The Royal 200 Series

One different looking transistor radio made by Zenith in 1958 was the Royal 200. This model’s unique feature was it’s size. At 6 1/2 inches tall, it is larger than most other coat pocket styles and rivals the Emerson 888 series in that way. It’s awkward size and fragile plastic case contributes to the fact that it is hard to find these without some kind of cabinet damage.  Royal 200’s were offered in brown, white, green, and coral colors with green and coral being the hardest to find. This model is not known as one of Zenith’s best performing radios, therefore, they were not hot sellers.  The seven transistor chassis was designated as 7AT48.  These had a suggested retail price of $44.95

 Brown Royal 200   Fact Sheet

Radio: Royal 200
Year introduced: 1958
Cost New: $44.95
Colors: Charcoal, White, Coral (Pink), Green
Dimensions: 6.5″ H, 4″ W, 2″ D
Weight: 20 ounces
# of Transistors: 7  (Chassis 7AT48)
Powered by: 4 AA batteries
Undistorted output: 100 Milliwatts

 

Check out these other Royal 200 radios.

 

White Royal 200
Brown Royal 200

The Royal 250 – The All American

A year later in 1959, Zenith would introduce a whole new batch of models, most of which tried to address the economic competition in the market.  There would be changes made to the materials used in the cabinets, but the electronic components were something that Zenith just did not believe in compromising.

The 250 was one of these lower priced sets.   It was a basic 6 transistor set in a coat pocket-sized polystyrene cabinet (vs. unbreakable nylon) and was only offered in Black, White, or Tan.  Nothing fancy here, but it did have a nice gold trim strip.  These sold for $39.95

 

 

The Royal 275 “Statesman”

Also in 1959, Zenith offered a slightly upscale model from the 250.  The 275 had an extra transistor, Vernier tuning, and four two-tone color cabinet combinations.  The seven transistor chassis with Vernier tuning actually performed much like the early Royal 500’s but had a price tag of only $49.95

 

The Royal 265 – 1962 

Three years after the introduction of the 275, Zenith produced the 265 which was again a basic 6 transistor coat-pocket radio much like the 250, except now the 265 had Vernier tuning.  The price continued to drop as this one was $29.95 and these are harder to find suggesting that they did not sell well.

 

The Royal 270 – 1965  

An 8 transistor coat-pocket set with great output offered at only $19.95.  My how prices had come down!

 

The Royal 280 – 1965

 

 

The Royal 285 – 1964

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “The Royal 200 Series”

  1. Hi Gary,

    Have you ever heard of a Zenith transistor radio model rb 21L? It’s on ebay at the moment, the last entry posted when you search “Zenith transistor radios”. I emailed the seller, asking for the model # and that was his response. If you’ve heard of it, what do you know about it and what do you think?
    Thank you so much for your input. I greatly appreciate it.
    Warm regards,
    Catherine

  2. I just sr rediscovered my Royal 200, the beautiful coral color, yesterday, while helping my son stage a retro photo shoot. The body is cracked, the leatherette case is held together with 58 year old duct tape, and the batteries were slightly corroded (after probably 55 years), but after cleaning it out and inserting new AA’s, the thing still works. It was my most precious childhood possession. I was the coolest nerd in 4th grade. So happy to see your site. Thanks.

    Noel Johnston, Greeley, Colorado

    1. Nice story Noel. Thanks for sharing. Many of these early Zeniths still do work. Amazing. I wonder if when they were making them that they envisioned they would last as long as they have? The 200 was one of the larger pocket radios. Maybe it was too large to sneak into school? Thanks, Gary

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