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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

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Could you repost that article/blog here for us to read?

 

I may have been too harsh with leathco.

 

I'm sure his intent was noble, I still believe he could have helped Mike in other more direct ways. We know thenavguy is a friend of Mike and I want to believe he's attempting to helping him out without the need of any public forum at that ... you know as a friend ... as it should be until amends are done or whatever a good friend would do in this circumstances.

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daaaaaamn...did they give you any numbers as to how far in debt it is/was?

Yes but I perfer not to publicly state the numbers. All I can say is, I wish them the best of luck in righting that ship.

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When reading this, I guess the old adage "There's 2 sides to every story" could be used...

 

But what I notice is the difference in those two sides.

On 1 hand I see people like Pipercub, Pikointeractive, and Clay Cowgill who seem to only deal in facts and come out as 100% trustworthy to me. I don't know them personally or even know that they are telling the truth but I trust them, based on the way that they carry themselves and the answers they give.

I also don't know Mike Kennedy personally, though I've bought video games from him back in the ChasetheChuckwagon days and on GG as I'm sure many of you have. He seemed solid back then, but now on the other hand...Well I'm not even saying he's lying, but he employs many of the same techniques people who are lying would use. I know there's a lot to this story and we might expect some detailed explanations...But he spends a lot of time being a revisionist historian, backpedalling, digging his way out of holes, and trying to avoid being cornered. I will say "Good Job Mike!" for even bothering to answer these questions. And for all I know he's telling the absolute truth, But reading his answers I can't help but think I'm being talked to by a used car salesman or a business contractor.

I used to work in a music store so this used to come up as a topic. Our shop prided itself in being more about an honest purchase, no art of the deal trickery. Other stores started at a guitars' retail price, and then threw in cases and straps and picks and in the end our discount price was still cheaper! If you brought in a guitar as a trade-in when I was working, I would tell you what it's worth and how much I could give you in trade. I would even likely tell you how much you'd get if you found someone out in the wild to buy it.

But some people think like this:

If YOU own it, then it's worthless...The market for those has long since dried up, Those are a dime a dozen. I've already got 3 of them. You are so lucky I will take it off your hands here and this is a "friend" price.

If I own it, then it's rare and exotic...These things are incredibly valuable. I've already got 6 buyers lined up for it, they didn't make very many of these, You'll Never see another one. You are so lucky I'm willing to sell it and at a "friend" price.

I think it's OK to make some money here and there off a "hobby" but how you do it is also very important. Just like how you answer questions or protect your reputation.

I'd also like to thank everyone on here for posting and just being so damn entertaining in general. I often feel like I know you personally...

Cheers!

Edited by GoldLeader
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Big font is big.

 

You shouldn't be complaining, your eyesight is going to shit too.

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Ohh but it IS about making money.

 

 

Could you repost that article/blog here for us to read?

 

No problem! Just keep in mind I am an amateur writer, and was kinda heartfelt in my opinion. I am well aware my opinion is one that few share.

 

Can Mike Kennedy and the retro community reconcile?

April 5th, 2016

 

The biggest story in the retro community recently has been the saga of the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon. I won’t restate the facts here, but if you don’t know about the story yet, please check the Retro Gaming Roundup forums, the AtariAge forums, and the Pat and Ian CUPodcast for more information.

 

The community learned a lot of lessons from this fiasco, but I also think the community may have forgotten some things in the process, and I am guilty of this as well, as can be seen from some of my posts on the RGR forums. While the entire Chameleon project was stricken with poor decisions and easily uncovered lies, a lot of people forgot a few things about Mr. Kennedy. The same guy gave everyone years of entertainment via the Retro Gaming Roundup podcast, and Gamegavel started off as a great idea for gamers to buy, sell, and trade, and I feel it only stagnated when Mike ignored it in favor of Retro Magazine. Even Retro Magazine was a good idea, as the US could really use a well made physical retro gaming magazine. Unfortunately, the magazine focused on the wrong areas and the quality has diminished over the past few issues, to the point where backers and subscribers are owed two issues with no delivery date in sight.

