(Topic ID: 184739)

Class Action Lawsuit for TBL? The Big Lebowski / Dutch Pinball


By Davidus56

3 years ago



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#201 3 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

Refunds were only possible before the games went into production. We're in production folks, no refunds. The money has been invested in parts- we now have to wait until the parts are made into the games. Give the guys a break, more headaches for DP won't help.

That's a contract if DP is not delivering the pins in a timely manner they are in breach of contract period. They just can't say we are in production so no more refunds if they are not really in production i.e. Shipping games in a timely manner.

#202 3 years ago

Guys, first off; this is coming from a guy that got burnt on the Predaturd fiasco. It took a long time before I stopped spitting sand over the thought of losing 5k to my own stupidity. I got caught up in the "hype" and was blinded by the obvious-how the hell is someone who dresses like a pirate going to build 250 machines in his basement? My back is sore with the thought of carrying 250 Predaturds up the stairs. When I first stumbled upon this thread I was shocked to read DP was in trouble as I thought they were headed towards success with TBL. I own a BOP2.0 kit and love it other then they cheaped out on some of the hardware which was easy enough to upgrade. I've played TBL and think its a very solid game. I hope everything works out for those that have given deposits and DP gets back on track but when a company, entity, or person resorts to lying to their customers who through their deposits and support helped position said company into the market, thats not only big red flag but seriously bad form. At the price point TBL is, there is no reason DP doesn't have dollars in the bank??? How much do you think these guys have paid themselves over the years and not to mention all the marketing, release parties, travelling to shows, and other spendatures(made that one up)? My guess is that DP was spending money like it was growing on trees because it pretty much was when times were good. Any start up company needs to have money to fall back on in tough times, if not failure is imminent. Lets say they presell all 250 BOP25's. I don't see how that is going to help anyone that has deposits on TBL? They are trying to tell you that the profits from BOP25 will go towards bailing out TBL but what happened to the profits from TBL?? The company that was established by using hobbyists money is now asking the same hobbyists to bail them out of the turmoil by investing more of their money towards another game that has no assurances that will see all 250 units made. If DP was unable to build all orders for TBL with their previous manufacture, what makes you think they will be able to crank out 250 units with a new manufacturer? Obviously the issue with DP is the misuse of money. To be successful these boutique companies need to do more then just come up with a cool theme with a decent layout. They need to ensure their company can sustain positive growth if it is going to take them 4 years to manufacture 1 title. I think that is the problem with DP and TBL. To much time has passed for them to be able to pull a profit from it. As the old sayings go - Time is Money or Time is the Enemy; pick one. For BOP3.0 to be the success they want it to be, they would need to be able to produce all 250 units in the time it takes Stern to crank out 250 units which I don't see happening anytime soon. I hope all this gets sorted out and buyers either get their money back or their machines.

#203 3 years ago

I have a strong suspicion that DP is broke. They blew money on shows, parties and celebrating the early excitement over TBL and now have nothing to show for it. The only chance I see, and it is a slim one, is seeing if we can pay a fee directly to ARA to have our machines finished (or released) if already completed. That sort of arrangement would require a new contract and DP and ARA to agree to such an arrangement. The only way to 'coerce' them to take this path is pressure from this 'politically connected minister' mentioned earlier, or thru the legal process. Once lawyers get involved though, costs go up and it in many ways becomes more dificult to reach a satisfactory compromise. If DP came forward with 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth', perhaps we could negotiate with ARA to reach a satisfactory (not happy) resolution. I personally have paid $4,500 deposit. At this point, if I was guaranteed to get my TBL, I would pony up another $5,500 or so. In other words if it cost me a total of 10k to get my game or I lose my $4,500 and no game, I would choose the 10K and game. BUT, and this is a big but, I would need a guarantee from ARA and probably a personal guarantee before I would trust this approach.

Like I said, many hurdles and probably too many obstacles for this to work....

#204 3 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

Apparently. To follow through, imagine being involved in a dispute where the independent, third-party mediator entered the negotiations with that starting position?
ARA is a CM and not in the pinball industry so they would rightfully be a bit suspicious of the neutrality of any mediator from the pinball industry. If I were ARA, the above statement by the 'independent' mediator would most certainly preclude that person from consideration for the role. Perhaps people would be better served by having someone who is actually experienced in mediation. Are there organizations like the American Arbitration Association in the Netherlands?

