(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)

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#1276 5 years ago

Iceman is right, lawyers are useless except for the rich.

1 week later
#1397 5 years ago

Was it the doctor they interviewed on the Pinheadz podcast?

#1402 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

50 games is still rare as F. I don't think that number will devalue MG if it ever gets made

50 is a lot more than 17 and will devalue it. However, at this point in the pre-order mania, people just need to consider it this way: unless you ask for a refund, obviously the pin is still worth what you're paying for it.

Whatever the production run, if you still buy the machine you are deciding that yes... that is the market value. So no change there. The only thing that takes a hit from an increased production run is John's reputation and his ability to get investors in future "limited" production runs. If he's not worried about that, then it's just something you have to live with as a buyer. In the end, you are still paying the going rate for the product and that's your choice. If the increased production run devalued the pin below 17k, you would obviously ask for a refund, right?

#1409 5 years ago

I see what he was going for. He wanted to make something extremely rare and coveted, to cater to the super-rich collector. The problem is he had to get pre-orders to get the game going which ended up capping the price at 17k. In hindsight, if he didn't collect pre-orders and just made the 17 games with his own capital, he probably could have sold them for a lot more money judging from BBB prices. The trick is trying to guess the most economic way of doing it.

He probably could have sold between 10 and 14 @ 30k+ and held onto the rest for himself banking on a huge increase in value over time and letting one go to auction every year. If I wanted to make the most coveted machine in the world, that's how I would do it.

If you think there is no difference between 17 and 50, you do not understand high end collectors.

#1450 5 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I disagree. BBB didn't go down all that much. 183 added to the original 11. Took awhile but the price shot back up where people were offering for BBB back when there was only 11

It's all speculation anyway, only applicable if he actually had the capital ahead of time to do a tiny limited run. Being capped by the pre-orders forced it into the current model (a run of 50+). I'm not sure what you disagree with exactly, but if you think 200 BBB are worth the same as if they only made 17, I guess there's not much else I can say. I disagree, but the only way to find out would have been for JPOP to pull MG off in its original intent, which he couldn't.

I do know this though... when he said he was only making 17, he was getting preorders at a 17k price point. RAZA is a higher production run more comparable to BBB numbers and selling at about 60% of that (10k). So I think what you're saying would mean RAZA is undervalued by 7k per pin. Someone should let JPOP know.

#1508 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

As a general rule of owning and operating a business, I stop supplying customers who don't pay their invoices.I believe this is a good common business sense and one that other companies/suppliers that may be (or ARE) in similar circumstances should be practicing as well

Quoted from iceman44:

To imply that John is broke, a deadbeat that can't and won't pay his bills is whole different thing obviously. If that is what he meant by that vague comment then don't say it without giving details. Where is the proof that its an epidemic with John or even true?

GL Modular has been around since 2007 so it's not just some random dude trying to stir things up. He's saying point blank John didn't pay his bills.

a) if it wasn't true it would be a dumb business (and possibly legal) move to claim that.
b) if John didn't pay because GL Modular failed to deliver their side, they wouldn't want to draw attention to that on pinside.

So in short: bad sign for people with money in JPOP games.

I guess you can hope that John just doesn't keep up with his accounts payable because he's scatter brained? The pinball business is too small to burn bridges though. Hoping GLM gets their money.

#1512 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Prove it, are you his accountant?

Prove what? That John didn't pay his bills? A company with a 7 year history claimed it, so I used it as a basis for my opinion. You just discard everything everybody says because they don't post forensic evidence on pinside?

Your posts are basically "I don't know anything, nobody knows anything but I'm posting about it anyways!" Some people read what people have to say and form an opinion based on it, considering the validity of the source.

#1514 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

let's see the proof, I doubt anything will be forthcoming

Mostly because people don't post their accounting data on public forums...

#1518 5 years ago

I just realized that with the Predator drama out of the way JPOP is probably going to take all the heat for a while. Lets be friends instead of fighting all the time. Giving John a call is the level headed thing to do.

#1522 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

It is? I must of missed the resolution

Yeah that's all in the SkitB threads

#1524 5 years ago

Yes. After two pages of debate, it was finally settled that bi-weekly meant once every two weeks.

It's like an entmoot in there

#1600 5 years ago

It would be nice if there were threads where lawyers could bore the crap out of each other away from the general public.

#1615 5 years ago

I also sent him my mailing address for the AIW info package and haven't received anything yet. Been about 3 weeks. He is probably focused on his upcoming reveals though, I don't think marketing AIW is high priority right now (and it shouldn't be).

#1616 5 years ago

P.S. there is supposed to be a AIW reveal in January so he will probably wait until after that to send out anything.

#1743 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I don't want to jump onto AIW since I don't know what the artwork will be like. I don't like creepy monsters and that game would have a potential of that type of artwork

If MG and RAZA get released, I'd love to jump on AIW. But I'm definitely not going anywhere near it until we see things delivered and happy customers.

#1748 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

That preorder is still not widely known, so there is a chance to get on the list right now. End of this month, I doubt there will be a chance

I doubt it. People are pretty gun-shy at this point. TBL showed just how messy things can be behind the scenes. Anybody who buys into AIW at this point hasn't been reading the JPop threads and will probably pull out down the line.

#1751 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Off topic, but what happened exactly with TBL


That's the recap version. Phil runs Dutch Pinball USA and wants out because of various shenanigans, to put it mildly.

Anyway, yeah off topic

#2035 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Well our money built his company, and we're not allowed to see those results

First off, I am on the buyers' side here in the grand scheme of things. But as far as what buyers are entitled to, I think a couple of you are talking and thinking as though you are investors in the company. You aren't, you don't have company stock so you don't have the "right" to information about product development. If JPop received money from you for RAZA, you as a customer simply have nothing to do with MG.

Whatever information is being sent out would fall under customer service, which is obviously very bad in this case. Same with timelines and whatnot.

As a pre-orderer in pinball, as in anything else, you are just paying early for a game so you get "dibs" when it's made. If you pre-ordered a new assassin's creed video game from ubisoft, do you think they would appreciate getting letters and demands from you on how their new game "Santa's Quest: Chimneys of Fire" or whatever game they're working on is doing?

Pinsiders are using their pre-orders as leverage to try and get "inside" John's business. And I fully understand that, I would be trying to get in there too after this long and that much money. I'm just saying John will not let you, and he obviously doesn't think your preorder entitles you to it.

The only real "right" I see is the right to your deposit money back. If you signed an agreement to waive that right, then you don't really have any rights left unless you can show that he has no intention of delivering the game. Then he would be guilty of fraud.

Once you sign away your right to a refund, at that point you are pretty much depending on John to be a decent human being and a responsible businessman who respects and values his customers.

#2040 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

From the sneak peak page on zidware.com - some of these were posted on the raza blog and I thought they were confidential

Those pictures are looking really cool...

#2043 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

You want to buy me out?

Maybe for pennies on the dollar haha...

#2083 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's when people show up going "Get in on AIW while you can, those slots are gonna go fast!" that my eyes want to just explode

Spooky should pick up AIW and do it with American McGee.

#2163 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

John seems to care about his stature amongst pinball designers, I can't understand how he can be oblivious to a thread of over 2,000 posts on pinside ripping him apart

Quoted from slapshot:

I would bet he is following this closely

He isn't following too closely, he hasn't been on pinside since Sept 30 according to his profile. He should be getting generally warned by some of the people around him though, I would hope.

#2217 5 years ago

I honestly don't know how you guys got baited into responding to Kaneda again. We should try to get back on topic.

Everybody who is in on MG and RAZA have had years to go visit the shop and see what's happening. If you are freaking out, you should probably take a weekend and do a road trip. Compile a list of owners and see what each of them knows, who has viewed th studio most recently and what the status is. If you have questions, establish a schedule of one person per month who is going to do a studio tour, send them a PM with your questions and have them ask them to Jpop directly and report back.

If the owners are going to accuse Jpop of being disorganized and not handling business, they should take their own advice and start getting organized themselves.

