(Topic ID: 181602)

Predator, zidware/Jpop games, Big Lebowski - How were you affected?


By Barakawins1

2 years ago



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  • 95 posts
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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by badbilly27
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    There are 95 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 2 years ago

    Share your story here.... Which game did you buy, purchase price and what's your current status on recovery? Would you ever buy another
    pre order again from any manufacturer after your experience?

    #2 2 years ago

    Houdini has not been released yet and no money has been accepted for it as far as I know. Do you mean the various JPop games?

    #3 2 years ago

    I was in with an early preorder for Predator. I was on that ride for a while but opted out and got a refund- luckily before the whole thing imploded. I'd still preorder other games as long as it was through a reputable distributor.

    #4 2 years ago

    I thought that Popadiuk also claimed bankruptcy on a game and the money vanished? No?

    #5 2 years ago

    Lost $$$ with JPOP on RAZA
    Was in early on predator, I met Kevin and played the game at the NW pinball show (I didn't like either) cancelled my order and did get my deposit back.

    Quoted from Barakawins1:

    I thought that Popadiuk also claimed bankruptcy on a game and the money vanished? No?

    Nope JPOP did not go BK.. Yet

    #6 2 years ago
    Quoted from Concretehardt:

    Lost $$$ with JPOP on RAZA
    Was in early on predator, I met Kevin and played the game at the NW pinball show (I didn't like either) cancelled my order and did get my deposit back.

    Nope JPOP did not go BK.. Yet

    curious, can you check when you got the refund and also how you got it back (i.e. paypal. check. other). One of things I have been trying to pinpoint is when refunds still happened and when he stopped with refunds. It has some merits for the ongoing cases as it shows some intent and when intent likely shifted.

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    #7 2 years ago

    I was deeply affected as a i lost numerous hours at work reading the twists and turns of the saga over the course of years. I was also affected in that I resolved to never, ever preorder anything besides concert tickets from now until the rest of my life.

    Really helped shape my world view.

    #8 2 years ago

    I dont really have a story,but being a pinball fan,I will say I was disheartened and disappointed.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    curious, can you check when you got the refund and also how you got it back (i.e. paypal. check. other). One of things I have been trying to pinpoint is when refunds still happened and when he stopped with refunds. It has some merits for the ongoing cases as it shows some intent and when intent likely shifted.

    I received my deposit refund shortly after I received this email from Kevin.

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    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    curious, can you check when you got the refund and also how you got it back (i.e. paypal. check. other). One of things I have been trying to pinpoint is when refunds still happened and when he stopped with refunds. It has some merits for the ongoing cases as it shows some intent and when intent likely shifted.

    I got a $250 refund via check in NoV 2013 on predator

    #11 2 years ago

    Pretty sure it was from a Skit B account header but not positive.

    #12 2 years ago

    This is why I don't preorder pinball machines. Not to say I don't trust the companies, but because I would rather not have that money tied up in a game that I won't have for years, and for a game that may or may not even be complete software wise by the time I get it.

    #13 2 years ago

    I got on the Predator list, because at the time - why not? I dropped out when they started asking for money.

    I'm fully paid on Lebowski. My game was built in Sept, is in the box, and is being held hostage by ARA in the Netherlands. I don't know who to trust or what to do - so I'm in on this ride whether I like it or not.

    I'll never buy another NIB pinball ever again. Every company has ruined it in one way or another.

    #14 2 years ago

    So far I am out $17,500. $10K from Jpop, $7500 on 2 Predators.

    #15 2 years ago

    It has made for plenty of good drama to read on this forum, and has provided me with a few chuckles as well.

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    #16 2 years ago

    I didn't lose financially.

    The hobby took a big financial loss. Money that could have gone to Spooky, Jersey Jack, and Stern.

    And a lot of people work hard to help others. Keep their games going. Make pinball more enjoyable for them.

    This soured a lot of people. Made pinball something less. Some may have even left pinball for other things to do.

    We all were effected. We all lost something.

    LTG : (

    #17 2 years ago

    The only one I would give money too either deposit or full pay would be spooky! Just bought an AMH and pleased with the product ! The customer service is beyond reproach !
    New start ups always a gamble, think I would wait it out!

