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"Maelstrom Games- Are they about to go bust?? " Topic


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Deadone12 Nov 2012 4:43 p.m. PST

From JP on link
:

"It is Rob's intention to fullfill all the orders for FOW product he has outstanding and we are working with him to help facilitate this as best we can.
His business issues are out of our control but we are working with him to make sure all FOW customers get either stock or thier money.
I honestly could not tell you how this will play out in the end as we are a bystander in the mix like you but having recently met with Rob in person I am willing to take him at his word about his intentions as our working relationship over the years has earnt him that. I doubt the closure of his business is something he wanted but we will do what we can to help make sure FOW players are not left out in the cold."

Longstrider12 Nov 2012 7:15 p.m. PST

I'm not sure why they get either props or flak for it. Seems like a reasonable enough decision to continue to exist their business – I don't think it was either particularly villainous or altruistic of Wayland.

Gennorm13 Nov 2012 4:18 a.m. PST

knowingly took 300 pounds worth of orders from a buddy of mine when they were about to go bust (this was just before the fire-sale e-mails).

Tell him to approach the liquidators. If it can be shown that Maelstrom took money without reasonable expectation of supplying the goods the directors could be in breach of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Guthroth13 Nov 2012 6:45 a.m. PST

I've worked in finance departments most of my adult life, from office boy to (very junior) director and back again.

Maelstrom were under capitalised (they grew too fast) and Wayland used entirely legal methods to remove a competitor from the marketplace.

Neither company comes out of this epsiode with any real honours, although claims by Wayland to be doing the hobby a favour are a wee bit far-fetched.

As I said, it's all legal but then so is my decision to never deal with either company or their spin-offs ever again.

Hendrid13 Nov 2012 8:11 a.m. PST

Wasn't aware of all this cufuffle until yesterday and reading through this thread, it does make interesting reading. Bad situation and all for punters and suppliers who have lost out and all but more it's the effect on the hobby as a whole that trading practices like those mentioned have that's the real killer. It's too small a market to not really hurt everyone in the supply chain.

One thing though, it's dramatic stuff….and they all say that it's just about toy soldiers! I don't think so, under-trading, colusion, aggressive buy outs, over-trading, big money. All that's missing is the dark haired vamp in the corner smoking a cigarette in a holder with interesting lighting affects. you couldn't make this story up.

(Another Loser)13 Nov 2012 8:24 a.m. PST

Neither company comes out of this epsiode with any real honours, although claims by Wayland to be doing the hobby a favour are a wee bit far-fetched

Does anyone think it odd Wayland chose to do just after they opened their own gaming centre?
LES

1815Guy13 Nov 2012 8:59 a.m. PST

I never did like Mansfield…….. it's a dump and a half with far too many ugly, miserable people (TMPers excepted of course).

The problem really is that these spivs never stop. They just come bouncing back in the same old style with "new" businesses until they are prevented from being a Director. Then they put their wives names on the register and start all over again.

So one cannot be trusting.

I have never bought online without Paypal or Credit Card Act protection, and all of this just shows how essential this is.

If Comet and Woolies can do down the toilet, any wargames based business can follow in just a matter of minutes.

kilgore trout13 Nov 2012 2:47 p.m. PST

I've met Rob Lane several times. His business model was aggressive and high risk, I for one am not surprised how it played out, I never bought from him and I certainly wouldn't have let him operate on that kind of credit if he was buying from me.

The jury's out on Wayland but 'acting in the best interests of supliers' likely has an element of truth, as does 'eliminating the competition.'

We'll never know what would have happened if they hadn't stepped in but my guess is Maestrom would have been an empty shell, any stock they had remaining and that £500,000.00 GBP they owed? Never heard of again…

Personal logo Il Granatiere Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2012 6:38 a.m. PST

Only thing I know is that I have ordered some plastic Perry on 7th October and I received confirmation of the order processing, and following this fact a lot of mail for special offers but nothing on my stuff an I'm still waiting…..
I have lost my money but on 7th they were perfectly aware of the situation how would you define such people?

piglet14 Nov 2012 6:51 a.m. PST

interestingly different

Volleyfire14 Nov 2012 10:55 a.m. PST

Just tried logging in on the EotS website having read a few disturbing things on the Fow Forum and I find my email address is suddenly no longer recognized. Yet last week it was and still had the remains of my order on there. Like a lot of others on the forum I guess my remaining order items have vanished.

