(Topic ID: 73733)

What if.....closed their doors


By Toasterdog

6 years ago



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  • 44 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Plungemaster
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 6 years ago

    Okay, I have been wanting to ask this for some time (probably 4 months now), but very reluctant because of the inevitable shit storm that will follow. I am not trying to ruffle feathers, but being very serious. First off, I do NOT think this will happen. But to float 8k for a year or more is worrisome to me. I'm tempted though, just because I think the theme and quality will be that good. A payment plan also works very well for me, since I am not loaded with cash.

    Like most guys I love technology and JJP seems to really have the goods. I am not crazy about the WOZ theme, but would love to own one just on the build quality alone. The pictures of the hardware looks awesome and it really is obvious the BOM is way above the other manufacturers (so less profit margin then Stern). I am really concerned that the pre-orders of The Hobbit are funding the current production of WOZ (this is pure speculation of course) but I have to imagine the initial start up costs and R&D for so much new pinball technology must be enormous. Is there any other revenue streams? It just doesn't seem like some thing that is sustainable for the long term.

    With that said, I have my reservations about pre-ordering TH so early and would almost rather wait, sell a pin or two and pay 1k more when it is in stock and ready to ship. I guess my question is; Is there any type of protection if payments were made on a credit card if something this unlikely were to happen? Would there be any more chance of a recovery going through a distributor vs. JJP?

    Once again, I don't think this will happen (or if it's even possible?), but when I am considering having thousands of dollars paid possibly a year or more a head of time, I think having some reservations is understandable.

    Flame suit on

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    #2 6 years ago

    Question for your credit card company?

    #3 6 years ago

    Just wait. No there is no protection. You are an unsecured creditor from day one. Just wait.

    #4 6 years ago

    If jjp closes, then Stern will be pissed....they will have to dust off their "only makers of real pinball" marketing stuff that they finally changed and put away

    #5 6 years ago

    Guess we would be talking about our games instead of what`s next.

    #6 6 years ago

    And why do you need a flame suit? You ask a perfectly valid question. Anyone who throws money at a preorder is funding a startup. You are a source of venture capital and that comes with certain risks. Jjp could easily fold and guess what.. Most of the world would never even hear about it.

    #7 6 years ago

    All good questions many which were asked of Jack in the early days at his "fireside chat" presentations/seminars/pizza parties at several pinball shows.

    Jack said point blank that JJP was set up as a company (I don't recall if a Corporation or LLC) with a formal BoD and succession plan. If, God fobid tragedy strikes, JJP would continue and all games would be built and delivered that were ordered. He mentioned that game development would continue as well. He further stated that money is not an issue. I recall something to the effect that even if pre-order money stopped coming in, he could easily build all paid for games*.

    As for other revenue streams; I believe JJP sells shirts, hats, translights, backglasses, Invisiglass, prototype playfields neon signs and clocks as well.

    * Since these early days, some of the media stories & interviews may have contradicted this.

    All of that said in an attempt to help you, you should call Jack as he does pick up the phone himself or he will definitely call you back if you have to leave a message. Ask him your questions and voice any concerns you may have. He will answer you honestly.

    #8 6 years ago

    Yes, there would be more chance of recovery if your order was through a distributor (and JJP sales are made though pinballsales.com), but you pretty much have to assume that the worst case scenario is possible.

    There are no guarantees. Ask the poor folks in Australia about MM remakes or WOZ preorders.

    #9 6 years ago

    If your not "loaded with cash" and are nervous, I don't see the advantage of prepaying. As we've seen with WOZ, it's not that difficult to get your hands on one. Talking to Jack directly about this topic is odd advice.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    If your not "loaded with cash" and are nervous, I don't see the advantage of prepaying. As we've seen with WOZ, it's not that difficult to get your hands on one. Talking to Jack directly about this topic is odd advice.

