(Topic ID: 112377)

DP USA Refund - Still Want the Game


By JDinNOVA

5 years ago



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#1351 4 years ago
Quoted from edmorex:

I could care less about the accusations. That is not why I want my money back. I want my money back because it apparently is being held by a partner of DP that wants nothing to do with the company. He has made it clear he wants to liquidate the account. There isn't going to be enough money to go around once you subtract out all the transaction fees from moving this money around.
If he is going to empty the bag I want the money, and not the empty bag.

This is a big part of why I decided to get out.

#1352 4 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

Is it wrong that I'm secretly hoping to have my place in line bumped up a bit?

No, give me your refund money and you can have my day one order spot. I'll gladly trade and get back in once the dust settles if I feel 100% comfortable

I want to know my money is safe first and foremost then I'll worry about getting a pinball game after if need be.

#1353 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Everyone keeps saying "dissolve the corporation....run the corporation....1/3 of the corporation" but why are there no incorporation documents registered?

you are correct. Based in Park Ridge, Illinois but not registered as a legal entity in the state of Illinois

#1354 4 years ago
Quoted from swf127:

Someone claimed that Dutch Pinball USA is a d/b/a and not a corp. I don't know it that's true but it would certainly make more sense than "I incorporated and then used my personal social security number on all the accounts" theory.

On the website it says the official name of the company is:

Dutch Pinball USA Inc.
Park Ridge, IL

They are not registered with the secretary of state in Illinois

-2
#1355 4 years ago

This is the spot where people who are still in, try to sell their pre-order at 50-70% of the price in order to get out quite safely.

Will this time catching the falling knife be a smart move?

#1356 4 years ago
Quoted from kapper:

you are correct. Based in Park Ridge, Illinois but not registered as a legal entity in the state of Illinois

It was JUST updated today, oddly enough.

Apparently, as well, they haven't paid their taxes yet.

#1357 4 years ago

They used Incorp Services, Inc. to create the US corp. Based in Wyoming.

#1359 4 years ago
Quoted from JDee:

This is the spot where people who are still in, try to sell their pre-order at 50-70% of the price in order to get out quite safely.

And if you have someone offer you their TBL for 50 cents on the dollar, that might be a deal worth taking. However, while refunds are being issued I'd expect that to be a long shot.

Corporate registration has been updated in Wyoming as someone said. Barry and Jaap are now the two officers of Dutch Pinball USA.

11
#1360 4 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

They added Roger Sharpe to the mix to address the licensing issue, which for all practical purposes is the only deal killer issue they are dealing with, reduced cash flow from refunds notwithstanding.
Other than that, they are treating it like the legal matter that it is - privately.

Does Roger Sharpe know he's been added to the team?

#1361 4 years ago
Quoted from swf127:

And if you have someone offer you their TBL for 50 cents on the dollar, that might be a deal worth taking. However, while refunds are being issued I'd expect that to be a long shot.

Corporate registration has been updated in Wyoming as someone said. Barry and Jaap are now the two officers of Dutch Pinball USA.

Great news. They are handling their shit!

#1362 4 years ago
Quoted from Kevgascan:

Does Roger Sharpe know he's been added to the team?

Your question makes me wonder if Barry Oursler knew that he was on the Von D team?

92
#1363 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

So yeah...I guess the preorder model is dead. And that sucks for all the other boutique manufacturers. This one epic mess may stall all the momentum pinball had been gathering with all the new companies stepping up.

Why does it have to suck that there wouldn't be crowd funding available for boutique startups?

This doesn't have to be the end of boutique startups. They just need to get back to how it's always been done.

New boutiques just need to get their staff together, and if they're truly THAT passionate about starting a manufacturing line to make their machine en masse, they will all go out and secure $50,000 loans (each), or second mortgages, or max their credit cards, and/or sink their retirement savings into their company. That's what groups of entrepreneurs do if they have a dream.

