The Big Lebowski Preorder Club (Members Only)

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By Nilroc

2 years ago


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#3201 3 months ago
Quoted from Skins:

I just can't wrap my head around the fact they're willing to walk away and start over. That makes ZERO business sense. I have learned in business being right doesn't always mean being right.

It's simple: if ARA can't sell their produced machines to DP, they can't (legally) sell them at all since DP has those rights, turning this expensive stock of pinball machines to a worthless pile of junk. That's DP's ace in this. If they pay the extra €1000,- they will probably lose money on each machine (not exactly something you set out to do if you're an entrepreneur) and they also set a precedent for all machines that still need producing. And "starting over" might be simpler than it looks, since everything is developed already and they can leave a lot of costs behind with ARA.

#3202 3 months ago

ARA owns the rights to the circuit boards used in TBL, so the new manufacturer will have to redesign the boards as well

Hopefully they will have hindsight to develops boards backwards compatibility for games already produced..

#3203 3 months ago

DP stopped paying ARA after they asked for more, I don't know how it works in Holland, but if you owe money and don't pay the bills then the creditors can sell what they have in possession to cover costs.

Do DP pay bill per machine made or per 10!? Who knows.
I said to Jaap settle invoice for machines made and then find another manufacturer.

We the buyers with money paid in full should decide what our money goes towards! Pinball or legal battle!

#3204 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

I put this to Jaap
There are apparently 40 games packed ready that are by all accounts being "held ransom".
DP are refusing to pay ARA and have stopped paying them to have money ready for legal actions.
I'm sorry, but I did not intend for my money to pay for legal action.
I have asked why not: settle the account for the assembled games, or the 300 and then take this to court as what appears to be blackmail. They have the contract that should hopefully win in court. Then move to a different manufacturer for game 2! Makes FAR more financial sense.
I would rather pay the extra, get my game and then get reimbursed when/if DP win court case.. at least I will have a game rather than nothing at all!!

This is exactly the correct course and the logical one. Why Dutch just flat out refuses this option is what makes me question how truthfull Dutch is being about this extra $1,000. One email to ARA asking if they are seeking additional money or the original money owed from the original contract would clear everything up very quickly.

#3205 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

I put this to Jaap
There are apparently 40 games packed ready that are by all accounts being "held ransom".
DP are refusing to pay ARA and have stopped paying them to have money ready for legal actions.
I'm sorry, but I did not intend for my money to pay for legal action.
I have asked why not: settle the account for the assembled games, or the 300 and then take this to court as what appears to be blackmail. They have the contract that should hopefully win in court. Then move to a different manufacturer for game 2! Makes FAR more financial sense.
I would rather pay the extra, get my game and then get reimbursed when/if DP win court case.. at least I will have a game rather than nothing at all!!

Wow, at $9000 a game that is approx $360000 retail being held.

#3206 3 months ago
Quoted from Skins:

This is exactly the correct course and the logical one. Why Dutch just flat out refuses this option is what makes me question how truthfull Dutch is being about this extra $1,000. One email to ARA asking if they are seeking additional money or the original money owed from the original contract would clear everything up very quickly.

I sent another email to my contact at ARA yesterday asking for some clarification. I will update if I hear anything back. It did take a little over a week to hear back last time I emailed.

I really hope DP can just settle things with ARA for the completed games and find a new manufacturer after. It's the right thing to do.

Brian

#3207 3 months ago

Started a seperate thread with a pole to gage what buyers want. DP should listen to us, after all it is our money they are paying with.

Please vote.

#3208 3 months ago
Quoted from pinghetto:

I sent another email to my contact at ARA yesterday asking for some clarification. I will update if I hear anything back. It did take a little over a week to hear back last time I emailed.
I really hope DP can just settle things with ARA for the completed games and find a new manufacturer after. It's the right thing to do.
Brian

Spot on!

#3209 3 months ago

I've seen a lot of contracts before that specify time periods for staffing. So it's very plausible that DP agreed to have X many machines made in 2015-2016, so ARA reserved floor space and workers. The contract would usually stipulate that if they went outside that time period, it would cost more because they would have to fit the work in along side of other scheduled work.

#3210 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Started a seperate thread with a pole to gage what buyers want. DP should listen to us, after all it is our money they are paying with.
Please vote.

Not sure it works like that... Once you've paid your money, it's the receivers' to do with how they see fit. That sucks, but it's the truth. Your poll won't make a difference. DP need to sort these things out themselves and they can't listen to every voice here on the forum.

