(Topic ID: 92436)

John Popadiuk update thread……MAGIC GIRL, RAZA, AIW…..

By iceman44

6 years ago

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24 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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Post #7211 Zombie Yeti (Jeremy Packer), first post on the Magic Girl/JPop fiasco Posted by zombieyeti (6 years ago)

Post #20523 Link to legal documents with allegations & responses Posted by DennisK (4 years ago)

Post #20526 Third amended complain document Posted by c508 (4 years ago)

Post #20532 Summary of complaints & responses in legal documents Posted by DennisK (4 years ago)

Post #20626 MG is now ready! Posted by TecumsehPlissken (4 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (4 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (4 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (4 years 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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#1387 6 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Does anyone else know of any other numbered limited edition collectables where quantities were increased after the sale? I'm not talking about double dipping or milking (anniversary edition, collectors edition, ruby red edition). I'm talking about announcing and selling 100 of X and then making and selling 5x more of X than promised.
I have been combing google and haven't found much other than a Nightbreed DVD limited numbered edition on Amazon where 5000 were announced and sold then they upped the number to 10,000.
Is there a term for this practice, other than fraud?

I think transformers LE's (at least the Autobots and Decepticons) were upped slightly right after they were announced. Good thing, there were almost not enough of those to go around (that being said everything's obvious in hindsight).

Quoted from ChrisVW:

Yeah it sucks but since there was a refund offered I figure there was no other options. This was back in July 2013.

Would it have been any better if the "international edition", or Scooby Red had been announced?

#1434 6 years ago
Quoted from Multiball1:

BTW - So I don't continue to derail this thread.... The "Magic Girl" on the MG playfield is going to give that referee on the WCS playfield a serious run for her money.

At 10x the price I should hope so

Quoted from SadSack:I'll gamble with a bid of $1000.

Honestly I was tempted to start a similar thread, but thought it would do more harm than good. What is the "going rate" for one of these spots, given the current climate?

I was tempted to start the bidding at $1000; this seems comically low for a position that is paid up to $6500.

However $6300 also seems really... optimistic.

#1436 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm hoping this will change when/if MG is shown this month and RAZA shown in January (that's what we've been told).
Right now, yeah, its hard to generate interest when there is ZERO public information for the game.

Yeah, that is a big variable. If John manages to whiff the expected Jan/Feb reveal as bad as he did at expo, 1G might be the going rate...

HOPEFULLY he knocks it out of the park so bad anybody who wants out can unload their positions. If the hype train goes fast enough, who knows they might be able to be sold at a profit (party like its 2012?).

1 week later
#1776 6 years ago

We'll find out soon if John will be a hero... or a pariah.

Even if he comes off well in the next day/week/month he still needs to finish and manufacture the damn games.

If this turns out to be another "secret" reveal... good luck. You will need it.

#1954 6 years ago

This was almost worse than having no reveal at all. At least that could be blamed on lack of a plan.

Showing only art today suggests the guns are out of ammo. Probably not the case, but why come out with a whimper when you can knock us out with a bang?

I was pulling for something, anything resembling good news. Please let me know if I missed it.

#2392 6 years ago
Quoted from S37VEN:

Thanks for the snarky "go google it" responses. I often find that these types of responses come from people who don't know the answer and were the mouth breathers in high school that laughed at others for raising their hands in class to ask a question.
There was a time on Pinside when you could ask a question and get a simple answer. I remember when I started on Pinside a few years ago I didn't know what routed meant. Thankfully you weren't in that thread.
To any others wondering, RoHS is an EU member state restriction that prevents hazardous materials from being used in certain types of electronics.
So as StevenP said, not a U.S. issue. As such its almost entirely irrelevant in this thread. UL testing on the other hand...

Teach a yourself to fish, or expect to be fed for the rest of your life?

I have no problem helping people out, but draw the line when it is clear someone expects the other party to do everything. Google is your friend. We can be friends too, but don't expect everybody to spoon feed you everything

#2512 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Even MG seems like we'll be lucky if customers see them in 2015.

"See" them sounds like the operative word. At this point even seeing a fully completed flipping game would be a massive victory.

Consider the only good news I can see from the last while is the leaked vids... give me a break. That was supposed to be a big reveal for March-ish? It seems like these games are nowhere near done if that was the case.

Anybondy thinking these things will be shipping en masse in 2015 has a much more optimistic spirit than I do at this point.

1 week later
#2680 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I wonder what the odds are that come expo 2015, we'll still be wondering and debating whether there will be a MG shown there for the first time ala Lebowski?

At this time, the odds of another reveal at this years expo without playable games is larger than having something resembling a production ready MG to show off.

I am happy to be proven wrong, but even the diehard faithful are losing their patience...

1 week later
#2907 6 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

The problem is everyone is so paranoid that they might miss out on a cool game, that they're paralyzed (I supposed that could be we're, since I'm not really doing anything either). John has sufficiently exhibited that he won't respond to negative comments, or requests for timelines. I hate to say don't bother any more, but really, why bother.

I am less certain people are paralyzed, than there is just no way out at this point. I remember discussing a lowball amount of say $1K to buy out a position; there is no way I would expect a "patron" at this point to sell at that price. I would probably just ride it out.

But the flip side is with ALL this negative news, and apparently NO positive news regarding these games actually getting done (please let me know if I missed it), even a $1K buyout at this point is probably optimistic.

Several people have stated they would sell spots lately, I haven't seen anybody claim to have a completed deal recently.

#2909 6 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Yea optimistic on your part! No way anyone is selling a $6500 spot for $1000. I will walk away and forget my spot with the hope that someday something gets completed before i sell for a dumb ass offer like $1000

I agree; it would also be fiscally irresponsible for me to step in at $1K at this point.

Paralyzed; stuck; in for the long haul. An apt description of the unfortunate benefactors of this project. I am not trying to rub anybody's nose in it. I could even be (gasp!) wrong.

But for me this is how off the rails things seem to have gone...

#3194 6 years ago

This will hopefully not come off as being captain hindight-ish, but watching this thread has cause me to to make some different conclusions to some events of the past few years.

Ben being removed from BHZA seems to me like a way to get his name off the project literally. It was explained it was due to "customer demand" or something similar at the time. I thought it might have been due to them parting ways near that time. This seemed more probable than a bunch of people wanting to retheme the game they had already decided to pay for.

Now it seems like it could have just as easily been away to for Ben to get out, and did not want his name associated with this project (he has more inside knowledge than anyone else I would imagine on the true state of Zidware, at least of a year or two ago).

Also with JPop being given second class treatment at shows over the last two years. He shows up, and apparently is not even invited to give talks or whatever. It seemed like he had to fight for a spot at last year's expo? Were the show organizers aware of "this or that" and did not want their show associated with him? Or did he not have it together enough to get invited to the show? And this is coming from someone who thinks the one time I did see him speak at a show, it was one of the best if not THE best pinball seminars I have seen.

#3196 6 years ago

Yes I had forgotten Ice was the one who started this thread, to discuss "positive" news only. Positive news is being disussed, but posititive in terms of closing in on JPoP to DEMAND answers, come hell or high water.

