US 20060160458 A1
A toy assembly having a plush toy and a clip. A projecting member extends from the clip and cooperates with a portion of the plush toy to hold the plush toy to the clip. The clip is shaped to be selectively mounted to and quickly dismounted to an external object, such as a hospital bed rail.
1. A toy assembly comprising:
a toy having an outer surface; and
a clip having an outwardly extending appendage portion and attachment means, said attachment means is effective to removably couple said clip to an object;
wherein said toy is removably coupled to said clip by said appendage portion.
2. The toy assembly of
3. The toy assembly of
4. The toy assembly of
a pair of L-shaped arms; and
a wall portion, wherein said arms are coupled to said wall portion to cooperatively form a C-shaped channel;
wherein a portion of said object is selectively placed within said channel to couple said clip to said object.
5. The toy assembly of
a C-shaped housing;
a door portion having a retaining tab, said door portion is hingedly coupled to said C-shaped housing whereby said door portion may be placed in a first closed position wherein said attachment means is generally D-shaped, and in a second open position; and
a tab mating portion which is coupled to said C-shaped housing.
6. The toy assembly of
7. The toy assembly of
8. The toy assembly of
a covering which is shaped to cover a at least a portion of said outer surface, wherein said toy is operatively received within said covering;
wherein said appendage portion cooperates with said covering to couple said toy to said clip.
9. The toy assembly of
10. The toy assembly of
11. A toy assembly which may be coupled to a relatively narrow object, said toy assembly comprising:
a clip assembly comprising a relatively narrow and rigid appendage member and attachment means for selectively and removably coupling said clip assembly to said object; and
a plush toy having an outer surface which is formed from a certain soft material, said plush toy having coupling means to receive said appendage member, whereby said coupling means may be quickly and easily uncoupled from said object and said plush toy may be quickly and easily uncoupled from said appendage member.
12. The toy assembly of
13. The toy assembly of
14. The toy assembly of
15. The toy assembly of
16. The toy assembly of
17. The toy assembly of
18. A toy assembly which may be connected to and quickly disconnected from a bed rail, said toy assembly comprising:
a toy character having a soft outer surface and receiving means which are coupled to said outer surface;
a plastic clip having a generally cylindrical appendage portion which is sized to easily slide between said receiving means and said outer surface, thereby coupling said toy character to said clip, said clip further having a bed rail reception member which is shaped to easily slide around said bed rail and being effective to hold said clip to said bed rail.
19. The toy assembly of
20. The toy assembly of
The present invention generally relates to a toy assembly that may be easily coupled and de-coupled to an object. More particularly, to a toy assembly having a toy portion which may be quickly and easily removed from a clip portion that may also be quickly and easily removed from a bed's railing.
Toy assemblies and particularly stuffed or plush toys are well known as favorites of children and adults alike. These toys provide a source of enjoyment and comfort to their owners/users. Typically, the user of the toy is a child and the child may like to keep a particular toy with him or her at all times. For this reason, it is desirable to provide a means for selectively coupling a toy character to various objects within easy reach of the user (e.g., on a bed rail or an interior car door handle). It is further desirable to enable an individual (i.e., an adult) to quickly and easily move the attachment means from one location to another (e.g., from the car to the house).
Prior art toys that have been made to be selectively coupled to an external object oftentimes include external fastening members that are generally formed from metals or hard plastics. These fasteners can be dangerous to children during play, as a child will not realize that the otherwise soft toy includes such potentially dangerous hardware. In the least, these fasteners may be uncomfortable to a child during play or rest (e.g., lying upon or next to the toy during naptime).
These prior art fastening members may also be dislodged from the toy they are attached to, thereby creating a potential choking hazard for small children. If larger (i.e., non-choking hazard) sized fasteners are used, they oftentimes undesirably overwhelm the aesthetics of the toy.
Further, prior art toy assemblies which enable an individual to couple the toy to an external object do not provide a quick disconnect feature for both the toy and the toy's attachment means (i.e., means to couple the toy to the object). Typically, the toy is made to separate from the attachment means, but the attachment means is not intended to be easily separated from the object it is coupled to.
There is therefore a need for a new and improved toy assembly which overcomes some or all of the previously delineated drawbacks of prior toy assemblies and, by the way of example and without limitation, allows a user to removably couple a toy character to a desired object while maintaining a aesthetic look to the toy and keeping the toy and its fastening means child safe.
The present invention desirably provides a user with a very quick and easy means for connecting and disconnecting a toy character from an attachment means used to hold the toy character to an object. This “quick-disconnect” feature is further provided without the addition of unaesthetic and potentially dangerous hardware such as clasps, hooks, snaps, buttons, or ties upon the toy character.
Additionally, the toy character in the present invention provides means for coupling the toy character to an external clip without the addition of external fastening members that are generally formed from hard metals or plastics.
Another feature of the present invention is that it provides attachment means for a toy character to an object. These retention portions further provide an additional layer of quick-disconnect capability to the toy assembly in that the retention portions utilize simple clip means for attaching the retention portion (and subsequently the toy character) to a desired object without using complicated coupling means which include numerous components which may undesirably come apart, thereby creating potential choking hazards.
Another non-limiting feature to the present invention is that all of the means for coupling the toy character to the desired object are formed to substantially eliminate the possibility of a choking hazard. Particularly, the coupling means for attaching the toy character to the provided clip means are either sized to avoid a choking hazard, and/or securely coupled to, and/or are formed into the toy itself. Similarly, the clip means which actually couple to toy character to the object are sized to avoid choking hazards and are generally formed as a single piece, obviating the possibility of the clip coming apart into smaller pieces.
