My brush w/ Mr. Jersey Jack himself

Started 2 years ago by KrustyBurger in forum Game manufacturers > Jersey Jack Pinball.



My brush w/ Mr. Jersey Jack himself

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By KrustyBurger

2 years ago

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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by RobT

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There are 53 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
2 years ago

As my title suggests, I happened to bump into Jack G. yesterday evening while traveling for business in San Francisco. I was entering a restaurant at the same time that he was about to exit. I recognized him from all of the pictures I'd seen on his website and various other sources and decided to chat with him for a few minutes. (not to mention, he was wearing a black JJP polo!) Firstly, he is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet - he truly is passionate about his product and is a genuine & interesting person to speak with) I questioned him as to why is was in S.F. and he stated that he had just finished up at the E3 show in L.A., and he was now on his way up North to Seattle. (for the NW Pinball show this weekend), However, he decided to stop off in SF to visit this seafood restaurant as it was a favorite of his. (& mine - it's awesome, but I digress. I should also mention that he was there with Keith Johnson - another great guy.) From what Jack told me, he stated that there was quite a bit of interest / play on his machine that he brought to E3 to include children that have never even seen a pinball machine before. (boy, do I feel old!) He pointed to a minivan and told me that the WOZ from the E3 convention was in there. (I really wanted to see it, but I didn't want to impose too much and ask to see it....:( We both remarked that hopefully it is a good sign to see children & other folks that don't know much about pinball to have a good time with his WOZ as more interest in pinball is a good thing for the life of the hobby in general. We spoke just a bit more, but I didn't want to hold him up as he was exiting at the time we met. Again - just to recap - if you have the chance to speak w/ Jack - do so. In part due to his enthusiasm, kindness & warmth - I'm certain that I will be one of the proud owners of a NIB JJP WOZ in the very near future!

One last note - after landing at O'Hare this afternoon coming back from my trip, I was on my way to the baggage collection area and as I was walking on the moving walkway, I see Gary Stern on the other moving walkway in passing! Just like in his pictures, he was in his trademark white Stern pinball button down shirt and jeans. I'm just guessing here, but I'm sure he was on his way to Seattle like Jack to show his product at the NW Pinball & Arcade Show - most likely introducing his latest X-Men machine to the general public. As we were going the opposite way, I didn't have the chance to speak with him, but maybe I will on a future trip! Either way, while I'm sure Gary is a great person from what I've read / heard in the past, I don't think he can compete with the charisma that I experienced from Jack G. in my brief meeting with him - truly a class act!

Sorry for the long post everyone - it's just new to me to run into two pinball icons within a day & a half's span!


2 years ago

should of yelled out to Gary when the lady Gaga pin is coming out


2 years ago

Jack is awesome.

Just had a couple in tonight that had dinner with him at Expo last year.

The highlight of their Expo experience. Nothing but great things to say about him.

LTG


2 years ago

I am still wondering the name of the seafood restaurant. He seems passionate about that place too. Might be worth a trip there...


2 years ago
HELLODEADCITY said:

<P>should of yelled out to Gary when the lady Gaga pin is coming out <IMG title=:twisted: src="/bbpress/my-plugins/bb-smilies/pinside/icon_twisted.gif"> </P>

Lady Gaga is getting a WOZ by the way. Jack said that in one of his presentations.


2 years ago

Great story. Thanks for sharing. And seeing Gary Stern in ohare gives it a believe it or not quality.

Jack is truly a nice guy. He just likes people. Had a great visit with him at the Ohio show.


2 years ago

Yep! Great guy I just met him for the first time @ E3 and what a great guy! plus I got to get a couple games on WOZ! which I really liked you guys are going to love the games flow and the LED light show was fantastic!


2 years ago

He was very nice at the Allentown show as well. Always took time to chat and take pictures.

smiley-2.gif


2 years ago

Met him last year at an EXPO, and he took the time to play a partial game with me. Great down to earth guy.


2 years ago
DCFAN said:

Lady Gaga is getting a WOZ by the way. Jack said that in one of his presentations.

Great! Does anyone here know her Pinside user name so we can add het to the Pinside WOZ owners list?


2 years ago

Great Story! Lady Gaga loves pinball? I must be living under a rock............How did you guys find this out?


2 years ago
thedarkknight77 said:

Great Story! Lady Gaga loves pinball? I must be living under a rock............How did you guys find this out?

Jack said at one of his presentations (probably in March) that she was getting a WOZ and would probably personally be coming to pick it up if my memory serves me correctly.


2 years ago

Is anyone asking Jack when he is actually going to get that pinball machine working, during these personal encounters?