 

We also know Mike could be a generous guy at times. A friend of mine gave me the story of how he told Mike he didn’t own an Atari 2600, and Mike found one at a swap meet with a good amount of games and sent it to him gratis. They weren’t close, just internet acquaintances. He also gave away many prizes from his own personal collection and swap meet finds on the RGR podcast during the live news segment. However, Mike has done severe damage to his credibility. Is it possible for Mike to regain the respect he previously had in the Retro community?

 

I think there is that chance, but it requires a lot of time and work to come back. Even then, I’m sure the Chameleon will be a black eye that will forever mar him, and he will always be ribbed for it. However, he can still regain his standing as an upstanding member of the retro community even with that on him.

 

The first step is the hardest: Mike has to come clean about the entire situation. Complete transparency is a necessity. I am sure Mike and Scott at RGR would give their former co-host a platform to clean the slate if Mike were serious about it. It would be a hard step not just for Mr. Kennedy, but also for Scott and Mike, who were hurt emotionally and financially by the situation, but I think if Kennedy were to come clean, they would help him do it publicly.

 

Next, he would need to make amends to everyone who has taken a hit either financially or to their credibility. Scott Schreiber I know has a financial stake in GameGavel and Retro Magazine that is probably irreparably damaged. At one time Scott was the only such stakeholder outside of Mike’s family. Perhaps if Mike offered some form of compensation, that could go a long way toward repairing that damage. It doesn’t have to be financial compensation, but maybe sending Scott that Stunt Pilot arcade machine or even offloading those doomed Atari Jaguar molds to Scott might be a good start.

 

Finally, he needs to step away from trying to use the retro market as a business venture. To regain that trust, he needs to give something to the retro community instead of trying to profit from it. Stepping back, focusing on Gamegavel, and making it an entirely free marketplace to buy and sell, plus giving the site a revamp to fix the current problems and making it more user friendly would be a great start. Begin making videos talking about gaming memories, perhaps game reviews, and writing articles about why he enjoys retro gaming.

 

Mike used to show how heartfeltedly he loved the community before he let the business side take over. The business side needs to die, and he needs to go back to his roots of why he enjoys these games in the first place. And to everyone else out there reading this, we need to remember that Mike is human. He has made many mistakes, but he has also done a lot of good for this community, and, like all people, he deserves the chance to make things right. I realize he has had the chance to make it right in the past and failed to do so, but some people must hit rock bottom before they can make the climb up again. I hope Mike has the strength to do so.

 

-Chris Leathco

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530A using Tapatalk

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Big font is big.

Yeah, sorry my font was so ummm big. I even tried like Helvetica to fix it LOL But it either made it too big or too small...

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I don't actually disagree with much of what you wrote, but I don't think Mike will be able to prove how contrite he supposedly is thru writing articles and making youtube vids. In fact, I'd go so far as to call such attempts at saying "hey guys, I'm still a gamer, too!" grossly transparent.

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I have seen some of the checks Mike paid to Sean, he said I could post them, but I'll allow him to do that himself. They are three separate checks totaling $7,000 between January 8, 2016 and February 29th, 2016.

 

..Al

Cancelled checks?

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Yeah, sorry my font was so ummm big. I even tried like Helvetica to fix it LOL But it either made it too big or too small...

 

This might help:

 

post-13-0-51769200-1459988314.gif

 

 

 

post-13-0-51769200-1459988314_thumb.gif

 

 

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I may have been too harsh with leathco.

 

I'm sure his intent was noble, I still believe he could have helped Mike in other more direct ways. We know thenavguy is a friend of Mike and I want to believe he's attempting to helping him out without the need of any public forum at that ... you know as a friend ... as it should be until amends are done or whatever a good friend would do in this circumstances.

