(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 (2 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (2 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (2 years ago)

Post #22304 Photos of every page of the Magic Girl manual. Posted by vidgameseller (2 years ago)

Post #22584 Lion Saw feature information. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #22710 Very detailed review from a game owner Posted by ShinyNick (2 years ago)

Post #22817 Details on the origin of the driver board Posted by Borygard (2 years ago)

Post #22957 Comparison photos between a MG 'prototype' and another shipped MG Posted by spfxted (2 years ago)

Post #23045 Pinball News first look review. Posted by Pinballs (2 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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#20609 2 years ago
Quoted from sevenrites:

WTF is a warranty needed for when no games are available? WTF. Again. WTF.

"The saga continues behind the scenes."
However, not quite as interesting as the Kulek case, yet...

1 week later
#20785 2 years ago

"The end of another long journey, and the start of new legacy."

The story is what will make Magic Girl worth the effort for collectors, not exclusive to rarity alone.
The extreme "waiting game" actually will make the game more lucrative, not less.
In some ways, the game will not even have to work, as sad as may be in terms of electronic architecture, it just has to "exist".
All pinball games can be repaired, unless there is some type of archaic IC used in PCB design.
This near release does not yet have this source problem based on technology.
Playability in regards to design is a different aspect, which should remain a concern, not related to build quality.

Most Magic Girl owners are not going to be debuting anything on PinSide, let alone complaining.
Many just a happy to own the game at all.
Some do not even have accounts, and many know how to restore games including electronics.
Most are very private individuals.
Those that show anything here are for epeen, marketing, or business.

Serious collectors have many more resources than average enthusiast.
This should sound familiar, as this is the same thing that happened though IPB and BBB.
New collectors did not buy BBB, old collectors did, with a few exceptions of nonsensical "high rollers", as at least the game was somewhat affordable (although over 40% higher in cost of a NIB at the time).
Most moved BBB on less than 2 years later, when they became bored or got out of the hobby.

This game was NEVER marketed towards new collectors, players, regular enthusiasts, families, or CARGPB ever.
I am fortunate that I will be part of an unboxing as I have been with other rare titles.

#20841 2 years ago
Quoted from c508:

This last line cracks me up... not laughing at you BK, but just the mental image I formed of the "unboxing" as if it were a religious ritual akin to a papal audience or something.

It is not a ceremony, just an unboxing.
Generally, after I help set the game up and take historical photos, I sit down and have a cup of coffee.
Gives me a chance to just talk, and watch the other people play.
When someone spent 5+ years waiting for a machine, and spent more than any baseline NIB machine in existence (beyond a prototype), they deserve to enjoy the moment.
If person disagrees that is their right.

This is just what fellow collectors do, which is not going to be understood by anyone outside a tiny niche circle called pinball.
No different than collectors who pick up games for others to ensure their safety, or buying games from collectors to place in storage, if they fall on hard times and keep them safe until they can reclaim them back for equal cost.

Remember, I also like pinball history.

Most of the comments that I see being thrown around here are reminiscent of events of the past for other games that did or did not actually make it to creation.
They all led up to the same end state including scorn, hate, envy, jealousy, anger, etc.
There are just as many people who want to butt $!@# others as there are good guys, but an enthusiast has to be willing to stick around long enough to figure out who they are in the first place. Tall order when they get a bad taste in their mouth early.

It is not like the most notable fiascos/deals/agreements/contracts in the past five years are the only ones in pinball history, just people do not remember or aware of them. In another five years, the only thing that people will remember is the story of the legacy of how MG was created, and perhaps some of the pain of others that agreed to do project work without being compensated based on "promises", a hand shake, and no valid legal contract.
You cannot blame MG owners for these aspects of personal choice and decisions.

#20862 2 years ago
Quoted from JustLikeMe:

Do you happen to have any pics or video of the prototype? It would be interesting to be able to compare with whatever is delivered to customers.

There are photos and video from the NWPAS in 2011.
That was the prototype.
One photo is already shown in this thread for reference from about a month back.
There are three legitimate buyers I am aware locally here in the PNW, so the game is not completely unobtanium to potentially see, if interested people live in the United States. It is even possible enthusiasts may see one at various pinball shows in the next year.
Technically speaking it is also possible that more than 25 (or thereabouts) games were made, based on requirements to fulfill contracts and support American Pinball. These numbers have not been released, as I do not have verification of all buyers that "paid in full" during the entire story fiasco. I hope all the buyers kept their sales invoices for verification when contacted.
Anyway, not every collector treats pinball games as shrines in the corners of their basements.