#2300 5 years ago

You realize all you people talking about Kaneda are worse than he is. For every 1 of his posts there are 10 of you who get your post counts up by making this entire thread about him, or thread banning, or sitewide banning or all kinds of things unrelated to this thread. Just stop and move on, it's been taken care of. I hate having to read entire pages of your bullshit between posts that are actually about Jpop games. There are 3 or 4 of you who should have been banned from this thread for feeding the troll.

And now I hate myself for even having to say this and wasting more space on it, but obviously a lot of you are lacking self awareness just as much as he is.

#2477 5 years ago

Adobe told them they wouldn't be releasing the video until March. So I guess they kind of ruined johns surprise a bit by releasing it yesterday. He meant to reveal to his buyers before this got out but adobe kind of spoiled the surprise i guess.

#2480 5 years ago

Of interest to RAZA owners;

I have been talking with JPop about Alice in Wonderland, so this is a direct quote out of an e-mail from him.

"we started Alice so I can keep the artists busy (as we are almost complete RAZA and MG has a few
small tweaks)"

Some people didn't like that a 3rd game had work happening on it when RAZA and MG were still not complete. Seems like for the most part *only* the artists have been diverted to the AIW project, and RAZA art is complete.

Magic Girl - He says he will be showing it publicly soon.
There is apparently a lot of symbolism and hidden meaning in Magic Girl artwork, and he intends for AIW to have the same depth.

AIW deposits are $3895 and total price is x4 = ~$16k

I am not sending money for it until I see games shipped and people happily talking about how good they are - so I am not an official AIW pre-owner.

Thought I would report back what I know for the rest of you. I will jump on AIW as soon as MG and/or RAZA are proven successes.

#2483 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Say what? I had sent in an original deposit of $1895 in large measure just to support Jpop knowing that AIW would be a LONG ways away.

This is the first I've heard of this price tag

Yeah, I know. I had seen an earlier post from you saying you put 1895 as your deposit.

The brochure didn't mention the total price, but asks for a $3895 deposit. So I asked him directly and he said it's broken into 4 payments. So unless there's some wacky payment scheme, I assume that means 4 payments of $3895 (ish). Might be time for you to give him a call and please correct me if he says otherwise. I'm going off assumptions here.

#2486 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

That price is WAAAAY more than I was told. Wow...


See, I have a similar page with my brochure but the price has been removed.

Also yours is called Original 10/6 "Mad Hatter Model" Velvet edition

Mine is referred to as Mad Hatter Edition 1/133 in the top left corner. On another page it is referred to as "The Mad Hatter 10/6 edition"

I don't know if you guys got in early enough that there are 2 seperate editions and you got a price break.

But I can directly quote him from an e-mail saying "We do not make an LE, but make just 1 model and load it up as best I can with art, features, ideas, mods, etc. So no "bait and switch" or upsell." So like I say, one of you with a deposit down should probably get it straight from the horse's mouth how much these machines are going to cost you.

#2492 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Are the artists full-time employees? I assumed they were contractors and therefore don't need to be kept busy

He wanted to keep the same artists for AIW, they are basically irreplaceable. Who knows if he could get them back if they didn't keep working for him. Whether they are on salary or contract is irrelevant, he didn't want them moving on to different things.

#2519 5 years ago

Whether three flipper designs are good. Also one guy thinks the adobe video is Jpops big march reveal for some reason. I think it's a thread for people confused about how forum threads work. Or confused people in general.

#2543 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

I really wouldn't be surprised with another 2 years to get these things to production

My guess would be that he can't possibly have the money for it to take that long. Either he gets these moving fast, or he will have to fold.

2 weeks later
#3020 5 years ago

If problems were Mogwai, Lawyers would be water.

#3024 5 years ago

He will say "I can't really talk about it, but I'm excited! Don't worry guys, it's going to be great!"

#3059 5 years ago

I wanted the first two to be a big success so I could buy AIW with confidence. Now they serve as a warning. Right now I'm just hoping somebody jacks the AIW project and gets it done in the next 10 years. Not like JPop is in a position to defend it. I feel bad for the owners but hopefully an organized effort by them will right the ship.

#3273 5 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

He's shifting his approach, it seems, and the foundation for making more titles is in place.

He hasn't made one title. I'm not sure if you realize this but people have been "holding onto their hats" for about 2 years longer than they expected. If you have some general info that actually legitimizes your opinion and actually want to help, either state it plainly or you are part of the problem.

#3441 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I don't think it is reasonable for people to expect on the one hand JPop is working 60 hour weeks just on this project for the past 4-5 years but hasn't been taking money out of it to live in. We all have to live...maybe JPop is independently wealthy and doesn't need any money to live on...

If he spends all his time at the studio and eats a bag lunch, he probably lives on 1/4 of what the rest of us spend.

#3453 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

I didn't realize I could cut my living expenses by 75% by just bringing a bagged lunch every day!

I realize your comment is deliberately obtuse, but since you need people to spoon feed you information - if you spend 12+ hours a day at work you aren't spending money on personal costs of cable, cuts down electric, you're not going out to eat, going to bars or movies with friends/family, spending money on furniture, your house, travel or whatever.

The simple fact that he is always at the office cuts his personal expenses close to zero, not just bringing a bag lunch. Therefore he has no need for the 100k + that Tiger (and I guess obviously you?) seem to think he's paying himself.

#3547 5 years ago

Anyone want to post it?

#3549 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

Buyers eyes only man. They've got nothing else for a long time, let them have this.

Haha, like 1 week ago it was all "F the NDA the contract is in breach anyway!" now it's "ooo, bright shinies. Better not break the NDA"

#3593 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Looks like it's just that Adobe video we saw a few weeks ago.

Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but all of this stuff seems like old news.

The PF art should have been done years ago.

#3608 5 years ago
Quoted from FatAussieBogan:

You had me at nuance and then you lost me at skillz.
Iceman you were far more entertaining when you were ginned up to the gills, rallying the troops and demanding a sit down. This neutered sobriety is disappointing, I'm surprised you've been so deferential when old mate pop has just churned out more of the same.

He realized how much work it was going to be and settled for requesting a conference call haha. Sobering up sucks. Someone send him a bottle.

#3639 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

This whole taking pre-order money at game embryo stage has to be on life support at this point, with all companies.

I think that was proven by WOOLY not getting off the ground, and that was a pretty developed game. Much better prospect than all the stuff that sucked up the pre-order dollars years ago. IMO if everybody could get a refund for predator and Jpop games, they would actually be able to get a WOOLY.

Not to say that WOOLY wouldn't have its issues but they actually seem to have their stuff together on that project besides a few sound issues.

#3640 4 years ago

P.S. I do not want to derail into a WOOLY discussion just making a single point and move on :p

#3642 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

JJP may be able to mine those individuals who completed two pre orders for WOZ and Hobbit in the past but even that number likely falls with each release and each delay

And each 8k price point

#3671 4 years ago

Wow, seems like once Ben Heck was off the project all of his concepts had to be replaced. Except for magnets... I think?

#3689 4 years ago

Pretty sure people would settle for stick figures if there was a flipping pin with mechs and ramps involved.

#3693 4 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

I think they are really trying to bring pinball up a level (or two). Color makes a difference .
(posted with permission)

zombie_color_spacegirl_close2.jp... 150 KB

Is that Spaceman Spiff's ship on the right?

#3703 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

The art is definitely a million times better than what's out there now.
But then, you can actually *play* what's out there now. How about less art and more completed games?

I'm just gonna say it... Stern would probably have art just as good if they spent 4 years on it. Hell, even if they spent 1 year on it. In fact, Metallica was great and didn't set the game back. With multiple designs.

#3726 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

I liked the BHZA theme better than the direction the RAZA theme has taken

I don't even know what the current RAZA theme is... I'm probably not alone in this. I'm fairly sure it's not zombies. Unless there's some serious metaphorical depth in all this.

#3746 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

A little sorry it didn't work out for me to be part of that, but looking forward to seeing how it comes out.
Would anyone really be shocked if Spooky ships game 2 before Jpop ships a single unit?

