(Topic ID: 283944)

RAZA Pre-order Club: A Cautionary Tale

By NoMonkey

10 months ago

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  • Latest reply 2 days ago by ronaldvg
  • Topic is favorited by 89 Pinsiders


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“Which Edition Did You Order”

  • Arcade 27 votes
  • Xtra 25 votes

(52 votes)

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Post #2440 Link to SEC filings story. Posted by BMore-Pinball (58 days ago)

Post #2468 Story of SEC indictment Posted by DakotaMike (58 days ago)

Post #2527 DR never owned the Zidware entity per report. Posted by wcbrandes (58 days ago)

Post #2676 Summary of DR outlandish things. Posted by TheFamilyArcade (57 days ago)

Post #2864 Charging back a RAZA preorder Posted by Mr68 (50 days ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#1583 3 months ago

Forget counting cars in parking lot or trucks leaving, and instead look south. I’ve figured out Robert’s plans. It all makes perfect sense now … Robert is having the pins built in Mexico. He will take advantage of their prebuilt factories and cheap workforce. Primary reason it is folly to count the parked cars is that he is having games brought into HQ via underground tunnels. That’s right, each night when you lay your head on pillow, Robert is taking completed games and putting each inside a pin-pod, readying it for shipment

We don’t know who built these tunnels but know it wasn’t JPOP. JPOP has likely spent the past 5 years at deeproot designing the tunnels, all the while laborers swung axes and shoveled wheelbarrows of dirt to complete the tunnels. Guess we should have seen this coming. How else to explain that nobody has any idea how Robert could be building pins without a factory filled with parts and people?

#1588 3 months ago

Reality - if Robert wanted the 133 pins built, he’d find a way. Can’t find parts is bullshit. That excuse is only legit if Robert was trying to build games and not pay above previous market prices. Maybe he expects to locate coils for $10 or have someone supply metal rails for $50 a set. That approach won’t work now and this is more like a Custer’s last stand situation. If Robert offered me $1 Million profit and was willing to pay $1/2 Million in parts and $1/2 Million for services, I’d have all RAZA’s built by end of year. I’d fly to Rome and hire Michael Angelo to handcraft each one. For $2 Million, 133 games would get made. Instead, we’ve seen 6.5 months pass and Deeproot spend $2 Million in salaries and we are no closer to RAZA # 1 rolling off the line.

The odd thing is that building RAZA’s will not create trust in the company nor spur future sales because building the second game will require a completely different approach. Right now with deposits and some paid in full, Robert needs to build the games any way he can. Regroup for game 2 and plan to use contract manufacturing. If all RAZA’s are not built by August 31, Robert will be gone and Deeproot will be in the throes of a death rattle.

#1663 3 months ago

Robert M’s decision to delay an update was a mistake. He promised the community they would get an update and then didn’t provide it. It would have been easy to provide one. By missing another deadline, Robert gets a strike for lying. Granted this is a minuscule one and more of one of poor planning. But Robert has a credibility problem and this didn’t help.

In the one decision, he also made a mistake by linking being able to report meaningful progress with releasing the update. He never told us that was what he was doing but it likely was what he meant. So Robert was unclear with his intent too. The problem with waiting to report something until there is significant progress is the unpredictability it causes. So if event doesn’t occur, you rationalize, it will happen in a few weeks and then you’ll report. Well the thing you are waiting for inevitably takes forever to occur, and so when you give that update three months have gone by.

Until now our understanding of Robert running the company was he had raised tons of capital and he could continue at will for as long as the funds hold up. That is still unchanged but know that he has investors and a board to answer to. Once one of them sees the money suck going on and puts their foot down. The operation will be shut down. I believe this is already occurring and this is why I selected Aug 31 as important. That is not any official date but would be a reasonable point in Deeproot’s timeline to be shipping games or laying everybody off. Robert M’s background is making profitable investments and were he to look at his own books, he’d have to see it is time to give up. While you may be tempted to look at what was spent to get here, it is better to focus on what the future looks like. Those tea leaves are saying run Forrest, run!