This whole thread has blown me away, and I just wanted to step in and say as a 10-year-AFTER-startup pinball company, that the recent "kickstarting" or "crowd funding" model the last couple years blows my mind. When CPR started, yes we had a dream, yes we had a plan of what we wanted to be able to do... but like any business dream, on the side or otherwise, you need to finance it to get it going. I cannot begin to tell you the extent that we went into hock to buy everything we needed. Loans, credit lines, credit cards, savings... ALL maxed and spent. With minimum payments due every month or course. Personally (and I'm being completely honest here) I nearly lost my house back in 2007. Yes. The timing of the completion of the BK playfield pairs was 6 months later than originally planned, and due to that bad timing, there was nothing we could pay ourselves with for a very long period of time. When it was just two of us, my partner had a full time job, he was OK. I had switched to CPR exclusively a year prior. So with a house 4 months in arrears, the bank started foreclosure proceedings. Plus monthly payments on *everything* were missing. Thanks to a good friend of mine, she opened a credit line in her name, and cut me a cheque to pay the bank and ward off the foreclosure. The house (with a basement full of BK's) was saved to live another month or two. We made it to the BK release. It took many years to pay all our original debt down. But we came out the other side. That's what you DO. IMHO. That's what it takes.

I think it's obvious the difference when a company is liable to it's own financing. In your mind, put yourself in the place of both models, and feel the difference. I can certainly tell you that when it's YOUR money you've risked, and interest is ticking on you, there is a HUGE candle under your butt to perform & produce. You have to. You don't have a choice.

The existence of interest free, unreporting (credit bureau), and no-monthly-payment loans handed over so nonchallantly to seed major projects of this scale... boggle me. I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night if we had ever financed like that. Risking/holding/spending customers' money. Plus what I read (amongst many) a cavalier attitude toward no-recovery loss. Things like "It's my risk, meh. If I lose it, I lose it" W-O-W So being funded this way also means that if you end up not reaching the finish line, your seeders aren't even going to come calling? They "knew the risk", and just casually blow it off? What a utopian financing. No-strings-attached financing? That's why I can't believe it's become so prevalent, and so accepted. Maybe the cavalier attitude toward loss is just a brave face. I would think $5000+ if ever truly lost, to anybody, would be a big deal. Methinks.

All I can say is, we never had even an inkling of such a concept/meme in the hobby back in 2004-2005 when we started. Times have changed !

My 2 cents from a personal perspective...

#1364 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Great news. They are handling their shit!

If it could be done that quick, one has to wonder why it took 6 weeks and all the drama.

#1365 4 years ago

Does the Maury character in GoodFellas remind anyone else of Todd Tuckey from TNT Amusements?

#1366 4 years ago

Kevin, agree with your post but today with things like Kickstarter people now come up with the idea and use other's money to stat a business. It appears the days of starting and funding a business from the ground up are falling by the wayside!

#1367 4 years ago
Quoted from F3TT:

Does the Maury character in GoodFellas remind anyone else of Todd Tuckey from TNT Amusements?

Oh yes! I've said this before. Acts kinda like him too.

#1368 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

If it could be done that quick, one has to wonder why it took 6 weeks and all the drama.

Let's just say that priorities have shifted

#1369 4 years ago

Kevin, I think you're missing one of the most important details about crowd-funding (and in my opinion, also the reason why crowd-funding and kickstarter have become so popular). Unlike traditional means of finding investors or borrowing money, crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter bring the projects to the people who want to back them because they believe in the product or company. Normally, you're pitching to people who just want to make money. The downside to this is that when pitching to people who want to make money, you are put in your place and turned down if the idea isn't going to make money or you don't have your finances in order (Dragon's Den shows this off better than anything else); On Kickstarter, you're not held up to that same standard, and the majority of people backing projects don't have a background to hold you up to those same high standards.

All that aside, the reason why the pre-order model has become so successful on pinside is simply because many of us want to see new games being made. More competition is better for us consumers, not only from a dollar standpoint, but also because it gives us more choices. It's better for pinball because none of us want to see it die or get stuck in (another) Stern-only rut. If boutique is the way to do that, then we want to help.

#1370 4 years ago

Nothing to add just wishing Phil a full recovery and that he can move on to more important things in life.

The old axiom holds that you should never go into business with family or friends.

-22
#1371 4 years ago

Kevin: real noble of you to do things the way you did, but also kind of naive, don't you think? This time it turned out for the good (you suvived), but what if it costed you your house? And after that maybe your marriage? Would you be typing the same message here?

