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
2nd October, 2018
The Solicitors Regulation Authority posts an update:top
4th October, 2018
The Vega+ Refund Request Team posts an update stating that the registered offices for RCL are now returning all legal paperwork unopened:top
Saturday 6th October, 2018
Backer Stephen Storr posts information about the bailiffs attempting to contact RCL at their registered offices as well as David Levy's personal address:top
Sunday 7th October, 2018top
Monday 8th October, 2018
A shareholders meeting takes place with the main point of order being to remove David Levy as director.top
Wednesday 10th October, 2018
Darren Melbourne posts a small update on the facebook group:top
Thursday 11th October, 2018
A new leak is added showing that Vertex Moulding Ltd have been trying to track down RCL for an update on the Vega+, as they are sitting on strange quantities of moulding components with a promise of future orders.top
Friday 12th October, 2018
Darren Melbourne posts a small update on the facebook group:top
Thursday 18th October, 2018top
Saturday 20th October, 2018
On Twitter, long-time RCL supporter Jonathan Cauldwell claims that he was doing what was right in spite of fierce opposition:
I really don't know any more. You stick to your guns, you do what's right in the teeth of fierce opposition and then the bad guys are conciliatory. Not long after some request your help. Yet the forces they unleashed are still being obnoxious. WTF?— Jonathan Cauldwell (@ZXSpectrumDev) 20 October 2018
Sunday 21st October, 2018
A new leak is added showing David Levy reported Lee Fogarty to the cyber crime unit and the metropolitan police in 2017 for hacking, doxxing, obtaining confidential information and threats. The leak also shows that Retro Computers Ltd paid for a CCTV system, a gate, lights and other security measures at Lee Fogarty's girlfriend's house in Nottingham.top
Wednesday 24th October, 2018
The ZX Vega+ refunds site now shows 633 backers have requested refunds totalling £72085.top
Friday 26th October, 2018
The RCL website hosted at retro.business goes offline, with a message greeting visitors stating "Website Expired. This account has expired. If you are the site owner, click below to login."top
Monday 29th October, 2018
Head of the Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE) Technology committee Adrian Cheok has a meltdown on Twitter after various members of academia speak out about how it is being run. Cheok's decision to merge David Levy's Love and Sex with Robots convention into the ACE 2018 convention along with the inclusion of Steve Bannon (the right-wing White House Chief Strategist for Trump) as the keynote speaker leads to the #BoycottACE hashtag.
Nazi Leif Opperman is 1 of Psycho Yoram’s biggest henchmen. He is constantly harassing Dr David Levy on email & social media? What did Dr David Levy do to Leif? The only thing I can think of is he has a hatred of good & wonderful Jewish people David Levy (not like Psycho Yoram!)— Adrian David Cheok (@adriancheok) October 29, 2018
Thursday 1st November, 2018
Leif Oppermann uploads various documents showing David Levy sent false evidence/witness statements to the ACE committee.top
Friday 2nd November, 2018
A new section is added to the website called ACE disgrace, containing decoded versions of the files uploaded yesterday to Twitter.
The RCL website hosted at retro.business is re-activated, but the shop no longer has any products for sale.top
Monday 5th November, 2018
Gareth Corfield releases an article on The Register called ZX Spectrum reboot scandal man sits on Steve Bannon design tech shindig committee. Highlights of the article:
- Wired magazine published a querulous article asking why Bannon had been invited to speak at the Advances in Computer Entertainment 2018 conference, noting that organiser Adrian Cheok had merged ACE2018 with another conference he runs: the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots.
- Curiously, that is also the title of a book written by Levy, who sits on ACE’s organising committee. That fact has not gone unnoticed by the crowd who funded Levy’s last commercial venture, the ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld gaming console. They flooded ACE’s Facebook page with outrage at his appointment to the ACE committee in August.
- Levy’s company, Retro Computers Ltd, took £513,000 in crowdfunded cash from 4,500 members of the public a few years ago to build modern, handheld versions of the old Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Levy is RCL's chairman. A small number of devices in what appeared to be prototype format were eventually delivered, with the company ignoring the majority of those demanding their money back. One sued RCL; and won; others are waiting patiently for their £105 per device to be refunded to them.
- Indiegogo, the crowdfunding platform which enabled all this, has seemingly turned its back on the whole scandal after some vague words about retaining debt collectors. It has issued no updates about progress on recovering the monies, and its last involvement with the project was to contradict (on 5 July 2018) claims by RCL that Indiegogo itself had been hacked.