    #18 2 years ago

    I paid $250 deposit by CHECK on 11/20/2012. I received a $250 refund on 7/19/2013 via PAYPAL.

    Quoted from Whysnow:curious, can you check when you got the refund and also how you got it back (i.e. paypal. check. other). One of things I have been trying to pinpoint is when refunds still happened and when he stopped with refunds. It has some merits for the ongoing cases as it shows some intent and when intent likely shifted.

    I paid $250 deposit by PERSONAL CHECK on 11/20/2012. I received a $250 refund on 7/19/2013 via PAYPAL.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    The hobby took a big financial loss. Money that could have gone to Spooky, Jersey Jack, and Stern.

    They're not all "innocent" and aren't entitled to money spent on other things. Spooky hasn't made a game I like...but since they're always limited, you have to pre-order...you really don't know if you're going to like it before you get it. JJP's first two games took forever to come out. I have a Hobbit and love it - but the guy I bought it from waited 4 years for it. I wouldn't have done that. Stern can barely make a playfield that doesn't pit or crack, games aren't tested before shipped, and code is always F'd up.

    No one has their shit together yet, but prices keep climbing. If you're gonna charge the price of a luxury, I expect the quality you'd receive for a luxury item.

    As it stands, they're all messed up....and none of them deserve my money.

    -4
    #20 2 years ago

    I drove to Vegas to see Houdini but I didn't get to play it. Got referred to as an "industry insider" by American Pinball.

    Going to talk to J-Pop soon to hear more about the whole mess.

    I feel that my podcast where I implored companies to hire new blood and referred to Crazy Levi as a "shittenwisel" ended up having a profound effect on the pinball industry.

    #21 2 years ago

    I (apparently now) have had a fully built and ready to ship Big Lebowski #59 that I paid $8,500 for in 2014 sitting in a manufacturing plant in Holland since last October.

    Will I ever pre-order another pinball machine after this experience? Hmmmmm. Not likely.

    Call me an optimist (among other things perhaps), but I am confident that this pre-order will still work out yet.

    And FWIW: I blame o-din and CrazyLevi for this whole debacle as, just like drug pushers, their Pinside posts got me "high" on pre-ordering at the time. And also just because.

    #22 2 years ago

    I may be unlucky in some regards (cough XMLE), but with these games I got super lucky.

    -Predator, I had my $250 deposit but after Kevin changes the way they would be paid for I got a refund the next minute after he announced his changed of direction. It had been you would pay for your game as it was about to be built. Instead Kevin changed the script to ask for half to be paid by all would be owners in advance. I said F-you and got my refund. Partly because the PF did not glow in the dark as advertised but a lot of other reasons, I was 'on the fence' because Kevin was such a world class ass clown, and at the same time Stern came out with IMVE (or at a similar time) I opined why the heck would I pay more for Predator a shaky proposition when I could get IMVE which was a known quality pin and I could send my money and get a pin in 4 weeks time no questions asked. I've been playing my IM VE for 3 years.

    -BHZA here is the one I really got out I believe I had $6000 in (or thereabouts) and was waiting along with everyone. However, as John was saying all along the game was great etc. I kept on saying so why the hell can't you show us the game? I mean it was on a secret blog and all and all he was showing was a clip of this little mechanism or this part of the PF or this toy that may not even be in the game. I was pestering him for a while, but he said at EXPO he would have a great reveal. John showed up at EXPO with two empty cabinets. I flipped out. I started sending him text messages and said I wanted my full refund and if I didn't get it now, I would sue his ass (etc.) I sent a certified letter and soon got a refund. It was after this time that things really went sideways.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

    I blame o-din and CrazyLevi for this whole debacle as, just like drug pushers, their Pinside posts got me "high" on pre-ordering at the time.

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    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I didn't lose financially.
    The hobby took a big financial loss. Money that could have gone to Spooky, Jersey Jack, and Stern.
    And a lot of people work hard to help others. Keep their games going. Make pinball more enjoyable for them.
    This soured a lot of people. Made pinball something less. Some may have even left pinball for other things to do.
    We all were effected. We all lost something.
    LTG : (

    This. "No dog in this fight" doesn't play here.

