COSPLAY WARNING: Don’t order from Jim Logan Props / I Am Your Heroes / JLFX!
Hello, Internet! I’m here with a very important public service announcement regarding one of the most notorious con artists in the cosplay community, “Jim Logan” of Logan Props, I Am Your Heroes and Jim Logan FX (AKA the JLFX). So, if you’re a cosplayer, aspiring cosplayer, cosplay admirer, photographer, entertainer, comic book fan or any combination of the afore-mentioned, please read the post below in its entirety. I’ll be talking about who this man is, why he’s built such a bad reputation, how he scammed me out of half a grand and the personal experiences of countless others. Here we go!
* IF YOU HAVE ALSO BEEN SCAMMED: please see the bottom of this post for how to report fraud!
UPDATE 5/28/17 (see bottom of page): A few new developments have unfolded, including a (failed) attempt by “Jim” to start a new Etsy shop and a resolution from Paypal after three years. I’m also posting a conversation I had with Aaron Schoenke, co-founder of Bat in the Sun, which I had kept secret for about three years out of respect for his wishes. Since he can’t keep his word, however, I see no reason why I should keep mine.
UPDATE 5/30/15: A while ago, Planet Platypus and I compiled a total of how much he’s scammed from only the victims we know of. The total reaches over $13,000.
UPDATE 11/11/14: “Jim” has posted a “short” (4,000 word) statement addressing recent criticisms. Oh, boy. tl;dr version at bottom.
UPDATE 11/7/14: He’s been deactivating and reactivating his pages in response to the negative press, nobody is surprised. He has also been messaging past victims, often rather rudely.
UPDATE 11/5/14: Tons of reports are coming in from others who have been scammed, too. He’s been actively deleting comments about these issues on his own pages and now considers cosplayers “irrelevant” to his work (screenshot included). His accounts were temporarily deactivated.
UPDATE 11/4/14: “Jim Logan” finally responded! Only because I posted this.
Arrest and reputation
So, who’s Jim Logan? Well, he’s a cosplay prop-maker most known for dressing up like Wolverine. Obviously, Jim Logan isn’t his real name—it’s a take on “James Howlett” and “Logan,” aliases of the Wolverine character. No, no, Jim’s real name is David Eugene Winant Jr., and the reason he doesn’t want you to know that is because, if you look him up, you find this as publicly available information.
David was charged with theft, which comes as no surprise if you keep reading. See, David, like Wolverine, has a number of aliases—Jim Logan, Snikt Shop, Logan Props, iamyourheroes, Dave Produx, Outlaw Produx or Productions, JLFX, etc. He keeps changing his name and business title because people keep catching on to his con. So whenever he finds himself in a bind, he erases his existence from the Internet and starts over to prey on cosplay newbies. Classy, right?
You can see in the record above that his alias is “Logan.” Here’s some proof that all these businesses are connected to him, too: the WHOIS for Outlaw FX/Produx and iamyourheroes route right back to “Jim Logan.”
“JIM LOGAN” SITES (he has been deactivating and reactivating these regularly in response to this article):
- Personal Facebook (“iamwolverine”)
- Logan Props Facebook
- IAmYourHeroes Facebook
- JLFX Facebook
- Jim Logan eBay
- TheJimLogan Instagram
- TheJimLogan YouTube
- TheJimLogan Instagram
- TheJimLogan YouTube
- OutlawFX Facebook (defunct after I published this article)
- Jim Logan FX Etsy (presumably terminated by Etsy, see 5/28/17 update below)
- Old personal Facebook (defunct)
My personal experience
I was one of the cosplayers he preyed on. Let me preface this by saying: I know I messed up! I broke the golden rule of Internet transactions and failed to adequately research this person before I invested in his product. That’s my bad and I take full responsibility for it. That said, I feel it’s also my responsibility to ensure others avoid enduring the same experience, particularly because his penchant for changing names means he might be hard to keep track of or research in the future. So, as embarrassing as this is to admit, here’s what happened to me.
I added “Jim Logan” to my personal Facebook last year. I’d run into him back in 2011 when I was covering Philadelphia Comic Con for Wizard. He had an admittedly very good Wolverine costume and seemed like a nice enough person. At that time, he told me of his business, I Am Your Heroes, and I made a mental note that he produced props.
This April, I started making plans for an All-New Ghost Rider costume to debut at NYCC in October. I needed the helmet. I remembered “Jim” was a prop-maker, so I checked his site out again… His work seemed great and he was associated with some pretty big projects and cosplayers, including Project LEX, The Nerdist, Bat in the Sun, Gillykins and Jessica Nigri. In my naïveté, I took that as enough reference and contacted him for a quote.
