(Topic ID: 77386)

Hobbit Update


By B9

5 years ago



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There are 10044 posts in this topic. You are on page 143 of 201.
#7101 4 years ago
Quoted from hillbilly:

They currently are not set up to do both in my opinion. I believe that JJP will need to increase production. Being in manufacturing for over 25 years, I would say this means adding shifts of production to meet demand. I don't believe they can support production of 800 WOZ games, 1600 TH pre-orders, and JJP 3rd game without doing so. Additionally, it is evident that JJP is out of the pre-order business with the launch of their 3rd pin. To me this means they either have enough capital or equity to manufacture games without using the pre-order cashflow. A good sign for JJP and all who believe the competition will be great for all us pinheads.

Yes, hire up some workers and get those lines cranking!!! Thats a lot of Hobbits to make!

#7102 4 years ago
Quoted from PW79:

Who thinks a Hobbit 2015 delivery will happen?

I do not, even if they get a few out to make a couple customers happy that would be great.

#7103 4 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

So they are going to stop running WoZ and run some Hobbits, ?

Hells no...

As long as Woz= new money and TH = (mostly) money already collected then NOTHING will slow down them pumping out Woz's.... even at the expense of TH production.

JJP has claimed they can run simultaneous titles... hopefully folks will actually see that at the open house.

#7104 4 years ago
Quoted from PW79:

Who thinks a Hobbit 2015 delivery will happen?

I think so - but it will be late fall for the first ones out. I ordered in summer of 2014 and I bet I won't see one this year.

#7105 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

By Stern pumping out ~50 machines a day. Impatient buyers can pick them up cash & carry, not wait a year for Hobbits to trickle out and fulfill all pre-orders.

It is an eye-opening reminder to remember that the biggest manufacturer of a desired product can hit only 50 units per day.

#7107 4 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

I do not, even if they get a few out to make a couple customers happy that would be great.

Agreed. It takes a die hard pinhead to preorder a JJP title. They (buyers) need a quick win to take the edge off & a couple games shipping this year would make things easier on them.

You think all preorders will ship before 2017?

#7108 4 years ago
Quoted from cait001:

It is an eye-opening reminder to remember that the biggest manufacturer of a desired product can hit only 50 units per day.

Well, likely they can do more in their new facility. I believe at the old place they would average 35-50 a day. But that really was all that the market needed.

#7109 4 years ago

Does anyone know how many Woz's JJP has been cranking out the last few months?

Presumably that would be a pretty good gauge of their max capacity since they should have that machine assembly process down to a science by now.

#7110 4 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

Yes, hire up some workers and get those lines cranking!!! Thats a lot of Hobbits to make!

To me it's a no-brainer. He is making a really quality product; however, if he can't get it into consumers hands then he's not going to be successful long-term. If JJP wants to compete with the Stern's of this world then he going to need to deliver the goods. I can certainly understand the rigors of start-up from the ground in a tough market like pinball, but there are other factions of business besides product development, finance and marketing. Manufacturing and Logistics just as important. I personally believe that you'll see him ramp up production on TH and expand his infrastructure to produce multiple pins.

#7111 4 years ago

1500 Hobbits (was that the LE run?) so 52 weeks of 2016 would be ~29~games a week, it would seem quite doable.

#7112 4 years ago
Quoted from hillbilly:

They currently are not set up to do both in my opinion. I believe that JJP will need to increase production. Being in manufacturing for over 25 years, I would say this means adding shifts of production to meet demand. I don't believe they can support production of 800 WOZ games, 1600 TH pre-orders, and JJP 3rd game without doing so. Additionally, it is evident that JJP is out of the pre-order business with the launch of their 3rd pin. To me this means they either have enough capital or equity to manufacture games without using the pre-order cashflow. A good sign for JJP and all who believe the competition will be great for all us pinheads.

I agree with this. I also think that with each new pin produced, JJP will get better at manufacturing a more sophisticated product. They are ascending the learning curve, and will be formidable by JJP #4. The graduation from the early preorder model suggests they will survive long enough to reach efficient manufacturing experience.

I also think that JJP was/is wise to prioritize innovation burdened by challenging builds, over formulaic design supported by more simple manufacturing. Jack said as much during today's presentation when he said with every pin he wanted to do something that hadn't been done before. In other words, he is NOT going to try to out-Stern Stern. JJP needs to play its own game, so to speak. Unfortunately, that means long manufacturing times, especially when they're still low on the learning curve. Nice to hear that they sound VERY solvent, and should only get better from here on out, as long as they stick to that same innovative, challenging, design principle.