#3211 3 months ago
Quoted from smassa:

Why the fuck would people give these upstart company's money until they are able to prove they can mass produce games. Just sit back & wait it out and buy one once they are ready to ship. Seems like some of you haven't learned anything from past situations.

It seems like you don't realize that Cointaker holds your deposit money...I verified with Chris yesterday. Check yourself and read the thread.

#3212 3 months ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I've seen a lot of contracts before that specify time periods for staffing. So it's very plausible that DP agreed to have X many machines made in 2015-2016, so ARA reserved floor space and workers. The contract would usually stipulate that if they went outside that time period, it would cost more because they would have to fit the work in along side of other scheduled work.

Of course. Contracts are loaded with gotcha clauses.

#3213 3 months ago

There are only 300 voices to listen to, less with the deposit only people.

If only 300 are made, then TBL will be quite rare. Those with deposits have the choice pay more or get deposit back.

Raise price by €1000 then whoever wants one will pay... people are already paying 15K for a stern with dimpling/ghosting playfield and shit code...

#3214 3 months ago

For those of you already in deep and paid in full, I can see why you'd be OK paying another $1000 on top to just get the game in your hands - particularly since all of you paid in full folks got it for $8500. As someone with a preorder deposit on this game but at the $10,000 current price tag - there is just no way I am going to further extend and now have to pay $11,000 for this thing. If that is the direction this is going I am going to walk away and get my refund...I hate to say that as I absolutely love this project but paying another $1000 over and above the already super high (but agreed upon) price is just not something anyone should really be comfortable with. Its bordering on extortion - especially for you paid in full guys.

On that note - I am assuming the only real reason I am paying $10,000 vs the early buyers paying $8500 is simply the markup that the distributor is taking? OR is DP actually jacking up the price per unit?

#3215 3 months ago

Price went up because exchange rate fell sharply

#3216 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

There are only 300 voices to listen to, less with the deposit only people.
If only 300 are made, then TBL will be quite rare. Those with deposits have the choice pay more or get deposit back.
Raise price by €1000 then whoever wants one will pay... people are already paying 15K for a stern with dimpling/ghosting playfield and shit code...

Yep, no price increases for those of us that preordered and are paid in full. DP has had our money for several years.

Any price increases should be passed onto the 100 or so machines being sold via regular distribution (Cointaker and Nitro).

It's a bad situation for DP and ARA, but lack of communication looks horrible and leadership of both companies need to take those of us in consideration who have long since paid for our games in full.

#3217 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Price went up because exchange rate fell sharply

Also, it's been a few years since the $8,500 price and look at how pin prices have changed in that time, justified or not.

#3218 3 months ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

On that note - I am assuming the only real reason I am paying $10,000 vs the early buyers paying $8500 is simply the markup that the distributor is taking?

I'd speculate that this might be part of the reason there seems to be the line in the sand about the 1k. They may not be making much/any of profit on the $8500 preorders (the bulk of the orders going up to game #190) and felt they needed to make a bit more on the last 100 games to be a successful business, to have a game #2.

Who knows really, we don't have a ton of information here but no shortage of opinions (including my own )

#3219 3 months ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

.... paying another $1000 over and above the already super high (but agreed upon) price is just not something anyone should really be comfortable with. Its bordering on extortion - .......

He, this is exactly the situation DP is in now with ARA. So if you feel uncomfortable on 1 pin imagine how you would be with 300 pins .....

#3220 3 months ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

For those of you already in deep and paid in full, I can see why you'd be OK paying another $1000 on top to just get the game in your hands - particularly since all of you paid in full folks got it for $8500. As someone with a preorder deposit on this game but at the $10,000 current price tag - there is just no way I am going to further extend and now have to pay $11,000 for this thing. If that is the direction this is going I am going to walk away and get my refund...I hate to say that as I absolutely love this project but paying another $1000 over and above the already super high (but agreed upon) price is just not something anyone should really be comfortable with. Its bordering on extortion - especially for you paid in full guys.
On that note - I am assuming the only real reason I am paying $10,000 vs the early buyers paying $8500 is simply the markup that the distributor is taking? OR is DP actually jacking up the price per unit?

I was one of, it not the last preorder and I paid more than $8,500 including chrome and rug. I didn't mind because I was locking down my place in line for a machine and the guys who had paid the lower price had jumped in long before I did and also endured Philgate.