#1669 3 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

You should just ask for a refund. Fair enough if your not interested in waiting. Everyone has there breaking point. Good luck.

Fortunately no money is in and I would have taken a refund the first time it was offered. Way back when people were signing contracts not to sue JPOP. Had I missed that deadline I would taken the money the second time it was offered.

I have no doubt Robert could build the 130 games, making all purchasers happy. But I also believe he wants to do it at a reasonable cost. Therein lies the problem.

Hypothetical Example #1 - Games selling for $7k (??) each should cost no more than $4k (??) to build. If they cost 1 cent more than $7k, they are losing money on every game built. Also their production costs are out of wack!

Hypothetical Example #2 - Lots of bad decisions are made by the company president. Lacking competence the company president focuses on insignificant aspects and so is surprised by every issue that comes up.

If Robert were to look at the financials, he’d conclude it was a bad investment. Lots of capital was spent, way more than what should have been. Too many unanswered issues are left unsolved. There is no million dollar inventory or fixed assets to draw on for the $20M (??) spent to date. Stay in business and hemorrhage millions a month. He probably has enough $ to build 130 games for everyone and he may have the desire to proceed at any costs. But what comes after building RAZA?

Those still in in RAZA would be better off if Robert decided to refund 110% to buyers and close the company. In that case the only group of people hurt would be the investors of DR and they may have lost it all, to the tune of $20 Million.

#1678 3 months ago

I was reading TWIP this week and they summarized the TPS interview of Spooky where Charlie says, we have all the parts in to begin the first build (of 1250 Halloween and 500 Ultraman’s). I don’t know how many of the total “first build” includes but if I had to take a wag and knowing Charlie is a straight shooter, I’d say enough parts to build 500 games. The number is not important, rather Spooky let us know they are starting production and confirmed they have 100% of the parts on hand to do the builds. That shows competence and it is what we need to hear from Deeproot. In Dec 2021, 130 RAZA orders were placed and games were expected to be built by March. The last update from them was in June, where they announced some proportion of some portion of the parts that were needed to build 130 games were in. That is weak sauce.

#1699 3 months ago
Quoted from wrb1977:

Wilhelm at deeproot indicated that according to Robert a RAZA update was likely this week. I do not think this will be the “now shipping” update everyone is hoping for, however, I do think this will be a very significant update with specifics as to their progress. Maybe wishful thinking...thoughts anyone???

So in addition to the July 4th non-update, the forecasted July 19th update was missed too? Now we have Wilhelm at Deeproot promising an update this week. If that doesn’t happen, does Deeproot miss another deadline or does that one not count because Robert never posted it himself, in writing? Sorry, I’ll sit quietly for a few days to give Robert time to deliver his state of the union.

#1763 89 days ago

Beside some calling others snowflake at the drop of a hat, the same comment applies to those calling everyone angry, trolls or fanboys. Sometimes the label applies, but more often it is used as a response in lieu of logic.

#1784 88 days ago

The main reason this thread got woke and is keeping it real now, may be because no public thread on Pinside can be used to exclude non-owners. As such anyone interested in a thread can respond. But you may say, “This is an Owners’ thread and Pinside etiquette is no one can post negative or unflattering comments”. That part is true but remember, Pinside has a hard rule against allowing an Owners thread to be opened BEFORE production is underway. For that reason this thread is an illegitimate Owners thread, and it has become more of a really popular place to post your thoughts on Deeproot, while they get their shit together and build 130 mf games.

If that had occurred as promised by Deeproot at the time of selling and accepting deposits on RAZA, the games would have been built in March. The past four months of posts in this thread would have been about how great the game was. People would be requesting tweaks to the rules, Mod Makers would be swimming in orders for accouterments. We’d be over at threads reading about Deeproot games #2 and #3.

#1840 85 days ago


#1895 82 days ago

Listened to the Robert Mueller’s dialogs again and remember hearing him the first time around. Then he sounded intelligent and a little like a prophet. Given the benefit of hindsight, i have to say it ... Robert Mueller sounds delusional. But I am curious how things played out in the final contract language, regarding what happens when Deeproot misses deadlines and what payments are triggered by what amount of time. Can someone who received the signup papers respond about the specifics?

