Over the last few years, we have seen an increasing number of sets with the action set in an amusement park or fairground. We have seen these in Creator, Friends, LEGO City and particularly Creator Expert – where we have seen the largest, most sophisticated models: the Mixer, Ferris wheel, Carousel and Roller Coaster. The roller coaster was released 2 years ago now, and it must be almost time for a new one to be released. As an adult, I find the amusement parks sets enjoyable to put together: they have been satisfying builds, and there are lots of interesting ways to incorporate them in an engaging layout.
10273 LEGO® Haunted House
Ages 18+. 3,231pieces US $249.99 –CA $299.99 –DE €229.99 –UK £209.99 – FR €229.99 – DK 1799DKK– AUD $349.99
Today, the LEGO Group announce the forthcoming Haunted House – another fairground attraction to go beside your Carousel and Roller Coaster. This time based on the Family Home of Baron Samuel von Barron, whom we first met in the Adventurers theme, in 1998. This time, we have a ‘Tower Drop’ ride – incorporating a complex mechanism, that can also be automated using a Powered up Hub, motors and App.
Like the Monster Fighters Haunted House released in 2010, this building also opens up like a dolls house, to reveal the internal details.
While the external walls of the older 10228 Haunted House were predominantly sand green – inflating the prices of these elements on brick link for years, this new House is a more sombre olive green, with light stone grey detailing. this new set has a similar foot print, 25cmx25 cm, but is a whooping 65 cm tall!
Baron Van Barron first appeared in the Adventurers theme of 1998, and you can see many references to the desert theme here. There are other details from the turn of the (21st) century as well, such as the Lord Ogel’s Mind Control Orb, seen in Alpha Team (2001-2004).
As we have come to expect from Creator Expert type builds, the level of detail tucked away inside is quite intricate.
The set comes with 9 minifigures, including 2 new ghosts: essentially the ‘dress element’ first seen in Harry Potter and Star Wars in 2018, a white torso and white hood (previously featured with Shazam), and a new, double sided head print, providing for happy or sad ghosts. This is the first time ‘traditional’ ghosts have featured, since the Monster Hunters theme, back in 2012. I think this is an interesting refresh for them.
While the Haunted House full of artifacts is tempting in its own right, let’s not forget that this is, in fact, a fairground ride: The we have a ticket collector, as well as riders. The lift carries the riders up, and then initiates a drop. With the addition of a couple of motors, as well as a hub, this process can be automated through the use of the Powered Up App.
This frivolity, with the nostalgia and the mechanisms is all very well, but I wonder if one of the more radical things about this set is the loss of the Creator Expert Label. And the press release (below) seems to imply that this label might now be gone, replaced by Collections.
There has been a quiet revolution occurring in LEGO sets in recent months: have you noticed some of the packaging becoming ‘more mature’ – Black labelled, with an 18+ age range? The black box has been traditionally associated with LEGO Architecture, but has then, more recently appeared with the Creator Expert Old Trafford 10272 and the LEGO Star Wars Helmet series. The recently released A-Wing Fighter is also labelled 18+, as is the forthcoming Architecture Whitehouse.
You will notice that all of these 18+ sets feature a ribbon across the bottom of the box, incorporating the 18+ label, as well as the part count and set number. Old Trafford was almost a prototype for this packaging design, but maintained the Creator branding.
But perhaps it started sooner: the Stranger Things set released last year probably represented some of the more mature subject matter portrayed in an official LEGO Set, and more recently, the Technic Set: Dom’s Charger – from the Fast and the Furious. Not necessarily recognised as an entirely child friendly franchise (and yet the set is considered 10+).
However, this is no big surprise: in our review of the decade, we saw that there are more and more LEGO sets aimed at adults: complex building; luxury branding; high part count and associated high price tags. Outside of the Technic sets, and Star Wars UCS, we have most frequently seen these AFOL oriented sets released under the Creator Expert banner.
Creator Expert has been a fairly disparate group of sub themes over recent years, and it might be more gentle on the completionists to merely have collections: you don’t need every Creator Expert Set, just the collection you follow… The Haunted house is part of the Fairground Collection (which I presume includes the Roller Coaster, Ferris Wheel, Carousel and, at a stretch, the Mixer.). I imagine that we will also see a Vehicle collection continue, as well as a Landmarks (Big Ben, Old Trafford, Tower of London, Sydney Opera House). I wonder if the Winter Village and Modular buildings might also have their own collections?
