(Topic ID: 172723)

Homepin OFFICIAL Thread - Pinball Parts & Machine Progress

By Homepin

2 years ago

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  • 4,030 posts
  • 391 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by Ballypinball
  • Topic is favorited by 168 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

33 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #29 Images of flipper coils being assembled in the Homepin factory. Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #31 Images of prototype Thunderbirds mechs. Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #46 MPU Testing: Image and Video Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #47 Pinball Cab CNC Tests: Images and Video Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #61 Fliipper Coil pictorial Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #122 Delivery trucks being loaded in China Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #130 Factory tour video Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #131 Flipper links & other assembly parts Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #142 The plastic used for flipper links Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #153 Flipper buttons Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #162 Coin door Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #188 Power supply Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #196 Rubbers Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #607 Final Artwork approved and being applied in test sizes Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #1020 Thunderbirds official flyer Posted by musketd (1 year ago)

Post #1103 Thunderbirds: First look under the playfield Posted by solarvalue (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#2603 11 months ago

I've got no dog in this fight but I can't help but feel that Homepin is getting a bit of a rough ride over the pre-order priority.

Whenever I've bought something large from overseas that has necessitated palletised or crated transport and been offered "free shipping" it is with the tacit understanding by both myself and the seller that I will get it "when there is space on the transport", which could be weeks or even months from now, and that I have no right to kick up a fuss because "when you said it might take a while I didn't think you meant this long", or whatever.

It should be obvious to anyone that shipping something with a significant volumetric and actual weight is going to cost a fair amount of money. Someone has to pay for that, and when it comes to container shipping there is a minimum cost for it to be moved, at which point anything else you can stuff inside it is a bonus.

If, as it appears in this case, there aren't enough customers paying for a container to be transported to Australia - then thems the breaks. You either pay the going rate to have your personal order shipped in isolation, or contribute towards the container cost, or whatever.

It seems to be as an outsider that the problem here is that Homepin offered free shipping in the first place. It's a nice option for people who are understanding of what it means, but fraught with reputational risk because - as evidenced by this thread - as soon as someone gets wind of "someone who ordered after me getting their pin first" they will probably be unhappy, even if they chose to pay nothing for shipping. Perhaps it wasn't made clear enough to people who chose that option that they could end up waiting months for their pin.

Waiting weeks or months for something works for some customers, but it doesn't tend to lend itself to items that have just been released. I mean who wants to wait forever while everyone else is playing the thing you paid for years ago? The time you spend waiting because you didn't want to spend $300 or whatever on shipping you could lose both in early enjoyment (which has a value) or resale value.

#2605 11 months ago

Yup, to be clear I'm not excusing any behaviour or failed promises or whatever, most of which I have no knowledge of or ability or desire to debate (I'm very much in the dark about all of this). Was just an observation about "free shipping" on big items being a bit of a misnomer, and that it's something that only works if everyone is very clear about what it means (i.e. you could end up waiting a long time for something you actually want pretty quickly).

#2701 11 months ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

nobody askec for free freight
at $1800 only a fool would airfreight a game
Mike has said it costs $3800 to land a container
$3800 ÷ 21 games is less than $200 per machine
id pay $200 to put this fiasco behind me

Are there 21 Australia based customers waiting though? 21 customers who have chosen free shipping too?

You paying $200 only works if the other 20 customers agree to as well, to pay for the container to be transported. Until that 21st person pays their contribution it's not going anywhere.

#2711 11 months ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

selectively quoting the bits that suit you so you can run mr highway in circles when hes trying to help you wont have the effect you're hoping for mark. keep it up and im betting he's going to retract his offer and leave you back at square one.
from the same homepin email
"All other freight offers still stand but we don’t currently have containers with available space going to many Australian destinations in the foreseeable future so we can’t currently offer ‘free freight’ in what would be considered a timely manner."
you can wait for a homepin container ( no idea how long but i dont recommend it, you can wrangle your own shipping, or you can thank the nice chap for his offer and take it up. You just have to tell highway what you want to do.
if you advise mr highway you'll be making your own way there in a hot air balloon to pick it up, so be it. but arguing with him and wasting his time when hes essentially trying to work with you to do you a favour just doesnt seem like a plan to me?


