(Topic ID: 92436)

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

By iceman44

5 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

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

Post #20523 Link to legal documents with allegations & responses Posted by DennisK (3 years ago)

Post #20526 Third amended complain document Posted by c508 (3 years ago)

Post #20532 Summary of complaints & responses in legal documents Posted by DennisK (3 years ago)

Post #20626 MG is now ready! Posted by TecumsehPlissken (3 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (3 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (3 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (3 years ago)

Post #22304 Photos of every page of the Magic Girl manual. Posted by vidgameseller (3 years ago)

Post #22584 Lion Saw feature information. Posted by applejuice (3 years ago)

Post #22710 Very detailed review from a game owner Posted by ShinyNick (3 years ago)

Post #22817 Details on the origin of the driver board Posted by Borygard (3 years ago)

Post #22957 Comparison photos between a MG 'prototype' and another shipped MG Posted by spfxted (3 years ago)

Post #23045 Pinball News first look review. Posted by Pinballs (3 years ago)

Post #23392 Ebay Auction for NIB Magic Girl #007 Posted by fattrain (2 years ago)

Post #23611 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by dgarrett (2 years ago)

Post #23615 Interview with Linda Deal (artist), speaking about CV and TOM Posted by toyotaboy (2 years ago)

Post #23754 The Deeproot link. Posted by pin2d (2 years ago)

Post #23946 Result of civil suit against JPOP Posted by rommy (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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#5974 5 years ago

I've lost $4.75k on Predator, and $20k+ on MG and RAZA. I will never pre-order again! They go very quiet when you ask for a refund...

Shysters. Let's be blunt about what Kevin and John Popadiuk are. Prove me wrong, 'Jpop'. Pop goes the weasel indeed.

#6023 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

If u paid in full it would be $17k+4,750+10k... So if u paid $20k in guessing u still owed money

Yes, I haven't paid in full for RAZA, though have for MG, so it's about $20k to date, and of course I won't be paying anymore.

#6024 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

He may have lost money on Predator but not a penny with Jpop.
His post here is a secondary attempt to manipulate himself into the private owners group. His first attempt failed in an embarrassing way.
You would not believe how many Pinsiders have tried to get in. This guy and Kaneda were more entertaining than most..

I didn't want to scan my MG contract in order to validate entry to the FB page, but wasn't terribly diplomatic in my PM about that- apologies. But I am a genuine pre-orderer for MG and BHZA/RAZA. Fair enough if you don't want to 'grant entry' though.

Last few days I've been reading this thread about MG etc and getting quite frustrated. I shouldn't have described Jpop in such negative terms though, and apologies to him for that too. Time will tell where the truth lies.

Anyway, I contacted Jpop via email and had some encouraging dialogue. Somewhat more useful than the maelstrom that pinside can be Overall though I'm still asking for a refund rather than waiting further, although in the absence of a refund it's probably the same thing. I truly hope MG gets made, but I'm considering the money lost now. Even if paid by c/c (which it wasn't), the timeframe would probably be beyond what card companies would accept for compensation. I follow the adage that you shouldn't spend/invest what you can't afford to lose, but $25k (if it does prove to be lost) is a lot Yes I want to support pinball, but I also feel something of a mug.

Out of my 7 current pre-orders, 3 are probably toast (MG, RAZA, Predator). The 4 remaining looking ok (Hobbit, Nemo, MM-R, P3). I won't be pre-ordering again though. That era is surely over, certainly for me.

1 month later
#9805 4 years ago

I've been reading this thread with interest. Wow, has it taken off since that bizarre email/proposed new agreement from Jpop!

I paid Jpop $20,245.00 in total- $15,995.00 for MG (full payment) and $4,250.00 towards RAZA. This was mostly via PayPal, but partly via SWIFT bank transfers. Unlike Jpop, I keep rigorous records.

I've probably been one of the more patient pre-orderers, but that ends now. After collating paperwork, I emailed Jpop earlier today with a final request before legal action for a full refund, giving him a deadline of (you'll like this) 1st June. If I get no response, then I'll sue Jpop via Zane D Smith & Associates. I already phoned their offices yesterday, and am in phone and email contact. I believe they had a number of people contact them yesterday about this issue...

Realistically, I'm not optimistic about getting any/much money back, but as a point of principle Mr Popadiuk needs to be held to account for his behaviour, and needs to experience consequences. In addition to the clear breach of contract (not delivering MG by a deadline stated in the contract), it seems highly likely that fraud has been committed, given that $1 million has been spent (on what, exactly?).

I hope that other pre-orderers will do the same as me, and please don't sign that new agreement!

On a personal note, this experience has really poisoned my interest in pinball (I also paid for Predator!), and I think (stating the obvious) that this issue has had a very damaging effect on pinball generally. Shame on John Popadiuk for all of this. I am appalled by his behaviour, which goes far beyond simple incompetence.

#9807 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Keep in mind the bulk of the customers are RAZA paid in at $6500.
For either version of MG they need to pay about $9000 more.
$9000 is a very good estimate for BOM + labor of MG.
Once again it's not John's money on the line, or (very much) of the investor's - it's YOURS!
Don't fall for this trick. Time to walk away from the blackjack table.

Very sage advice, Ben. Time to cut the losses.

BTW I just wanted to say how impressed I've been by how honourably you've behaved through all this. I'm a great fan of your hacking shows too

#9825 4 years ago

Here are the attorney's details in case anyone wants to join the class action for breach of contract

Zane D. Smith & Associates, Ltd.
415 North LaSalle Street, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 245-0031
(312) 245-0022 Fax

#9828 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

yes looking back it's easy. It's almost like the frogs in the boiling water. John asked for $1000, followed by $750 followed by $1750 (etc..). It's not as if most people were paying $24K at one time.
But looking back it it's easier to say it was not smart. but at the time and when the timeline was near (like 2013 I believe) it was more like people were paying they thought for pins that were imminent. (much like The Hobbit, I might add).
People were more confident at the beginning and as the months became years and there was not any prototype, then people might have got freaked out. But by that point, John had smartly inserted a clause that you could only get a refund in the first 90 days or some horsehsit and after that time, you get a refund when John sells you spot again. It's much like Predator, when there was a waiting list you could get a refund and the next owner gets screwed. In fact I took over someone else's spot originally.
So by the time people got fed up with Jpoop they thought they couldn't get a refund.
When I first asked for a refund, he sent me a letter, I was supposed to sign this letter stating I was giving up my spot, and I would agree to the terms that I would get my refund when John sold my spot.
I emailed John and said, not only am I not signing that letter, that letter is a farce. I said refund or see you in court.

One thing that has really bugged me in this whole process is Jpop's use of bloody legal agreements! Ooh we're having so much arty, rebellious, creative fun. Now sign here. Yep, and there. That's it, just one more there. Now let's parteeeeee!

What a muppet.

#9901 4 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:


Let me just make a statement here...
Pinside has never officially endorsed these guys. We never said "go out and throw your money at them" or anything like that. Nor did we censor them. We aren't here to tell people where they should spend their hard earned money. Each person made a conscious decision to place orders as they see fit, and if it was based on information learned from this forum, that's perfectly fine...there are currently over 29,000 pinsiders, and they have a lot of information and opinions.
I understand people are really upset..and looking for places to point fingers. I'm floored by this whole thing too, but folks, Pinside didn't facilitate anything here.

I totally support Pinside on this. I made a decision, and will live with losing the money as necessary. Pinside opens up information streams and hence helps, not hinders, the situation. Personal responsibility must be taken. Don't blame the messenger.

#9935 4 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Does he not own a mirror? He has no business being a narcissist.

Through the looking glass, people...

Jpop epitomises AIW, and not in a good way.

#9954 4 years ago

**sentence removed**

#10151 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

I'm an owner of RAZA and AIW... Yes, the situation sucks. Yes, I'm disappointed in John.
The bottom line is this boys and girls - John never really had the wherewithal to BUILD these games... To conceptualize and design, yes - to build, unfortunately we now know that was a no. He did have potential to make ingenious new mechanisms for a pinball game and a vision to create a unique cool original theme with unparalleled artwork. He really never had the capability (alone) to take conception to completion. That's the fact we now know.
All that matters going forward is this : right now we owners have several choices :
Do nothing and get nothing.
Stomp your feet, throw a fit, cry, type curse words on Pinside, sue somebody, etc... and get nothing.
Take the branch that's been offered by Pintasia to at least have a shot at getting the games made.
I have spoken to a good number of fellow collectors / owners yesterday and today who had spoken to Bill before I had and similar to many comments from others here who also did to a man every single one was impressed and felt that he has the drive, backing, and plans already in place to get this thing going. All were behind it. Then today I spent about 2 hours on the phone with Bill and I got the same impression myself. The guy doesn't need to do this to make money, he has that. He's trying to get these unique games made for all of us, himself included. You have to look at where we were standing for the last few years - blindly, yes - but reality is we had no chance at the end of any preceding day to get these games made. Tonight we do and that's better. I thank Bill for stepping up and putting something together for everyone. He's been working on this for a month and is making progress to fix what he can that went bad and then steer this thing in the right direction.
As far as John's involvement - as much as we all are disappointed with John, I for one want John's style and substance to be included in the completion of these games... Fair or not, that's how we owners get what we came for and paid for. Right or wrong, most of us signed on because it WAS Jpop doing it.
I'm a Predator owner as well and this certainly feels better than that. Somebody's trying to do something here - I'm at least appreciative of that. I think John's games are worthy of the faith to try to get them done because you know you'll have something special if they get done.
Pintasia has my support.

What do you think about the agreement we've been asked to sign by 1st June? Will you be signing it?

#10157 4 years ago

It seems unbelievable that the 'project' could continue, with no/few vendors being paid, and no pre-orderers refunded even a penny. For the vendors in particular, it is a disgusting, potentially bankrupting situation for them. They don't have an 'angel' to come in and rescue them! And they deserve such an eventuality far more than Jpop.

There are open clauses in the new agreement regarding future costs. It's wide open legally- no protection for the consumer, and of course a 'get out of jail free' clause for Jpop. No sensible person would sign up to this new agreement, and certainly not after 4 years and the lost money and all the shenanigans.

I emailed Jpop with a final request for refund before legal action. On the high likelihood he doesn't reply, I will be going to court over this, hopefully as part of a class action. I know that other people have contacted/will contact the attorney too.

So here's the reality of the situation- Jpop/Zidware is going to get sued. How does that affect this proposed new arrangement? Obviously, it kills it. So why are we pretending otherwise? Zidware is toast. It's over. MG/RAZA/AIW customers need to accept this reality NOW, and not perpetuate this nightmare any further. Maybe later, after the bankruptcy etc, other people can take these machines forward without resorting to a ponzi-type scheme. And I really have had enough of Jpop and his blasted legal agreements!! Enough already.

I accept that I'll probably not get my money back, but there is a point of principle here. And if Jpop has committed fraud, it's out of our hands anyway, because that will be investigated regardless of civil suits.

So people, please, wake up and smell the coffee! Zidware and this 'project' are dead.

#10162 4 years ago

If I was a company bailing out Jpop, I would want to audit the accounts and find out what happened to $1-2 million, not least to ensure I wasn't abetting criminal activity. It would be the bare minimum of due diligence. So, chaps, what did the audit find?

If there are no accounts to audit, then that is de facto fraud right there. Open and shut case. Corporations are required to keep a certain level of accounting records, which has apparently not been done.

Yet we, the creditors, are not being given any information in this regard. If I were to sign anything, which I'm not, I would insist on this information first.

And what about tax records? If there are 'no records' then that likely triggers an IRS audit at some point.

This whole project is a full-depth nightmare, and we the customers have barely scratched the surface because we don't know the details. But presumably any new company seeking to bail out Jpop and Zidware would do these checks and would have these details. So, have you and do you, chaps? And when will you be sharing this information with Zidware's creditors?