#3199 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Ben already chimed in on this thread.

I am sure this is part of the truth as well. IF there was zero pressure on Ben's part to get his name off this project, it is a good example of one of my favorite motto's: It is better to be lucky than good.

So many times in my life i have had fortune smile upon me. Often I have helped "make my own luck" but sometimes things just work out in ways better than you would have expected.

#3291 6 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Ya he's going to show something soon as to a working game... But if he's starting to build mg in March there's still no schedule how long it will take to get all the parts, go through the issues in the build process and wether or not he intends to get the game ul tested

I can't even believe the UL testing would even be on the radar at this point, for 17, or 50, or whatever games. That would seriously blow my mind. At least the patent stuff I can sorta see, but that seems like lighting your money on fire.

#3466 6 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Lots of companies have specific products for consumer, and then commercial (which is used and abused much more and has a shorter warranty period). However, I've never seen ANY pinball company specifically build 2 versions, EVERY pinball is commercial. If he's putting that in his terms of service, he's basically saying he's incapable of building a commercial pinball (or there's some legal ramification with certifying them for commercial use). Is there anything in the contract about MG and RAZA getting UL or even CE certified?
Boutique or not, from a warranty standpoint, you're buying a HOME pinball for $17k.

sternpin2[1].jpg 143 KB

I think I must be in an awful mood, but I am wondering how much time he spent re-engineering the coin door for this "home" pinball

I am hoping the answer is "none", but after hearing about how everything else has been built from the ground up I have to wonder...

#3588 6 years ago

All of the suspect character use seems troubling to me and I like (LOVE!) the idea of a sci-fi greatest hits table.

John is (was?) obsessed with secrecy as he was afraid of others stealing his ideas, yet many of these ideas at least seem borrowed from others? (I am being charitable here, I think).

Also, I like the idea of the ultimate unlicened artist gone wild table, having a bunch of stuff suggestive of licenses on it . It is telling on how hardcore pinball players are about not wanting licensed titles, UNLESS that is the pinball offered for sale

1 week later
#3865 6 years ago
Quoted from dmesserly:

You know, everybody and their mother and their dog has the right but not the obligation to post every clever thought in their head, particularly those who aren't invested.
Man, its so tiresome.

Dangnab all this pinball discussion... on a pinball discussion forum of all places! Someone should write a sternly worded letter.

1 month later
#5374 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I thought the Predator fiasco would have finally put this ridiculous notion that people shouldnt post an opinion if they "don't have any skin in the game" to rest once and for all. Guess not.


Haters may have to hate, but ostriches...

#5712 6 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

That's because it's ok to spy on other dudes, but it's "great harm" if they see your stuff.
Is there a name for this psychological condition?

Yes. But I am not an armchair psychiatrist.

I think someone who still has John's ear should explain the "great harm" he has done, well, ... by not doing anything to get even a funcioning MG prototype together.

As other people have said, even IF you had a hardware complete game that was production ready, you still have the small matter of:
- actually picking a boardset
- coding it, and making it "not crappy"
- video creation/integration, sound / voice effect creation

And actually producing it. I am sure I missed a thousand small details as well.

#5761 6 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's like paying for a high class call girl, and they send you a Real Doll instead.

Honestly, the buyers in this case will likely be lucky to end up with the real doll. Doesn't bring me joy to state that, but that is how far up the brown creek this project appears...

#5829 6 years ago
Quoted from pinballwil:

Yes, boutique and homebrew Medieval Castle

Nice; you have shown more concrete progress on your game in that one pic than I have seen from John. And that is just sad.

1 week later
#6064 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Like I've said before, there are plenty of big JPop supporters on his FB page, including those who want to pay money to get in on AIW.

I remember a post however many pages back (but not THAT long ago) where someone staggered in here and was wanting to put money down on AIW because it was their "dream theme".

Honestly the only way that would make sense from my perspective was if it was a secondary account of John's. But how many (real) people out there are like that and just have not or would not come across this thread?

Even one at this point is too many IMO... but I am sure it will happen.

#6072 6 years ago

I am not sure if at this point "owners" is an accurate term.

If I paid for something years ago, it was not delivered, and after repeated requests for a refund I was ignored I am not sure I would identify myself as an "owner" of anything. I can think of some other words, but owner is not one of them.

#6174 6 years ago
Quoted from Wahnsinniger:

As an observer (no skin in the game), is this number accurate?

It represents a portion of the money sent to JPOP years ago, with at this point no games in sight.

I have read the total amount over the multiple games is over a million.

#6277 6 years ago
Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

The point is that they are both depressing threads on pinside. I never said they are the same.

One big difference is Kevin was able to show off a coded, working prototype pin and dragged it to multiple shows.

Yeah the art was pretty poor and there was no licence and a million other (negative) things could be said about Kevin... but how bad is the JPOP disaster when JPOP is not even able to show off a flippable whitewood aat this point? YEARS into the project(s).

As Stan Lee would say: 'nuff said.

#6360 6 years ago

I don't know how harassing JPOP will somehow help. Yeah, it might feel okay to blow off steam but there is no way I would sacrifice the moral high ground for that.

He is currently clearly the jerk in the situation; don't make it confusing by being a jerk too

That being said I would understand the kid gloves coming off to try to get resolution. People stating "this is no Skit B" or "he just needs more time" or "maybe someday" all COULD be right. But all logic points to a much less positive outcome based on available information.

SkitB got away with what they got away with for so long because people without a horse in the race by and large ignored it and people involved generally did not ask the tough questions as the answers can hurt.

It honestly speaks to how generally positive Pinside is that so many red flags can be present for so long without getting caught.

#6485 6 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Jpop needs help, he's in over his head....i wish u guys were on board

They were. He wasn't.

End of line, Dillenger.

#6598 6 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's called being a professional and responsible for your own actions.

I can't think of a response to this in regards to Kaneda that is not a personal attack. Ha-rumph.

Quoted from BillySastard:

JPop has officially hit rock bottom. Hopefully he can only go up from here.

Given all the competent help JPOP has turned down, that he decided to work with Kaneda shows that the only "up" from here is "up in flames". Zing.

#6803 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm disturbed that for 2 games that have had their "reveals" the information about them has basically slowed down to nothing.
The Magic Girl reveal was almost exactly 5 months ago (Dec 17th), and we still haven't seen an actual game.
RAZA reveal was last month, with supposed daily updates, and that was DOA basically.
As a RAZA buyer I'm fine with all focus going to MG and just get something done and out the door, but we're not even seeing that happen.
We're literally twisting in the wind. The ONLY thing that has happened lately was the Kaneda marketing pitch. That and some old white wood videos that seemed to have been trotted out for no other reason than there is NOTHING to show otherwise.

Yep. Pretty much sums it up.

1 week later
#7596 6 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Just ignore that stuff.
Positive updates are positive updates. We can't whine about not seeing gameplay footage, and then complain when he works to provide it.
It's important to keep perspective, a flipping MG doesn't actually solve anything right now, it's too late for that to be enough. But hey, take what progress you can, why not?
I know I still want to see the video.