Options are available. Getting the pin to your doorstep at zero cost was never a feasible option. The "free shipping" meant hitching a lift in a container that other people were paying to move. If those other customers didn't exist, or didn't want to pay for shipping themselves, then the outcome is that the container goes nowhere and the people who thought free shipping meant "expedited shipping to my doorstep, for free, even though someone has to ultimately pay for it" lose out.

homepin and co didn't stress what "free shipping" actually meant, or those who jumped at it failed to understand it could mean waiting weeks or months. As said before they probably should never have given it as an option because even if it was well meaning the result is that there are people who will choose free shipping but expect expedited shipping, before anyone else gets one.

I get the sense that there isn't much desire to actually work with anyone to reach an amicable solution? It seems as if people would rather moan about it on here instead, for some reason?

As I can see it there are some options for Australian customers to get their pins, if they still want them, including a free option if you're prepared to wait an indefinite period of time, and pay for the last leg of the journey - as would be expected with any "hitch a lift" transport of anything. It is a much better situation than people who went all in on Heighway ended up in.

It begs the question - what more do you expect highwaygames and homepin to do exactly? Swallow the cost of container and door-to-door shipping?

#2715 11 months ago
Quoted from Grg:

I'm guessing you missed this post?

It's all very strange and confusing regarding the shipping but I think we can all agree on two things.
1.Why do pre order customers from 4+ years ago get abused and belittled when posting on this forum? This abuse from Homepin directly, now that's bloody strange! Thanks for supporting me, have a kick in the nuts!
2. Wayne is a good bastard

I didn't miss it, but Homepin and highwaygames have a contractual relationship. ballypinball offering to move stuff for free is admirable, but who is responsible if/when things go wrong, or turn up damaged, or not at all? Is he going to front the repair or replacement cost if pins or parts get damaged in transit? Homepin releases a pin you've paid for to a third party not under contract to them, to do so as they see fit according to their own whims. Can you not see the problems with that?

I'm not for a moment suggesting that ballypinball isn't trustworthy - I'm just pointing out the practicalities of a business to business contractual relationship between supplier and distributor, providing a product with a warranty etc. A third party getting involved in that to smooth things over sounds brilliant, and it could work out perfectly with no issues, but what if it doesn't? Who is responsible then? Should Homepin have to provide a warranty for the pin when it's been transported by someone they don't know from Adam, and have no contractual relationship with?

1 week later
#2838 10 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

Of course it’s fair that you choose to do that... however I can assure you that Stern and JJP also have customers dropping potentially damaging bombs here, too, and their tactic is to not engage, but to deal with customers through private channels.
Just food for thought

Stern and JJP have the luxury of having an established track record which serves as a counterpoint to criticism though.

If I moaned about my personal experience with a NIB Stern pin here - for example - most people would either question my sincerity entirely, or simply write off my experience as "unlucky", because Stern have been around for years and produced several pins, so they must be doing something right...

At this stage as a relatively new and unproven company, with their first pin to market, Homepin are more reliant on word of mouth both to sell their products and reputation.

I've got no real opinion on this fiasco other than being grateful for not being involved at all. I do however think it is unreasonable for people to expect a 120kg (or whatever that is in lbs) pin to be shipped from China to Australia for nothing, or a completely unrealistic figure.

It sounds from the outside looking in that the resolution is rather quite simple - pay the shipping cost, get the pin. That there seems to be an endless desire to rail against this does lend credibility to homepin's suggestion that there is an agenda at work here.

#2851 10 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

with all due respect, have you been reading some of the highly questionable personal opinions being espoused by homepin and the method of customer responses the company has slapped onto the internet?
If the company is truly reliant on word of mouth and opinion, then they need to silence and let the delivery of games speak for themselves or radically change their approach to dealing with forum issues. Because from my perspective they are reading from the wrong playbook.
See the post above... perfect example

I don't disagree with you that if you can't say anything good, when you're the figurehead of a company, it's best to say nothing at all, be the bigger man, etc.

It's obvious that there is a lot of emotionality in this project both for homepin and for people who have put down a serious amount of money in good faith to buy the product. I don't think anyone is actually happy right now. It doesn't excuse unprofessional or petulant responses, by either side, but it does go some way to explaining them.

