New Heighway Owner

  • Hi Guest,

    Want lots of pinball Machines to play in one place??

    One low cost price to let you play all of these??

    If you Fancy visiting the BIGGEST and BEST Pinball show of 2019 Click Here

    (Click the "x" in the top right corner to get rid of this message :D )

Mfresh

Site Supporter
Oct 7, 2012
1,310
1,179
113
High Wycombe
www.pavlovpinball.com
This is definitely a positive move for the company and anyone who wants an Alien machine, because it increases the likelihood of large numbers being made.

The question is, should you ask for a refund on any prepayment you have made?

<The following is long and a little bit boring so you may not want to bother reading it>

If the company is properly capitalized now then I suppose that the business model no longer relies on preorders to fund the company before it starts generating revenue from pinball machine sales. If that is the case then there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason for anyone to put their money at risk by fully or partially prepaying, rather than waiting and ordering a machine once it has been made and is sitting in a box - unless the price is going to be lower for pre-payers (to reflect that risk.)

The fact that the new chaps have announced a price hike in the future suggests to me that they may still be relying on prepay money: it provides an incentive for people to leave their money in and not ask for a refund.

Maybe they don't need the prepay money: perhaps it's just that free money is nice to have so that they have to invest less.

Either way, there is no way of telling for sure 100% that the new look Heighway will be able to successfully mass produce machines. That means that if you prepay you are effectively making a gamble: you may lose some or all of your prepayment, but that risk may be worth it if you end up getting a machine at the original lower price rather than the increased price.

Seeing as how no-one knows how likely the new lot are to succeed, and what the price hike will be, there is no way to make a rational decision as to whether to ask for a refund or stick with it - assuming you are prepared to gamble with your money at all.

And just to make it more complicated, if you ask for and get a refund then this may have an effect on the outcome - especially if a large amount of cash is refunded and this affects the ability of the company to produce large numbers of machines....

All I can say is I really wish the new guys the best of luck and I hope that they are able to make a great success of the business and get everyone who wants one a shiny new Alien machine in the near future at a sensible price. I met Roger at Expo and he seemed like a very decent guy.
 

Wizcat

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2011
1,303
1,171
113
Lancashire
Just reading a bit more on pinside and got me wondering. Maybe it's just me but I would never part with money for a product that has never been built or not shipping (not just pinball). You wouldn't pay money up front to a new car manufacturer before they had built their 'new' car. Feel really bad for Andy as met him a number of times and he's a nice guy but don't understand this type of business model.
I'm currently looking at new cars. Was looking at the new Peugeot 3008, but there is a three or four month wait between handing over cash and them building your car. Similarly Tesla have taken thousands of pre orders for their new model 3.

I see your point, but cars are not a great example to use here ;)
 

stoptap

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2011
3,822
2,273
113
51
Leeds
Any engineers in the new line up ? Because from what I can see the company sorely needs them.
 

JT.

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2011
2,333
932
113
North West UK
www.pornhub.com
Seeing as how no-one knows how likely the new lot are to succeed, and what the price hike will be, there is no way to make a rational decision as to whether to ask for a refund or stick with it - assuming you are prepared to gamble with your money at all.
One thing people could do when these phone calls occur between the new owners and the people wanting refunds, would be to ask specific questions about financing - how much is needed, and how much is available from the investors, what contingency do they have, etc. They might refuse to answer, or they might agree to you signing a Nondisclosure Agreement and then tell you - either way, that would be on my list of things to ask if I had invested.
I think it's a positive that they are giving people who've invested already the chance to ask these sorts of questions, and if you don't like the answers, that helps bring this more into the realms of a calculated risk rather than a straight gamble.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mfresh

Julian

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2014
580
337
63
54
Bromley
Working for a corporate law firm that specialises in M&A, refinancing and debt management, this statement from new investors looks very strange to me.

I guess in two weeks we will find out more, but I doubt it.

A real shame as I quite fancied an Alien and certainly wanted a UK pinball company to be a huge success.
 

