The tapping of LEGO chains… The creaking of LEGO gears… Are you ready for some spooky-good fun? Since it is Halloween, in LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found eerie and interesting in LEGO set number 10273 Haunted House. This giant LEGO build has mechanical surprises hiding in all of its dark corners!
Even though this large LEGO set is focused on being spooky and eerie, it has a lot of important things to consider using in your LEGO mechanisms or Mindstorms/SPIKE Prime robots. We got a chance to check-out and play with this awesome set and were amazed by the detailed moving features. We really like that this set has many ways to consider different ways to have gears, chains, and other moving parts. We hope that you have an eerie time reading this spooky article about this Halloween-related set!
If you look carefully at our overview photo, check out the scale of the minifigures compared to the height of the entire build. The Haunted House is a massive build measuring over 26 inches tall! You can attach the elevator lift mechanism to LEGO Powered Up and download the special App to control the elevator lift with appropriate sound effects from your mobile device. However, we are going to investigate the model without powered motors and our hands turning the cranks.
One cool feature of this set lies within its doors. Time and time again, we have seen the doors of haunted houses open on their own. Although it is impossible for any door to open entirely on its own (or so we think) the doors of the Haunted House are capable of this illusion.
This illusion is made possible by a system of gears. On the side of the manor, slightly above the doorway, there is a knob.
Turning this knob will cause the doors to open inward, revealing a desk and one of the identical butlers. From here, he will usher each victim, I mean guest, through the manor.
If you look toward the doorway from the inside of the Haunted House, you can see that the knob from outside the house turns a rod. This rod has one single-beveled gear on each end. These gears transversely turn two addition single-beveled gears. These gears are then attached to two more rods, each supporting a door. Therefore, when the knob on the outside of the building is turned clockwise, the doors will open, and when the knob is turned counter-clockwise, the door will close.
Elevator Lift of Doom
Considering that this set is a part of the Fairground Collection, it wouldn’t be complete without an eerie ride within. Within the manor’s tower is an “elevator to nowhere.” For this ride, the ride vehicle rises to the top of the elevator shaft, only to be released causing the passengers to plunge quickly downward. Although this may sound complicated, LEGO pulls this off, even though the crank to operate the ride only turns in one direction.
The ride vehicle is moved by small, black treads used as a chain. However, the vehicle is not simply attached to the tread, as it would be impossible to have the drop mechanism while only turning the crank in one direction. This obstacle is overcome by using differently sized treads. Both the black and the grey treads can be connected in line, but the grey one is wider. As you turn the crank to move the ride, the ride vehicle won’t move until the wider grey link comes in contact with a notch on the ride vehicle’s back.
When the ride vehicle reaches the top of the shaft, it stops a little. This is because the the grey link is going up and over the gear at the top. Once the grey link loses contact with the ride vehicle, the vehicle is released and it plummets back to the bottom, ready to begin its journey again.
Another neat feature is this “sudden drop” switch. If you want to change things up on your minifigure guests, you can push this lever to the left when they are only partially up the shaft. When the lever is the the center, the gearing that allows this entire ride to work is engaged.
Pushing the lever to the left causes the operating crank to become disengaged and lose control over the ride vehicle. It also disengages the separate port for attaching a motor. The weight of the ride vehicle then forces the treads to go with it back to the bottom of the elevator shaft. Then, you can manually push the lever back to the right again to re-engage.
As mentioned earlier, this set can be connected up to motors and run mechanically. This option is available, as well, for this lever switch. If you remove the lever, you can connect a LEGO motor to control sudden drops.
Spooky but Safe Features
Now, even though this house is supposed to be haunted, that doesn’t mean that the elevator ride isn’t equipped with special safety measures!
First off, releasing an elevator carriage several LEGO stories off of the ground is dangerous, both for the passengers and for your precious LEGO bricks. To prevent damage from the crashing elevator, there are pulley wheels with rubber tires on either side of the elevator shaft, as shown below.
The pulley wheels’ axles are connected outside the house to black versions of the small SPIKE Prime wheels. However, the weight of the wheel is not the only factor slowing the fast moving carriage down. The small gear train connecting the pulley wheels’ axles to the SPIKE wheels on either side is gearing down. Recall from Gears: Gear Trains that gearing down will give your mechanism more torque, with the side effect of making your mechanism slower.
With the traction of the rubber tires directly rubbing against the ride elevator car and the weight of the SPIKE wheels, the ride vehicle is substantially slowed down, making it safe enough to even put your hand at the base of the elevator! On top of all of this, awaiting the carriage at the bottom of the elevator, there are standard LEGO rubber pieces to cushion the fall.
We actually were curious if the weight of the SPIKE wheels was really necessary. In a crazy curious mood, we totally removed the SPIKE wheels from the axles and let the elevator plunge. Let’s just say, we added the SPIKE wheels back on afterwards. Without their mass, the elevator plunge was definitely not slowed down as much, and the elevator hit the rubber cushions on the bottom with quite a bit of force and quite a bang!
The ghosts of LEGO’s Haunted House provided us with a lot of tricks of gears, chains, and switches. We hope you had a spooky good time exploring this creepy set with us! We hope you can include some of these treats in your own creative LEGO building!