Vega+ Shipping Dates
- End of September 2016
- October 2016
- In time for Xmas 2016
- February 2017
- A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
- Summer 2017
- 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
- Mid October 2017
- April 2018
- May 8th - 12th 2018
- May 12th 2018
- May 31st 2018 (Indiegogo deadline)
- June 15th 2018
- July 6th 2018
World of Spectrum
Searchable threads in one long post:
Daily BlogJump to latest blog entrytop
Wednesday 23rd January, 2019
Gareth Corfield publishes an article in The Register called Court orders moribund ZX Spectrum reboot firm's directors to stump up £38k legal costs bill. Download a 250kb PDF of the full judgement summary. Highlights from the article:
- Deputy Master Friston rejected all accusations by David Levy, which were made in nine separate points put to the costs court. Some he threw out because they were "worlds away from the type of allegation that can properly be regarded" as being within the court's remit. Others he rejected because there was little or no evidence to back them up, or because what evidence there was fell short of the legal threshold of admissibility.
- The judge also briefly described a tirade of online abuse directed at Levy and Martin, including mocked-up images depicting Levy in Nazi uniform, Martin as "glutenous and obese", and accusations of paedophilia. Mrsic-Flogel was also subject to abuse by whoever was behind the retrocomputers.co.uk and zxvega.co.uk websites, though Deputy Master Friston commented: "I imagine that from their perspective, they found the experience to be brutal, this being because they would all have been concerned about their reputations." He refused to find that Andrews was to blame because, as RCL's barrister admitted when asked what evidence he had linking Andrews to the two horrible websites, "there was none".
- There are few signs that RCL is still trading, or that it intends to deliver any more than the 400 or so Vega+ consoles it sent to its customers last year. Its accounts and confirmation statement are overdue at Companies House. The company appears to have no current website and its social media presences were deleted last year.
- With Sky, owner of the Sinclair trademark, having cancelled RCL's licence to use the Sinclair name, it seems that the whole project is now dead for good.
Friday 25th January, 2019
A fundraiser claiming to have been setup by pariah Jan Saggiori and asking for £30000 "to stop the Vega+ Haters" is deleted from the Go Fund Me website. The initial campaign appears to have been setup on Wednesday the 23rd of January.
The Vega+ Refunds site reaches another milestone with 700 backers requesting refunds totalling £79215!top
Saturday 26th January, 2019
A backer receives a response from the Solicitor's Regulation Authority indicating that after more than a year of investigation, they have closed the case and will not be doing anything about the two lawfirms Teacher Stern and Michelmores.top
Sunday 27th January, 2019
A notice in the Gazette is uncovered showing that Janko Mrsic-Flogel's company Private Planet submitted a winding-up order for Retro Computers Ltd on Friday the 30th of November 2018. The winding up notice states:
The winding up order is an attempt by David Levy working with Janko Mrsic-Flogel to cover up and bury the last 3 years of financial mismanagement and embezzlement, trading whilst insolvent, avoid paying off debts and preventing an inquest into what the three directors David Levy, Suzanne Martin and Janko Mrsic-Flogel have been up to.
According to the Company Check website, the last submitted accounts for Retro Computers Ltd showed £760945 worth of assets, with liabilities totalling £327937 leaving £433008 net worth.
Private Planet Limited, with only one director (Janko Mrsic-Flogel), has accounts made up to 30/04/2017. It was given a notice of striking off on 03/04/2018 (overdue returns). Janko claims to be owed money and can instigate insolvency proceedings against Retro Computers Ltd when his own company hasn't lodged any accounts for the business since 2017.top
Monday 28th January, 2019
An email template is posted in the The Vega+ Refund Request Group to assist backers that wish to support the winding up of Retro Computers Ltd. The template allows backers that ordered a Vega+ to register themselves as a creditor, and push for the 3 directors (David Levy, Suzanne Martin and Janko Mrsic-Flogel) to be held personally responsible for the total debts after they embezzled £512790 of "ringfenced backer funds".
Backers emails must be received by 4:30pm on Tuesday 29th of January, 2019. The email template has been duplicated for users that do not belong to the facebook group.top
Tuesday 29th January, 2019
Today is the final day for backers to submit requests to be listed as a creditor in the winding-up meeting tomorrow.