Added over 3 years ago: Corrected number, 19 (or thereabouts) based on original payments, estimated built is still unknown.

#21126 2 years ago
Quoted from cppinball:

Yes lets blame and HATE the RICH PEOPLE who could afford the game. Is this FACEBOOK?

Unfortunately, a lot of people were not even involved in pinball and understand the history of the development of the game. There are a lot of people that may be "owed" something, but that is not necessarily how the end works out.

Envy is a terrible thing for those that "hate" either new collector blood with money or old collectors that were savvy and smart with buys regarding collections.

People also forget the investment of AP in this project to finish building the potential albatross as well, predominately for marketing exposure and credibility.

The efforts are working, but this game came at no small cost or effort on their behalf. Some of the players in the middle are being rewarded, so not everybody involved for "left out in the cold", if it makes people feel better.

Placing blame on original MG "investors" is just another means of directing jealousy against inability to afford the machine in the first place, which as I stated previously was not meant for the "average" collector, if anybody actually believed this was the concept. Many of the "investors" had their ideas incorporated into the game, so it was not just a few individuals.

I still have a personal belief that just because you can, does not mean you should (monetarily) unless it is your "holy grail". That does not others should dictate how a collector spends their money or decided to get caught up in offline buying wars.

As I stated in 5 years, most people here will have already moved on and got out of the hobby, unless they find redirected focus to other aspects than chasing "Le violen rouge" or getting financially burned and dusgruntled when a boutique pinball supplier declares bankruptcy before receiving their game 2-3 years later after patiently waiting for nothing.
If a person cannot see basic similarities to even the Zidware situation, please take a step back and evaluate. Be careful.

This should be a concern regarding the "state of the industry" as the health is not as rosey as people may believe, and neither is the market. There is only two companies that could survive a full stall at the present time.

#21127 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

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

The proper term of this situation is a "pinball gazoo", in terms of definition. The areas mentioned are not unfeasibilities, as the lawsuit is ongoing. People are just having hands waved in front of their face, in the spirit of MG. One of the dimensions that is causing thus game to take on a legend of its own.

It is far from over.

#21133 2 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

So are you saying back when RAZA was still BHZA I should have gotten in...

"I still have a personal belief that just because you can, does not mean you should (monetarily) unless it is your "holy grail". That does not dictate how a collector spends their money or decided to get caught up in offline buying wars."

I already answered your question, it just requires the reading of the details.
This is a private choice.

If you feel cheated, I cannot assist you.

I watched this exact gazoo before in 2005.

If you know the pinball history, you will know the game, people, enthusiasts, collectors, designers, manufacturers, investors, parts suppliers, and legal battles I am referring to overall. It was "unfun".

In fact, the relative comparison is exactly what is happening today all over again.
I did not stay in this hobby for many years for the above reason.
That would be absolutely make no sense.

People need to find contentment soon, or they will bail out like the last generation even before the latest barcade fad ends.
I find this by helping others fix, find, or educate on pinball.

#21233 2 years ago

If people are unsure why there were additional playfields and parts made for MG, this is standard industry practice of 15-20% production overrun in case of factory defects and quality assurance issues.

It is not a manufacturer or designer conspiracy. This was required by AP to meet needs of the redesigned game.

Some owners were buying limited amounts of spare parts with their games as well.

#21328 2 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

Did someone say 45k ?? Holy hell dream much. People that are rich are usually that way for a very good reason they are smart. This grail ART hype is just that. hYpe nothing more. With a great story.

Private sales from collectors on prototype pinball machines already exceeded $45K in the past for a single title. This would not be a new record. It has nothing to do with education, common sense, or intelligence.

If you relate in context to other types of collectibles, this can be considered pocket change. If a general collector is interested in seeing the extents of what people pay for all sorts of collectibles visit Christies, Sothebys, or Doyles websites which all their main offices are located in New York.

Magic Girl (working or not) would be an excellent canidate for a public or registered auction.

#21335 2 years ago
Quoted from mrgone:

So, is anyone here still looking to buy a Houdini?

In positive comparative evaluation to pinball industry manufacturers:

American Pinball proved they could accomplish building a game for credibility purposes, even though the game "does not work" out of the box. Some owners will not care. If a programmer was given proper incentive, this game could be fixed, but it is not just the coding that needs to be completed, as you also need a combined team of engineers beside the programmer to fix mechanical aspects that do not properly work. $500 per owner is not going to be enough to correct problems, unless people volunteer time and efforts.