#1902 81 days ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:


But I am curious how things played out in the final contract language, regarding what happens when Deeproot misses deadlines and what payments are triggered by what amount of time. Can someone who received the signup papers respond about the specifics?

Going to ask again.

1 week later
#2004 73 days ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

missed something .... is it official that they are done ?
or just more speculation !

If you call Deeproot’s company phone lines, they direct you to send questions, comments, money, requests, etc to their company email address. If you remember DR stressed their communication skills and strong connections built with their customers. Now DR is telling them to GTFO. Don’t call us, we don’t care. Mail in your item and they’ll get back to you when their lawyers say the coast is clear and it is safe to come out.

Your complaint will be added to a control list and assigned a creditor class. AFAIK, customers rank dead last on the list of unsecured creditors, and are behind any secured creditors. And when one is trying to split a $0 bank balance among four or five groups of impacted creditors, after legal fees, the payout to each individual of a group is ... still close to $0.

#2202 68 days ago

Nobody is buying RAZA assets from dr’s going-out-of-business sale, setting up manufacturing, taking deposits and then making RAZA. Nobody is that stupid. The design, gameplay and software are only so so. The theme sucks!! We don’t know if everything in the game works nor if everything intended to be added has been added. There is no wow factor found in this game. The pinbar has to be removed prior to manufacturing and this necessitates its removal from code which it is closely entwined.

It is not that good a game and the theme does not have a fan base. There are unresolved legal issues, one of which was big enough to shutdown the company making it. WCBrandes has stated that he owns the rights to making RAZA and that has not been thrown up as a challenge yet. Who would buy a RAZA made under these circumstances, maybe 25 people.

Reality - RAZA’s will not be made by deeproot. deeproot is dead. Nobody will buy up assets and produce RAZA. RAZA’s will not be made. There is no chance for this pin. No hope.

#2246 67 days ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

I think it looks supergood and i would love to own one.

It definitely looks good, in fact looking good is one thing RAZA has going for it.

#2265 67 days ago
Quoted from frankmac:

I received a reply email from Robert and he started that he is working the legal mess to get rid of it as quick as possible.
Hope this all works out.

Did he say why he had been scrubbing social media regarding the deeproot name? Did he say why his entire company was furloughed? Did he mention UL certification? There was a lot of discovery that could have transpired besides the “lawsuit” and “other legal challenges”.

Maybe Robert shouldn’t have bothered replying to your email, while conveniently ignoring so many raging fires at the $44M company he ran and which is now worth $0. RM’s omission of these pertinent factors reeks of dishonesty by someone who can’t admit to himself it is over. Or it could be a lack of focus on what’s important or gross incompetence. Does it matter which one?

Anyway thanks for pasting RM’s reply to your inquiry. It just raises more questions.

#2393 64 days ago

How about a short what-if game for > anyone with a deposit or more with deeproot?

* What-if email was sent to Owners and a public notice posted that said ... deeproot has decided to reopen the window for issuing refunds. Beginning in one day and lasting for two days. Any Owner can request a refund of monies they’ve paid and refunds will be issued within one day of asking. deeproot will make an electronic deposit, issue money order, issue company check or whatever is easy.

* And nothing else is provided. No explanation if dr is still in business. no comment on the future of RAZA’s nor why did dr take down communications? You can only either choose to take action and request a refund or you can do nothing and nothing will have changed from where it sits.

** Question - if you have a deposit in, would you take this offer?

(disclaimer - this is only a hypothetical question, no such offer has been made)

#2397 64 days ago

^^ perfect. Keep them coming. The aspect of question that makes it interesting to me is that no new info will be known. It is based on whatever a person knows right now.

And I think it should be offered to anyone involved in litigation too. If you take the money you lose claim to a game and your participation in a lawsuit is null and void. Because you are getting paid.

#2403 64 days ago
1 week later
#2662 57 days ago
#2717 56 days ago
Quoted from underlord:

Besides, Bobbi will respresent himself cuz no other defense lawyer will tolerate his trying to insult their defense and threatening to sue his own council.

he could hire counselor Blueberry as a hostile defense lawyer, maybe?

