Quoted from jlm33:
This just made my day - a friendly, competitive bet on something that can be measured and the end result will benefit the community. Fun stuff.
Quoted from jellikit:
I don't know how the pricing schedule was developed, if it was based on quantities of parts to be purchased based on an original BOM listing or what. But I can say that Gene already had a number of boardsets for BBB and access to a fair number of parts for the machines before he started his build. He priced it at $4500 and eventually estimated each cost him $7000 to build. Buyers were fortunate that he had the personal finances to cover the costs of going over budget, so that the machine was not only produced but the additional cost wasn't passed on to the buyers. For anyone that doesn't know some of the backstory, a good write-up of it can be found here:
Look where that got him... bankrupt with Planetary snatching up assets. Just think, if 7 years ago a small run wasnt profitable at $7k a pop, then Kevin is a saint for trying to pull this off for less than $5k.
The $7k was his estimated costs per machine. My post was more for reference, as I dont know the facts, just what I read in the articles and what I can find online. Regardless, there is one fact, his company went bankrupt after remaking a developed pin at a sales price of $4500 - only he really knows what his real costs and profits were (if any), but clearly it provides some indication that they were not enough to safely keep him in business.
I quit checking this thread 'cause it was mostly just people whining back and forth. At least lately the visuals have been a nice break and a reason to click on the thread again. Maybe there'll be some real info between one of those pics one day...
So, is the moral of this story for Kevin and everyone else: "get it in writing?"
Piecing together the two stories - there was a perceived verbal agreement with someone on the phone from FOX to move ahead - Kevin should have demanded to see that "in writing." If the representative from FOX wasn't authorized to make such an agreement at least Kevin would have had something to go back and sue FOX with. What I don't quite understand based on the last article, is it sounds like FOX contacted Kevin and asked him to pull the website content and stop promoting Predator in the spring - they didn't say stop making Predator. The cease and desist from what I understand didn't come until much later last year; if FOX really didn't want the project moving into production wouldn't the cease and desist been issued at the same time when they requested all the web content to be pulled?
Secondly, did anyone ever get any official statement in writing from Kevin on where there money actually was going or what it was going for? I mean, the first round of $250 deposits were mostly just sent in via paypal, it's not like paypal issued receipts and I know Kevin did not. It all went into a black hole for all I know with no real documentation on what the money was going towards. Again, "get it in writing," at least all the buyer's would actually have a document supporting their claims.
Quoted from flynnibus:
It's not a crime to buy a counterfeit good or knockoff.. but it is illegal to produce or traffic them.
I didn't believe you - and learned something new today... I'm surprised that it isn't illegal to buy counterfeit goods seeing how the consumer is enabling an illegal activity...
"In the U.S., federal law protecting trademarks makes it illegal to knowingly traffic counterfeit goods, which includes the production, sale and transport of such goods. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, has stated that federal law doesn’t prohibit an individual from buying a counterfeit product for personal use, even if they do so knowingly.
The maximum penalty for first-time offenders trafficking in counterfeit goods is 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. For second-time offenders, the penalty is 20 years and a $5 million fine. In addition, if a corporation traffics in counterfeit goods, it can be subject to a fine of $15 million."
Quoted from dmbjunky:
I wish, like someone posted, that whoever has a Predator that they would take high-res images of the playfield and dowload the roms so someone can make a virtual version. Who did the playfield art btw? I never saw any real good pics of it but kind of liked it in a 90s Williams sort of way.
James Dubay started the artwork and was responsible for I'd say 99% of it's layout, composition, and initial inks and colors. Another artist took over to finish the project.
Did her business name change? Seems weird that her business/website/FB is called Fae Laume Photography when the bio has her listed as Amanda Kulek. I've heard of pen names for writers but not for photographers...
Quoted from HappyDayz:
I don't think the idea was that everyone needs to verify the license behind everything they buy. That's silly. I think the idea was if you're promoting a major (pinball) show, you might want to vet the company and product you are using to promote your own show. Of course, the argument kind of falls down when VirtuaPin was using the same company and game to promote themselves and obviously the vet'ing process went as far as "Oh, you have the license, sounds legit." If you have a legitimate license for something how hard is it to produce a letter or signed contract for using that copyrighted material? It seems like that would be pretty darn easy to ask for, no? I certainly don't blame him for believing Kevin and making cabinets. But I also wouldn't be pointing fingers at pinball show organizers as a reason why I believed Kevin.