- We have asked Levy to comment on both his involvement with ACE and Steve Bannon, as well as the status of RCL and the Vega+. He has, however, been uncommunicative since the summer.
Janko Mrsic-Flogel, the illegally installed now ex-director of RCL, sets up yet another Indiegogo campaign, this time for the Cosmo Communicator. Crowdfunding company Indiegogo claim that campaigners may not setup any further campaigns if an existing campaign has failed, however the Vega+ has not delivered and there are many unhappy people with his second campaign for the Gemini PDA.top
Thursday 8th November, 2018
Companies House now shows that as of Friday the 2nd of November, Paul Andrews and Chris Smith return as directors of Retro Computers Ltd.
Jan Saggiori posts the following in the democracy facebook group:top
Friday 9th November, 2018
Paul Andrews posts a response to David Levy's inaccurate statement in the Backers Collective Legal Action facebook group:
Gareth Corfield publishes an article in The Register called ZX Spectrum reboot scandal firm's original directors rejoin (And the chairman is Not Happy At All about that). Highlights of the article:
- The times, they are a-changin' at flailing ZX Spectrum reboot biz Retro Computers Ltd as two of the firm's original directors have rejoined it – with a furious chairman insisting this is "illegal".
- Paul Andrews and founder Chris Smith rejoined the company earlier this week, according to filings made at Companies House that recorded their appointments – which were made with the support of Sinclair Research Ltd, Sir Clive's corporate shareholder in the firm.
- This means RCL now has three directors: Andrews and Smith, and chairman David Levy. This is significant because it means Levy, a controversial figure in the Vega+ debacle, which has smacked the Sinclair brand hard, is now outnumbered on his own company's board. If he is outnumbered, he can be outvoted – meaning RCL's internal accounts and other paperwork can be brought to public light.
- It appears that Andrews and Smith, who are both shareholders in RCL, used the firm's shareholder agreement – a legally binding document – to appoint themselves as directors. We understand that each RCL shareholder has the right to appoint one director as their representative.
- Regular readers know all too well the saga of RCL's ZX Spectrum Vega+ product, which raised £513k in Indiegogo payments from 4,500 members of the public. The company failed to deliver the handheld gaming console for two years, with rumours going around that the money had instead been spent on legal fees and personal remuneration. A relatively small number of consoles were eventually delivered earlier this year, and in our view were exceptionally poorly designed and manufactured.
- The RCL Vega+ scandal is an important one because, possibly for the first time, a case involving large sums of money intended for a crowdfunded product is being pursued to the bitter end, instead of everyone walking away and the obvious questions going unanswered.
- In response to the Companies House filings, Levy sent us a statement accusing Andrews and Smith of acting unlawfully – Levy also claimed that he was the founder of RCL; something seemingly refuted by the firm's earliest filings with Companies House in January 2014: the date of Levy's first recorded involvement with the firm (PDF) appears to be as a director in November 2014.
- Levy also claimed there is an "ongoing criminal investigation", a claim that we've heard a few times from more than one party during this saga. It was not clear from his statement who is supposedly one under investigation.
- In response to Levy, Andrews and Smith sent us their own joint statement in which they revealed that Sinclair Research Ltd appears to be back on their side.
- The two said that Smith had not repudiated the shareholders' agreement, adding that Levy was referring to a different agreement relating to intellectual property: "In fact it is the position of all shareholders (other than David Levy) that the shareholders' agreement has always been in force."
- RCL's four shareholders are Andrews, Smith, Levy and Sinclair Research Ltd (SRL). SRL itself has swung back and forth between the two warring camps of Levy and Andrews & Smith, having notably abstained from a key boardroom vote a few months ago.
George Cropper releases a video called THE VEGA+ - NEW DIRECTORS INSTALLED that discusses the latest few months of non-development and mentions the shilling done by both Jonathan Cauldwell and Lee Fogarty.top
Monday 12th November, 2018
Companies House shows that as of the 2nd of November, Paul Andrews and Chris Smith have been removed as directors.
In response, Paul Andrews posts in the facebook group:
Latest Funky Spectrum RCL Videos
The drama continues as season 2 begins with the dramatic installation of two new directors. Rumours persist that the drama may be renewed for season 3.
More terrible press for the much maligned console and to make matters worse, Sky have now insisted that the company no longer use the Sinclair name and its related trademarks.
"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 ✔