Me too; who knows maybe things are not as bad as they seem?

#7642 6 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I do not believe any of us really thought he would start providing two updates per week.
I did fall for Pinsider's playing MG and video will be coming soon thing though...

Sounds like a line from a mid grade comedy:
John will be providing two updates per week going forwards: Jack and Squat (and squat just left town...).

Can we just start referring to JPop as JDirt? At least Joe Dirt still brings a smile to my face...

Unfortunately, right now JPop reminds me more of Dean in Fubar: He just goes out and "gives 'er 110%", without any actual plan...

Hopefully that at least puts a smile on someone's face... I apparently have a weak spot for mullet movies.

#7645 6 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

I played MG the last two days.
That wasn't a lie.

Million dollar question: How complete is it and does it play well?

I will be unsurprised if you are unable to answer publicly, but I figure it can't hurt to ask...

This is actually some good news

#7730 6 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Compliance will be rewarded.

Set emotions to snark:

If you play your cards just right you might be allowed to play the same partially completed game next year!

#7845 6 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

It seems JPop does not understand the buyer's point of view that they paid a premium price for a very limited game. Did he just drag on the design process pissing away all the funds that would have been used to build the actual games thinking that another manufacturer would buy the rights while also increasing the build run for it to work financially? That would be a blatant disregard for the pre-buyer's/investor's desires.
JPop sure seems like someone that is trying to milk a living off of incomplete work. He appears to have been collecting a salary all these years and in addition expecting a payday for selling off the incomplete work.

Given the size of most pinball runs these days, $125 bucks a machine does not seem like much of a payday (I imagine any of the three games shown would be VERY lucky to break 1000 units at current pricing). Especially when you are fending off lawsuits from your initial buyers. More likely you are lucky to say $125 X 600... not nothing, but hardly worth scheming years to collect.

#7858 6 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

Don't forget that he appears to have already collected hundreds of thousands of dollars of the pre-order money as a salary over the last few years.

I don't disagree or forget this, just if the grand plan was to sell the games to another manufacturer from the get-go, it was a terrible plan on many fronts (lying to buyers, relying on someone with an actual plan to sweep in and save you etc...).

Honestly, it makes a plan like "just taking a bunch of money and running" seem logical. How messed up is that?

Quoted from wcbrandes:

Also I really don't think TBL is a big popular theme like lets say AIW would be, it's just not.

You are a reasonable guy, so I hate to say this, but I can't at all imagine we live in world where AIW would be a bigger seller than TBL, assuming games of reasonably equal quality. Just look at the buzz on this board when each was announced. Heck, there was a preorder list for TBL before the game was even a thing you could order. Many Mad Hatter profile pics on pinside?

Basically... I think you are (gasp!) wrong about this.

#7870 6 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

You are a reasonable guy, so I hate to say this, but I can't at all imagine we live in world where AIW would be a bigger seller than TBL, assuming games of reasonably equal quality. Just look at the buzz on this board when each was announced. Heck, there was a preorder list for TBL before the game was even a thing you could order. Many Mad Hatter profile pics on pinside?
Basically... I think you are (gasp!) wrong about this.
I have to disagree, and from one reasonable guy to another I'm not sure the world you live in if you think The Big Lebowski is a more recognizable theme and or story. The darkness of AIW leaves a ton of options available to both hardcore and not so hardcore pinball fans.

I 100% agree with the potential being there regarding AIW. Just time and time again when push has come to shove, unlicenced pins get the cold shoulder when it comes time for people to open their wallets. Heck even BHZA and whatever it morphed into lean heavily on "inspired by license" material.

Ben Heck, licensed brand (I realize no money probably changed hands). Then that did not work so lets just be "inspired" by Toho and Mars Attacks.

People complain they want unlicenced themes, just not any that appear to come up for sale apparently

1 week later
#8307 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

OT but I'm still not sure how JJP is making out. I know they have a large war chest from preorders, but if they are paying workers to stand around, that is not productive.

I am not sure of much, but I am sure JJP is not paying factory workers to stand around all day as a standard part of business. They are building WoZ, or if really not needed they would be laid off temporarily. That's just the way business is.

Quoted from rai:

It would be better if JJP were able to develop pins quicker because if they have a bad product (like Stern WWE) they can move onto the next title instead of having 2 years of waiting for the next pin to be on the line.

Everybody agrees with this including JJP; with their current model to date, if they have a dud, they are dead. One pin that does not sell like hot-cakes? Shut 'er down.

#8312 5 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Sorry rarehero, dude is right. BBB was instantly worth over twice what it sold for. That was a gamble that lots of people wish they'd taken - but I was very wary of forking over $4500 back then on a pipe dream. Just not my style, then or now.

BBB is not really my thing, but I figure if a potentially vaporware game that might not be made is going to be worth say a 8K gamble on my part, then I should also be okay forking over $13K for a known quantity (e.g. is the game any good now that it acutally exists?).

My limit is around $5K anyways, and I am out of space, so my opinion is moot as a new buyer...

#8340 5 years ago
Quoted from PickleJuice:

I really think "investor" is not the situation here. John Popaduik sold pinball machines, not stock in Zidware. My paper work from Zidware / John Popaduik says nothing about been a investor. Does anybody else's contract mention being a investor? Maybe I'm missing a page of my agreement.

I think given Chris' commitment to ordering machines (~20-30?) and his role as the LED vendor, "investor" might not be the right word but he is no average customer either.

John seems to be treating eveybody equally though: Like Chumps

#8368 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Well, sure, not as MANY time as other shots, but hell.. in TAF, how often do you *purposefully* shoot the pop bumpers, when not in Raise The Dead? NO game has t he player wanting to make ALL the shots the same amount of time.

Most great games are able to keep the whole playfield interesting most of the time. SM and LOTR are good ezamples of using the whole playfield in an interestint manner across most of the game.

#8652 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I was willing to go as someone's representative assuming they are requesting some eyes on the ground, but nobody appears to want that at this time.

Honestly there is probably mix of people who don't want you to go there to get hypnotized, and another mix of people who are skeptical of how well you could see through the wall of BS that may be thrown at you given "past history".

#8756 5 years ago

I have to give JPOP credit for keeping on posting; hard to criticize him for not speaking, or keeping everything secret, then jump on him when he does speak.

Also listening to his voice, and his continued joy/pride was nice, reminded me of listenting to Jpop's talk seemingly forever ago at the NW pinball and gamroom show. It was a terrific, passionate pinball presentation.

That is why it is so hard to hear he was "lucky" with the shooter rod. Looking at it seems to be too high and too far to the right. Not knowing what parts might be missing, I am happy to be wrong. But LUCKY you can get the glass on and off???


#8759 5 years ago
Quoted from RomstarArkanoid:

He hardly ever posts, which is a big reason this blew up. "Keeping" might be a bit too much credit.

Yeah, but this is the thirdish post in the last few weeks?