#7113 4 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

1500 Hobbits (was that the LE run?) so 52 weeks of 2016 would be ~29~games a week, it would seem quite doable.

I believe that's SE's, LE's and Standards. He undoubtedly will get a lot more orders once the game starts shipping. It wouldn't surprise me if he sells another 1500 or more. Add a few more WOZ's and preparation for JJP #3 and you can easily see why he'll ramp up production.

#7114 4 years ago
Quoted from hillbilly:

I believe that's SE's, LE's and Standards. He undoubtedly will get a lot more orders once the game starts shipping. It wouldn't surprise me if he sells another 1500 or more. Add a few more WOZ's and preparation for JJP #3 and you can easily see why he'll ramp up production.

As a business owner myself, if I had that much work waiting and all those dollars to collect, I'd be hiring every able body I could.

How many line workers work currently? Anyone have an idea of a ballpark number?

#7115 4 years ago
Quoted from Rick432:

JJP needs to play its own game, so to speak. Unfortunately, that means long manufacturing times, especially when they're still low on the learning curve. Nice to hear that they sound VERY solvent, and should only get better from here on out, as long as they stick to that same innovative, challenging, design principle.

Sure there will be growing pains, but JJP already went through the toughest part. Adding production, training workers, and delivering goods is relatively easy given the resources that are already available.

#7116 4 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

How GOT could be a big risk to The Hobbit in my opinion

You forgot:
- Price. No equivalent of pro version of the Hobbit
- Cash and Carry. You like it, you pay it... you get it
- Still current. Hobbit is history now, and those are movies that fade fast. Not that the Hobbit movies are very bad, but they are simply not of LOTR caliber.

Aliens could well become a major competitor too. Full Throttle seems to receive a positive feedback (I loved it when I played it). Now includes a killer theme, the option to swap games... and those are widebodies like TH.

#7117 4 years ago
Quoted from cait001:

It is an eye-opening reminder to remember that the biggest manufacturer of a desired product can hit only 50 units per day.

Well, assuming over 200 working days per year, that's would still be over 10,000. I doubt Stern is producing that much.

#7118 4 years ago

What exactely is shown on the mini LCD on the playfield, is it a sample of the big LCD, or just showing the most important mode to shoot for, or is it showing its own content?
I would hope it shows information to what to shoot for, so you don't have to look away from the ball so much.

#7119 4 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

You forgot:
- Price. No equivalent of pro version of the Hobbit
- Cash and Carry. You like it, you pay it... you get it
- Still current. Hobbit is history now, and those are movies that fade fast. Not that the Hobbit movies are very bad, but they are simply not of LOTR caliber.
Aliens could well become a major competitor too. Full Throttle seems to receive a positive feedback (I loved it when I played it). Now includes a killer theme, the option to swap games... and those are widebodies like TH.

Good points. Personally I think The Hobbit theme itself will always be relevant as it's a timeless theme, same with The Wizard of Oz. I think it's still way to early to tell if Game of Thrones will turn out to be a timeless theme as well.

While I very much enjoy the dark setting and maturity level of the Game of Thrones show it may actually hurt it in terms of pinball sales / popularity. Games like Wizard of Oz, Twilight Zone, Lord of the Rings and I bet The Hobbit all have charm that add to the games fun level. The only way I can describe charm in these games is the positive upbeat music that plays when a player reaches a certain high score or objective, good winning over evil, and humor that can appeal to anyone. I don't see a Game of the Thrones pin accomplishing the same thing but rather being more dark and serious like The Walking Dead. Again there's nothing wrong with a darker / serious theme (huge fan of both shows) but I personally do not want to feel a sense of dread when playing a pinball machine.

I'm sure Stern can make an amazing GOT pin but they are going to need to step it up in terms of sound effects, music and rules for the game to create that epic quest like feel that The Hobbit will have.

#7120 4 years ago

Does anyone know if there is a video of the stream? Couldn't find it on Ustream.

#7121 4 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

I'm sure Stern can make an amazing GOT pin but they are going to need to step it up in terms of sound effects, music and rules for the game to create that epic quest like feel that The Hobbit will have.

Stern may not have to do this for a sub-$5000.00 pin being sold to route operators for use in taking in quarters and dollar bills.

17
#7122 4 years ago

Spoiler Alert: If you like to discover stuff in games on your own, don't read this. In fact, just set me to ignore for now...

