Introducing Roberto Ceruti and Jody Padulano (FACEBRICKUP), the creators of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Jody and Roberto invite you to a chocolate factory where you don't need a golden ticket! Packed with all those candies, chocolates of different shapes, colors, and flavors. This is exactly what Willy Wonka invited all the children around the world to in 2005. Congratulations and welcome to the 10k Club!
- Who are you?
RC: My name is Roberto Ceruti.
JP: And my name is Jody Padulano.
- Where are you from?
RC: I was born in San Giovanni Bianco, Bergamo, Italy, but now living in Ispra, Varese, Italy.
JP: I was born in Rome, Italy but now living in Sospiro, Cremona, Italy
- How old are you?
We both are 41 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
RC: I am a plumber, specialized in boilers
JP: I am an informatics engineer, mainly a programmer.
- What hobbies do you have?
RC: I love everything that is about creativity, like composing music, editing videos, photography, and manual work. But in the first place, I’d say my passion for LEGO.
JP: I love creating and playing games, spacing from videogames to boardgames. I wrote 3 books about LEGO and of course, that’s my biggest passion as well.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
RC: Yes, www.brickup.net here’s a lot of what I do, and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/robertoceruti80
JP: I have a Facebook page, in which I put my things: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=Facebrick
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?
RC: I made Aladdin's Cave of Wonders, my first real MOC, which allowed me to enter the magical world of AFOLS, going to places and meeting people. I met several friends. Jody is one of them.
JP: I’ve been around the AFOL community since the late 2000s. I made several MOCs but I also like to display classic LEGO settings, honoring the sets I had when I was a child.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
RC: I think, like many, as a child, when I was getting LEGO sets for birthday or Christmas.
JP: I have always played with LEGO since I can remember. I must thank my mother for this. One day I had a little tear in my eye because turning the pages of the 1984 catalog, I discovered that she bought me nearly all the city sets that were depicted there!
- What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
RC: LEGO for me is passion, creativity, entertainment, challenge ... It fills all my free time and my extra-family thoughts, and sometimes it goes even further! I have to behave! I love spending days at LEGO events with friends, talking about everything, not just LEGO, having a good time.
JP: It’s very difficult to shrink what it means to me in a simple answer. I’d say it slowly became a lifestyle. People know me as “that LEGO guy” and sometimes it feels even a bit odd. But When I come home and I realize I am literally surrounded by LEGO bricks, I must admit they’re right.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
RC: I love Pirates and Castle, they are the basis of my passion. My style has no particular inspiration: it is the mirror of me in normal life, that is, the search for details, or the element of surprise. I don't consider myself a great builder, but step by step, I often find myself satisfied and happy with the work done, and very proud!
JP: I’ve grown with Pirates. Really, I didn’t know I was that fond of pirates, ships, fortresses, and the like until I got my first ship. Now, as an adult, I love castles most. But I believe it’s just a reflection of what I found interesting growing.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
RC: If I have to think to past sets, my heart forbids me to tell a specific set… but if I had to that would be my first set: the City Monorail. If I have to think of an actual set, no doubt it’s Pirates of Barracuda Bay!
JP: I have a deep bond with the Black Seas Barracuda because I was old enough to understand that my mother was giving me an expensive present. It may have been my overall childhood favorite toy!
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
RC: I like part 87087, brick 1x1 with a stud on side, and every part that allows me to build with a new perspective and new results. I like to find new uses for the parts.
JP: I am fond of minifigures. If it has to be a non-minifigure part, it’s part 4085 because I always placed them in my builds in order to provide my minifigures of useful tools.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
RC: I would have to deeply thank an Italian fan designer that alas is not among us anymore. If I didn’t meet him, I wouldn’t have started building my MOCs and I would just be a set builder.
JP: I can’t name one. I could list a lot of names.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
RC: Actually, no.
JP: I am an old member of Eurobricks. But I would surely say Brickset too. These communities are powerful.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
RC: I’ve read the book and it was perfectly fitting with my LEGO idea of nostalgia mixed with innocence. I thought that it had to become a LEGO model, so I was very inspired.