Not in the slightest. I have huge confidence in spooky and can't wait for #2

#3844 4 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

Outside of SWE1 which is more a cookie cutter licensed art package, JPop's games have a ton of bright purple and often greens that are acid tones. CV, WCS, TOTAN and to a lesser degree TOM all have the purple and three of them have a lot of the greens.

So you shouldn't really be surprised by this at this point?

#3905 4 years ago

MG Cab looks sick

#3977 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Yeah, the close up shot of a playfield feature is nice and all but it's more of the same. Zero progress. Same old same old.
Show a video of the game flipping. That's what people need to see!

I disagree, it is something. We are seeing areas of the pin that make it seem a lot closer to completion. That's a good thing.

#3980 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The "lebowski" MG reveal was scheduled for Dec 17th I believe, so we're approaching 2 months past that date with only bread crumbs.
Not sure how this bodes for our RAZAs.
I have to go back to a quote of Iceman's, that nothing we've said or done affects how John does anything. These breadcrumbs are how he wants to unveil his games, no matter how late they are and pissed off his customers are.
Anyone buying into future games will at least know what they're buying into going forward. When I came into raza, these things weren't known.

Ya, it's a cautionary tale for sure. i think AIW will get off the ground judging from these photos. But I have decided I'd rather have 4-5 pins today than pay 21k (Canadian $) for AIW and possibly wait 3 or 4 years with no info, hoping the project is funded by games 4 and 5... it's all too big a gamble for me.

#3985 4 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Me too....

liger_queen.jpg 96 KB

I like that girl's personality...

#3987 4 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

It really seems odd to have a newton ball in a stand-up slot. I can't think of any advantage this design would have over just drilling the holes needed for whatever posts you would use to secure it in place. Like Rotodave said, if it's just a peg with washers on both sides, it will move and probably end up jacking up the stand-ups next to it. So either John has redesigned the newton ball to require a slot for some reason, or the playfield was designed for 3 stand-ups, and the newton ball was added after the fact in some post-whitewood tinkering. I wouldn't be surprised by either, but if it is the latter, that's not what you want to be showing off in great detail on your "almost finished game" I would think. I still for the life of me can't think of any advantage a redesigned "Slot" newton-ball would have.

Maybe it's a magnet that switches polarity

#4008 4 years ago
Quoted from leaffan67:

Yes, sorry. Debbie downer for sure. I will suffer in silence. Sorry again.I do have lots of great pin to play! Hey, that does feel better!

Leaf fans are prone to losing all hope. I hear there is an epidemic of that going around.

#4025 4 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Anyone notice the "Ride the Comet" and "Ride the Cyclone" on the sidebar of the RAZA PF sketch? I thought John was about innovation..

I'm under the impression that the theme is about incorporating a bunch of old pin themes into one pin. Maybe I'm way off base here.

1 week later
#4168 4 years ago

Maybe he just doesn't want to ruin the surprise.

#4370 4 years ago

It sounds to me like he did his poor john shpiel and iceman is so desperate to believe that he is doing johns dirty work for him now. What I heard from all this is that john needs you all to give him your final payments or the project is sunk. If I were involved there is absolutely nothing that could get me to send the final payment without seeing games shipping out the door.

#4371 4 years ago

And one more thing. He had to fire his assistant and hasn't paid himself for months? The company is broke, plain and simple.

#4419 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Spill some over to Pinside on occasions if you like

Yeah, explain to me again how keeping pinside in the dark has been effective in the past?

#4470 4 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

This is entirely BS and borderline slander. Watch it dude. Seriously. I speak from knowledge; you babble from ignorance

Quoted from StevenP:

With all the bitching and moaning and accusations here, would YOU want to post here if you were JPOP? Heck, I barely want to enter this thread but then I see stuff like the b*llsh*t I quoted above and had to respond to

Quoted from StevenP:

Yeah, I know. I did the law school thing. It's a fine line that can be crossed easily. And adding a few wishy-washy words is not necessarily a valid defense

a) If you had any knowledge whatsoever you would know that you can't silence someone on an internet message board with "slander" accusations. Your semester at law school before realizing you couldn't hack it doesn't intimidate anyone, so you can probably stop trying to use it as an appeal to authority 30 years later.

b) Yes, if I were JPop I would want to post here - it's called client management and public relations.

c) Freedom of speech is a valid defense. We are all glad to hear your professional advice is to throw money at a frivolous lawsuit against somebody who offended you on the internet. I can see why you are so successful.

#4485 4 years ago

So this whole project is about to go dark?

#4870 4 years ago

What I see is a bunch of "nice guys" optimistically trying to get in and solve the problem with teamwork. I get that, good for you. The problem is you will have to wrest power from a control freak with zero integrity as documented by his manipulation and deceit from day 1. My guess is he would rather blow the whole thing up than let somebody "take his project" from him. I hope to god people do not send in more money... if it works out that's great. But do not get into this any deeper than you already are.

#5003 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Not the only ones allowed to comment but certainly the ones that really matter . At least to them. Used to be a good place for those in and those intersted to share the journey but now a days a few folks like to come in threads they are not involved in and don't even have real interest in just to add negativity .That makes no sense and has no relevance.

Have you ever considered that maybe it's you that this thread doesn't pertain to? Somebody not interested in public opinion of this project? The blog was made for what you are describing. Go ahead and drain this thread if you want.

#5006 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

The only ones that really matter are the ones invested . This community bullshit is a fn joke!!

Sound familiar? You don't want to be part of the community, go be in your buyers club. The community is not limited to those who specifically paid for MG and RAZA.

#5013 4 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

Guess everyone has a right to express his opinion, but when non-owners dominate the thread, it becomes annoying

I'm finding the non-buyers to be the ones willing to point out the reality of the situation to the starry eyed owners who have been run over roughshod with gag orders, legal threats and the possibility of losing their money if they speak the truth. At the end of all this if any actual games get shipped it will be because of the people who questioned John and forced him to reveal the truth after 4 years of using the investors money as leverage against them. Some of those are owners, some of them are jilted vendors or partners, and some of them are just concerned members of pinside.

#5045 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

its either one of two things) He really has spent most of the $$$ OR2) He really is just that DUMB

I said it before and I'll say it again... as an auditor and accountant I see this often. When vendors aren't getting paid, assistants are released for no reason, and an owner/manager stops paying themselves, there is no money left in the business. If he collected 17k*25 Magic Girl = $425k. RAZA $10k*100? RAZA is supposedly a run of 124 but I don't think they're all paid in full, same with MG. Say there is $1M for RAZA dollars.

Total cash: $1,425,000
Annual cost of studio: $100,000
Annual Employees (Artists/John): $80,000
Annual Computer/software/equipment: $5,000
$185k * 4 years = $740k

Capital assets over the 4 yrs (machinery, tools, furniture & equipment)
Ball park another $35k

Used in the above: $775k/$1,425k

So even excluding the ENTIRE cost of putting ANY part of ANY pinball machine together, before even counting a single switch or wire, excluding ALL parties outside of John and his immediate employees, using the most conservative estimate I can possibly imagine, we still see well over half of the cash is already gone. Add the cost of third parties for development, plus the actual cost of materials to build the machines, lawyer fees, patent costs, scrapped gadget development. And these pins haven't even gone into production yet. You can assume another year or two of these annual costs before MG and RAZA are even out the door. So say by the time the last RAZA is shipped and all money collected is end of 2016 $1,145/$1,665 is spoken for just in wages/salaries and the annual cost of the building.

Assuming John makes $0 profit, that leaves $520k for the cost of producing 149 machines, or $3,500 per pin. That includes all of the extra costs I mentioned above. If you disagree with some of my calculations, at least you have to admit the picture doesn't look good.

#5054 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I've never been to John's studio, but I've heard it's huge and full of cool gear. CNC machines etc. I'd say your ball park for tools and equipment is probably low.

Yeah I wanted to use an absolute minimum. And if using that minimum assumes he's buying everything at garage sales and liquidation auctions still makes things look bad, the true situation is much worse.

