I missed out on a great many sets during my LEGO® dark age. Among them were entire themes, like Monster Fighters. As a someone with an interest in the supernatural, the Minifigures intrigue me. Additionally, one set has always been on my wish list… The Haunted House (10228). Interestingly, the end of my dark age coincided with the tail end of Haunted House’s run. I remember seeing it at the LEGO® Store when the first one opened near me. However, I was a LEGO®-noob on a strict budget back then. Firstly, I couldn’t afford the set as I had decided to focus on modulars. Secondly, I had no idea how set retirement worked. There was no way I saw the astronomical price hike on the secondary market coming. Long story short, I missed out and regretted it.
Over the years, I’ve occasionally looked up the Haunted House on eBay, Bricklink, and Facebook Marketplace. Presently, the used set averages around $500 CAD on Bricklink. You want a new one still sealed in the box? Forget about it. You’ll dish out at least $600 CAD for it. That’s more than double the original retail price for a used copy, and triple for a new one. I resigned myself to the idea that Haunted House was forever out of my reach… until one day it wasn’t. It pays to periodically check Facebook Marketplace for retired sets. I got a great deal on my Haunted House, just in time for Halloween. Now I can share an in depth look at one of my white whale sets.
HAUNTED HOUSE SET SPECIFICS
- NAME: Haunted House
- SET #: 10228
- THEME: Monster Fighters
- ORIGINAL PRICE: $199.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 2064
- MINIFIGURES: 6
- RELEASED: September 2, 2012
- RETIRED: January 2, 2015
- COST/BRICK: $0.097
HAUNTED HOUSE QUICK REVIEW
WHAT I LIKED: This set looks phenomenal from the outside and has loads of details. The Minifigures look great too and you get some real characters. The glow-in-the-dark ghosts are particularly awesome. I also love the printed heart brick.
WHAT I LIKED LESS: The interior detailing is a little sparse, and the set needs more Minifigures. However, those are minor issues. The real problem is the brittle brown bricks. I replaced most of the brown bricks in this set…
FULL REVIEW OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE (10228)
It’s always hard to rate the value of a retired set. You rarely ever get them for the original retail price. However, to keep in line with the usual reviews here at True North Bricks, we’ll go with the original cost for this article. In its retail run, the Haunted House cost $199.99 in Canada. With 2064 pieces, the cost/brick was $0.097. Still today, anything under $0.10 a brick is excellent. Additionally, the set is in line with other adult-oriented sets from its day. Modulars like the Palace Cinema, the Detective’s Office, and the Brick Bank were all around $0.09/brick. Of course, none hold a candle to the Parisian Restaurant at $0.077/brick. I really wanted to enjoy this build, so I didn’t time myself putting it together. As such, I’m leaving out the build-time assessment this time around. I rate the value at 95%.
The Haunted House suffers from a couple issues right off the bat. Firstly, it swings open. I much prefer modular-style buildings with removable levels. I feel a strong desire to convert this set. The other issue I have with the Haunted House are the infamous brittle-brown bricks. Since I bought my set second-hand and it came assembled, I suffered a lot from this issue. I wanted to build the set myself. As I took it apart, LOTS of the brown bricks snapped or cracked. As I put it back together, even more of them snapped. Sadly, the set includes fifteen 1×12 dark brown plates that the LEGO® Group no longer produces. More than half of mine snapped. In the end, I replaced most of the brown parts in this set.
Other than that, I love the Haunted House. The building looks great from the exterior and has loads of details. The boards nailed across the windows, the dangling shutters, and the zombie heads atop the porch columns all add to the haunted feel of the building. Even the sickly, hospital green of the walls is wonderfully on point. The LEGO® Group put a lot of attention to detail in this beauty of a set.
The interior is alright too. While it is not on par with modern modulars, I still found it wonderfully thought out. The bed with no mattress on the second floor is an excellent touch. I also enjoyed all the little knickknacks strewn about the house. We’ve got portraits of monsters on the walls, an old gramophone, and a heart in a jar to name a few things.
Of course, if I delve into making this set modular, I will increase the detail inside. Each floor represents one huge room for starters. The building needs some proper rooms and creepy hallways. Additionally, the kitchen is barely recognizable as a kitchen. It needs more… like a sink and an old-style fridge. The stovetop leaves something to be desired too. Again, the interior is not on par with modern modulars. However, the Haunted House is also over 10 years old at this point. The early modulars had sparse interiors too. Compared to some of those, the Haunted House is not bad at all.
So how would I rate the build? The Haunted House looks amazing. It has a great exterior and a good enough interior. You are not going to learn any amazing techniques with this set though. It is standard building. However, since it looks so good, that doesn’t bother me. Sometimes less is more. Those brittle-browns are major issue though. If you’re on the market for this set, expect to replace most (if not all) those brown bricks. I don’t doubt the few remaining original brown bits in my set will shatter if I start tampering with the design to make it modular. I rate the build at 90%.
The Haunted House includes six Minifigures. Mine came with seven… I’m not sure if that was a mistake or generosity from the guy who sold it to me. The set originally had male vampire, female vampire, zombie chef, Frankenstein-like butler, and two glow-in-the-dark ghosts. When I got home and started inventorying the set, I found an extra man-bat. I was pretty happy with that. Of course, he’s brittle-brown. His legs broke while I was washing the bricks… I had to replace them.
In any case, the characters in this set are amazing. While not the original style of ghost from the early Castle sets, the ghosts are none-the-less close in comparison. I love that they glow. Both vampires have double-sided faces and leg printing. Meanwhile, all the minifigs (excluding ghosts) have front and back torso printing. Each character has its own personality, and they are lots of fun to photograph and place around the Haunted House.
You also gain loads of accessories in this set. From clear minifig heads (used as jars and lamps) to pots and cauldrons, this set has enough to keep your Minifigures busy. I absolutely love the heart printed on the 1×1 round brick. There are also four bottles… these undead peeps sure like to drink… I rate the Minifigure designs and accessories at 100%.
I do have one complaint about the minifigs though. There are not enough of them. Monster Fighters sets typically included monsters and fighters. This set has none of the latter. With only six minifigs in a 2064-piece kit, you get 344 bricks/fig. That is not great for a set this big. Even just one more minifig would make the character count passable. In my case, I got my man-bat. However, those who bought this set new had no such luck. This set needed some Monster Fighters. With that said, if we compare this set to the modular collection, it fares better. Modular buildings rarely come with an abundance of minifigs. Considering both these comparisons, I rate the minifig count at 75%. Combining this with the minifig design score give an overall Minifigure grade of 88%.
I have not enjoyed a LEGO® set this much in a long time. Certainly, it is the best set I’ve built this year… and it’s not even a 2023 release. The little stories built into the Haunted House, and the additional stories I imagined up while building had me quite entertained. Photographing the set and positioning the characters throughout the house while also creating spooky lighting has been a blast too. Don’t even get me started on the ideas I got for making this set modular. The joy I’ve experienced with this set has been well worth my long wait for it. I just love the Haunted House.
You’re unlikely to find the Haunted House (10228) for the original price of $200 CAD. Maybe in a bulk lot from someone who doesn’t know what they’ve got. But originally, the value for the Haunted House was really good. The build experience is not overly complicated, but the final product makes up for it in terms of exterior detail. Additionally, even though the interior is a bit sparse, the stuff you get is fun and adds to the set’s story. And the minifigures? AWESOME. I just wish there were more of them. If you can find the Haunted House at a decent price these days, it is well worth the purchase. I love it and I plan to keep it on display. What do you think? Let me know in the comments or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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