DRD

Site Supporter
Oct 26, 2014
3,855
2,642
113
Newark
There are so many questions here. I wish these guys luck.

You can build successful manufacturing businesses from ground zero in the UK. You can bring businesses back from the dead. You can buck the trend. I knew the owner and senior management team of Triumph motorbikes. They took it from buying the intellectual property rights to creating UK and Thai factories building superb bikes and turning over hundreds of millions per annum. More reliable than BMW bikes. The key things were exceptional management, an exceptional businessman/ owner with very deep pockets (worth hundreds of millions) and a long term commitment from all involved to see it through.

The UK had a lengthy history of motorbike manufacturing that dwindled down to near zero. Triumph already had a globally recognised brand, the Midlands still has a sizeable automotive industry, sklled engineers and designers were there to hire, there was a market for motorbikes, several volume and premium motorbike manufacturers were still going round the world ....

With Heighway ....
  1. Is management up to the task ? The risk here is absolutely enormous. There is no sustained recent history of successful pinball manufacture anywhere in Europe. Imagine setting up a car company, you would want some car guys, right ? Where on earth do you get folk you could have confidence in, with a proven record in pinball manufacture ?
  2. Have they got enough money to see this through ? How deep are their pockets ?
  3. Is Wales or even Europe the right place to do this ? Yes you might get grants, cheap labour, cheap real estate in Wales ...... But attracting the right staff ? How long are the supply chains ? If the designers are based in the US. The suppliers are in the US and China .....
  4. Is there a market for the product ? Companies with decades of experience gave up in the 1990s
  5. How many guys IN THE WORLD could accurately create a decent, robust business plan for a new pinball manufacturer ?
  6. Will the games be any good. Even bally williams at the height of its powers produced hurricane and addams family at the same time !
  7. Can you verify/ believe what you are being told ?
Whether you seek a refund or not is a personal thing. Folk who love risk play games with negative expected returns - most forms of gambling for example, but their love of risk justifies this decision.

It is very easy to forecast these guys will fail, of course the odds are massively against them. I do not know these guys, I don't know how deep their pockets are. To make a proper judgement you need answers to 1 and 2.
 

mission65

Site Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
1,381
755
113
Kent
Isambard Kingdom Brunel had to be bailed out more times than a leaky boat , but is still my hero

Sir Alan Sugar new jack about manufacturing, but did quite well with Amstrad and the East End wasnt known for its great engineers


the list is huge


we used to have a can do attitude and people who dared to dream, now we have accountants and fund managers, who wouldnt know the next big thing if it slapped them in the face.


Dare to dream, but dont buy anything on a promise.


Love and Peace and I hope the new guys get every person who payed upfront after all the past horrors their machines, as for investors well thats business
 

stoptap

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2011
3,822
2,273
113
51
Leeds
There are so many questions here. I wish these guys luck.

You can build successful manufacturing businesses from ground zero in the UK. You can bring businesses back from the dead. You can buck the trend. I knew the owner and senior management team of Triumph motorbikes. They took it from buying the intellectual property rights to creating UK and Thai factories building superb bikes and turning over hundreds of millions per annum. More reliable than BMW bikes. The key things were exceptional management, an exceptional businessman/ owner with very deep pockets (worth hundreds of millions) and a long term commitment from all involved to see it through.

The UK had a lengthy history of motorbike manufacturing that dwindled down to near zero. Triumph already had a globally recognised brand, the Midlands still has a sizeable automotive industry, sklled engineers and designers were there to hire, there was a market for motorbikes, several volume and premium motorbike manufacturers were still going round the world ....