#2744 55 days ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

I think it's stamps now days and not cigarettes

Stamps are out, it’s individual coffee creamers now.

#2770 53 days ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

JPOP .... RIP .... pinball career is dead!

If you get past the last 9 years of disasters known as JPOP, to find the last machine John “designed” which was actually produced and was a good game, you’d have to travel back to the nineties. No, I am sure that JPOP’s pinball career has been over for a long time now - r.i.p.

#2772 53 days ago

While thinking about how toxic John is to anything or anyone he touches… nobody would want to hire that guy, right? Only a moron would hire him, yes? Or someone who doesn’t want their company to survive and has decided to ensure it goes belly up. Someone who might benefit from having their company blowing up. Sound a little bit like the plot of the Producers? Well not really but he’s a real life nuclear wrecking ball.

With all that said, I DO see a future biz opportunity for John for companies to hire him when they need a factory disaster to draw attention away from whatever scam they are running. So he’s got that going for him.

#2773 53 days ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I wonder if Jpop had anything to do with killing Zizzle? That would have been strike 1.
Zidware MG, RAZA, AIW - strike 2, 3, 4.
Pintasia, strike 5.
Houdini/American Pinball, strike 6.
Did I forget anything? If not, that makes Derp Poop his 7th pinball failure since the B/W days ended.

yeah # 6 is really like #6 & #7 with #6 being the separate action by AP to build and ship 21(?) fake MG’s to fulfill Zidware contractual obligations and keep customers at bay. #7 is hiring JPOP as lead designer of AP and assigning him to design Houdini and then firing him when he wouldn’t take his thumb out of his ass.

So deeproot was life #8 and JPOP is literally on his 9th and final life. If you believe in that sort of thing, like me.

#2783 53 days ago
Quoted from Jvspin:

Okay, from now on I'll remember. If the math doesn't fit the business is s**t.

trademark that it’s good.

#2786 53 days ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

Slight tweak: If the math's not legit, the business ain't shit

or the expanded version ... If the math's not legit, the business ain't shit and it’s time for a bong hit!

#2790 53 days ago
#2802 52 days ago
Quoted from NevadaNutJob:

And , as always , vote with your wallet . When you feel it’s too much - don’t buy it .

That’s a good point. If you are comfortable paying $5k for nib then you’ll need to wait a year and pickup a huo game. Not only will it cost less than msrp, but you avoid sales tax. Many benefits to this approach including ability to inspect playfield.

#2849 51 days ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

Anyone paying a deposit for a start up company pin is making a foolish decision.
Haggis, DP, PB, anyone who haven't yet built a large number of pins
Roll the dice guys. Hope it works out. But things can happen... Car accidents, illnesses, unforeseen problems. Not saying it won't work out, but why even take the chance at this point. Makes no sense from everything we have all seen.
Just wait then buy. You won't miss out on anything.

I agree there is more risk dealing with the boutiques or newbie companies. Usually a deposit is put down to reserve the game and this amount is at risk of being lost. Read again this is 100% at risk. But when final payment is required at the time of manufacturing, it is at this point when the risk of a con comes into play. The company collects money and then they must build and ship the game. You have faith that they have parts, skill, availability and integrity to build your pin. This critical step is the most dangerous point in time because at this time, every single pinball con has gone bad. They receive the money and then nothing gets built.

So your relationship with that boutique or newbie manufacturer is critical. You need to support only those whom are legit and sincere and ones that won’t lie to you. If they say we are ready to build your pin are they telling yo the truth? For that reason, I only deal with new companies when they have proven themselves or who at least appear legit. I don’t deal with dishonest companies/people. Those usually come with many red flags if you keep your eyes open. Don’t ignore the red flags, rather pivot and run the opposite direction. If you fall into a trap, admit defeat, change direction and try to get your money back. By doing this my record is 6-0.