It's been strange to see talk of a mediator who is not a mediator (no offense to unigroove). I'd suggest a professional is needed if pre-owners really want to move forward on this. Since DP has a history of being less than truthful, you'll need a professional who will begin on solid ground and can reasonably confirm that all the information provided is accurate, fulsome and true. That will likely include someone who can reasonably interpret contract law, accounting , etc or bring in such professionals.

Lots out there to read. Here's a start.
https://imimediation.org/qap-profile-mfn
https://imimediation.org/certified-mediator-search
https://mediatorsfederatienederland.nl/
http://mediation-net.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66%3Anetherlands&catid=22%3Anetherlands&Itemid=43&lang=en
http://www.lawyersnetherlands.com/commercial-litigation-in-the-netherlands

I see much of this going back to the option of buyers starting by obtaining a lawyer. It may be only to provide feedback to buyers without even getting involved in anything more. And if it is potentially more, a lawyer can provide suggestions on what options are available, how to potentially proceed, and maybe at some point getting more directly involved on the buyer's behalf. It would likely be somewhat difficult to just pick a mediator and walk up with them to ARA and DP and say let's start.

Unfortunately, all this costs money.

#205 3 years ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

It's been strange to see talk of a mediator who is not a mediator

It's mostly a fact finding exploration right now...

#206 3 years ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

It would likely be somewhat difficult to just pick a mediator and walk up with them to ARA and DP and say let's start.

Of course. Mediation is pie in the sky thinking. Binding arbitration is a whole other animal and is never going to happen. I have a very tough time believing that the contract between ara and DP didn't have any conflict resolution language stipulated it.

#207 3 years ago

So if they are broke, and people somehow work out a deal with ARA to release the ~40 completed machines, what about all the other people that are still paid in full but are in the back of the line? If ARA doesn't already have the parts needed to build ALL of the machines for the people paid in full, it's highly doubtful that the additional cost for everyone will be an extra $1k.

#208 3 years ago

I feel sorry for those poor bastards who put money on BOP....

#209 3 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Buyers only have a purchase agreement with DP. The buck starts and ends with DP. If buyers sue DP, then DP would in turn sue ARA if they felt ARA was the root cause. This notion of who to go after is misguided. This is on DP and DP alone regardless of the root cause. Any talk of suing ara is off base and misguided. The only reason for ARA contact is to try and ferret out the truth because once again, when presented the option between truthfulness and deceit, DP chose the latter. This a DP problem regardless of who caused it. They don't get to tout the state of the art contract manufacturing facilities to help sell games in the beginning and now blame that same entity for the failure. People bought games from Dutch, not ARA. People don't give a shit how the sausage is made. Just get it made.

Yes - I agree ... DP is our concern Dude. And knowing the full reality of their issue(s) with ARA can only help in determining the best resolution to getting our TBLs.

#210 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I feel sorry for those poor bastards who put money on BOP....

At twelve five each, I don't think any of them are poor.

I don't have that kind of money, but even if I did AND I liked BOP enough to go for it, I don't think I'd be willing to give DP the chance.

#211 3 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Yes - I agree ... DP is our concern Dude. And knowing the full reality of their issue(s) with ARA can only help in determining the best resolution to getting our TBLs.

Im for sure on your side. I responded because I kept seeing mention of suing ara.

As for getting info out of ara, I agree. What they have shared thus far has been immensely helpful in illuminating the severity of the situation. I'm not sure how much more sharing ara may do considering the potential of litigation. If I ran ara, the last thing I would want to do was give DP a counter claim of damagages even though I may be in the right for stopping production.

#212 3 years ago

I think the Dutch government will bail DP out. Don't think they'll sink.

#213 3 years ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

I think the Dutch government will bail DP out.

Seriously? You think a government intity should use taxpayer money to bail out a failed pinball company?? ...I would not hold my breath for that.

#214 3 years ago
Quoted from Davidus56:

I have a strong suspicion that DP is broke.