The above mentioned non-limiting child-safe features are particularly suited for use in places such as children's hospitals where all potential hazards must be kept to an absolute minimum. In such a setting, the quick-disconnect feature of both the toy from the clip and the clip from the object (e.g., a bed rail) is particularly important, as the toy assembly might need to be removed from the location it is attached to in a hurry. For example, a nurse or doctor might need to gain full access to the patient/child in an emergency situation.
According to a first non-limiting advantage of the present invention, a toy assembly is provided which overcomes at least some of the previously delineated disadvantages of prior toy assemblies.
According to a second non-limiting advantage of the present invention, a toy assembly is provided. The toy assembly includes a toy having a soft outer surface, such as a stuffed animal. Toy assembly also includes a plastic clip having an outwardly extending appendage and means for removably attaching the clip to an object, wherein the toy is removably coupled to the clip by the appendage portion.
According to a third non-limiting advantage of the present invention, a toy assembly is provided where the toy assembly may be coupled to a relatively narrow object, the toy assembly including a clip comprising a relatively narrow and rigid appendage member and attachment means for selectively and removably coupling the clip assembly to the object; and a plush toy having coupling means to receive the appendage member, whereby the coupling means may be quickly and easily uncoupled from the object and the plush toy may be quickly and easily uncoupled from the appendage member.
According to a fourth non-limiting advantage of the present invention, a toy assembly is provided which may be connected to and quickly disconnected from a bed rail. The toy assembly provides a toy character having a soft outer surface and a plastic clip having a generally cylindrical appendage. The toy character having means for receiving the appendage which is sized to easily slide between the receiving means and the outer surface, thereby coupling the toy character to the clip. The clip further having a reception member which is shaped to easily slide around a narrow object, such as a bed rail, and being effective to hold the clip to the object.
These and other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent by reading the following description in combination with the following drawings.
Referring now to
Referring particularly to
Referring particularly to
Appendage 30, in this preferred non-limiting embodiment, is generally narrow and cylindrically shaped, and which initially projects orthogonally from wall 35 at its proximate end portion 31 in the direction opposite to walls 36, 37. Projection portion 34 extends orthogonally from end portion 31, whereby projection portion 34 is substantially parallel to wall 35. The distal end 32 of appendage 30 is generally spherical in shape to provide a blunting effect and obviate the likelihood of appendage 30 snagging or catching. As shown, end portion 31 is disposed in close proximity to the bottom wall 36. This placement allows portion 34 to extend upward, thereby creating a generally hook shaped appendage. Further, distal end 32 does not project past the uppermost edge 33 of top wall 37 thereby further decreasing the likelihood of appendage 30 from snagging or catching.
In the preferred non-limiting embodiment, clip 14 is formed as a single piece from a relatively rigid, light-weight, non-toxic plastic material whereby walls 37, 38 may be elastically separated from walls 36, 39 to temporarily enlarge gap 41 to allow an object, such as railing 101, to pass through gap 41 into aperture 42. After the object passes through gap 41 the elastic characteristics of clip 14 causes walls 36-39 to return to approximately the same relative positions as before the object was inserted through gap 41.
As shown, the outer covering 222 may include designs or indicia 229 to allow the toy 212 to be customized or personalized for a particular user. For example and without limitation, the design 229 may include a phrase such as “Get well soon!” or may have an individuals name, or the design 229 may include a logo, slogan, or symbol representing a well known institution (e.g., “GO SPARTANS”). In other non-limiting embodiments, the covering 222 may be fixedly coupled to the outer surface 220 of the character 213 to prevent removal of the covering 222.
Attachment portion 540 is dissimilar from portions 40, 340 described above in that attachment portion 540 includes teeth 565 which are identical to teeth 562 and intermesh with teeth 562. Teeth 565 project away from wall 535 away from opening 542. A hole is formed through wall 535 which permits the end 564 of appendage 530 to pass into opening 542. End 542 includes means for fixing the appendage 530 to wall 535, while permitting appendage 530 and disc 560 to rotate about centerline 570 in the direction of arrow 569, and while enabling intermeshing teeth 562, 565 to hold appendage 530 in position after rotation. That is, end 564 biases the teeth 562, 565 against each other, but allows a user to rotate the appendage 530 with an application of external force. For example and without limitation, end 542 may include any of the following: an enlarged split head, a clevis/cotter pin arrangement, a threaded end and lock nut, or substantially any other conventional means which operate to fix an item in a first direction while allowing rotational movement. Similarly, the teeth 562, 565 may be biased against each other in substantially any method such as a spring or simply by the pitch of the teeth 562, 565 and the clearance provided in the means for fixing the end 542 to wall 535.
It should be realized that the present invention is not limited to a particular shape or configuration for toys 12, 112, 212. Rather, substantially any animal, character, famous personality, or shape (e.g., a star) may be used and selectively coupled to the clips 14, 314, 414, 514 to form toy assembly 10. Further, it should be appreciated that various configurations and arrangements of retention members 40, 340, 440, 540 are possible to define an opening such as aperture 42 which is sized and shaped to receive and to hold a portion of an object (e.g., a bed railing 101). The cylindrical shape of appendages 30, 330, 430, 530 was exemplary in nature and substantially any shape projection may be used. For example, the appendages 30, 330, 430, 530 may be relatively flat tabs which increase the surface area of the appendage 30, 330, 430, 530 which comes into contact with the toy 12, 112, 212. Further, as the most likely users of toy assembly 12 are children, attachment portions 40, 340, 440, 540 of clips 14, 314, 414, 514 are each at least 1 cubic inch in size to eliminate the chance of a possible choking hazard. Further still, to enhance a user's enjoyment and reduce the likelihood of injury, toys 12, 112, 212 are formed entirely from soft materials normally associated with conventional stuffed plush toys.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact construction or method which has been illustrated and discussed above, but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as is more fully delineated in the following claims.