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Publication numberUS20060084355 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/245,327
Publication dateApr 20, 2006
Filing dateOct 7, 2005
Priority dateOct 18, 2004
Also published asUS20060084353, US20060084354, WO2006043990A2, WO2006043990A3
Publication number11245327, 245327, US 2006/0084355 A1, US 2006/084355 A1, US 20060084355 A1, US 20060084355A1, US 2006084355 A1, US 2006084355A1, US-A1-20060084355, US-A1-2006084355, US2006/0084355A1, US2006/084355A1, US20060084355 A1, US20060084355A1, US2006084355 A1, US2006084355A1
InventorsTak Wong, Mark Chernick, Webb Nelson
Original AssigneeWong Tak K, Mark Chernick, Nelson Webb T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reversible toy that converts between a ball and a flying disc
US 20060084355 A1
Abstract
A reversible novelty device that can be inverted between a flying disc and a ball. The reversible novelty device has an elastic casing that defines an internal area. The elastic casing has a first surface and a second surface that can be selectively inverted. An aperture of a first diameter is provided in the elastic casing through which the elastic casing can be selectively inverted. The aperture can be elastically stretched to enable features on the first surface and second surface of the elastic casing to easily pass through the aperture without much effort and without incurring damage. One of the features provided is a flange wing that radially extends from the second surface of the elastic casing. The flange wing extends from the elastic casing and allows the device to perform as a flying disc when thrown.
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Claims(17)
1. A novelty device, comprising:
an elastic casing defining an internal area, said elastic casing having a first surface and a second surface that can be selectively inverted;
an aperture of a first diameter disposed in said elastic casing through which said elastic casing can be selectively inverted, wherein said aperture can be elastically stretched to a second diameter at least twice as large as said first diameter without damage; and
a flange wing radially extending from said second surface of said elastic casing.
2. The device according to claim 1, wherein said elastic casing is generally spherical in shape, having a predetermined diameter.
3. The device according to claim 2, wherein said flange wing has a diameter at least fifty percent larger than said predetermined diameter.
4. The device according to claim 1, wherein said elastic casing is free standing, therein defining said internal area in an uncollapsed condition when unstressed by any force other than gravity.
5. The device according to claim 1, wherein said elastic casing defines a rim that surrounds said aperture, wherein said rim is reinforced by a thickening of said elastic casing at said rim.
6. The device according to claim 1, wherein said elastic casing is comprised of a triblock copolymer that is mixed with a plasticizing oil.
7. The device according to claim 6 wherein said triblock copolymer includes poly(styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene).
8. The device according to claim 6, wherein said flange wing and said elastic casing are made from the same material.
9. The device according to claim 1, further including protrusions that extend from said first surface.
10. The device according to claim 1, wherein said first surface and said second surface have different textures.
11. A novelty device that can be selectively transformed between a flying disc and a ball, said device comprising:
an elastic casing defining an internal space and having an opening of a first size for accessing said internal space, wherein said elastic casing has a first surface and a second surface that can be selectively inverted through said opening, therein enabling said elastic casing to be selectively changed between a first configuration and a second configuration;
a flexible flange wing radially extending from said second surface of said elastic casing; and
a plurality of protrusions extending from said first surface of said elastic casing;
wherein said plurality of protrusions are disposed within said internal space when said elastic casing is in said first configuration and, wherein said flexible flange is disposed within said internal space when said elastic casing is in said second configuration.
12. The device according to claim 11, wherein said opening can be elastically stretched to a second size at least twice as large as said first size.
13. The device according to claim 11, wherein said elastic casing is generally spherical in shape, having a predetermined diameter.
14. The device according to claim 13, wherein said flange wing has a diameter at least fifty percent larger than said predetermined diameter.
15. The device according to claim 11, wherein said elastic casing is comprised of a triblock copolymer that is mixed with a plasticizing oil.
16. The device according to claim 15, wherein said triblock copolymer includes poly(styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene).
17. The device according to claim 11, wherein said flange wing and said elastic casing are made from the same material.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-pat of co-pending patent application Ser. No. 10/968,410, entitled Reversible Ball Having Hyper-Elastic Properties, which was filed on Oct. 18, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

In general, the present invention relates to reversible balls that can be selectively turned inside out. More specifically, the present invention relates to the structure, materials and methods of manufacture associated with such reversible balls.

2. Background Art

The idea of reversibility has long been designed into toys and novelty products. For example, dolls have long been provided with clothes that have one pattern on the inside of the clothing and a second pattern on the outside. The style of clothes can then be changed simply by turning the clothes inside out.