#5072 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Kevin's lies and deceit are much more evil.

I think you are forgetting a lot of JPop's lies as well. They are a similar stripe, but Kevin was promising something in a tempting price range so may have gotten more people who can't afford to lose the money.

#5147 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I'll say it again, he has provide a clear "FINANCIAL PICTURE", of where things stand, who needs to get paid, who owes what, etc...PERIOD.

Yeah, one thing you might worry about is that he pays himself a monthly paycheque out of the company so that when the company goes bust, he has a nestegg in a personal account. Of say... hundreds of thousands. That would be a very good reason for him not to want to open his books.

#5156 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

John K. hasn't had another animated show since Ren & Stimpy and Ripping Friends

R&S was my favourite childhood cartoon. I own the comic books from #1 to about #30. Guy was amazing. How about a JPop Ren & Stimpy pinball next?

#5178 4 years ago

After every phone call everything seems fine with John. Then you realize he just knows what to say to make you believe. Nothing has changed, it's been groundhog day for years. He's the same guy that blew you off and caused this shitstorm the last couple days, no phone call is changing that.

#5196 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I'm saying if and when 68. Eventually the truth will have to come out but it would be in everyone's best interest to get this info asap, and if he's not willing to give Ice the "state of affairs" and prove where it stands financially then what's the whole point of ice going through this exercise? Trust me he is not there to waste his own valuable time and I will assume, since D is a smart boy it is exactly what he is working towards

JPop is in this position because nobody can wrangle him. If Gary Stern can't wrangle him, Ice probably can't either. I was going to go on a long winded rant again, but basically anything short of JPop putting himself on live-cam so we know he's working will make this project move forward. Maybe you can talk him into making a reality show.

#5207 4 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

If I wanted to try and help John I wouldn't share any info here that he gave me right away. Whoever works with him needs to build trust.

This kind of secrecy and pussyfooting around is a) what allows John to be in control and b) what enrages pinside about this entire project.

#5223 4 years ago

I'm not seeing anyone lining up to hand over cash unless somebody else who is trustworthy is building these machines. No surprise he has spent it all by now. There is a LOT more expense to go before anything is shipped. There is also the matter of his lawyer coming on pinside and claiming there is NO shortage of cash. But I guess at this point we have to get over being lied to by multiple parties.

#5265 4 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

The Ben option: "OK customer, let's get this thing built!"
The JPop option: "OK, let's build this pin right after we remodel your house so that it complements the artwork of RAZA."

Haha yeah 1k to have jpop assemble the machine plus room and board for a year

#5304 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I've always said he'll go to his grave trying to protect his pinball legacy and will do whatever it takes.
He has just exercised such poor judgement and is so financially inept and a horrendous business person.
He needs help to turn that part of it around. Maybe he is listening and starting to really get his shit together. We will know soon enough.

Everybody appreciates the leadership you've put in here. But knowing John's difficulties, he could put you in the "go down with the ship" situation if he uses you to give people confidence to put more money into the project and then it dies anyway because JPop is JPop.

#5356 4 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

[posted simialr info in the Skit-B thread in response to somebody saying the 2 situations were similar, which I disagree with.]

There are a lot of concerning similarities between John and Kevin.

both projects have dragged on for years longer than necessary with little to show for it
both have charismatic personalities that allay fears with personal/emotional interaction
both rely on third parties to relay calming messages to the masses
both withdraw from direct contact with the public (the victims? a guilt thing?)
both have "closed books" and the financial situation and transactions are known only to them
both have multiple projects running at once
both have preorder $ that will expire past a dispute deadline due to the extended project time
both have been caught lying to delay/extend deadline dates indefinitely
both use vague or evasive language

That's enough for this post, but maybe more people can play the "similarity game" if you can think of something important or relevant.

#5367 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

The torches are still lit and the pitchforks are already out of the barn and in our hands. Kevin's place is already burnt to the ground. No reason to go home, let's just march on over to John's place and torch that sucker as well. Now that I think of it, weren't the Hobbit machines supposed to start shipping in December of last year? Hmmm..... torches still lit, pitchforks still in hand.
2015; what a year in pinball to remember, I bet.

There was a hard lesson learned on Skit B, you can be sure people will be doing their due diligence on Jpop.

#5537 4 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

You had best read back through all of this before you decide to throw your hat into the ring.
Here are the basic things you'll need to know:
You won't get a prototype game in which to develop the software code on. John won't let anything out of his sight, even if it's stuff that will be "junked".
You will not be communicating with anyone else involved with Zidware, just John. So if someone else makes (or convinces John to make) changes that affect your work, don't expect to be able to bring up dialogue with the other parties to help support your ideas or ways of doing things.
Anything you send John to "test", you will likely not get any feedback or anything resembling "test results" or any valuable information in which to judge the success or failure of anything you are doing. You will also likely likely be asked to make a million revisions, even after he has signed off on your work.
You will likely be pushed very hard to "meet deadlines" that John will then blow off at the very last minute, causing you to need to wear a hat for subsequent weeks to cover the bruises you inflict on yourself from banging your head into the nearest brick wall.
You will likely come out of the scenario with a couple of neat t-shirts, possibly owed money, and a negative attitude towards doing any form of contract work for anyone else in the pinball business.
I think that about covers it.
Still want to give it a try?

I just want to make something clear. To all the people who are pissed at the Anonymous Group who didn't warn people about Predator fast enough:

GL Modular has been the canary in the coal mine on this project for months and hasn't been taken seriously enough. Consider yourself officially warned a la an AG type warning. This project is on life support and fading. Ice and some of the owners have gotten serious as of late, but they need everybody's help, and that help has to be serious. I.E. force John to open the doors wide open and let you into the chocolate factory now. Not in "2 weeks."

#5560 4 years ago

And all hope that JPop had taken any of Ice's advice to heart was lost...

#5564 4 years ago
Quoted from Squeakman:

by the time his games come out all of his secret ideas will be thought of and used by other companies

Correction: these games will only come out if all his secret ideas are thought of and used by other companies.

#5567 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Or is he just upset because now everyone can see how much time he's wasting on game three when he's screwing over his very first supporters by leaving Magic Girl in limbo?

Pretty sure this is the great harm he's talking about.

#5570 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

just a bunch of work and progress into vapor ware game three.

John "Ponzi" Popadiuk

#5575 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

Given that this Zidware situation comes down to a lack of direction, a lack of business acumen and bad communication as opposed to fraud, I don't want to sue John and Zidware.

The question is, is he still collecting money from people with no mechanisms in place to deliver the promised product. If that is the case - fraud could be an issue.

#5682 4 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

No worries, Aurich.
As for non-payment vs. cash flow, the two should not be taken as having any "direct" relation. Keep in mind that somehow Zidware expanded and is now leasing twice the space they had when I was last there, so somehow there is justification (and money) to pay for that, but not to pay the outstanding invoices for GLM, Cointaker, etc.?

Well it makes sense that they would lease less space during development stages and have to expand the workshop for manufacturing later on. It doesn't mean they have more money, it's just a case of not wasting money on unnecessary square footage until its necessary.

#5700 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

So what happened? Did people start criticizing what they saw, so he closed everything back up?

No we were asking on pinside why he was spending his time on AIW instead of finishing MG and RAZA. And he freaked.

#5863 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Right now we're at end of March, and he has basically disappeared on us again

Yeah, it's looking like game over.

#5879 4 years ago
Quoted from Code_Blue:

only skimming this thread but there's no one left here actually arguing that jpop is ever going to release a real game, right?

Seems like most people have lost all illusion

#5898 4 years ago

Too late now to leave, is that a reference to refunds?

#5961 4 years ago

Pretty sure once John realizes that if nobody is sending money for AIW his ponzi is over. Time to gtfo.

2 weeks later
#7279 4 years ago

I'm guessing that Jpop doesn't have enough money for a lawyer, and would not have enough return on investment if he sued someone to even attempt it. I agree with earlier opinions that he wants a scapegoat to blame for the projects' failure so he can walk away and pretend to have the high moral ground. He is delusional and narcissistic.