    Might be odd, but if I was aprehensive, I would ask him about each issue I had. If whatever he answers did not ease my concerns I would ask if the purchase agreement coverd this. If there was no wording to address, I would ask for a modified agreement or I simply would not participate in the process. I believe while odd, it is sound advice.

    #11 6 years ago

    My credit card covers bad transactions - no matter what the reason for my dissatisfaction is. But then again, I pay through the ass for annual fees to have that perk.

    #12 6 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    I pay through the ass for annual fees to have that perk.

    That's a shitty way to do business

    #13 6 years ago

    Just wait until they are available if you are uncomfortable. Problem solved. And dont worry, you won't need a flame suit because you will have all kinds of JJP haters supporting you with false rumors and lies.

    #14 6 years ago

    Wait=no what if

    #15 6 years ago

    Hey Toaster, come over here buddy....

    flamethrower.jpg

    #16 6 years ago

    If you have concerns buy a game once built and available.

    I would be less concerned about getting a game over the machine built around a purpose built PC and possible support issues IF something happened to the parent company. Computer hardware changes and if not supported you hit a point of existing software / hardware not being forward compatible. P2K is a good example. Factory support was long abandoned enter then exit Nucore. This is why I am not wild about games built around PC's.

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from cal50:

    If you have concerns buy a game once built and available.
    I would be less concerned about getting a game over the machine built around a purpose built PC and possible support issues IF something happened to the parent company. Computer hardware changes and if not supported you hit a point of existing software / hardware not being forward compatible. P2K is a good example. Factory support was long abandoned enter then exit Nucore. This is why I am not wild about games built around PC's.

    Unlike nucore we aren't built around a specific operating system or piece of hardware. Any modern x86_64 linux compatible motherboard/processor combo will work. We future-proofed the game to accommodate exactly this.

    #18 6 years ago

    I am guessing Jack's we don't need money to build games" type quotes came very early in the process. Somehwere between then and being ~ 2 years behind I am pretty sure this tune changed, hence the Hobbit preorders opening due to "customer demand" or whatever the reasoning was.

    #19 6 years ago

    Wow. Shocked and relieved to see no hateful responses. I didn't want to be taken for a troll, lol. I actually went to see The Hobbit after this posting and really makes me want it more now. Smaug is really fricken cool and should be a very cool toy, I do wish he was featured on the cabinet art though.

    As for the preorder, the payment plan is convenient. Much of my extra income is taken out as allotments to retirement accounts and such, so it is much easier for me to come up with smaller payments vs a large one time payment. This would be my primary reason. Money tends to burn a hole in my pocket when I have it

    I also really like the gold trim and assume that was a feature of the LE. I think that was pictured with the new cabinet art. Anyway, thanks for the feedback, I might give Jack a call after all, he does seem very accessible and willing to discuss concerns based on quite a number of posts I have read. I would like to see production increase a bit, hopefully TH will get cranked out of the factory considerably quicker then the current pace. Patience isn't a virtue of mine either

    #20 6 years ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    Talking to Jack directly about this topic is odd advice.

    Agreed. Not that I don't trust Jack or think JJP will fail, but if things were going bad would anybody really expect him to say, "Hold off on sending me your money for Hobbitt because were running really low on funds and you might be out 8 grand. Best to wait and see". LOL

    #21 6 years ago

    I haven't kept up much with JJP, but curious if they promised a limited number of WOZ and/or WOZLE. If not and they get into a money crunch, they could crank out a large batch of those (provided demand is still there) and generate some cash. Just a thought.

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from PC-Pin-NC:

    I haven't kept up much with JJP, but curious if they promised a limited number of WOZ and/or WOZLE. If not and they get into a money crunch, they could crank out a large batch of those (provided demand is still there) and generate some cash. Just a thought.

    Oh irony!

    FWIW, Jack promised "only" 1000 Emerald City LE. Unlimited Standards, but wait, the first 1000 Standards are numbered!

    Then came the Down Under LE for Australia, and the 75LE for people who have 9K to burn...