I also don't agree with the idea that silence is the right answer either. In the absence of any rebuttal then people might just believe the one side of the story they are hearing. You only need look at what happened with Heighway when there was radio silence about Alien - people just assume the worst and it becomes an echo chamber of pessimism.

That being said there are avenues for customers to get their pins, reasonable ones it sounds like, they just need to be prepared to work with them to get to the finish line.

Constantly ripping on the company and highwaygames when they seem to just want to resolve the impasse seems like a very strange strategy to me when one is already $5000 in the hole. It's a bit like complaining about the chef before you've eaten your food...

1 week later
#2878 10 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

He didn't offer a refund...he offered to give it to someone else.

I'm sure that's just semantics. I doubt very much he meant that he would just give the pin to someone else with popbumperpete having paid for them to have it.

#2880 10 months ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

@oldsckool, there was no offer of a refund
there is also no free shipping on the table at the moment
Highway is now offering to bring them in for less than $390, but not before xmas

He said above there is free shipping. Free shipping means it will turn up when it turns up - weeks or months from now, with no guarantee as to when. That's the trade-off for it being free.

$390 to ship a pin does not sound unreasonable. I was quoted ~£450 (~$576 USD) to ship a pin from Italy to the UK.

So you have options - which are you going to choose?

#2888 10 months ago

What option are you choosing? Did you ignore the options?

#2890 10 months ago

That's cool. I genuinely want you to reach a conclusion with it all. It seemed from the tone of your posts that you weren't seeing those options being laid out, that's all.

#2925 10 months ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Mike won’t allow this option. It was already suggested by Mr. Bally that he could arrange shipping but Mike put the kibosh on it.

Why would you entertain someone who is openly hostile to you being involved in shipping something on your behalf? I mean it's not as if the clearly acrimonious relationship between ballypinball and homepin is privileged info, it's all over this thread for all to see.

homepin has a contract with the customers who have bought their pin. Neither customer nor homepin have any contractual relationship with ballypinball. If a pin goes missing, gets damaged, gets delayed, whatever - who gets the blame then? Who is responsible for making the customer whole in those circumstances?

I've got nothing against ballypinball - or anyone else offering help - but it's not something homepin could realistically entertain even without the obviously hostile relationship on show.

I hope you and others can understand that adhoc drop shipping arrangements are not how companies do business.

#2927 10 months ago
Quoted from Ballypinball:

You have it all wrong I offered to pay to ship a container of all the games owed to Australians, I don't care who the hell ships them, there are 3 others here David Hankin, Balls and all and Pinball shed all Distributors here, who they could also take care of shipping options.
The real problem is not the money to pay to ship all the games, its the games are not made or ready to ship, as new money has taken over, you should understand this, as Heighway did the same thing.
Toxic is what Mike is doing to the Industry, Its not just me he has upset with his Mouth and attitude.

Ah ok, I understand now.

2 weeks later
#2963 9 months ago

Nice balanced review.

Bit hard to see the wood for the trees with reviews of this pin as there is clearly some desire to play up to a negatively predisposed minority. There are some who don't want it to succeed, for whatever reason personal or political.

Nice to read a review from someone who doesn't have an axe to grind.

In the words of Rudy, "hey it's only pinball!"

1 week later
#3055 9 months ago

Building a pinball machine from scratch, and getting it to market is an impressive feat whichever way you look at it. Others have tried and failed, and if this thread is to be believed some of the most outspoken critics of Homepin/Mike ought to consider the mantra "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"..

I know from reading this thread and elsewhere that the path to getting Thunderbirds to market has been a rocky one. There are certainly some things that are questionable - e.g. the Ben Heck software appropriation, and other things that - were they to happen to others - I'm sure it would've been the end of the project completely - e.g. death of spouse, death of key programmer who took lots of stuff to his grave, etc. Homepin's attitude to the US market has been less than professional at times, but I would also say - as a Brit - that there are some who are jingoistic when it comes to competition to the "built in the USA" brands like Stern, JJP, etc. I can see why Mike might have gotten exasperated at times with attitudes. Not an excuse for being unprofessional, but I can sympathise that a one man figurehead getting lots of negativity, it's going to take its toll.