2 years ago

at the 1:15 mark of the part 3 of the video on this link, Jack States that Jimmy Fallon and Lady Gaga are customers and Gaga is going to come to their building.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/texas-pinball-festival-jjp-presentation


2 years ago

What I like about Jack vs Gary is that Jack is optomistic about the future of pinball while Gary is a bit "doom & gloom". Gary comes off talking about a hobby that is dying and that pinball is lucky to still be made at all. Jack sees it as a resurgence and a (hopefully) growing hobby. This is my perspective on them.


-2
2 years ago
judremy said:

What I like about Jack vs Gary is that Jack is optomistic about the future of pinball while Gary is a bit "doom & gloom". Gary comes off talking about a hobby that is dying and that pinball is lucky to still be made at all. Jack sees it as a resurgence and a (hopefully) growing hobby. This is my perspective on them.

Also, I don't have a strong feeling that Gary will stay in the business very much longer. The way they are churning out games feels like he is doing a money grab before he sells off the company.


-1
2 years ago
DCFAN said:

Also, I don't have a strong feeling that Gary will stay in the business very much longer. The way they are churning out games feels like he is doing a money grab before he sells off the company.

I feel the exact same way.


2 years ago
RawleyD said:

DCFAN said:
Also, I don't have a strong feeling that Gary will stay in the business very much longer. The way they are churning out games feels like he is doing a money grab before he sells off the company.

I feel the exact same way.

I like the WOZ game - I think it looks great - I am struggling to decide if I want to be on board as the game theme does not do much for me but I love the looks of the light show and the toys are cool. I think BackAlley makes some great stuff.

I almost want to get into this game because I think the way things are going if Jack does another game like Hobbit then I think it is several years down the road. I would be interested in Hobbit but why does anyone think it will be ready next year?


2 years ago

So whats the restaurant??


2 years ago
DCFAN said:

Also, I don't have a strong feeling that Gary will stay in the business very much longer. The way they are churning out games feels like he is doing a money grab before he sells off the company.

So, by upping the quality of his product, upping his production, diversifying his product for the home collector (LE models), and actually securing licenses people want to play . . . you take from that that he is somehow doing a pump and dump when there are ZERO strategic entities that appear situated to want to acquire a pinball company.

That logic makes little sense to me . . .


2 years ago

Jack is indeed a super friendly guy. The first time I called JJP, he happened to answer the phone. We ended up talking for over an hour. By the time I got off the phone, any lingering doubts I had about WOZ were long gone. The guy's passion is truly contagious.

And I don't see the price of X-Men as an indicator that Gary is planning on selling the company. It's simply a business move aimed at maximizing profits.


-1
2 years ago
TigerLaw said:

So, by upping the quality of his product, upping his production, diversifying his product for the home collector (LE models), and actually securing licenses people want to play . . . you take from that that he is somehow doing a pump and dump when there are ZERO strategic entities that appear situated to want to acquire a pinball company.
That logic makes little sense to me . . .

Stern will turn 67 years old this month. How long do you think he will stay in pinball? It seems like this is something that either he is somewhat hands-on or he must sell because the pinball business is too risky without monitoring your finances personally. There have been rumors for a while that he would not be around much longer.

Also, just about any profitable business is attractive to some potential investors.


2 years ago
marksf123 said:

DCFAN said:
Also, I don't have a strong feeling that Gary will stay in the business very much longer. The way they are churning out games feels like he is doing a money grab before he sells off the company.

You also just said on another thread the economy is going to blow up again. We need to cheer you up and get you more positive on things : )


2 years ago
Hwawonyu said:

You also just said on another thread the economy is going to blow up again. We need to cheer you up and get you more positive on things : )

I did not mean to sound like Stern would not exist. I just think Gary will be gone within the next few years.
Did you read the news this morning that Spain is about to get a 100 billion dollar bank bailout? Greece will likely get kicked out of the EU. Italy is in bad shape.
My 401k is flat-lining the last 3 years and I have been putting maximum contributions into it.
The interest rates are so damn low that the cash we have cannot even gain any interest. The stock market cannot do anything positive until the EU problems get sorted out which will take time after they make a decision on how to resolve it.

Thank goodness I have a good stable job. I feel sorry for the people that have less stable situations and have a hard time finding jobs after getting laid off, and God help the new college graduates in finding a job.


2 years ago

Nice. I once ran into Steve Ritchie on a plane headed to the NW show a couple of years ago. Steve traded places with the guy next to me and we BS'ed all the way to Seattle. Isn't traveling fun?

The rest of you guys debating Stern's future need to read the subject line again. Sheesh.


2 years ago

Aqua?

I really mis living in San Francisco : (


2 years ago
judremy said:

What I like about Jack vs Gary is that Jack is optomistic about the future of pinball while Gary is a bit "doom & gloom". Gary comes off talking about a hobby that is dying and that pinball is lucky to still be made at all. Jack sees it as a resurgence and a (hopefully) growing hobby. This is my perspective on them.

