However, Haunted House has shed that branding. The box design is markedly darker and more sophisticated. Additionally, the age limit now reads 18+ as opposed to 16+. The LEGO® Group is clearly targeting AFOLs with this set, and the recognition is welcome. Incidentally, despite losing the Creator Expert box branding, Haunted House still appears in the Creator Expert theme on shop-at-home. Regardless of whether you consider it to be a Creator set or not, the kit is none-the-less exceptional and fits well with its predecessors. Without further ado, let us take a closer look.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of sets does not guarantee a favorable assessment. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more) and provide my honest opinion.
HAUNTED HOUSE (10273) SUMMARY
- NAME: Haunted House
- SET #: 10273
- THEME: Fairground Collection (Creator Expert?)
- COST: $299.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 3231
- MINIFIGURES: 9 + 1 skeleton
- RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2020 (May 20 for VIPs)
HAUNTED HOUSE (10273) QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 98% ($0.09/brick is excellent, as is $0.55/minute of build time.)
- BUILD: 100% (Very clever design, I cannot think of anything I did not like.)
- MINIFIGURES: 73% (Great characters and accessories, but bad brick-to-fig ratio.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (I was very entertained.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 93%
HAUNTED HOUSE (10273) REVIEW
Haunted House costs $299.99 in Canada. With 3231 pieces, the cost-per-brick is $0.09. As with other large “expert” sets, you are purchasing bricks in bulk. Consequently, the cost-per-brick is excellent and earns 96%.
This is a long build. I assembled mine over three evenings and a total of nine hours and three minutes (543 minutes total). Consequently, at full price each minute of build time costs $0.55. That is an amazing value, though not the best I have ever seen. I rate the build-time value at 99%. Averaging this score with the build-time value score gives an overall value rating of 98%.
There are no small side builds with Haunted House. In truth, that is refreshing. All the bricks in the box go towards providing one solid, detailed build. Consequently, the product is stunning. To add further appeal for the AFOL community, the set is full of Easter eggs pulling from 1990s kits. The vast majority hail from the Adventurer’s theme. However, there is something for Fright Knights and Alpha Team fans as well 😉.
The theme park attraction in Haunted House features an elevator drop à-la Tower of Terror. It is a remarkable feat of LEGO® ingenuity. Two Minifigures fit on the ride in a removable seat assembly. The seats slide into the elevator and click in place using a simple plate with clip. As a result, you can easily place the characters in the chairs.
A crank on the back (or Power Functions) raises the ride to the top of the tower using a chain and sprocket system. A rachet assembly prevents the ride from falling back down before it reaches the top, so you can stop cranking without the ride crashing. At the top, the elevator cart triggers doors to open before it falls back down. The release occurs through the continued rotation of the chain. Two links on the chain are larger than the rest. These snag on the elevator cart, raising it up. At the top, they rotate away from the cart, losing their hold on it. The elevator then falls. To keep the elevator from smashing at the bottom, flywheels absorb the kinetic energy of the elevator cart and slow it nicely to a stop. I am impressed with the mechanics of this ride.
Minifigures experience a harrowing seven story drop!
Otherwise, both interior and exterior of the Haunted House are incredibly detailed. I like that despite the lift mechanism being visible on the backside, designers made effort to have the building look good from that angle. Around front, there is a small graveyard next to the front doors. Additionally, a knob on one side allows the mansion doors to swing open “on their own” for adventurous Minifigures. Another fun detail is that the attraction is wheelchair accessible. A ramp leads up to the haunted doors.
The building swings open on two sets of hinges to reveal the interior. I am normally not a big fan of that sort of design. However, in this case designing the elevator drop any other way would have been extremely difficult. Inside, a ticket booth sits next to a fireplace. There is also an intricately designed organ on the main floor. The upper floors house the aforementioned ‘90s era artifacts. However, one of the most impressive designs is the cursed painting. It employs a light brick and two translucent images placed in line. Turning on the light brick projects one image onto the other, making a cursed Pharaoh appear.
I learned several new build techniques from this set. Additionally, I got some great ideas for little side builds and details in my own MOCs. I cannot think of anything that I did not like in this set’s design. Therefore, I rate the build at 100%.
Haunted House contains nine regular sized Minifigures. Thankfully, none of them have stumpy, unbending legs. But, the two ghosts come with robes instead of legs. All but the ghosts have front and back torso printing. However, none have any leg printing. Of the lot, five have double-sided faces. The set also contains a fair number of accessories. There is a pumpkin, a bat, some skulls, a skeleton, a rock pick, a shovel, some gems, a camera, a bottle, a couple of crates, an extra top hat, a sextant, a wheel chair, and extra set of legs, a chalice, a lantern, a snake, and a variety of printed tiles. Additionally, the building employs frogs and epees as exterior décor.
The Minifigure stories confer additional interest. For example, the ghosts are not simply Minifigures in costume, despite this being a theme park attraction. There is an old relic in the attic called “The Resonator”. It was meant to harness the power of the Re-Gou ruby (one of the Easter eggs). Instead, it summoned the two spirits. Additionally, the skeleton also tells a tale. It might be the remains of Von Baron himself, or perhaps there was once a triplet to the set’s Minifigure twins. These little stories add a lot of character to the set. As such, I will include them in the Minifigure design rating. I think all the characters, designs, and accessories warrant a 100% design score.
Minifigure stories add character to the set.
In addition to the nine Minifigures, there is also a skeleton in the set. I will count that as another figurine in the brick-to-fig ratio. That means you get one figurine for every 323 bricks. Sadly, that is not good when compared to other sets. However, it is not surprising. Large LEGO® sets rarely come with a comparable ratio of bricks to Minifigures to smaller sets. To give you an idea, my average brick-to-fig ratio is currently 154:1. Based on that, the ratio score for Haunted House is an exceptionally low 46%. Short of providing 20 Minifigures, a set this large will never achieve a good ratio. I sometimes feel that rating a large set on this criterion is unfair. But then I remember that Ninjago City had 18 Minifigures. Averaging the ratio and the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 73%.
There is a lot to love about this set. The theme park ride features masterful design and works exceptionally well. Additionally, there are so many Easter eggs for adult fans to appreciate. From the Adventurers theme, the set includes numerous Egyptian artifacts as well as a couple of references to the Re-Gou ruby. Installments from the Orient Expedition also appear. I was particularly happy with the tip of the hat to Fright Knights. Finally, the attic houses the Orb of Ogel from Alpha Team.
I am reluctant to say this is my favorite Fairground Collection set because I have not built the Roller Coaster yet (though I do own it). I also feel like the ride is almost secondary to the stories in this set. While I love the throwbacks, they de-emphasize the ride. All the same, this set thoroughly entertained me and I will still rate it at 100%. I will not rate this set from a KFOL perspective because the target audience is 18+.
OVERALL SCORE: 93%
Haunted House (10273) will hit your wallet hard at $299.99. However, the value of the set is still excellent, and you get hours of build time. Additionally, there is a lot of nostalgia built into the kit. All the Easter eggs really add to build experience. My only complaint is the small number of Minifigures for a set this large. Throwing in a few more nostalgic characters would have improved that. Minifigure statues, or a suit of armor by the entrance perhaps. Overall, I am incredibly pleased with this set and I highly recommend it. What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
What do others think?
Brick Insights is an awesome site that aggregates LEGO® set review scores from around the web. Based on their statistics, you can see what other reviewers think of the Haunted House (10273) below.
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