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Toy Company Raises More than $145,000 With Zelenskiy 'Lego' Figurine

INTERNATIONAL:​ It's been an unbelievable few days for Joe Trupia and his small, suburban-Chicago toy company. The owner of Naperville-based Citizen Brick says what started out as a simple fundraising idea quickly ballooned into something much bigger.

The owner of Citizen Brick,Joe Trupia has said, having sold out the first batch of the Zelensky action figure immediately, but to people they knew, their regular customers, Trupia kind of thought they were done with it. Then they started getting pings on the phone and we saw it was getting reposted on the Ukrainian Instagram page, which was kind of a shock for the company. Suddenly, Citizen Brick were getting a lot of followers from Ukraine, people messaging them, it was kind of overwhelming.

Joe trupia has thought it would be a good idea in light of the recent news in Ukraine to try and make something that his company could solicit donations and send them to help people and so, they made a President Vladimir Zelenskiy action figure.

The unofficial 'Lego' figurines went on sale with a price tag of $100 along with a Ukrainian flag molotov cocktail 'Lego' figurine listed for $20.

Both items sold out within hours.

According to the owner of Citizen Brick, Joe Trupia; “We’ve raised as of last night, $145,000 between the two items, the Zelenskiy figure and the molotov cocktails that we made.”

He has added; “We made every one we could. We understand that there’s more interest than supply. We hope that people will take that goodwill and turn it into direct donations for charities or some other organization that can help Ukraine.”

 “There’s a couple of kids who contacted me and said, ‘We’re big Lego fans. We’ve had to scramble and seek shelter and leave everything behind. When we win this war and everything settles down and goes back to normal, can you send us some?’ I said, “Yeah, I’ll keep them for you.’”

Before they knew it, Trupia and his employees were scouring their shop to find parts to, to meet the online demand for their Zelenskiy and Ukrainian flag molotov cocktail 'Lego' figurines.

“We didn’t want to miss this window where people are willing to donate to a cause that we are interested in supporting," said Trupia.

The owner of the 12-year-old toy company was hesitant to say exactly how many figurines they've sold, but confirm they raised over $145,000 for war-torn Ukraine before quickly selling out again.

The funds from Citizen Brick's sales will go to Direct Relief, a charity that claims to have deployed over 30 tons of medical aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

"We’ve had a lot of contact from people in Ukraine, which is surprising that they’ve had the time and mind to contact us and say thanks," said Trupia. "It’s very humbling, we keep that in the front of our minds when we’re trying to do something like this.”

As Citizen Brick works to fulfill all of the orders for the sold-out Zelenskiy and Ukrainian flag Molotov cocktail 'Lego' figurines, Trupia admits he's storing a few of each item for some special fans of his company's work.



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