#3221 3 months ago

What a frigging cluster fuck. Feel bad for you guys.
I'll just stick with my $200 project pins.

#3222 3 months ago

I wonder what the profit margin is? I would think it would be at least 10% and probably more than that. If I use $8k as an average purchase price, the profit margin is $800 per machine. Someone stated that there are 40 machines being held by ARA, so that means DP would have to take a $200 loss per machine on 40 machines for a total loss of $8000.

In the USA, you can easily make a disputed payment without weakening your legal case. Add to that the fact that $8k isn't going to get you too far down the road in a legal matter and it seems, on surface, that the more prudent path would be to make a disputed payment or $40k, absorb the $8k loss and pursue legal action and new manufacturing options. I can only assume there is more to this story or the legal system is quite a bit different than what we have here. Can someone help me with understanding the Netherlands' legal system? Specifically, is there not a way to make disputed payments and what is an estimated cost range to pursue this type of case?

-5
#3223 3 months ago
Quoted from zucot:

The time for that is passed. Every day they don't come clean they dig themselves a bigger PR hole.

Good god, all this "come clean" BS over and over on Pinside.

If you buy a TBL you are a CUSTOMER, I know you feel the same entitlement as if you were a shareholder as you have deposited/prepaid the machine, but you are just a customer. You paid money and want a product. If you are unhappy with the delivery date being pushed out, cancel your order and reclaim your money.

Producing things like these is a rollercoaster ride. If they would give you a daily, weekly or whatever "forced" update on what problems they are dealing with on a daily basis the Pinside sissy crowd would go hysterical on each and every message. Complete idiots would probably even contact members of the supply chain, completely disrupting the relationship of the involved business partners.

All this is just none of your business as a customer. It will do more harm than help, cause unnecessary commotion and trigger hasted activism and external pressure, things that don't help in these delicate discussions at all.

I'm not saying DP is doing a good job in communicating, but at the end of the day they are obliged to deliver a product, not information about company internal processes and data.

#3224 3 months ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

If you are unhappy with the delivery date being pushed out, cancel your order and reclaim your money.

Are you and I reading the same thread?

Quoted from pinghetto:

1. No refunds will be issued at this point (duh).

Under the circumstances, I think the desire for more transparency for the benefit of people who paid deposits is appropriate.

#3225 3 months ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

Good god, all this "come clean" BS over and over on Pinside.
If you buy a TBL you are a CUSTOMER, I know you feel the same entitlement as if you were a shareholder as you have deposited/prepaid the machine, but you are just a customer. You paid money and want a product. If you are unhappy with the delivery date being pushed out, cancel your order and reclaim your money.
Producing things like these is a rollercoaster ride. If they would give you a daily, weekly or whatever "forced" update on what problems they are dealing with on a daily basis the Pinside sissy crowd would go hysterical on each and every message. Complete idiots would probably even contact members of the supply chain, completely disrupting the relationship of the involved business partners.
All this is just none of your business as a customer. It will do more harm than help, cause unnecessary commotion and trigger hasted activism and external pressure, things that don't help in these delicate discussions at all.
I'm not saying DP is doing a good job in communicating, but at the end of the day they are obliged to deliver a product, not information about company internal processes and data.

It appears you haven't read anything that has been documented in this thread directly from DP and ARA. It's also very clear that you don't have a horse in this race. Thanks for your opinion though.

#3226 3 months ago

Is DP just Out of Money? I understand now that the deposits are held by the distributors.

#3227 3 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Is DP just Out of Money? I understand now that the deposits are held by the distributors.

That's correct. Except for those of us that paid in full directly to DP (I know, not smart).

#3228 3 months ago
Quoted from pinghetto:

It appears you haven't read anything that has been documented in this thread directly from DP and ARA. It's also very clear that you don't have a horse in this race. Thanks for your opinion though.

This applies to more than just "someoneelse".

#3229 3 months ago

Tx Pin Fest will be interesting in March, for sure.

#3230 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Started a seperate thread with a pole to gage what buyers want. DP should listen to us, after all it is our money they are paying with.
Please vote.

Sorry, but the only people they should listen to is their team of legal counsel once they have one selected. Also, the licensor may get involved.

This isn't a dispute that buyers can or likely will influence. The ramifications of not taking sound legal advice could be pretty dire ....

