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Publication numberUS20020102912 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/773,304
Publication dateAug 1, 2002
Filing dateJan 31, 2001
Priority dateJan 31, 2001
Publication number09773304, 773304, US 2002/0102912 A1, US 2002/102912 A1, US 20020102912 A1, US 20020102912A1, US 2002102912 A1, US 2002102912A1, US-A1-20020102912, US-A1-2002102912, US2002/0102912A1, US2002/102912A1, US20020102912 A1, US20020102912A1, US2002102912 A1, US2002102912A1
InventorsEarl Duval
Original AssigneeDuval Earl W.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy incorporating a resilient coil and a method of using same
US 20020102912 A1
Abstract
A toy and a method for washing a body of an individual are provided. The toy includes a resilient coil with one or more bodies attached to the coil. Preferably, one of the bodies is made from soap and may be used as a tub toy for, for example, a child. The bodies are preferably in the shape of an identifiable object or creature. The toy is constructed such that one or both of the bodies may be replaced, and the coil may be re-used with the new body or bodies.
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Claims(24)
I claim:
1. A toy comprising:
a first body formed from a resilient coil having a first end and a second end; and
a second body formed from soap at one of the first end and the second end of the first body.
2. The toy of claim 1 further comprising:
a first end plate at the first end or the first body; and
a second end plate at the second end of the first body.
3. The toy of claim 2 wherein the second body is secured to the first end plate.
4. The toy of claim 1 further comprising:
a covering around the first body.
5. The toy of claim 1 further comprising:
a sleeve around the resilient coil.
6. The toy of claim 1 wherein the resilient coil is formed of a helically-wound member and a covering that encircles and extends along the helically-wound member.
7. The toy of claim 1 further comprising:
a third body at the other of the first end and the second end of the first body.
8. The toy of claim 7 wherein the second body forms a head of a known character and the third body forms a tail of the known character.
9. The toy of claim 7 wherein the third body is formed from soap.
10. The toy of claim 8 wherein the head and the tail of the character, in combination with the first body formed from the resilient coil, represent a sea creature.
11. The toy of claim 1 further comprising:
a projection associated with the first end of the first body adapted to be secured to the second body.
12. The toy of claim 1 further comprising:
a resilient limiting member extending along the first body.
13. A tub toy comprising:
a central body formed from a resilient coil having a first end and a second end;
an end plate associated with at least one of the first ends and the second ends; and
a soap body secured to the at least one of end plates at the first end of the central body and at the second end of the central body.
14. The tub toy of claim 13 further comprising:
a second body secured to the other one of the first end or the second end.
15. The tub toy of claim 14 wherein the soap body is shaped to form a head and the second body is shaped to form a tail.
16. The tub toy of claim 15 wherein the head and the tail form a sea creature.
17. The tub toy of claim 13 further comprising:
a resilient limiting member extending along the resilient coil.
18. The tub toy of claim 13 further comprising:
a sleeve extending between the first end and the second end of the coil.
19. The tub toy of claim 13 further comprising:
a sleeve that covers and extends along a helically-wound member that forms the coil.
20. The tub toy of claim 13 further comprising:
a projection on the end plate.
21. The tub toy of claim 13 wherein the resilient coil has a length between one inch and twelve inches.
22. A method for washing a body of an individual, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a first body formed from a resilient coil having a first end and a second end;
providing a second body formed from soap; and
attaching the second body to the first body.
23. The method of claim 22 further comprising the steps of:
providing a third body; and
attaching the third body to the first body.
24. The method of claim 22 wherein the second body forms at least a portion of an identifiable object.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to a tub toy and/or a soap toy. More particularly, the present invention relates to a tub toy and/or soap toy that preferably forms a character and has a body including a resilient coil. Still further, the present invention relates to a method for using the toy to wash or to clean a body of an individual.

[0002] Tub toys and the like are particularly popular with younger children for a number of reasons. On the one hand, the ability to play in the water is a unique experience, and tub toys can facilitate water play for children, in particular. On the other hand, some kids shy away from bath time, and bathtub toys encourage the taking of a bath and distract away from what the child might perceive to be an unpleasant experience. Tub toys are generally known including those having a variety of forms, including, for example, boats and devices that squirt water.

