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Publication numberUS20090017718 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/774,808
Publication dateJan 15, 2009
Filing dateJul 9, 2007
Priority dateJul 9, 2007
Publication number11774808, 774808, US 2009/0017718 A1, US 2009/017718 A1, US 20090017718 A1, US 20090017718A1, US 2009017718 A1, US 2009017718A1, US-A1-20090017718, US-A1-2009017718, US2009/0017718A1, US2009/017718A1, US20090017718 A1, US20090017718A1, US2009017718 A1, US2009017718A1
InventorsChristopher D. Bryan, Scott Ernest Corley, Erin Marie Reed
Original AssigneeBryan Christopher D, Scott Ernest Corley, Erin Marie Reed
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Partially deformable toy support system
US 20090017718 A1
Abstract
A partially deformable toy support member comprising a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections. The resilient center section has an initial shape and is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The deformable end sections are able to retain shape once reconfigured. The bar includes at least one cushioning cover covering at least one of the center section and the end sections. The bar is configured to have toys supported therefrom and is configured to be connected to an infant supporting element.
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Claims(17)
1. A partially deformable toy support member comprising:
a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections;
the resilient center section having an initial shape and being configured to return to the initial shape after deflection;
the deformable end sections being able to retain shape once reconfigured;
the bar including at least one cushioning cover covering at least one of the center section and the end sections;
wherein the bar is configured to have toys supported therefrom and is configured to be connected to an infant supporting element.
2. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 1, wherein:
the at least one cushioning cover comprises a center cushioning cover; and
the resilient center section comprises an inner resilient rod, with the inner resilient rod being positioned within the center cushioning cover.
3. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 2, wherein:
the at least one cushioning cover further comprises cushioning cover end portions;
each deformable end section comprises an inner deformable rod, with the inner deformable rod being positioned within the cushioning cover end portions of each end section.
4. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 1, wherein:
the at least one cushioning cover comprises cushioning cover end portions; and
each deformable end section comprises an inner deformable rod, with the inner deformable rod being positioned within the cushioning cover end portions of each end section.
5. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 1, further including:
connection apparatus connected to each end section of the bar for connecting the bar to the infant supporting element.
6. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 5, wherein:
the connection apparatus includes a flexible panel having a hook-and-loop type fastener attached thereto, the flexible panel being configured to be wrapped about a support pole of the infant supporting element and connected to itself via the hook-and-loop type fastener to connect the flexible panel, and thereby the bar, to the infant supporting element.
7. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 1, wherein:
the resilient center section includes at least one toy attachment member for connecting a toy to the bar.
8. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 7, wherein:
the at least one toy attachment member comprises a strap having a hook-and-loop type fastener.
9. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 1, wherein:
the bar includes a sleeve extending over the resilient center section and the deformable end sections.
10. A partially deformable toy support member comprising:
a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections;
the resilient center section having an initial shape and being configured to return to the initial shape after deflection, the resilient center section comprising an inner resilient rod and a center cushioning cover surrounding the inner resilient rod;
the deformable end sections being able to retain their shape once reconfigured, the deformable end sections each comprising an inner deformable rod and a cushioning cover end portion surrounding the inner deformable rod;
a connection member connected to each end section of the bar for connecting the bar to an infant supporting element; and
a cover extending over the resilient center section and the deformable end sections;
wherein the resilient center section includes at least one toy attachment member for connecting a toy to the bar.
11. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 10, wherein:
the connection apparatus includes a flexible panel having a hook-and-loop type fastener attached thereto, the flexible panel being configured to be wrapped about a support pole of the infant supporting element and connected to itself via the hook-and-loop type fastener to connect the flexible panel, and thereby the bar, to the infant supporting element.
12. The partially deformable toy support member of claim 10, wherein:
the at least one toy attachment member comprises a strap having a hook-and-loop type fastener.
13. An infant entertainment system comprising:
a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections, the resilient center section having an initial shape and being configured to return to the initial shape after deflection, the deformable end sections being able to retain their shape once reconfigured, the bar including at least one cushioning cover covering at least one of the center section and the end sections;
a connection member connected to each end section of the bar; and
an infant supporting element;
the bar being removably connected to the infant supporting element by removably attaching the connection members to the infant supporting element;
wherein the bar is configured to have toys supported therefrom above the infant supporting element for entertaining an infant on the infant supporting element.
14. The infant entertainment system of claim 13, further including:
at least one toy supported from the bar and configured to be located above the infant supporting element for entertaining an infant on the infant supporting element.
15. A deformable toy support rod for an infant comprising:
a center bar portion having a first end and a second end and being configured in an initial shape, the center bar portion being configured to return to the initial shape after deflection, the center bar portion comprising a support segment having a resilient portion, with the resilient portion being encased within the support segment, the center bar portion includes at least one coupler, wherein at least one infant toy can be removably attached to the coupler; and
a first deformable end at the first end of the center bar portion, a second deformable end at the second end of the center bar portion, the first deformable end and the second deformable end each comprising a supporting member having a deformable portion, with the deformable portion being encased within the supporting member;
a covering encasing the support segment and the supporting member; and
a first connector portion and a second connector portion, wherein the first connector portion is connected to the first deformable end and the second connector portion is connected to the second deformable end;
wherein the bar is configured to be connected to an infant supporting element by removably connecting the first connector portion and the second connector portion to the infant supporting element.
16. The deformable toy support rod of claim 15, wherein the center bar portion and deformable ends are substantially cylindrical.
17. The deformable toy support rod of claim 16, wherein the support segment and the supporting members comprise foam.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a partially deformable toy support system.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