Backers begin to receive replies from Companies House showing that David Levy has not submitted the correct paperwork to Companies House in a timely manner, and Companies House are not aware that the company is about to be wound up.top
Friday 1st February, 2019
A backer in the facebook group posts that 6 months on from receiving a Vega+ prototype, the device is almost unusable:top
Monday 4th February, 2019
The Vega+ Refunds site reaches another milestone with 707 backers requesting refunds totalling £80250!top
Tuesday 5th February, 2019
Gareth Corfield publishes a new article in The Register called Is this a wind-up? Planet Computing calls time on ZX Spectrum reboot firm. Highlights from the article:
- 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 Planet Computing, makers of the Gemini PDA
- RCL, whose fortunes have been chronicled on El Reg, was wound up on 1 February 2019 by Private Planet Ltd, which trades as Planet Computing, whose flagship product is the Gemini PDA, though in November a second gadget was announced, the Cosmo Communicator.
- Private Planet's sole director is Janko Mrsic-Flogel, who is also a former director of RCL. He resigned from RCL in August last year before one of the many legal hearings that culminated in his being ordered to pay £38,000 in legal costs to two of RCL's founders.
- Mrsic-Flogel had to stump up along with RCL's other then-directors: chairman David Levy and MD Suzanne Martin, as well as the company itself. Private Planet's winding-up petition was first filed on 30 November 2018. To obtain a winding-up order, a creditor must be owed at least £751 by a company.
- Private Planet's director was originally brought aboard RCL's ill-fated ZX Spectrum Vega+ console project by David Levy after co-founders Paul Andrews and Chris Smith left in 2016. Smith had written the console's firmware but had not handed over ownership to RCL by his departure, leaving the company in need of replacement software. The few dozen machines (RCL claimed 400) that eventually reached customers were found to be running freeware emulation software FUSE.
- Gareth Corfield contacted Mrsic-Flogel to ask him for an explanation, but at the time of publication had not responded. RCL's sole director at the time of its winding-up, David Levy, had ignored emailed requests from The Register to explain what had happened. RCL was not represented at the winding-up hearing, a court official told El Reg.
- An Indiegogo spokesperson told The Register: "Indiegogo is continuing the process of trying to recoup backer funds. We support any effort to recover funds for backers, either through the liquidation or other venues."
Tuesday 19th February, 2019top
Thursday 21st February, 2019
The ZX Vega+ Refunds Group have setup a form to allow backers to signup as a group to be represented as creditors in the upcoming liquidation of Retro Computers Ltd.top
Friday 22nd February, 2019
Gareth Corfield posts a new article called ZX Spectrum Vega+ 'backer'? Nope, you're now a creditor – and should probably act fast. Speak up and you might recover some of that £513k. Highlights of the article:
- People who paid for one of the infamous ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld game consoles are being urged to register themselves as creditors of the company before a liquidator is appointed.
- Retro Computers Ltd (RCL), took £513,000 from around 4,500 members of the public to put its finished design into production. Years later, a handful of substandard consoles emerged.
- Those members of the public – initially called backers by crowdfunding website Indiegogo, which funnelled money to RCL – have a financial claim upon RCL now the firm has been wound up, meaning in law they are seen as creditors. Creditors, in turn, stand a chance of getting some or even all of their initial £105 purchase price back if they get involved with the insolvency process by appointing a spokesman.
- A couple of weeks ago, RCL was wound up by Private Planet Ltd. That company's sole director is Janko Mrsic-Flogel, who was brought into RCL as a director to develop new firmware for the Vega+, though he did not deliver on this and the console was eventually shipped running freeware ZX Spectrum emulator FUSE. Along with RCL MD David Levy and former PR woman Suzanne Martin, Mrsic-Flogel currently owes other former directors of RCL £38,000 in court-ordered legal costs.
- Paul Andrews, another former director of RCL who has pursued the company and its current management through the courts, told The Register: "Based on emails sent to me and various other people, the official receiver has indicated backers of the ZX Vega Plus are considered as creditors in this matter due to the prior court cases."
- Those cases include the one which struck down crowdfunding platform Indiegogo's terms and conditions, allowing one of RCL's customers to claim the firm breached a contract of sale it had formed with him.