    So... yeah.

    #23 6 years ago

    Pretty standard for any business to sell more of their best sellers. Stern bumped a machine numbers after presages went fast, I forget which machine it was. That was pretty bad because it was a bump in numbers. JJP has made a new package and called it a new model. Made many mad but there are enough changes to see that it is different.

    Anybody that thinks you are getting a limited edition that will not be made again is just silly. This is for anything, not just pins. Cars are the same way, they may only build 1,000 GT500 cars this year, but next year they will build more. That is the way I look at the 75th WOZ, new model. Tron was the same way, I kept thinking I wanted to order one of the last runs because I like it. I missed ordering the last run like three times and decided to just wait until I find one local. It is business for them even though we treat it like our grail collection piece.

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinchroma:

    Unlike nucore we aren't built around a specific operating system or piece of hardware. Any modern x86_64 linux compatible motherboard/processor combo will work. We future-proofed the game to accommodate exactly this.

    We're build on Linux, just like you. Any current, and many past, processors work great. Any motherboard that has a parallel port or header for one (most do) will work just fine. This isn't our limitation, just a limitation or the original system's interface, which can be worked around if need be in the future. But the JJP system is just as vulnerable to system/software changes as Nucore. Although I don't see using PC's as a negative because proprietary systems can run into the problem of no replacement parts in the future.

    #25 6 years ago

    Where things will get really interesting will be the inevitable announcement of JJP3, and if that pre-dates TH release significantly.

    #26 6 years ago

    Never say never. I had a long chat with Jack at IAAPA in 2011. In between immaturely ridiculing Stern for everything under the sun including only selling around 1000 or less of each machine, he mentioned that WoZ would surely sell in numbers similar to STTNG and IJ. Hopefully his business model is not based on that or the production schedule he was touting at the time. From what I have seen, they have sold (not shipped) around 1600 of WoZ and not 13,000. Considering start up, development and cost of delays along with dismal sales compared to what was predicted... Hopefully TH will lift them closer to the black and keep them here for a third machine designed by Pat Lawlor. Personally I would not bet either way.

    #27 6 years ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    Where things will get really interesting will be the inevitable announcement of JJP3, and if that pre-dates TH release significantly.

    ....or if the announcement of JJP3 pre-dates the delivery of all the WOZECLE pre-orders.

    #28 6 years ago
    Quoted from chessiv:

    We're build on Linux, just like you. Any current, and many past, processors work great. Any motherboard that has a parallel port or header for one (most do) will work just fine. This isn't our limitation, just a limitation or the original system's interface, which can be worked around if need be in the future. But the JJP system is just as vulnerable to system/software changes as Nucore. Although I don't see using PC's as a negative because proprietary systems can run into the problem of no replacement parts in the future.

    Isn't it compiled specifically for 8.04 and it's kernel? Folks have said it won't run on 10.x and. 12.x and. 8.04 is eol and no longer maintained. (I have no way of knowing as I don't own a p2k or a Nucore) So if anything is kernel specific then no it won't work with current processors because all the new processors (especially Caswell) require at least 10.04 and the ricore kernel headers to deal with. If you have any kernel modules at all they will absolutely not work in 10.04 or 12.04. They will need a recompile against the new headers.

    And most newer motherboards are eliminating parallel ports which is a problem for pin2k. It will have to be an addin pci-e card with additional drivers hopefully supported by the Linux distrib

    Woz is built abi agnostic. Any kernel will do and not taint. As long as it's x86_64

    #29 6 years ago
    Quoted from vicjw66:

    Agreed. Not that I don't trust Jack or think JJP will fail, but if things were going bad would anybody really expect him to say, "Hold off on sending me your money for Hobbitt because were running really low on funds and you might be out 8 grand. Best to wait and see". LOL

    Yep. I think taking 6 million from the community for bootstrapping JJP/WOZ was understandable (to get the venture off the ground). From my perspective, continuing with this "business model" is unfortunate. JJP should move to a more consumer friendly business model (like 10% down reserves a machine…pay the remainder when it's built). Impossible for Jack (or anyone else) to measure the risk of losing your money (so asking him the question is a waste of time). Simply put, if cash flow were a non-issue, why would they require all the money be paid upfront so far in advance? Stern doesn't do this because they are more established and profitable.