An aspect of the present invention is to provide a partially deformable toy support member comprising a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections. The resilient center section has an initial shape and is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The deformable end sections are able to retain shape once reconfigured. The bar includes at least one cushioning cover covering at least one of the center section and the end sections. The bar is configured to have toys supported therefrom and is configured to be connected to an infant supporting element.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a partially deformable toy support member comprising a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections. The resilient center section has an initial shape and is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The resilient center section has an inner resilient rod and a center cushioning cover surrounding the inner resilient rod. The deformable end sections are able to retain their shape once reconfigured. Each deformable end section has an inner deformable rod and a cushioning cover end portion surrounding the inner deformable rod. A connection member is connected to each end section of the bar for connecting the bar to an infant supporting element. A cover extends over the resilient center section and the deformable end sections. The resilient center section includes at least one toy attachment member for connecting a toy to the bar.

Yet another aspect of the present invention is to provide an infant entertainment system comprising a bar having a resilient center section and a pair of deformable end sections. The resilient center section has an initial shape and is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The deformable end sections are able to retain their shape once reconfigured. The bar includes at least one cushioning cover covering at least one of the center section and the end sections. A connection member is connected to each end section of the bar. The bar is able to be removably connected to an infant supporting element by removably attaching the connection members to the infant supporting element. The bar is configured to have toys supported therefrom above the infant supporting element for entertaining an infant on the infant supporting element.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a deformable toy support rod for an infant comprising a center bar portion having a first end and a second end and being configured in an initial shape. The center bar portion is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The center bar portion has a support segment and a resilient portion, with the resilient portion being encased within the support segment. The center bar portion is attached to at least one coupler and at least one infant toy can be removably attached to the coupler. The toy support rod also includes a first deformable end located at the first end of the center bar portion and a second deformable end located at the second end of the center bar portion. The first deformable end and the second deformable end each have a supporting member having a deformable portion, with the deformable portion being encased within the supporting member. The rod further includes a covering encasing the support segment and the supporting member. The rod also includes a first connector portion connected to the first deformable end and a second connector portion connected to the second deformable end. The bar is configured to be connected to an infant supporting element by removably connecting the first connector portion and the second connector portion to the infant supporting element.

Those and other aspects, objects, and features of the present invention will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art upon studying the following specification, claims and attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a partially deformable toy support member of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the toy support member of the present invention taken along the line II-II of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the toy support member of the present invention taken along the line III-III of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the deformable toy support member of the present invention used with an infant supporting element.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the toy support member and infant support element of the present invention taken along the line V-V of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the infant supporting element of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the toy support member of the present invention having a first embodiment of a toy attachment member.

FIG. 8 is a top view of a second embodiment of the partially deformable toy support member of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper,” “lower,” “right,” “left,” “rear,” “front,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as orientated in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

The reference number 10 (FIGS. 1-3) generally designates a partially deformable toy support member embodying the present invention. In the illustrated example, the partially deformable toy support member 10 comprises a bar 12 having a resilient center section 14 and a pair of deformable end sections 16. The resilient center section 14 has an initial shape and is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The deformable end sections 16 are able to retain shape once reconfigured. The bar 12 includes at least one cushioning cover 18 covering at least one of the center section 14 and the end sections 16. The bar 12 is configured to have toys 20 supported therefrom and is configured to be connected to an infant supporting element 22.