We discussed options and he set the final price for the helmet at $500 in May. In May, versus when we started speaking in April. He was very, very slow to respond at times, with our short conversation taking over two weeks because he would randomly stop responding and I’d have to prompt him for answers. That should have been my first red flag but, given he had been complaining about how busy and/or sick he was on his FB page, I chalked it up to a fluke and pressed on. Per his instruction, I PayPal’d him the funds on May 10th. I was told to keep an eye on his Instagram for progress photos.
Now, I know these kinds of projects take time. I did research several prop-makers before commissioning him, most of whom had wait lists of six months or more. Given he had to sculpt and mold the helmet from scratch, I understood that he might need a while. But after four months of no evidence of progress and with the October deadline nearing, I messaged his FB page again on September 4th… but received no response.
Concerned, I checked his page, where he had posted a public message instructing all customers to e-mail him at a new address with concerns.
I thought it was weird that he’d post a public message that not everyone is guaranteed to see instead of messaging his customers directly, but I did as instructed in the post and e-mailed him at firstname.lastname@example.org… but did not receive a response there either.
On September 25, I followed up by messaging his personal Facebook account, but still did not receive a reply after this third attempt.
NYCC came and went, I’m out $500 and I had no helmet for my costume after a ridiculous five month wait. The PayPal/bank claim window has also closed, which I’m sure he’s well aware of, so I can’t dispute the charge. The best part, though? “Jim” continues to actively post on Instagram, the Logan Props Facebook page, the I Am Your Heroes Facebook page and his personal profile. (Edit: In response to the negative press, he has been regularly deactivating and reactivating all of his sites.) He doesn’t have time to complete his commissions or answer his customers, but he does apparently have time to make last minute props for his personal friends, make new non-commissioned props to sell on his Etsy, attend events, photoshoots, complain about how behind he is on work and e-mails, complain about how he needs a secretary and note that he’s definitely aware of the upcoming deadlines, which he doesn’t meet anyway!
A note: “Jim” accepted my payment through his friend’s PayPal account, which I didn’t know at the time. That friend is Bryan Pedrazzoli (his name is listed on my receipt), who he seems to run a YouTube account with (see below courtesy of Test Eagle). What’s especially frustrating is that Bryan knows full well that he’s helped “Jim” steal my money, yet refuses to accept responsibility or act on the issue. I’ve reported him to several agencies and he denies accountability.
Complaints from other customers
To give you a better sense of his character, along with being formally arrested for theft and conning me, “Jim Logan” has also ripped off a number of other folks. If you search “Logan Props” online, some of the very first results are complaints from past customers who never received the items they’d commissioned or received them last minute and in poor shape. Here are just a handful of them.
The first is a warning from deviantArt:
There are even more bad reviews from that thread:
The same user cross-posted their story to Reddit and the replies are filled with similar accounts from other victims.
Even big names in the community aren’t safe. Meg Turney is a well known personality and host at Rooster Teeth:
This dude totally scammed me out of $125 last year. http://t.co/vyikSMefrh
— Meg Turney (@megturney) November 5, 2014
An entire post on Tumblr from a costumer named Phillip who was stiffed on several items.
A past victim, who prefers to remain anonymous, sent me these screenshots of their conversation with “Jim.” They obviously never received their items:
Michael ordered a mask for NYCC 2014 for $200 and has still not received his items. Instead, he’s been met with sarcasm and unprofessionalism:
Rick was invoiced and paid in full for several items. The turnaround time says 10 weeks right there on the receipt. He hasn’t received anything, over a year later. I’d like you to note that this is a perfect example of how “Jim” changes his business alias. As you can see from the screenshots below, Rick paid “Snikt Shop.” That page is now defunct, as is the attached Paypal. Rick had to work to track “Jim” down at his new page, LoganProps… since “Jim,” of course, didn’t bother to inform him of the change. Wonder why?
Ryan paid $450 for a Captain America suit back when Logan Props was called “Snikt Shop.” These messages begin almost two years ago and, as expected, the goods were never received:
Identity Shift has been waiting for his Red Hood helmet for fifteen months and has only received snarky replies from “Jim.” Meanwhile, “Jim” is actually making new Red Hood helmets… but only to sell in his online shop, rather than for a customer who paid for it in advance over a year ago.
Then there’s Christopher, who has been struggling to get the Iron Man gauntlet owed to him for some time now:
“Jim” has repeatedly appeared on the Replica Prop Blacklist group.