[0003] Resilient coil toys are well known in the art. In particular, the most famous resilient coil toy is sold under the registered trademark SLINKY® by James Industries, Inc. The SLINKY® resilient coil toy is made from a helically wound metal coil or plastic member or extrusion, and the coil may be expanded and contracted. The resilient coil, among other things, may walk down stairs as the toy extends from one stair to the other, collapses, and then falls over to the next stair. However, no tub toys using a resilient coil are known.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] An object of the present invention is to provide a new and unique tub and resilient coil toy as well as a method of using the same.

[0005] An important aspect of this invention, therefore, lies in providing a new tub toy that incorporates a resilient coil and forms a new and unique toy for use, for example, in a pool, bathtub, or other environment that includes water. In an embodiment, the tub toy takes the form of a character having a main body formed from the resilient coil and a head and tail formed from molded soap blocks. The resilient coil permits the head and tail to be moved relative to each other as the resilient coil expands and contracts and facilitates play with the toy in, for example, a bathtub. For example, a tub toy may take the form of a sea creature may be made to swim or serpentine through the water, for example, as a head and tail on the body of the creature may be moved so that the resilient coil flexes to give the appearance of movement.

[0006] In an embodiment, the tub toy may be formed of a first body including a resilient coil and having a first end and a second end. A second body may be formed from soap and may be provided on one of the ends of the first body. The resilient coil may include a first end plate and a second end plate at its ends for attachment to the second soap body or other soap bodies.

[0007] The end plates preferably include a projection or other member for permitting selectable attachment and detachment of a selected soap body to the coil. For example, after the original soap body provided on the coil dissolves, the user may purchase one or more new soap bodies and may connect them to the projection on the first end plate and/or the second end plate of the coil to form a new character.

[0008] The resilient coil is preferably covered with cloth or fabric. In an embodiment, the resilient coil may be covered with a cylindrical sleeve of cloth that covers the outer surface of the resilient coil and may extend between the first end and the second end of the coil. In an alternate embodiment, a smaller sleeve of cloth may encircle and may extend along the helically-wound member that forms the coil. The resilient coil may, of course, be covered with cloth in other ways. In a preferred embodiment, a first soap body may be provided at one end of the resilient coil, and a second soap body may be secured at the second end of the resilient coil. The first soap body may form a head of a character, and the second soap body may form a tail of the character. In preferred embodiments, the head and tail, as well as the resilient coil body, form a sea creature, such as a serpent, a fish, a whale, etc. However, it may be understood that the tub toy of the present invention may be used to make a variety of items, including, but not limited to, characters, animals, or objects, such as submarines, telescopes, and the like.

[0009] In an embodiment, the resilient coil may include a limited number of wound coils for limiting the length to which the resilient coil may be extended. For example, if a tub toy forms a character such as a serpent, it may be desirable to limit the length of the serpent to, for example, approximately twelve inches. In another embodiment, a limiting member may be provided to limit a range of movement of the coil between approximately one inch and twelve inches, or other similar dimensions depending on the particular character or object of the tub toy.

[0010] Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments and from the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011]FIG. 1 is a side view of an embodiment of a tub toy of the present invention.

[0012]FIG. 2 is an exploded side view of an embodiment of the tub toy of the present invention.

[0013]FIG. 3 is an exploded, partially cut away, side view of an embodiment of the tub toy of the present invention.

[0014]FIG. 4 is a perspective view, partially cut away, of an alternate embodiment of a fabric sleeve covering for the resilient coil of the tub toy of the present invention.

[0015]FIG. 6 is a side view illustrating an alternate embodiment of the tub toy of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] Referring now to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts, FIGS. 1-3 generally illustrate an embodiment of a tub toy 10 of the present invention. The tub toy 10 may include a first or central body 11 that may be formed at least in part from a resilient coil 12. The resilient coil 12 preferably has a first end 13 and a second end 14. The resilient coil 12 may be made from a helically-wound wire or member 15 that may be wound in a helix to form the cylindrically-shaped coil 12 that may extend between the first end 13 and the second end 14.