I'll reiterate again, ARA are definitely being economical with the truth (as DP may be).

ARA claim they halted production in October but it was still ongoing on November the 3rd. Also, there were 20 games packed up as of that date ... if there are 40 now, they didn't appear from thin air and production must have continued for several weeks more.

Make of it what you will, but this is definitely not the black and white issue that some of you seem to see it as.

#3231 3 months ago

I watched the Big Lebowski for the first time last night.....ready to "catch up" Seriously, first time through.

Good Luck Guys!

#3232 3 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

I watched the Big Lebowski for the first time last night.....ready to "catch up" Seriously, first time through.
Good Luck Guys!

It takes a couple of viewings to get you into the Dude zone though. I didn't really care for it the first time I saw it, cause my thinking was too uptight. A strict drug regime and several more viewings will open it up for you.

#3233 3 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I'll reiterate again, ARA are definitely being economical with the truth (as DP may be).
ARA claim they halted production in October but it was still ongoing on November the 3rd. Also, there were 20 games packed up as of that date ... if there are 40 now, they didn't appear from thin air and production must have continued for several weeks more.

The flip side to that. One could argue that ARA put Dutch on notice in October but continued into November on good faith hoping for resolution while amassing 20 more completed games for a total of 40. I'm not entirely sold that ARA continuing production past the October stop date is somehow indicative of them not being forthcoming. As I have stated before, it's all conjecture on my part. The one concrete piece of evidence we do have is Dutch willfully and deliberately deceived their customers with the lie about the boards.

#3234 3 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

It looks like Kidcrisso's going Dutch again.

Yeah, he's double-dutching

#3235 3 months ago

So I came into this thing late. I had a deposit on the game and got it back because I really couldn't afford it and my wife suggested that I not buy the pin. Are you guys going to get your pins? Are they not making anymore after they distribute the ones that are made? I get that the manufacturing company is holding the games ransom but for why, just because they want more money? This really sucks TBL is a great game, man.

#3236 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

ARA owns the rights to the circuit boards used in TBL, so the new manufacturer will have to redesign the boards as well

That would be unusual - and highly stupid by DP. Remember, ARA was working FOR DP for engineering and manufacturing. They were contracted for the work - not making their own boardset and then selling to DP (I doubt ARA was looking to get into the PROC space )

ARA would have been selling their services to DP.. just like you'd hire a contractor to draw a logo for you. The terms of the contract would dictate that DP owns the output, the designs, etc as the work is being done to their spec and acceptance. It would not be unusual to negotiate some licensing arrangement or timed exclusivity terms if trading some liability for guaranteed business.

The standard is the buyer owns the design, but the contractor is usually going to work to ensure they don't do all the work then just get abandoned. Remember, the money paid (and margin) on assembly is not that much... the money is in the services.

Its entirely possible ARA bent DP over here and technically owns everything... but it would be the extreme 'DP was stupid' case.. and that's not been their M.O. Too bold.. Too optimistic... too quiet? Sure.. blatantly stupid? Nah..

Where it can get even more messy is even if DP has the rights to it, if they aren't in physical possession of everything, ARA could withhold it arguing non-payment or other stall tactics.

#3237 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

That would be unusual - and highly stupid by DP. Remember, ARA was working FOR DP for engineering and manufacturing. They were contracted for the work - not making their own boardset and then selling to DP (I doubt ARA was looking to get into the PROC space )
ARA would have been selling their services to DP.. just like you'd hire a contractor to draw a logo for you. The terms of the contract would dictate that DP owns the output, the designs, etc as the work is being done to their spec and acceptance. It would not be unusual to negotiate some licensing arrangement or timed exclusivity terms if trading some liability for guaranteed business.
The standard is the buyer owns the design, but the contractor is usually going to work to ensure they don't do all the work then just get abandoned. Remember, the money paid (and margin) on assembly is not that much... the money is in the services.
Its entirely possible ARA bent DP over here and technically owns everything... but it would be the extreme 'DP was stupid' case.. and that's not been their M.O. Too bold.. Too optimistic... too quiet? Sure.. blatantly stupid? Nah..
Where it can get even more messy is even if DP has the rights to it, if they aren't in physical possession of everything, ARA could withhold it arguing non-payment or other stall tactics.

There isn't a board issue. ARA stated there wasn't and Dutch confirmed they made up and used the board issue as an excuse to buy time. Again, no board issue, Dutch lied that there was a board issue.

