To a younger fan of LEGO, the Haunted House looks like a simple side-show attraction themed building. But we looked a little closer and discover it's full of fun references!
LEGO 10273 - Haunted House
Available from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores now.
To a younger fan of LEGO, the Haunted House looks like a simple side-show attraction themed building. Where two sideshow hosts take people on grand mystery tours through a haunted mansion, but to the long-term fans of LEGO, this set is riddled with nostalgia.
Straight away, older fans would immediately know that this is obviously a reference to the Adventurers/Orient Expedition line, but what if we told you that that wasn't all?
Let's take a look!
What is LEGO Adventurers?
First off, this set is heavily focused on LEGO Adventurers. The story of Johnny Thunder and his team as they thwarted the dastardly plots of Baron Von Barron and his henchmen throughout the years of 1998 to 2003.
Johnny Thunder was LEGO's own Indiana Jones-esque character. But instead of stopping jewel thefts, he was stopping jewel thefts, dinosaur smuggling, ancient Egyptian undead, Yetis, dragons and Aztec warriors. Baron Von Barron ultimately changed his appearance and name over time. Less like a traditional Indiana Villain and more into his own mould.
It was one hell of a theme! It is a fond part of mine and my brother's childhood. But the one thing that we really have to ponder with this set, is whether or not the adventures are canonical to the LEGO Universe? If so, Baron Von Barron got away with a lot of stuff...
The Picture Frame
Baron Von Barron appears here as a typical oversized frame picture. The same as you would see from any stereotypical house of wealth, but with a twist. The gemstone in his hand, the Re-Gou Ruby, appeared as a large focus with the set original Adventurers sets in Egypt. The Mummy, Hotep, appears behind him in a haunting visage, implying that maybe this gem is still cursed... You can see an easy visual of Hotep in set 2996
Sphinx Secret Surprise - Set 5978
It seems like our dear Barron managed to completely steal a sphinx's head! Not a bad souvenir from a holiday.
Oasis Ambush - Set 5938
This head build here above the organ may seem simple, but that's just how it was at the time. At this point, I'm starting to think Barron just stole relics from around the world for his own pleasure?
Jungle River - Set 7410/7417 Temple of Mount Everest
The Idol of Everest sits above the ticket counter. It might look like just some weird thing, but it was actually a reused build in a few sets from the Orient Expedition line. The clearest image we can find is from the Jungle River set (with headdress).
Secret Of The Tomb - Set 7409
Yeti's Hideout - Set 7412
The small decorative yellow build is a reference to the Orient Expedition Ice portion. Found as a motif throughout sets.
Parts in a Box - Junkbot LEGO Game
What may look like junk in a box in the attic is actually junk, but in a robot! Back in 2001, LEGO had an online puzzle platformer involving this titular character.
Skull in Dome - LEGO Alpha Team
The Skull sitting in the green mysterious-looking dome is actually a Mind Control Orb! This was used by Ogel (LEGO backwards) to convert civilians into skeleton drones that would obey his every command. Technically, the theme never came to a conclusion if Ogel was defeated, so this may still be live...
These hieroglyphics were a huge motif throughout the first Egyptian line. But the actual translation for these hieroglyphics is "OGEL". In which I would refer you to the point above.
Red Snakes Everywhere!
Both a reference to Indiana Jones and other sets, red snakes galore! Nobody likes these guys in bulk. Yet we find one underneath the scary and demonic-looking altar.
Our upside-down skeleton of course references our dear Barron. In his newer outfit and alias - Lord Sam Sinister, and holding on to a sextant as well. A device used in traditional cartography.
What I have to know is who this is. Is it Sam Sinister, the original before Barron took his name? Is it the Barron himself? Is it a third brother from the twins in the set? Who knows?
The Resonator is the only thing in this set that references something that has never appeared in a LEGO set. This machine was supposedly supposed to help Barron harness the power of the Re-Gou Ruby but didn't work as intended.
I'm thankful that the designers give us this extra bit of exposition in the instructions.
Bat Lord - Set 6007
Another non-Adventurers reference. The Roman Numerals on the printed shield is a reference to the set 6007 and the Fright Knights wave, filled with bats, just like on the print!
And finally. Tiago. LEGO Designer turned YouTuber gets a shout out in the set. He left while this set was being designed, but also assisted the main designer with the organ. It's fair to say Tiago was well-loved in LEGO HQ, still receiving shoutouts in sets as recent as the Titanic.
Overall, this is a fun, nostalgic set that runs deeply throughout my childhood, and I cannot wait to show it off to my brothers!
Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this please leave a comment below.
This article was written by Tim & Dannii.
Find them on Instagram at @legobuildingwithtimanddannii
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