#10176 4 years ago
Quoted from GetTheJackpot:

Time to cut your losses.


I don't think it's sunk in yet for people that it's definitively over now. People are going to have to pay for MG etc again, and wait 4 years, again, and receive nothing, again.

Whilst I understand that we desperate suckers will grasp at any straw going, the fact is that this is over. For instance, when Zidware is declared bankrupt, its IP will be sold, and that means the new company cannot use it. That is, they cannot legally make MG etc.

Any new agreements that people think they've made will be unpicked and voided.

It is now time to leave the casino, and stop listening to the conmen.

#10272 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

Bill called me and said I killed the whole project. I only mentioned to him that in a bankruptcy or even pursuing assets for recovery that any revenue streams would be explored and that if he was MG licensee to not take it personally if my or the bankruptcy lawyers added him to any recovery attempt. He went ballistic. Jeckyl and Hyde. He said the project was over and that I single handedly killed it.
His words.
I told him repeatedly thank you for what you are doing and best of luck. But he left me the impression that one second he was committed, then he faced someone not on same page and he folded. That does not sound like someone who in the face of adversity has to do something hard gets it done, like build a pinball machine. It sounds like someone who when faced with negative...quits.
Then this morning he changed his tune and now it's back to ME - according to him I am the ONLY person who wants a refund instead of the new deal. Am I in the Twilight Zone?
Can I really be the only single entity who won't go along?!?!
I just want out of this crap. Now after waiting all this time I have some nobody accuse me of being the thing that killed MG? Shit I did not even BUY MG. what is going on?!?

No, I killed the project, and so did my wife.

#10279 4 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

Seems like this is a few months too late. How does a 3rd party take over a company that has many valid law suits against it and is basically circling the drain about to go to bankruptcy court? All good intentions aside; is this even possible at this point? Won't a judge immediately freeze any sort of deal and let bankruptcy and class actions run their course?

Yep. Ongoing legal actions and, of course, bankruptcy will have to run their course first. This Fantasia, I mean Pintasia, pipedream is pie in the sky. I am saddened to say this, but this reality is obvious, and I'm sort of amazed that I have to state it.

#10292 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

Fear seems to have been the catalyst this time ... The lawsuit hits and BAM progress.

Yes, the lawsuit from Bruce Zamost was filed 7th May. Et voila.

Does Jpop think his bizarre, AIW-esque new agreement will prevent another dozen lawsuits? He would be a Mad Hatter to think he could pull that rabbit out of the hat.

#10314 4 years ago

I think it's appalling that Pintasia will demo MG at the NW show, with Applejuice's coding running the machine, whilst Zidware/Pintasia haven't paid Applejuice for 3 months of his work, nearly bankrupting him. Ditto for all the other vendors, Cointaker etc.

If the vendor and refund issue isn't addressed now, then Pintasia shows itself to be ethically moribund from the outset, and also rather naive to think that all the legal action will simply go away and not impact on them. Passing the baton from Jpop to Pintasia does not mean Pintasia gets off scot free. Apart from anything else, the legal action will take away the baton from them!

Yet here we are, with pretty posters. Nothing more than pinball revisionism. Appalling!

#10330 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

The idea that this man's unpaid work will be displayed in the form of a prototype is reason enough not to sign the agreement. I am very happy to see Cointaker and Zombie feeling much better about things. Now I need to hear from GLM and the programmer.

Put another way, if you were approached by Pintasia to do their coding, artwork etc etc (as they will have to do to get MG made), would you want to work for them..?

I hope Pintasia go back to Cointaker, Applejuice etc and give them the work. Then at least these guys can get paid, and maybe even get additional work (for which they would want to be paid in advance going forward, of course!).

#10335 4 years ago

To pintasia:

Zidware is currently being sued by Bruce Zamost (filed 7th May). How does that impact on your plans (together with pending litigation)? I appreciate what you are trying to do, but isn't it dead in the water? How can you use the assets of Zidware when it's about to be liquidated? If I'm wrong, please explain the legalities to me like I'm a cretin.

On a related point, I'm wondering if Pintasia should start an FAQ thread, because there are a LOT of questions to be answered before anyone signs on the dotted line, I suspect.

#10520 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

I strongly encourage "ignore" for Pinballs, Sadsack and Major. Their pinside accounts are clearly new and used as anonymous trolls in this thread - not sure why, but they clearly don't seem to be ones with skin in the game. After you ignore, go back and read the posts from 10100 without the drivel - and it will change the tone of the conversation, to a more useful way to interpret the real feel of the posts.

You accuse me of being a troll and having no 'skin in the game'? Oh hohoho. You may not agree with my relatively negative views in this issue, but don't try to destroy me as a witness a la OJ Simpson's defense team vs the cops! Very low.

I joined Pinside in Oct 2013. I don't post too often, accepted, but I have paid $20,250 to Jpop. I'm happy to email you my paypal receipts, and correspondence I've had with Jpop since 2011, and indeed the one I sent him 2 days ago asking for a refund or I sue. Two of my machines have been used by Martin Ayub to do reviews in pinballnews, as I don't live far away from him here in the UK. I'm sure Martin could vouch for me as bona fide. Yeah right, as if you're that important (I jest, I'm sure in your fantasy world you are).

The 'tone of the conversation' is negative in places because it's a negative issue, in case you hadn't noticed.

Calling someone a troll is a rather childish and pathetic way to win an argument. But go for it, if you wish to look desperate and foolish. I'd much rather you attack my arguments and the facts than me as a genuine pinsider. Cheers mate

(You know, although pointless, moderately angry Internet posts can be most satisfying!).

#10523 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Again, click "ignore" for this guy. Now he is spewing false information - the letters say 2 years for MG, not 4. The only forum comments this guy has made per his profile is on this thread, so this account was solely for trolling this thread.

I've only posted in this thread? Nope, incorrect old chap, or should I say 'guy'.

I accept it's 2 fictional years not 4 fictional years to receive fictional MG, paid for with your monopoly fictional 'credits'.

Why personally attack me rather than address the points I make? i guess it would require you to fire up that third neurone, and possibly endanger your breathing reflex that needs the other two.

#10528 4 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Just shows how we all think we know more than we do. I don't know much of what the heck is happening but this poster is a genuine JPOP pre-order. Fact!

Thanks- appreciated.

#10532 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

Is there a lawyer that is spearheading a law suit? I believe there is and it was posted somewhere in this lllooonnnggg thread. If anyone knows who it is please post it again please so that I can call them on Tuesday. I will report back here the results.

That Zane D Smith attorney seems to be the closest, that I've seen anyway. He's the attorney I'll be using to sue Jpop.

#10536 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

I would like to know the terms of the license agreement.

We don't know anything. Zero transparency. For a million bucks of 'lost' money (but money nonetheless), I'd expect a bit more information and transparency from Pintasia, as would be usual for bankruptcy hearings. We need to see all the agreements, Jpop's accounts, EVERYTHING.

But once again, our amateur ill-informed status is being used to exploit us, the 'investors', and we are being pressurized to sign something quickly. Along with our desperation, of course. Boiler room tactics, ladies and gentlemen of the pinsidesphere. And hasn't the 'love of pinball' been used to leverage us, too? Easy to exploit altruism.

I've asked Pintasia 3 times (include a PM) to set up an FAQ thread to answer all these questions. If they don't, it says it all. Keep the marks ignorant.

#10539 4 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

Can you repost his info as I'm planning on joining this group.
Like I said, if John is involved moving forward then I'm not signing. John lost all his rights with the way he has handled things. He is toxic and continuing with him involved will only lead to regret.
Bill, do you really think you can work with John? I cannot imagine anyone can work with him. Cut him out and distance this new company away from anything John related.
I'm with Frolic on this one. No way I sign with John involved.

I'm totally with you in your views. Details are:

Zane D. Smith & Associates, Ltd.
415 North LaSalle Street, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 245-0031
(312) 245-0022 Fax

I'll be contacting the attorney again on Tuesday to take this forward. Zidware is toast, regardless of what we've been corn-fed this weekend. Jpop/Zidware will inevitably be rendered bankrupt, and hence this project is DEAD. When I s/w the legal assistant @ Zane D. Smith on Friday, they said they'd had many phone enquiries since Jpop's bizarre and incompetent email/new agreement, so there are many lawsuits pending. And the IRS are probably auditing too. So as I said a day ago, time to wake up and smell the coffee. I know it's painful

#10605 4 years ago
Quoted from Excalabur:

FYI, according to pinside, you've only posted in this thread. People aren't just saying that, they checked: it's not hard.

I checked too- you're right. Sorry, I was getting confused with another forum from years ago I posted on. Mostly I posted on the WOZ group, and little elsewhere until the Jpop debacle.

I scanned the first page of my MG contract and emailed to Mr68 to join his MG FB group. I've asked him to post in this thread to vouch for me. Remember too, it was he who claimed I was a troll earlier in this thread, as I didn't join the FB page previously as I don't do FB usually. This raised his suspicion.

I hope this settles the point of my 'credentials'. I can reassure you I'm not a troll and am a fully paid up member of the MG club...

#10606 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Earlier in the thread people claimed to have had John ask for PayPal payments. Other than that I have no idea.

I made 6 paypal payments to Jpop. I've asked Drano if I can email proof of these to him as I'm getting sick of being accused of being a troll i.e. the implication that my saying I paid via paypal is a lie.

The address Jpop accepted payments on was info@zidware.com.

A quick google yields this:

Pinball Wizard! iPhone App by Zidware!
Paypal to (info@zidware.com). ®2009 Zidware, Inc. :: All Rights Reserved :: Zidware is a Registered Apple iPhone Developer :: Trademark Assigned USPTO.

#10608 4 years ago

I hope Bill does the right thing and pays you. Obviously one wouldn't expect Jpop to do the right thing

#10633 4 years ago

I paid Predator via PayPal and tried to get a refund via them, but got nowhere as it was paid too long ago. This was what I received from PP (below).

I haven't tried to get a refund for Jpop for the $11,995.00 I paid via PP, but the most recent transaction was Feb 2013, so it's too late now. The other payments were international bank transfers for $8,250.00, so I wouldn't be hopeful on those either
The complaint you filed (PP-***) was opened after our 180 day
deadline and as such, regrettably, we cannot look into this claim.

It is necessary for us to cap the timeframe for opening a buyer complaint.
We have found that in most cases 180 days is a sufficient timeframe for a
buyer to notify PayPal that they have not received their item, or that
there is a problem with the item that they have received.

Additionally we are required to specify a set timeframe in our legal
agreements. This lets sellers know that they should keep their postal
information and other relevant transaction details for this period. It also
reassures buyers that should something happen with their purchase within a
180 day period, they can open a complaint with PayPal.

PayPal’s Buyer Protection offers an additional layer of security, however
this does not affect your consumer rights and we advise that you contact
the Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards for further information.

If you purchased the goods on an auction site you could also contact the
customer support for that auction site to find out if they have a
protection policy in place. We also recommend that you stay in contact with
your seller in order to reach a resolution.

If you'd like more information please have a look at our User Agreement.
You can find it by clicking on the 'Legal Agreements' link at the bottom of
any PayPal page

Protection Services

#10637 4 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

John has no moral compass so I expect to see him running for an upcoming political office when he's kicked off off his own game.
Btw I'm filling a complaint today on. https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

Good for you! I bet it feels good to have made that complaint, and taken some control back in this situation

What is the upper limit for a small claim of this kind? I think it might be USD$10,000.00? Rather than the big expense of lawyers for a contract complaint filing for $20,245.00 purchases (plus damages and interest and legal fees?), I'm wondering if I should just split my two orders with Jpop for MG and RAZA (they were separate, and have 2 separate, signed purchase agreements with Zidware). This breaks down to:

MG $15,995.00
RAZA $4,250.00

Although I'd lose $5,995.00 on MG potentially (if there's a $10k claim limit), the process would be easier, faster and cheaper, and presumably could get the money out of Jpop before he gets tied down in some big class action/bankruptcy-type situation, where unsecured creditors (us) will end up with pennies on the pound (sorry, dollar!)? Strategically, I'm wondering if pre-orderers should go down this route rather than protracted, expensive litigation with someone like Zane D. Smith?