I think both ways have pro's and con's. Not one way is better or worse. And hindsight is always 20/20.

#1372 4 years ago
Quoted from swf127:

And if you have someone offer you their TBL for 50 cents on the dollar, that might be a deal worth taking. However, while refunds are being issued I'd expect that to be a long shot.
Corporate registration has been updated in Wyoming as someone said. Barry and Jaap are now the two officers of Dutch Pinball USA.

I wouldn't even buy at 1/10th.. No way I'm buying it at half.

#1373 4 years ago
Quoted from KevinCPR:

New boutiques just need to get their staff together, and if they're truly THAT passionate about starting a manufacturing line to make their machine en masse, they will all go out and secure $50,000 loans (each), or second mortgages, or max their credit cards, and/or sink their retirement savings into their company. That's what groups of entrepreneurs do if they have a dream.

It's also a great test for how serious the people are. Is the business idea viable enough to secure loans? Or are people serious enough to put their own skin in the game? Can they handle getting that part together? Can you build a fully functional game to show people before you announce anything?

With the "kickstarter" model all you need is an idea, and a way to articulate it (hopefully without puppets). That's not that much work, relatively speaking. Then later down the line you discover you can't hack it (Skit-B) and things turn into a mess.

Clearly DP did a lot before asking for pre-orders, so I presume they're financed on some level.

-13
#1374 4 years ago

That was probably a nice post Kevin.

Unless you're Phil, Barry, or Jacob keep the posts to a quick paragraph or less. This has been a big time suck for me today and now I'll need to do actual work into the evening because of it.

#1375 4 years ago

Whatever the real story, DP is smart not to be arguing a business dispute on a forum. Normally, professionals hire good lawyers to help settle their disputes. But it looks like these guys were winging it when it came to legally structuring their business and employment agreements. Any good employment or business agreement has a non-disclosure clause to prevent this type of public arguing (or disparagement from DP's perspective). Hard to believe that otherwise smart, talented people play it so loose when millions are involved. Friends and business don't usually mix well. While pinball is on a resurgence, other than Stern, it still seems like the Wild West when it comes to business operations - which probably isn't surprising for this stage of the game.

14
#1376 4 years ago

The guys at Stern must be experiencing quite a bit of schadenfreude at the moment. I found that presentation by DP at the expo where they openly and arrogantly dissed the 'manufacturing company' totally offputting and to me would have been a big red flag in giving this company any money. It seems unfortunately that many were sucked in by the bravado and marketing spin and will now most likely pay the price.
As others have said all of this makes Spooky pinball, just quietly going about their business and getting games out, the heroes of the boutiques.

#1377 4 years ago

Going public was obviously the only way to get results for Phil. Only a lawyer would think it was a better idea to hire somebody who's paid exorbitant sums by the hour to settle a simple matter like removing somebody from a company.

#1378 4 years ago
Quoted from JDee:

I wouldn't even buy at 1/10th.. No way I'm buying it at half.

Haha. I would take that deal in a second.

#1379 4 years ago
Quoted from edmorex:

I could care less about the accusations. That is not why I want my money back. I want my money back because it apparently is being held by a partner of DP that wants nothing to do with the company. He has made it clear he wants to liquidate the account. There isn't going to be enough money to go around once you subtract out all the transaction fees from moving this money around.
If he is going to empty the bag I want the money, and not the empty bag.

Dude, I hope you get your money and you jump back in later after the dust settles.
I also hope TBL gets built. I know a lot of pinsiders are deeply involved with this pin and they deserve the reward for stepping up in the very beginning.

The fact that Phil hasn't pushed the "Pay All Refunds" button already, just shows that there is a missing piece between his claims and DP's claims. Not sure what that reason would be from either party at this point.

#1380 4 years ago
Quoted from JDee:

I wouldn't even buy at 1/10th.. No way I'm buying it at half.

What's my down side at that price? If I lose 900 bucks.. oh well. If it gets made, I get a pin that's worth 10x what I paid. If only 10 of them get made, then I have the next BBB. Sounds like an overwhelming amount of upside to me.