- On that basis, continued Andrews, RCL's customers should be able to have a say in which insolvency practitioner will liquidate RCL. "Clearly it would be inappropriate for thousands of backers to contact the official receiver themselves, but my understanding is the official receiver will acknowledge a single point of contact on the collective behalf of ZX Vega Plus backers/creditors."
- That spokesman role, The Register has been told, could be filled by Graham Kenny, last seen on these pages as custodian of the Clive Help Us petition website, which he set up to try to get Sir Clive Sinclair to stop RCL defecating all over his legacy.
- Kenny told El Reg by email: "We have now set up the following link which gives creditors the opportunity to have myself speak and act on their behalf as I have already done with the backers who have signed the Vega+ Refund Request Petition previously."
- When we asked if Kenny was going to claim a cut of the creditors' cash or otherwise bill them for acting as their spokesman, he simply said: "Nope."
- The next step in the RCL saga is for a creditors' meeting to take place, overseen by the Official Receiver. Whoever the Official Receiver allows to appoint the liquidator – normally the creditor or group of creditors with the biggest financial claim on the remaining assets of the business – tends to be the group which gets most of its money back.
- People keen to see a tangible end to this sorry story and to be reimbursed for the money they handed over in good faith back in 2016 could do worse than get their voices heard within the next 10 days.
Thursday 28th February, 2019
Lee Fogarty posts a message on facebook admitting that he has retained RCL customer data. This is almost certainly a GDPR breach, and as a data processor, Lee is ultimately liable for retaining that data longer than required (Article 5(e) and Recital 39). This is the same website that was setup using Paul Andrews name and phone number.
The ZX Vega+ Refunds site passes a milestone of 600 creditors signing up to be represented. The site shows 607 creditors have requested £71081.
Despite failing to deliver the Vega+ and having 2 other campaigns that have not delivered all perks to backers, ex-director Janko Mrsic-Flogel has setup yet another campaign on Indiegogo with a new company called Dynamical Systems Research Ltd. The latest campaign is PAYMO - Ultimate 4G Smart Wallet and Janko is seeking to raise £200,000 from unsuspecting Indiegogo backers. The campaign fails to disclose that he is involved in the company and has been involved in 3 other campaigns that have not met their full obligations to backers.top
Thursday 7th March, 2019
A new leak is added to the Levy Leaks section called David Levy and Suzanne Martin try to bury their past.
The ZX Vega+ Refunds site now shows 676 backers have requested to be Represented as Creditors totalling £79,329.top
Friday 8th March, 2019
Lee Fogarty places his Vega+ V1 prototype for sale on EBay (archived link) where he admits his 3D printed unit is falling apart and the paint is flaking. Part of the 'S' button has fallen off (but he claims the device is easier to use without it) and according to an unnamed electronics company, the prototype is definitely a 3D printed unit that's been painted black. (This was already confirmed in a bank statement leak showing that £20,658 was paid to the rapid 3D printing prototype firm IMIRP on the 17th of October 2016). The full auction description:top
Monday 11th March, 2019
George Cropper releases a new video called THE VEGA+ - V1 FOR SALE, ANYONE?top
Wednesday 13th March, 2019
Lee Fogarty posts in the World of Spectrum group on Facebook to supposedly withdraw his backing and claim outrage:top
Friday 15th March, 2019
George Cropper releases a new video called THE VEGA+ - EBAY SMACKDOWN !
Latest Funky Spectrum RCL Videos
Well it seems justice has prevailed for once and no surprises there to be honest what a ridiculous bit of behaviour !
Just when things could not get any more pathetic, Lee Fogarty attempts to sell a company asset of a broken Vega+ V1 on EBay.
"Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+ in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run."
— RCL (15/02/2016)
- All refunds processed: ✘
- Roll of honour email: ✘
- Address confirmation: ✘
- Battery specification: ✘
- PEGI certification: ✘
- Final specs released: ✘
- Games list released: ✘
- Finished box design: ✘
- Manual released: ✘
- Working website: ✘
- Final devices made: 0 ✘
- Small claims victories: 0 ✘
- Prototypes made: ~100-200 ✔