#10638 4 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

With all the people joining the lawsuit and filing complaints, the shady Jpop accounting (or lack there of) will be exposed sooner than later and nullify any potential deal in favor of bankruptcy court. I respect what Pintasia is trying to do but I really think/hope that a judge somewhere saves them from making a huge mistake by diving into this mess hand in hand with Jpop. Much better to buy the remains at auction and start the project with the accounting fully exposed, any remaining funds returned to creditors, and most importantly: Jpop completely out of the picture.

As I've said before, I fear it's inevitable that the Pintasia deal will be voided by the litigation and eventual bankruptcy of Zidware +/- Jpop. Indeed, Jpop may decide to go bankrupt before he pays a penny via small claims court, and as the latter moves relatively quickly, the bankruptcy may not be far off. Jpop is clearly very canny in covering his a** legally and financially, at least in terms of not paying anyone. What a toad

#10642 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

You have a unrelated 3rd party try to right your wrongs and make it up to people.
This is such an unusual situation.

I think it's wonderful what Bill is attempting, but has he done his due diligence? He has hopefully had Jpop's accounts audited to exclude criminality, otherwise this is a hiding to nothing, and indeed Bill might even get into trouble.

The purchasers need to be informed about all this information. I had a PM from Bill saying call me and giving a number, but I want a proper business communication on letter-headed paper, and full transparency. This all looks very amateurish and half-assed to be blunt, notwithstanding Bill's pedigree of business success, which I don't dispute.

As Sherlock Holmes would say: "give me the facts, Watson". Currently we have no facts about what happened to our million dollars! A phone call with Bill to reassure me (which legally didn't happen unless it's in writing) won't do.

#10647 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

I apologize for my rant on major, pinballs and sad sack. Major, I know you are a victim in this. Besides, regardless on being $ at risk or just a pinsiders, as a group, we deserve justice as a community. Emotions got the best of me yesterday - and I posted poorly , venting behind the keyboard.
Also, Major, thank you for your service, I do feel bad about my comments, and want to be on everyone's side looking for some positive outcome.
Thanks for reading - I truly am sorry.

I want to apologise too. I made some rather petulant, ranty posts last night (beered up in the jacuzzi never a good time to post!).

#10650 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Re: Illinois attorney general complaint.... It does get results, many stories of successful cases, either resolved pre or post court date, from a competent group of people who do protect the people.

Do we know if there is an upper limit to these claims? What does it cost to make a claim? Is it only for US citizens?

#10834 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

Agree that the emotion and Monday morning quarterbacking isn't getting us anywhere, but the anger john has fueled must be considered. I seriously doubt I will buy an MG unless it is shipped to me COD. If John gets to speak for an hour and brag about his great innovative designs and his pride that the machine is coming out, I will not buy. I've watched john - he isn't the greatest presenter and really just relied on zombie yeti's art on slides. Put together a real presentation explaining the numbers and convincimg people this will work. This emotion needs to be considered.

I must say, I've been surprised at my occasional high emotional response to reading through (for hours) this thread. It's like the pent-up frustration of 4 years has been released.

We've all said some dumb, sharp things - I certainly have, for which I apologise. But having got this out of my system, I feel in a much better, more objective place. No more worshipping the Jpop, and no more accepting NDA secrecy BS. Transparency and frankness is what is needed. Bill, over to you and Pintasia to make this happen, and for goodness sake, please pay the vendors! Anything that is going to be displayed at NW Show should be paid for. Bill, you claim to be running the show now, not Jpop, so show some non-Jpop ethics and decency please. If you do, it will reap dividends amongst the rest of us. Also suggest you establish regular, detailed communication and 'open the books' to us.

#10851 4 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

They'd find something else Ben.. there's no pleasing this angry mob anymore. Even the positive is soured once it hits the pan.
Also perhaps John isn't there because he's in Vancouver talking to Bill? Canada doesn't have today off.
All I'm saying is.. if you're speculating try and consider both versions of that "half glass", people.

Angry mob? No.

Understandably perturbed people in an Internet forum? Yes.

If Jpop filled my glass with $20,245, I'd be delighted, as would many others. If Jpop is to be believed (highly unlikely), the glass was drained of $1-2 million several years ago, with little to show for it. In that context, 'soured' seems rather an understatement, but is understandable, is it not? Or are you Jpop's PR person?

#11507 4 years ago

IMO Pintasia needs to upload Youtube videos of MG today to get some positive interest. The NW Show is too late. I've heard that 'significant numbers' of legal suits against Jpop are about to hit. Hell, I'm working up one of my own for my $20k as part of a class action. Clearcut contract breaches for MG and RAZA. It's not rocket science, and we will win.

Thus, the Pintasia deal is likely DOA. Certainly, they need to up the information stream e.g. FAQ thread on Pinside, Youtube videos, detailed emails to the 150 Zidware 'investors' etc. The information so far has been scant, vague, and doesn't address all of the great, highly pertinent questions raised in this very thread.


It's probably already too late, but definitely will be by NW Show. Pintasia will walk away when the litigation and complaints hit. End of story. Just my tuppence, folks...

#11508 4 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

Well at least you know now that "people kept abandoning him" translates to -> I worked on all the projects for about 2 years, had a signed contract, put 100% in, continued for an additional 3 months with no pay, sold my own pinball games to keep myself going, nearly went bankrupt and a breakdown in the process.
Thanks John. I'm going for a beer and to watch some TV...........

Which begs the question- where did the money go, Mr Popadiuk?

#12068 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

I filed the claim, I uploaded about 20 documents. I received several letters over the course of the last 5 or 6 months but ultimately they sent a letter about two weeks ago that said all my documents had been sent to zidware as they will be preparing a settlement offer and to accept any settlement they offer. And they will not represent individuals in civil disputes.
basically they forwarded the complaint to JPOP and to accept any offer he makes because they won't help. Go ahead and file the complaint but if you're just doing it to make yourself feel better try Jack Daniels instead.

Useful information- thank you. That rules out the consumer complaint strategy IMO.

After a lot of thought and research, I've now decided to join the class action lawsuit against Zidware/Mr & Mrs Popadiuk. If you want to join it too, here are the details:

I am aware that the office of attorney Zane Smith has been contacted by a significant number of persons who have placed deposits or deposited monies with Zidware. His office is handling these claims on an individual basis but grouping them together in the lawsuit currently pending in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago Illinois. They are taking these cases with a $500.00 nonrefundable retainer and a 25% contingency basis [i.e. you pay $500 only, and they take 25% of any judgments etc later].

Contact details:

Zane D. Smith
Zane D. Smith & Associates, Ltd.
415 N.LaSalle – Suite 501
Chicago, Illinois 60654
(312) 245-0031
(312) 245-0022 – Fax

Go for it, guys! It may likely lead to nothing financially, but IMO it's the right thing to do, and the best of a lousy set of options for vaporware 'owners'. TBH I find it hard to believe that this is where the MG/RAZA 'journey' has ended, but it's the reality and we have to deal with it. Time for action.

#12070 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Obviously he's afraid of legal action. Either still coming, or threat of it (likely both).
I know Tigerlaw posted previously that this can be construed that he's destroying evidence.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Also, failure to keep adequate corporate records is a slam-dunk offence. I don't think Jpop could have handled this much worse.

#12135 4 years ago
Quoted from Topher5000:

I haven't been here long, but wcbrandes posts have always seemed sincere and not derogatory or condescending. He's been here for three years so it's obvious he loves pinball.
I really don't think he's trying to rip anybody off. After reading most of this thread, I think he's actually trying to help. Sure, it could be read one way as trying to make some cash off the backs (or out of the wallets) of others, but I doubt the return would be worth the effort. If it were me, I wouldn't sign the 'do not sue' contract, but I'd wait until Pintasia asks for money.

This is my issue- the choice is either sign this prohibitive agreement or lose all your money and get nothing. If I take the decision not to sign such an agreement, and thus I've lost my money anyway post 30th June, then next step is to sue as there's nothing to lose.

Essentially, Pintasia has given me no other option. I'd possibly be willing to wait a while to see what happens, reserving my consumer legal rights, but oh know you only have until 1st June, now 30th June, or you lose. That is wholly unacceptable.

Having been through this debacle for 4 years, the last thing I'm going to do is sign another blasted legal agreement. I have a sense that Jpop demanded this 'do not sue' nonsense, as he does like his legal agreements. Sorry to say, John, this makes me more likely to sue you, not less. A 'significant number' of people already are, so it's going to happen anyway. Pragmatically, this makes the 'do not sue' clause pointless anyway.

#12138 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

where is john's facebook page?

Jpop's retreat from the Internet does reinforce an 'End is Nigh' feeling, doesn't it?

#12145 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

So John will voluntarily open his books up to one of the owner's forensic auditor's?
Or are you saying that you have his books and will make them available?
Otherwise, it ain't going to happen absent court intervention.

This is one of many reasons we need to sue. Even if I get nothing financially, I want to know, in detail, what happened, and whether Jpop committed any crimes. Book-keeping and tax offences alone can be very serious. Ask Al Capone, if he wasn't dead.

#12149 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

A point worth repeating.

Is Pintasia the (month-old) secured creditor who will now get first dibs on any Zidware assets (that are left after Pintasia has been spending them recently), leaving the unsecured creditors (us pre-order mugs) with nothing?

I hope this isn't true, but if it is, it's nothing short of a corporate raiding party!

And with Bill's co-director being allegedly a known fraudster (although I stand to be corrected), this really doesn't bode well.

Major caveat is that I'm basing the above comments on what has been reported in this thread!

#12155 4 years ago

As I said earlier, I think it would be very helpful if Pintasia could start a Q&A thread for MG/RAZA owners, to start building an adequate level of trust that might faciliate current and even future 'owners' staying with the programme...

Currently, to put it in a nutshell, it's not terribly impressive, professional or encouraging.

#12206 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Thanks for the offer man but I will just take my chances. Take a portion of that $500 and go to Chicago and see for yourself there's no money. He's been paying himself a big fat salary worthy of a legendary PINBALL INVENTOR and countless 304 stainless samples he's been dragging around to shows, he's customized every single part on the game. Coupled with cash burn...ugh. Have you guys not been paying attention to the way he has been running his business these last 4 years?
I'd be out another $500 then hope to recoup 75% of 1/200th of zero dollars. No thanks.
The lawyers will pocket 100 grand of your money...easy. From you! That's why they are taking your case. Not because they are good guys. If you are lucky you might see $200. If by some luck there was anything left you better believe john is spending it on his legal defense now. It's a lose-lose.
Good luck to you.

Jpop is not going to get away with this scot free. The money is only partly why we're litigating... What Jpop has done is appalling! I think we're all aware what the chances are of recouping our money from this gentleman.

I may have lost $20k, but I can live without it. Never invest what you can't afford, and all that. But it also raises the point- having lost $20,000 thanks to Mr Popadiuk, why would I give a toss about another $500 loss?

To paraphrase Mick Jagger- "I wanna get some satisfaction". Bring it on.

#12210 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Most everyone agrees the money is gone..

We don't know. But there's a good way to find out

#12214 4 years ago

I've paid my $500 now, so game on. It is happening.

#12257 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I think if he even apologized a lot of people would be way happier.

That would be 90% of it for me. Just some honesty, realism and apologies where necessary. It is hard making pinball machines. We all know that. But please give regular, honest communication to your customers. I've pre-ordered quite a few machines, and with the exception of Skit-B the companies have all been far better than Jpop.