The idea of reversibility has also been applied to the structure of toys. For instance, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,328,399 to Reynolds, entitled Toy Alterable Between Two Different Shapes, a toy is shown that changes from a racing car to a racing helmet depending upon if the toy is turned inside out or right side out.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,090,938 to Reynolds, entitled Toy Or Other Object Alterable Between Two Different Shapes, shows a toy that can be reversed between a ball and a stuffed animal.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,645,101 to Wong, entitled Transformable Ball, a reversible ball is provided having different textures on its inside and outside surfaces. As such, the appearance of the ball can be changed by turning the ball inside out.

In the structure of a reversible toy, an opening must be formed in the casing of the toy. The aperture is usually just large enough so that the toy can be pushed and pulled inside out through the aperture. However, once the toy is either inside out or right side out, the aperture remains. This detracts from the appearance of the toy. The presence of the aperture also allows dirt and other debris to collect within the toy structure. With plush toys, such as those shown in the two cited Reynolds patents, the aperture in the toy can be closed with a zipper. However, with a molded ball, such as that shown in the Wong patent, the aperture remains open and visible.

The diameter of the aperture in a reversible toy can be minimized to reduce adverse effects. However, when the size of the aperture is reduced, the difficulty involved in reversing the toy through that aperture increases. Furthermore, the smaller the aperture in the reversible toy, the more likely the aperture will rip as the toy is reversed.

The present invention provides a reversible toy having only a small aperture. However, the aperture is designed to resiliently open to a diameter even larger than the structure of the toy itself. In this manner, the aperture becomes the key novelty feature of the toy, while enabling large protruding features of the toy to be reversed without effort or damage. The details of the present invention are described and claimed below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a reversible novelty device that can be inverted between a flying disc and a ball. The reversible novelty device has an elastic casing that defines an internal area. The elastic casing has a first surface and a second surface that can be selectively inverted. Consequently, either the first surface or the second surface can be brought to the exterior of the elastic casing.

An aperture of a first diameter is provided in the elastic casing through which the elastic casing can be selectively inverted. The aperture can be elastically stretched to enable features on the first surface and second surface of the elastic casing to easily pass through the aperture without much effort and without incurring damage.

One of the features provided is a flange wing that radially extends from the second surface of the elastic casing. When the elastic casing is inverted so that the second surface is on the exterior of the elastic casing, the flange wing extends from the elastic casing and allows the device to perform as a flying disc when thrown.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following description of an exemplary embodiment thereof, considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention novelty device;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the novelty device of FIG. 1 shown inverted;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the novelty device of FIG. 1 being stretched to an enlarged size;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the novelty device shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the novelty device shown in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is a reversible novelty device that can be selectively transfigured between a flying disc and a secondary configuration. The secondary configuration can be that of a doll, an animal, or most any other object. However, in its simplest form, the secondary object is formed as a ball. Accordingly, the shown exemplary embodiment of the present invention is presented as a ball that converts into a flying disc in order to provide the best and simplest mode contemplated for the invention. However, it should be understood that the novelty device can function as described below if configured into alternate shapes more complex than a ball.

Referring to FIG. 1, the present invention reversible novelty device 10 is embodied as a toy ball. The reversible novelty device 10 includes a hollow spherical casing 20 having an external diameter D1. The spherical casing 20 has a first surface 12, currently shown on the outside of the spherical casing 20, and a second surface 14 currently shown on the inside of the spherical casing 20. The second surface 14 of the shown spherical casing 20 defines the boundaries of an open internal area 16.

The spherical casing 20 is thin and flexible. However, the spherical casing 20 is substantial enough to be free standing. The spherical casing 20 generally maintains its own shape and the shape of the internal area 16 when the novelty device 10 experiences no external forces other than that of gravity.

An aperture 18 is formed in the spherical casing 20. The aperture 18 is circular and has a diameter D2 that is only a small fraction of the size of the diameter D1 of the unstretched spherical casing 20. A rim 22 immediately surrounds the aperture 18. The rim 22 is part of the spherical casing 20 but is thickened to provide reinforcement to the aperture 18. The rim 22 of the aperture 18 is also rounded to help prevent tears from forming along the rim 22 of the aperture 18.

The spherical casing 20 itself is preferably formed from a poly(styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene) copolymer mixed between two percent and twenty percent, by weight, with a plasticizing oil, such as mineral oil. The resulting composition is both highly elastic and highly tear resistant. An oxidizing agent can also be added to the elastic polymer composition to reduce the tackiness of the elastic polymer composition. Alternate triblock copolymers mixed with plasticizing oil can also be used.

The first surface 12 of the spherical casing 20 is molded to a desired shape and texture. In the shown embodiment, the first surface 12 of the spherical casing 20 has tentacle elements 25 extending from it. The use of tentacle elements 25 is merely exemplary and it will be understood that spikes, nubs, fingers, dimples or any other shaped protruding element can be substituted for that of the tentacle elements 25. Alternatively, the first surface 12 can be smooth and can have no protruding elements extending from it.