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    They're not all "innocent" and aren't entitled to money spent on other things. Spooky hasn't made a game I like...but since they're always limited, you have to pre-order...you really don't know if you're going to like it before you get it. JJP's first two games took forever to come out. I have a Hobbit and love it - but the guy I bought it from waited 4 years for it. I wouldn't have done that. Stern can barely make a playfield that doesn't pit or crack, games aren't tested before shipped, and code is always F'd up.
    No one has their shit together yet, but prices keep climbing. If you're gonna charge the price of a luxury, I expect the quality you'd receive for a luxury item.
    As it stands, they're all messed up....and none of them deserve my money.

    Truth!

    Got my $250 back on Predator. Nearly went in on MG on day 1......

    And right now find myself really wanting to buy a HUO latest Stern but the QC worries are off the scale. And not knowing if a code will be completed as it's just radio silence from Stern.

    Strange times indeed

    #26 2 years ago

    I was in on all RAZA, Predator & MMr. I didn't like the non-feedback I was getting on Predator (which I had the largest deposit) and decided to cancel all 3 games the same day. I got my deposits back on all three - which was I think $25O or RAZA, around $1750 on Predator and $1000 on MMr. I almost got back in on MMr standard but decided not to buy. Strange thing was that I could of got the MMr standard before some where getting their MMr LE and they paid in full 2 years earlier.

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    #27 2 years ago

    I also got out of MMr because Rick was giving me some attitude and I don't feel that's the way to treat a paying customer so I dropped out of MMr and got STLE instead.

    #28 2 years ago

    $ 4,500 lost on Predator
    $ 9,500 or so on RAZA and AIW
    Houdini - ha ha ha

    F Jpop and Kevin. Thieves. You try to support people in the hobby with your hard earned money and you get ripped off. Lifetime ban from pinball is what I say...

    No idea why TBL is on your list - they made the game, great quality, and good people.

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinballSTAR:

    No idea why TBL is on your list - they made the game, great quality, and good people.

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    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinballSTAR:

    No idea why TBL is on your list - they made the game, great quality, and good people.

    Are you F'ing serious?

    Go read the Lebowski threads. Dutch lied about the PCB issue as a cover for not paying the contract manufacturer ARA. They were silent for 2 months until the lie was exposed. ARA is holding my game hostage at the moment!!!! F pinball!!!!

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Are you F'ing serious?
    Go read the Lebowski threads. Dutch lied about the PCB issue as a cover for not paying the contract manufacturer ARA. They were silent for 2 months until the lie was exposed. ARA is holding my game hostage at the moment!!!! F pinball!!!!

    Wasn't up on that - sorry. What's the PCB issue ? Who's ARA ? I guess I should go read the thread... I got my game and am happy with it didn't realize about other issues. Hard to keep up with so many things in a fun hobby that I need to be pissed off about... I'm pissed about Predator and Jpop, I can't handle any more... I got those two, you be pissed at Dutch and we got them all covered !

    Just read the thread - that sucks... Dutch is just finding that making pinball is hard. My best to them and to the people waiting on games... I'm sure they'll come through...

    #32 2 years ago

    After this debarcle, anyone who pre-orders a pinball machine should go into it being fully prepared that they may lose their money.

    Pinball pre-orders should be considered crowdfunding. Your money is essentially helping something get produced. The problem is that more than 75% of crowdfunding ventures fail. A real gamble.

    Although I have not been personally affected by all of the shady shit that has been going on, I feel for all those that have been. Not only has this taken a financial toll, but it no doubt has also soured their love for pinball.

    #33 2 years ago

    Was one of the lucky few to receive my TBL.

    It sits basically unplayed because it's not very much fun. Now it turns out that it's most likely a better idea financially to polish it with a diaper rather than play it. Whole situation sucks. Will definitely not pre-order anything again.

    #34 2 years ago

    Was in on all the JPop Games, TBL, & Predator.

    TBL - Still hopeful and waiting
    JPOP - Don't even go there
    Predator - Was paid in full and got out about 7 months before it all imploded by dumb luck

    What a pre-order shit show this hobby became

    (Expensive) Lessons Learned

    #35 2 years ago

    Spooky and Heighway are the only ones I trust. Was not involved in any other of the games thankfully.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from calprog:

    Spooky and Heighway are the only ones I trust. Was not involved in any other of the games thankfully.

