US 20040116042 A1
A bobble-head doll is provided having a molded, elastically-deformable head so that facial features of the head may be manually contorted. The elastic memory of the deformable parts of the head are such that the head returns to its as-molded shape after a time interval which is sufficiently long that its contorted faces may be observed. The doll head may be formed from a relatively rigid member covered by an elastomeric, deformable cover. Alternatively, the doll head may be constructed such that facial features can be partly collapsed or pushed inwardly to increase the variety of contorted head shapes obtainable. The body of the doll may be formed and painted to represent a particular sports team or person and the head may have a hat or other device consistent with the appearance of the body.
1. A bobble-head doll having a body and a head having elastically deformable parts, said head mounted on said body by a spring.
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 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/407,867, filed Sep. 3, 2002, No. 60/408,629, filed Sep. 6, 2002, No. 60/444,232, filed Jan. 31, 2003, No. 60/444,823, filed Feb. 4, 2003, and No. 60/445,569, filed Feb. 6, 2003.
 This invention relates to a bobble-head doll with a deformable head and is especially directed to dolls used to emulate living people, particularly members of sports teams such as baseball or football players, but could be used to emulate animals, or fictional characters such as team mascots.
 Bobble-head dolls are well-known. Dolls with stretchable bodies and primarily rigid heads are also known, examples being shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,236,347 and 6,174,216. U.S. Pat. No. 5,162,013 shows a doll having a deformable head. The disclosures of the foregoing patents are hereby incorporated by reference herein.
 This invention relates to a bobble-head doll that represents significant portions of a human figure, animals, or fictional characters and includes at least a head and a body. For convenience, the term “body” is used in a broad sense herein to refer to any part of the body other than the head. If a human is represented, the body may include the torso or part of the torso with or without limbs and extremities.
 An object of this invention is provide a bobble-head doll having a head with deformable elastic portions so that the head and its facial features may be stretched or pulled or otherwise manipulated into contorted shapes after which the head returns to its original shape.
 The head of the doll may be large in proportion to the body, as typical of bobble-head dolls.
 In one embodiment of this invention, the doll is formed from a relatively rigid material covered by an elastomeric, deformable cover which has an outer surface formed to create the appearance of a human head. Due to this construction, the elastomeric cover can be stretched or pulled to create a variety of contorted facial shapes. In other embodiments of this invention, the doll heads can be partly collapsed or pushed inwardly as well as stretched or pulled outwardly to increase the variety of contorted head shapes obtainable.
 The body may be painted to appear to be dressed in clothes or have other features which may beemblematic of a sport team or other activity with which a well-known person is associated. The head may have facial features suggestive of a well-known person. In addition, a representation of a hat or other device or symbol consistent with the representation of the body may be fixed to or integrally molded with the head.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a bobble-head doll having a deformable head in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, exploded, cross-sectional view of the doll of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of another embodiment of a bobble-head doll in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the head of a third embodiment of a bobble-head doll in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a fourth embodiment of a bobble-head doll in accordance with this invention.
 One embodiment of a deformable bobble-head doll, generally designated 60, is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Doll 60 includes a body 62 shaped to emulate a human body and made from an essentially rigid but somewhat elastic molded plastic material shown mounted on a support base 63 with which the body 62 may be integrally formed. The doll also includes a head 64 with deformable features that may be molded from any suitable plastic, such as a rubberized polyurethane. In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, a representation of a baseball cap 65 is integrally molded with the top of the head 64.
 The body 62 has an upstanding stud 66 which has in-molded threads 68 to which the lower end of a coil head-mounting spring 70 is threadedly connected. As in the case of ordinary bobble-head dolls, the mounting spring 70 has a larger diameter center section so that the head 64 is held generally upright in line with the body 62. The head 64 comprises a one-piece, hollow, generally spherical bulb 72 provided exteriorly with facial features.
 Being molded from a suitable elastomeric plastic material, the surface features of the bulb 72, including those that emulate a human's face, can be distorted by stretching, as indicated by phantom lies 72A in FIG. 1, and/or by collapsing or pushing in parts of the bulb 72, as indicated by phantom lines 72B in FIG. 2. The head 64 additionally includes a rigid plastic mounting member 74 adhesively secured inside the top center of the bulb 72 and having a depending threaded stud 76 for threaded connection to the upper end of head-mounting spring 70. To provide for passage of the head-mounting spring 70 through the head 64, a through opening 78 is located at the bottom of the bulb 72.
 In FIG. 1, the body 62 is so painted as to appear to be dressed in a baseball uniform and to wear a baseball glove. These features along with the cap-like part 65 are emblematic of a professional baseball player.
FIG. 3 illustrates a bobble-head doll 80 which is constructed the same as the doll 60 of FIGS. 1 and 2, except that the entire head, designated 82, is molded in one piece from a suitable plastic or rubber material which inheres the head 82 with resilient, deformable external parts. In addition, the head 82 has an integrally-molded, depending threaded stud 84 for connection to a head-mounting spring 70.
 In the embodiment of FIG. 4, a bobble-head doll head 88, which may be mounted on a doll body in the same way as the doll heads shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, comprises a relatively rigid, molded plastic bowl 90, the outer surface of which is covered by a resilient, elastomeric, deformable outer cover 92. In this case, the depending threaded stud, designated 94, is integrally molded with the rigid plastic bowl 90. Mutually interfering surfaces, such as inwardly-directed flanges 96 and 98 at the bottom of the head 90 and the cover 92, respectively, are provided to resist accidental removal of the cover 92 from the head 90. An adhesive (not shown) could be applied between the head 90 and the cover 92 for the same purpose.
FIG. 5 shows a bobble-head doll 100 in accordance with a fourth embodiment of this invention comprising a bobble-head doll head 102 and a mounting spring 70 which is connected to a doll body 104 in the same way as the mounting springs 70 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. As in the case of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the entire head 102 of FIG. 5 is molded from a suitable plastic or rubber material which inheres the head 102 with resilient, deformable parts. An internal, centrally located, cylindrical, mounting spring-receiving recess 106 is located inside the upper portion of the head 102 of FIG. 5. An adhesive matrix 108 adheres the upper end of the spring 70 within the recess 108.
 Whether pushed inwardly, pulled outwardly, or both, a head made in accordance with this invention has a memory so that it returns to its as-molded shape during a time period controlled by the recovery characteristics of the elastomeric material used to form the head. A delayed recovery is desirable to enable one to look at the head shapes produced and to display the contorted head shapes to others. Various different recovery periods may be engineered into the bobble-head dolls of this invention. A recovery period in the range of about three seconds to about ten seconds is useful.
 While the bodies of the dolls of this invention are intended to be relatively rigid, the bodies could have some resiliency and may have outer skins which are partly or entirely made from elastomeric materials.
 It will be understood that within the purview of the invention various changes may be made within the scope of the following claims.