Leadgend14 Nov 2012 9:01 p.m. PST

EOTS has changed it's name to Maunsfeld Gaming.

Interesting reading here:
link

Capital of 1 pound, the director who registered the company resigns after 1 day in favour of the guy who ran Maelstrom.

Socalwarhammer14 Nov 2012 11:59 p.m. PST

I have no idea what to make of this. This is either one of the shadiest business maneuvers I have ever seen or it is a tragic tale of capitalism gone wrong. I am leaning towards the former, but only time will tell.

I don't know how this Maunsfeld Gaming LTD will work out, but the stigma will always be there.

1815Guy15 Nov 2012 5:59 a.m. PST

link

I smell fish.

I'd be keeping my hand on my ha'penny, and not risk buying anything with an NG18 postcode anywhere near it.

GeoffQRF15 Nov 2012 6:42 a.m. PST

…the director who registered the company resigns after 1 day in favour of…

That doesn't necessarily mean anything. These companies can often be bought 'off the shelf' via a solicitor or agent for a small fee. The solicitor will initially be put in as a director when they set it up, so they can sign teh necessary paperwork, then at a technical board meeting the solicitor will resign as they transfer the company to the client. It's a normal procedure.

The only dubious part will be if they were asset stripping the original company into the new companies prior to the liquidation. A liquidator can look back 2 years…

Brian Smaller15 Nov 2012 11:03 a.m. PST

That doesn't necessarily mean anything. These companies can often be bought 'off the shelf' via a solicitor or agent for a small fee.

That is how I brought my company in the UK when I was doing contract IT work their in the 80s. Just found one with a name I liked.

I only ever ordered from Maelstrom games once and got my order in five days from UK to New Zealand and it was post free. Shame they have fallen over. But – that is business. Some make it, and some die.

keleustes15 Nov 2012 12:57 p.m. PST

Maunsfeld, has offered to honour any of the BattleFornt orders that Maelstrom was unable to fullfill. According to the e-mail i have just recieved. I was speculating about this however when I placed the order!

1815Guy15 Nov 2012 3:31 p.m. PST

So, just the customers who ordered non BF stuff and the suppliers who were trusting enough to give him credit will be the losers then? Poor business judgement on the suppliers part, but exacerbated by Maelstroms actions clear out the stock as a fire sale rate, pocket the cash and run like hell before it all goes to pot.

BF are clearly keeping their brand name intact by helping out here, so well done them.

For the rest, I guess he wont be getting supply any time soon from those he burned. This business is a small community. This Lane guy appears to like living on the very edge…… or possibly in a fantasy world

And its not an ethical way to do business, imho.

I have ordered from Maelstrom in the past, but I'm keeping well away from the Lane Trading Empire in whatever form it takes.

(but then, I wont buy Starbucks coffee now either guess I'm a bit funny like that!)

I wonder how long it will be before the villagers turn up at his front door with their pitchforks and burning staves, with the gruesome Anne Robinson at the head!!

Meanwhile, clearly Britain is not a nation of shopkeepers…..

Lion in the Stars15 Nov 2012 4:16 p.m. PST

The only dubious part will be if they were asset stripping the original company into the new companies prior to the liquidation. A liquidator can look back 2 years…

And that is what it's sounding like…

Personal logo Il Granatiere Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2012 6:30 a.m. PST

So at the end I made two mistakes, the first one not to buy directly from Perry, attracted by discount, and the second one to have convinced a friend of mine to buy in this way trough me. Clearly I will never ask him his part of money for this order; so dammage doubled.

1815Guy16 Nov 2012 8:39 a.m. PST

3 actually, Il Granatiere: not using Paypal was also a problem.

It's human to trust folk, so dont beat yourself up over it.