But this bit of "luck" makes me wonder even more what the odds are of the ramps turning out perfect on the first go. Oh well. If he is hauling his game for the Pacific NW show, I can see in person.

#8802 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It looks like to me, based on their webpage and them talking about non market correlated and consistent returns of around 7% they are selling a "tax lien" strategy. Can't see prospectus, not signing up as accredited investor on their site.
You have to be "accredited", not highly liquid, but 7% is about right for AAA graded paper.
Where does a pinball machine company fit? I'd be interested to know myself as a "potential investor".
Maybe the founder is just a pinball guy and has set up an offering for very high risk/high reward opportunities?

Maybe its a long term stragegy to buy "investment grade" pinball machines NIB and horde them for years, then sell them for the big payoff.

MMR LE, KISS LE... you'd be a fool NOT to invest

#9097 5 years ago
Quoted from mac622:

Like many posters and followers in this thread I have nothing at stake but damn, after reading every last 9000+ posts I find it very, very hard to feel sorry for this guy? His lack of business acumen and shortcomings aside, from what I can gather he's had numerous people reach out offering to help get his ducks in a row but he either denies the help or screws them over shortly thereafter. Hard to sympathize with someone as self destructive as this.

I think that is a good summary of my feelings; I like Jpop but he has gone out of his way to ruin himself it seems. Due to some personality disorder or just plain hubris is hard to tell... but it is what it is.

#9927 5 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

the point i was trying to make is that there are about eight million ways to wisely spend your money in this hobby. if you spent any amount of money foolishly, take it out on yourself, not on the hobby.its not pinballs fault you dont know how to make a wise investment.

Agree with this; I understand frustration, but seeing multiple posters stating they will walk away from the hobby because of this situation is sad, I don't understand the logic. Just pure emotion I guess.

Heck, even Rarehero stating he will sell out if TBL goes south? This from the guy who always is (was?) saying how he does not care if games go down, because he bought many of them for so damn cheap back in the day?

The warning signs on this have been as large as the Hollywood hills sign for a long time, especially post expo. Sending money for at the moment vaporware games carries big risk. This should not be a newsflash. Take all the risks you take on by buying a sight unseen game from across the country from someone you barely trust (shipping risk, unseen damage risk, is the person even going to ship you the game?), then multiply those risks by a hundred it seems.

#9929 5 years ago

New thought that I have not seen brought up:

What are the odds the "licensee" is just a LLC shell type company John has created to transfer his liability from himself to the new entity?

Sounds like madness, but from John's perspective it sounds like a perfect solution. He gets to protect himself, and he gets to keep noodling for another 4 or so years. It also explains the lack of logic in the plan.

Truly a desperation play, but in desperate times what else you gonna do?

Sorry if this was already brought out, it has been hard to keep up.

#9951 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Hold on now - I didn't say I'd sell out. I said I wouldn't buy any more NEW games. Honestly, I'm sorta there anyway - as I won't buy new Sterns at launch anymore & have no interest in the Hobbit. I'll still be happy with my cheapo games of yesteryear. However, if TBL got boned somehow...I'm just done with new games forever. All companies making new pinball will lose me as a customer....sorry.

Forever is a long time, but thank you for the clarification... I must have mis-remembered trying to keep up with this thread.

Quoted from dgarrett:

John's not that smart/business savvy.

Honestly this "new deal" seems textbook John:

- secrets!
- budget has not been worked out (doh!)
- crazy timelines!
- vagueness! (e.g. still looking for a production partner?)
- it is everything you want it to be! Stay in on RAZA and AIW? Who knows MAYBE they will be made!
- optimism and happiness!

If I were John and trying to fund myself for more years, and remain in control, why not use a shell company he controls to buy himself out.

The part of the story (that I can remember) that does not add up is the part about the team of people who are proven to be able to build the games; who are these people?

#9957 5 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I've talked with a LOT of folks since this bomb dropped on me over the last few weeks. (months?)
So I guess what i'm trying to say is that it's too soon to announce I'll be working Spooky on a magic themed pin called 'Prestidigitation Gal : BELIEVE!' * coming Late 2045!! Stay tuned!!
*... that is a joke, btw

Ouch! Too soon IMO. But hey, I'm like perfect and stuff

#10130 5 years ago
Quoted from PINTASIA:

Unigroove, thanks for your insight. Yes, when you actually see the prototype games in person it certainly is a no brainer. Not only are we driven by helping fellow pinheads to be able to get a machine in their hands, and a way to overcome their Zidware loss but to be able to bring these amazing art designs come to life.
We are focused on completing the Master Prototype for Magic Girl to unveil at a pinballl show in June. Simultaneously we are hard at work to complete a JV with the right manufacturer...we want to pair up the incredible artwork with a quality proven manufacturer. All of our efforts and funds are directed towards the end goal. Thank you to all who have reached out and extended their help and support...it is amazing the network of resources amongst us.

Good luck! You're gonna need it!

And seriously, I hope you succeed. It will be like trying to move a mountain I imagine.

#10500 5 years ago

Cliff notes version if I understand correctly:

The good:
- have until the end of June to make a choice
- will be able to see a complete or near complete MG in ~ 2 weeks
- games will maybe get made
- the plan will not go forward until John's books can be examined (e.g. is he squirreling away fat cash?)

The bad:
- John might get paid more money
- John does not get personally destroyed in the process (putting this in the negatives based on comments)
- Vendors do not get paid?
- assets might "disappear" over the next month or two
- people might actually make money on this... eventually.
- who in their right mind would pay 16K on a sorta mass produced game? Your resale out the gate would be what, ~10K at best UNLESS it is somehow the next coming of MM.

I am sure I missed some stuff... feel free to add to the lists as you see fit.

#10654 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Stern and JJP certainly don't need it, what other pinball company wants this crap? No offense to Zobbie Yetti he does great work, but from all I can see there is not much of a game there, in other words A LOT of work to complete, so it'd be almost as easy to just make a new game rather than piggyback onto John's mess. IMO.

This is the big mystery to me, hopefully this will be made more clear with the MG reveal. Maybe these game(s) are near complete physically and play really well.

IF toys/mechs etc. are still not final, and all you have is layout and art, why not just "borrow" (be inspired by!) aspects of existing layout, get new art and start from scratch rather than wade into this mess? Actually complete the game physically and get a BOM before agonizing over the art.

#10968 5 years ago

I am a fairly grumpy skeptic, but even I am starting to (even if just a bit)... BELIEVE!

Anybody still defending John at this point though serously needs to stick a boot in it. Unless Rotordave is somehow being strung along, accepting deposits / trying to sell a few games a few (?) weeks ago just reeks. Seriously, there is no excuse for that.

Add this up with all of John's other failings (not taking responsibility for this mess, pissing money apparently into the wind, suggesting the threat of legal action on his critics/customers in a recent letter, worrying about vents rather than software... etc...) and what the heck are you defending?

He is not the worst person on the planet, but given that he has probably lived his dream for at least some of these years (been his own boss, in his own mad scientist lab, working on whatever the heck crossed his brain for the day) he is not the hard done by party in this.