#12274 4 years ago

Blimey, hasn't Jpop played people against each other? Awful.

But a lot of conning going on, so he must have loads of dosh squirreled away.

#12275 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

Speaking of cabinets - I played around with some ideas to do some sculptural cabinets too... Had a really great idea for interaction on this... Rough sketch..

Fantastic! I'd love to see a Necronomicon/Evil Dead pin like this

#12277 4 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

He can't hide for long. He has to file an appearance in court on or before June 4th, the day before the start of the 2015 Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show...

I've heard from two sources that this case has been dropped. There are many others in process though, and Jpop will not be allowed to hide. As certain as our money being stolen.

I want every detail of this sorry project to be forensically extracted from Jpop under oath and via investigation, and publicly displayed. He will not get away with this, and will be made to pay (via legal, due process, as is proper).

#12323 4 years ago

Frolic- I agree totally. Frankly, if Jpop had bothered to communicate properly and honestly, I wouldn't have sued. Ironically, it was the 'do not sue' clause that pushed me the last inch to sue. Even in the final twitches of Zidware's life, he was trying to play it clever with his beloved legal agreements. Major fail. NDAs, purchase agreements. Never had that with other pinball purchases. That alone should have warned me off bothering with Zidware.

Jpop has behaved in an abominable fashion, and is now, what, running away? A coward as well as a scoundrel.

I remember Jpop telling me he was setting up that pinball school, and also volunteer-run manufacturing in UK and Europe. Of course, we now realise that was just a front to get people to work for free. Which goes back to the point, what exactly did he spend the money on? Hopefully his accounts will be audited and we'll all find out in due course...

#12364 4 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Python said in the famous topcast interview about Jpop 'the guy doesn't even feel about pinball, he will do anything. he is a chameleon.. a lizard... and Python knows it because Python is the king of snakes.'... 'I eat Popadiuks for breakfast'

That is very interesting. I wish I'd heard that at the time...

Which topcast was that in?

#12366 4 years ago
Quoted from puck:

Zombie Yeti,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for contributing to this forum. Your work is amazing and the KISS artwork is flat out fantastic.
Did you do this? If so it needs to be a shirt. Take my money!
Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.35.22 PM.png
Also do you think the video assets shown in the photo below from the Zidware Kiss pinball will ever see the light of day?
Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.35.41 PM.png

Kiss of course was the 4th shell game from Jpop.

I agree that ZY has been a hugely positive contributor to this otherwise inevitably negative thread. The best thing about MG etc for me was the artwork, which I assumed was Jpop's, and of course it wasn't! If ZY hasn't been paid, he should sell the MG and other artwork himself. Wonderful stuff. We should try to get positives out of this situation, and ZY is one indeed.

#12370 4 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

There are two realities working here. There is the certainty of Zane Smith lawsuit. Anyone not seeing that is averting their eyes. Then there are owners who still Believe! Even right now as we speak. I conclude that there will still be Believe!ers even while they are auctioning Zidware and John Popadiuk items.
The lawsuit marches on. Some of the Believe!ers stay on board with John. To quote a fellow pinhead , "Pinball, ladies and gentlemen." =)

It's true. The class action should be initiated within 7 days, hopefully.

Jpop, you see that dead rat in the corner of the garden, that ate the brightly coloured, enticing grain that turned out to be poison? That's you, that is.

[Caveat: this is not a death threat, officer, it's a joke, based on a UK comedy series' punchline].


#12432 4 years ago
Quoted from Robo1:

I am not so hopeful that anything will be produced, and if it is... i dont know if i would invest much more than I already have. I may just prefer to buy another machine that is already in production...........

If MG does get produced, it will have to be a much more cheaply made, standardised product than was originally envisaged, in order to be viable. That, together with greater numbers should wipe out the original price point, but currently isn't. Clearly then, it ceases to be value for money (if it ever was). For me, it's all poison now anyway. Thanks a lot, Jpop

#12433 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

To me, there is obvious pent up demand for a Pat Lawlor original theme with NO preorder. I have said that the best thing for JJP is to make a great game, have it ready to sell, and show up with a semi (or 5) at expo. If Pat is given the opportunity to innovate then I bet they go home with 5 empty trailers and lots more demand.

I'd buy this game, meaning pay a deposit then the remainder when shipped. But no pre-orders again, ever, for me. If that rules out LEs, so be it.

#12435 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

John won't respond to our refund requests.
Rationally - if you are a victim your only recourse is a lawsuit.
You can ignore it and take the loss if you like, but I will not.
You heard it here - bankruptcy won't stop Pintasia . They have spent too much already. The protesting about bankruptcy from Pintasia is to assuage john Popadiuk . Pintasia always knew bankruptcy might happen. They don't appear to be stupid, so why would they not have contingency ready? I would have.

In my last email to Jpop, I gave him until 1st June (as per his original revised agreement deadline) to refund me, or I sue, so there's still time, John! (And monkeys might fly out of my butt). I haven't emailed him since to see if his emails are bouncing now, which is possible given his electronic retreating.

Heck, if MG is good and not too 'cheapened', and with the right pricepoint, I might buy it when available. I'm totally pro-Pintasia in what they're trying to achieve. Of course, I have my suspicions and many questions as we all do, but if Pintasia can provide regular, honest information, they might be fine (if the financials stack up). But I certainly wouldn't give them pre-order money. That model is dead (hopefully).

#12604 4 years ago
Quoted from Betelgeuse:

I have been trying to keep up with this thread and there is something that I haven't seen anyone bring up that could be very concerning to the future of pinball. Yes, even more concerning than fraudsters walking away with millions of collector's dollars.
We all know that JPop went crazy with patents early on. I don't know exactly how many he puchased with pre-order money. The big question I have is whether John's ownership of these patents could ever be in jeopardy. Would he not still hold these patents even if he went completely bankupt??
I had seen the details of some of these and I was expecting to see these devices being used in John's games. Now that the games are out in the open, I'm not really seeing that. My point is, I wonder if his hope is to cash in on these patents when other manufacturers try to use similar devices in future pinball machines! Could he have just 'carpet bombed' every concept he could think of in order to block progress and profit more from the industry?

An interesting point, but of the 26 patents held by John A Popadiuk, only 2 seem to be recent, so no carpet-bombing apparent:

Pinball machine cabinet
US D689557 S1

Display for a Pinball Game
US 20130147111 A1

Assuming I haven't missed anything, I don't think he has much value with these (that other companies would pay to use), although some of the designs related to the display look interesting.

#12807 4 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

Same EXACT thing happened with Predator. People feel powerless to do anything against Jpop so they vent their anger on each other.

I feel much better, but sad, for suing Jpop, if that makes sense. It's something I thought I'd never do, as I loved the pinball crazy dude, but things change, I guess. It's certainly brought out the worst of people, and poisoned pinball in some ways, but also brought out the best, and I feel that pinball will be stronger afterwards. For example, the pinball bubble and associated pre-ordering is dead. Reality is returning, and with it I hope better business models.

Meanwhile, Stern keeps pumping out new machines. Gotta admire those guys, for all their foibles

#12991 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

At the risk of derailing this thread - I'm going to try to recoup some of my losses from JPOP and I have permission to make prints and sell art from my work all by myself. (Like a big boy!)
So, not trying to shill here - but I'm selling a signed & numbered edition of 50 AIW prints based on the artwork created for the near final Back Glass. Hang it on your wall like me an weep quietly in a corner of the room!
And I SWEAR I won't interfere or try to sell my wares any further here - just knew some folks wanted it to happen & I made it so
If I clear my debt on these (MG is coming after this sells through) I want to do a free run for owners with any profits past the amount John owes me...

If it's colour I'd bite. PM me.

#13390 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Hold on, hold on... hold the F**K on. This project has run as a ponzi scheme for the past 4 years. It has been taken over by a person with NO pinball manufacturing experience that put a career ponzi scheme professional as their finance manager. WHAT do you want people to decide whether they are IN or OUT OF? You are so blinded by the small amount of work you helped out with on this project you can't see what the hell is happening here.
Focus on the present? That's the dumbest, most gullible thing anybody can do. Focus on the past and what it means for the future. Make smart decisions. Don't focus on the present, that is how people burn you. Over. And over. And over.

This morning I focused on the past, which was very sobering, poring over my MG and BHZA/RAZA records (unlike Jflop, I keep scrupulous records)- purchase agreements, payments, statements, Zidware's bank account information etc; the works. I scanned these and emailed them to the attorney Zane Smith this morning. On 12th June there is a hearing to add the new plaintiffs (including me) to the Zamost case vs Zidware. So, game on, Mr & Mrs Popadiuk and Zidware. See you in court, and will see your accounts and all the gory detail, finally. We will find out how you burned a cool million bucks, for the machine we've seen pretty pictures of today.

That said, if Pintasia built MG in the next 4 years, I might buy one, when it is built. No pre-order nonsense or even worse legal agreement nonsense, however. That ends now, and I hope no-one is dumb enough to sign up to further vapour, losing their consumer rights in the process! Amazing arrogance in that agreement IMO.

I committed to buying MG in August 2011, and here we are, finally, now, seeing some photos of it. It's like Jflop went to sleep in 2013, on his own patented trip to wonderland, no doubt. Well, some progress now, I guess. I just hope the 'en-cheapening' of the machine to a cost-effective manufacture doesn't ruin it. But clearly, obviously, it's not worth $15,995.00, however nice the plastic ramps and electromagnets are. And it won't be the originally envisaged machine, whatever that was, if and when it's finally built.

By contrast, I bought a mint refurbed RFM a couple of days ago for £3k, a machine I've always wanted (in vgc). A true contrast from the Jplop stuff, and modern pinball pricing, which let's face it is like a property price bubble.

#13403 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

What's your Magic Girl serial number? What game # do you have?

Why? What difference does it make?

Tell you what, you show me yours and I'll show you mine.

#13404 4 years ago

double post.

#13408 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

This is when I get foggy on how to argue right and wrong in this whole project. How do you argue difference of opinion and not meeting "expectations". If this is the game design you get - assuming Pintasia builds it - and your opinion is its "only worth 10k" - does Bill owe you a MG + $5995??
Folks ordered blindly at $15,995 and were promised a game. Game is now being shown, and those in at $15,995 don't like the look, feel and finish. But you gave over the money with no clue as to the final design,etc. You agreed and paid $15,995 with no refund. The game isn't worth that, in your opinion, now that you see it.
So is that fraud or high expectations v. the reality seen today. I'm not trying to be a jerk to those with $ in, but I honestly am looking for an explanation that isn't so foggy to understand.

Simple. Mr Popadiuk said 19 would be built, and would be delivered 2 years ago. Breach of contract.

#13414 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

You got a deal.
I have #18. Now what's yours? Whip it out...

Here it is. Admire the majesty. Oh, you mean the number?

#13422 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

So what's your number? You've said repeatedly you're suing and that you've purchased a game 4 years ago. I'm not asking for your receipt at the door here, what's the number?

You sort of are.

Anyway, I can dig it out tomorrow, old chap. No problem. RAZA as well as MG. I'm outside in the jacuzzi currently

But why is it so important? You've asked me several times. It's not as if I have #1, which I guess I would remember! Frankly the number of something that will never happen, is dead, and was always vapourware isn't terribly important.

#13428 4 years ago
Quoted from TecumsehPlissken:

I have wondered why you & Mr68 always seem to be soooooo quick to doubt Real owners & quickly scrutinize their claims ?? Edit I meant VW not Rommy even though I quoted his post

In fairness to Mr68, I sent him a scan of the first page of my MG purchase agreement (yet another contract Jflop got us to sign), in order to be invited to his MG-RAZA facebook page, following which he stated in this thread that I am genuine. Which is nice. I find validation terribly important

#13649 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Pinball Circus cost $1.5 Million to prototype in 1993 dollars - that would be $2.4 Million today.