Predator Never sent deposit to Pirate of PinCONning, despite loving theme Win
RAZA Never sent deposit to JPOP under Zidware because JPOP too scatterbrained Win
TBL Sent full payment to Phil. Phil left and Credit card returned payment Win
Alien Sent deposit under HP. Credit card returned deposit Win
Alien Purchased PB built game from CoinTaker shipment & received game Win
RAZA Never sent deposit to deeproot Win

Currently have a deposit on Fathom remake, and I will be verifying games are shipping before paying balance due because Haggis is a new unproven company. Also have deposit on H and have played sample games, so no worries about it being produced by Spooky.

#2863 50 days ago

One common aspect of all cons is the immediate demand for money. There is a tight deadline given, usually now, and money is due if you want the product. There is not enough time allowed to wait around and see if the company is doing what it has promised. So you have to act blindly and with full faith. Conversely, if you find yourself in a pressure situation demanding that you act and spend money right away and you don’t feel comfortable, don’t act. Let the opportunity pass and see how things pan out and then make a move. There is always a chance to buy a HUO or even NIB pin later. The same goes for buying Stern nib. Make sure you want it before you buy it.

#2869 50 days ago
Quoted from thechakapakuni:

Yeah if you purchased with a CC I’d be hitting up the CC Co, unless you still believe there’s a chance you’re getting a RAZA
[quoted image]

Well, there’s always .....

#2934 48 days ago

Every time I type gas lighting in google, it autocorrects to Iceman

#2966 48 days ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

I just keep checking back in because Ice said we were only in the 3rd inning of this whole ordeal a couple of weeks or so ago. Are we in the 4th inning now? Has the game been cancelled on account of rain? I'm trying to keep score here.

Every so often, greatwich will post to explain himself from an earlier post and these get all kinds of down votes. But as late as last week, greatwich was maintaining he received information from all kinds of groups with plans to pick up the ashes and build RAZA’s! What if greatwich had only heard rumors of said conspiracies? What if he didn’t knowing anything but what one individual told him was going on? What if that source turns out to be the same source that told us Aliens would be built years ago? Someone who told us RAZA looked great at Zidware? Someone who told us there were no mountains high enough that Robert Mueller wouldn’t scale to build these RAZA’s? I don’t know the answer to greatwich hypotheticals nor do I care, because greatwich’s posts were largely a bunch of gibberish. But if we could figure out where greatwich went wrong, maybe he can still be saved. After his sabbatical, of course.

#3028 46 days ago
Quoted from cliff_clavin:

It sounds like Dutch just gives out enough EA games to keep people quiet. Whatever happened to the one in three or one in four ratio that would be EA games?
I sure would not be putting Dutch on a pedestal just yet.

There is 0% transparency by Dutch Pinball’s progress filling orders for EA machines. How many new games are being built and how many EA games have been delivered? How many games are actually being directed to EA’s. Example - If there are 160 ea games owed and 100 TBL’s have shipped in total and 5 of them went to EA’s and this has taken one year …. Something like this pinpoints where Dutch Pinball is. Dutch Pinball owes it’s creditors some answers after so many years of being jerked around.

My theory is they haven’t done this because if you put their numbers on paper, you’ll see their plan won’t work. Instead they will make and sell as many TBL’s at $12.5k and then declare bankruptcy. The number of EA’s left holding their IOU’s will number over 100. This might get take another year before it happens but when new buyers dry up, the fat lady will be done singing.

2 weeks later
#3208 33 days ago

No refunds policy goes out the window when deeproot doesn’t deliver the goods in timely manner promised.

#3217 27 days ago

Robert needs a high profile legal representation. Entering courtroom in a cloud of smoke is Johnny Cochran. “Your Honor and Jury”, I won’t waste your time and will cut to the quick. “If it didn’t ship .... he must have quit….. and now you must acquit”. The defense rests its case and where do I submit my $1M invoice to be paid ahead of the chumps here?

2 weeks later
#3260 11 days ago

Pretty soon schemers will wise up and quit accepting AXE payments ??? With keys to business accounts, American Express does what American Express wants. Moral of the story, don’t F with AXE. .

#3267 11 days ago

JPOP designed vehicle really has it all. Now we know what John was working on…. a souped up JPOOPER. A production model will be offered in one color …. jpurple.

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