Special Ops Paintball: SP temporary closure - Special Ops Paintball

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SP temporary closure the SP saga continues...

#46 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 12:02 PM

View PostGuy In Digi Camo, on Jan 16 2010, 11:36 PM, said:

I've only been around the sport for a short time, about the time this Smart Parts patent arguements came up and the closing of businesses.

I can say that I dont fully hate SP, the only smart parts gun i could ever love is a Shocktek SFT.

With the ion they flooded the market with a cheap marker that worked ok and some upgrades that could make them shoot decent. That alone ensured them a solid place in the market. They did not have to really go after smaller companies over patents to secure themselves a larger spot in the market, which is what they did and its a business practice that is pretty nasty but is capitalism at its best. As far as it goes i will say I wont ever USE a smart parts gun with the exception of the above gun

I personally have an ion and a ICD promaster both of which i purchased/traded for around 100$
the ion came with a firebolt, the promaster stock with the exception of a low rise feedneck

Not wanting to go on a rant I can say the promaster is by far the better gun stock and the ion, aquired in a trade, sits and is currently for sale for those interested.

For those sponsored you are the ones that are the advertisements and the ones who are loyal to them to the end, If you heard of them starting to make low quality guns or start handing out less money, then the smart move is to look to other companies to see if they will do a sponsorship deal at the same level you have now. Its not the moral decision just the smart one.

I myself am not sure about the restructuring, I could make a call or two but I'm not going to bother as the end of the month will bring the truth to everyone's questions. Its a good move for the corporate side as they will not be shelling out any costs but still be selling marker stock. I will say that if they decide to outsource i can say its a smart move but not the most moral one in my eyes because of the loss of jobs, however many there are, IMO one is too many. If they don't and cut some of the fat away, such as advertising .50 cal and other propaganda then I can say that they are doing good. However either way people will be laid off and people will loose jobs, its one of the top things in a reconstruction plan although its not the best one.

It'll be interesting to see what Smart Parts emerges as after this "reconstruction". I'll be sure to keep tuned in to this.


To each their own. I have had an Ion since it came out. The only upgrades that I put on it that was needed was the q-lock. The marker was "cheap" enough that new people getting into the game were not underguned from the get go. And for the record, a lot of the lawsuits came prior to the Ion hitting the market. So you may want to take a step back and re-evaluate that statement.

As far as your "ion v. promaster" comments, you understand that the suggested retail price was just shy of $400.00, compared to that of the Ion which was half at the time. So you are basically comparing a "mid-level" electro marker to a "low-level" electro marker. One of which has depreciated quite a bit compared to the other. In regards to the sponsored teams, I think its quite evident of who's "loyal to them to the end" and who is not. The smart teams are the ones that have made themselves more valuable to sponsors, this may include becoming certified on teching their markers, selling their products at events and so on.

View Postflyweightnate, on Jan 17 2010, 12:18 PM, said:

When I say 'part time', I mean anyone who is paid a sum to endorse the product actively. I could use the term 'industry shill', but it's considered derogatory. I'm also including GI Milsim and DLX with Smart Parts in this statement, due to the close ties the companies had.

Most companies do not hire a lawyer full-time. Most paintball companies do not need to.

Explain to me why the Smart Parts catalogs lately distributed to the dealers were clearance only, and no new products were being manufactured as far back as a year and a half ago, please. Feel free to elaborate on why they had no new stock of any markers since summer '09. When was the last time you saw an order of Impulses go through? Why did they cut back their shipping department to one or two guys? It wasn't because guns were flying off the shelves.

Their machine shops have been liquidated- of course, they could still manufacture in Asia.


This doesn't look like a great way to begin a year.


I don't know how many large companies you are familiar with, but most companies do employ lawyers. Most paintball companies don't because, lets face it, they are a step above being a mom-and-pop operation.