There exists an entire forum thread of more than 45 pages dedicated to his practices, full of a ton of customer complaints.
If that’s not enough, you can just visit the Jim Logan Etsy (edit: his Etsy has since been deleted either because he didn’t want the negative review to be public or because Etsy finally caught on to his scam– are you surprised?), where a very recent review shows the exact same trend of “goods not delivered.”
Those that do receive their items aren’t always pleased, either. Check out this posting by past customer Callum:
As you can probably tell, the situations are all very similar—a person commissions “Jim,” “Jim” agrees and promises delivery usually by a specific date, customer pays, “Jim” fails to deliver and conveniently disappears or stops answering messages entirely. Brilliant.
I mean, “Jim”/David even has complaints filed against him in the Better Business Bureau, though you’ll have trouble finding ‘em because he moves around so much that the BBB has trouble contacting him:
His reputation is so bad that he was removed from the Geekie Awards, a huge ceremony honoring creators where he was scheduled to act as a judge. They did their research regarding his business practices and nicked him from the panel.
Announcement that he’d been brought on as a judge (courtesy of Test Eagle):
Removal as a judge:
He’s been accused of recasting, as well, one of the worst things you can do as a prop-maker. To clarify, recasting involves taking another artist’s work—say, a prop sword—and making a mold of it, then using that mold to produce identical copies that you subsequently sell off as your own original work. I’m not a prop-maker (or I wouldn’t be in this situation!) so I can’t verify the truth of this claim, but given the many pages worth of discussion and evidence against him, collected by other actual professionals (some of whom claim he attempts to poach customers), I’m inclined to believe he does so.
On top of it all, he overcharges for these alleged recasts, and the person from the following clip even claims he stole photos for his website in an attempt to bully.
What you can do
Bottom line: AVOID THIS PERSON. Do not do business with “Jim Logan” / David Eugene Winant Jr. / Snikt Shop / Logan Props / I Am Your Heroes / Dave Produx / Outlaw Produx or Productions / JLFX or any other name he cooks up. Most importantly, share this post so that your friends and the cosplay community can hear the warning. He’s going to try to fight back because, as is obvious by the screenshots and Christopher’s video above, he has a habit of getting rather rude and publicly passive aggressive when called out with the truth… but that’s a hurdle I’m willing to face because people need to know.
If you’re looking to commission someone for anything cosplay-related, by the way, Abby Dark-Star posted a great piece on how to research businesses.
This is a man who willingly steals from people who save their pennies to cosplay superheroes—figures that are supposed to embody righteousness. He’s the antithesis of everything that the community stands for and he does not deserve the right kind of attention.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below and I’ll try my best to answer. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share. PSA over!
11/4/14: After six months of no contact, “Jim Logan” finally sent me back a message. Today. Right after I posted this article. I wonder why? Our exchange is below:
11/5/14: David/”Jim” deleted the following comment on his LoganProps.com Facebook when it reached nearly 80 likes:
He also posted this public message about cosplayers being “irrelevant” to his work:
11/7/14: Apparently spooked by all the negative press (this story has also been run on bigger sites like The Mary Sue and Bleeding Cool), he’s been deactivating and reactivating his sites regularly. Which is totally fine, because by now this post has been seen 134,000 times on this blog alone. We’ve prevented people from getting scammed, and that was the purpose all along.
By the way, the folks at Planet Platypus whipped up an article about their rocky relationship with “Jim” as an event host, rather than a prop-maker. Definitely worth a read if you want a different look into his character.
I will note that he is obsessively stalking my pages and personally messaging my supporters or any other victims who post their experiences, often rather rudely. But please don’t hesitate to come forward, because your voice matters!
11/11/14: “Jim” posted a “short” (actually 4,000 word) statement regarding recent criticisms. It’s… yeah. The Mary Sue posted a great follow-up summarizing it, but here’s an archive of the original post if you have about an hour to kill. Naturally, the post has been flooded with comments from angry consumers, who he has been answering with nothing but snark and immaturity. Some highlights:
- [About me:] “You know you could have just showed some cleavage and ‘made it’ like some of the other cosplay girls, but hey…..” Wait, what?
- “I am CRAZY behind, by about 100 orders.” Some people have been waiting as long as three years. When they’ve tried to contact him, he ignored and/or blocked them on social media. At this point, coupled with the ridiculous backlog he’s eagerly admitted to, we don’t actually have hope of seeing our items. I’m not sure how any business owner could get to this point without deliberate, fraudulent intent. For example, he accepted a new order, with a deadline, knowing that it would be impossible to fill on time with 99 more waiting to be finished.