-2
#1381 4 years ago
Quoted from swf127:

What's my down side at that price? If I lose 900 bucks.. oh well. If it gets made, I get a pin that's worth 10x what I paid. If only 10 of them get made, then I have the next BBB. Sounds like an overwhelming amount of upside to me.

If for you risking 900 bucks is not that big deal, you already did the math.
I'm sure that people who are in, right now, are starting to do the math too

As I already said: good luck with your falling knife.

#1382 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

Dude, I hope you get your money and you jump back in later after the dust settles.
I also hope TBL gets built.

I hope it gets built as well. A pin based on TBL is a total dream pin for me. I haven't ruled out jumping back in once everything is settled (i.e. 1/3 of the company with one hand holding my money, and with the other saber rattling).

Right now it feels like my deposits are being held hostage.

#1383 4 years ago
Quoted from edmorex:

I could care less about the accusations. That is not why I want my money back. I want my money back because it apparently is being held by a partner of DP that wants nothing to do with the company. He has made it clear he wants to liquidate the account. There isn't going to be enough money to go around once you subtract out all the transaction fees from moving this money around.

If he is going to empty the bag I want the money, and not the empty bag.

This is exactly what Phil was hoping would be the result of his unauthorized refunds. He wanted to deliberately hurt DP.

Unless he's completely ignorant, it's obvious to see how his refund debacle would cause a problem, rather than solve one.

#1385 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

kaboom.jpg 68 KB

And ppl thought that LEDs were too bright.

#1386 4 years ago
Quoted from KevinCPR:

Why does it have to suck that there wouldn't be crowd funding available for boutique startups?
This doesn't have to be the end of boutique startups. They just need to get back to how it's always been done.
[snipped]

The model has always perplexed me as well. Particularly in an age of skyrocketing housing, medical and educational costs, that people willingly gamble such sums with no possible return other than the product itself. Maybe there's an outside chance the game will appreciate, but that's all as far as potential return.

I understand wanting to "be a part of something" but is that really worth the thousands people pony up?

Quoted from meSz:

Kevin, agree with your post but today with things like Kickstarter people now come up with the idea and use other's money to stat a business. It appears the days of starting and funding a business from the ground up are falling by the wayside!

That's exactly what they said during the dotcom boom. The model launched a lot of businesses until a critical mass of them imploded and the money-for-nothing venture capital market disappeared overnight. I think pinball is accelerating toward that point. People seem tired of the pre-order drama.

#1387 4 years ago

I think TBL will be made. The DP guys have a dream and have worked too hard to let it drop now. They have a solid product and just received a crash course in business perception management. I'd be surprised if I don't have one in my house in the future.

#1388 4 years ago
Quoted from F3TT:

Does the Maury character in GoodFellas remind anyone else of Todd Tuckey from TNT Amusements?

Yeah one dog goes this way the other that way...,,It looks like someone we know , yeah without the beard!

Agreed, now let's pick up some Danish for Belle

#1389 4 years ago
Quoted from lost8ball:

I think TBL will be made. The DP guys have a dream and have worked too hard to let it drop now. They have a solid product and just received a crash course in business perception management. I'd be surprised if I don't have one in my house in the future.

+100 this.

#1390 4 years ago

Fantasygoat,
I believe that is copyright infringement.

#1391 4 years ago

One thing I was thinking, it must have taken a lot of self-control for Barry and Jaap not to come on here and respond to Phil's accusations. They also seem to be able ask for help when they need to (Roger Sharp). It seems as if they can remain calm in a crisis, that bodes well for the future of Dutch Pinball.

28
#1392 4 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

Unless he's completely ignorant, it's obvious to see how his refund debacle would cause a problem, rather than solve one

Quoted from edmorex:

Right now it feels like my deposits are being held hostage

He had every right to refund the money he was responsible for if he couldn't guarantee its security. People who he sent refunds should be thankful.

He also knew that starting the refund process would force them to address the issues. They kept him in charge of DP US, he told them what he was going to do, he carried it through. Had they managed their business, the refunds wouldn't have happened.