After having said that, I can think of only possibly one person defending John a bit at this point, and even he seems to be wavering a bit...

#10979 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

A. John is likely not to show up at any show, for fear he'll be beat up
B. John is broke, last thing on his mind is probably traveling to a pinball show in the northwest. I could be wrong, but I think I've only seen John travel to the 2 local chicago pinball shows in the last 4 years anyway (3 if you include pinball life)

John has travelled to the NW pinball show for the last 3-4 years IIRC. He has been there at least several times.

Last year I ended up buying a MG framed artwork print, as much as a thank you and contribution towards airfare as anything else. I still thought things were a longshot at that point though, it seemed weird/uncomfortable to be getting even a small piece of the game when owners had nada to show for it at that point.

And to answer the actual question, it is likely John should stay away from the show. Best for his mental and possibly physical health, and for those he has taken money from. Tempers can flare, crimes of passion can be unpredicable.

As it sits, is it impossible to imagine someone trying to make off with the MG proto that is "owed" to them at this point? Is it theft if you paid for the damn thing years ago? (yes, obviously, but if you are out 30K it might be easy to talk yourself into this logic...).

#11942 5 years ago

I thought my mind could not be blown any further by this thread.

I was... wrong.

One of the pintasia principals apparnently having a "colorful" set of past connections??? Visual identification after just long enough for pintasia to give some "exceptionally earnest" non-answers?

Mind blown, full on nuclear explosion style...

if this keeps up I might end up joining the lawsuits due to damage to my skull.

Honestly I am still hoping this all works out, but until we see something more than "lots of people could be named..." I can see people wanting to wait until the games are finished, and they can pick up in person, before forking over another 10K.

This is seriously crazy town, either no good deed is going unpunished or what the heck is going on in pinball land? I'd like to think we were not considered easy marks, after Skit P and Jpoop... I might be wrong.

#12402 5 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

Jack's pin #3 will also be an unlicensed theme by Pat Lawlor.

Yes, but IF it follows the track record of many unlicenced pins JJP will go belly up. Not hoping for this, but the reality of only making one game every 3 years or so. Every game better be a BIT hit I would think.

#12405 5 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

Or it could be a big hit. We just don't know yet.

I hope so; considering the hobbit licence is already relatively stale (for location play) a GREAT unlicensed pin would be a nice everygreen earner.

Similar-ish to the band pins like Metallica or AC/DC, they can conceivably be earning and seem fresh to new players even a decade from now (barring advances in tech that make them obviously obsolete compared to a "new" pin 10 years from now...).

#12741 5 years ago
Quoted from TaylorVA:

and threatening someone using them is the absolute worst form.
These community is too small to tolerate this type of behavior.

Above quote from TaylorVA:

I agree with this. I don't find posting PM's "cool" but if you go off base enough to start threatening me in them you better damn well expect them to be posted to give an unbiased picture of how nutty you are acting.

Unless I have promised specifically to keep them secret ahead of time, why would you expect otherwise?

Really, the only win here is stop treating other people like garbage. Then you don't have to get all pissy over what constitutes a big enough violation to dredge up PM's.

And if you would be embarassed to say it in public, here's a hint: Don't write it in a PM!

#12840 5 years ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

Being an employee of a company and designing stuff is a lot more difficult than running the entire show, guess John figured that out.

From many of the comments, it is not clear that John even figured the above out... sad as that sounds. Its all everybody else's fault you know!

#12851 5 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

John is the ONLY problem here. I resisted this for a long time because I wanted to see these machines and the work I put into them. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I liked him. It's not like it was a pleasure working with him all the time, bear in mind. Whether I was being delusional or selfish, I'm getting a pretty clear picture now thanks to the last few weeks.
One question keeps coming back to me: If John could lie for years purporting to be doing the art himself, why would I think he would be honest about ANYTHING? Or capable to DO anything himself? It saddens me to even think some of what i now do about him - but the evidence is pretty overwhelming.
So I probably shouldn't share this - but I think it's important because Bill will catch hell from some here regardless of the showing at NW - BUT here goes... The prototype - John's LAST ditch effort to prove himself and possibly earn an ounce of goodwill back to his toxic reputation - was all based on pure horse excrement...
John said it would be ready by last weekend. It wasn't. Monday? Not even close. Tuesday? Nope.... Bill was taken for a ride in this, albeit an extended one by comparison to most - based on the info John presented and trusting it. BUT he pushed through - a team of local owners came in to dig John out and get something out of nothing over the past days. That team got it functioning at 2am this morning. Right now the machine is leaving Chicago for NW.
Unfortunately in all of this, and personal circumstances beyond my control, I won't be riding or attending NW afterall. It saddens me because I wanted to see MG just once in a working form and buy Bill & anyone involved a few rounds of drinks.
Argue that it was futile all you want - but at least someone tried. It definitely wasn't John.

This is too bad, meeting you would have been a highlight of the show. But thank you for the heads up!

And as for the rest... at least somebody got it working? I am looking forward to seeing it in ~2 days.

#13000 5 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

It's actually allowed now: you just need to claim you're a lightweight, can't hold liquor and that you post like a little bitch when you've been drinking.....

#13093 5 years ago

Doh, edited with ZombieYeti's clarifciation!

#14437 5 years ago

I was lucky enough to get a few very short balls on Magic Girl this weekend.

What surprised me in a nice way was the composure the two or three owners I saw come up to the game and talk with Bill.

Getting your first (and possibly last) turn on a game you paid 16K for and will probably never receive... would be a once in a lifetime experience I hope. If I was in their shoes I hope I could maintain at least half a smile looking at the what appears to be the dead end of the road.

IF Pintasia can pull it off, and get games manufactured somehow without money up front AND with John fighting off lawsuits... then great for them. I can't see many people throwing more money up front into this project. And that is not out of spite, the game is REALLY not finished as has been mentioned however many times up to this point.

The good news is if (I believe Ben Heck's?) statement that the largest BOM in pinball was sub 2K, Magic Girl at its worst should be ~$4.5-5K even in smallish quantities? (e.g. a batch of several hundred?). Assuming you have not gone crazy and done "custom everything".

At the end of the day yes magnets and ramps cost money, but it is not like there is a functioning waterfall made of gold and diamonds inside or anything.

So thank you to everybody who busted their butts bringing it to the show.

Here's hoping somone can scrape together a BOM that is not crazy, code can be funded to completion, the game is playtested to see if it works and is somewhat reliable, and maybe is even FUN, a manufacturer can be found... and THEN people will be able to enjoy it someday.

#14461 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Besides flushing our money down the toilet, there hasn't been an ounce of remorse or explanation for how 4+ years pass and not a completed prototype for a single game.
We're not even talking about running out of money for production... we're talking NOT EVEN A PROTOTYPE. And he had the gall to walk through expo and hold his nose at the games there.... that people built in their spare time with spare change, and brought to expo to show. God forbid their air vents weren't painted.
"I'm a bad businessman" wouldn't even make up for the lies and coverups all this time. The false reveals. The list goes on.
And now we see the state of Magic Girl, and learn that RAZA is even in worse shape and can't even be fixed up to show... even though he said this in January:

He deserves every name anyone wants to call him.