With Heighway ....
  1. Is management up to the task ? The risk here is absolutely enormous. There is no sustained recent history of successful pinball manufacture anywhere in Europe. Imagine setting up a car company, you would want some car guys, right ? Where on earth do you get folk you could have confidence in, with a proven record in pinball manufacture ?
  2. Have they got enough money to see this through ? How deep are their pockets ?
  3. Is Wales or even Europe the right place to do this ? Yes you might get grants, cheap labour, cheap real estate in Wales ...... But attracting the right staff ? How long are the supply chains ? If the designers are based in the US. The suppliers are in the US and China .....
  4. Is there a market for the product ? Companies with decades of experience gave up in the 1990s
  5. How many guys IN THE WORLD could accurately create a decent, robust business plan for a new pinball manufacturer ?
  6. Will the games be any good. Even bally williams at the height of its powers produced hurricane and addams family at the same time !
  7. Can you verify/ believe what you are being told ?
Whether you seek a refund or not is a personal thing. Folk who love risk play games with negative expected returns - most forms of gambling for example, but their love of risk justifies this decision.

It is very easy to forecast these guys will fail, of course the odds are massively against them. I do not know these guys, I don't know how deep their pockets are. To make a proper judgement you need answers to 1 and 2.
I agree with everything here David with one exception. I don't think you necessarily need people with pinball experience to sort this. Anybody with a decent track record in setting up a manufacturing cell could do it.
 

chris b

Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2012
2,510
1,881
113
Bradford west yorkshire
If it was me I would have a re fund then wait till the game is in full manufacture with all the problems sorted out then just expect the price has gone up
One of the main selling point of the hw pinball seems to be forgotten the fact that you could just buy a kit to swap out and have a new machine also the cost it was going to be much Cheaper than any of the other competitors but if you are wanting all the extras it seem like you are going to be paying more than a new stern
 

Toads

Member
Mar 19, 2017
71
64
18
Australia
If it was me I would have a re fund then wait till the game is in full manufacture with all the problems sorted out then just expect the price has gone up
One of the main selling point of the hw pinball seems to be forgotten the fact that you could just buy a kit to swap out and have a new machine also the cost it was going to be much Cheaper than any of the other competitors but if you are wanting all the extras it seem like you are going to be paying more than a new stern
But it doesn't work. You can't put an alien playfield into a full throttle without upgrading the processor.
 

chris b

Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2012
2,510
1,881
113
Bradford west yorkshire
But it doesn't work. You can't put an alien playfield into a full throttle without upgrading the processor.
thats what i am saying its not what was first promised seems like that idea has gone out the door with no kits being made this was suppose to be a good idea for operators a cheep way to swap out the game cant see it appealing to opps so much if the prices are going up but to be honest the opp market is pretty small these days
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toads

mission65

Site Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
1,381
755
113
Kent
What a laugh Chris, you are trying to say that you have to upgrade it against a stern ?
the new stern Star Wars pro is as basic as you can get, whilst the Alien is at least a premium to begin with.

Anyone would think you were payed by stern, oh wait
 

Tucks

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2014
1,115
716
113
SW London
I'm currently looking at new cars. Was looking at the new Peugeot 3008, but there is a three or four month wait between handing over cash and them building your car. Similarly Tesla have taken thousands of pre orders for their new model 3.

I see your point, but cars are not a great example to use here ;)
Yes cars are not a great example but I meant everything really. I was talking about a new car company (private) as opposed to Tesla/Peugeot who are established, well funded and have a proven track record of releasing their product in vast numbers.
 

Kaneda

Member
May 5, 2017
48
32
18
New York City
GET A REUND NOW! Don't fall into this trap that keeping your money locked will help the outcome. I've said this and I'll say it again...

MAKE THE INVESTORS FIX HEIGHWAY WITH THEIR MONEY NOT YOURS!

The fact that they want to hop on the phone to talk people out of a refund is even more reason to respond:

"NO, I JUST WANT A REFUND, THANK YOU"

Then if they get their **** together you can always buy an Alien if they succeed. Otherwise you may lose everything. Don't be dumb people.
 

