This morning the European distributor RS-Pinball GmbH received a surprising large shipment of New In Box Haggis Pinball Celts machines. Beyond this specific shipment, I’ve seen a surprising number of Celts unboxing pictures recently from people in the United States on Pinside.
Clearly Haggis is hard at work cranking out games for customers. I personally view this as a very good sign for collectors who are anxiously awaiting word on the status of their orders of Haggis’ second title, the remake of the 1981 Bally classic, Fathom.
I get why a number of people are upset by Haggis’ lack of communication about the large delay in shipping Fathoms, particularly when the company has been very transparent since the beginning. I probably would be concerned too. To me, it seems as though Haggis’ founder, Damian is upset by the negative publicity that the delays have created and decided to just go with radio silence until he has units ready to ship. That’s probably not the best way to handle the situation, but people can be nasty (I know from firsthand experience given the recent threatening, evil DMs that I’ve received from a pinball person while I was with my family) so I get where he’s coming from.
The supply chain has thrown a monkey wrench into the production plans of even the biggest and best pinball manufacturers. I ordered a Stern Deadpool over a year ago and still have several months to go before it’s ready. There’s speculation that Stern has a backlog that’s as large as 10,000 units.
Frustration is completely understandable for people who have laid out thousands of dollars and aren’t receiving updates on the delayed product that they’re expecting to receive. Having said that, to me this doesn't seem at all like a Deeproot or even Heighway Pinball-like situation. Throughout the entire delay Haggis has been shipping Celts games out and bringing money in. While I have no skin in the game in terms of a Celts order (though I’d love to play one) or a Fathom order (it looks amazing, but I don’t personally lay out that much cash for games that I’ve never played) I personally am optimistic that Damian and Haggis are going to surprise a lot of the naysayers by shipping Fathoms in the next couple of months.
There’s even rumors that Damian may be going to next week’s Texas Pinball Festival. For him to go there without a Fathom to show, or at least concrete proof that production is under way seems like it would be extremely awkward to me. If he is there, I expect to see something for the company. I’m rooting for Haggis and Fathom customers and hope that everyone involved in the situation is happy in the near future. We’ll see.