Over the past month or so, I’ve been in touch with Mike Phillips of TechPB. He’s been busy as always, shooting and publishing his famous “Supergun” shows. Over the years the Supergun shows have been had the newest and hottest guns in the industry pass by Mike’s cameras.
The latest in a long line of new and hot guns getting the third degree from Mike and TechPB is the Machine Paintball Vapor, which is near and dear to my heart.
I have been involved with the Vapor since November of last year, having been contracted by Machine Paintball to assist with PR, beta testing of pre-production guns, and assisting Andrew Spurlock who is the US distributor for Machine with on-the-ground promotion, including the “Vapor Test Drive”, which has put real guns in the hands of real players.
During the nearly 22 minutes of the Vapor’s Supergun show, I found some glaring factual errors and omissions by Mike, and I want to take the opportunity to correct those errors and omissions.
The first error came within the first 2 or 3 minutes of the video, where Mike repeatedly misquotes the price of the Vapor. The MSRP for the Machine Paintball Vapor is $1650, not the $1750 that he quotes the price as being. I took the time to check ANSGear.Com to make sure that they were selling the gun at the proper price, and I found that ANSGear is selling the Vapor at the MSRP Price.
The first omission came shortly after the repeated misquotes for pricing, regarding the Vapor’s Board. It is factually true that the Vapor’s board is made by the same people who have made boards in the past for Dangerous Power’s FX and Rev-I.
What he neglected to mention is that the company who makes the board has a name, which is Advanced Paintball Electronics, more popularly known as APE. During the development phase of the gun, it was found that APE provided not only the production capacity that Machine was looking for, but the Gen 4 programming is the best that I’ve found out there right now, and working with Dan and Jim has been a pleasure.
Another omission I noted during the course of this review was that Mike claims to not know anyone who owns a Vapor. This is factually incorrect. Mike and I have known each other for several years, and during the development phase of the Vapor, he and I talked at length about the guns as they went to production, and once Ashley and I had our guns in our hands, he and I continued to discuss the guns themselves and how they were performing.
It was one of the rare instances that I regretted moving out of the Tampa Bay area, since it would have been easy to meet up with him at Blitzkrieg or Orbital Paintball and put an actual gun in his hands. During the course of his review of the gun, Mike and I had spoken several times, answering questions about the guns and generally being available as an ersatz representative of Machine to deal with questions and concerns as they cropped up.
Two of the concerns that Mike voiced about the Vapor and its’ packaging are ones that I agree with, and during a discussion today with the ownership of the company it was a topic of discussion, one that will likely result in an investment by Machine in a more extensive parts and tool kit for the Vapor. Other customers and users have expressed concerns about the small tool kit and small o-ring kit that comes with the Vapor. Generally speaking, if a player is buying a $1650 paintball gun, more than likely he’s going to have a decent set of tools to maintain and repair his guns.
However, it’s generally become expected that with a high end guns have a least a decent set of allen keys and a more than basic o-ring kit. It’s been my experience as well as Palm Beach Vipers’ Ken Bryson that aside from basic periodic maintenance, the Machine Paintball Vapor hasn’t been a maintenance nightmare for his team, despite the heavy use the guns get.
While I respect Mike and TechPB for what they’ve achieved in a very short amount of time, I felt it was a disservice to his viewing audience by misquoting and omitting important facts about the Vapor during his flagship video series, the Supergun Show. I hope my personal response helps fill in the blanks in fact that didn’t make it into the Supergun show.