Ok, the book screen. It shows a few things. It shows the mode ready, the mode timer count down, and some other info. Cool effect that when Smaug blows fire it goes there as well. The timer is the most important thing there to me. Nice and clear, and you don't have to look up.

Modes: Yesterday I said there was more going on than I knew, and there was. There are modes in it. The lights in the ramp cutouts give you great info. There are two ways to qualify modes that I found. You can spell the race with the drops (elf, man, dwarf), and mode start is ready on the left ramp. OR you collect the character to qualify the race. The top middle of the LCD shows you what you need. The mode shots are displayed on the LCD (again top center) and the book. So a quick glance tells you what to do.

Character collection. I think this opens up different modes, so you qualify a section of modes by collecting the character, but it will take me a few more games to understand the intricacies of that.

Multiball - Now that I get it, wow. The locks and the startup are dramatic. I think the sound volume of the game is a bit higher today, and it's just an awesome MultiBall startup. The shaker integration is really good.

It's all farther along code wise than I thought it was. I hadn't understood from reading how much of the mode stuff was there. I'll play more later, but I'm impressed with it.

#7123 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Spoiler Alert: If you like to discover stuff in games on your own, don't read this. In fact, just set me to ignore for now...
Ok, the book screen. It shows a few things. It shows the mode ready, the mode timer count down, and some other info. Cool effect that when Smaug blows fire it goes there as well. The timer is the most important thing there to me. Nice and clear, and you don't have to look up.
Modes: Yesterday I said there was more going on than I knew, and there was. There are modes in it. The lights in the ramp cutouts give you great info. There are two ways to qualify modes that I found. You can spell the race with the drops (elf, man, dwarf), and mode start is ready on the left ramp. OR you collect the character to qualify the race. The top middle of the LCD shows you what you need. The mode shots are displayed on the LCD (again top center) and the book. So a quick glance tells you what to do.
Character collection. I think this opens up different modes, so you qualify a section of modes by collecting the character, but it will take me a few more games to understand the intricacies of that.
Multiball - Now that I get it, wow. The locks and the startup are dramatic. I think the sound volume of the game is a bit higher today, and it's just an awesome MultiBall startup. The shaker integration is really good.
It's all farther along code wise than I thought it was. I hadn't understood from reading how much of the mode stuff was there. I'll play more later, but I'm impressed with it.

Does this remind anybody of a kid in a candy store! Have fun DaveH, gotta love your enthusiasm

#7124 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Spoiler Alert: If you like to discover stuff in games on your own, don't read this. In fact, just set me to ignore for now...
Ok, the book screen. It shows a few things. It shows the mode ready, the mode timer count down, and some other info. Cool effect that when Smaug blows fire it goes there as well. The timer is the most important thing there to me. Nice and clear, and you don't have to look up.
Modes: Yesterday I said there was more going on than I knew, and there was. There are modes in it. The lights in the ramp cutouts give you great info. There are two ways to qualify modes that I found. You can spell the race with the drops (elf, man, dwarf), and mode start is ready on the left ramp. OR you collect the character to qualify the race. The top middle of the LCD shows you what you need. The mode shots are displayed on the LCD (again top center) and the book. So a quick glance tells you what to do.
Character collection. I think this opens up different modes, so you qualify a section of modes by collecting the character, but it will take me a few more games to understand the intricacies of that.
Multiball - Now that I get it, wow. The locks and the startup are dramatic. I think the sound volume of the game is a bit higher today, and it's just an awesome MultiBall startup. The shaker integration is really good.
It's all farther along code wise than I thought it was. I hadn't understood from reading how much of the mode stuff was there. I'll play more later, but I'm impressed with it.

Great post - but I am having trouble following . Perhaps you can do a full video of it?

#7125 4 years ago

video ... video ... video .... (in hd and not shaky please)

#7126 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Does this remind anybody of a kid in a candy store! Have fun DaveH, gotta love your enthusiasm

Yeah, even at my age I still get excited by the toys we call a hobby

I just shot some video of a Multiball sequence and I'll try to post it up sometime later today. Yes, it is going to be shaky handed crap phone video. And the bummer is that I know it won't capture the level of sound the game actually has.

I'll also try to get some pictures of the stuff displayed on the book.

#7127 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Yeah, even at my age I still get excited by the toys we call a hobby
I just shot some video of a Multiball sequence and I'll try to post it up sometime later today. Yes, it is going to be shaky handed crap phone video. And the bummer is that I know it won't capture the level of sound the game actually has.
I'll also try to get some pictures of the stuff displayed on the book.

We are starving and will grovel for any crumb you can throw us.