Wouldn't it be awesome if the remake of that machine is successful?

#13716 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Videos make it (gameplay) look like crap. Kind of like Woz video 3 years ago. IMO if we were seeing this footage 2 years ago it would still look like crap but we'd say it's still early. But now we're saying what the hell has John been doing for the last 2 years.
Can't blame the new guys I'm sure they have done the best with what they had to work with.
Now we know why John was reluctant to post his own videos of the game.

Agreed- what has Jflop been doing for 4 years? Snorting coke? This is 4 years of 18 hour days (hoho).

#13719 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

He has a half-finished prototype, there's legal action all over the place, his deal with JPop is as "top secret" as Zidware's normal dealings, his first attempt to negotiate with customers was to have them waive any and all liability to proceed further, there are reports he has business associates who have a shady past, there are tons of disgruntled and ripped off suppliers, and you think an estimate like that holds water?
Honestly, I'm not trying to rain on y'alls parade. I'm just pointing out that you guys are, once again, marching towards a cliff, with your heads in the clouds and not looking realistically at the road ahead.

One word- sue. There is a large ongoing class action. Join it, guys!

#13720 4 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

As a recap in case people didn't see my previous posts over the last few weeks. The code running on the Mg proto is code I wrote up til May 2014, at which point I was forced to stop due to non payment of invoices.
There are plenty of features and items written, as previously described inc ramps, locks ,multiball etc, but it is not complete. I'm sure you'll see more videos as the weekend progresses. I'd let people there feedback and see what the comments are.
For people there be sure to have a good look over everything code wise including all the system service mode stuff written to.

If you haven't been paid, it is disgusting Pintasia dare to show their faces at the show. Disgusting. Ditto for other vendors.

#13728 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Holy terrible glass glare, Batman!</blockquot>
For $16k I'd expect non-glare glass. Surely this is not rocket science?

#13738 4 years ago
Quoted from Revo76:

Well, I had send a message to Bill about the work I had done for John.
Even through some others who are in touch with him.
But he still has not responded.........I know he is busy, but still....

Imagine the positive reaction if Bill said he spent $100k on paying off all the vendors. Huge kudos. After all, this is a man worth 10s of millions of dollars, who has huge experience in turning over troubled companies, and loves pinball, like we do. Go for it, Bill!

If this doesn't happen, then people will make their own conclusions about profiteering fuckwits who run illegal ponzi schemes. Not Bill, obviously.

#13884 4 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

Wasn't this done to avoid pre-order folks from suing? Suing JPOP/Zidware would have an adverse effect on the contract Pinvasion has with them. Maybe the showing will build some confidence?

It won't stop the litigation, which is ongoing (next court hearing is on 12th June to add all the new plaintiffs, including me, to the current case, and remove the original plaintiff Zamost who has pulled out; but the case remains ongoing). I'm sure (hope) that Bill has factored Zidware's potential bankruptcy into his plans i.e. MG will go ahead anyway. That said, obviously Bill seek's to minimise the legal action, but in no way has it been stopped, and indeed is currently escalating (e.g. in number of claimants).

Personally, I hope MG gets made, and I wish Pintasia well, but I'm still going to try to get some justice vs Jflop, only part of which is monetary. As part of the process, I hope we see Jflop's accounts, and solve the Case of the Missing Million once and for all. Only the courts can make this happen. And they will

#13897 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Unless Bill paid Jpop $50k for the "rental" of the game, that amount seems a bit dubious.... Wait, 100k Canadien?
Bill might want to check the math if those are the figures his new Finance guru shared with him
Perhaps he was figuring in the cost of his time? That would be reasonable....especially if he's been work in on this thing for weeks.

And don't forget all the tax-deductible expenses. These are business gurus we're talking about...

#14171 4 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

When emotion outpaces logic in a big decision, get the waterhose because someone is about to get burned.

That's marriage, isn't it? Love the magic girl..

#14186 4 years ago

I hope for the best, but to be blunt for a moment, Pintasia is likely only a brief swansong of hope that will soon expire. Be warned.

I'm not a hater though, heck I put $20k on the line for Jpop's fantasies. Here's hoping...

But regardless of the amount of hope, I hope no-one (customers) puts another dime down for this project. Let's see what happens in the next few weeks, then decide. I have my own views of where this will go, but I hope to be wrong.

#14374 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

This i agree with. But I think the 14k comments in this thread as all being worthless might be exaggerating a bit.
I was looking back at a PM thread between you and I about two months ago and the good vibe that was going on then.
Obviously a lot has happened since then.
I didn't "lie" about anything re the "private forum group" being "dead". When I signed up for it and then left it, I did it because I didn't like the "private" nature of it. The secrecy party of the whole thing is what bugged me in the first place. I get why you did it and want to maintain it.
You also did a good thing when you flew to Chicago to find out what the heck was going on a few months ago.
Like you said, this doesn't affect my life one iota! I'm looking forward to the Spooky pin! Yes, i will pre order it if it is what i think it is
You don't know me and I'm sure the insults and derogatory comments in your post were directed at me, it's ok. I'll wish you nothing but good fortune and success in the future. Maybe one day we can have a positive/happy conversation about pinball.
For now I'll grab my popcorn and watch this thing play out. Def not worth getting worked up about again.

Can't we all just get along? Not being too sarcastic either. It's all just pinball, that fun game, yes? It would be good for everyone, in many ways, if the temperature could be dialled down somewhat. Please? If I had that pool and all the other stuff, I'd be outrageously chilled out right now. And the name is ICEman Cool as a cucumber, shaken but never stirred. etc..

#14377 4 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

What was Theatre of Magic II? I never heard of that one. I did however buy a ToM PF from JPoop a few years back. He said he was working on a secret project and I could never tell anyone about it. I didn't know anything other than it was a secret project so it made no difference to me. He seemed like a complete fucking squirrel to me then. Maybe ToM II was a game that has complete code and made some sense.

TOM2 is MG, essentially.

#14567 4 years ago

Sad but inevitable news. Kudos to Bill for trying.

The next legal hearing (to add new plaintiffs to the existing complaint) is now set for 18th June (no longer the 12th). I understand there are a sizable number of potential plaintiffs who haven't returned paperwork or paid the $500, presumably waiting for Pintasia to make an announcement +/- for the 30th deadline. Well, I assume they will be joining the case now!

In terms of fully paid up, signed up plaintiffs there are currently five, including me (Zamost pulled out after Bill contacted him, but I guess may rejoin now). So the legal case is gathering momentum, and Bill's announcement makes it a no-brainer now...

#14594 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Is there any point to joining this lawsuit now and paying the $500 + 25% of whatever is recouped to the lawyer? Once JPOP files for bankruptcy don't we all just get in line for whatever scraps are left?

That is the worst case financial scenario, but not the only possible scenario. There are also other very good reasons to do this, such as finding out exactly what happened, forcing Jpop to face the music, and getting justice. Not doing this would allow Jpop to get away with it, and that ain't happening! It would also warn off other potential pinball crooks.

Moreover, if Mr John A Popadiuk hasn't properly organised his accounts, he could go to prison for fraud +/- tax evasion, and/or lose his personal assets such as his house. It would be nice to see him lose HIS shirt, given that he has no qualms about stealing one million dollars from us. Has he ever even apologised? This is the sort of thing that upsets people, and motivates them to lawyer up. I've lost $20,450, and frankly can live with losing another $500, no problem.

#14598 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Good luck to those that do, you can have my large share of the pie

It's not for the money, Ice. Like you and your large house, I don't need the money. There are other, excellent, more important reasons for doing this

#14605 4 years ago
Quoted from teekee:

I agree but I think what Sean was saying is why should he or any one else join the lawsuit? As long as there are several already doing this John is not getting away with it. He's going to have to face the music. So what 's the benefit in having another few or another dozen or several dozen more join the lawsuit? I know the lawyer would like that but what's the point?

That's a fair point.

Although hopefully the attorney is more motivated to work at this with more clients.

#14947 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

You're a chill dude to take it that way. Has John reached out to you or anyone via Email or phone to just APOLOGIZE!?!? You'd think he could at least do that much...he's really messed with people's lives. They didn't get into this as a "gamble" (as some have suggested)...they paid for a "collectible product" with an expectation of receiving that product. Ice is saying that lawsuits are pointless as you may not get your money back....how about just a plea to John as a human being to do the right thing and do what he can to give people their money back? Maybe his lawyer is telling him to just keep quiet....or maybe he's just too much of a coward to confront those he screwed....I know an apology isn't money - but man, it'd be nice to see if he has a sense of human decency left.

To be blunt, and appropriately crude, Jflop doesn't give a shit. The legal action will make him give a shit, however, because he will lose his house and possessions, and go to prison, as well as being shown for what he is. Hopefully. And then, guess what? I won't give a shit. Tosser.

That's justice, with a sprinkling of citrus revenge

#15159 4 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

I'm the idiot who sent him $9500 in good faith.... I guess in the long run it was a just that....

I'm the idiot who sent him $20k. In hindsight, when he asked for signed agreements (NDA and purchase) I should have walked away. I've never had to do that with other pinball purchases/pre-orders, including with P3, Nemo, Hobbit, Predator (!), MMR, heck even Wayne back in the day with MMR and Crocodile Hunter (I didn't put money down for those two, either).

The only good aspect of signing stuff is that it proves breach of contract on Mr Ploppy's part, so he'll hopefully be hoisted by his own petard.

Finally, I have to say that this experience nearly killed my love of pinball, but I've now regained it by a purchase of a lovely mint, refurbed RFM that I received on Thursday. It works perfectly, and is such a fun pin. The humour in it has really helped me at this time! For example, Bill Clinton says 'Hillary you've got to see this' during the White House mode stuff. Funny how things have come round again presidentially speaking...

#15206 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Also, I have been considering selling off my entire collection and abandoning pinball completely over the last few weeks but I have decided not to do that. In fact, I decided to order from a startup that knows how to design a beautiful game and do the legwork and due diligence necessary to bring that game to market. My first NIB and I couldn't be happier with my purchase, Whizbang's WNBJM!

I'm glad you recovered and didn't do it! Buying a refurbed RFM was my recovery.

I hope you get some justice with Zane, as I'm hoping to. As you say, money is only part of it. But who knows? Mr Ploppy may have more Zidware money than he lets on, given he's an abject liar, or may lose his personal assets. But mainly, I want him to man up and face the music, as he's avoided doing so far in a most cowardly fashion. In the 'stress test' of this situation, he has shown what a weasel, coward of a man he is.

#15208 4 years ago

double post.

#15209 4 years ago
Quoted from Honch:

Not to sound glib, but I can believe it. The presentation and announcement of the game was very professional.

Zidware's Zizzle machines had also been a success, so it wasn't the case that this was an unproven company. Moreover, there was the Pinball Wizard app. But mostly, here was a designer with arguably 3 of the top 10 DMD pinballs to his name, presenting what could potentially have shaped up to be a sequel to TOM. It looked good at the time. I guess industry insiders knew Jpop was likely to fail given his flakey track record, and that was the due diligence I didn't do.

Unfortunately, pre-ordering is a risk, which sometimes fails. That's why I won't be doing it again.

#15300 4 years ago

I've written off the $20k, but am delighted to pay $500 - peanuts extra - to get justice. The more who sue the better, as it gives a bigger fund for e.g. forensic accountant to e.g. prove Zidware not correctly incorporated/accounts invalid so Jflop's personal assets can be accessed. Now is the time for Jflop victims to stand up to the plate and join the class action for $500. The next hearing is 18th June. Power in numbers, guys!

There is so much speculation in this thread. Inevitably and understandably so. But by going to court we can find out the truth, extracted under oath.

I don't want Jflop in jail, and think this would be unlikely (although if it happened, fine by me). Indeed, all I wanted was for him to be truthful and open with me. I probably tried > 30 times to get some basic, honest information from him. But he couldn't do this, because he lacks those integrities unfortunately, as proven by his lack of response. Sadly, Jflop has the spine of an amoeba.