People seem either very forgiving, very forgetful, or very unknowledgable about this to not understand the extent of JPOP's failure. Any one of us if given 4 years and one million dollars could have come up with a flipping prototype, probably several.

The games might have been crap, they might have been great, but at least the prototypes would have been built.

And I wish I could remember the BoM thread... I believe it was in regards to WoZ being super expensive to build (or NOT) if the BOM was sub 2Kish. Given the manual labor needed to convert the pile of parts into a game, costs of running a factory etc. and of designing the game in the first place, this number sounds "about right" to me if you wanted to make any money selling pins approaching reasonable prices.

Now that I've thought about it Ben commenting on that does not make sense! Must have been someone else who seemed knowledgeable? vid1900? Who knows. Maybe my memory is going...

#14462 5 years ago

editing fail...

#14977 5 years ago

I was always a bit skeptical, but you wouldn't know it from my first post on the matter:

Eh, the man has a dream to make a LE run of 13 games; from the wording
I assume more are possible in the future?

I say good for him.

I am not sure if this is a virtual PIN or a physical pin, or some sort
of hybrid(?) based upon the "realistic ball physics wording" combined
with the kicking rubber parts combined with the LED displays...

This will be an interesting project to see when unveiled. It will
either be the most exclusive and expensive virtual pin ever, or it
will be one of the rarest and possibly very desirable games ever made.

Either way I do not understand the sour grapes.

If there was a reliable way to raffle one off online, I would be down
with that .

#15130 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:


I'm at a loss for words. Actually I'm not, but everything I've written (and then erased) is just insulting to whoever did this. Just gonna keep quiet...but YIKES.

I have to hope anybody who had the cash ($70K ish?) to speculate on pinball games has to at least been dimly aware that one of the possible outcomes was "you get nothing". Even if he was doing it "for the good of pinball" rather than to flip for $$$, there is willing support, then there is blind trust.

One of the lessons from the book "smart trust" is don't extend blind trust in situations where if your trust is betrayed you are unwilling to accept the outcome.

And as far as John goes, he is sort of like Willy Wonka, without the surprise gift at the end:

Sad all round, I think the Wonka analogy might be too fitting. Secret shop tours, promising the world, leaving a bunch of devastated forever changed "fans" in his wake...

#15267 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Someone who shall remain anonymous who has John's ear told me something quite telling. John said "I've never made this much money from pinball in my life!". Just hearing that ...."made this much money" ...made my skin crawl. He thought it was his....not for the project. His.

That is mind blowing if it is even half true. It is fairly easy to make money if you just get a bunch of people to send it to you, then deliver jack squat in return.

Mind blown yet again...

#15405 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Are you the executive of a company, responsible for all it's activities? I think 90k is actually pretty much on the conservative side given the role... one might even say intentionally conservative given the startup nature. Sure we could say he should have taken zero.. but he wasn't being lavish at that kind of number. I figured he'd be more like 150k.

Yes and no. Considering Zidware's activities seemed to have amounted to noodling around not doing any/much of the hard work, $7500 a month of other people's money does seem lavish.

Buyers weren't funding John to have a 4 year sabbatical from the real world, or a really expensive daycare slot complete with arts and crafts for little Johnny P.

#15730 5 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

The other party is and was no longer involved and did not come to the NW show. That's the reason you hear nothing. Ask the suppliers if they were paid in full and on time and who paid them. there's some research that would have a real factual basis. There was no money ever asked from anyone at any time. The profits from an unlimited run of competitively priced Magic Girls was to go to help the people who got stung by Jpop. After that profits would be split between the manufacturer and Pintasia, simple as that. However when the machine was not even close to the estimated percentage of completion I decided there was no way it was getting done. My alternative would be just to wait for bankruptcy, which is inevitable, and buy it for a song leaving everyone who lost their money, including myself, out in the cold. I am not asking to be praised in fact it was stupid to believe what I was told when all the signs of "hiding" were there from jpop, but at least a few good things came of this and that's all we should be happy about. Zombie yetti will get a design on a machine one day soon and he was outed and given the respect and credit he deserves. Manufacturers were outed and now being asked to do things for existing companies. Also I met many amazing people who surrounded me and gave 110% out of their time and energy to at least get it flipping and too the show. I thank you all and yes I will one day get involved somewhere down the line in Pinball because it's my hobby and I love it. I don't blame anyone for being cautious after what came out, as I myself was, and asked the person to step down. I take full responsibility for that screw up.

Not sure what else to say but that seems like a smart move and a class act not to try to say more. It is nice to know that this issue was "handled" though. Have that as a ? honestly was a conundrum.

#15731 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Could everyone please post your net worth so I know if I'm allowed to mess with you?

You're not allowed to mess with me every other Friday, in between the time my paycheck is deposited and my mortgage payment comes out. Otherwise I am fair game

#15916 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

The difference being you accept it as a "screw up." I consider it catching somebody in the middle of a robbery.

I think you're wrong and need to...

1 week later
#16051 5 years ago
Quoted from Sparky347:

Henceforth, Every ball I plunge that fails to hit a single target and drains without accomplishing any objectives shall be considered "Jpopped".
His name shall be synonymous with failure.

Seems appropriate, but maybe reserve it for balls that flail around for a suspiciously long period of time before draining without accomplishing anything

2 weeks later
#16702 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Of course this thread has meaning! As long as this scammer has people's money, as long as those people don't have a game....as long as John REFUSES to talk to his "customers" unless they're potential new suckers to scam money from - this thread has a point. Until there is justice for those who have been screwed, this thread will go further.

This seems accurate. People were stumbling in here wanting to drop cash on AIW even in the middle of this thread. Imagine if it were swept under the rug...

1 week later
#16909 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

We are witnessing an implosion of the industry.
It's really a shame.
Y'all have no idea how many opportunities these people are letting slip away.

I think we have some idea, and yes it is sad.

I hope this is not an implosion per se, but definitely the end of a pinball era (the "shut up and take my money" era of loose pinball wallets.

Assuming games as interesting as KISS keep coming out, we will be fine.

1 month later
#17280 5 years ago
Quoted from Honch:

That may all be true, but forgive me if I don't feel the least bit bad for him. JPOP probably didn't tell him to come on here and boast about how HE HIMSELF was privy to the prototype, that it is 90% finished and youre talking out your ass if you say otherwise. He may have been duped by JPOP about the finances, but laying false claims about progress he claims he saw, is his own damn fault. Not to mention he likened this thread to a sewer and insinuated Pinside was/is toxic, even though it was all true. Poetic justice if you ask me.

Yup. He was wrong. I am sure he has figured that out by now, and being one of the last "dupes" defending John probably does not do wonders for ones ego...