- “…this stuff is not new, it has been going on for a few years….has not slowed me down yet, but this is the largest scale to date. It all started when I got into the entertainment end, wait…you can’t be a ‘geek’ person, make props, have awesome hair , and be THAT GUY! get back in the basement and stay away from the boobies!!!” Narcissism aside, yeah, no kidding. The most common question on his post is “why don’t you offer refunds?” The answer is in one of the screenshots I posted earlier in the article, dated January 2013, when Logan Props was called Snikt Shop: he can’t even if he wanted to. Back then, over a year ago, “Jim” had already admitted he was far too backed up on orders and financially unable to provide refunds… yet he continued to accept new orders into August 2014, including mine.
- “As announced I am shooting to be CAUGHT up and done with this ‘community’ by the new year. …and YES, if I have a professional project deadline for company or studio that will always get bumped ahead of cosplay orders…. and YES, any actual customer who felt it necessary to attack me online in some kind of twisted attempt to satisfy the issue, attack me PERSONALLY that is – I have put them at the end of the line and told them so.” So instead of apologizing (he “doesn’t believe in sorry”) and trying to make amends with the customers he’s wronged, as any sensible business would do, he insults the community on which he founded his success and openly admits that he plans to hold consumers’ money hostage and play favorites according to who values his/her cash the least. Plus, projects that give him more press will always take priority over everything else, regardless of how long folks have been waiting for what they paid for.
- “I want a lot of money like every one else, I have been struggling for years trying to make my passions into my work. It has it’s ups and downs but you will never find me working for the ‘man’.” And yet he brags about having created props for Marvel and huge projects like Bat in the Sun? Huh? “There is a glass ceiling, you can only make so much money before you are rubbing whoever owns these characters the wrong way.” To quote a commenter on TMS… I don’t think that means what you think it means.
But the cherry on the cake to this madness comes from Dee Rich in the comments below. “Jim” has taken to posting photos of “satisfied customers” on his Instagram to counteract the negative press, except he posted Dee’s photo… and she is anything but “satisfied.”
The “#LoganGate” situation has escalated so swiftly that I was invited to speak about it by the folks at Gonzo Radio/Planet Platypus (who also wrote this article about their experiences with “Jim” as a hired host). You can listen to the entire podcast here, which features discussion by Grifter’s Custom Creations, Supercon’s Mike Broder and others with firsthand accounts concerning “Jim’s” practices. My segment begins at 47:30.
5/30/15: Here’s a list of only the victims we know of, compiled by Planet Platypus and I using comments left on “Jim”‘s various shops/pages and messages we received directly from past customers. The amount this man has allegedly stolen is unreal.
Nathan DeLuca – $150 – Winter Soldier arm
Randy Ghul – $400 – Deadpool suit & Red Hood helmet
Cheyanne Elise – $95 – buckle
Ryan Quinn – $450 – Cap costume
Meg Turney (Rooster Teeth) – $125 – misc. items
Jorge Calvo – $60 – Spidey bracers
Delita Heiral – $150 – Wolverine claws & belt
Sonny Meas – $100 – Wolverine claws
Kevin St. Pierre – $120 – Magneto helmet
Tallon Smith – $450 – Wolverine costume
Hero Army (charitable organization) – $350 – Gambit costume & arc reactor
Rene Martinez – $100 – Spidey web pack
Garrett Huson – $1,000 – Game of Thrones armor
Olivia – $100 – misc. items
Jack Ryder – $125 – misc. items
Nathan Blu – $350 – misc. costumes
Joseph Laboca – $350 – Infinity Gauntlet
@Ternab8ter – $440 – custom costume
Mandy – $300 – custom costume
Mange Olsson – $230 – misc. items
Marlene (ilikecomicstoo) – $500 – Ghost Rider helmet
Phillip S. – $637 – multiple costumes
Parallax16 – unspecified amount – Scarlet Witch costume
Anonymous (I have their contact info) – ~$100 – Wolverine claws
Rick – $380 – Magneto helmet and Darth Maglus mask
Christopher V. – $200+ – Iron Man gauntlet and arc reactor
Daniela D. – $170 – Harley Quinn hammer
Larry S. – $100 – Batman Beyond accessories
Michael F. – $200 – Captain Britain mask
Anonymous (I have their contact info) – $300 – misc. items
Eric K. – $1,000 – Winter Soldier arm and Cap costume
Jeremy W. – $90 – Cap helmet
Derek W. – $150 – Cyclops mask
Florida Supercon – undisclosed amount – Captain America costume
Nick F. – $1,000 – unspecified costumes
Sean H. – $300 – Winter Soldier arm and Black Widow accessories
Rina Writes – $150 – Winter Soldier arm
Abel C. – $100 – Wolverine claws
Stefan D. – undisclosed
Shaun O. – undisclosed
Shahriel S. – $350 – Deadpool costume
Kyle S. – $350 – unspecified costume
