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10K Club Interview: Meet Máté Szabó of Steamboat Willie

Today we welcome Máté Szabó of Steamboat Willie into the 10K Club. Máté beautifully captured the classic animated film in rarely seen grayscale to achieve a beautiful black-and-white effect ... which pairs nicely with his choice of curtains and t-shirt in the below photo, too!

Please help us congratulate Máté, in the comments below, on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club and for sharing his story with us!

Here's Máté in his own words:


About Yourself 

  1. Where are you from?
    I’m from Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
  2. How old are you?
  3. What do you study or do for a living? 
    I’m an animator, and also like shooting and editing videos.
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    Well, I’m learning and playing guitar, mostly heavy or thrash metal songs. I also like designing LEGO MOCs as well.
  5. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    Pretty common I think, but I started playing with LEGO when I was 3 (or younger), so I immediately loved it as a child and still like the way it works. It teaches me so much about thinking in greater context.
  6. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    I like themes with strong characters, where storytelling is essential. I like Main Street – 6765, which is a western set. It’s very playable, and there are lots of hidden surprises in it.
  7. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    85861 PL.ROUND 1X1 W. THROUGHG. HOLE – It’s very handy, because it can link shafts and plates and other kind of bricks.
  8. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    From the professionals I like to mention the MetalBeard's Sea Cow designers Michael Fuller, Jordan David Scott and Chris Stamp and from the LEGO Ideas community (among others) Kevin Szeto creator of the Beatles Yellow Submarine inspire my style. They put so much effort to the details and find new and innovative ways to create the sets more authentic and reliable.
  9. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    I really like to watch building instruction videos, sometimes I search for MOC pictures for inspiration, it’s very useful to my other projects to train my brain to be more creative. I like to see different building solutions to same kind of construction issues. 

About Your Product Idea

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    When the Disney related minifigure series came out, it immediately popped into my head that it would be cool if there’s a classic looking Mickey Mouse, then I started thinking about which episode I could recreate it based upon, and that was the point when I chose Steamboat Willie. In the wider scale, Disney characters, cartoons, movies always inspire me, and I always like to pay my respect to the brilliant artists who create those masterpieces.
  2. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Being as accurate as I can. I re-watched the short as many times as I could and searched for layout drawings, hoping that it would be enough. On the other hand, I must reduce things in the model and must be simplistic too. The most difficult part was the underside of the boat to make it as round as possible. The most fun part is the boat’s paddles which is simply a steering wheel.
  3. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time?
    I guess maybe it took 3 months. I worked on it a couple hours a day.
  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    It was amazing and an honor of course. My first goal was to create, finish and publish the model. After that it’s good to get some feedback and hear what others think about it. I’m very happy that overall it had good reviews. Also I'd like to mention that the hardest part came after the 5,000 supporter milestone, It was a great run at this point, because my product idea only had 44 days left before expiring. So I’m very happy and would like to say thanks to everybody who was involved.
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    It contains around 150 bricks and the updated version is around 250 bricks. 

About LEGO Ideas 

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    My only advice to anybody is to be yourself, and create something that you’re interested in and love. That’s it. If you do it with passion and heart, the results will come. And also it’s good if you’re a little bit lucky.
  2. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
    I found the ‘Labyrinth - Jareth's Castle’ from bulldoozer21 very creative and unique because of the M.C. Escher aspect and how it manages with multiple plains. I think it’s a brilliant idea, that you can express the best with LEGO.
  3. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    It’s easy to use and you can learn so much about the reactions and how to relate to other creators. It’s a really good way to study pitching and my tips are simple: Be clear about your goals and know the value of your idea. 
  • lego ideas
  • steamboat willie
  • mate szabo
  • szabomate
  • disney

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