I was more of a fan of his work on the show and a Fairhaven supporter. I considered him a friend but in the outter circle.

 

Mine was public because I know Scott Schreiber and Mike James have both talked with him privately, two men much closer to him then I was, and it did no good. I also felt that many people covering the story only said the negative stuff, without covering anything positive and leaving the guy feeling trapped, with no hope of recovering. I know if I were in his spot, I'd want a way out. But his only way out is taking responsibility, something he hasn't done yet.

 

I know everyone will not forgive. But I also know, if he worked hard, was honest, and gave back instead of worked for profit, maybe some of us could forgive. However, none of us can ever forget. That's an important distinction in my opinion.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530A using Tapatalk

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I don't actually disagree with much of what you wrote, but I don't think Mike will be able to prove how contrite he supposedly is thru writing articles and making youtube vids. In fact, I'd go so far as to call such attempts at saying "hey guys, I'm still a gamer, too!" grossly transparent.

To a degree, I feel the same. Those were just a few ideas of how to start the right path. If be open to any other ideas on how he could make amends.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530A using Tapatalk

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And and answer to the original question: SNES

You mean SNEZZZZZ

 

(I'd never heard it pronounced that way before this story.)

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Random Terrain, on 06 Apr 2016 - 6:18 PM, said:

 

This might help:

 

post-13-0-51769200-1459988314.gif

 

 

 

Thanks! :)

 

Yeah that's how I got it too big in the first place...But before that it seemed too small. I'm just not sure what I did, but I didn't want to lose all that I had written. After that, I closed Internet Explorer and reopened it and then everything was fine. Go figure.

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After that, I closed Internet Explorer and reopened it and then everything was fine. Go figure.

 

What? You are not using Netscape Navigator? :-o :P

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That actually was easy to read if you think about it.

 

leave the font alone, if one can not read it easily hold down control and use the mouse wheel to zoom text :P

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No problem! Just keep in mind I am an amateur writer, and was kinda heartfelt in my opinion. I am well aware my opinion is one that few share.

 

Can Mike Kennedy and the retro community reconcile?

April 5th, 2016

 

The biggest story in the retro community recently has been the saga of the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon. I won’t restate the facts here, but if you don’t know about the story yet, please check the Retro Gaming Roundup forums, the AtariAge forums, and the Pat and Ian CUPodcast for more information.

 

The community learned a lot of lessons from this fiasco, but I also think the community may have forgotten some things in the process, and I am guilty of this as well, as can be seen from some of my posts on the RGR forums. While the entire Chameleon project was stricken with poor decisions and easily uncovered lies, a lot of people forgot a few things about Mr. Kennedy. The same guy gave everyone years of entertainment via the Retro Gaming Roundup podcast, and Gamegavel started off as a great idea for gamers to buy, sell, and trade, and I feel it only stagnated when Mike ignored it in favor of Retro Magazine. Even Retro Magazine was a good idea, as the US could really use a well made physical retro gaming magazine. Unfortunately, the magazine focused on the wrong areas and the quality has diminished over the past few issues, to the point where backers and subscribers are owed two issues with no delivery date in sight.

 

We also know Mike could be a generous guy at times. A friend of mine gave me the story of how he told Mike he didn’t own an Atari 2600, and Mike found one at a swap meet with a good amount of games and sent it to him gratis. They weren’t close, just internet acquaintances. He also gave away many prizes from his own personal collection and swap meet finds on the RGR podcast during the live news segment. However, Mike has done severe damage to his credibility. Is it possible for Mike to regain the respect he previously had in the Retro community?

 

I think there is that chance, but it requires a lot of time and work to come back. Even then, I’m sure the Chameleon will be a black eye that will forever mar him, and he will always be ribbed for it. However, he can still regain his standing as an upstanding member of the retro community even with that on him.