In Phil's mind he was protecting himself, his family and the customers. He did it at great personal cost in a time when he's fighting cancer. Just being a decent human being would be to allow him to walk away so he can focus on his health and his family. You think your deposit is being held hostage? Phil is a human being, and he and his family (in the event of his death) were being held hostage by 2 partners with controlling interest. Not to mention he is walking away from $100k. So I'd encourage a bit of empathy here.

#1393 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

So I'd encourage a bit of empathy here.

And he has it. I'm not on the phone with lawyers. I am in just in no uncertain terms asking for my money. (Via posts here, PMs, direct emails, and PayPal dispute tickets). Giving me my money seems to be aligned with his stated goal of bringing the PayPal account to 0 so he can close it and not have it in his name.

I have provided the transaction IDs, the dates, amounts, and the PayPal dispute case IDs. If he has access to give some people refunds he has access to my PayPal dispute claims.

#1394 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

pre-ordering Alien without even seeing the damn machine, let alone the designer bailing (though I like that they're coding and shit already, they might meet my model if you ignore the pre-order until the machine is good to go)

Well thanks for not completely taking a dump all over Heighway. I think you know deep down they will emerge as one of the top 3. Nordman leaving was bad, but supposedly over not making deadlines which doesn't seem like such a big deal in light of all this. And I think you would endorse their pre-order model, $1500 now and not another dime until its ready to be built and shipped.

As far as communication goes, I could email Andrew right now about my runny BM this am. and he would get back asap with a solution.

Post edited by RandomGuyOffCL: spell check

#1395 4 years ago

Roger Sharpe is great news.

The apparent incorporation of DP-USA just TODAY is good news.

But for me personally, I need to see the pinball machine AFTER Roger Sharpe's involvement before I bring my money back. I want to see how much of the unlicensed sounds/images/music that apparently were on the prototypes remain after the licensing gets worked out. And I want to see if the surviving budget still supports the hardware that we saw in the prototypes.

I know pulling my money out makes this harder, but this circus is not my fault. DP earned my trust with the protos. They've lost it with the protos (now that new information has come to light).

I hope this gets sorted out and everyone ends up happy. But my money stays with me until then.

#1396 4 years ago

Maybe this has already been answered, but I didn't see it. One thing I don't understand. They say they have different rules for music licensing in the Netherlands compared to the US, so they are covered, but aren't people sending their money to a U.S. company, and aren't these things supposed to be assembled for US customers in the US? Doesn't that mean that these pins would have to get music licenses from the US and not the Netherlands? Something doesn't sound right to me. (Sorry for the pun)

#1397 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Going public was obviously the only way to get results for Phil. Only a lawyer would think it was a better idea to hire somebody who's paid exorbitant sums by the hour to settle a simple matter like removing somebody from a company.

Really doubt all of this is over a simple matter like removing him from the Company - he apparently owns the US arm of DP without a good contract with DP Holland. You can liquidate a business without arguing your case on a forum. It's easy to understand Phil's frustration, especially given his personal situation, but it's not clear how Pinside is going to help him get results and his comments here could somehow backfire. If you can't afford a lawyer to occasionally provide counsel on running your business and settling disputes, then you shouldn't be involved in a significant business venture. Even though I cringe at what some lawyers charge it's unfortunately the way our system now works.

28
#1398 4 years ago
Quoted from Cenobyte:

Kevin: real noble of you to do things the way you did, but also kind of naive, don't you think? This time it turned out for the good (you suvived), but what if it costed you your house? And after that maybe your marriage? Would you be typing the same message here?
I think both ways have pro's and con's. Not one way is better or worse. And hindsight is always 20/20.

What is naive? Starting a small business on your own dime? Betting on yourself? That's how you're supposed to do it, buddy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Perhaps you are the naive one.

24
#1399 4 years ago
Quoted from Cenobyte:

Kevin: real noble of you to do things the way you did, but also kind of naive, don't you think? This time it turned out for the good (you suvived), but what if it costed you your house? Would you be typing the same message here?

Nah. No nobility. I guess I'm just old fashioned. (OMG I sound like my father now ) I truly believe the CPR venture/dream was my/our financial risk to bear. Not customers or the public or whatever. If things went belly-up (and they almost did - and nobody knew), then it's on me and MY money. Why would it be better if it was 250 people's loans/donations? Like I said, I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night under the yoke of other peoples' money.