Completely agree. I think Gary underestimated the potential growth in the home market and the attractiveness to that market of "premium" content games even at a premium price. JJP showed him the way and I am sure he was pushed by his investors. The year I toured Stern with Expo his message was "get out of your basements and play on location -- you're better than that." Fell pretty flat on tour group though they all want to support location games. Anyway, he was probably pretty close to shutting down that year -- there was almost no activity at the factory. But the investors saved him, JJP pushed him and he's still around. And in the end, that's good for pinball.

Jack is always optimistic and believes the whole pinball market can be grown. He's been great for pinball. He makes you feel good to be his customer. I think we are in the second Golden Age of Pinball.

Ramble over!


2 years ago
DCFAN said:

Also, I don't have a strong feeling that Gary will stay in the business very much longer. The way they are churning out games feels like he is doing a money grab before he sells off the company.

Didn't he already sell the company ?

LTG


2 years ago
DCFAN said:

Also, just about any profitable business is attractive to some potential investors.

This is absolutly not correct. Nitch businesses with an international market that are labor intensive are challenging to liquidate . . . even more so when there is no one else really in the sector (JJP is still in start up phase and I would not count him - his own survival remains far from a certainty though we all wish him well).

DCFAN said:

Stern will turn 67 years old this month. How long do you think he will stay in pinball?

66 is not too old to do what he is doing; I assume he is healthy. Regardless, we don't know what type of debt is out there on Stern (as a company) that Gary may have personally guaranteed and need to continue to service through keeping operations running along . . . he could well be stuck in the company for the forseeable future. We don't know what we don't know . . . if you understand what I am saying there . . . and to assume he has an impending exit with no basis other than he is reving up his operations (which is a good thing for all of us) is just an odd assumption.


2 years ago

Jack's a great guy, hyped about pinball, his product the the future of pinball that we all have our hands in making bigger and better.


2 years ago

So.....what's the restaurant?? I have family in Palo Alto and am out there quite a bit....


2 years ago

Hey guys, whats Jack G like. is he nice???


2 years ago

The restaurant is Scomas. Really good seafood.


examiner

Pinball addict
4y
1,187,650
2 years ago
LTG said:

Didn't he already sell the company ?
LTG

Lloyd sees through the fog. I've no knowledge of Sterns particular investment deal, but I do have knowledge of how private equity firms (i.e. investors) work. I'm sure Gary still retains an ownership interest, but it's doubtful he still controls the company. At least that would be the typical outcome of bringing in outside investors.

When you can't obtain a bank loan to support your operations, you need to sell off part of the company if you want to continue. As a rule, the statement "we brought in outside investors" is a nice way of saying "we sold a good chunk of the company". (not saying this is the case w/ Stern, but I am saying this is the case with 95+% of private equity deals)


2 years ago
pinball_keefer said:

The restaurant is Scomas. Really good seafood.

Been there several times.

Robert


2 years ago
pinball_keefer said:

The restaurant is Scomas. Really good seafood.

Best seafood on fishermans wharf.

Jack/Keith, If you bring a finished game to PPE dinners on us.


RobT

Pinside immortal
4y
19,508,500
2 years ago
gambit3113 said:

Is anyone asking Jack when he is actually going to get that pinball machine working, during these personal encounters?

I'd like to know if someone has asked him what his reasoning is for raising the price on WoZ by $500.00?


2 years ago
RobT said:

I'd like to know if someone has asked him what his reasoning is for raising the price on WoZ by $500.00?

I thought that was the real price and the $500 discount was an incentive to get in early like the $1000 discount on the ECLE.


RobT

Pinside immortal
4y
19,508,500
2 years ago
absocountry2 said:

I thought that was the real price and the $500 discount was an incentive to get in early like the $1000 discount on the ECLE.

Nope.

The original price for the non LE was $6500.00. The incentive only applied to the LE ($7500.00 regular price, $6500.00 for the early pre-order price).

So apparently now there is only $500.00 difference between the LE and non LE version at it's current price, and after July 1, people will be paying $500.00 more than the early pre-order guys paid for the LE.


2 years ago
thedarkknight77 said:

Great Story! Lady Gaga loves pinball? I must be living under a rock............How did you guys find this out?

Minneapolis Sept 2010
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/102023588.html


Sunfox

Pinball addict
4y
1,627,450
2 years ago

I think it's unfair to call this a "price hike" - rather, it is the ending of the preorder discount. You say that "the incentive only applied to the LE", but you are wrong.

