back to article Is this a wind-up? Planet Computers boss calls time on ZX Spectrum reboot firm

Retro Computers Ltd, which absorbed £513,000 of backers' money to produce ZX Spectrum-themed game consoles it then failed to deliver, has been wound up – by Private Planet. RCL, whose fortunes have been chronicled on El Reg, was wound up on 1 February 2019 by Private Planet Ltd. That company's sole director is Janko Mrsic- …

  1. SeanR
    Trollface

    I hope you have better luck with IGG

    I've been asking them that very question on a daily basis.

    Mind you, that was via twitter, rather than other "official" channels.

    and I'm not very polite about it either.

    [edit]

    oh well done!

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    No money but lots of paperwork

    Isn't this more about saving Levy's blushes more than anything else?

    1. SeanR

      Re: No money but lots of paperwork

      Yes, it's got his grubby finger prints all over it

      see also:

      Brain Games

      mind sports

      Intelligent Toys

      it seems to be:

      start company

      be majority share holder

      raise funds

      shift assets

      vote to wind up company (use proxy vote to ensure it goes your way)

      assign own liquidator

      buy remaining assets on the cheap

      repeat, but there's nothing illegal in that, is there?

      see also:

      kingpinchess for details of the first

      "A ‘Pump-and-Dump’ Fraud from Brain Games"

      retrocomputers DOT co DOT uk for the latter

      "Minutes of the Board Meeting and General Meeting of Intelligent Toys Limited"

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: No money but lots of paperwork

        The serial offences point somewhat towards an overt intent which is to be condemned, but I will say this of the practice of going into receivership only for the same leadership to form a new venture and buy the assets of the old shorn of liabilities: it allowed Miles & Gordon to invest a couple more years of effort into the Sam Coupe as SamCo after MGT's failure.

        So I'm not entirely opposed. In the abstract. For people without Levy's track record.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you fund a product on Indiegogo...

    ... you are gambling that it will deliver, and when it doesn't you are fucked.

    This scam artist is gaming the system, and his last fraud scheme netted him half-a-mill.

    Expect to see more of this shit on Indiegogo, with this twat and his ilk all over it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you fund a product on Indiegogo...

      That's how it works, you get in before the things finished to get a percentage of the value when it's a success. If it's not a success you lose out, or are "fucked" if you want to sound edgier. That's how venture capitalism works.

      This company being cunts doesn't have a lot to do with indiegogo.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: This company being cunts doesn't have a lot to do with indiegogo.

        While true, it's also not a get-out-of-jail-free card for IGG either. After all, they're the first link in the chain that took the money - plus their whack.

        I'll be blunt: I am fucking sick and tired of the mushrooming of outfits that are more than happy to take your money to secure a product or service, but if anything goes wrong they wash their hands and just point you at the provider saying "you need to deal with them.". Parcel2Go being one. Any number of mobile resellers over the years. It's basically the PC World/Currys/Comet (RIP) sales model for the millennials. We'll sell you shit. And if anything goes wrong we'll (try and) make you do our job for free.

        So what the fuck,pray tell, was that 10% you were creaming off for ?

        I get that projects may fail and that's part of the IGG experience. But that's only applicable when there's transparency and honestly. And it's up to IGG to either enforce that, or bear the pain of producers who don't.

        1. SeanR

          Re: This company being cunts doesn't have a lot to do with indiegogo.

          Well, there was a kind of guarantee that the money was for

          "the development of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ is complete, and we have a fully working prototype waiting to go into production in the UK. Production and shipping of the first Vega+ games consoles are planned for late summer 2016"

          Saturday 15th October, 2016

          The campaign receives "Arrow certification", saying they have received a design review to ensure the campaign is ready for production.

          oh wait

          Thursday 16th March, 2017

          The "Arrow certification" that has been present since the 15th of October is revoked.

          1. Michael Strorm

            Re: This company being cunts doesn't have a lot to do with indiegogo.

            > The campaign receives "Arrow certification", saying they have received a design review to ensure the campaign is ready for production. [Later] the "Arrow certification" that has been present since the 15th of October is revoked.

            Now, *that* is potentially interesting in terms of liability, regardless of whatever attempted disclaimers Indiegogo has included in the small print.

        2. tin 2

          Re: This company being cunts doesn't have a lot to do with indiegogo.