Guess it's educational…..? :o(

Personal logo Il Granatiere Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2012 10:00 a.m. PST

Thanks for your words 1815Guy but my mistakes remain two, because I used paypal, but knowing that their average time for sending items was high, in reality I was not afraid, till the very last moment, and I tried to recover my money trough paypal but unfotunatly the time limit was already passed (one day) so no hope.
Refering to your point of view we may say that education cost…..

Cornelius17 Nov 2012 2:13 p.m. PST

"A liquidator can look back two years" but only will bother if they believe they can recover sufficient assets to at least pay their extra fees. They are not law enforcement getting paid to investigate alleged crime for the public good.

LtColMorto21 Nov 2012 2:27 p.m. PST

on 29 Oct 2012 I got an email that Maelstrom shipped my order; a small $10 USD one; I doubt if I will ever get that… In the UK do they have mail fraud as in the US? If so, who can I contact.

GeoffQRF22 Nov 2012 3:20 a.m. PST

if they believe they can recover sufficient assets to at least pay their extra fees

It is a balance, but their duty is to recover as much as possible for the creditors, so they would look back into anything removed or sold as an undervalue and could recover the value from the purchaser, especially if that turns out to be the same director(s)…

Gerald Thomas22 Nov 2012 3:01 p.m. PST

Hmm. My last order from Maelstrom was 'posted' but I've never received it. I'm not accusing them of not sending it, but I'd be interested in how many of the last orders were posted but never received.

Shame, I used them for ages with no problems.

SpankinginRed24 Nov 2012 10:51 a.m. PST

I have to agree with 1815Guy, Mansfield is a dump and full of Ugly Miserable creatures. Never did find their place.
I have had a few years of very good trade out of them though, so in that, I'll miss them.

Cornelius26 Nov 2012 2:49 p.m. PST

Perhaps a group of creditors could complain to the enforcement authority (it used to be the DTI). They might invesigate if they thought there was evidence of knowingly insolvent trading.

6milPhil28 Nov 2012 9:38 a.m. PST

Given what the banks did and how no one got punished for that I think it's unlikely…

Nick R25 Dec 2012 3:49 p.m. PST

I expect this to cease to exist elsewhere shortly…

3/11 from me "I ask this question in all sincerity and hope that the initial question isn't sufficient to have it removed.

Given what appears to be happening with a certain store in the UK, will BF supply product to stores that go bust and then start up again under another name but with a significant degree of commonality in local, ownership and even website design?

I work in the finance game and we have a written policy that we don't lend to borrowers who effectively construct a phoenix scheme – that is go bust, burn your creditors and then rise again under another name (and maybe questionable transfer of product or property).

It's an integrity and social responsibility issue – we just don't want to be a party to it and put the same above "potenial" profit. I say potential because once done, the second time is even easier…The old saying of "first loss, best loss" or "good money after bad", you play a dangerous game akin to gambling when you think you can recoup your losses from recommencing trade. This is without the readily quantificable issue of the illwill you generate from the end creditors would were initially burnt.

This is speculation true, but with the establishment of another cloned site, selective supply of product, lack of response to emails and phonecalls, and now the fact that their site is now "offline", the stench is pretty strong.

I would appreaciate BF (and indeed any manufacturers) attitude to the above scenario.

Regards and thanks,"

A response from JP at BF 13/11 "It is Rob's intention to fullfill all the orders for FOW product he has outstanding and we are working with him to help facilitate this as best we can.
His business issues are out of our control but we are working with him to make sure all FOW customers get either stock or thier money.
I honestly could not tell you how this will play out in the end as we are a bystander in the mix like you but having recently met with Rob in person I am willing to take him at his word about his intentions as our working relationship over the years has earnt him that. I doubt the closure of his business is something he wanted but we will do what we can to help make sure FOW players are not left out in the cold."

Further response 25/12 from JP at BF "There is no discussion here at all. A business went bust and handled it badly leaving people feeling hurt. A great many suppliers have also been left out of pocket as well so what do you want me or anybody else here to say. We live in tough times and busnesses that survive on high discounts operate on such tight margins and have no customer loyalty, anyboydy looking for cheap will jump ship to cheaper if given the chance, and the end result is a shaky business model which has never lasted long. In over twenty years I have never seen a big internet discounter ever survive long and maybe that is the lesson here that cheap prices shops cant match is only a short term gain and although many will take advantage of it whilst it lasts you should not be surpirsed when things go bad at the end."

