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10K Club Interview: CATAN - THE GAME by XCLD

Welcome to another 10K Club Interview! Today we meet XCLD, a.k.a. Christoph Ruge, and his super CATAN - THE GAME project. If you're familiar with the board game, then this might just be the project for you! Leave Christopher a comment to show your support!



  1. Who are you?
    Christoph Ruge.

  2. Where are you from?
  3. How old are you?
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    The LEGO hobby, music and cycling
  5. 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?
    I built a model of a famous northern German pipe organ. I worked several months on it and it contentiously improved greatly over time. Especially proud makes me that I was able to fit many details inside the model while still keeping the outside as recognizable as the original is.
  6. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I played with LEGO bricks as a child. Those days it was just a toy amongst other toys. Just a couple of years ago I rediscovered LEGO bricks not only as a toy but as the construction system it is. I think it is a tremendous system for fostering all kinds of creativity as well as a technical understanding for construction, stability, mechanics and even robotics!
  7. What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    By now, my LEGO hobby plays an important role in my life. I am a member of our local LEGO user group “Bricking Bavaria” and participate in national and international meetups and exhibitions. It is very inspiring to see all those marvellous creations made by the community.

  8. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    That is a tough question. I think this medal currently goes to the Galaxy Explorer (#10497). This model just perfectly resembles the original set from back in the day but transformed using nowadays building techniques.
  9. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    There are so many very talented builders out there! Just to name three of them: I adore Marius Herrmann for his organic builds, Jonas Kramm for his level of detail and Akiyuki for his perfection in any kind of machinery.
  10. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    New Elementary, Rebrickable, Promobricks.



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    We were playing Catan in my youth already. And somehow we still do. It is a very well-made game.

  2. How long was the process of making the project, 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?
    I had the idea for a long time wandering around in the back of my head. It finally got sparked when we had a LEGO fan exhibition in Munich at the same event where the German Catan Championships had their finals. That’s when I thought how fun it would be if they played the final round on a board made from LEGO bricks! After that, it took me two months to create the model. Part of my research was to study all prior submissions proposing the Catan game on LEGO ideas to figure out what works best.
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Most of the time I spend on the island structure and the question of how to transform the hexagons from the original board into something buildable with LEGO bricks. It took me several approaches in order to come up with the solution I used for the Ideas-model.
  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    That was a truly magical moment! In the weeks before that, the project really took up steam and lots of comments were coming in from the community all looking forward to the final vote!
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
    Almost 2800 pieces.

  6. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I especially like how the water-edges are clipped into the honeycomb structure of the island. Since the spacing of the honeycomb does not match any brick-measures I used 1x2 modified plates with bar and clip holders (#48336, #60470 and #11476).
  7. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I started modelling it using the LEGO Digital Designer but switched to Bricklink Studio in the process.


  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Chose something you really like – it might stick with you for a while. And you are more convincing if you are really into it! Check if the idea has already been submitted, how it was done and how that performed, it will help you estimate your chances of success.
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    Social media and exhibitions in real live.
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    My personal favourites are WALL•E, the Grand Piano and van Gogh’s Starry Night. The ones I think have been overlooked are all three approaches of Ratatouille by “Brick Project”. I love how every version is completely different and even better than the previous one!
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    The endless variety of different ideas is very inspiring. If anyone is thinking about joining the party, I’d say: Go for it! And if your project got declined by the review board, but you still believe in it – try it again, maybe even better than the first time.
  5. 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?
    The endless variety of different ideas is very inspiring. If anyone is thinking about I am sure I will come back with some other idea. And I am looking forward to surprising myself with what that idea might be!

  • 10k club interview
  • 10k club
  • product idea
  • catan - the game
  • christoph ruge

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