[0017] The resilient coil 12 and helically-wound member 15 may be fabricated using conventional means which may be used to make current resilient coil toys that are on the market, such as those sold under the registered trademark SLINKY® by James Industries, Inc. In a particular application of the tub toy 10, the member 15 is preferably made of plastic rather than metal to avoid problems with, for example, corrosion and the like.

[0018] The present invention lies in adapting the resilient coil 12 to create the tub toy 10 which may be used for amusement purposes or the like by, for example, a child. To accomplish this objective, the tub toy 10 may further include at least a second body 16 that may be disposed at the first end 13 of the resilient coil 12. The second body 16 is preferably formed from soap and may be molded into the shape of a character. Any one of a number of conventional soaps that are bathtub friendly and that may be molded to desired shapes may be employed for forming the soap body used in the present invention.

[0019] As shown most clearly in FIG. 2, the resilient coil 12 may include an end plate member 17 at the first end 13, and a second end plate number 18 at the second end 14. The end plates 17 and 18 may be, for example, circular plates that are preferably formed of plastic. The end plates 17 and 18 may be directly or indirectly connected to one or more of the end loops of the helical coil 12 at the respective ends.

[0020] The helical coil 12 is preferably covered with a cover. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-3 and 5, the fabric cover may take the form of a cylindrical sleeve 19, preferably made from a fabric or cloth or other like material, that may encapsulate the entire coil 12. The sleeve 19 may be formed, for example, of terry cloth or other soft and resilient cloth materials suitable for bathtub toys. The sleeve 19 may have ends 19(a) and 19(b) that may be secured to the end plates 17 and 18.

[0021] In addition to providing a soft outer surface for the resilient coil 12, the sleeve 19 may act as a mechanism for limiting the distance that the coil 12 may be extended. The sleeve 19 may have sufficient resiliency and a preset length that may permit the coil 12 to be completely contracted and also expanded to a certain distance, but not to an undue length. For example, the sleeve 19 may limit the expandability of the coil 12 to between, for example, one inch and twelve inches. However, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that the length of extendibility of the coil 12 may vary considerably depending upon the desired application or character of the tub toy 10.

[0022] As shown in FIG. 2, the end plates 17 and 18 preferably include a projection 20 for attachment to soap bodies, such as the first soap body 16. The soap body 16 may have an aperture 21 that permits the soap body 16 to be, for example, snap fit to either one of the end plates 17 and 18. However, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that other mechanisms may be implemented for securing the ends plates 17 and 18 to the soap body 16. The projection 20 is preferably adapted for permitting attachment and detachment of a selected soap body such that a soap body may be interchangeably connectable to the resilient coil 12. Further, after the soap body dissolves after use, a new soap body may be purchased or otherwise obtained and may be connected to one or both of the end plates 17 and 18 of the resilient coil 12.

[0023] In another embodiment of the present invention, one of the soap bodies attached to the end plates 17 or 18 may be replaced with a sponge or other cloth. Preferably, a tail section of a known creature, such as a fish or serpent or the like, may be made from a sponge or strips of cloth or other material that may be used in conjunction with the soap body 16 attached at an opposite end of the body 12. As a result, a soap and a washing cloth or sponge are implemented in combination for both amusement and for washing and/or cleaning the body of an individual, such as a child. Of course, many arrangements of the bodies that may be attached to the body 12 may be implemented by those skilled in the art.

[0024] In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the tub toy 10 preferably includes the central body 11, a first soap body 16 and a second soap body 22. The first soap body 16 and the second soap body 22 may be connected as shown to the end plates 17 and 18 of the resilient coil 12 so that the first soap body 16 and the second soap body 22 may be moved relative to each other by either expanding or contracting the resilient coil 12.

[0025] The first soap body 16 and the second soap body 22 preferably take the form, respectively, of a molded head 23 and a tail 24. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the combination of the head 23, the body 12, and the tail 24 may form an aquatic character, such as, for example, a serpent or other sea creature. As another example, referring to FIG. 5, the head 23 and the tail 24 may take the form of a head and tail of a whale or other similar sea creature.

