(Topic ID: 295712)

End of Great Pinball for now! After about 14 years as a pioneer.

By greatwichjohn

1 year ago


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#1 1 year ago

Finally hit the financial brick wall of working on pinball playfields & backglass. With my health problems which led me to retire November 1, 2020. My pension is about 50% of what I was use to earning. So I will be filing for personal bankruptcy this summer. Those few that are still waiting on their prepaid Seawitch playfield contact me here or [email protected]

I will continue to get the 30 Seawitch playfields & 14 star Gazer playfields in production ready for printing. If what is left of my business is taken away, then I will likely start over again. Thanks to all those who have supported me, & thanks to all those haters out there.

For some interesting reading on the early days of printing for playfields:
https://rec.games.pinball.narkive.com/FF8AjnQ4/direct-ink-vs-silk-screening

#2 1 year ago

Sorry to hear, but TY for all your contributions to the community John for many years ! You are a gentleman to boot !
Joe

#3 1 year ago

Tough news John.
I wish you the very best going forward.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.ChrisHiblerPinball.com/Contact
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

#4 1 year ago

Wishing nothing but the best for you going forward.

And huge thank you for all you did for pinball !

LTG : )

#5 1 year ago

John, your playfields are the best!!! I’m very sad to hear of this. Hope to get a Seawitch from this last batch

#6 1 year ago

Wow I am sorry to hear that!

I hope you catch a break soon.

#7 1 year ago

Sad news ... hope things turn for the better....

#8 1 year ago

Wow very sad news. Your playfields are the gold standard in my book sorry to hear this. I wish you the absolute best and thank you for All you have done for this hobby over the years.

#9 1 year ago

Such a sad result for someone who has battled against the odds for so long and hasn't been able to catch a break. Hopefully things turn around soon for you John and you can continue doing what you clearly enjoy.

#10 1 year ago

I’ve rooted for your success for a long time, what ever that might look like for you. I could see the passion and belief in what you were creating. You should be proud of your successes. Thank you for what you’ve done and hope things will improve for you.

#11 1 year ago

Your work is/was something special, John. Best of luck on this new journey, and I hope your health gets better. Take care of yourself.

#12 1 year ago

I continue on with getting the Seawitch playfields ready for printing. Here is what I responded to earlier this morning for one of the last few prepaid guys:
Send me all your info again to [email protected]

Need your full info, phone number, & email.
I am still working on them, but there is no funds to get them through printing, finish clear coats, & shipping. I believe the art corrections are finally going to the printer. My worse case if everything is lost is to start over. Try to get the last few that are prepaid made whole.

I am at the workshop everyday working on playfields. See if a last minute miracle happens before bankruptcy! Try to have a number of Seawitch ready to go to the printer before mid July if something happens.

Saturday I am here sanding the shooter lanes, sides, & back of the 30 Seawitch playfields. Most are on the last stages of fixing any lenses with gaps with epoxy (like pinholes). I continue to peg away, & see what happens. Stay positive!, not dead yet.

#13 1 year ago

Sad to see this John. I remember that you were a fantastic speaker as is your repro work at Pintastic in 2019. Plus you always had a beer in hand which I found amusing. Better times ahead and hopefully you can work with another manufacturer.

-Derek Karamanian

#14 1 year ago

Email sent.

#15 1 year ago

Pulling for you now and in the future for health and well-being.

#16 1 year ago

Thanks. I do like my beer in hand!

#17 1 year ago

I’m going to drink one now, in your honor.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Thanks. I do like my beer in hand!

Cheers, John, you're a good man. - Best wishes with everything especially your health.

Kim

#19 1 year ago

Many years ago I purchased from you a HTF repro backglass for a WMS Lucky Strike. Your order processing was superb and outdone only by your quality of the piece.

All the best to you in the years ahead - you provided me with a great example of pinball parts providers who do it right (and there aren't many left!).

#20 1 year ago

John,

I wish you all the best. Tonight, I am playing the Star Gazer I have been building. I cannot thank you enough for making these.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

With my health problems which led me to retire November 1, 2020. My pension is about 50% of what I was use to earning. So I will be filing for personal bankruptcy this summer.

So, was it your day job all these years that allowed to to feed the hobby? Has making these play fields been money losing adventure and it was your working man paychecks that got you over the hump each month?

After all the years you have dedicated to this venture and all the people you have helped, it makes me sad that you may not have made any money. Especially for all the work you have put into this.

#22 1 year ago

The main problem started feeding costs of mostly free restorations in the early days. Star Gazer & Seawitch playfields was time constraints (hardest pinball part to make) & holding firm on the $500 US price for most of the years. Costs of everything kept going up, & my regular paycheck was not enough. Also all these years competition has gotten fierce with the big boys wanting to dominate the pinball parts business. Glass is the worst!, since many people started doing the Stern titles I have been selling. This year Covid, along with the delay for color changes to playfields, & my pension putting me slightly above the poverty line in Canada did me in. My pension is around $22k US to support my wife & I.