BigIan

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2011
2,954
1,272
113
Belfast, Northern Ireland
They can outsource the manufacturing to a third party but no need to buy the rights or wind heighway up surely (as 'they' are heighway and they own the rights)
 

steve brum

Site Supporter
Feb 15, 2015
3,919
1,824
113
Birmingham
I cant believe it but I agree with Kaneda. I've met Roger at a few shows and seems a great bloke but if these guys believe in Alien they have to put their money where the proverbial is. and lots of it.
 

mark9

Site Supporter
Sep 7, 2013
2,397
846
113
46
Lincoln, Uk
Another email on pinside from the investors:

"Now to the exciting part – the production and time line moving forwards.
We are currently ordering loads of parts (there is stock from before so not all parts need to be ordered) from our suppliers to build 175 games until the end of August. That is our fixed target. The number comes from a short, but slower, start-up period starting second half of June where we need to adjust the production line accordingly, before hitting approximately 100 games a month from August and onwards. The production rate will then increase gradually to full capacity later in the year. This means that some of you will get your game before the end of August, but some will have to wait longer. If you have paid a deposit or partly paid your game you will be asked to pay in full prior to shipment, but not until we have a confirmed delivery week for your machine in place. The investor group will attend the factory on a daily basis from now on, but please let us remind you that is not us who actually build your games. Even though there have been changes in the management of the company, and yes new leadership is important no doubt about that, it is the team in Wales/US that truly makes this come true. The manufacturing team in Wales have built games for a long time by now and they are the true heroes when it comes to bringing your game to your door. We will continue to keep you posted about the progress so stay tuned!"

100 games a month, that's optimistic :confused:
 

Tucks

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2014
1,115
716
113
SW London
If all the investors are from Europe they are going to wack up some serious air miles if they are all visiting the factory daily!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Julian

Sven Normansson

Site Supporter
Mar 12, 2016
925
658
93
Leicester
They can outsource the manufacturing to a third party but no need to buy the rights or wind heighway up surely (as 'they' are heighway and they own the rights)
They will purchase the rights to Alien.
They will wind up HP
They will get it made under licence possibly by DP(!) or JJP (similar to MMR & Stern).
ok, here's why:

They buy the rights, if they don't and wind up the company its going to be very difficult to extricate it after.

they wind up the company, this would write off any debt and credit problem which at the moment makes parts ordering nigh on impossible.

make under licence as the current "factory" has nothing in it, no trained personnel, no kit. Start up of that lot would be huge, not cost efficient at this stage.
 

Replay

Site Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
2,696
1,101
113
DP have no money so they are 100% out of the picture... ( supposedly/rumoured/allegedly )
 

johnwhitfield

Site Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
2,723
1,563
113
48
new cross
100 machines a month...:popcorn:

When Stern was manufacturing MMr didn't it take them over 18 months to build the initial 1000 limited games? That was with established production lines and trained staff.

Don't get me wrong I would love to see machines flying out of the factory but there's a distinct lack of hard facts here. Who is actually running the factory on a day to day basis? It's great if investors are going to pour money in but can they physically be there on site over seeing things?
 

kevlar

Site Supporter
Apr 11, 2013
4,738
2,663
113
Newport, South Wales
Didn't I hear/read somewhere that stern knock out about 40 machines a week? Or did I dream that? That's with a well equipped factory, what looks like 100 workers or so on their videos, and years of experience.
 

cooldan

i like pizza
Jul 21, 2011
6,456
3,979
113
50
Ealing, London
They're dicks to be making promises like that, much better in my opinion to underpromise and overdeliver on an estimate of 5-10 a week, rather than the other way round .... otherwise come August if they're not churning em out, everyone is gonna roll their eyes and assume the worst
 

johnwhitfield

Site Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
2,723
1,563
113
48
new cross
Problem is at a rate of 5 machines a week those 175 pre orders means a 3 year wait for someone at the back of the queue. Any business needs regular inflow of cash. If the deposit money is all gone there's little incentive to prioritise game that are already pre-paid for. No one is going to pay and join the back of the queue.
 

chris b

Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2012
2,510
1,881
113
Bradford west yorkshire
I think the investors are bigger dreamers than andrew with that production line no power tools no chance of that type of production also where the hell are you going to get skilled or trained employees that quick i also bet murco wouldent be able to produce 100 playfields before august lets hope for a factory tour and its ram packed it 2 weeks
safe bet is refund and pay the extra if it gets finished