Adam G. – undisclosed – Scarlet Witch cape and accessories
Victoria M. – undisclosed
Stacey A. – undisclosed
Rik G. – $1,400 – unspecified costumes
Jonathan M. – $250 – unspecified costumes
Adam P. – $400 – unspecified costumes
Kora Galaxy – $169 – Harley Quinn hammer
BJ Whimpey – undisclosed
Amy Christine – undisclosed
Total: $13,727 (not including undisclosed amounts)
5/28/17: It’s been three years since I first broke this story. “Jim”/David still hasn’t produced my helmet nor returned my money. Obviously, I haven’t given up on informing people of his behavior in an effort to protect potential victims. Some updates:
He tried to create another Etsy shop, despite claiming that he would no longer sell to cosplayers or collectors (see update from 11/5/14). He certainly succeeded in creating it… though it was short-lived after I reported it to Etsy’s Trust & Safety team, which apparently took swift action to terminate both his shop and user account, as they ceased to exist an hour after my report.
Paypal credited my account for half of what he stole from me. In my conversation with Etsy support on Twitter, I tagged PayPal and a representative was kind enough to reach out after all this time. While previous attempts at a resolution with PayPal failed, this agent seemed much more sympathetic and credited me back half of what David stole. The money didn’t come from David’s pocket and isn’t the full amount, but it’s still comforting to know that PayPal is genuinely concerned and is now truly monitoring the situation. If you’ve also been a victim of this man, please do reach out to PayPal Support on Twitter, even if you’ve contacted them by different means in the past.
He still works with Bat in the Sun. After this story first broke, many took issue with the popular YouTube account Bat in the Sun, which frequently hired David for prop work despite his poor reputation. Aaron Schoenke, a co-founder, reached out to me in a private message at the time (see conversation pasted below). He apologized for everyone’s frustrations with David/”Jim” and gave his word that while they would use the pieces he’d already created for them, they would not hire him again until “Jim” had sorted out his messes with customers. I’ve kept this conversation under wraps for three years because Aaron asked me to, but as Bat in the Sun is clearly still working with him (see screenshots) despite Aaron’s promise, I don’t see why I can’t come forward now. That such a clearly successful company would continue to use the services of someone who’s stolen so much despite their awareness is very disheartening. Disclaimer: Bat in the Sun works on productions for other companies, and I can’t fault those companies for not being aware of who BitS employs. Aaron, however? He can’t claim ignorance.
5/30/17: Aaron sent me the message below, but I was unable to answer, as you can see. Going to go ahead and assume I’ve been blocked, as I can’t even look up his account, but my friends sure can. So much for talking!
He did pop up in the comments of my Facebook fan page with this nonsensical response to someone else. Long story short: Aaron (and Bat in the Sun, by proxy) doesn’t actually care.
If YOU were a victim of the LoganProps or Snikt Shop scam, you can report your experiences to the following agencies:
- File a dispute in the PayPal Resolution Center, with your credit card company and/or with your bank. If it’s within a certain window of time, you’re almost guaranteed to get your money back. If it’s been too long, you can still call to file a claim (report) and inform PayPal of fraud. When I paid for my item, I was asked to send the money to a PayPal account that was not “Jim’s.” Either because he doesn’t have an account or because his own was frozen, he often uses friends’, including someone by the name of Bryan Pedrazzoli. If you realize you sent money to an account that wasn’t “Jim’s”/David’s, call up PayPal directly and report that, since doing so is against the company’s guidelines.
- IC3: an organization in conjunction with the FBI that specifically deals with wire fraud. The online form is easy to fill out.
- Attorney General for your state. You just have to Google “Attorney General” with your state name and it’ll take you to his or her site. If you click around, there’s always some kind of business complaint form you can fill out and submit online. You can also do this for the Attorney General in California, which is where he currently resides.
- Similarly, you can report him online for wire fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Your local law enforcement is always an option, though it’s best to come prepared with printed documentation of your exchanges and receipts, which can serve as legally binding contracts.
- BBB (though he’s been reported previously to little effect, especially since he moves so much they have trouble contacting him). This is more of a general consumer warning group and does not actively take action for the complainant.