I'm confused about this too. Per DP, they said both parties agreed to the price increase with the proviso that the machines would get out the door. So taking this at face value, doesn't this imply DP believed (at least at that point) they have adequate capital to cover the increase in price? I guess I'm trying to figure out how the delay by itself cost DP enough money that they're no longer able to fulfill their obligations. And if they planned to pay the higher price anyway, then why fight it at this point since it's clearly costing them future business?

#215 3 years ago

I think this thread is about due for a Hitler video.

#216 3 years ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

I think the Dutch government will bail DP out. Don't think they'll sink.

For sure Dutch Pinball is too big to fail!

#217 3 years ago

Why doesn't DP do what other business owners do during these types of crises? Raise cash either from investors or mortgage your house and assets, get the games out to fulfill your contractual obligation, then work through the issues with your suppliers on your dime?

#218 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Why doesn't DP do what other business owners do during these types of crises? Raise cash either from investors or mortgage your house and assets, get the games out to fulfill your contractual obligation, then work through the issues with your suppliers on your dime?

Something tells me these guys are already upside down in their personal finances, given the current situation.

-6
#219 3 years ago

wild spending? One cake, a couple bottles of kahula, plastic glasses and a quart of milk - that's like under $100. They didn't strike me as wild spenders. We do see a whole lot of expensive pinball parts - they spared no expense there.
Refunds not realistic at this time, when the line starts rolling again there will be opportunities to sell.
Very hopeful an agreement will be reached between DP and ARA soon. ARA has little choice, the components aren't worth nearly as much as finished games, so there's motivation this will end amicably.

#220 3 years ago

I would only be willing to kick in extra money (aka as charity, a gift, a bail out) for getting my game under certain conditions.

One of those conditions would be full financial disclosure by DP of how all of the money was spent and how much came in and from who. So, if that is on the table DP, make sure the request comes with extensive documentation.

I don't think we should talk too loosely about this as a potential solution. If it were to happen, we would be represented by someone, use escrow, have a written agreement, etc.

#221 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

It's mostly a fact finding exploration right now...

Then why not just call/email DP and ask for the details and facts instead of sending another layperson to ask? If people "trust" DP to tell "all" the "facts" to some layperson who shows up then someone here just may as well do the same and call/email them instead.

Caveat audiens.

#222 3 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

One of those conditions would be full financial disclosure by DP of how all of the money was spent and how much came in and from who

That would never happen as they can't disclose from whom the money came from. That would be a case of invasion of privacy.
-Mike

#223 3 years ago
Quoted from Grizlyrig:

That would never happen as they can't disclose from whom the money came from. That would be a case of invasion of privacy.
-Mike

They could blind the buyers names. So there. Providing their sales figures is the least of their problems.

#224 3 years ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

Then why not just call/email DP and ask for the details and facts instead of sending another layperson to ask?

Another "we're having a board issue"-type response isn't needed. The truth is needed.

#225 3 years ago
Quoted from chadderack:

Another "we're having a board issue"-type response isn't needed. The truth is needed.

That's my whole point. See earlier post.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/class-action-lawsuit/page/5#post-3681211

#226 3 years ago

How much is ARA claiming they are owed? I know they wanted more $$ to build the pins but they are sitting on $400-450k worth of collateral.

If they auction off the pins to satisfy the debt then what's left? I can't imagine they are going to sit on those pins forever

#227 3 years ago

Do you think Jonathan would be more or less honest than DP? Whatever that case may be, the sense is that a whole lot more people would trust Jonathan over DP.

Agreed with other posters since then that maybe he'd not be the best choice for moderator since (apparently) he's in on TBL himself. That may make it appear to ARA that he'd lean DP's way during any moderation and Jonathan may not be seen as impartial by all parties.

That said, it doesn't appear he'd ever agreed to be a moderator anyway

#228 3 years ago
Quoted from chadderack:

Do you think Jonathan would be more or less honest than DP? Whatever that case may be, the sense is that a whole lot more people would trust Jonathan over DP.
Agreed with other posters since then that maybe he'd not be the best choice for moderator since (apparently) he's in on TBL himself. That may make it appear to ARA that he'd lean DP's way during any moderation and Jonathan may not be seen as impartial by all parties.
That said, it doesn't appear he'd ever agreed to be a moderator anyway

He didn't really agree, I jumped the gun - totally my fault. He has readily admitted that he has a TBL on order, is friends with Jaap and Barry, and he has a pinball magazine that is a pretty big deal in the European pinball community. ARA would not see him as impartial and we probably shouldn't either. Heck, I'm certainly not impartial.