I was also supportive of him until very recently, and one of the last to pull out. But I do want something- justice and truth. Maybe some money back, but that would just be a bonus at this point.

John (I know you are reading this from your profile metrics)- this all could have been so easily avoided. People are incredibly forgiving, but are not stupid, and you really have put people in an extreme situation, and taken the piss. I'm lucky with my financial situation, but others have probably truly suffered because of you. Shame on you...

#15302 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

John asked me on more than one occasion how much I had already paid to him for RAZA. If he didn't keep records on how much I paid him, he sure as hell doesn't have records of what he spent the money on.

I asked him numerous times before he eventually sent me a statement, but it was correct... Naturally my own records were scrupulous (heh), but I still wanted his confirmation.

If a corporate legal entity like Zidware fails to keep adequate accounts, then that is, de facto, corporate fraud, and may even draw into question the validity of his corporate structure (i.e. personal assets can now be attacked). An easy win for the plaintiffs Anyone know how much his house is worth?

Edit: I think this is Jflop's house:


Worth approx $330k. Not massive, but could pay off one-third of his debt, I guess, assuming he has no mortgage. Boy, I wish UK house prices were as low as this!

#15312 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I'm getting tired of reading this statement over and over again as though it's a known fact.
If everyone believed this way and therefore didn't sue, JPop would literally get off Scott free...with nobody actually knowing how much money he or Zidware had left.
I'm not saying there is definitely money left. I'm just saying that the repeated statement of there being zero money as a fact isn't the case either.

Yes. Also, all unsecured creditors (vendors, pre-orderers like us) would be in the same boat. Only secured creditors would be higher up the pecking order for payment. The insinuation 'oh don't bother suing, you won't get anything' is just an attempt to put people off from suing. Even Jpop and Pintasia's letters argued this, so it's clearly bollocks that only serves their interests, and certainly not ours!

Don't fall for it. Yes, we may get no money, but no-one knows what assets are available to seize currently. We need court action to determine this, and that's the whole point of the legal action! For $500 it's well worth a punt to get this muppet.

#15329 4 years ago
#15334 4 years ago

As a small consolation, he could be de-homed soon. I hope it was worth it, John.

#15544 4 years ago
Quoted from PEN:

What is the point in Jpop removing whatever he can from the net? He does realize everything he ever posted anywhere is easily gotten regardless of his efforts right? It just makes him look like Skit-C.

Running away makes him look really guilty. And a coward. I bet he's burned out two shredders by now.

"We'll not risk another frontal assault. That rabbit's dynamite!"

#15545 4 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

I'm sending payment tomorrow. I'm thinking the group may be over 20 and that should carry some weight. Jpoop and his wife are toast.

Looking good

The next hearing to add new plaintiffs to the complaint is 18th...

#15549 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Taking a step back now that the NW show has come and gone, did anyone think that pin was anything special? I Mean if we're on a scale from 1-10 and at the 9 (very good) end we'd say MMR, TAF, maybe AcDc premium. Did the game at the NW show (I know it was beta) but did it look to be above a 6-7? I mean it's trying to justify $16k which today can buy you a brand new car. So did anyone see a pin worth combined price of MMR and Met LE?
To me it looked so-so at best, and horrible at worst.
So I'm trying to figure what took John so long to come up with just a so-so pin, I mean if he had shown that after 4 months ok, but 4 years I'd expect somethig to really wow me. The extra long gestation kind of built up in my mind somethig that would be otherworldly like an alien artifact.

Lots of magnets. Well, if they had been installed, and the toy that used them built.

There are lots of small, cool innovations, like how the LED lighting works with the plastics, and all the custom bits and bobs. Lots of tinkering, and much of it unnecessary when off the shelf alternatives existed. But to be so incomplete after 4 years is remarkable e.g. no ramps (until they were produced last minute as an emergency).

In one of the videos John said he was working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. Well, he just lied a lot, didn't he?

To pay himself that $90k p.a. salary says it all (plus all the business expenses/deductions). Not a real, viable business. Just a well paid vanity arts and craft project at best, and ponzi scheme at worst. With the pre-order money cashflow giving him the illusion of success. With this ponzi approach, even if MG had worked, the plan would have been blown by RAZA. It was doomed to failure. He seemed to have been after a big score, like the KISS licence, or investor buyout, or rich patron fan. And it failed, as has been said. Now, with the running away from the Internet and silence, he seems unable to face the issues he created, and so has to be dragged kicking and screaming to court. Very sad, but at this point I can't feel sympathy for him, although I don't wish him ill. I just want a fair outcome, a modicum of justice, and a sense of closure.

And I honestly had thought all the artwork was his until late in the day!

#15559 4 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

It may not be technically criminal, but its dishonest and sleazy to lie to your customers about it. Actually, wait...how is it not criminal to lie to your customers about making the game? How is it not criminal to solicit for more money AFTER knowing he's out of funds and never going to make a game? How is it not criminal to spend deposits on Kiss, an EM, pussycat bowling, AIW, etc, etc? How is it not criminal to pay yourself a grossly inflated salary for YEARS while producing next to nothing? ALL of this stuff is criminal in my book...whether or not it is seen that way by the judicial system is another story I guess, but JPOP IS A CRIMINAL.

Is Jpop 'criminally ingame'? He needs to go to a pinball asylum, where inmates walk around, bouncing off the walls, thinking up 'new' mechanisms and machines, and getting each other to sign NDAs in case they 'make it big' on the outside.

I shouldn't laugh, as I've lost a lot of money, but well the whole situation is wacky, right? Totally Jpop.

Definition for 'Taking too long and costing too much to finish a project, in the vain hope a rich patron will buy you out to make your fortune'- 'Jpopping'.

#15578 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Has anyone asked why you give 500 to this lawyer guy as well as 25% of any recovery? If john goes into chapter 7 there would be a judge or court appointed trustee to make sure, given the exact same circumstances, everyone has time to submit what they paid in and all (if any) recovered would be pro rata back anyway.

What is your point, Bill? I understand the process and probabilities.

#15681 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

At this point it looks as though no Answer has been filed to the Complaint by either Zidware or JPop himself. Looks like the case is heading towards a Default Judgment, and that would include a Judgment against Zidware and JPop and his wife personally. That would mean JPop and his wife would have to file for personal bankruptcy to avoid paying the Judgment or collection efforts. I'm a bit surprised by this to be honest. Who knows, maybe he knew he kept shit records and didn't follow the corporate formalities and therefore piercing the corporate veil was probable, so he just decided not to fight it? Who knows?

Mr Popadiuk's arrogance (by not filing for bankruptcy) could be very helpful. And, to be blunt, let's not forget that he 'married up'. That is, his wife might be rich, and is fully implicated in this case.

Thus, although my base case is to get no money from this pond scum, I might be lucky Also, tomorrow's hearing might (tbc) result in a default judgment against Mr & Mrs Popadiuk and Zidware. Awesome.

I guess I'm just saying that it would be nice if Mr Ploppy's incompetence works in my/our favour for a change. Go Team Zane!

#15688 4 years ago

I want to second that comment. Bill did a great thing trying to help Jpop, and moving things along. Not many people can claim to have produced progress in this debacle, but Bill and the great guys who helped him get MG out there did just this. Huge respect for that. We now know much more about Zidware, MG etc than we did, and in a way it's helped get closure on the issue. At least in terms of getting a machine from Popadiuk. No-one can dispute now that that ain't gonna happen.

#15848 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

RobT whats your opinion on the outcome of this suit? Given the info you have, which is what everyone here is basing their own opinions on, I would like to hear yours.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as the hearing yesterday was solely to add more plaintiffs to the complaint, it's too early to comment on an outcome, because there isn't one yet. That said, I confess to not reading this thread consistently any more, so may have missed a needle hidden in the haystack that is this thread.

#15909 4 years ago

I have nothing negative to say about Bill. He did an amazing, difficult, positive thing re MG. Huge respect from me.

#15910 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Argument clinic:
» YouTube video

Now, a Monty Python pin, I would buy (no you wouldn't).

#15952 4 years ago
Quoted from Strohz:

Not sure where this new poster is getting his "facts," but a quick check as he suggests would show he is wrong. The tax records do list that property as belonging to J&M Popadiuk. Interestingly, they had been delinquent in paying 2014 taxes but suddenly paid it and the back penalties right before the Pintasia announcement was made. I wouldn't be surprised if John received cash to cover that as part of the licensing deal just like his office rent.

Just a thought, but if someone was planning to go bankrupt, why pay their taxes? Is it possible that Jpop will pay the plaintiffs when he loses the case(s), as he doesn't want to go bankrupt?

Conversely, if Jpop is renting and has no assets, this is worrying, as he could easily walk away from Zidware.

I've seen people, including 'rich' people, use this tactic. The expensive cars and mansion house all rented/leased. I always wonder where their money is. Offshore and untouchable, of course. To their creditors, anyway... Unethical in my view, but a highly efficient way for them to conduct their financial affairs and be able to set up and dismantle companies, even go bankrupt, without much personal risk.

But of course this is all speculation about Jpop. We will soon find out the facts as the legal case unfolds. Or won't, if he settles/there is a default judgment. This should be interesting to watch evolve, and at this juncture I cease to care (too much) about my lost money. It's popcorn time.

#15955 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Taxes don't discharge in a bankruptcy and paying owed taxes to the government is not a preferential payment.
What you are able to keep in a bankruptcy is a matter of state law and most states allow you to keep a homestead property if it doesn't hold too much value (in Louisiana it used to be around 80k of equity in a house, not sure what it is today off hand, in Florida there used to be no limit on value, not sure today).

Ah, that covers the tax question- thanks!

I feel sorry for Bill having lost $100k to Jpop with Pintasia. It may mean Jpop could pay off a few plaintiffs though, if he goes down the 'no bankruptcy' route. Or will someone force an involuntary bankruptcy on him?

#15988 4 years ago

Please can we all be a bit more cordial? Pinball is a fun, non-essential hobby. It's awful to observe when Pinside gets like this

As for Jpop, I want to get my money back/get civil justice, but in no way do I wish harm upon him. Legal, due process is all I crave, as I'm sure would be true for all of us, regardless of occasional ranting which we may all succumb to occasionally to varying degrees. For me, it can occur after a few Coronas in the jacuzzi

Anyway, back to the litigation (drumroll...), it will go on the Cook County Circuit Court website shortly, but I've had an email from Zane Smith's office today that the Judge granted our motion to amend the complaint to add additional plaintiffs. There are ELEVEN plaintiffs in total currently, including me. The defendants (Mr & Mrs Popadiuk and Zidware) have 14 days to file an appearance and 28 days to respond to the complaint. I added up the total money being claimed, and it's $94,835. Maybe Jpop will consider that worth paying to avoid bankruptcy? Who knows.

So there you have it. Some actual new information in this thread

#15991 4 years ago

My pleasure

BTW all the plaintiffs look like individual customers, not vendors. So no 'big money' being claimed yet...

#15996 4 years ago

We'll know in 28 days

#16002 4 years ago

Oh, very nicely done, rai

#16003 4 years ago

And a near miss... but so near!

#16046 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

So today I reveived my money back from international credit card services,pleasant surprise.
I reported this situation 3 weeks ago..
I had no idea that i was insured for situations like this,I also made a $250 payment via chase bank directly because i reached the limit of my paypal account...so that is lost obviously..
But I got $5645 back.
I may be telling you guys the obvious,but did you guys write ICS or whoever your credit card company is?
There were payments way past the 180 days insurance but got it all back in my account.
Paypal said I made a stupid decision to send John money and said "bad luck dude"when i contacted them..
But ICS helped me out right away and maybe some of you guys can also try?
I think i got all the $$$ back because John is not bankrupt yet?
Please try guys! it worked in my case and I can finally let go now...finally..!