I really appreciate the kind words & support of my customers over the years in the hobby. I will continue to love pinball, & play when I can. The last number of years I have had no pinball ownership.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

My pension is around $22k US to support my wife & I.

Does Canada charge you any income tax on the $22K USD?

#24 1 year ago

Yes all income is taxed. Some of it goes to our limited free health care. I still pay for extra private health care plan too.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Finally hit the financial brick wall of working on pinball playfields & backglass. With my health problems which led me to retire November 1, 2020. My pension is about 50% of what I was use to earning. So I will be filing for personal bankruptcy this summer. Those few that are still waiting on their prepaid Seawitch playfield contact me here or [email protected]
I will continue to get the 30 Seawitch playfields & 14 star Gazer playfields in production ready for printing. If what is left of my business is taken away, then I will likely start over again. Thanks to all those who have supported me, & thanks to all those haters out there.
For some interesting reading on the early days of printing for playfields:
https://rec.games.pinball.narkive.com/FF8AjnQ4/direct-ink-vs-silk-screening

NOOOO! Been following you since 2005! DAMN THIS WORLD!

#26 1 year ago

Making playfields is the back-breaker. I would hope you are still able to make backglasses because once you have that initial box of blanks and someone pays for one, you can pull out a sheet and take it to the printer.

#27 1 year ago

yes glass is easier. but mistakes still can happen. or the glass has a minor scratch from mfg.

#28 1 year ago

glad i got to buy both titles BG and PF, thanks for your hard work John!

#29 1 year ago

John has been a battler in the playfield reproduction arena for many years. Whilst there may be some valid criticism over the years, why don't we as an online community get behind John with some sort of donations/crowd funding venture? A way of saying thanks and possibly keeping him in the game. Without turning this thread into a shit show, is there support out there to do this?

Moderators - if this gets out of hand, please split this into another thread or delete the associated posts, as this is not an attempt to dredge up the past, merely an attempt to help someone out of a tight situation. I have no personal connection to John whatsoever.

#30 1 year ago

$500 or $600 for a repro playfield?! Cheap! Doesn't everyone else charge about $1,000? Were BGes underpriced too?

I think it would be real nice if everyone that got one would top up to $1,000 or whatever you want. You know it's worth it.

No Gofundme needed, just send via paypal, his email [email protected] is registered.

#31 1 year ago

I appreciate the offers but please do no crowd funding for me. People are dying or have worse issues going on. Today is my birthday, start a new recovery financially.

This is what I posted also, try to explain what is going on. Thanks!

Things are going on with my pinball business. Just not with me. I am under a NDA, so I have requested people still owed a prepaid Seawitch to remain silent! All I can say is it is fair closure of the last 14 years doing pinball production, & a big part was to make the last few remaining Seawitch playfield people whole (get their playfield this year). New color corrections hopefully that a few can live with. I am not a color guy, never had the talent to perceive purple which seems to be a issue to some. All my vendors will not be owed any money which is a big thing along with my desire to make the last few prepaid guys whole after 8 years. A very positive closure for me, before I soon go through personal bankruptcy later this month.

#32 1 year ago

John I wish you the best going forward and getting your life together.
There are more important things in life family & friends & your health.

Remember it’s only pinball

#33 1 year ago

Happy Birthday John -

While I have not purchased any of your products (as I don't have those machines) your contribution to the hobby has been fantastic. Between the playfields for Star Gazer and Seawitch, and I remember the reprints of Sorcerer back in the day! You did some great things before great things were being done for sure!

Hoping for good days ahead for you sir!

Chris

#34 1 year ago

CPR is my guess.

#35 1 year ago

Not allowed to say but CPR is not the buyer in North America of my business assets.

#36 1 year ago

Sorry to hear John,

The work you do speaks for itself.
Excellent attention to detail, great products.

Always helped me with my shipping, back in the day.

Happy Birthday, have more then one beer on me

Dan

#37 1 year ago

John's a great asset to the pinball community. I've bought several playfields from him and before I even knew him he helped me ship a game across Canada (using his account) then he BROUGHT IT TO ME IN THE USA! That's a class act right there. Best of luck to you and I'm sorry to hear how things are going. There's always a silver lining somewhere though.

#38 1 year ago

Thanks Dan: Already had a number at the bar the last few days. Since I was told to cease any more work & ready the assets for shipping. Not much for me to do at the workshop. Out of the shop at the end of the month.

#39 1 year ago

Wishing you the best with everything John! I can't believe how long ago it was when I was hosted pictures of your early test playfields. I think a Sorcerer ended up with TheKorn if I am not mistaken. Take care, your contributions to the hobby are appreciated.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Thanks Dan: Already had a number at the bar the last few days. Since I was told to cease any more work & ready the assets for shipping. Not much for me to do at the workshop. Out of the shop at the end of the month.

Happy birthday John, what a rough day. So everything is going to someone else? Sad... hard to imagine the quality will remain at the same high quality.

If anyone has an original Greatwich Seawitch for sale let me know.

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