They showed their dedication to the industry even though MG was a !#$@ sandwich, but did not throw it away.

They showed they can negotiate legal matters and licenses.

They have established production facilities.

They have successfully outsourced parts creation and contracts.

They accomplished more in six months than some manufacturers have done in 2-3 years, which is no small joke, if a person is savvy regarding pinball construction.

They have hired respected designers and experienced members of industry for Houdini for their first flagship title.

They have reached out and found new talent for artwork.

They have appropriate investors for financial security.

They are using modern technology for production.

Yes, I would consider a purchase a new game under the same evaluation pinball criteria I have used for decades. Test play the game, read professional reviews, and buy when the game is released not revealed. This is the proper method to being an informed consumer and pinball buyer. People need to just look beyond pure emotion.

Good luck, American Pinball, there are many milestones left to go, but they are not insurmountable.
Older collectors are still watching, mostly out of curiousity, but not necessarily negative.

#21359 2 years ago

This may not make sense to some newer collectors, but the more games you own, the less you actually play.
It is the reverse that what is perceived.

This is not due to "spreading the wealth" of playtime because of the number of games, it is completely overall.
Not necessarily regarding specific titles, "wow factor" wearing off, or "afraid to reduce the value of the game" either.
As a sidenote, a fair number of the IPB reproduction BBBs have been lightly routed at one point or another after nearly 10 years.
They are not all locked up in people's basements, even today.

Once a person sticks around long enough, games are just part of your "collection".

They are part of your home and life in some matter, granted sometimes a larger proportion than others.
Simply put, you do not have time enough to play them all, even if you are partly retired.
Another reason is large collectors do not like to play all their games as many of us are full OCD and will start finding all the little things that have gone wrong and feel the need to fix them which when you have more than 25+ games is a full time job in itself.
It is like being a route operator.
There is no such thing as a "15 minute repair", as most things take at least 30-60 minutes to be done properly, and usually blossom into more time around 2-4 hours as you can find something else that legitimately needs to be corrected.
This however can be fun when collectors have what is called "restoration gatherings", but not always alone.
Newer collectors do not necessarily spot when things are "not right" anyway, as they just want to play their games.
I have a logbook of all my machines minor repairs, not consideration full restoration repair books on titles.
As others can relate, I have 8 projects alone in storage, although working, need a full restoration.
None are part of what I consider my "permanent collection".

I call it, "Life beyond pinball", because it just starts to become "unfun" after a while.
That is why some step away from the hobby, but do other aspects to keep skills fresh like painting artwork or fixing computers.
A person can become extremely versatile if they learn how to restore pinball machines as you master mechanical, electronic, electrical, painting, logic problems, hand coordination skills, and detective abilities.
There are so many things to do with your free time as a sidebar, especially when the weather is good, or the seasons change.

#21788 2 years ago
Quoted from cheshirefilms:

There- we would have all the information, news, tips- but none of the senseless soap opera that seems to follow pinball newgroups and forums.

Explore the pinball world, there are dozens of detailed websites, people can discover.
Most long time collectors are not here, including Magic Girl owners.
If a non-trolling enthusiast wants to learn more about pinball, I can recommend some other sources.
Facebook is not a part of that list for education either.
Nothing wrong with PinSide as it is easy to read, and has the ability to post photos, but it is not the "single source of all things pinball" unless you are new to the hobby.

"Life beyond PinSide."

#22073 2 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Is there anything actually *original* in MG and not swiped from a prior JPOP or other game? Magic Girl is the K-TEL of pinball releases it seems...

My assessment after gameplay is it combines the "greatest hits" of ToM, CV, and TOTAN. This includes the music, sound, and voice attentuation and styles.

#22114 2 years ago

The best nostalgic functional example (not the first) of the the "spinning lamp target" from TOTAN is homage to Chicago Coin's 1975 EM title, Gold Record. Bally/Williams did similar examples during the same period. People have a tendency to forget the past.

BTW, MG mini-playfield does not work, it requires additional redesign by technical engineers to actually function as it is theoretically concepted and does not have an easy way to activate. It also is buried under tons of plastic parts, and is unserviceable without complete disassembly of the upper section of the game.

gold_record-1975-f-1 (resized).jpg

#22376 2 years ago

Let Ebay temperatures sizzle for non believers that did not understand the market.

"Gotta ride the pinball hype train, choo choo!"

#22455 2 years ago

Just for pinball history in reference to Mr. Heck's comments:

"Do the original (BBB) 10 ever change hands?"

