The Zeroid robot action figure line was introduced by Ideal in 1967 and remained in production for nearly a decade. They were touted as Moving across the landscape, overrunning all obstacles as inexorably as the Future itself, these amazing, efficient and powerful automatons have but one purpose - to serve their masters at work and play!
Initially the Zeroids consisted of three robots, Zerak, Zintar and Zobor. The robots were powered by a small removable DC electric motor. The same DC motors were used in the Ideal racing slot cars under the name “Motorific” and “Boaterific” motors were used in their powered scale motorboats. They rolled along on rubber tread wheels in both forward and reverse and when it entered its case a special switch on the bottom of the robot would shut the power off.
The DC motor could be removed by taking off a plate on the bottom of the robot. It goes back in color side up. On the back of the Zeroids is a switch the can be used to make the robot go forward, backward or power down.
Batteries are located inside the Zeroid's legs. If you squeeze at his waist just below his name you can remove his chest thereby exposing the batteries. The storage case that each Zeroid was sold in could be used for other purposes such as a sled or wagon.
Zerak is the blue robot and was considered to be the commander of the other three robots. He has interchangeable, magnetic hook hands and a throwing cup hand. The right arm was specially designed so that it could be cocked to throw objects very easily.
Zobor is the bronze robot of the group. His case could be transformed into a wagon with wheels attached to it so he was deemed the transporter of the group. Zobor also was equipped with a special clamp hand and a throwing arm.
Zintar, the silver robot, was considered to be the explorer of the group. He could use the storage case as a sled-like vehicle. He also had a throwing arm and spring loaded opposable thumbs. Zintar was designed in both silver sparkle and plain light gray plastic.
Later, a new member was added to the Zeroids set and it’s name was “Zogg”. It replaced Zerak as the commander. It was equipped with powered drive treads and it was the first Zeroid robot to come with an internal light bulb. It didn’t have throwing hands but instead had a smart “station” which had movable parts such as radar and a spiral designed monitor.
There were a number of accessories for the Zeroids including an entire action set complete with a Zeroid, a solar cycle and a missile defense pad. They also issued a Zem XXI Zeroid Explorer Module which was basically a space ship.
Later in production the Zeroids were packaged on cards instead of in their own cases. Below is the Zeroids Action Set which included one Zeroid, a Solar Cycle and the Missile Defense Pad.
During the late 70's the Zeroids made a comeback when Ideal, trying to piggy back off of the success of Star Wars, issued them as the Star Team. Zeroids action figures are quite collectible today. Though they don't get the high prices that vintage Star Wars or even He-Man figures command, a Zeroid in his original box will sell for around $200. The Zem XXI space module is pretty hard to find in nice condition. A recent sale of a fairly well used Zem XXI reached $79 so I would guess a mint in box version would sell for 3 or 4 times that amount.
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