I don't know how much you know about the paintball industry, but most companies don't make a lot of "soft goods" because it doesn't give them the same return on profit that markers do. All t-shirts and the like are good for, is promoting the markers/other "hard goods" a company makes. Now your statement about "no new products were being manufactured as far back as a year and a half ago", what about the '09 Impulse? That was released in May, and started shipping in mid-July of 2009.

The reason why Smart Parts doesn't "manufacture new products each year" because the company spends a lot of time making sure what they do release is not crap and will hold up to time. The differences between the SFT and NXT shockers were small changes, however the marker still sold well for 7 years. I feel it speaks volumes that a company will stand behind their products and not release a new model each year, which in turn hurts resale value and screw's over their dealers who may have extra stock of the previous years marker. They could of released the same gun each year, with a ounce or two shaved off and the price being $1000.00+, but how would that benefit you the player?

Whenever I would call in need of a marker, I would get it shipped out right away. Most times I would have it the next day. So that statement is wrong. They started running into problems with markers being in stock after they did the last round of lay-offs, but that was to be expected. Even after that, I would/could still get markers within a week. The reason why there hasnt been another run of Impulses is because they stopped machining parts in September, and with the demand being so high, they would ship the markers out as soon as bodies were being made.

On a side note, we were playing with some of the new stuff they had in the works days prior to the bank causing all the problems. So there was new stuff in the works, it just never had time to hit the market.

Your move.

This post has been edited by deltapaintball: 17 January 2010 - 12:05 PM

Coming soon.
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#47 User is offline   TheEnd 

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 12:18 PM

View Postflyweightnate, on Jan 17 2010, 12:18 PM, said:

Most companies do not hire a lawyer full-time. Most paintball companies do not need to.


Wrong, completely wrong. Most companies hire full time lawyers. In fact most large companies have an entire team of lawyers, I don't know about paintball companies having a full time lawyer. However I am sure that they have a lawyer on retainer, or have some other form of legal advice from a lawyer. Having lawyers is part of big business, and saying that Smart Parts is wrong for having a lawyer is just ignorant. It isn't even a valid argument.
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#48 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:54 PM

View Postdeltapaintball, on Jan 17 2010, 02:02 PM, said:

As far as your "ion v. promaster" comments, you understand that the suggested retail price was just shy of $400.00, compared to that of the Ion which was half at the time. So you are basically comparing a "mid-level" electro marker to a "low-level" electro marker. One of which has depreciated quite a bit compared to the other.
...

I don't know how many large companies you are familiar with, but most companies do employ lawyers. Most paintball companies don't because, lets face it, they are a step above being a mom-and-pop operation.

I don't know how much you know about the paintball industry, but most companies don't make a lot of "soft goods" because it doesn't give them the same return on profit that markers do. All t-shirts and the like are good for, is promoting the markers/other "hard goods" a company makes. Now your statement about "no new products were being manufactured as far back as a year and a half ago", what about the '09 Impulse? That was released in May, and started shipping in mid-July of 2009.

The reason why Smart Parts doesn't "manufacture new products each year" because the company spends a lot of time making sure what they do release is not crap and will hold up to time. The differences between the SFT and NXT shockers were small changes, however the marker still sold well for 7 years. I feel it speaks volumes that a company will stand behind their products and not release a new model each year, which in turn hurts resale value and screw's over their dealers who may have extra stock of the previous years marker. They could of released the same gun each year, with a ounce or two shaved off and the price being $1000.00+, but how would that benefit you the player?

Whenever I would call in need of a marker, I would get it shipped out right away. Most times I would have it the next day. So that statement is wrong. They started running into problems with markers being in stock after they did the last round of lay-offs, but that was to be expected. Even after that, I would/could still get markers within a week. The reason why there hasnt been another run of Impulses is because they stopped machining parts in September, and with the demand being so high, they would ship the markers out as soon as bodies were being made.

On a side note, we were playing with some of the new stuff they had in the works days prior to the bank causing all the problems. So there was new stuff in the works, it just never had time to hit the market.

Your move.