#7388 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

But let's not insult Spooky here. I'm predicting their next game will be sold out within a month of announcement

I'm thinking a new Elvira.

#7460 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

These are the Mondo prints I have behind me right now:

Is that a cat or a platypus?

#7575 4 years ago

Obviously there is nothing I can do to stop people from going after me legally or pressing charges at any time for anything in America, personally or in business. I have that same right to go after my critics or anyone. But certainly anything big would shutdown all work here immediately, as my time would be needed for legal items I am sure and to protect the work and pinball IP which is substantial. I probably could not afford either to hire lawyers needed. Never been sued or charged in the past “for anything”, lead a quiet (somewhat) peaceful career, so I have no experience at all, other than the attorneys make out fine financially and not all attorneys are to be “trusted” as I have learn firsthand.

Wondering if that last part is a dig at Iceman.
Hoping the owners stop taking crap from John sometime in the near future.
1) he threatens "critics" with legal action, then turns around and says he can't afford a lawyer to sue. So basically just trying to stop free speech on the internet by using empty threats.
2) Setting himself up to use the inevitable lawsuit as the scapegoat we all know he's been looking for in order to wash his hands of the project. i.e. "whoever does decide to sue me, it will be your fault the project fails and people don't get their pins!" Same as Kevin and his supporters did with the AG. Try to pass blame.
3) "I've never been sued in the past for anything" so what, you are to be trusted? Have you ever taken millions of dollars in cash from people before?

John is a delusional self-serving crook. He will never admit to wrongdoing, as his narcissistic and paranoid personality disorders do not allow him to accept he can be in the wrong. If he still had your pre-order money, he could definitely afford a lawyer to protect his IP. This should be considered an admission that the money is gone and the company is broke.

#7617 4 years ago

The sad fact is, at the 11th hour when he's out of money he is now "scrambling" to put out a video showing a working MG game. The customers should have been allowed to follow the design process and have full knowledge of the progress of their game all along anyways, which has not happened. This video is not a true Mea Culpa, in that John believes he is doing the customers a favor by showing it. I have a feeling the only reason we are going to see this is so he can try and access more pre-order $, and collect final payments for MG and RAZA.

Nobody is going to give more money to somebody who manages his timelines and business in the way John has, which has necessitated this hail mary sneak peek. It's not that it doesn't matter that he now has a working game to show us, but more importantly whether he has one or not, there is no trust in his business or ability to take it forward successfully. There is no more pre-order money coming whether MG is flipping or not.

All thanks to Concrete who came out with the news (and if you're annoyed by pinchili just put him on ignore, don't stop posting news here).

#7777 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's kind of the point, the money hasn't lasted, it's gone.

Exactly what I was going to say. One possible reason he is vice president, and not owner or president is so that he can draw a salary as an employee and have no personal liability from the company. His wife is arms lengthish, could say John was a poor manager and the business failed. If Zidware declares bankruptcy, wife could claim a business loss on her personal income tax, reducing the amount of tax she would have to pay for her other (presumably successful) business. It is also a possibility that Zidware might be "renting" the building and equipment from a holding company owned by a John, his wife, or a close relative. This way even if Zidware (a pinball manufacturing company) goes bankrupt, the holding company (a capital asset investment company) gets to keep the money from rent, and keep the shop and equipment.

This is only one possible scenario and I don't know anything about how John runs his operation. I am merely stating that if this were the current arrangement, one company could easily have transferred all of its assets into another arms length company which would make it very hard for someone to go after the assets via a lawsuit once bankruptcy is declared. There is a possibility that Zidware owns zero assets to liquidate aside from some pinball parts. There is no limit to what John may have been paying himself, someone would have to physically delve into the books and bank account to be sure.

#7785 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Rai, I think 2 c. Is the only way we see pins

I'm sure the limited numbers are about as reliable as the promise that Ben would come to your house.

#7975 4 years ago

Whoever played the mythical flipping MG can't have been too impressed by it. I'm going on the pics or it didn't happen assumption on pdxmonkey's claims.

#7998 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm not on his blogs or FB but has anything come out from John that things are at a standstill?
Has he ever said what happened to his promised reveals? Surely he does not think the Adobe video as an on the rug reveal?

John knows it is over. He's not talking like Kevin wasn't talking once predator blew up. There's nothing left to say, just time to GTFO of dodge. The only people who don't know it's over is a couple extreme optimists in this thread.

#8017 4 years ago

Maybe pdx is in line for one of those 3 prototypes. looks like the only person going to get a MG out of this is john and 2 of his closest bootlicks.

#8177 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

-Let's say he burns $12,000 per month for 4 years that's $576K round up to $600,000 so he still has $600,000 left to finish the work and another 4 years worth of cash burn left. I just picked $12k a month as arbitrary

This is an unrealistically low estimate, and no base to begin your analysis. The entire post is baseless optimism.

#8293 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

but I won't give up trying to figure out options until it's totally dead and the carcass stinks to high heaven

Might want to remove that nose plug.

#8351 4 years ago

At this point the legal risk is too high with this project to go anywhere near it. John's word is garbage, and there is no way any potential investor would know how many people are owed money, or might sue in the future. The project is dead.

#8382 4 years ago
Quoted from Ronnie1114:

I am not physically involved, but I know one of the people making parts. Its only up from here.

Haha... ok. A lot of people know people who made parts. They all got stiffed and the contracts cancelled.

#8580 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

John has not committed fraud, I do not believe there is any evidence that he deliberately deceived anyone

He claimed he had deals with people to produce the product that he never had in place. He didn't sign Ben Heck, sold the machines and re-themed them after taking the money. He does not give refunds despite producing (theoretically) a different product than the customer paid for.

A fraud case could easily be pursued.

Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

From the sidelines, I certainly feel bad for StevenP.

Kevin had the same thing going on, where fans just wanted to be close to pinball designers, and they got manipulated and turned into unwitting shills. They are a huge part of keeping the charade going long after legal action should have been filed.

#8585 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think that applies. This is not a case of John taking property or funds and making it his own. This is business taking in funds and using it to operate the business. If this was a case where money was in an account, like at true investment account, and he then took and used for his own purposes, that would then fall into this. If he rented equipment and then sold it, that would also fall into this. It may also apply if he bought items from vendors, that he did not pay for, and then sold them.

As a business, pre-order money is not to be used as you please. It is a contract with your buyer to supply a product "as advertised" in a reasonable period of time. Presumably that reasonable period is governed by the production schedule put forth at the time of the order plus about 6 months to a year usually, depending on whoever is arbitrating the case. This happens in condominiums etc. where if the product is not to the advertised standard or not delivered within a reasonable time of the production schedule, the developer must return the "deposit" money and allow you to walk away from your contract.

A preorder is not a "true" investment as you describe, because it does not involve a share of the company. People were not "betting" on John. But as a preorder, it is protected by procurement and property laws designed to protect people from fraud and theft by unscrupulous companies.

#8590 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

After some reasonable time if someone did not ask for their money, there were accepting that change in the product.

That's not how it works, if you change the product you are selling you get them to sign an acknowledgement of the changes, or at least e-mail consent so you have documentation.

Quoted from rosh:

I don't think that is the same legal situation as Predator, where he lacked the legal right to do so. Many businesses make plans that then change, that does not make them illegal/fraud, but I do not know to what degree jpop made statements around the manufacturing side e.g. did he have verbal agreements on getting games made that then fell apart, that would not be fraud, if he had no clue how he would do it and claimed he did, well that would be deception

No, it doesn't have to relate to Predator at all to still be considered fraud. But you can compare it to Predator in that this is another case of Pinheads vs. "fraudulent manufacturer X." The situation is unique but Predator taught the community the warning signs and what needs to be done to protect the defrauded customers.

Making plans that change is fine. However the production schedule was never updated, and assurances of a delivery schedule keep getting made based on "agreements" that the vendors claim had no basis in fact whatsoever. That is fraud, because by not realistically updating the production schedule and instead continually claiming delivery is imminent, it denies the legal right of the customer to demand their deposit money back based on non-delivery.