 

The first step is the hardest: Mike has to come clean about the entire situation. Complete transparency is a necessity. I am sure Mike and Scott at RGR would give their former co-host a platform to clean the slate if Mike were serious about it. It would be a hard step not just for Mr. Kennedy, but also for Scott and Mike, who were hurt emotionally and financially by the situation, but I think if Kennedy were to come clean, they would help him do it publicly.

 

Next, he would need to make amends to everyone who has taken a hit either financially or to their credibility. Scott Schreiber I know has a financial stake in GameGavel and Retro Magazine that is probably irreparably damaged. At one time Scott was the only such stakeholder outside of Mike’s family. Perhaps if Mike offered some form of compensation, that could go a long way toward repairing that damage. It doesn’t have to be financial compensation, but maybe sending Scott that Stunt Pilot arcade machine or even offloading those doomed Atari Jaguar molds to Scott might be a good start.

 

Finally, he needs to step away from trying to use the retro market as a business venture. To regain that trust, he needs to give something to the retro community instead of trying to profit from it. Stepping back, focusing on Gamegavel, and making it an entirely free marketplace to buy and sell, plus giving the site a revamp to fix the current problems and making it more user friendly would be a great start. Begin making videos talking about gaming memories, perhaps game reviews, and writing articles about why he enjoys retro gaming.

 

Mike used to show how heartfeltedly he loved the community before he let the business side take over. The business side needs to die, and he needs to go back to his roots of why he enjoys these games in the first place. And to everyone else out there reading this, we need to remember that Mike is human. He has made many mistakes, but he has also done a lot of good for this community, and, like all people, he deserves the chance to make things right. I realize he has had the chance to make it right in the past and failed to do so, but some people must hit rock bottom before they can make the climb up again. I hope Mike has the strength to do so.

 

-Chris Leathco

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530A using Tapatalk

 

That was kind of interesting to read. A different way to look at it to be sure.

 

Now, I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of the gaming community who knows of MK, knows of him only from the RVGS and later. I would say that before that to most people there as no association of any kind of reputation, so their only experience with him would be questionable at best by this point.

 

I don't think there is any hope of getting into the good graces of people whom he was never there to begin with because now he is a recognized name and not for the right reasons. With others that knew or know him then that may well be a different matter. The RVGS and or Chameleon will be the only things he is known for by a lot of people and those people won't care one iota who he was good to or what kind of guy he was before they ever heard his name. They have no personal investment in him and it is not a matter of rebuilding a reputation with them. It is a matter of overcoming a reputation that was earned.

 

I don't see any real means at redemption to the majority of the community because I don't believe the majority of the community cares about him as anything other than a character, so to say. "The guy who tried to scam people with a SNES in a Jaguar shell saying it was a new game system." - That is going to be the legacy with the vast majority of the people coming and going from the gaming community. Because, the majority of the people don't care beyond what was an interesting bit of gaming news for a little while, and to them he will be forever marked as what they had seen at the time. Mind you this is just my take on things.

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2. Did you ever actually have the rights to make any of the games you featured in the Chameleon sizzle reel, such as the Intellivision and Colecovision multi-packs? What was the nature of the contract, if any (percentage of sales, up-front licensing, etc)? Did you tell Gizmodo that you had rights to Atari properties? If not, who did? Of course. Keith Robinson is a personal friend of mine and was excited to have an Intelli multicart on the system from the start. Remember, I thought I had bought an Intelli FPGA from Sean and he told me he was getting Intelli games running on our software/hardware. For Coleco we were lined up to either attempt to buy the FPGA core from Kevin or license the emulator from Oscar - CoolCV. Coleco being a partner obviously wanted a multi cart available for launch as well. So yes, these were both real collections coming on the system from the start. The reporter from Gizmodo happened to be in our booth waiting to interview us while we were all having a lengthy conversation with Atari who had come to the show specifically to talk with us. They wanted to have a multi cart available at the launch of the Kickstarter as well and we all shook on it in the booth - Ben, Chris and myself. She heard the whole thing. It was then after the show we were in further discussions with them when they said to do this they would need a guarantee upfront of like $50K to do the deal -- something they didn't mention in our booth. We were in the process of working through this when the clear proto fake was shown which ultimate ended all communications with them. And they weren't happy with the news of the SNES in a shell, obviously.

