When we first went into production, we sold our machines outright for $5495.00. Five of them were purchased by a Mr. Richard Westerop of Vancouver, B.C. This man came to our shop personally, and spoke of placing the machines on ferryboats and other locations in Canada. He inferred that he was on the up-and-up, and as far as we can remember, told us specifically that he wasn't interested in building a machine of his own. We had good faith dealings with him. He operated some number of our machines around his home city, and one report we got was that there was one of our Gumball Gizmos running in a mall in Vancouver with all of our original graphics and logo removed.
At one point in our dealings, Mr. Westerop requested some of the records of our financial earnings. As he explained, they were for his use in convincing his financial backers of the viability of the project. Trusting him, we sent the records. These exact records, down to the penny, showed up in some of the early promotional materials for his rip-off machine, stating "GUMBOTRON INCOME". (April, 1996) Also, a photograph of our Gumball Gizmo interior workings showed up in a computer-reworked picture of his "Gumbotron", again in early promotional material.
The Gumbotron, as we said, uses the same motors by part number that
are used in the Gumball Gizmo. However, the speed is regulated on the motors
on the Gumball Gizmo, which makes the action of the individual contraptions
run in an aesthetically proper manner. The ones on the Gumbotron seem to
run too fast, and indeed on the one example we have seen, the gumball has
a very high tendency to fall out. It is especially bad on the "cascade
lift", where the ball falls out about half the time, again, as seen on
the one machine here in Utah. (11/96) The design is less complete on Gumbotron,
as there is a more rudimentary microprocessor program in it. There is also
less attention to detail, in our opinion. We are not too thrilled with
it, as you can imagine, and we wonder if the customers are. We must say
that the Gumbotron is a blatant copy, and, in our opinion, a lower quality
version, of the Gumball Gizmo.
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