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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1525

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Zeroids Reply with quote



I finally got to complete my collection of these recently. Okay, I don’t have the Alien or Zemo but I don’t hope to collect them. Zeroids came out in 1968, so they were already thin on the ground when I was old enough to be interested. Even when I was a kid they seemed rare and valuable. I remember one or two in shops and I couldn’t afford them. My older brother had one he swapped off someone.



Zeroids occupy their own little space somewhere between action figures and traditional motorised robots. They have better articulation and detail than most of the battery powered robots of that era and they lack the chest doors with flashing guns or television screens that were popular. Their scale and poseability means they could easily be played with alongside Major Matt Mason, Megos or even Cyborg and Muton.



Zerak, the blue destroyer. Zerak has the coolest head, with his 360 degree rainbow eye and his triple rosette mouth. His head pivots back and forward as well as turning. I was pleased to find one in such great condition but there is something strange going on around his left knee. Glue, perhaps?



Like all the Zeroids, he has less detail on the back but the circular grilles, presumably for cooling fans, are a nice touch.



Zobor, the bronze somethingorother. Christ I can’t be bothered to go to the Zeroids website and look up their stupid nomenclatures. Zobor has neat little claws, although they’re moulded shut, and the coloured bit behind the little three coloured stripe on his chest has slid sideways.



The little silver doobries on his back are a nice touch. My Zobor has no motor or on/off switch and his towing hook is broken.



Zintar, the silver procrastinator. He has the best hands, with little sprung “thumbs” that open and shut. His head tilts like Zerak’s and I love his head design where the face is suggested purely by a pair of eyes. The little transparent dome has a funny ziggurat shape inside.



My Zintar has broken tabs on his battery compartment, which means he comes apart rather too easily. I thought I’d include a shot of the way the battery compartment is cleverly incorporated into the legs, common to all Zeroids.



The above three Zeroids came originally with big plastic boxes, each of which has a gimmick. Zobor’s becomes a trailer that he can tow and Zerak’s has a front that becomes a ramp for him to roll down. I don’t have all the boxes and my Zintar came with a Zerak box, plus they are packed away in the attic, so I’m not reviewing them here. They were also available with a “Solar Cycle” instead of the boxes, which is basically a big hamster wheel they can roll along in. They also came with alternative hands, which are a little magnet, and a funnel thing that throws a little spinning top shaped “satellite”. Again, what I have of these is packed away.



Zogg, the green antediluvian. He is supposed to be the leader and is rarer than the other three. I don’t think he was sold with a gimmick box or solar cycle. He was sold with a big playset and I’m not sure if he was sold separately. I certainly never saw a Zogg for sale in England and I didn’t know he existed before the internet. Instead of the removable red hands, he has funny plus and minus signs that plug into features of the playset, I think. I must say I like his design a bit less than those of the other Zeroids, mainly because his face has no features at all. It looks like a bottle drying rack. My Zogg is missing a couple of features on the base; you can see where something has been snapped off. From the pictures I’ve seen online, these are the same as his “ears”, so I will cast replacements from them.



Note that he has two on/off switches, one for the motor and another for his unique light up chest. The bottle rack face comes into its own in light up mode, as the light from the chest comes out through his six “eyes”.

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Alex77



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 126
Location: Leeds UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review Hypnotator, these are very cool-looking robots. I love the 1950's style font on the fronts of them. Makes them look like futuristic home appliances from some "World of Tomorrow" style expo. They wouldn't look out of place in "Fallout 3".
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Hotmitts



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 46
Location: planet hotmitts

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pics. I never realised Zogg had that light-up eyes feature. The others are nice to see. One thing I like about the Zeroids is that the different coloured bits are separate plastic parts rather than painted on (although there is some paint) and there's a lot of transparent dials and windows going on. Also the heads are great.
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dokuroking



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 609
Location: Los Angeles California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review. I wasn't aware that they guys did anything at all. That light up feature on the last one is great.
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1525

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep there is something of a retro future look about these guys. They hail from an age when rolling backwards and forwards was enough of a gimmick to enthrall a kid.
The fact that the different coloured parts are all separate is indeed part of their appeal. I think that the chroming process of plastic is a bit like plating of metals; it certainly isn't painted on, so this is the only way to have chromed features. Looking again at Zerak's legs, the chrome rings have come loose and the ones at his ankles slide upwards if you turn him upside down, so this is why someone has glued his knee.
Zintar has a funky reel-to-reel audio system incorporated into his legs. Remember when all evil mastermind computers in the '60s had big reel-to-reels?
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Neutron X



Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun review! I like the pictures very much, good work. Thanks for posting on these. I have been wanting to pick a few of these up but since I didn't have these wasn't sure what to look for. I bet they display great next to Cyborg.