    You trust "Alien Shipping April 2015" Heighway?! "Two-Weeks" Heighway?

    I trust Spooky, but unfortunately you risk not getting a game unless you pre-order it, so that counts them out as well.

    #37 2 years ago

    Got my TBL, love it.. it's not deep like woz but not everything has to be. Feel awful that if I had basically slept on the decision vs ordering in the first 3 hours I might be in limbo with everyone else right now. So Lucky.

    #38 2 years ago

    $250 on Predator and letting down many that wanted it on location...

    #39 2 years ago

    I asked for a packet on AIW and at the time I was really into the idea of it. Mercifully, he never sent me the packet and after a month of me asking I basically decided that if he couldn't figure out how to send me an info packet he probably couldn't deliver. I was lucky so to speak.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    You trust "Alien Shipping April 2015" Heighway?! "Two-Weeks" Heighway?

    Maybe he/she got a Full Throttle.

    #41 2 years ago

    I have a bunch of Stern games ...that doesn't mean what they're doing now is good.

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    I asked for a packet on AIW and at the time I was really into the idea of it. Mercifully, he never sent me the packet and after a month of me asking I basically decided that if he couldn't figure out how to send me an info packet he probably couldn't deliver. I was lucky so to speak.

    Same. I couldn't find any info on it... so in a sense lucked out. Probably would have gotten suckered too.

    #43 2 years ago

    Was on Predator, Nemo, and Wrath of Olympus... 33% attrition rate and $4750 lost in the Kevin debacle.

    #44 2 years ago

    I was fully paid in for Predator but luckily my CC Co refunded my money fully since Paypal's 6 months has well and truly expired.

    With the exchange rate being better when I got my refund I actually did make some money on the deal.

    #45 2 years ago

    It looks like the dutch boys will be at tpf. The American playfield and plastic company as well. anyone with skin on mg and or tbl going to tpf there's your chance to unload on the lying, thieving scum. tpf could be very interesting this year.

    #46 2 years ago

    The more I read about all of this, the sicker I get.

    I feel for all of you that were ripped off. I can't stop shaking my head. It makes me so angry that these con men keep doing this to the pinball community, and it seems they get away with it. It makes me sick.

    I wish there was an emoji that could convey my emotions about all of this. There isn't.

    #47 2 years ago

    I was in on predator but got my money back after expo 2013 when it didn't demo well.

    I lost $6500 to jpop on raza which is gone.

    Outside of ordering a Stern on announcement and receiving it a little while later I don't pre order unmade games anymore.

    Full throttle was my last preordered game and I said it would be my last. Both because I've been screwed by jpop but also In the end I don't find it fun to wait forever past missed deadlines.

    I'll be an Alien buyer once kits are shipping. But have held back and that has made it a lot easier to follow since I had no cash on the line.

    #48 2 years ago
    Quoted from ectobar:

    Was one of the lucky few to receive my TBL.
    It sits basically unplayed because it's not very much fun. Now it turns out that it's most likely a better idea financially to polish it with a diaper rather than play it. Whole situation sucks. Will definitely not pre-order anything again.

    I know someone that will trade you a MM for that TBL.

    #49 2 years ago

    Got taken on Predator. Initially pre-ordered but had reservations whether it would actually happen but figured it was just a $250 gamble.

    Paid the rest of the cash when asked but luckily got that back via the credit card company.

    Now wiser. I wouldn't pre-order from any company again. At one time I had committed to Hobbit, MMr and Predator. MMr was almost 2 years late and came with the dodgy inserts. the Hobbit was a very different machine to the one I ordered and way too delayed so I pulled out.

    Probably the key thing I learnt is I'll never buy anything new again unless it's via a credit card.

    #50 2 years ago

    Got dry bummed on Predator for $4750. And will chase that amount from The Kulek Thieves from now until the end of time. Not going into how it affected me, but lets just say my world almost came to an end. In that respect, i wish for not only for my money back, but for some punishment to befall Kevin Kulek. I would like him to serve time (after reimbursing everyone - yeah right!) but could be partially satisfied should he decide to start sucking on the end of a loaded Ruger P38 sometime soon. That's truly how i feel.

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