Although the correct number is 14 an enthusiast needs to look more closely.
Out of the 11/13 known owners (as one was lost in a fire), the answer is rarely, but do happen. Average price is $25K. Two are still "missing" most likely with former Capcom employees or management somewhere. This is just not even private information even for those that have been around for while. It is even possible the last two absent games are no longer existing as well. These type of things happen.

"Also the same hobby where 80 people couldn't give Stern 15k fast enough for BM66SLE."

The interesting thing about the this aspect is Stern had nearly 400 submissions, not that I can say they were all serious in actually buying the game. Some were sarcastic jokes. It is not like I want Stern using my collection as a poster child for free marketing, nor do I wish my privacy to be invaded. There are many more collectors with affluence than than there are active regular posters on PinSide. Many have just "gotten into the game" in the past 10 years. They do not care if Stern knows what they own. They are excited to be in the hobby. It is not "just one more game" that is common after a while. Did people notice nearly NONE of the owners are actually talking about MG or BM66 SLE? I am not particularly surprised at all, simply as there is no point. They already know what they received. One MG is less than 10 minutes from my house. Another is less than two hours. If you move in the hobby, you know the people. This is still a fairly small circle of collectors. They are not always the "new money".

So what is truly rare? What is valuable?

People just need to understand what constitutes rare, what is collectable, and prototypes which MG qualifies. It is not about money, and never will be for those that are truly interested. There is no "limit". Anything can be valuable, but their has to be a perception of worth. Smart collectors know what will become valuable, simply due to experience, regardless of personal worth to themselves. My article regarding pinball production categories just makes this a bit more clear. BM66 SLE is an example of artificial rarity taken to a level where the value of what you are receiving is marginal in comparison to the game of other versions. This type of action in other collectible markets would not be accepted, as owners would laugh at what was offered for equivalent cost. This is not the case in pinball, where the percentage of new owners outweighs the old. The "value" is not even perceptible from the standpoint of actual knowledgeable collectors. They simply do not buy into the hype, unless smitten by the theme. This is a common mistake by new owners of said items in any type of market.

Marketing is building block of the hype for MG to become even higher than the legend in the past 6 years, and will not stop for some time. Coupled with latest generation of "cookie cutter" collectors who want to stand out in their own circles uniquely. I can list dozens of people who in the early 2000s did the the same thing as the "new Stern collectors" of today. There are other example games and periods in pinball history.

Watch this movie in its entirety:

What is "the hype"?

The best example I can think of "the hype" that many people will more easily remember in the past 20 or so year was not BBB. This happened very slowly at first. It was CC. When WMS made the game, distributors actually REFUSED to sell the game to people, knowing it was the last "standard" DMD title to be made prior to Pinball 2000. They were asking DOUBLE the MSRP right out of the gate, for those few that actually had orders filled. Quite a turn of events from the standard "wait until the game goes into closeout from operators" up to that time with only a couple exceptions in the waning years of production. Even some collectors got into the feeding frenzy in 1998. It tooks several years for the game to go beyond double its values, after the initial jump. People often forget how much pricing has changed in the last five years alone, which in some cases has TRIPLED. Many were not around, so how would they know anyway?

What is the future of Zidware?

GLWA to Rob Berk on the first official PUBLIC sale of the MG game.
Several have already exchanged hands at very high values offline.
The games will be flipped around for the next couple of years, until every person has their fill of "they have owned a MG".
The same thing still happens with other games as well.

There will be no efforts to make other "contributors to the JPop equation whole" in terms of the other games paid for development but never received. Logistically, financially, or for purposes of marketing it makes no sense by anyone, not just American Pinball. If "investors" start to try and get serious on this subject, they are walking into another MG minefield, and the results will end badly, as they are simply repeating history again. I do feel badly that history's mistakes get repeated due to lack of knowledge.

#22565 2 years ago
Quoted from guyincognito:

Well, then a rich oil tycoon should buy up all of the remaining Baywatch pins and throw them off a roof, only keeping the top...

Although there is a bit of irony, this idea of the elimination experiment has been tried in other markets, even by other manufacturers to prevent competition of products. This method of producing artificial scarcity generally does not work for a number of reasons.

One reason for this hobby is if the game was not highly desirable before things do not magically change overnight.
It simply does not work that way. It takes time.

Older collectors do not jump on the band wagon because they already see what is happening, savvy in the market, and don't buy into the false hype.
They know better.
New collectors might though.

Additionally, it requires some form of material marketing/exposure to drive interest up, and this requires additional extra cost.