Side note here ... anyone notice something on VirtuaPin's Facebook page? Look at the top image used for the page. Do you recognize that second game in the lineup with yellow armor? Experts Of Dangerous! Nothing wrong with it but a little irony there that a Skit-B game is still being used for promotion.
1) I would imagine the contract between FOX and Kevin (had there been one) would probably have been very difficult to show off for a vast number of reasons (confidentiality, financial info, terms and stipulations, etc. that's not something anyone would openly share when trying to run a business).
2) Most importantly, how would anyone know if the piece of paper Kevin showed off to be the "contract" with the IP rights would have actually been legit? He lied about having the license, how hard would it have been to lie and make a phony letter or contract with Fox letterhead to pass off? No one would know if it was real or fake.
When everything got scrubbed from the internet and he radically changed his payment terms, it was like a blinding flash of light that something was clearly wrong...
Lol, but, but, he provided excel spreadsheets for everything! They have to be completely accurate, right? No one would think about faking an excel spreadhseet, would they?
Quoted from Trekkie1978:
Who are these other people being named?
James Dubay was the original artist for the playfield artwork (remember the funky shoulder on Arnie?). I met him at EXPO one of the first years Kevin was dragging the whitewood around. I think it was the following year at MGC, I met the next artist inline who picked up where James had left off (remember the skull with strawberry jelly covering it?). If these artists didn't know Kevin was lying about the license it really stinks for them to have put in that amount of work and now possibly(probably?) have to pay that money back. Good lesson to know and trust who you're doing work for ahead of time.
Quoted from flynnibus:
Or.. if you do work under the table... you might have consequences.
Sorry to derail, but I am very curious - - had James had a contract in place with Kevin, would he have been ok? (something to the effect that the artist assumes the license is valid for the work to be provided?) Not every company is going to set up every contractor and issue a 1099. Although I suppose to the tune of $10K, most people would have wanted something formal in place.
Take this one step further, let's assume James did the right thing and claimed that money on his income taxes and paid his unfair share of taxes on it - - if he has to pay back the original sum to the plaintiff(s), is he entitled to get back the taxes he paid?
Quoted from vid1900:
You got an instant upgrade by getting rid of Betsy DeVos. That alone will raise the average Michigan student's IQ 13 points.
Get rid of Kevin's IQ and you guys might catch up with Florida....
Interesting... maybe half the people I meet are not of below average intelligence after all.
Quoted from mhkohne:
I would think that if they wanted to know what the license was worth, they'd just ask Savage, etc for copies of the contract and details of what they actually got paid. Given the context, they can certainly subpoena records from anyone Kevin was doing business with.
Not to beat a dead horse, but that doesn't say anything about what the license is "worth." All it would indicate is what may have been paid for it.
"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the affirmative defenses of Defendant are hereby STRICKEN in total."
I'm sure she will be DISTURBED by this.
"Mr. Kulek finally admitted, on the record, that he has never had an IP license to produce that game."
"[Kathy Kulek] is also responsible for getting us out of trouble when we act as though we are super heroes." Lol. Not the super heroes I remember reading about as a kid...
Quoted from investingdad:
The ironic thing is, had he set up a proper business entity and paid himself a salary, filed taxes accordingly, etc...the bankruptcy would probably hold water and a lot of this wouldn't be happening.
Fraud is fraud. Even if he had a legitimate company he would still probably be going through this...
Quoted from playboywillis:
Both of these guys were listed as artists, despite the fact that James Dubay was the original artist for the playfield and I never saw any alterations after he was gone.
The new guy came in, cleaned up and finished the art, probably put more time into that than James had. I think he may have been the one responsible for the jelly skull head everyone complained about and after talking with the new artist at MGC I think he tried fixing the funky anatomy on Arnold's shoulder that everyone bickered about as well.
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