#7128 4 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

We are starving and will grovel for any crumb you can throw us.

I'd really like to see as well. I don't care if it's shaky or portrait mode, I just wanna check it out.

#7129 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Yeah, even at my age I still get excited by the toys we call a hobby

This is so great to see/hear. I don't care what manufacturer or pin it is. I think we all have to remind ourselves sometimes the reason we're on Pinside. We all love pinball !!

11
#7130 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I'd really like to see as well. I don't care if it's shaky or portrait mode, I just wanna check it out.

Ok, welcome to the worlds worst video.

And there ya go.

#7131 4 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

As a business owner myself, if I had that much work waiting and all those dollars to collect, I'd be hiring every able body I could.
How many line workers work currently? Anyone have an idea of a ballpark number?

The labor is cheap and is paid incrementally... the cost is all the parts you need to buy well up front. Something JJP has been struggling with.

Somehow I don't think lack of qualified manual labor is behind JJP's low output...

#7132 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Ok, welcome to the worlds worst video.

That video is just fine, thanks for uploading it!

Smaug talking looks pretty cool and the lighting effects are neat.

#7133 4 years ago

Did Jack say anything about production starting? Or when it will start?

#7134 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Did Jack say anything about production starting? Or when it will start?

Late August/early September 2015.

#7135 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The labor is cheap and is paid incrementally... the cost is all the parts you need to buy well up front. Something JJP has been struggling with.
Somehow I don't think lack of qualified manual labor is behind JJP's low output...

I don't think Jack said that cost is the issue it's getting the parts from the vendors. He mentioned that the same suppliers make parts for other pinball manufacturers.

#7136 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Smaug talking looks pretty cool and the lighting effects are neat.

It's early still, but I hope they don't have him constantly repeating the same clips. Hearing repeated lines during multiball is gonna get old.

#7137 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's early still, but I hope they don't have him constantly repeating the same clips. Hearing repeated lines during multiball is gonna get old.

I think there are several multiballs - that is just Smaugs? But yeah, with so much assets it would be a shame to have too much video on loops.

#7138 4 years ago
Quoted from hillbilly:

I don't think Jack said that cost is the issue it's getting the parts from the vendors.

Well yeah, people tend to stop giving you terms and shipping stuff on credit when you stop paying vendors or allow disputes to carry on w/o payment. We are well past any 'lead time' issues.. WOZ games have been being built for ages now, yet they STILL can't ramp up any kind of volume... in a period they still have struggled to find cash flows. They are a factory - to get cash you gotta ship stuff.. yet they still can't do that. I doubt JJP is going 'lets stretch these orders out to ensure some slow trickle of cashflow over the next 12m'. They already have the next game queued up.. they need to crank up the factory output to convert all that R&D to INCOME.

#7139 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Well yeah, people tend to stop giving you terms and shipping stuff on credit when you stop paying vendors or allow disputes to carry on w/o payment. We are well past any 'lead time' issues.. WOZ games have been being built for ages now, yet they STILL can't ramp up any kind of volume... in a period they still have struggled to find cash flows. They are a factory - to get cash you gotta ship stuff.. yet they still can't do that. I doubt JJP is going 'lets stretch these orders out to ensure some slow trickle of cashflow over the next 12m'. They already have the next game queued up.. they need to crank up the factory output to convert all that R&D to INCOME.

I think you are really underestimating the lead time issues. As a practical sense, just think about making a tiny change to a product you are preparing to build. In a small change there is a lot of work caused by that. And there have been huge changes in The Hobbit. Wherever they were in the schedule was tossed out to be able to build a better game. Yes, it's hard to deal with customers when you make that level of change, but I think the end result will be worth it.

#7140 4 years ago
Quoted from Rick432:

Late August/early September 2015.

It's always three months. When he misses a three month deadline it's three more months. Been this way for years now.

#7141 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Well yeah, people tend to stop giving you terms and shipping stuff on credit when you stop paying vendors or allow disputes to carry on w/o payment. We are well past any 'lead time' issues.. WOZ games have been being built for ages now, yet they STILL can't ramp up any kind of volume... in a period they still have struggled to find cash flows. They are a factory - to get cash you gotta ship stuff.. yet they still can't do that. I doubt JJP is going 'lets stretch these orders out to ensure some slow trickle of cashflow over the next 12m'. They already have the next game queued up.. they need to crank up the factory output to convert all that R&D to INCOME.

I believe he has the capacity to increase production but last I was there he only had one line of production. He'll have to add shifts unless he creates another line.