#17377 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Well, I posted something to the RAZA blog. He won't respond, but I know he'll see it:
John, here is was some advice to you someone posted at Pinside:
> Jpop wants a positive suggestion?
> Pick up the phone, call every single person that gave you money and say two
> words: "I'm sorry."
> It won't cost you a dime, use google voice if you have to.
> Man up, you loser.
It's time to stop blaming others. Blaming Pinside. Blaming your competitors. Blaming bad deals. Blaming the owners that funded you close to a million dollars. Stop saying you've done nothing wrong other than being a bad ceo. You ran this into the ground, burned all the money, and lied to everyone along the way. Maybe those lies are so deep you lied to yourself, but it is clear to everyone and you need to wake up and man up.
You ignored our tough questions and attempts at helping until there was nothing left to save. The writing was on the wall a long time, and you ignored that. We didn't understand the situation because you hid it from everyone. You kept your contracted help isolated from one another. No one talked. You scared your customers with NDAs so they didn't talk. No one could put the pieces together until the plane had hit the mountain already.
You talked about "reveals" for incomplete games you could only show partial pictures of.
There's a reason you are down to "1" customer who still talks to you. Do you understand that? That you lost the support of over 100 other people that sent you hundreds of thousands of dollars in good faith? Stop blaming them.
You drew a generous salary for 4 years and delivered nothing. You'll say you weren't driving around in a Ferrari, true, but that money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, taken from an already tight budget, crippled things and left the project in a situation where it can't be completed. It doesn't matter that you were in the shop 14 hours a day playing pinball arts and crafts. That isn't what we paid for. We paid to get a pinball machine and you deserve nothing if you can't deliver on that.
You have to own up to all this. You were 100% in control. Your behavior and how you handle things when times are tough is why you are "the most hated man in pinball". The lawsuit will likely win against you, you may be ruined, you may go bankrupt, you might lose everything. There may not be any turning that around because the decision you made years ago are coming home to roost, but you can still own up to your bad decisions and stop being a coward.

Bravo; my biggest surprise is 100 people have not already posted sentiments to this effect on the blog (or wherever John can see) already!

#17414 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Bravo; Way to once again snipe from the sidelines with a uninformed generalization.

I can understand a bit of what you are feeling, and congratulations for taking action. I am not trying to point fingers at the victims, I am just surprised at how relatively "civil" the direct discussion to John has been to date (not that that is a terrible thing, the lawsuits should be speaking loud and clear).

It is just unfortunate he still seems to think dissatisfied people are in the minority, it probably comes down to "you can't fix delusional".

#17451 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

OK. I'll now return this thread to all of you Minority Report precogs and your obtuse, condescending and pretentious ramblings.

The department of precrime gaciously accepts your offer

#17516 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Look, I agree with both of these comments but can we please give it a rest. Investor, customer, victim, these are simply euphemisms to describe certain people in this situation. Seems not too long ago that BC Gambit was mocking us for being called "owners" when we didn't really "own" anything. (He really fancies himself a superior, witty guy)
And for the record I don't like being called a victim. But if that helps others convey a point, go for it and move the conversation along.

Honestly, I was making that point to try to get people to stop looking themselves or others as "owners" (or heaven forbid investors) after the ship had obviously crashed and burned. Not something I took great pleasure in having to type out, but I felt it was a point that should be made at least once in this billion post thread.

I don't think many people like being a victim. But if it helps a person wake up and realize the dream had burned to the ground, so be it.

Nothing about being superior. But I am witty, thank you for that

#17535 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Your comment of the obvious so elevated the sophistication of this thread that I forwarded it along to our attorney. Yesterday in a Chicago courtroom our lawyer proclaimed "Your Honor, the owners don't really own anything"
Fact is you've been a troll through out this threads history. Try owning what you really are and quit playing spin doctor.

If you want to dredge up every post I have ever made in this thread i would be willing to stand trial in the pinside court regarding whether I have been a troll throughout this thread's history.

I can't think of a constructive response back to you without being deliberately hurtful. You seem to be in either the "anger" or "grief" stage in terms of dealing with this crapfest, and that I can understand.

I honestly don't think trying to rub your face in your past posts in this thread would be particularly beneficial, if you choose not to extend me the same courtesy that is on you.

#17538 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Feel free to quote my recent apology to Iceman. I don't like making mistakes but I take pride in self awareness and having the strength of character to own up to them. But thats just me.

Fair enough; I do not honestly remember antagonizing you or others in this thread to the point of warranting this.

I generally don't shy away from calling BS and foolishness where I see it, granted. IF I had thought I had devolved into "el Trollo", I would happily apologize. At this point it leads to a quote hunt or me delivering a non-sincere apology, neither of which is my style.

I am certainly not above apologizing when I screw up, or admitting I screwed up, I am old enough to have checked my ego and pride long ago. Every once in a while I get my turn at being the guy who has egg on his face, happens to everybody on a long enough timeline.

IF I recall correctly, you are taking legal action against JPOP? I genuinely wish you closure on this in whatever form you are seeking.

1 week later
#17567 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Guys in light of this:
Can everyone going to expo make a pact that if JPOP shows up it will be made clear to him that he is not welcome there. I am not talking violence just a verbal confrontation letting him know that thieves are not welcome! Also let the management of the show know that there is a thief in the building. John needs to understand that actions have consequences and it's time for him to start experiencing them. Now that Kevin showed up at an event and got away with it I'm afraid it will only embolden people like him and JPOP to shit on this community.

This seems like common sense; it sounds good coming from you though, especially in light of the other thread.

2 weeks later
#18036 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Apparently there was "insider" knowledge that Jpop was a loon, but that was not known to the wider community until just this past year, and even just this past month with the C2C interview. So, I don't blame us pinheads who were excited to be in on something cool.


IF someone who is well versed in this thread / events over the last year sends $$$ in for JPOP's next game (rumored to be Cat Girl Bible Adventures Bowling with Borrowed Lebowski Inspired Elements) then that person might be stupid.

I don't think that person exists. Or at least the odds of that person existing seems pretty small in relation to the odds John is working on such a game, and will be actively trying to get pre-order money for it.

#18113 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I appreciate the shout outs. I'm just a guy who tried to hold jpop's feet to the fire. I had hoped early on we might be able to force some change to how he operates. We didn't know at the time that it was all over well before Expo '14, and here we are a year after that and there is still no closure.

Yes, going back to the original Magic Girl announcement, I ASSumed that a generally functioning mechanical prototope was in existence prior to JPoP asking for money (based on the high asking price and stories of how he had previously done mechanical protos in between prior pinball jobs).

I was certainly wrong about that. Good luck to all of those who were financially involved to find the closure you are looking for.

3 months later
#18551 5 years ago

I am not sure if it would have mattered, but reading your post above in hindsight would it have made sense to try to get law enforcement involved from the angle of "look, he is not making the games, but taking in new money".

Would an investigator be interested in playing the role of a new customer/victim, and gathering evidence that way and comparing it to John's communications with longtime "customers"?

Not trying to armchair quarterback, but considering all the crap cops will try to set up surveillance to make an arrest on, why not this when it only takes a phone call? The $$$'s involved seem worth it.