    #30 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinchroma:

    Isn't it compiled specifically for 8.04 and it's kernel? Folks have said it won't run on 10.x and. 12.x and. 8.04 is eol and no longer maintained. (I have no way of knowing as I don't own a p2k or a Nucore) So if anything is kernel specific then no it won't work with current processors because all the new processors (especially Caswell) require at least 10.04 and the ricore kernel headers to deal with. If you have any kernel modules at all they will absolutely not work in 10.04 or 12.04. They will need a recompile against the new headers.
    And most newer motherboards are eliminating parallel ports which is a problem for pin2k. It will have to be an addin pci-e card with additional drivers hopefully supported by the Linux distrib
    Woz is built abi agnostic. Any kernel will do and not taint. As long as it's x86_64

    Nope. Not tied to any kernel.

    #31 6 years ago

    Buy games, not preorders, problem solved.

    There's a saying but I forget how it goes exactly. Something like things will take as long as you allow. Example: If my wife says the garage needs to be cleaned out before spring I'm not doing shit until the day before Spring lol.

    JJP needs preorder money from the looks of things. Remember the Hobbit update letter where he said something that sounded like no preorders meant no Hobbit? It's hard to find a legit spin for the Ruby version & all the standards that shipped before the LE's too IMO.

    It's OK if JJP needs money BTW as that's how a business stays open. To deny the need for cash is just... A lie.

    #32 6 years ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    Buy games, not preorders, problem solved.

    /agree

    Let me add something I've been saying pre-jjp, only buy a game after you play it and are sure you like the software in the state its in.

    #33 6 years ago

    I'm standing behind not buying anything until I can play THE FULLY FINISHED AND CODED PRODUCT.

    I believe the risk of potentially paying more for a great finished game far supersedes the risk of being disappointed that the game did not OR will never live up to it's company's or designer's vision(s), the internet/Pinside hype, best features ever, ect.

    You can never determine that a game is going to be enjoyable for you or the people that you play games with before you even play it.

    There are a lot of crybabies in every hobby that have more money than sense. Pinball is certainly no exception.

    #34 6 years ago

    Very good questions. JJP seems like a great honest company.

    I dislike the huge pre order fee which he needs to fund the project. That's what made me not purchase one when the first started the orders. I do not like that business model.

    #35 6 years ago

    Gary Stern would cheer "Woo hoo! We can stop putting so much effort into our pinball designs again!"

    #36 6 years ago

    Even if JJP's financial plan wasn't sketchy, I'd still NEVER spend $7K or $8K on a pin Ive not played (let alone even seen!).

    For me, pinball is about the PLAYING of pinball- not buying artwork or supporting a theme. So, I want to PLAY any game Im going to buy before i spend my money.

    That's even for games that are readily available.... Buying sight unseen YEARS in advance is ludicrous to me- but thats just me....

    Im anxious to PLAY TH. Then I'll shell out the money if its fun and deliverable.

    #37 6 years ago
    Quoted from chessiv:

    Nope. Not tied to any kernel.

    Quoted from Pinchroma:

    Unlike nucore we aren't built around a specific operating system or piece of hardware. Any modern x86_64 linux compatible motherboard/processor combo will work. We future-proofed the game to accommodate exactly this.

    Is the source code for NuCore or WOZ (or any pin for that matter) in code escrow in case the firm(s) fold? I can't imagine there's any one purchaser large enough and with enough clout to insist on that and have it happen.