This is a question of who do you believe. Dutch says that ARA is holding the games hostage for and additional, above and beyond negotiated cost of $1000.00 ARA states Dutch isn't paying them. The devil is in that detail. Is ARA saying dutch isn't paying the contracted amount or not paying the $1000 vig. A pinsider has sent an email to ARA asking for clarification of what they feel is owed by Dutch.

#3238 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I'd speculate it is more likely something like change orders, or other add-ons that ARA feels they are owed that DP doesn't.

Quoted from flynnibus:

Where it can get even more messy is even if DP has the rights to it, if they aren't in physical possession of everything, ARA could withhold it arguing non-payment or other stall tactics.

Regardless of the contractual dispute, which I agree is probably unresolved change orders, ARA has a lot of leverage right now, since they have physical possession of the inventory (Work-In-Process and Finished Goods) and possibly a mechanic's lien, or some equivalent security interest under applicable law.

#3239 3 months ago
Quoted from Skins:

The flip side to that. One could argue that ARA put Dutch on notice in October but continued into November on good faith hoping for resolution while amassing 20 more completed games for a total of 40. I'm not entirely sold that ARA continuing production past the October stop date is somehow indicative of them not being forthcoming. As I have stated before, it's all conjecture on my part. The one concrete piece of evidence we do have is Dutch willfully and deliberately deceived their customers with the lie about the boards.

There is no indication of that.

They claim they halted production in October.

If there are 40 games packed up and ready to ship, then they likely continued until near the end of November, at least.

Dutch lied. ARA lied.

#3240 3 months ago

Didn't they say in Pinball Magazine that DP and ARA are partners now?

#3241 3 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

There is no indication of that.

Quoted from Skins:

As I have stated before, it's all conjecture on my part.

#3242 3 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Didn't they say in Pinball Magazine that DP and ARA are partners now?

If so, that's PROOF POSITIVE for me!

#3243 3 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Didn't they say in Pinball Magazine that DP and ARA are partners now?

fine (resized).jpg

escalate (resized).jpg

#3244 3 months ago

As much as I hate to say it, I just pulled the plug on my preorder to get my $ back. I am not willing to wait this out for an indefinite amount of time nor am I willing to pay more than already agreed upon to settle a manufacturing dispute. I hope this gets resolved and I would still love to have one but not under these circumstances. If and when this game comes back to life and can be ordered - with confirmed ship dates available, I will gladly jump back in.

#3245 3 months ago

EDITED

After speaking with Gerry and a work through from the local arcade today it seems it isn't the board that has the issue but a stressed connector at a usb port that could have been causing the issue.

#3246 3 months ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

As much as I hate to say it, I just pulled the plug on my preorder to get my $ back. I am not willing to wait this out for an indefinite amount of time nor am I willing to pay more than already agreed upon to settle a manufacturing dispute. I hope this gets resolved and I would still love to have one but not under these circumstances. If and when this game comes back to life and can be ordered - with confirmed ship dates available, I will gladly jump back in.

Very smart move.

#3247 3 months ago

While this is obviously not good information, it helps to know that all the main players involved have significant skin in the game and hence incentive to resolve it amicably.

There is significant amount already sunk into this project in terms of licensing, design, and even construction by all parties involved.

This is not a JPop/SkidB situation at all.

So if it only takes a little bit more lighter fluid to get this fire lit, I still remain pretty confident it will happen. The incremental costs versus payout once one forgets sunk costs is just too small.

Waiting for this poker match to play out, however, sucks balls. Time is a bigger expense than uncertainty for this.

#3248 3 months ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

To be fair, I'm not an owner, but my local arcade does have a TBL, and their game has definitely had a board issue, as has another owner that I know. So I think there may be some truth to that. They had their game less than a month with constant issues that have been traced back to the board.

I've heard the second container had some bad apples

#3249 3 months ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

To be fair, I'm not an owner, but my local arcade does have a TBL, and their game has definitely had a board issue, as has another owner that I know. So I think there may be some truth to that. They had their game less than a month with constant issues that have been traced back to the board.

There is no truth about the board issues. I have an email directly from Jaap stating they used that excuse to buy time. And he apologized for doing that.

#3250 3 months ago
Quoted from pinghetto:

There is no truth about the board issues. I have an email directly from Jaap stating they used that excuse to buy time. And he apologized for doing that.

EDITED.

See above post.

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