Was this explored, and if not I am mainly posting this in case it helps in a future similar case.

Quoted from Concretehardt:

You can't make this shit up! "John.... I pissed all your money away on my own salary for 4 years of puttering around in my shop building prop games that don't work and there is no way I can build any these games, sorry making pinball is hard!"
Next day John gets an email from an unsuspecting victim...
Hey John I'm interested in AIW "John.... great I will send you an owners packet send me your money ASAP no credit card or pay pal check or cash only"
That's not a mistake its fraud & theft and John should go to jail for it, very sad to see his apologists still out there defending him... Shame on them!

1 week later
#18580 5 years ago

Does anybody know if Steven P was a real person, it would make more sense than anything else if he was an alternate John account.

I doubt this, it would just make more sense. Which makes the reality even more depressing.

#18589 5 years ago

I thought I remembered people legitimately vouching for Steven P in the past. That just makes everything a bit more sad.

And is the clearest indication just how much of a master manipulator John was. I guess he does have some "legitimate" skills after all. I bet his next "expert level" courses will be how to gain the confidence of others, milk them dry for years, and skate away consequence free.

I can see some big time speaking fees coming his way from various politicians and banks in the future.

7 months later
#19947 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Yeti helped perpetuate this scam due to the artwork wow factor.

I initially read this as "Yet I helped perpetuate this scam..." and was all .

Sorry I should have also kept your clarification you were not blaming Yeti, just saying the quality of his artwork helped keep people in line for years longer than would have otherwise happened.

#19949 4 years ago

Pinside confessional time; here are my big sort of eyesores that I have considered taking down/burning etc. for longer than I can remember:

Wall of Shame 1

Wall of Shame 2

Yeah, I should have taken those down. But apparently if you leave crap on your wall long enough there is a small glimmer of hope....

2 weeks later
#20222 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I will sell my RAZA and AIW spots for two cases of beer.

Oh my gawwd! Quit being SUCH a SHILL!

#20226 4 years ago
Quoted from doughslingers:

I enjoy my rare PistolPoker pinball and CSI and NBA from Stern which have smaller production runs than most Limited Editions.

But do you enjoy them because they are rare, or do you enjoy them because you enjoy them. If they were part of a run of 100,000 or something ridiculous would you enjoy them less, or have less of a reason to own them?

1 month later
#20388 4 years ago
Quoted from PinSinner:

I really feel for all parties hurt by this whole debacle.

I don't feel a ton of pity for the American Pinball investors. If they didn't do their due diligence with this many red flags waving in your face, what (positive) can be said?

IF John had two finished (coded, tested, all mechs in place) games in MG and Houdini, I'd like to think this had a chance. Still lots of difficulties, but a chance. If all they have are two arts and crafts mock up games this seems DOA.

MG has now been in development for what, 5 years and is still not done as far as anybody can tell? Horrible for everybody involved, but if AP jumped in bed with John at this late stage if anything they might deserve each other (horrible risk assessment meets horrible project management).

3 weeks later
#20458 4 years ago
Quoted from s1500:

JPOP's official car:

I just saw that on regular car reviews (and I am sure I saw it years ago on Unsolved Mysteries).

The story really reminded me of JPOP in too many ways...

2 weeks later
#20505 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Thanks for posting that. Very cool story! I'd never heard of it before.
There was probably even more similarity to SkitB in that video ... especially when the lady was discovered to be a man!
Whereas, Kevin was discovered to be a pirate!

True, there are a lot of parallels there too... the guy from "The Dale" story wound up hiding in a town called Dale... and Kevin apparently resides in Pinconning. You can't make that stuff up...

#20506 4 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Let's bump that to $100, hell even $500 if there are games shipped, coded and play in keeping with the Magic Girl that was presented by Jpop. It only exists is paper, foam and in his mind.

I saw "the bet" post from earlier today and though that looks like the easiest $25 bucks someone could make this year. Honestly, I would put up $25 just to hope I am wrong. What's the worst case scenario, I am out 25 bucks and people get their games? I can live with that.

A more likely scenario at this point is John ships some super lame ass zizzle reject (one flipper, made up of parts from kids pinball games on Amazon and stuff he found at the dump) just to say "here is the game, as promised".

That would at least make him updating the warranty page somewhat logical. But logic apparently never entered the picture here.

2 weeks later
#20545 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

I think people are still hoping to get something, even if its a half baked POS game, as opposed to being out a shit ton of money.

At this point JPoP is looking pretty lucky when compared to Kevin as he:
- produced fewer actual working PINs (hey, a few Predators are actually coded and exist!, plus the several one-offs they did)
- pre-sold MORE different games... when you are pre-selling game #3 to and haven't even made a flipping game 1... that's pretty egregious

Relatively speaking, this looks worse (neither look good obviously), yet he seems to have come away relatively clean so far?

3 weeks later
#21382 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Why is everyone ass-uming the game doesn't work? Do you really think JPOP/AP would put 19 games in boxes and ship/allow pickup of the games if they didn't work? Aside from the software needing completion, the game should work right our of the box.

The game didn't work right AT ALL when it was previously shown, so why ASSUME it does now? Seems like the safe bet is to expect its a jacked up mess until proven otherwise?

#21391 4 years ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Then why was he allowed to build them there?

I assume so AP could save a bit of face, and/or they had signed an agreement with JPop and it was better to let him just play that part out to be free and done with JPoP once and for all. If only everybody else involved in this could be so lucky...

I obviously could be very wrong, but given what info is available this makes sense...

#21840 4 years ago

I have been having trouble keeping up, but having to use quarters for a game that was designed for home use only sums up JPoP's dysfunction too well...

#22250 4 years ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

It's actually a good video.

Agreed, contrary to my expectations, these MG videos have been surprisingly tolerable .

That doesn't pardon his past actions or somehow explain away how he has managed to be (reportedly) banned from so many online communities... but it is a good reminder how complicated people are. Honestly just by watching the videos he seems like a pretty cool guy to chill with.

Everything's upside down now, Reality TV POTUS, MG shipped, and I want to chill with K.

I need to go wash myself now

1 month later
#23426 4 years ago

My prediction: Kaneda buys it just to say he did, and be the only person in history (likely) to have two MG's side by side in a NY apartment .

1 year later
#24021 3 years ago

Congratulations to the team who brought this to the finish line (or at least to this critical part in the process). I know there was a lot of doubt as to whether this would be worthwhile. It sounds (from those who were there) like JPOP has already paid a price in terms of stress/health just being brought this far.

#24091 3 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

You can't win Rarehero. Jpop found guilty, the owner or head of the new company coming on here thinking he's the Pinball guru, and doubling down on a guy he knows has purposely taken money from people with no remorse whatsoever not to mention treating future potential clients like pieces of crap. He obviously doesn't care he does this in front of a major portion of the Pinball community, but no let's give him a chance! Let's see what they do. Insane. Deepshit will never get a dime from me and I don't care what fing carrot they dangle. Done with this crap.

Hopefully you have not soured on the hobby. Seems like these jerks have killed what should be a fun diversion for too many.

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