1) When people first ordered the LE for $6,500 in early 2011, no one knew what the final price would be. The first mention of a higher price was on June 11, 2011, where it was stated that the price would increase to $7,000 on July 1, 2011 (sounds like a familiar timeline, huh?), and then to $7,500 on August 1, 2011. So, between January 9 and June 11, no one knew how much of a "discount" their preorder was actually for.

2) The ordering availability of the normal edition was announced in an email on October 16, 2011, which states "We are now taking Pre-Orders for the Wizard of Oz Pinball, (Non-ECLE)...The Pre-Order Price is $6500.00 with just a $250.00 deposit." It's typical for "pre-order" prices to involve some sort of discount for ordering before the product ships, yes?

So, really, how is this any different to how things were handled with the LE? And how is this different to pre-order pricing on a new Stern - beyond not having some inflated MSRP stated in advance that no one would actually ever charge?

Personally, I'm hoping this is a sign that machines are going to start shipping in July!


RobT

Pinside immortal
4y
19,508,500
2 years ago
Sunfox said:

I think it's unfair to call this a "price hike" - rather, it is the ending of the preorder discount. You say that "the incentive only applied to the LE", but you are wrong.
1) When people first ordered the LE for $6,500 in early 2011, no one knew what the final price would be. The first mention of a higher price was on June 11, 2011, where it was stated that the price would increase to $7,000 on July 1, 2011 (sounds like a familiar timeline, huh?), and then to $7,500 on August 1, 2011. So, between January 9 and June 11, no one knew how much of a "discount" their preorder was actually for.
2) The ordering availability of the normal edition was announced in an email on October 16, 2011, which states "We are now taking Pre-Orders for the Wizard of Oz Pinball, (Non-ECLE)...The Pre-Order Price is $6500.00 with just a $250.00 deposit." It's typical for "pre-order" prices to involve some sort of discount for ordering before the product ships, yes?
So, really, how is this any different to how things were handled with the LE? And how is this different to pre-order pricing on a new Stern - beyond not having some inflated MSRP stated in advance that no one would actually ever charge?
Personally, I'm hoping this is a sign that machines are going to start shipping in July!

Nice attempt at spin, but it's still a price hike.

You admit that there was never any mention of the price being higher later. In fact you say "It's typical" for preorders to involve some type of discount. Well, typical or not, it was not stated that there was any discount.

You also make reference to pre-orders for a new Stern, which makes no sense, since Stern doesn't raise their price on a pin once the MSRP is announced. We are talking about a price hike, and that's what JJP has done, plain and simple.

There is nothing "unfair" about calling this a price hike in any way.


2 years ago

This is 100% a price hike. There has never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever been any suggestion whatsoever of a higher price than $6500 for the standard edition WOZ. Only after the "big reveal" at E3 did this come about.


2 years ago
RobT said:

Nice attempt at spin, but it's still a price hike.
You admit that there was never any mention of the price being higher later. In fact you say "It's typical" for preorders to involve some type of discount. Well, typical or not, it was not stated that there was any discount.
You also make reference to pre-orders for a new Stern, which makes no sense, since Stern doesn't raise their price on a pin once the MSRP is announced. We are talking about a price hike, and that's what JJP has done, plain and simple.

If your concerned about it why don't you call Jack himself. I'm sure he would let you know why.


RobT

Pinside immortal
4y
19,508,500
2 years ago
TomGWI said:

If your concerned about it why don't you call Jack himself. I'm sure he would let you know why.

My concern only comes from the fact that I want JJP to be successful. Continued delays aren't going to help, then adding a price hike on top of that helps even less in my opinion.


2 years ago

He raised the price because he thinks he can (i.e., trying to charge what the market will bear). It's no more complicated than that - talk of discounts, expiring discounts, 'reducing the discount before the next reduction in the discount', etc. is all b.s. The $6500 LE deal was a way to get some cash coming in and gauge demand before the product was far along (it probably also helped quite a bit with any addtitional financing he needed - demonstrating the market existed).

The interesting thing with his mostly pay up front model is that he's had the bulk of the LE cash in hand for a good while but the massive cash outflow (raw materials and components for the 1,000) is just beginning. I think this little move with the July 1 $500 bump is a way to try to generate a little cash pop to help with that. I hope he's had a good CFO...


2 years ago
RobT said:

You also make reference to pre-orders for a new Stern, which makes no sense, since Stern doesn't raise their price on a pin once the MSRP is announced.

That is correct but Stern does not give a preorder discount. I would rather have the option to get in early at a better price.


2 years ago

I just realized this thread is about meeting Jack, not his pricing.

glad you got to meet him. If I get to that area I will stop at that resturant.


2 years ago

The time Jack took to speak with my wife one on one and explain WOZ and it's features to her was a major factor in closing the sale. He was impressive!


2 years ago
Shadow said:

Jack is truly a nice guy. He just likes people.

+1



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