As a community of pinball lovers we benefit from entities like Homepin existing. I don't see any benefit at all in trying to run the company down because of personal agendas or whatever through negative and - it appears - unsubstantiated rumour mongering. It doesn't help anyone not least of which existing and prospective customers, and quite frankly it is so transparently malicious that it is simply boring to keep reading the usual suspects doing it on here.

I'm not a fan of Thunderbirds but I am pleased that it exists.

#3058 9 months ago
Quoted from aeneas:

It's indeed an impressive feat.. it's interesting to follow. but it is the right way or a sustainable model ? I'm not sure..
It reminds me a bit of the joke among photographers: how do you become a millionaire with photography ? Start with 2 million.

Hard to say really, there's obviously a "growing pains" aspect to pinball manufacturing. I seem to recall Mike saying that pinballs wasn't Homepin's primary business so perhaps that's the secret to making it work. Being incorporated in China probably helps a lot too. I imagine it's not unlike renovating a house - if you have connections and access to trade pricing then you can make money, but if you're trying to do it all yourself, paying consumer prices etc then it would likely be ruinous or at the very least unprofitable.

1 month later
#3123 8 months ago

Sorry to hear that, that's painful.

1 month later
#3356 7 months ago

I have to say - I found the animations very confusing, and weird.. I was trying to follow the video without sound, which ought to be simple, but the DMD was throwing up all sorts of weird stuff like "BONUS" and "End of mission" etc almost as soon as the game started.

Right at the start of the video the first guy playing gets "TB4" straight away with his first ball plunge, even though it looks like it should need 3 separate letters to complete it?

Also some little oddities like bonuses showing 0 briefly before changing to the correct number, or hanging around on the screen too long. And callouts that keep repeating, etc.

It doesn't seem to flow at all, and it seems like there are no orbits?

Worst of all it didn't seem like those three people were enjoying playing at all. Watching them shuffle off after each drain was depressing viewing.

1 week later
#3379 6 months ago

I honestly don't understand the zeal with which some members seem to want this, and Mike, to fail.

There are people who have skin in the game, so the longer the company operates the greater chance those people have of getting what they paid for. Wishing foreclosure or whatever on the company doesn't serve those people's interests at all, quite the opposite in fact.

Also - fundamentally - more choice is good. You might not like the theme (it does nothing for me), you might not like the game and have genuine objectively legitimate issues with it - certainly some have been expressed on this thread. But am I glad it exists? You bet I am.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I haven't produced a pinball machine, I'm pretty confident I would fail to deliver one if I tried. Based on this I have a fundamental measure of respect for what has been achieved. I certainly would not be throwing stones if my own reputation wasn't beyond reproach.

2 months later
#3623 4 months ago
Quoted from swinks:

But same owner within 3 days apart

It looks like there are several companies there. Googling "Langham Place Office Tower" (where the Rapide 3D website says it is located) suggests that several companies are occupied there.

Doesn't excuse the lame Photoshopping of their logos on the entire building by either company, but *shrug*

1 week later
#3701 3 months ago

Last time I pulled a ROM chip I bent one of the pins beyond repair. I'm a layman though, without the proper tools, like err. many pinball owners I guess. Safe ROM pulling and reinstallation is not your typical screwdriver, soldering iron, socket set kind of maintenance.

1 month later
#3806 77 days ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

The legend of Thunder Turds grows!
Man, the Bro crew gave the game a scathing review - their commentary on the buttons was hilarious.

Who are "the Bro crew" ?

#3841 77 days ago

Throwing shade on the width of side rail metal and button feel seems really... desperate.

Thunderbirds isn't for everyone, but it exists and people can buy it. It is pretty transparent at this point that there are people who want it, Homepin and Mike to fail, who breathlessly jump on any even slightly positive comment or experience. Why are you even on the thread? What purpose does it serve to be relentlessly negative?

There's plenty of pins I don't find interesting in the slightest, and you know what? I don't view or post on those threads questioning "how anyone could like this piece of crap" etc. They just exist, the people that like them like them, I don't, and it is what it is.

Being so irrationally negative about something can't be healthy.

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