BAYCHESTER, NY— Allen Weisberg of Apple Industries said that he purchased the assets of photobooth company Face Place LLC. Weisberg said pursuant to a court order by the Superior Court of New Jersey, “all assets” of Face Place have been transferred to his ownership, including phone numbers, customer lists, licenses, parts, intellectual property and works in progress.
The purchase, Weisberg said, is free and clear of all debt and liability; profits from the sale will be disbursed to Face Place’s creditors by the court.
“We will support existing Face Place units in the field,” he added. Film is available from Apple Industries, which has been marketing and developing photobooth products for more than a decade.
Face Place, specializing in Polaroid film technology, had deposits on several new orders at the time of sale. Apple plans to fulfill them and begin building new products in time to make them available for sale at the Amusement Showcase International in March.
TRANSITIONING: The Face Place form factor resembles a giant camera, providing appeal to locations and patrons. It features an all-steel assembly and streamlined electronics, along with an imaging and thermal printing system that produces a black-and-white photo strip in 16 seconds.
Face Place LLC (Garwood, NJ) was established in 2003 by former Atari executive Gene Lipkin and international banker Steven Hirth of Argus Advisors. It ceased operations late last year, according to legal documents filed with the New Jersey court on November 30. The case, described as a “court-supervised procedure for insolvent corporations” under state law was not officially a bankruptcy filing. Attorneys said the company was always undercapitalized and incurred a substantial loss last year. Hardware sales never achieved the volume required to make sales of film supplies to operators a profitable concern, according to the filing.
Weisberg founded the forerunner of Face Place in 2003 and sold it to Hirth, who re-branded it as “Face Place. ” The company manufactured the photobooth under license from Polaroid. It allows customers to buy a strip of four different black and white photographs, each 2 ins. square, similar in look and feel to the classic “four-for-a-quarter” photobooths of the 1950s. The original Face Place was introduced by Polaroid Corp. three decades ago to capitalize on the popularity of its new “SX70” integral film.
Separately, Apple Industries’ latest photobooth line – the New Generation Photo ID machines built by Spain’s Digital Centres – has experienced strong sales since its rollout a year ago. Dispensing color and black and white photo strips, the machine’s compact size has made it an ideal coin-op product for street locations.