Promaster v Ion: Ion was originally sold at a similar pricepoint to the Promaster. The Promaster was almost universally considered superior; both guns had very mediocre inline regulators though, which caused several issues for both. Why did the Promaster depreciate? ICD folded. Why? Smart Parts filed a C&D while Jerry Dobbins was fighting (correct me if this is the wrong disease) leukemia and was unable to appear in court. Low.

Soft goods generally are a higher profit margin than are hard goods. A t-shirt is bought for 2.50 to 5.00, screenprinted en masse for $3/print, then sold for $30. 500% markup, yes please. The Luxe was lucky to pull in a 80% markup from what I heard, R&D considered.

When I say companies, i mean PAINTBALL companies. You know, the topic at hand. I'll be more explicit next time. No Paintball Companies other than Smart Parts have a full-time employed lawyer that I know of- conglomerates do not qualify, as I am talking of paintball companies specifically. AGD, WDP, DYE, ICD, WGP, etc were paintball companies, whereas KEE and Kingman were side businesses of conglomerates. Note the SP had similar production numbers to many of these companies, yet had a full-time lawyer.

Impulse never hit full production. Rocky Knuth did a significant portion of the work on that; just look at the balanced poppet, one of his old designs. I could find the patent if you'd like, but it would be lots of work and I am not sure that his name is on it, as I believe it was sold/ created for Empire, part of a larger conglomerate. Local store owners are unable to get any Impulses on the shelves, and NIB NXTs have been as rare as X-mags.

Here are some quotes from a dealer:

Quote

"Here is what I can tell you from the vantage point that gives me:

1) Since early summer 2008, they have been running a large "Clearance Sale", trying to unload whatever they could. Every month a new price list was issued with current stock numbers on them, and current prices. Prices dropped every month on anything that was still in stock. Everything was on sale, markers, tanks, clothes, barrels, parts, you name it.

2) They have been entirely out of stock on markers, tanks, regs, and most parts since the middle of summer 2009. Every price and stock list I've gotten since May or June of this year has shown every marker as out of stock, and near all parts as out of stock, save for a very few team label Ion bodies. Dealers and distributors had to fight over every marker they found on a shelf somewhere. You put in your request to your sales rep, and then they battled it out. I could not ever get on a list for an NXT Shocker after July, there were simply none to be had.

3) My sales rep had to take over several other regions, and kept apologizing for the lengthy shipping delays. The problem was that they had gone from a small army of shipping staffers down to a single guy who was literally running everything on his own. One guy to pull, pack, and ship all the orders they filled since about mid-July 2009. Either that guy is Superman, or they weren't doing much volume.

4) The last price list came out on Dec 1, and it had nothing but clothes, DVD's, and a few Ion bodies on it, all heavily discounted.

5) They have not issued any more sales or press material for the "new" Impulse since the initial reveal in mid-May 2009. At that time, the sent out a few pictures and a tentative price structure, but since then, they've not said a word, and no other info has been forthcoming. It's as if the rollout never happened. Either they've abandoned the project after a short run and didn't tell anyone (perhaps, like the Nurv, they realized they just launched a $900 marker that folks wouldn't pay $400 for, and snuffed it). Or with the business under water, their attention was diverted elsewhere, and the new Imp just kind of lurched to a stop and got kicked to the wayside.

6) Everyone I've talked to that is intimate with SP has said that all the mfg facilities are shuttered for good, and that if SP the company comes back, all their hard parts will be manufactured in Asia someplace. No word on what's up with the patents or any merger/buyout deals. "


The bank did not 'create the problem'- SP obviously didn't pass a credit audit, so their revolving line of credit got axed. The bank called in the loans. The business was not run in a manner that pleased the investors, thus the business is/ did fail(ing).

