Zeroids

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My Drawing of the Zeroids.jpg

The Zeroids were a line of toy robots from the Planet Zero introduced by the Ideal Toy Company in 1967. Consisting of Zerak, Zintar and Zobor, the Zeroids powered their way into the imaginations of young boys for nearly a decade. Zeroid robots were powered by a small DC electric motor that could be removed. These DC motors appeared as the brand name "Motorific" in Ideal Corp racing slot cars, and "Boaterific" powered scale motorboats.

The original sales pitch read, "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!"

The storage cases in which the robots came could be used for other purposes. The robots were battery operated, and had wheels with rubber treads to propel themselves across the floor. There was a bottom mounted reversing switch that would allow the robot to reverse when it touched a special plastic plate, or turn the robot off, when in backed up into its display case.

Zerak, the blue robot, was originally the "commander" of the three robots. Zerak came with hook hands, and interchangeable magnetic hand and a throwing cup hand. Zerak's right arm could be cocked, and made to throw objects.

Zobor, the "Bronze" Robot, could "transport" lightweight items in his storage case, which could be "transformed" into a wagon due to having wheels attached to it. The case/wagon could be latched to a hook on Zobor's base. Zobor had a throwing arm and special spring-loaded plier type clamp hands.

Zintar, the silver "explorer", could use his storage case as a sled-like vehicle, which was propelled by his own treads. Zintar had a throwing arm and special hands with spring-loaded opposable thumbs. Zintar was cast in both a silver sparkled plastic and also in plain light gray plastic.

Later, "Zogg", a green robot was added to the set, and replaced Zerak as the commander of the zeroids. Zogg had powered drive treds, and was the first zeroid with an internal light bulb. Zogg did not have a throwing arm. Zogg had a sophisticated-looking "station" which had movable parts, activated by Zogg's metal "hands" completing an electric circuit. The station had, among other things, a "radar" that would rotate, and a spiral design 'monitor" which would spin when Zogg would complete the electric circuit.

An "Action Set" was available with a Missile Defense Pad, launching station, and included a "Solar Cycle" hollow wheel, into which the zeroid robot could be set inside.

The Zeroid alien robot was a box shaped robot with a clear dome head and powered drive. It had changeable internal nylon gears that would alter the robots movements with pre-proggrammed patterns. One pattern ended with the robots "exploding" with the arms and parts springing off.

Zeroids were later packaged without their case, on a bubble card with and without a solar cycle.

Foreign distribution (U.K.) of Zeroids included a figure called Zemo, a composite robot with a Zintar head, Zerak chest and Zobor body. Zemo was sold in a wagon type carry case similar to the Zobor robot. Zemo was cast in aqua, red or orange-yellow plastic versions.

Late 1970's "Star Team" Revival[edit]

Zeroids returned to the shelves in the late 1970s, renamed "Star Team", to capitalize on the success of Star Wars. There was a brief distribution of a Zeroid flying saucer called the ZEM XXI Explorer Module, cast in yellow and purple, or yellow and green, with a full sized powered Zeroid inside. Then the Flying Saucer was re-issued as the "Star Hawk" in red and grey plastic, with a non-powered smaller robot.

The Star Team line featured the "Zeroid Pilot", a smaller R2-D2-style dome-headed robot. Made from the lower body mold of the Zogg figure, it did not have the motorific DC drive motor. The batteries only powered a dome light. The "Pilot" was cast in silver plastic, in red or blue trim, and without the electronic contacts in the arms.

The other star team robot was a humanoid "Zem 21" green-headed silver-bodied figure that bore some resemblance to C-3PO. They fought the Darth-Vader-esque "Knight of Darkness", which was an Ideal Captain Action body molded in black.

2010 Moonstone Books Revival[edit]

In 2010, the Zeroids returned in the pages of Moonstone Books' original comic book series in association with Captain Action Enterprises. The original robots from space have returned to Earth! The Zeroids robots are back to help save mankind! Returning after a decades-long exile, the Zeroids return to find the descendant of their creator Professor Zero. Destiny Zero, a female college sophomore, needs all the help she can get as her world is overrun by the alien Shadow Raiders and their evil Zombies.

Now, in much like an action movie version of Dorothy and her friends from OZ, Destiny unites with Zintar,Zerak, Zobor and Zogg to combine the fun retro appeal of nostalgic robots with cutting edge explosive adventure!

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