[0026] While the tub toy 10 may preferably be used to form a sea creature to maintain consistency with the water theme of the toy, it should be understood that the tub toy 10 may be formed as a variety of different characters or objects dependent upon the desired effect. For example, the tub toy 10 may include a central body 11 formed of a resilient coil 12 and soap bodies to form other animals (such as dogs, cats, horses, bulls, cows, etc.), objects (such as telescopes, submarines, boats, etc.), or any one of a number of variety of other items suitable, for example, for children and tub toys.

[0027] In the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the covering for the coil 12 may take the form of a fabric sleeve 25 that may extend along the helically-wound member 15. In other words, the fabric sleeve 25 may follow along the coil 15 and does not encapsulate the entire coil 12, such as the sleeve 19 shown and described with reference to, for example, FIGS. 1 and 2. This construction may permit access to the inside of the cylindrical coil 12 for placing objects, such as, for example, other soap bars, within the body 11 of the tub toy 10 or for other activities that may, for example, provide amusement or the like.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 5, the coil 12 may include alternative means for limiting the extendibility of the coil 12. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the coil 12 may include on its interior a resilient cord 26 that may be attached to the end plates 13 and 14. The resilient cord 26 may be made of resilient fabric or rubber and may have a pre-selected length to limit the overall extendability of the coil 12 to a desired length, such as, for example, to a maximum length of one or two feet. The resilient cord 26 may also be wrapped around one side of the coil 12 rather than disposed in the middle of the coil 12. The resilient cord 26 may be particularly useful for use in conjunction with the embodiment, such as shown in FIG. 4, having a fabric sleeve 25 that may follow along the coil 12 rather than encapsulating the entire coil 12. The range of movement and length of the resilient coil 12 may vary considerably. Preferably, a variable length between one inch and twelve inches, for example, may be implemented for most tub toys although any length may be implemented by one skilled in the art.

[0029] Although the present invention has been described with reference to using the toy in a bathtub, it should be understood that any environment, preferably an environment that includes water, such as a pool, lake, ocean or the like, may be desirable for using the toy of the present invention.

[0030] Further, although the present invention has been described in its preferred embodiment using soap at one or both of the first end or the second end of the toy, it should be understood that the soap at one or both of the ends may be replaced with a molded plastic, molded rubber or other like piece at one or both of the ends and may attach to the resilient coil. The toy may also incorporate, for example, a noise making mechanism which may create, for example, a “squeak” or other noise when pressure or the like is applied to one or more of the pieces at the end of the toy. Similarly, other noise making devices, such as one or more jingling bells, may be incorporated in the toy of the present invention.

[0031] It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages. It is, therefore, intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7066779 *Jul 13, 2004Jun 27, 2006Jw Pet CompanyMounting arrangement for squeakers
US7156716Apr 21, 2004Jan 2, 2007Igor BelykhApparatus, game and method for capturing articles with coil spring
US7736212Dec 20, 2005Jun 15, 2010J.W. Pet Company, Inc.Mounting arrangement for squeakers
US7736213Dec 20, 2005Jun 15, 2010J.W. Pet Company, Inc.Mounting arrangement for squeakers
US7810455 *Oct 10, 2007Oct 12, 2010T.F.H. Publications, Inc.Pet chew including compressible central portion
US7833079Nov 9, 2007Nov 16, 2010J.W. Pet Company, Inc.Noise producing toy structure
US8235762Aug 13, 2009Aug 7, 2012J.W. Pet Company, Inc.Mounting arrangement for squeaker
US8490831 *Mar 13, 2013Jul 23, 2013Easebon Services LimitedFloating, squirting toy including bellows, and methods thereof
US8523628Jul 2, 2012Sep 3, 2013J. W. Pet Company, Inc.Noise producing toy structure
US20110259282 *Feb 17, 2011Oct 27, 2011Ourpet's CompanyTransformable, Dual Element Pet Toy
US20140154946 *Dec 3, 2012Jun 5, 2014Easebon Services LimitedWater toy with bellows
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/486, 446/153, 446/268, 252/367.1
International ClassificationA63H3/00, A47K5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/003, A47K5/00
European ClassificationA63H3/00C, A47K5/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 31, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: BIG KIDS, INC., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DUVAL, EARL W.;REEL/FRAME:011508/0851
Effective date: 20010130