#8591 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Kevin could certainly end up in jail, I don't think the same is true of Jpop.

You can go to prison for a ponzi scheme. I think a prosecutor could prove that's exactly what John has set up.

#8618 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Of those in this thread (407! pinsiders, 8500+ posts !!) who has a dog in the fight?
Some are obvious by the post content, but did not read them all & some ordered more than 1.
Raz, Ice,Tiger .... who else?

Was this post designed to get like 40 response posts saying "me"? We all have hundreds of dogs in the fight, they're called pinsiders.

1 week later
#9121 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

The law suit(s) could do in the customer as well, especially if something good is being done behind the scenes which is why we haven't heard anything as of yet. just saying

If something good was being done, it wouldn't be behind the scenes.

#9141 4 years ago

Did I miss something that happened that made a bunch of people optimistic? Is it pdxmonkey? Cause this all happened with predator... it's deja vu all over again.

#9329 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I do NOT disagree - fwiw. I'm far from pleased to have been involved in this fiasco. I'm coming at it from someone wanting to see a positive outcome - and seeing one I did not expect. ...Not objectively of course

Unfortunately we saw this happen to Aaron of FAST pinball when the Predator fiasco went down. A person with a vested interest became overly optimistic and urged support for a criminal project. The project itself is still a fraud, as many have seen for a long time.

JPop uses all of the classic con man tactics. Leaving time frames short forcing people to make split second decisions, the "if you don't bail us out we will fail, you get nothing" bankers tactic of 2008, everything about John's method is disgraceful. He is a 2 bit con with a ponzi scheme. I can't believe he conned someone into taking on the project, and they expect people to throw 10k more at this and sign more legal promises not to hold them responsible for delivery for 4 years? These people must know absolutely nothing. JPop is a weasel. I hope he is held accountable to the full extent of the law.

#11103 4 years ago

The glaring issue I see is that these pins are not worth what Bill is proposing to sell them for. 16k was for an ultra rare status symbol, which an extended run of MG's would not be. Second, people who just got burned for 6k are now being asked to put down 10k on another "theoretical" machine years in the future. Smart money would have learned their lesson by now, take that 10k and go shopping for a physical machine that you can take home today.

It seems to me like Bill might have just bought himself a one of a kind pin.

#11265 4 years ago

Soooo... Hobbit is in trouble...

#11269 4 years ago

I'm starting to think with all these evil people showing up in boutique pinball, Chuck is going to turn out to be an axe murderer or something haha.

#11270 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

What's up with JJP? Man if they collapse, won't that be worse than Kevin and John put together?

In reading Elaut's case report, they basically accuse Jack of being a mafia style crook who swindled 1.6 million out of their company by replacing the entire staff of their company with family members and paying the money out to a bunch of his own bank accounts while cooking the books.

It's still in court though, so he's innocent until proven guilty...

Edit: and the reason I say Hobbit is in trouble is that a major license like that might pull the plug just because they don't want to be affiliated.

#11282 4 years ago

On the plus side, it all really makes me want an AMH.

And at least JPop has taught us all a valuable lesson on due diligence and project monitoring. I think the community as a whole will turn out a lot stronger in the end, as far as professionalism and expectations are concerned. The next developer will be expected to have their act together. Bill is the first to experience these new expectations

#11451 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Questions still waiting for answers:
1. Terms of the license agreement.2. Why license, with the complicated "we'll make you whole" rigamarole instead of buy-out and clear, legal transfer of liability.

Because nobody would ever assume this liability, the project would be dead if that were part of the deal.

#11471 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

But the thing is, this deal as structured - the license - will be revoked as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. This is virtually guaranteed. If you buy the company and assume the debt, you at least maintain control of the IP. Or, alternatively, you let it fail and pick up the IP at auction, but that's way more messy.
But the third option is, get the physical assets out of his hands before the collapse and have the ultimate collectable. The license fails, the deal evaporates and everyone is out their million dollars, but one lucky guy has a flipping game.
There's a simple logic to the argument. Occam's Razor and all that.

The license will not be revoked due to the bankruptcy. And at any rate, even if the license was only valid for the next couple weeks, it allows Bill to complete the 1 game, bring it to shows and test the waters to see if it would be worth buying the IP.

#11529 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Am I the only person who thinks this is some kind of shell game?
How are we to believe or how can it be proven that John has no money left?
And as I said before if (as Ben suggested) it would cost ~$1M to build and code the games (so John should have known how much he could burn designing them and how much he needed to keep in reserve) so why was John spending money like crazy and can we believe there is no money left from over $1M collected when he has made so little progress and paid virtually no one involved?

Nobody claimed John has no money left. Zidware has no money left. John probably has lots.

#11550 4 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

Yes i can foresee Tax audit coming soon. Isn't that the way the system usually whacks the crook?

A tax audit wouldn't have much effect if he is reported on payroll.

#11737 4 years ago
Quoted from PINTASIA:

So for those people who are the naysayers and can't stand the fact that someone has truly stepped up out of the goodness of their heart to help the pinball community and want to just try to dig up stuff to hurt Bill and Pintasia...stop, just stop.

Quoted from PINTASIA:

you will find a lot of information, some which is true and some which is false or simply has nothing to do with the topic at hand. How many people have the same name? Has someone really tried to understand who these people are behind Pintasia, or is everyone on a race to try to put up nasty posts and create drama. There are a number of people all with the name Sabrina Wei, and unfortunately some of those people have had a checkered past

Your post is so vague it's alarming. Stop trying to dig up stuff on Pintasia and Sabrina Wei? Why? What exactly are you denying from that pastebin link? Did this Sabrina work for those companies known to be perpetrating Ponzi schemes?

You have to admit that there is another Sabrina Wei in BC that is a CFO that is accused of ponzi activity when Pintasia is proposing to take over a ponzi scheme and take preorder dollars. I urge every person to read the pastebin link


Then re-read the full pintasia post and see if the blanket denials and deflections, generalized shaming for questioning Sabrina and appeal to stop trying to look up info on Pintasia staff doesn't make your hair stand on end a bit. We are past blindly trusting people because they are community members and seem nice and good and honorable. It's time to do real due diligence.

And keep in mind, Pintasia isn't "not asking anybody for any money," They are, according to John's e-mail, talking about making a grab for the remaining pre-order dollars for all 3 games. With no prior record of ever manufacturing a pinball machine. If they fail, they can walk away just like John is. This is very very dangerous, and an even worse investment for almost double the money most people already put down on John.

People are going to call me an asshole for talking ill of such a nice guy (which maybe Bill is) but if people get burned again, they need to accept that this is a bad gamble and they deserve whatever the outcome is for it. Better do your research and make sure the odds are in your favor.

#11751 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Was it BC or just 'canada'? I didn't recall seeing things specifically saying BC... but that copy/paste hack job was so impossible to digest I probably only viewed a 1/5 of the content.
One thing we do know is... google her name and you see just how common it is. So I'm gonna need more than just 'canada' + 'same name' to call them the same people.

Not reading something and dismissing it isn't a great practice. But you're right, that's why Sabrina should specifically address all concerns and somebody should independently verify her responses.

#11755 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I read what was coherent and credible. Pontificating everyone should read something that is unintelligible or unsubstantiated is not 'great practice' either. I would also advocate one build a better case before drawing conclusions of fact and poking all my neighbors that the should buy in to.
Do people have concept of integrity or credibly anymore? Why pass along stuff you wouldn't be willing to put your own name to?

Because this is specifically a ponzi scheme being taken over by mysterious benefactors with questionable motives. So when people bring up evidence, substantiated or not, it should all be considered. You seem very quick to dismiss anything that isn't "air tight" and that is common for people who are emotionally invested.

#11758 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Was it BC or just 'canada'? I didn't recall seeing things specifically saying BC..

40.Canada issues DFRF Enterprises investment fraud warning on May.07, 2015
41."...In what appears to be the result of the first confirmed regulatory investigation into DFRF Enterprises, the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued an investor fraud warning.In an alert issued on May 6th, the Commission warned the general public ‘not to purchase memberships or other securities of DFRF Enterprises LLC, DFRF Enterprises Ltd., or other companies associated with Daniel Fernandez Rojo Filho..."