Regards to the Shocker and its slow upgrade path being beneficial- I agree wholeheartedly that yearly models are a hoax. They make for a great used gun market, but that's about it. I do not buy DYE or PE markers... MacDev, however, significantly improves with each release. Smart Parts was using a DYE-owned patent for the Shocker, and simply changed some pressures in favor of size, as opposed to raw performance. You will note the Matrix will outperform the Shocker, and always has, but was generally more cumbersome. SP did the industry no great favor by releasing a less-refined, 2011 alloy version of the DM4. The Luxe, however, is merely a fully-gimmicked NXT with HE bolt. Similar to the BL Victory being a gimmicked Marq with proficiency valve. Smart Parts has done very little for 'design'. The Ion was a Freestyle-based gun, the Shocker was a DM based gun, the Impulse was a Bushmaster-based gun, the Nurv was a flop, and the original 'brick' Shocker was illegitimately obtained from PVi. The new Impulse is an Intimidator with an Empire valve, hybridized with a G-force 'cocker body, and electronic controls for the regs. Note that all the above are patented or trade-dress protected.


If you would like, I can copy-paste some of the more publicly available info on the current business situation, which was the origination of this discussion. I do need to be careful what I say, though- while some can be anonymously posted, there is a fine line as to which information is identifiable to the source.

I understand if part of your sponsorship agreement or past agreements require you to defend the company. I realize this is generally in the terms. However, this is an objective discussion as to the viability of their recovery from the bank calling their loans, and thereby acquiring their rather lucrative IP. Ask your sources what the Luxe cost them, what it cost to have GI Milsim find a proper barrel kit for the .50 paint, and how much they paid that lawyer. On another forum, a 'little bird' suggested $600,000/ year, which is the profit margin of many of the smaller companies. Another suggestion was over a year and seven figures on the Luxe, which is fundamentally no different from a Shocker. The money was spent in frivolous directions, and the bank(s) and sponsor(s) were less than pleased, thus the current situation.
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#49 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:57 PM

Well, the month's almost over. They should be announcing their grand re-opening of the new, restructured Smart Parts soon... if it will happen.
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#50 User is offline   vargg 

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 05:19 PM

so whats the story??
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#51 User is offline   Gauss 

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 05:36 PM

...wha?
OFFICIAL BROADSWORD RECOGNITION NUMBER: 112
OFFICIAL SABRE RECOGNITION NUMBER: 530
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#52 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 06:23 PM

Smart Parts Europe was bought out.

No news on SP USA
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#53 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:23 PM

link to official statement:
http://www.catshackreports.com/2010/02/sp-...over/#more-6041
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#54 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:41 PM

Ok, so that's great for redistribution of old stock- but their machining centers are closed and liquidated. Back a years ago in APG they bragged about being an all-American produced company, despite having already sent the Ion production overseas. Are they going to send production for everything else overseas now? Or will they stop producing their formerly American-made guns, like the Luxe and Shocker?

Barrels have been third-partied literally since the start, so don't worry about those, if you like them.
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#55 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:59 PM

View Postflyweightnate, on Feb 1 2010, 10:41 PM, said:

Ok, so that's great for redistribution of old stock- but their machining centers are closed and liquidated. Back a years ago in APG they bragged about being an all-American produced company, despite having already sent the Ion production overseas. Are they going to send production for everything else overseas now? Or will they stop producing their formerly American-made guns, like the Luxe and Shocker?

Barrels have been third-partied literally since the start, so don't worry about those, if you like them.

Dye is currently manufacturing luxes for them.
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#56 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:16 AM

View Postflyweightnate, on Feb 1 2010, 11:41 PM, said:

Ok, so that's great for redistribution of old stock- but their machining centers are closed and liquidated. Back a years ago in APG they bragged about being an all-American produced company, despite having already sent the Ion production overseas. Are they going to send production for everything else overseas now? Or will they stop producing their formerly American-made guns, like the Luxe and Shocker?

Barrels have been third-partied literally since the start, so don't worry about those, if you like them.



Incorrect. I saw the machines that made the Ion's, they got their boards from overseas, but where in the process of making them here in the United States also.
Coming soon.
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#57 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:50 AM

The Americans have annoucned they will not be competing in the 2010 season.