This method is essentially a huge dice roll against something people never really cared about in the first place.
Pinball is not a mainstream device in the modern world, and most never be again, so it's hard to see the validity.

Some pinball games that were sleepers took decades before anyone outside of hardcore enthusiasts even knew what they were in the first place.

I can list dozens of games that fall into this last point that were made in the past 40 years.
Some more notable titles of today people can recognize from the late model SS era are games such Congo, DH, I500, Shadow, and JD.
System 11 or 6803 MPU games from the late 80s such as Atlantis, Transporter, Party Zone, Millionaire or Dr Dude were never "beloved" until after the resurgence in the 90s.
Early Bally games were nearly completely forgotten (with several exceptions) until the price spiking in the early 2000s.
Earlier titles would include many Gottlieb wedge heads of the 1960s, couple with transition to the SS era, and there were hundreds left over.

Hoarding of game titles is best left to dealers to manage potential inventory stock, not enthusiast turned into price speculation gamblers.
For every "bonanza title" there are a more than a half a dozen that never take off.
If an enthusiast wants to get into the used pinball machine business today, good luck, you have a lot of competition, and dealers are not going to be friendly if you do not know them.
Some will talk sideways out of the mouths stating they would never sell a game "unrestored" to an owner, which is untrue.
But, remember, they have to make a profit somehow.

The current drive of barcades and pinball will reverse in the next five years in conjunction with loss of boutique manufacturers.
This further results in conjoined lost sales income from new buyers who also lose interest simultaneously.
The process goes in cycles.
It's about time for the nostalgic cycle to reverse again, but will do so without much of outcry.
Then collectors just swoop in and collect up the games for another day, after many decide that it is no longer "cool".

1 week later
#23109 2 years ago
Quoted from Dooskie:

The reason I'm putting this out there is that with the delivery of MG, I've seen a few scattered comments that are not as negative about the man. Does he deserve another chance if he cleans up his mess, and is never in a position to put people through what he put them through the past several years?

"Welcome to the Theatre of Magic...Girl!"
"In ancient Baghdad, there was a ringmaster who was defeated for his marvel, but not before he created an albatross of pinball sequenced through darkness of a creation black hole."

There are more than just several years here in this circumstance.

The answer is no, he does not deserve another chance.
His induction to the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame is justified, and should not be taken away as he did earn his rights in that area, namely his prior designs.
He is not the "Pete Rose of Pinball".


He already had multiple chances to correct matters regarding Zidware for over 5 years.
He had multiple investors beyond the original buyers of his concepts.
He refused assistance at critical junctures of development.
He outright can be impossible to work with in regards to design (his way or you are out).
This was reported repeatedly by others at the WMS factory long before Zidware.
At least WMS had some measure of throttle control, but if you know the design history of ToM, TOTAN, or CV, there are similarities.

Every opportunity he was provided was squandered.
Those that have watched or were a part of the process, got the $#@! out for a reason.
There are plenty of people unspoken that can validate, and only a handful speak out, as they simple do not care anymore, embarrassed, or wish to forget.

Those that entered the hobby long after the process began in only the last few years may not understand what happened.
This thread is only a tiny fraction of the actual events, and is mostly useless comments, and a convoluted mess.
You cannot even decipher from this website thread what happened due to absurd bullshit.
It is not a surprise there are more MG machines available for sale than every other "high end collectible" machine right now across all markets.
This is not common in this market.
It may become a "glut" until a price determination of this unfinished game is stabilized.

Those that decide to jump in and try to "RE-RE-RE" jumpstart the process again are the new pintards of the hobby and industry.
There are tiny percentage that actually believe there will be another resurgence of the remaining game concepts, granted less than before.
I suspect in some desperate hope that they can reclaim their losses.
However, this simply not a feasible option.
This has nothing to do with opinions, just logical reasoning and financial backing.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent alone to try and get MG to work and it still "does not work".
This goes beyond physics, missing assemblies, or loss of coding.
It is all three areas combined.

Hopefully, this circle does not repeat as others as I have seen in the past.
It just makes people distrust development, and pushes people out of the hobby and industry.

NOTE: The author you are referring to regarding Harry Williams documents, was Duncan Brown, another very influential, knowledgeable and historian of pinball. He also was able to secure a large proportion of the Steve Kordek library (manuals, documents, and designs), of which some has been scanned prior to said documents basically falling apart on large flat bed scanners. Many other designs were lost permanently, during the WMS purge in 1999.

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