          Indeed. IGG is facilitating scams, putting a more legit sheen on and widely broadcasting campaigns that otherwise would fizzle into nothing.

          They also (foolishly?) committed to doing something about this particular scam, and then patently haven't.

      2. Velv Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: If you fund a product on Indiegogo...

        That's how it works, you get in before the things finished to get a percentage of the value when it's a success. <snip> That's how venture capitalism works.”

        Except none of this is an investment or venture capital. You don’t get any share of the profits, and you don’t own part of the business. All you are doing is buying a product now with the expectation it will be delivered in an agreed timeframe. You might get a discount on the expected retail price since it isn’t actually available today, but it is nothing but a simple retail purchase.

        1. Powelly31

          Re: If you fund a product on Indiegogo...

          Sorry, but you're both wrong. This is neither venture capitalism or a retail purchase.

          It's gambling, pure and simple. You give someone you don't know a bundle of cash, and then on their word only you may get something back at some point in the future. If you're unlucky, they keep the cash and you get nothing.

          It's up to the punter to do their research and work out if it's worth trusting the seller.

          If you can't afford to lose your money, don't play the game.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. SeanR
      Holmes

      Re: I feel sorry for Janko

      Hello Chris Merriman!

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. STOP_FORTH
    Thumb Down

    IGG need to sort out their act

    Currently waiting for two low value items. No feedback on one at all, no recent updates on the other, although IGG have asked for feedback about the item.

    Planet Gemini and another low value item came through fine.

    Fingers crossed for the Cosmo Communicater.

  6. Cannister

    <pedant-mode=enabled>

    Isn't it "trades as Planet Computers", rather than "Planet Computing"?

    . o O ( mine's the one with the Gemini poking out of the pocket )

    1. SeanR

      Re: <pedant-mode=enabled>

      or indeed Private Planet, as per the winding up order.

    2. STOP_FORTH
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: <pedant-mode=enabled>

      Shouldn't that be <pedant_mode=enabled> ?

      Do you know how fiddly that is to type on a Gemini?

  7. #41 Hornet

    Janko

    Not sure sorry is the right word, but I have massive respect for Janko and what he has created with Planet and how the company has delivered on the Gemini project.

    As an early Gemini backer I can hand on heart say that their customer service has been exemplary. They're always quick to respond and are supper helpful. This seems to be a far cry from the stonewalling of RCL and their business practices - not that I experienced this personally as I didn't back their project.

    I had no hesitation in backing Planet's Cosmo Communicator and look forward to finally retiring my trusty Gemini when the new device lands later this year.

    I suppose my point is that Janko has delivered for Planet and Gemini and I can only assume whatever involvement/influence he had as a Director of RCL fell on deaf ears or was ignored by those on the board looking to make a quick buck.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Janko

      I have a Gemini running Sailfish and I love it, but I've swerved Cosmo.

      However, thanks to exchange rate movement the price of backing a Cosmo now in UK£ is cheaper than it was for the early bird backers back in 2018. Depending on what happens in the next 2 months the exchange might push the Cosmo down further and I might be tempted.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Janko

      An interesting first post...

  8. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    This reminds me a bit of the Mitchell & Webb sketch where Admiral Duernitz is promoted to Fuhrer specifically so he can say "we surrender"

  9. Pete4000uk

    £751

    Sounds like a rather random value?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: £751

      Three quarters of a grand, plus one?

    2. Ross 12

      Re: £751

      I guess it's just a way of defining 'more than £750'

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: £751

      It's 750 quid or more, eg, 751, I've tweaked it to the base value of 750.

      C.

  10. pdtpoet

    Satisfied Gemini User

    I want to double down on the excellence of Planet Computers in its support of the Gemini PDA. I am one of the original backers, received a Gemini as promised and have installed all updates. Planet computers has been responsive to us users.

    I have ordered my Cosmo Communicator as it has a lighted keyboard unlike the Gemini and this will allow me to easily continue to take notes in darkened lecture and meeting halls.

    Pdtpoet

  11. cosymart
    Coat

    Cosmo

    Any relation to Cosmo Smallpiece? I'll get my coat :-)

  12. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    T - otal

    I - nability

    T - o

    S - upply

    U - ser

    P - roduct

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