Here’s the press release…
PREPARE TO BE SPOOKED WITH THE BRAND-NEW LEGO®HAUNTED HOUSE SET
The LEGO Group has announced the LEGO Haunted House, a hair-raising new fairground build for adult thrill-seekers – available from 20thMay from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores
[13thMay 2020] Gear up for a spooky ride and bring to life the ultimate ghostly fairground experience, with the brand-new LEGO® Haunted House set. This latest addition to the LEGO Fairground collection is jam-packed with exciting features to surprise and entertain even the bravest of thrill-seekers.
Modelled on Manor Von Barron, the spooky home of one of the world’s greatest villains – Samuel Von Barron, the new LEGO® Haunted House model is full to the brim with spine-tingling details. Its clever design features a fully functional free-fall ride with automatic doors at the top of the tower, giving brave riders a glimpse of the thrilling plummet to come, as well as intricate ghoulish details such as haunted doors and a cursed painting to warn off any trespassers.
To enhance the spooky experience even further and unlock special features, such as a moving elevator, fans can also add LEGO Powered Up components (available separately) and control and amplify the set as they build via LEGO’s Powered Up app.
The 3,231-piece LEGO® Haunted Housemodel not only makes an impressive and creepy display piece,standing at over 26.5” (68cm) high, 9” (25cm) wide and 9” (25cm) deep, but also gives fans the chance to get hands-on and immerse themselves in the ghostly world. LEGO builders can open the model’s exterior and enter the ultimate haunted house to discover the features hidden inside – revealing Von Barron’s extensive collection of stolen artefacts which nod to LEGO brick sets of the past, including the Organ of Catarino and the Orb of OGEL.
This brand-new set has been designed specifically with adults in mind – providing an immersive, creative experience for them to re-focus, re-charge and get creative, whether they’re enjoying alone or as a challenging build with friends or younger builders.
The new LEGO® Haunted House™ construction set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group aims to inspire builders of all ages to build, rebuild and get excited by the process of creation. It’s also the first set from the LEGO Fairground Collection to feature the new stylish packaging designed to make it easier than ever for adult fans to find their new build challenge based on their individual passions.
Addressing the new packaging, Senior Marketing Manager Anders Hellegaard Iversen said: “So many of our older builders love the Creator Expert products, as they allow them to show off their passion for the bricks. Whether it’s their favorite film moments, sport icons, travel destinations, buildings, fairgrounds or vehicles, LEGO sets help to bring these to life in brick form. That’s also why we have decided to stop using the Creator Expert branding and, instead, use the new adult-focused packaging design to make it clearer which hobbies or brand products they can relate to. We hope this will make it easier for fans to track down models they would be proud to display once completed. Of course, our product range will continue to include the same advanced-build, collectible products that guarantee hours of building enjoyment for fans.”
The new LEGO® Haunted House™ construction set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group aims to inspire builders of all ages to build, rebuild and get excited by the process of creation. The new LEGO® Haunted House, designed for those aged 18+, will be the first set from the LEGO Fairground Collection to feature the new stylish packaging designed to reflect the sophisticated nature of the creative process. All new products in the LEGO Group’s ranges that appeal to adults will now feature the sleek, minimalistic new design across related packaging, building instructions, exclusive content and in-store and online store design
The brand-new LEGO Haunted House is available to VIP members from 20thMay and for remaining LEGO fans from 1stJune, direct from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores.
It looks like there are a few changes ahead for the sets we have traditionally associated with the Creator Expert Range, and I really like the look of the set that the LEGO Marketeers have decided to start off with. Do you think it will help casual LEGO Fans to pick out the sets they want?
I love the look of the set
, and hope to link to a designer video to demonstrate the mechanism as soon as they go online… Here’s the Designer Video
In the meantime, I’d love to know your thoughts. At $349.99 AUD/$US249.99 for over 3200 pieces, the 10273 Haunted house is priced at $50 more than the Carousel 10257 released in 2017, but has around 600 more elements. I have to admit, I like the look of it, and will probably hunt it down before too long.
What do you think? Leave your comments below, and until next time,