I truely didnt belive smart parts was done but the Americans were smart parts. They may come back into paintball eventually but honestly that is the nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned, if they cant support their flagship team then they are pretty much no longer a company in my eyes. Hopefully they have at least some form of company up for 2010 and beyond but at this point it seems sp is done. GI Milsim and DLX will hopefully stay afloat and be able to start turing out the products that smart parts was like soft goods and such in the next few years.

Its a sad day in paintball, the Americans were one of if not the oldest competitive team. This would be like the yankees annoucing they are no longer playing.
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#58 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:22 AM

DLX was a huge waste of money... it was an attempt to make the Shocker look innovative. I honestly would be surprised to see it stay afloat, even as a separate entity. At this point, DYE realizes it could permanently remove some competition by increasing rates ever so slightly on the machining; however, depending on the ownership of the patents it might be a way to prevent paying of royalties on the electronic switch patent. It certainly doesn't cost them much to produce the Luxe- the majority of the millwork is a huge roughing operation.

I have no love lost for the AAs, after seeing how the team played back in the day- defensive 'lockdown' style, some of the first recorded (as in video) wiping (by Adam Gardner himself- the ref tackled him), and all the old guys know why the Shocker REALLY shoots farther- wink wink nudge nudge. The new team really has no tie with the old team, I realize, except the sponsor, but I don't think there's any 'legacy' to be upheld. It's not like when Navarone disappeared, or when the Ironmen changed hands. They were some great ballers.
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#59 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

View Postflyweightnate, on Feb 4 2010, 01:22 AM, said:

DLX was a huge waste of money... it was an attempt to make the Shocker look innovative. I honestly would be surprised to see it stay afloat, even as a separate entity. At this point, DYE realizes it could permanently remove some competition by increasing rates ever so slightly on the machining; however, depending on the ownership of the patents it might be a way to prevent paying of royalties on the electronic switch patent. It certainly doesn't cost them much to produce the Luxe- the majority of the millwork is a huge roughing operation.

I have no love lost for the AAs, after seeing how the team played back in the day- defensive 'lockdown' style, some of the first recorded (as in video) wiping (by Adam Gardner himself- the ref tackled him), and all the old guys know why the Shocker REALLY shoots farther- wink wink nudge nudge. The new team really has no tie with the old team, I realize, except the sponsor, but I don't think there's any 'legacy' to be upheld. It's not like when Navarone disappeared, or when the Ironmen changed hands. They were some great ballers.

Your blind hate for alot of things makes you come off very ignorant.

First of DLX has been very successful and is coming out with a 2nd Gen version, they also have the best resale value of any gun on the market. The way you are talking in the first paragraph you are acting like DYE is going to force DLX out of business when you had no idea DYE had anything to do with them before you were told a few posts prior. It costs them near nothing to make them as you speculated and they are selling them for a very high price and its holding there. Its also a great gun, just like the shocker. Idk if you have shot either but you should try them.

In case you are wondering every pro team cheats, everyone. Name we a pro team you dont think cheated and I guarantee you they did. Cheating is part of paintball just like every other sport. People do anything they can to get ahead in the sport they are playing. I know alot of old school guys that will tell hundreds of stories of how to get a cocker to pass chrono test and then get it to shoot 340 fps in game, or how to raise the velocity on the old lapco pumps, or how to make cheater boards for the original angels. The late 90s teams were the ones that anti bounce gear and clothes that absorbed paint and put neoprene on everything.
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#60 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:00 AM

View PostTeddy K, on Feb 4 2010, 11:45 AM, said:

In case you are wondering every pro team cheats, everyone. Name we a pro team you dont think cheated and I guarantee you they did. Cheating is part of paintball just like every other sport. People do anything they can to get ahead in the sport they are playing.


This sounds like a justification for cheating.

I surely hope that wasn't the case.

Will people cheat? Yes, there's no question about that. Is it "part of the sport?" No, and I don't care what sport you are in, that holds.
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