This was clearly posted early in the pastebin page, so nothing to do with the "copy/paste hackjob" being hard to follow. Pretty clear to me, and while Sabrina Wei may be a common name, the amount of Sabrina Weis in BC with multiple professional designations and high level positions of financial trust are probably fewer. That's why it should be directly asked if this Sabrina Wei has any connection with companies associated with Daniel Fernandez etc.

#11760 4 years ago

And furthermore, people who set up companies with ill intent will always give ownership (majority or full) to someone with a clean record and good reputation. However, the financial crimes are committed by a person of trust, sometimes on salary, sometimes contracted, while the ownership plays "patsy." Business goes bankrupt, owner says they were taken for a ride, not enough evidence to convict financial manager who perpetrated the crime so charges are dropped. Bankrupt corporation, money is gone. Move along.

Clearly the pinball community is an easy target with deep pockets. We need to work together and protect ourselves by not sneering off the people who want to protect the community by asking questions and vetting the companies and individuals in the pinball economy. Look at all the posts with tinfoil hat comments and conspiracy theory comments even after getting burned 4 times in the past few years. How are those people not the joke at this point?

#11779 4 years ago

Read the article and watch the YouTube videos linked. The only question is if this is the same Sabrina. If you choose to ignore it at this point that's your choice. All I have said is she needs to address it, I don't need to write a treatise on this for your benefit.

#11792 4 years ago

I specifically sent a PM to Pintasia and wcbrandes to clarify.

Hi Pintasia,

Just don't want to be jumping to any conclusions so I would like to ask directly if your employee Sabrina Wei is the same Sabrina Wei who has worked for companies affiliated with Daniel Fernandez Rojo Filho (particularly but not limited to DFRF Enterprises LLC.)?


So we should have our answer soon and clear up any doubt.

#11795 4 years ago
Quoted from Mycal:

After watching the linked video, I can confirm that it is the same Sabrina Wei. Bill and her attended Pin-A-Go-Go together earlier this month.

OK well in that case, to keep it brief for those who haven't read the pastebin (and it cites references) her former company and employer have lost a lawsuit filed against them for running a ponzi scheme and authorities suspect Daniel Fernandez Rojo Filho of being an important money launderer for El Chapo and the Sinaloa drug cartel. Starts to make sense Brandes goes with the godfather as his icon.

Edit: Pastebin relinked for convenience. http://pastebin.com/DE1knCKH
Edit2: I forgot to mention there was actually a RICO lawsuit filed against DFRF Enterprises in Massachusetts

#11809 4 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

You can't make this stuff up!

No kidding, what a hobby. Imagine how many "conspiracy theories" about politics are true. Pretty much most. The biggest barrier is the people who refuse to view the evidence and dismiss it anyway.

#11819 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

People are acting like these NEW people took $1M of our money and ran their business into the ground.
So far they haven't asked me for anything, other than a bit of time. Talk about spinning your wheels.
If there was a round of crowd funding happening, then their background and character could be put under the microscope. Right now it makes no sense to scream bloody murder about it other than for the sake of drama alone.

Go back and read the letter from John, they were trying to get legally binding contracts out and force people to commit to purchasing with only a few days to act. That got kaiboshed because people laughed in their faces, but you can bet 100% that the plan is still to collect the rest of the preorder $.

#11824 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

It looks to me like Sabrina might have the money and contacts to get this done.

If that is the case they won't need to collect pre-orders. I am all for paying for something that's built and shipping.

#11831 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

This is one Hell of a book being written. Intrigue, wall street, back door deals,and money laundering. All we need is a body!

Hope it's not mine.

#11840 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Has anybody, with $ on preorders, been to the Zidware location in the past 3 months?

Does anybody know when John's lease is up? Somebody said they saw him packing up a pinball machine, I wonder if he's moving everything out. Seems likely given the rush of things happening before the end of the month. I'm thinking it's more important for somebody to check the place out this weekend, rather than if someone's been there in the past 3 months.

#11843 4 years ago
Quoted from sturner:

So is that really the person in those stories/videos because the Pintasia person seemed to imply it was not?

Yes, it is the same person. Multiple people have seen her in person and can identify her.

#11847 4 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

Yea, all we had to do was get TLC to sign John for a show.

I wonder how he would structure their NDA.

#11889 4 years ago
Quoted from guyincognito:

Nothing stands out to me that connects the Sabrina Wei (SW1) of Pintasia to the Sabrina Wei (SW2) that is connected to Daniel Filho and his alleged Ponzi schemes, other than a shared name.

The youtube videos show who the Sabrina Wei connected to Daniel Filho is, and multiple pinsiders have confirmed that they have met her in person and that both Sabrina Weis are the same.

#11912 4 years ago
Quoted from pin-pimp:

Lots of speculation but I really think they are working on the logistics of a plan. I'm sure this plan
Will take some time to materialize. I'm also confident Pintasia will begin the revelation process
As soon as a plan and timeline is in place. I had a part in this as a vendor, they have money's
Tied up in this and intend to move forward. I'm going to wait for them to tell us what the deal is and
After the tacoma show where the pin gets revealed will be the start.
Personal attacks on Sabrina and Bill are not going to help us get this going.
my guys and myself worked are asses off and fast to get those ramps on that machine!
The ramps will be in Chicago tomorrow and I'm going to see if we can get some pics posted.
I know there are past vendors they are and or will be dealing with, it takes time to sort this shit out I'm sure. There is more too!ing work that will need done for MG and the other titles for my shop.
Just my vote of confidence

Yes. They are actually putting money into building MG prototypes right now, which includes your work. You are now emotionally invested and hope for the best. That doesn't mean you should give a vote of confidence to someone affiliated with conning people. Compare yourself to the list of people who backed Kevin Kulek. Vendors with their hard work at stake truly believe they are working for an "honest" deal. It is possible, with Sabrina Wei's track record, that this is an initial investment of (somehow) 100k (very questionable, unless John got paid off) to con people out of another million or more in preorder $ if they can make a kick ass MG to make people go googly eyed over. It takes money to make money.

You have already seen people get scammed by seemingly clean people like Kevin and JPop, Vonnie D. Now someone has done all the work for us to "out" the people behind Pintasia, so thanks to Fraudalert for doing the vetting for us.

Personal attacks on Bill and Sabrina aren't going to get this to move forward? These are not personal attacks. These are documented facts, and warnings to the pinside community to NOT hand their money over to someone with a history of fraud, or at least being closely associated. The fact that it has to be explained repeatedly like saying "don't take candy from strangers" is very tiring, and I have now experienced having to painstakingly explain the obvious red flags and bring them to the forefront first with predator, then with JPop and now with Pintasia. Each time is a huge battle against people who refuse to believe there might be something wrong.

Please, for the love of pinball start supporting the people who are putting in the effort to protect your pinball community. I was thankful for the AG during predator and gave them my ear when they needed it. Now Fraudalert needed somebody to listen when they had the information for us. Do everybody else the favor of taking the time to dig a little deeper when somebody says there is a problem, rather than shout them down. If the allegations are false, Sabrina can tell us that herself and show us the error of our ways.

#11967 4 years ago
Quoted from The_Crow:

I have not been asked for any payments from these "investors" and the only motive i have seen from them is to bring these pinballs to something other than a dream. I have seen more positive information from them in the past few days than i have seen in months on the blog. So far that is all the transparency I need. I am looking forward to the NW pinball reveal and will make my decision then on how to proceed.

Crow it is very strange that you have been around for a few months and your only posts have been to cheerlead this doomed project and chastise those who questioned it.

#11972 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

if a deal could be signed with a manufacturer then I would let all the "customers" and People who he owed, know exactly what the deal was. This is of course a negotiation that is not complete so to answer any questions right through to end is virtually impossible

Bill, were you aware of Sabrina's former employer and their criminal activity? And now knowing those connections do you still plan to keep her as a key player in this project?