I do appreciate that he speaks Dutch and is willing to speak with ARA and share what he finds with us. It could be that we eventually need another person to act as an impartial outside party. But let's see what Jonathan comes back with from ARA next week. It could fill in some gaps and make some of this make sense, who knows.

#229 3 years ago
Quoted from chadderack:

Do you think Jonathan would be more or less honest than DP? Whatever that case may be, the sense is that a whole lot more people would trust Jonathan over DP.

Still don't get it... It isn't about Jonathan's honesty, Jonathan can only forward what DP says to him, it's about DP's honesty to laypeople.

#230 3 years ago

Anyone investigating what is going on can't be bad. Seems like nothing coming out on what's happening or not. I deal with contract manufacturers all the time. If shit happens, or other bad results happen. You move forward. One of the parties takes a hit or a combination of both parties. You keep moving forward, & hope that you can make a profit in the end.

#231 3 years ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

Still don't get it... It isn't about Jonathan's honesty, Jonathan can only forward what DP says to him, it's about DP's honesty to laypeople.

It's about the truth that may come out when a single trusted person (moderator) speaks to both parties. Lately there's not a lot of trust in what DP says directly.

#232 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Why doesn't DP do what other business owners do during these types of crises? Raise cash either from investors or mortgage your house and assets, get the games out to fulfill your contractual obligation, then work through the issues with your suppliers on your dime?

For days I've been thinking this exact scenario!!!!!!

In 2015 I was in a bind in my home building business and maxed my line of credit on my house (and that wasn't enough), I maxed my credit and good will with my bank (and that wasn't enough AND they were pissed at me) and I finally turned to my brother and offered him some pretty good incentives to provide me with some liquid capital to get me through.

2016 was a pretty sweet year for me. My brother is paid back, my line of credit on my house is at zero and my bank loves me.

Dutch..........?????? Ideas for ya?

QSS

#233 3 years ago

Wasn't Jaap at TPF presenting the new BOP? A trip from Europe to the US isn't cheap. If there are financial problems, why on earth would you spend 5-10K for a "business" trip unless you are peddling your new wares to try and generate pre order income. Jaap certainly didn't come to TPF to provide updates on TBL, rather seeking additional investors to prop up the company. Terribly sad and gut wrenching situation and best of luck to the folks that have dollars involved.

-1
#234 3 years ago
Quoted from AliciaC:

Wasn't Jaap at TPF presenting the new BOP? A trip from Europe to the US isn't cheap. If there are financial problems, why on earth would you spend 5-10K for a "business" trip unless you are peddling your new wares to try and generate pre order income. Jaap certainly didn't come to TPF to provide updates on TBL, rather seeking additional investors to prop up the company. Terribly sad and gut wrenching situation and best of luck to the folks that have dollars involved.

5k-10k?
Bet his room was free
I've never paid more than $800 rt to Europe

#235 3 years ago

Did Barry and Jaap take in a salary?
If so how much?

#236 3 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Did Barry and Jaap take in a salary?
If so how much?

Hey John, its pretty safe to say that all DP members are in this pro-bono as far as I know.

Most if not all have a regular job or external business to run, so I dont think money was extracted for personal payment or salary, just expenses.

I produce parts for ARA, and DP, and from experience, BOTH parties are hard to get hold of, or get a clear timeline/answer out of.

#237 3 years ago
Quoted from steigerpijp:

Hey John, its pretty safe to say that all DP members are in this pro-bono as far as I know.
Most if not all have a regular job or external business to run, so I dont think money was extracted for personal payment or salary, just expenses.
I produce parts for ARA, and DP, and from experience, BOTH parties are hard to get hold of, or get a clear timeline/answer out of.

Thanks Geert,
Well at least that's tiny bit of good news.
That's what did Jpop in.

#238 3 years ago

I would be astonished if no salaries or draws were paid.