Excellent news- I'm happy for you

I paid via PP and via international bank transfers, and was unable to get money back via that route (PP > 180 days...). Many credit cards have a limit of 6 months, but I think Amex is the best c/c for refunding?

#16047 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Yep JPOP told me check only, no pay pal or CC... Looking back now all i can think is what the hell was i thinking!?

I insisted on PP, but even that has a limit of 180 days...

#16048 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

My check cleared today. I'm the 12th man (pun definitely intended) to join the lawsuit.

I would ordinarily never do this. If he tried to build the game and failed then I would just walk away, but I feel zero sympathy for John. Frolic, Jim S., Sean and many others asked him relentlessly in every post to get it together and present a timeline and hire a PM, make progress etc.

He fought us every step of the way for 4 years to get himself into this position. Zero sympathy.

I agree- it's the appalling way he conducted himself that prompted me to sue. It's not just a failed business scenario, which frankly I have no problem with (albeit not delighted by), as it frequently happens. I've had a number of failed businesses, despite not milking them for salary and expenses i.e. they were run on a shoestring. But I kept the dayjob and it didn't matter to me financially (oh, and I paid all my debts on them, and never got sued). Eventually a business succeeded, woohoo. This happens too, if you persist and work hard, and have a reasonable idea underlying the business. You also learn from the failures, more than from the successes actually a la Dyson.

But you can't treat a startup like a corporate cash cow. Even successful startups would fail if Jpopped like this. He was clearly and obviously taking the pi**, and taking us for fools. In his mind the world owed him a living, meaning us. I'm happy to support pinball startups and have a number of pre-orders running (though won't pre-order again now thanks to Jpop), and they might fail. But the Jpop scenario was waaaay more than just a company failing...

I'm hoping he is arrogant enough not to go for bankruptcy initially, so the $94k gets refunded. But eventually he will go under of course, and good thing too. Actions have consequences, as he will learn, like the uncomprehending child he apparently is. All via legal, due process.

#16075 4 years ago

I'm gradually learning about Jpop's proclivities, and I'm sure more to follow. Such a waste. He focused on the wrong things, and focused too much generally in an OCD, autistic manner.

#16089 4 years ago

Yep. Due, legal process is the way to go.

Keepin' it legal, man.

#16137 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

you guys are missing the best part of that . . . 'took a small army to get the parts on the game and functioning . . . '
When it left Chicago, if memory serves, there were no ramps and a million other issues, he makes it sound like it was completed and ready to play.

Mr Ploppy lies again.

#16184 4 years ago
Quoted from Jazman:

So I listened to the latest Spooky yesterday which (as Joe indicated) had an interview with ZombieYeti. The part that jumped out at me, and quite frankly I *STILL* can't believe it despite being able to believe anything after this fiasco, is that as recently as the last couple weeks, John actually sent an RFQ to ZY to have him quote doing some more work!!!
W... T... F... is this guy smoking?
Seriously John - do you have a mental disease?!? Do you live in reality or just your own fantasy world?

It seems just a blatant attempt by Jflop to generate evidence that he is trying to build the product, and thus protect himself from any potential allegations of fraud, even though it's obvious that he's not being genuine with this (as usual). Basically, he's a liar.

#16185 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Heck, my company did not even tell me when I had one granted, I found out when I got a mailing from some company about buying a plaque, etc.

Being an employee sucks IMO, particularly if you work for 'every trick in the book' large corporations. Work for yourself through your own company. It's not just the greater (hopefully) earnings, it's the tax deductions. In the UK, for example, you can't even deduct cost of travel to work from your tax, if you're a PAYE (pay as you earn) employee, as almost all employees are. You can of course deduct this, and a lot more, if you're self-employed/work through your own company.

#16197 4 years ago

This is what lawyers are for He will get what's coming.

#16208 4 years ago

If we get our money back, will that be a Jcoup?

#16224 4 years ago

Jpop's silence is deafening. Where is he? Does he think he can scooby doo and a couple years later we'll say Jwho? I'd much rather Jsue

Mr Plopaduck is a pinball muppet.

#16225 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I think wcbrandes earned the right to make whatever jokes he wants about the situation at this point.

Agreed. Plus this whole situation is an unbelievable farce.

#16237 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Yea what's up with that glue gun... Bad ass Ben Heck! (I want this game)

Man if I had such a cool picture of me, I'd definitely work for Jpop for free

#16489 4 years ago

This has got quite bizarre. Jpop doesn't reply to emails, closes most of his online presence, disconnects his phone, no longer goes to shows, and yet continues an AIW blog to pretend work is continuing. This will, quite rightly, make people very angry, because he's now, rather obviously, behaving like a fraudster. There can be no doubt now that his company's failure was not just because he's ditzy. Right from the get go, with his legal agreements and NDAs, this was carefully thought through. The $90k salary is highly suggestive too. That alone meant the company had no chance of succeeding because there wasn't enough seed money left. He knew this.

By failing to communicate at all now with 'the owners', yet carrying on with his cardboard AIW, he really is just giving us the finger.

Can someone who is still friends with him have a quiet word? The damage this is doing to the pinball community is significant e.g. the flack Bill/Pintasia got just by being temporarily associated with Jpop. This illustrates the vitriol which Jpop is generating.

What riles me is that, not only is Jpop incapable, for whatever reasons, of 'doing the right thing' and refunding his customers with whatever money remains, but now he seems to be pro-actively 'doing the wrong thing' and behaving like a fraudster by pretending Zidware is still a going concern. He's not just burying his head in the sand and going dark, is he? He's posting (highly selective) public updates! Appalling, dishonest behaviour, and shame on him indeed.

#16491 4 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

Maybe he thinks MG and RAZA are still Bill's problem.. Perhaps he's stopped reading email, voice mail, the internet, snail mail to ensure no negative vibes enter his creative process. Maybe this emoticon can be the jpop / just put your head phones on and shut out reality.. It'll be fine

This reminds me of a classic comedy song from Benny Hill that includes the line "just stick your finger in your ear and go ting a ling a loo".

That's Jpop, that is.

#16535 4 years ago

Zombie Adventureland... with a graphic of a Mars Attacks copyright-infringing Martian right above it. And Robbie the Robot! A smorgasbord of IP theft, with rejigs of old ideas and pinball toys.

He's taunting us now. Look what he could achieve if only he had another million. It's all rather sad, not just for him. He hasn't even paid for that PF artwork.

Ben is right. Every last penny is being spent right down to the wire. He will crash and burn with zero. He is in wonderland indeed.

This is a psychiatric case study!

#16539 4 years ago

Essentially, Jpop is stuck at the drawing board, unable to ever progress to the manufacturing stage. He loves the drawing board, so keeps drawing new machines, seven so far. And look at the pretty lights. "If only I could live on the drawing board with my LEDs", he thinks.

What will the RAZA PF look like when the copyright-infringing parts are removed? And how will he get ZY to draw another PF? Isn't it rather distasteful for him to display artwork that he hasn't paid for? Like uploading a picture of a stolen painting to snapchat, to brag about it. He's sort of selling stolen goods. Prettily lit tables with nice artwork by other people. That's the sum of his achievement after 4 years and a million dollars. Not so much a pinball wizard as a pinball cripple.

#16678 4 years ago

Is it just AIW he's pretending to build? Is that because he only admitted he's broke and incapable of building the other two, but AIW will be just fine? How bizarre, or is that bizaar? He's the ponzi pinball man.

#16754 4 years ago

I don't know why folks have been coy in pasting here Zane's email update details. Jpop knows all this stuff of course as it's what was discussed in court. So, to summarise:

- On 16th July the case was up on Case Status and defendant’s motion to stay proceedings because they were “contemplating filing bankruptcy”. The judge indicated that he would not grant the motion to stay proceedings unless there was an actual bankruptcy filing. Since there has been no such filing defendant withdrew their motion.

- The judge granted our request to file the second amended complaint. He then allowed defendants up to 8-20-15 to answer or otherwise plead to the complaint. Defendants indicated to the Court that they are going to file BK as to the corporation only. The matter is next set for 8-25-15.

Key issue here is that fraud and misrepresentation is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Moreover, the defendants may not succeed in limiting this to Zidware's assets...

It's appalling that Jpop clearly has zero intent to pay back anyone even a penny, even though the bankruptcy 'strategy' was rather obvious. If he's stated to court that he's considering BK, doesn't this also make his continued activity on his website/blog and replies to potential new customer emails blatant fraud? I'm no lawyer but still...

Finally, I'm copying this text from Zane, as it is relevant for anyone else considering suing Jpop: "I have indicated [to court] that we would like to file only one more amended complaint to add more plaintiffs and I would like to do this before 8-1-15."

Thus, it would seem advisable for anyone wanting to join this case to do so ASAP! Through the looking glass, people

I'm also suing Kevin. Bring it on!

#16788 4 years ago

Jpop is the problem, no-one else. Laser focuses on Jpop and doesn't get distracted.

#16807 4 years ago

Agreed- Jpop is the issue!

#16964 4 years ago
Quoted from dkazz1:

That should add about 1000 posts to this thread......oh and before I forget:

If this URL is added to the comments sections of major websites e.g. news sites (pick the top news story), that have mucho traffico, then presumably that will get johnpopadiuk.com up the search engine rankings?


2 weeks later
#17122 4 years ago
Quoted from TOK:

I'd rather take the punch in the face than be sent a Chicago pizza. Its basically a lasagne sandwich.

Probably nicer than a Glasgow kiss.

But, yep, agree with the above posts that due legal process through the courts should be followed, and is being. I have zero time for illegality, or potential illegality, of turning up etc etc.

#17126 4 years ago

Yes, in addition to the civil case(s), various investigations are ongoing which may result in criminal cases. These things take time. But Mr Popadiuk, his wife and his companies will not get away with this. Actions have consequences, as he will learn.

2 weeks later
#17198 4 years ago

This thread is useful and should continue IMO for when the next updates come, which they will. Also, closing the thread would in a sense let Jflop get away with it. This farce should not yet be consigned to the dustbin of history. It's an important part of pinball history, and shows how pinball collectors should apply a high level of due diligence even for a famous designer with great PR spin skills. Moreover, it hopefully kills the pre-order model as it was during the pinball bubble era.

As for the legal case, will the plaintiffs like me get all their money back? Probably not. But the case ensures that Mr Popadiuk, his wife and his company do NOT get away with this. Their most recent communication to the court mentioned they are considering bankruptcy, so this seems to be the likely course as the case progresses (speculation). So he will not be 'in the clear' at the end of this. He will be a bankrupt, with all the credit implications of that. It really is the least of many possible outcomes he deserves IMO. Time will tell...

On a more positive note, I had a great time with many others during the UK Pinball Party and Heighway Pinball factory tour yesterday in south Wales, led by Andrew himself, and including the awesome 'no phones' Alien reveal, with dark artwork like the movies as you'd hope. I was particularly impressed by the progress in setting up manufacturing lines and purchasing equipment e.g. the £90,000 Canon printer to print playfields etc. It struck me that this was the next step that Jpop, for whatever reasons, was incapable of taking. Instead, he bounced back to design and foam again, stuck in a sub-manufacturing loop, never able to take it to the 'next level'. Tragic for him and for all of us

But we are where we are, and the legal case will force closure of this issue on Jpop, which he is seemingly incapable of doing himself, whether due to his psychological issues again, or a rather blatant legal ploy 101. Or both, of course.

#17245 4 years ago

See you in court, Popadiuk.

#17248 4 years ago

The facts speak for themselves. At the NW Show MG was 40% or less complete, after 4 years. This was never going to happen. Jpop was in a design and foam loop, unable to take it to the next level (manufacturing), but rather instead looping back to design another machine and another and... 7 in total, 3 main ones?