#11978 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

That is not her former employee it was a favor she did for him thats it. I was not aware no

Her former employER was DFRF enterprises, not to mention she is specifically named as a defendant in other ponzi schemes such as:

From IHI to Tedder to Global Investments - OffshoreAlert
http://www.offshorealert.com › Forum › Old Message Board
Each defendant is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, which carries a ... Sabrina Wei - Director IHI; Leading Minds International

Not just a favor. As a perpetrator.

#11981 4 years ago

Another excerpt:

" According to the lawsuit, DFRF promised Carter's clients, two Gloucester men who put $80,000 and $100,000 each into the company, annual returns of up to 15 percent on their investments.

“But DFRF’s business income was grossly inadequate to satisfy payments promised to members,” the lawsuit says, adding the Florida-based company has ramped up marketing and recruiting in Massachusetts since mid-2014, which has helped it “obtain tens of millions of dollars” from customers in the state."

#11982 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I do not know what Sabrina did in her past life however she has nothing to do with control of this company as I am the shareholder

You didn't even know she was employed at DFRF?

#11987 4 years ago

Tedder associate Sabrian Wei working on resume - OffshoreAlert
http://www.offshorealert.com › Forum › Old Message Board
Little history on Sabrina Wei. Director of International Heritage which was a Ponzi scheme that faced action by the SEC. Its leader Stan Van Etten was featured ...

Did you know she was a part of another ponzi scheme as Director of International Heritage?

I mean this is a serial history of ponzi schemes, not a one-off. How did you select her as a business partner? Did you see her resume?

#11990 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

If you check into me I don't think you will see anything close to being involved in anything even remotely close to any ponzi whatever

You do understand that you are basically proposing to take over from John's ponzi scheme right? and you just happen to have a serial ponzi scheme professional as a business partner?

#11999 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

again one more time she is not a shareholder I am 100%. If i pay her to get things done which she does she has 0 control over anything I do.

It is most concerning that in finding out your Finance & Operations manager has a 15 year history of illegal financial activities you are pretty much OK with that and willing to continue with business as usual. That's not how I would take this info. And you seem to not have even gone into the information and checked it out for yourself? Like... shouldn't you be interested in that sort of thing? As a millionaire business man I might find that a bit more interesting than "well, i'm not involved in any ponzi whatsits so whatever, no big deal."

#12015 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

At the end of the day this is just an attempt to see if I could pull something together for all the customers and vendors that lost there money and have zero to show for it. I see now it will virtually be impossible and perhaps I should just instead sit back and wait till some one else bucks up and then decide to buy out of the destruction

If you could ever pull this off it would because of a sound business model, substantial funds and access to a major manufacturer. What you are in a position to do right now is make a pitch for pre-order dollars, and you have hired a ponzi scheme specialist for a CFO and you don't even worry about that. If people on pinside are supposed to support this project, give us something to have some confidence over.

And don't give me the Kevin Kulek line "this project was going to be great, but the nay sayers ruined it for everybody!" You don't have the answers to back up what people see going on here. Come up with the answers. I am only asking the questions because they need to be asked, I have no desire to ruin a good project. Only a bad one.

#12030 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

And someone who can copy/paste.. but not a URL? frustrating...

Google Sabrina Wei ponzi. She is all over the internet, you can access the SEC filings against the companies mentioned in that pastebin.

Here is an example, where you can see she was on the board of directors of IHI operating an illegal pyramid scheme.


And etc. if you want to keep digging the information is there to be found if you follow the pastebin info.

#12035 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

By people do you mean non customers who have no money on the line? If some of you are trying to run Bill off your doing a great job of it! Those of us who have been scammed by JPOP have already lost our money IMHO Bill is our last hope of getting something more than nothing. As an "owner" I feel I have nothing to lose and everything to gain if Bill can pull this off.
Just to recap... the money is already lost, JPOP pissed it down the drain! Without Bill its game over (no pun intended)

Concrete, your money is lost I agree. What people are trying to protect you from is a great prototype coming out, then Bill and his associate then saying "Ok, we will give you all partial credit for your current deposits, plus we will need an additional $6,000 to take this to production." Then disappearing the money like JPop did. Read the original letter sent by JPop, there was a huge amount of money involved in that first plan. The information available on Sabrina is that she has ways of completely disappearing money to Hong Kong, where you cannot get it back. Please read up on this rather than being blindly supportive. If AFTER you have done your due diligence you still want to give these people money, I can't save you and neither can anybody else.

#12118 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Another question nobody has asked:
Of the list of "Cars a pin can fit inside" how many get scratched off that list with this tall cabinet?
My guess is a lot, since it's the folded down height that is the killer.

Which means some doors might not be compatible in your house... time to renovate.

#12122 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I think it's worth a try to see if the new restructuring plan would work, but I'm very skeptical that it will amount to anything.

I am pretty confident it will amount to 3 completed machines. There is like a 90% chance of that. Anybody who thinks they are getting one of them without forking over a ton of money is in dreamland.

#12126 4 years ago

Whoever gets one of the machines is going to have a lemon though, any time a part breaks you will have to get it custom made. No support. Nothing. It'll basically be a show piece so the president has a game to play when he comes to visit.

#12127 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

It'll basically be a show piece so the president has a game to play when he comes to visit.

*Prime Minister

#12232 4 years ago
Quoted from DennisDodel:

Why the rush now to get this game to a show so far away from Chicago? Is John dodging some sort of bullet by showing a flipping game in public?

"Misdirection is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.

Managing the audience's attention is the aim of all Theater, it is the foremost requirement of Theatrical Magic. Whether the Magic is of a "pocket trick" variety, or, a large stage production in Las Vegas, misdirection is the central secret of all Magic.

"The central secret of conjuring...is a manipulation of interest." (Henry Hay, The Amateur Magicians Handbook, pg. 2, copyright 1972).

The term is used to describe either the effect (the victim's focus on an unimportant object) or the sleight of hand or patter (the magician's speech) that creates it.

There are two basic ways to "misdirect" your audience; one is time-sensitive, the other isn't.

The time-sensitive approach encourages the audience to look away for a fleeting moment, so that the sleight or move may be accomplished undetected.

The other approach has much to do with re-framing the audiences perception, and perhaps very little to do with the senses. The minds of the audience members are distracted into thinking that an extraneous factor has much to do with the accomplishment of the feat, whereas it really doesn't have any bearing on the effect at all. "The true skill of the magician is in the skill he exhibits in influencing the spectators mind." (Dariel Fitzkee, Magic by Misdirection, pg. 33, copyright 1975)."

(From Wikipedia)

In short, watch JPop make himself disappear while you are playing MG at the show.

#12242 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.52.25 PM.png

Haha, you make me laugh lowepg.

#12276 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I appreciate the support man
I do and I do
Zombieyeti.com - portfolio (in need of updating)
Zombieyeti.bigcartel.com (prints and stuff)

LoL at the cartel reference

#12354 4 years ago

Edit: just frustrated. Removing post

#12452 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

From my frequent visits, not a lot. A small 3d printer,an iMac, lots of nuts, bolts, wirenuts, wire spools, LEDs, and a few empty cabinets. Maybe 4 or 5 prototype play fields. Otherwise, it's all printouts. I'm afraid he doesn't appear to have much asset wise...

Seems like he might want to give those LEDs back to Cointaker.

#12569 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

For anybody that thinks Bill the vulture is in it to make huge profits, or any at all, you'd have to suspend all sorts of common sense wouldn't you?
Can anybody really believe that there is a dime of profit to be made here? If there is, let it go through bankruptcy and have all the bidders line up for this hot property. I can't wait to see that one!
I've told Bill he was crazy for taking this on. I'm quite sure he's been second guessing himself from day one.
It won't matter how all of this turns out, Bill can't win, if he were to make any money he'd be tarred and feathered by a huge faction of pinheads, and the likely scenario, well he's already lost what he's dropped on this thing.

You don't need to have a sensible business plan to collect preorder money and "fail" and disappear it. No, I don't think anybody can make money on this project legally. You're right about that.