Following the press release announcement, we are happy to bring you our review of the set 10273 Haunted House from the newly minted LEGO theme, the Fairground Collection.
This will be a LEGO exclusive set and is available to VIP members since May 20th 2020, and will be released to the general public sale today, on the 1st of June 2020.
The box exudes a certain classiness and finesse with the set name prominently emblazoned in a stylized font together with a bat graphic and reference that this is part of the Fairground Collection. The other set details like the set number(10273), piece count (3231) and recommended age (18+) are written at the bottom of the box on top of a greebling skirting bringing a UCS-esque/premium feel to the set. This will be the first set where the Creator Expert theme is officially dropped in favour of “a more adult-focused packaging design to make it clearer which hobbies or brand products they can relate to”
Contents of the box
1) No stickers!
2) One instruction manual
3) Bags numbered 1-18 and
4) 4pcs of 16×16 plates and 3pcs of 8×16 plates packed separately
First impressions/Instruction Manual
The first thing that jumps out immediately is the absence of a sticker sheet.
For a long time, the sticker sheet(s) has a thorn at the side of most adult fans of LEGO and only the Modular buildings and most IDEAS sets have largely escaped the sticker madness. We believe that this could be a conscious decision as this will be the first set with the new 18+ concept.
Pictures below show the different printed parts available in the set and the flywheel/braking elements. There are multiple prints for some of the elements.
The concept is a dollhouse build with the whole building fitting on a 32×32 footprint and cab opened up to a 16×32 main area and two 16×16 wings. At the start each bag number focuses on one quadrant and it builds up from there. After 4 bags, the first floor is done and you will see some of the main mechanisms of the freefall tower.
Among the features of the first floor is the entrance, the ticketing desk, the pipe organ and lift landing and the obelisk as well as a themed graveyard outside with a printed gravestone. The lettering used in the gravestone was also seen previously as the seal on the Ship in a Bottle set designed by ex-LEGO designer Tiago Catarino.
This easter egg is a small homage to ex-LEGO designer Tiago Catarino who had helped provide some tips for the build previously (albeit he himself is stunned as he thought he just gave some small pointers on how the real world pipe organ worked)
Along the way, the design team has also inserted several trivia/tidbits about the various small models that decorate the place. We like ourselves a little bit of storytelling and wish that this would be a feature on all the Adult models as a little explanation adds so much to the build.
Moving along with the build, after the second floor is finished, you will have access to the first full mechanism included in the set, a creepy self opening and closing door that you activate via a knob on the second floor. The access area has a wheelchair accessible ramp but the door won’t be able to close once the minifigure is at the ticketing counter though.
As the building is filled up, you see multiple features taking shape, from the little fireplace near the ticketing counter to the various collections from the adventures of von Barron.
Here we will encounter another play mechanism where the red light brick is activated by pushing down on the tile outside the building to illuminate a painting of von Barron holding up a cursed gem.
The last few bags are to work on completing the towering middle portion. This part of the build is pretty repetitive but important, as you would want the tower to be as high as you can for maximum effect. In the designer video, the designers tested it with more and more modular floors and it actually worked!
The final build looks towering as it is impressive. It is nearly reaching the height of the 71040 Disney Castle and is filled with many details and with the dollhouse concept, a lot of play area exists, compared to the rather cramped Modular series released at the start of every year.
Time to test the main play feature of the set. The Freefall tower! Sorry for the shaky cam. It was pretty scary.
You can operate the tower with the manual crank, stop at any time and the lift will remain where you stopped it. once you hit the top portion, the door opens up to give a final scare and next, it’s freefall! There are plenty of brakes and cushioning to absorb the momentum though so maybe your minfigures won’t puke that much.
If you decide to add motors to the set, the recommended parts are the 1 of 88009 Powered Up Hub and 2 of 88008 Medium Linear Motor and it links up to the Powered Up App which adds sound effects and remote controls. Two motors are needed, one to drive the main chain and another to release the flywheel energy at any given time. (We aren’t too technically inclined so correct us if we use the wrong terms for this)
Here are a few more pictures of the final build to show some scale including a side by side with 71040 Disney Castle
There are 9 minifigures included here including twin caretakers and also twin ghosts and 5 fairground visitors who dared to visit the Haunted House.
1) Check and recheck your Technic related mechanisms to make sure everything turns smoothly. Always make sure that the gears and bushings are not too tightly pressed against each other
2) The walls and windows of the main tower can be a bit confusing, make sure that the decorative flourishes and windows face the outside.
3) The links needed for the lift/free-fall mechanism are exactly as described in the instructions. We propose to build them in multiples of 10 to avoid needing to recount all the time. It is pretty taut and needs to be stretched in order to connect them together. There’s no need to add the extra links. We ended up with 4 extra black links (which are usually given, just in case you lose one or two)
4) The roofs can be a bit finicky to assemble so a little bit of disassembly and assembly might be needed to get things right.
We are impressed with the mechanisms used in this set and my kids had fun playing with the entrance door and free fall tower. I, as an adult had fun reading the instruction booklet when I was building the set and the mechanisms used are really fun and effective. We welcome the effort to provide only printed parts. The only time when we felt a bit tired when was when we were building the slightly repetitive tower portion.
We give this set a 4.5 stars (the .5 star deduction was because we didn’t like accidentally knocking over some of the corner/spire features below when we were moving the set around but they are necessary as they help to enhance the look of the set)
Other than that, in our opinion, the set is practically one of the best building sets to be released in the D2C line recently.
The 10273 Haunted House set is now available for retail sales at LEGO stores worldwide.
The set used for the review was sent to us by The LEGO Group for the purpose of a review. Provision of sets do not in any way influence or guarantee a positive review.