If he'd stuck with MG possibly there would have been enough money to finish it, but even that was unlikely given the expenses and salary Jpop took out of the pre-order money, and his high BOM with customised everything (very expensive), getting stuff (e.g. artwork) done multiple times, making a meal out of the simplest components (3D printing customised basic parts that are available off the shelf). So the money was gone, or at least not enough was left to finish anything. And then he went into denial, started his pre-order ponzi for other machines, tried to hoodwink rich people to be angel investors (hoping they won't do due diligence!). That didn't work because Bill is highly competent.

IMO money isn't the main issue anyway- Jpop can't do this on his own, he needs to be managed by people competent in business and manufacturing. He is not. And to make it worse he's also arrogant with a big ego and inability to self-criticise and take personal responsibility, so he couldn't take advice and accept help.

In hindsight, I wish the pinball insiders who knew what he's like (even as a pinball designer and nil else he nearly buggered up his projects) had bothered to tell us chumps these facts, as I wouldn't then have touched this flake with a bargepole.

Last time I ever pre-order too. Even Alien which I'm interested in, I'll wait until it's shipping before I order, assuming gameplay is ok.

Jpop has done immense damage to pinball, showing that even well-known, allegedly successful pinball designers can't be trusted. Once a zero trust environment exists (with trust replaced by transparency), pinball is in a much sadder place But I guess, on the plus side, it's a place that is at least consistent with good corporate governance, which going forward should improve the business side of things.

#17253 4 years ago

Do we know for sure that that email is genuine? Should be forwarded to Bill at least, as confirmation.

It's so sad (if true) that Jpop is saying such things about Bill. Bill achieved closure on the issue one way or the other- an immense achievement. Had Jpop bothered to do more work on MG in the last 4 years, it might even have led to MG being made.

#17254 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

That's the real joke. He was funded by MG, RAZA and AIW money, and couldn't even finish the PROTOTYPE for the first machine or knock out 19 Magic Girls paid for by everyone else.
I half expected the money to run out some time before RAZA build, but never dreamed that MG would never get done. I figured once he "dazzled the world" with MG, whatever money issues there were could be dealt with.
But I was going on what he was telling us... MG "near complete" prototypes being built in 2012 (remember that video where he claimed there was a fully working game behind the camera, back in 2012).
Based on that email.... I bet he WOULD show up at expo this year to do an Alice talk. He seems to be working the most on it. Which is another joke, having abandoned the previous 2 games.

Yes, it was incredible how Jpop managed to pi** away so much money. Anything left will now go to his lawyers. What a loser. Even Kevin made a pretty damn good machine considering.

#17261 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

According to Pinside (in this thread) EVERYBODY knew Popaduik was a flake in advance INCLUDING US!!! But we were so stupid and greedy we proceeded anyway....
A judgmental Pinside, with the benefit of hindsight, making hateful, inaccurate comments about fellow collectors is my frustration.
Popadiuk is a grease stain on the bottom of my shoe.

It may be my fault then, as I didn't read pinside much back then!

#17334 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Anybody else get one of these? He actually signed it. I guess it was supposed to make me feel good about sending in another 2k?
If its not an example of fraud and simply trying to steal more money from people I don't know what else to call it?

I love how he ruins the print by stamping it. The stamp should go on the back, if he intended to give you anything of potential value (he didn't).

#17335 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

So he gets to sign Jeremy's work? And what is "approved?"
"Here is your original print with some stupid, meaningless stamp over it! Enjoy and send me more money!"
FAST Pinball

I, like many others, thought that this artwork was by Jpop. It's clear he wanted this interpretation. Deceit upon deceit...

#17411 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Oh my gawd, I quit reading his blog 6 or 8 months ago. Maybe longer... Why in the world would I waste my time ranting to the deaf, dumb and blind? The only time I think about Popadiuk is when I come to this thread for my dose of insults from the peanut gallery.
You guys still read his drivel??
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad some of you are still reading and posting there. But I'm a big believer that actions speaks louder than words and that's why I'm suing him.
- Get on an airplane and go confront him at his shop as I did. Chicago Expo is coming up???

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

I read this thread, and also believe in actions and am suing JPloppy. I hope you're not saying readers of this thread are deaf, dumb and blind? That does come over as a little patronizing, if not a lot

I certainly would not confront him (without witnesses anyway). He calls the police and says I assaulted him. Just what a tourist wants to contend with. He's a devious little fellow, we know that. Or confront him with your bodycam on, perhaps.

1 week later
#17555 4 years ago

Jpop is a devious little man, ref NDAs, customer agreements, silo-ing his contractors, not replying to emails, continuing to sell machines as a ponzi, allowing people to think he was the artist not Zombieyeti, blaming Bill and others etc. etc.

Now he plays the court game. Every trick in the book. Time passes.

But we're not going away.

Honesty, integrity, decency. All the things which most of us aspire to, particularly in a close-knit hobby such as pinball. Jpop cares not for these things. He lied, he failed to update, he conned, and now he does what you'd expect and plays the slippery eel once again. He won't get away with it, however.

If I were his wife, bank manager, potential employer, potential lawyer, or indeed anyone who had to interact with him again, I'd be worried about his honesty, and being ripped off by him, based on his verifiable actions (and inactions) in recent years. What a sleeze.

The damage he has done to our hobby is immense.

3 weeks later
#18013 4 years ago

This thread is vital in covering an exceptional situation, that is important to many people, and indeed pinball generally. IMO the 'rules' have therefore rightly been stretched for this thread.

I'm generally quite a sanguine chap, for example, but have said some robust things on this thread in more emotional moments. That's life. This thread is a rollercoaster!

#18184 4 years ago

Yep, it's not China. China makes things

Any road up, does Expo have a Hall of Infamy? Of course, Jpop would interpret it thus:

2 weeks later
#18315 4 years ago

Re AIW, this is out of copyright- huge opportunity for anyone to develop this wonderful theme. There are plenty of other examples- some Sherlock Holmes stories are out of copyright now. HG Wells etc.

Basically we're limited only by the imagination

2 weeks later
#18380 4 years ago

John in Wonderland.

Magic John.

10 months later
#19449 3 years ago

I want my money back for MG and RAZA, not some low quality junk Jpop is calling MG, which plays crap and has little code. I see we're back to empty cabinet stage. Imagine our excitement at seeing pretty lights and loads of non-functioning plastic at another show - not.

Also, when you buy a machine, you are buying into the manufacture too, in that you want support and parts, possibly decades from now. Clearly, this is unlikely in this case.

Jpop is the Dodo of pinball, even if he doesn't realise it yet.

See you in court, mate.

#19534 3 years ago

Does anyone here use Periscope to live stream video? Might be useful

#19691 3 years ago

I persisted for an invoice summary from Jpop (as I keep careful records) and eventually got it- his accounts do exist, and as I have a hardcopy proving it, if he deleted his accounts then that's fraud right there.

What does Jpop want? That is what has led to this situation. He wants to clear his name presumably and get the legal cases dropped. If the litigants were asked- will you drop the case if you get a MG- what will be their answer? That's the bottomline.

I fully paid MG and part-paid RAZA. Regarding my legal action, if I had a MG delivered to my house then, after unboxing and checking it's a real working machine of higher quality than a Zizzle, I might re-consider, but anything prior to that is just talk, which means more potential Jpop lies.

And this is only being done to give AP an opportunity to take orders for Houdini, of course. I don't think they deserve that yet. After what has happened, promises made on the basis of more bloody pictures of empty cabinets mean NOTHING. We are 5 years and $1-2 million beyond offering scammers any good will. Enough already! We already see signs of a new cohort of Pinsiders considering giving money for a Houdini, in this thread. This has to stop. No more (alleged) fraud, please. This is incredibly damaging to the pinball community and the trust within it. Without trust everything grinds to a halt.

Just my tuppence halfpenny...

2 months later
#20422 3 years ago

I'm still awaiting contact from 'American Pinball' about the MG they are delivering to me in the next 5 weeks. I smell a rather obvious case of 'the bullshit', and hope no-one falls for these scammers' additional bullshit about Houdini (who incidentally despised magic, taking pleasure in debunking it, despite Jpop lathering magic all over the machine light show, incompetent that he is).

I hope Jpop is prevented from hurting other pinball collectors. The prick has done a lot of damage.

1 month later
#20542 3 years ago

In light of Kevin Kulek developments, I hope Zane is reading them!

#20578 3 years ago

At this juncture I'd prefer to see Jpop in the dock in Ultra HD

He can shove his lightbox BS.

#20579 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Will Andrew ship an Alien pin before this happens

Probably not, to be blunt.

It's all about massively over-promising and biblically under-delivering, innit.

1 week later
#20614 3 years ago

I'm one of the Jpop plaintiffs. I've received no email or snail mail regarding the plaintiff depositions on 10th February- no correspondence, emails, texts, phone calls or other modes of human communication whatsoever. I have emailed Zane Smith and his paralegal twice, and have received no reply. This is most disappointing.

#20615 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

If you are referring to your deposition notice, normally that is something that you would receive from your own attorney advising you of the date and time. I would contact your attorney's office and find out if your deposition has been set.
If it has and your attorney hasn't informed you, well, that's not acceptable.

I have received nothing from the attorney Zane Smith re the 10th February deposition, despite chasing twice including copying in his new paralegal. I agree that it's not acceptable...

1 week later
#20686 3 years ago

There are regular legal case conferences about the Zidware case. Jpop's 'team' should have raised this, and the legal case would need to be concluded first. Above board and judge-approved and not this amateur hour circus.

There are numerous game-related and legal assurances needed before this would be viable. Is the game a glorified light box? How does this affect a later RAZA claim (I bought MG and RAZA)? What is the process to get a MG as nothing has been communicated? Who pays for shipping? IMO my MG shipping costs can jolly well come out of the RAZA money I'm owed. I'm not giving another penny to Mr Popadiuk.

If the legal case continues then presumably these assets might eventually be e.g. rolled into an asset auction later (thus, even if you receive a machine you might have to return it later).

There is a legal process to be followed, and it looks like Mr Popadiuk isn't doing so. Instead we are getting inadequate scant information.

As I have zero trust in this guy, I'd like to see evidence from a trusted, independent 3rd party that this is real, and are the MGs playable or just lightbox junk? We need more information, maybe a teleconference with MG plaintiffs/pre-orderers as a next step, including the attorney Zane Smith. What is the process? Now that Jpop is apparently communicating with us again, albeit indirectly, is he going to do the honourable thing and apologise, and offer a full explanation of what the heck happened? Had he done the latter previously, a lot of the legal shenanigans might have been avoided. It's a human decency thing, John.

The above are just my own ill-informed amateur views, and I have no inside information and have not d/w legal, but they are questions I'm sure the other conned Jpop customers are thinking, and I wanted to put on record for discussion...

#20750 3 years ago

Are any other plaintiffs considering dropping their litigation in return for receiving a MG? Please PM me as appropriate! If this is real then we need to make a decision...

Personally, I'm not ruling anything out. I will say that receiving a MG, if it is playable, might be the best available outcome.

It doesn't solve the RAZA issue (which I part-paid in addition to full payment for MG), but does move things in a positive direction. I signed the contract with Jpop in Aug 2011. It would be nice to bring this nightmare to an end!

#21106 3 years ago
Quoted from taz:

Yep! These few games are probably his desperate attempt to derail or delay the legal action against him.

All the Jpop swansong with these 19 games may have achieved is to trigger an involuntary bankruptcy filing, which pinsider attorneys seem to be creaming their jeans about.

I'm concerned I may get a MG after nearly six years, then be sued in a couple of months' time to return it to the debtor's estate. You couldn't make this up. Only if the involuntary bankruptcy filing occurs > 90 days after MG is shipped to me is my MG (probably) safe.

Jpop might as well give up now.

This is a never-ending farcical voyage through an ocean of shit.

#21112 3 years ago