Last edited by Neutron X on Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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monolith



Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 381
Location: space/time

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review and congrats on acquiring them.
I always liked the Zeroids and still have my Zerak from when I was a kid, I acquired the others over the years.They are nicely made.
I don't have the Alien either. Maybe one of these days I'll get one.
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Jackmagic



Joined: 16 Sep 2007
Posts: 159
Location: Chester Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother had a Zintar but he broke it (along with most of his toys). I did a science fiction slide show project in high school where I took the bottom half of Zintar, added a block of styrofoam painted silver on top, used the rear of a dune buggy model kit for a hood (also painted silver) and added a pink plastic dome underneath. It was probably my first kit bash ever and if I ever find the slides I will post them here.

I did manage to get the Zeroid releases from 1978, but unfortunately I think all their treads have snapped.
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BAZ



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 1281
Location: HELL

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VERY COOL!!!! Always liked Zeroids, but the just seemed so
hard to find and expensive I gave up about 15 years ago.
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1525

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
hard to find and expensive


You said it! It's taken me quite a few years.

There used to be a shop called Paradise Alley in central London. They had lots of cool vintage toys including a boxed Zerak in a Solar Cycle for just £25. It was there for ages. Somehow I never had the money and then one day the shop had gone. We are talking over a decade ago. I paid a considerable amount more for my Zerak.

Zobor was the first one I got. He was on a vintage toys market stall, near my brother's place, and I went down to gettim but the stall was closed, with tarpaulins over the stock. I peeped through at the precious Zeroid. Luckily my brother went back and gottim for me later. He was just £30 I think, a proper bargain, because the eye section had fallen out. All it needed was a little glue.
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Neutron X



Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jackmagic wrote:

I did manage to get the Zeroid releases from 1978, but unfortunately I think all their treads have snapped.

I know someone sells the treads on Ebay. I bet if you took a look at the replacement belts for vacume cleaners you'll find the right ones.
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1525

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would need to be a bloody small vacuum claener.

The 1978 release was known as Star Team and only featured one Zeroid, Zogg, minus his head and stripped down to resemble an Artoo Deetoo clone. I think he was just called Zeroid. The series was one of the many attempts to cash in on Star Wars around that time.
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Neutron X



Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The belts are very small on vacume cleaners ususally 2-3 inches when streched. the belt goes arond steel rotation rod to around brush roller. If i remember correclty thats where a friend found his.
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KB



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 317
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great collection Hypno and great pics, love the Zeroids.

Zogg looks a lot cooler in the dark when his head is lit up.

I can remember rows of these on the shelf of our local toyshop about 1970, each in its own clear plastic box.

I'm sure the hands on Zobor have springs in the pincers so they open and can grip things - but can't be arsed running up to the loft to check. Zobor is my only Zeroid, picked up in the mid 70s as deadstock. He came with the Solar Cycle, though and not the case. Used to fight Mark Apollo quite a bit.

Check out the Zeriod TV ad on you tube - simpler times, who needs a PS3 etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqlRhBik2g4

I can remember Baz's "mate" (Gary?) having a loose Zinter for sale in his shop in the Manchester Corn Exchange, was very tempted but it was a bit pricey even in the 80s. Also remember just off Denmark street near the old Forbidden Planet shop was an ally with a collectors shop at the bottom - had a boxed Zobor for £30 in the early 80s, again pricey even then.
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1525

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there, KB!

I’ve just checked and you’re right. Zobor’s claws are indeed sprung so beautifully that you can’t even see the springs, and I’ve had him so long that I forgot. Why is yours in the attic?

That shop off Denmark Street you mention was the same one I was talking about, Paradise Alley. I was probably visiting it very late ‘80s until very early ‘90s and it was Zerak in the Solar Cycle that I saw as I said for £25. Seemed like such a lot then and today it would be a fucking steal. I picked up some Prehistoric Scenes there and they also had some playset for Pulsar with plug-in tubes; I think it was like the thing they did for the Steve Austin figure. The tiny entrance lobby to the shop had walls lined with Cerebus comics.
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