It's one of the things that has had me vehemently against CPR dealing with any kind of deposits the last 10 years. Even recently with our playfield preorder rules changing. We just need a person's word. As much as people have recommended we just switch to deposits, I've just left deposits as a fallback system for those who fail to perform under the word-based system.

Quoted from Cenobyte:

I think both ways have pro's and con's. Not one way is better or worse. And hindsight is always 20/20.

You are right. Crowd sourcing has a distinct edge in bringing otherwise "unfeasible" things to fruition. It gives folks with no (or not enough) money to make something that would otherwise not happen.

All I'm saying is that crowd funding offers very light motivation when it comes to the clock ticking, and little to no financial risk for the producer (who isn't floating the project at all). It's a little utopian. A sweet deal. Like governments spending your "free money" (taxes). There are temptations and waste/fluff. With free money, things can sometimes become loosey - trips can be taken, hotel rooms booked, liquor parties thrown. Who knows. Not saying DP did this with TBL funds, but Phil did show some very big/sustained PP withdrawal activity he couldn't account for. I do wonder when people travel such large expensive distances "to promote" something live-in-person that is this niche. Expo...OK. Was it truly required again this weekend for the what...3-4 extra orders? Or was it for fun, and just expensed in the slush fund? Or, truly thousands of dollars per head, out of personal pocket? I don't know how personally stacked they are, or their day jobs. All I know is that CPR couldn't afford two trips to Europe a couple months apart to promote CPR. It would be a blast, sure. But see... it's OUR float - and thus there is a natural frugality and apprehension to take trips like that. Fun or not. Again, I have no clue about the DP trips. Ask yourself if you and your buddies could afford $3000 (minimum) here to Holland, round trip per head...week stay... TWICE...in the last 2 months, and the time off... for three of you that's $18,000 plus lost work pay.

If you're crowdfunded $4500 x 200 people = nearly a million bucks in the till... it's easy to slip away on a "business trip" for your product.

Just saying that when you self-finance and bring a product out that people simply buy at the end, you end up picky and penny-pinching along the way. And you move faster, because the longer your money is sunk, you personally feel it. Motivation for the finish line is not only getting paid back, but then you can get PAID too... whatever portion was yours/profit.

I participated in an Indegogo campaign last year, so I get it. It was only like $100, lol They did get the product to market (it took a year). It was on a scale of only a $25,000 project in totality. It truly felt like funding a little impossible project, though. Not anywhere near financing a startup company in totality (although I'm aware those kind of kickstarters are out there).

It was the Feel Flux (magnetic silverball thingy). Many of you may want one after discovering it.
** It's very very pinbally *** ... and quite magical LOL

http://feelflux.com/

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/feel-flux

#1400 4 years ago

Glad to see the press release.

I have now read all the posts here in this thread and here's my takeaway:

Building pinballs is hard. My hats off to Phil and the guys at DP. It appears that DP is working towards a resolution. It also appears that this only happened after phil went public.

That being said I believe they are on their way to resolving issues for many. But there are some huge hurdles that still need to be addressed.

Make no mistake, while the prototype and liscensing issues once resolved will be big they will not compare to actual production and shipping. Having worked with a few companies (not pinballs) I can tell you that the next few steps are huge and will really test the company.

Also, word to the wise, I for one wouldn't want to be an early adopter with a low production order. It's common knowledge that early productions almost always end up with a ton of gremlins to iron out.

I'd be interested in the BoP 2.0 to get my feet wet with DP after the first of the year and then I'd look into TBL though honestly I'd feel much more comfortable with something like $3000 down and a monthly payment until the machine is ready. Given the process of production and delivery I'd be amazed if these go through production in less than 6 - 9 months. (Again I'm not privy to the schedule of production for a typical pinball machine).

I'd still love to see DP succeed, part of that would be great to see them outline a series of dates where they feel their project will be in terms of completion, ie when it will be into manufacturing, when it will go through beta testing, when they think they'll roll out infill orders ect ect.

But I'd expect any new company to do this just to set a tone for what their building and in exchange for people investing 9 grand with them

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