My response 25/12 "Thanks for the response.

In response to your question, what I would like is your / company stance on dealing with companies related to Maelstrom going forward. Will BF support businesses that employ phoenix tactics?

Hope this clarifies the intent of the very first posting (43 pages ago) if that was unclear.

I would also observe that the reponse of today is a significant windback of the comments and 'support' touted back on 13 November (page 12)."

JP at BF response "Just to be clear we have no outstanding business with Maelstrom Games at all and the business is closed and in liquidation. Our stance is the same as always. We deal with stores around the world on terms we set for them to buy product from us. We do our best to help the business in promoting our brands and when they misbehave we act in our best interests to protect any outcome from this. Stopping supplying the largest internet seller at thier prime should have proved that we make choices based on long term goals not short term cash. Rob put himself in a bad place and despite his best intentions simply was not able to save his business and walk away without some fallout. I dont condone this in anyway but I do understand how he got himself in the mess. If we knew he was going under and supported his ruthless scheme throughout I could understand why you want to have an answer to your question but we did nothing of the sort. We open new accounts around the world at over twenty a month. Our customer base has over a thousand stores in it and at the same time we loose stores that close for all kinds of reasons, usually owing money to us, and although we do our best to divine who is good and who is bad it is only by peoples actions that you can see. We traded fairly and honestly with Rob for years for great sums of money and nothing he did suggested he would come to the end he did in such a fashion. Business failure always leaves a mess but I can only hope that most people were able to get there money back through their credit card company which is exactly why their rules of trade have this clause in it. I hope thta clears our stance up once and for all so i can lock this thread and put the issue to bed."

My last response and nil from BF since…

"Sorry, feel free to lock the thread, but you still hold back and ignore the question on giving a clear answer on whether you will supply and line the pockets of any phoenix of maelstrom – ie EOTS etc. You personally describe it as 'ruthless' and a 'bad place' but fail to say "we won't support someone that burns our end customer".

Ambigious – just state the stance and let people make the clear decision on where they want to spend their money going forward.

Ask me a question – I'll tell you my stance in 6 words or less. In the words of 'M' I am a blunt instrument."

44 pages fair bit in between, but stance has change a bit…

Lewisgunner26 Dec 2012 7:29 a.m. PST

Interesting as to what he ethical stance should be. The U.K. laws on company failure were changed some time ago to make failure and restart much easier. This was done to encourage entrepreneurs to try and fail and try again. this is hoped to lead to more businesses eventually surviving. It also is supposed to lead to continuing employment for at least some of the workforce. Against that I doubt if anyone wants to see cynical business owners ordering large amounts of stock and then going deliberately bust so that they can restart the business with every advantage whilst their suppliers and often staff get caught for the costs.

The ethical difficulty is to tell which situation any particular business failure is. From Battlefront's point of view they are probably better off to ignore the ethics and take a straight business decision based on how likely they are to get paid by any new management.

Goose66626 Dec 2012 7:39 a.m. PST

Battle Front will do what ever earns them money I suspect.

Starbucks etc only decided to make a token payment of tax after they lost millions due to a drop in trade that might allow their competitors a greater market share.

Battle Front are no different. They will, if they believe it has no real consequence to business carry on supplying anyone. Though they might be a bit more demanding in terms of payments up front.

Just the way big business is, these days.

1815Guy26 Dec 2012 9:01 p.m. PST

Standing aside from Maelstrom and Lane, is it not possible to learn from one's mistakes and start over?

How would BF keep track of where everyone is in their distribution outlets? Phoenixes are good at hiding behind other names…….

Caveat Emptor is what the punters have to do.

Use Paypal, use Credit Cards, use COD if you can…..

Time to move on from MAelstrom now.

Nick R27 Dec 2012 4:46 a.m. PST

Not only Maelstrom…

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