#7142 4 years ago

I couldn't help but look over at the WOZ graphics during the Hobbit multiball . Does it appear that the WOZ is running a new version code ?

-6
#7143 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

By Stern pumping out ~50 machines a day. Impatient buyers can pick them up cash & carry, not wait a year for Hobbits to trickle out and fulfill all pre-orders. Hell, by the time Hobbits are generally available, Stern will have released 2-3 more titles.
JJP NEEDS to get their manufacturing issues figured out.

Don't worry, the Hobbit pre-orders will be behind any new cash orders. The cash flow problems at JJP are obvious.

#7144 4 years ago
Quoted from cait001:

It is an eye-opening reminder to remember that the biggest manufacturer of a desired product can hit only 50 units per day.

Yes, $250-300k revenue per day makes stern amateur in the world of pinball pre-order bankruptcies and multi-year delays. They really are nothing to model.

#7145 4 years ago

The LCD is incredible and the game looks great.

I'm buying Lawlor's game because it's Lawlor and JJP.

#7146 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

I think you are really underestimating the lead time issues. As a practical sense, just think about making a tiny change to a product you are preparing to build. In a small change there is a lot of work caused by that. And there have been huge changes in The Hobbit. Wherever they were in the schedule was tossed out to be able to build a better game. Yes, it's hard to deal with customers when you make that level of change, but I think the end result will be worth it.

So what's the excuse for failing to being able to ramp up woz production then? The man just said he has a sales forecast that will outpaces his production capacity by far... And has a huge backlog of games he already owes...

The hobbit changes don't justify letting any of that fester

#7147 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

So what's the excuse for failing to being able to ramp up woz production then? The man just said he has a sales forecast that will outpaces his production capacity by far... And has a huge backlog of games he already owes...
The hobbit changes don't justify letting any of that fester

I don't think Jack is sharing production numbers of WOZ. After he got through the preorders, things have been a bit silent as far as how many leave the factory. So outside of JJP nobody has the information to say if anything in WOZ production is festering or not. At least I dot know the numbers or projections of where the current rate of production lands them for Hobbit. If you have them, could you share them with us? How many people are not getting a WOZ they ordered? Because it sounded to me like they are still filling orders for operators. And although they don't have WOZ stock on hand, it seems that the orders are getting filled in a reasonable timeframe.

#7148 4 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

I don't think Jack is sharing production numbers of WOZ. After he got through the preorders, things have been a bit silent as far as how many leave the factory. So outside of JJP nobody has the information to say if anything in WOZ production is festering or not. At least I dot know the numbers or projections of where the current rate of production lands them for Hobbit. If you have them, could you share them with us? How many people are not getting a WOZ they ordered? Because it sounded to me like they are still filling orders for operators. And although they don't have WOZ stock on hand, it seems that the orders are getting filled in a reasonable timeframe.

The session mentioned 700-800 more wozs he expected to build in two years.. In addition to the hobbits he already owes... Plus whatever happens with #3. If the man has sales demand to predict such great numbers yet to be sold of his 'old' game... Why would he not be converting that demand into invoices now? He is either full of it... Or can't build enough games to fulfill demand.

He doesn't mention time to deliver because they don't have a good answer under their control.

#7149 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

He doesn't mention time to deliver because they don't have a good answer under their control.

Actually he does, but I still agree with you. At the NW pinball show he stated he was 40 days backlogged with WOZ and currently on their website they are at 30 days. Jack is going to have to ramp up production to get the hobbit out to customers while preparing to launch his 3rd pin.

#7150 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The session mentioned 700-800 more wozs he expected to build in two years.. In addition to the hobbits he already owes... Plus whatever happens with #3. If the man has sales demand to predict such great numbers yet to be sold of his 'old' game... Why would he not be converting that demand into invoices now? He is either full of it... Or can't build enough games to fulfill demand.
He doesn't mention time to deliver because they don't have a good answer under their control.

Stern did the same thing with Lord of the Rings back around 2003-2007. They built many of them for years, because demand was so high. It seemed like they built a batch, and then more orders came through. I bought a LOTR back in 2005, two years after production started. WOZ really didn't start production until May 2013. We are just after the two year mark now. If it's successful Stern keeps pumping them out. They did it until they created the LOTRLE model. I don't see any difference with WOZ. You aren't going to build 700-800 and then have them sit in a warehouse. This is bad business. You will produce them as demand comes through. You can bet that JJP will keep producing them as the orders come through. This is no different than many factories.
The only difference is Stern was building other models as well, in between. JJP is just starting to get to that point.

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