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Today we introduce Andrea Valentini, a.k.a. DnA Bricks, to the 10K Club. Andrea's TRADITIONAL JAPANESE VILLAGE is born of a passion for Japanese culture, art and architecture - and the result is stunning. Let Andrea know what you think in the comments!



  1. Who are you?
    Andrea Valentini.
  2. Where are you from?
  3. How old are you?
    30 years old.
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am a pharmacist, and work in a pharmacy.
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I love to create and build dioramas with LEGO bricks. I like to play the piano. I am very fascinated by Japanese culture and I started studying the language last year.
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I have a page on Facebook where my brother and I share our creations (DnA Bricks).

  7. 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 created several LEGO MOCs, I shared all of them on our Facebook page. I am particularly proud of my Japanese diorama (“Aki to haru”) which includes also my “Traditional Japanese Village” inside
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    Since I was a child.
  9. 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.
    Building with LEGO bricks takes most of my spare time; it is very relaxing. It makes me feel really fulfilled when I finish a project. I dedicate myself to LEGO building very often, but actually not always throughout the year. I am also part of a LUG (Dolomites Bricks) and I’ve been to some events.
  10. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    My favourite LEGO theme is NINJAGO because it is related to the Japanese style. Some NINJAGO sets inspired my Japanese diorama. I especially appreciated the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE set series.
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    It’s the Disney Castle set from 2016, because I always loved the Cinderella Castle of World Disney World, Orlando.
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    It’s the slope, curved 2x1x2/3 in olive green, because it allows you to add nice detailing to the landscapes.
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    The LEGO designer who inspired me most is Jamie Berard. His enthusiasm is contagious. I loved watching his videos presenting new sets, and of course LEGO MASTERS USA
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    Bricklink, to buy pieces, and also many Facebook pages managed by AFOLs.



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    My interest stems from my admiration of Japanese culture, art and architecture.

  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?
    For some time I have been thinking of making this type of model. I actually didn’t have a defined project, I just had an idea in my mind of what I wanted to achieve. I used several pictures of traditional houses and villages in Japan to help the building process.
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    It was actually quite easy building the base level. It was more challenging to give a nice texture to the walls.
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then? 
    I wouldn’t change my building process; it was fun the way it went.

  5. 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? 
    It took about three months in total, including the gathering of the pieces needed (mostly from Bricklink and our personal collection) and the building phase.
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    I was very thrilled! It took 9 months.
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    I honestly have no idea. 
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    My favourite building technique is the use of the tile, modified 1x2 grille in black/reddish brown making the details of the windows and walls.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I am not used to digitally building, I prefer building with real bricks. The only software that I know about is Studio2.0.
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them? 
    I didn’t use any custom stickers. I used only original LEGO stickers taken from other sets.



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    My advice is to create something that you love, that fully represents you.

  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    I shared my Product Idea through our Facebook page to some LEGO fan groups worldwide on Facebook.
  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 favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea is “Pirates of Barracuda Bay”, even though the set is quite different from the original Idea. It had so many nice details. Anyways, I love the ship created by LEGO, and also the possibility to change the display. I think that “Carl’s House” and “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” have been overlooked.
  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 platform is very interesting because you can find really cool ideas, and fans have the opportunity to eventually be able to see their idea on a store shelf, but most of all, to be chosen by the LEGO Group. I would suggest uploading something that really makes you proud.
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?
    For now, I have two other Product Ideas gathering support. I may want to submit other ideas in the next future, definitely Japanese-themed.

  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • andrea valentini
  • japanese
  • traditional village

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