It's finny isn't it ? Every niche hobby or interest has its con men and frauds. The funny thing is they all seem to know each other or at least of each other and either work together to swindle the rubes or hate each other while proclaiming 'they are the fraud not I'. Thing is when two cons work together they cannot overcome their natural inclinations and the whole thing explodes in entertaining ways.
And the Mysterious Mr. Lee is likely another one on the pile, according to Eli's account.
Even giving Mike the absolute benefit of the doubt, where Mr.-ious Lee was solely at fault for slacking off, cashing in contracting fees, and giving Mike Corp useless hardware props, that still doesn't exonerate Mike. Because he then took these props and presented them as real, getting into specifics of them being FPGA-based and cooking up reasons why they can't open the Toy Fair model.
A simple "Sorry, we had to back out of the fair because our supplier didn't come through for us. Give us some time to find another partner." would save face if you get screwed by somebody else. Honestly is simple, and keeps you as the good guy.
I am in the boat of thinking Mike was generally well-meaning, in that he's an actual retro fan, and believes he's going to make sellable product (I don't believe it'd actually sell). It's shady that he doesn't want to risk anything, wanted to set up a walled garden, and is shuffling ownership away from partners (though I really don't see anything technically illegal in that as others have alluded). But he did want to actually build and sell a real thing, even if tainted by his disreputable Serial Entrepreneur™ tactics. However, once things started going pear-shaped, his response was to try to lie his way through continuing the project as-is, and at that point he's firmly the bad guy, even in this absolutely best-case hypothetical scenario.
Edited by wf_, Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:26 AM.