    #38 6 years ago

    Stay out - at 1,500 LE's and a clear sign that a correction is coming (no need for LE's that have better looking trim) If you can't afford to loose 8K then why risk it for a list of features that has not even been announced. On one hand - good for Jack that features are the same, but then you have to ask what is your motivation for purchasing the game before you play it? Also after the red version enough is enough - if you want the game you can get one. The only reward is not having to wait as long and perhaps grey trim?

    look at the history with this guy - somehow when things got really late non le orders showed up at the same time as LE orders. He has not earned the risk of your 8K, and show to me that Money is an issue by his actions.

    #39 6 years ago
    Quoted from coz6:

    He has not earned the risk of your 8K, and show to me that Money is an issue by his actions.

    (BTW, I'm responding to the general sentiment that I've read in a dozen threads.. not just yours coz..)

    It's odd that I inevitably end up defending a man I actively dislike, but I think you guys are "bag of cats" crazy. When people pre-ordered a WOZ, they were effectively funding a kickstarter-like effort. Any fair-minded person has to admit that Jack promised you a wide-body pin with bling and he's delivering a wide-body pin with bling. If you're complaining about your WOZ LE not being exclusive enough, have you considered that making the ruby reds (or weaving in standards) might have been (or be) necessary to keep the doors open? When people bitch about the number of WOZ's being made, they're implicitly saying they'd rather see their other pinsider buds get bupkis than lose $500 bucks on a pin that, lets face it, isn't that great to begin with.

    I've seen cases where Jack has behaved like a complete and utter ass, but throwing him under the bus for this is completely bogus.

    #40 6 years ago
    Quoted from swf127:

    (BTW, I'm responding to the general sentiment that I've read in a dozen threads.. not just yours coz..)
    It's odd that I inevitably end up defending a man I actively dislike, but I think you guys are "bag of cats" crazy. When people pre-ordered a WOZ, they were effectively funding a kickstarter-like effort. Any fair-minded person has to admit that Jack promised you a wide-body pin with bling and he's delivering a wide-body pin with bling. If you're complaining about your WOZ LE not being exclusive enough, have you considered that making the ruby reds (or weaving in standards) might have been (or be) necessary to keep the doors open? When people bitch about the number of WOZ's being made, they're implicitly saying they'd rather see their other pinsider buds get bupkis than lose $500 bucks on a pin that, lets face it, isn't that great to begin with.
    I've seen cases where Jack has behaved like a complete and utter ass, but throwing him under the bus for this is completely bogus.

    I agree with you - I don't care that he made a red version. I no longer have an order in with him. He stated day one - don't buy my game to make money unless people run quarters through it. Just saying, to the OP resist that feeling inside you that says buy now - receive later. If your having saving the money (I am in the same boat, always buying other pinball stuff) then sell a game when the backlog is a few weeks not in that some day category.

    #41 6 years ago

    I'd really like to see JJP catch up with their pre-orders and have stock available at the factory just because it will mean that they will probably sell more to operators when they do. Jack has said himself that there are a lot of operators who are interested in the game but won't buy it until it is available. Besides it's tiring always watching them being so far behind, hope they can start cranking them out really fast soon.

    #42 6 years ago
    Quoted from solarvalue:

    I'd really like to see JJP catch up with their pre-orders and have stock available at the factory just because it will mean that they will probably sell more to operators when they do. Jack has said himself that there are a lot of operators who are interested in the game but won't buy it until it is available. Besides it's tiring always watching them being so far behind, hope they can start cranking them out really fast soon.

    I don't really understand what you mean by the in-stock issue. I believe they are in stock presently at various distributors for $7995-$8000.

    #43 6 years ago

    Oh, OK, that's great, I didn't know that. I notice, however, that If you order a standard WOZ from pinballsales.com now, expected delivery is not until March, 2014. So I guess I'm saying that it would be great to see JJP catch up to the point where the games were immediately available from pinballsales.com.

    #44 6 years ago

    If.... If.... If....

    If my aunt had a dick, it was my uncle.

    Just buy and enjoy life, who cares what might happen?

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