Referring to FIG. 2, the novelty device 10 is shown turned inside out. The second surface 14 of the spherical casing 20 is brought out of the spherical casing 20 by pulling or pushing the spherical casing 20 inside out through the aperture 18. Once pulled inside out, the spherical casing 20 returns to a spherical shape. However, what was the inside second surface 14 in the embodiment of FIG. 1 is now on the exterior of the inverted embodiment of FIG. 2.

A flange wing 26 radially extends from the inverted second surface 14 of the spherical casing 20. The flange wing 26 radially extends from an equatorial plane of the spherical casing 20. The flange wing 26 has an outside diameter D3 that is at least fifty percent larger than the diameter D1 of the spherical casing 20.

The flange wing 26 is made of the same highly elastic material as is the spherical casing 20. The peripheral edge 28 of the flange wing 26 also can have a slightly curved edge to help the flange wing 26 catch air when it is thrown. The flange wing 26 is highly flexible. When the reversible novelty device 10 is thrown as a flying disc, centrifugal force keeps the flange wing 26 extended away from the spherical casing 20 during flight. Thus, the flange wing 26 remains open and catches air when the reversible novelty device 10 is thrown.

It can be seen that the second surface 14 of the spherical casing 20 is preferably molded to a smooth texture without protrusions. In this manner, the second surface 14 of the spherical casing 20 remains aerodynamic and does not inhibit the flight of the reversible novelty device 10 when it is shaped as a flying disc.

Although the first surface 12 and the second surface 14 of the reversible novelty device preferably have different textures, it is preferred that these surfaces have a related theme. For instance, the first surface of the spherical casing 20 can be colored and textured as the moon, while the opposite second surface can be colored and textured as an alien space ship. In the shown embodiment, the first surface 12 of the spherical casing 20 contains tentacle elements 25. The second surface 14 of the spherical casing 20 has an eyeball theme. Thus, the first surface 12 and the second surface 14 have complementary horror themes.

Referring to FIG. 3, it can be seen that the aperture 18 in the spherical casing 20 can be elastically expanded to a diameter that is more than four times the size of the original spherical casing itself. Preferably, the aperture 18 can elastically expand in diameter at least ten times its original diameter D2 (FIG. 2) without damaging the rim 22 surrounding the aperture 18 or any other part of the spherical casing 20. When the aperture 18 of the spherical casing 20 is so hyper-extended, the spherical casing 20 becomes flat and dish-shaped. The rim 22 of the aperture 18 is positioned near the periphery of a flattened spherical casing 20. Consequently, both the first surface 12 of the spherical casing 20 and second surface 14 of the spherical casing 20 are equally visible. The choice of which surface will be on the outside of the spherical casing 20 depends entirely upon the direction in which the spherical casing 20 is allowed to collapse when the stretching forces are removed.

Due to the highly elastic construction of the novelty device 10, the aperture 18 within the spherical casing 20 can be stretched open to a size at least ten times its original size. Thus, a novelty device 10 having an aperture 18 of only a one inch diameter can be opened to a diameter of at least ten inches without becoming damaged. The result is a novelty device 10 that can enable the passage of the tentacle elements 25 and the flange wing 26 into and out of the spherical casing 20 without damaging these elements.

Referring to FIG. 4, it can be seen that when the reversible novelty device 10 is in a first orientation, the tentacle elements 25 extend from the exterior of the spherical casing 20. The flange wing 26 is folded within the confines of the interior of the spherical casing 20. The flange wing 26 fills most of the internal area 16 of the spherical casing 20, thereby adding support to the interior of the spherical casing 20. Thus, the spherical casing 20 is not easily crushed.

Alternatively, in FIG. 5, it can be seen that when the reversible novelty device 10 is turned inside out, the tentacle elements 25 fold inside the spherical casing 20. The tentacle elements 25 therefore provide interior support to the spherical casing 20 when the reversible novelty device 10 is configured as a flying disc. Thus, when the reversible novelty device 10 is thrown as a flying disc, the spherical casing 20 remains generally round during flight.

It will be understood that the embodiment of the present invention novelty device that is shown is merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art can make many variations to the embodiment without departing from the intended scope of the invention. For instance, it will be understood that the shown designs of tentacle elements and an eyeball on the surfaces of the novelty device are merely a matter of design choice. Most any design, texture and/or color scheme can be utilized. What is preferred is that the design, texture and/or color scheme on the two invertible surfaces of the novelty device have related themes. All such modifications, variations and alternate embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention as defined by the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7785170 *Jul 10, 2007Aug 31, 2010Chernick Mark JNovelty device having elastomeric protrusions with hard plastic terminations and its associated method of construction
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/71
International ClassificationA63H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/00
European ClassificationA63H33/00