 

No answer to the specific questions that were asked. The questions did not ask what you were doing to try to aquire rights. It asked specifically if you had game rights and what game did you have rights to. No answer given.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Why was Coleco Holdings led to believe there was a viable product in that shiny Jaguar shell? Should they have gone to the expense of printing flyers and sharing their booth with you at Toy Fair? We were all led to believe this. If I had known before going to the show that my $4k that I paid Sean in January was getting me a SNES in a shell, I wouldn't have gone to the show and cancelled. It was a big expense and it was very public. It was the start of the end and what has led to the uncovering of Sean's ways. We had no reason to distrust him at that time, remember.

 

Again, no answer to the question asked. Specific question was whether you represented to Coleco Holdings that there was a viable product in the shell. You do not provide an answer but rather talk about a different subject matter.

 

 

 

 

 

7. What happened to the "team" that you proudly splashed on the Chameleon page? It seems that their contributions were much smaller than those of the hardware engineer(s). Why were they named while the hardware engineer(s) were not? There contributions weren't small. Ben was securing retailers, Phil Adam was working with Interplay and Blizzard to secure deals on HD remakes or 16-bit cart collections of their earlier hits (Phil used to be President of Interplay back in their hayday and is also very close with the execs at Blizzard). Paul Wylie has a logistics background and was working to setup all our domestic and/or overseas manufacturing. I was setting up relationships with Arrow Electronics and others to begin supplying us our parts, etc. There was a lot going on while I thought I had a competent hardware team working on the hardware. Lots of wasted effort and I can assure you none of us knew the crap Sean was pulling. And remember, Sean didn't want to be mentioned as working on this project, wanted to remain "behind the curtain". Steve Woita was mentioned.

 

 

No answer to the questions. You were not answered about team members roles. None of the specific questions were answered such as what is the present state of the team and why were the hardware members of the team not as prominently promoted.

 

 

 

Edited by rayik
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Still three pages behind... but getting closer.

Meanwhile...

Believe it or not Sean weasled his way as an admin on ReadRetro.com. He also claimed to do website optimization and web design. At one point I was stupid enough to pay him to help make some backend changes. I just deleted his account and forgot he had anything to do with it as it was a couple years ago. I believe he came in and deleted the news story.


EDIT: Eh, never mind ... I was refreshing the old page, which had a different URL. The images are indeed broken, though.


Up next for getting thrown under the bus: Mike's current web designer.


Just let me tidy that quote up a little bit...

At one point I was stupid enough to pay him...


A little bit more...

At one point I was stupid...


A little bit more...

...I was stupid...


There we go!

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And this is why I won't be answering any more questions. Just for the record.

 

A shame, really. So you didn't get the rah-rahing Greek chorus you wanted here and now you are leaving. Maybe you should just retire to your Facebook echo chamber and smell your own farts for a decade or two.

 

A parting thought for Mike:

 

Namedropping Clay Cowgill into this discussion was a really low move on your part.

 

His involvement in your sorry saga had absolutely no bearing on it's ultimate failure, and IMO only served to give yet another name for people to focus on and swing the spotlight away from you. Like Kevtris, you wanted CC to work for free and maybe glean a few smart-sounding buzzwords from him that you could throw at the next unlucky hardware guy who happened to cross your path. Now Clay's name will pop up in Google searches associated with this Sean/Lee character. Unlike you when you hired Sean, most real busineses do background checks on prospective employees including casual Google searches for obvious red flags.

 

Think about that the next time you come here wanting sympathy and understanding while wearing your "I'm the only one who suffered a loss" t-shirt.

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