JP: The song “A World of Pure Imagination” is something that accompanies me sometimes when I build. This was just… consequential!
- How long was the process of making the project did, and what did you have to research as well. What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
RC: It took us around 4 or 5 months. We spent a lot of time designing the set, chatting, laughing. We started by recreating the iconic movie scene but we felt like it wasn’t enough so we tried to put elements from both the movies, the book, the musical, etc. We did a lot of backtracks many times we weren’t fully enthusiastic about the design. We changed pieces, shapes, colours. It has been funny indeed.
JP: Roberto was really creative about that! I had some ideas but I couldn’t focus and he had the superpower to transfer them from mere ideas to shapes in LEGO Bricks. I was amazed.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
RC: If I have to name one on top: the bridge! I had really some problems making it the way I wanted. So it was with the candy tree. It had to look like a tree but not too much and like candy but not too much! The motorized waterfall was something that I was already thinking about in another MOC so I thought to place it here too.
JP: I’d honestly say: what he said.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
RC: Honestly? Nothing. I would leave everything like this so that I can enjoy every moment. What we did took us here. I couldn’t wish anything better.
JP: I’d say just “brace yourself, for a fantastic journey it’s about to begin”
- How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
RC: I’d say 4 or 5 months to build the project, and the same time to reach 10.000 supporters. Believe me, they have been very intense months!
JP: He said the numbers. I’d add that I was amazed by the feedback the community gave us! I was very happy with the model, but I am supercritical towards myself. Instead, people kept on saying that it was one of the best ideas projects they had ever seen. I was really surprised!
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
RC: It took about 4 months to reach 10k. We have different characters, but certainly, the emotion that went through us at that moment was a joy! A healthy and sincere release. We lived it together, live in webcam, and when we reached 10K we can’t lie: some tears have fallen ... Maybe in those 10k there are many important things for us, for our personal stories, for our lives ... That milestone meant a lot, and it's definitely not an arrival, but a starting point! A thought that has always accompanied us is that we would have liked to have included 5 golden tickets all over the world in the SET, so as to win 5 lucky ones a visit to the LEGO factory ... it would be a really beautiful dream for them too, as for Charlie!
JP: I spent years while looking in awe all the great designers that reached 10k. My first thought was “I am one of them now. I may possibly inspire other people now”. I was happy and moved. But if I have to go deep inside, I’d say I was also thankful to every single person who took 2 minutes of their life to vote for us.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
RC: 2100 including minifigures.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
RC: I’d say the waterfall on top, the bridge, and all the small colorful details that make a difference in the MOC.
JP: The waterfall for me too.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
RC: We used stud.io
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
RC: We used Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to edit the minifigures’ prints.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
RC: I still am too humble to feel like giving advice to other people. I can’t tell.
JP: I still feel like we did a good job, but the idea behind it was the key to the success. People loved the idea to have a set depicting Willy Wonka and Charlie.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
RC: We went… social. So Facebook, Instagram, Reddit.
JC: And also local press. It was funny to have newspaper articles about you.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
RC: The Pirate Bay is sublime, awesome work has been done by the LEGO designers! The rejected ideas that I would have liked have been many over the years, but only for personal taste. We cannot all think equally. At each review there is happiness and disappointment, it is normal.
JP: My favourite set is of course the Pirates of Barracuda Bay but I have many of them. My first one was the DeLorean Time Machine. So beautiful!
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
RC: As I said before, I’m not thinking of myself as someone in the position to give so much advice. I’d say “just have fun!”
JP: Believe me I am thankful to The LEGO Company as I know no other toy company that does anything like this! It’s so wonderful! So I’d just give the advice to not feel sad if people do not like your project. If you do, that’s all that counts.
- Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
RC: We have a project running at 3600 votes right now which is The Forestmen’s Secret Inn. We love that one. It was conceived with a real love for the theme. And yes, we have many more ideas to submit, time will tell.
JP: I was about to say something, but he preceeded me.
- chocolate factory
- willy wonka
- roald dahl
- charlie bucket
- charlie and the chocolate factory
- willy wonka and the chocolate factory
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- lego idea