#239 3 years ago

Im still confident though that the Walters on this forum are smashing the wrong Corvette , parked outside the factory, but belongs to the neighhours.....

Facts, then smash, no sooner..

#240 3 years ago

Yes they are forced by the tax authoroties to take a minimum salary and pay tax. Don' t know how much and it is ofcourse to them what to do with the salary like putting it back in the company. But tax has to be paid.

#241 3 years ago

The plot thickens

#242 3 years ago

Exactly, but that could be a single euro, just for the paperwork.

And dont forget tax over the deposits being held too..

DP would want the money out of their account asap (like end of 2025-16) to pay ARA etc before someone wants a slice of that big pie

#243 3 years ago

Wow , this is FUCKED up,all these great games to be made and I got nothing. I.just played it , I want it,

Dutch pinball build my Lawbowski and I will cough up12 ,500 for Bride of Pinbot. But not until My game is in my home. Let's get it Done for

#244 3 years ago
Quoted from whitey:

Wow , this is FUCKED up,all these great games to be made and I got nothing. I.just played it , I want it,
Dutch pinball build my Lawbowski and I will cough up12 ,500 for Bride of Pinbot. But not until My game is in my home. Let's get it for Fuck Sake

#245 3 years ago

You guys get the message ? Build my game

#246 3 years ago
Quoted from steigerpijp:

Exactly, but that could be a single euro, just for the paperwork.
And dont forget tax over the deposits being held too..
DP would want the money out of their account asap (like end of 2025-16) to pay ARA etc before someone wants a slice of that big pie

Well, there is a minimum amount of salary required and it is not 1 euro. It must reflect a normal market conform salary.
And yes, Tax can be a big threat for a startup company in its third year.

15
#247 3 years ago

Your pre-order has been cancelled.

#248 3 years ago
Quoted from cudabee:

Well, there is a minimum amount of salary required and it is not 1 euro. It must reflect a normal market conform salary.
And yes, Tax can be a big threat for a startup company in its third year.

And ARA knows this too I bet..

#249 3 years ago

It regards to pinball history, there are very few equalities with the current DP situation in comparison with IPB and BBB. This also includes proposed prototypes and development of Kingpin, Wizard Blocks, or the "third" Playboy (which was another wistful idea dream, long before Stern built theirs in 2002).

I have seen this referenced several times recently.

The circumstances of manufacture, contracts (parts, labor, materials, construction), support, redesign, corrections, and prebuy are all vastly different with BBB.
The only thing that is even remotely comparative was TIME until completion, which has still not happened in the case of TBL.

Gene did not lie to the pinball community at the time who supported his dream, many of which were tied up in more than just deposits, but also time, effort, and experience, much of which was unpaid support.
DP's TBL was not a "community supported game of pinball experts", it was a crowdsourced project of new enthusiasts basically saying "give me my game ASAP."
Gene bowed out of taking preorders for another game, before he finished BBB.
Gene never changed his baseline pricing for those involved.
Gene was very clear about what was expected up front once pricing was determined, you were either in or your were out, no going back.
There was no distributor middle men bull#@!$ or "reindeer games".

That is enough for me to clearly indicate some basic differences.
I don't deny there were many naysayers from 2004-2007, but it was a different time on what was believed could and could not happen regarding pinball development and construction.

It is disrespectful and highly inappropriate for those that were a part of the "adventure" to use this as any form of comparison, as the sacrifices went well beyond Mr. Cunningham, if the history is fully understood.

These aspects do not apply here, in any form, whatever may be in DP's financial future, which I will not speculate, provide information, fan the flames, or "incur the wrath" of pre order buyers.

There is no doubt, however, interested enthusiasts can look to the past for guidance regarding buying games.

-1
#250 3 years ago

One of the things that led to trouble between DP and Phil was that Barry was taking money out of DP because he was working full time on TBL for awhile, while the others had jobs.

I do not remember how much it was and to be frank, I do not see a problem with this. I bet he was working like hell to get the prototype ready, and everybody needs to eat, right?

PS! This was before ARA, and probably just a one time amount. But I remember that Phil said that there was not enough money to start eating the cake and there was a big argument about it.

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