In the illustrated example, the resilient center section 14 is configured to be positioned above the infant and the have the toys 20 connected thereto. The resilient center section 14 comprises an inner resilient rod 24 and a center cushioning cover 26. The center section 14 is configured in an initial shape and is configured to return to the initial shape after deflection. The initial shape of the center section 14 can be an arch, a straight line or any other configuration. It is also contemplated that the initial shape of the center section 14 can include bent or angled portions. The inner resilient rod 24 is made of any material that is capable of returning to the initial shape after deflection. For example, the inner resilient rod 24 can be made of plastic. It is contemplated that the resilient rod 24 could be a single integral piece or several interconnected pieces. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner resilient rod 24 is surrounded by the center cushioning cover 26. The center cushioning cover 26 can entirely surround the inner resilient rod 24. The center cushioning cover 26 may be made of any material which provides a protective cushion over the inner resilient rod 24. For example, the center cushioning cover 26 can be made of foam formed as a hollow cylinder or a fabric cover. The center cushioning cover 26 can have a shape substantially identical to the initial shape of the inner resilient rod 24 or any other shape. However, the center cushioning cover 26 preferably conforms to the shape of the inner resilient rod 24.

The illustrated deformable end sections 16 are connected to a first end 28 and a second end 30 of the resilient center section 14. The deformable end sections 16 are able to retain their shape once they are reconfigured into a different shape (e.g., when they are bent). Each deformable end section 16 comprises an inner deformable rod 32 and a cushioning cover end portion 34. The inner deformable rod 32 is made of a material which will retain its shape once it is configured into a different shape. For example, the inner deformable rod 32 can be made of a metal (e.g., copper or aluminum) wire or a pair (or more) of metal wires formed into abutting helixes. It is contemplated that the inner deformable rod 32 could comprise other deformable materials. The cushioning cover end portion 34 substantially surrounds the inner deformable rod 32. The cushioning cover end portions 34 may be made of any material which provides a protective cushion over the inner deformable rod 32. For example, the cushioning cover end portions 34 can be made of foam formed as a hollow cylinder or a fabric cover. The cushioning cover end portions 34 can have a shape identical to the initial shape of the inner deformable rod 32 or any other shape. However, the cushioning cover end portions 34 preferably conform to the shape of the inner deformable rod 32. It is contemplated that the center cushioning cover 26 of the resilient center section 14 and the cushioning cover end portions 34 of the deformable end sections 16 can comprise separate pieces or one integral piece. For example, the center cushioning cover 26 of the resilient center section 14 and the cushioning cover end portions 34 of the deformable end sections 16 can comprise a single tube of foam covering the inner resilient rod 24 and the inner deformable rods 32.

The illustrated bar 12 may also comprise various cross-sectional shapes, including, but not limited to, cylindrical, triangular, or square. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the resilient center section 14 and the deformable end sections 16 could have the same cross-sectional shape or that each could include a different cross-sectional shape.

In the illustrated example, a connection member 36 is connected to each end section 16 of the bar 12 for connecting the partially deformable toy support member 10 to the infant supporting element 22. The connector members 36 may be any type of fastener or connection element which can secure the partially deformable toy support member 10 to the infant supporting element 22. The connector members 36 could include, but are not limited to, hook-and-loop fasteners, suction cups, panels, straps, eyelets, snaps, buckles, ties, hooks, and various combinations thereof. In the illustrated example, the connector members 36 comprise a combination of a hook-and-loop fastener 38 (e.g., Velcro®) and a flexible panel 40. The flexible panel 40 comprises a piece of fabric attached at a first end 42 to the end section 16 of the bar 12 and includes a second end 44 extending outwardly from the bar 12. The connection member 36 can comprise the flexible panel 40 including a first strip 46 of a first part of a hook-and-loop fastener adjacent the second end 44 of the flexible panel 40 and a second strip 48 of a second part of a hook-and-loop fastener on the bar 12 adjacent the first end of the flexible panel 40 or on the first end 42 of the flexible panel 40. As discussed in more detail below, the flexible panel 40 wraps around a portion of the infant supporting element 22 and is secured thereto using the connection members 36.

The illustrated partially deformable toy support member 10 can include a sleeve 50 extending over and forming a part of the center section 14 and the deformable end sections 16. The sleeve 50 may be made of any type of material or fabric that would cover the center section 14 and the deformable end sections 16. The sleeve 50 can comprise separate sections covering each of the center section 14 and the deformable end sections 16, separate, but connected sections covering the center section 14 and the deformable end sections 16, or a single unitary sleeve covering all of the center section 14 and the deformable end sections 16. It is contemplated that the sleeve 50 may be waterproof, washable, made from a decorative material consisting of multiple colors and/or designs, and/or made from a material which is erasable to enable a child to draw on the rod without permanently marking the fabric or material. It is noted that in the illustrated embodiment, the connection members 36 are connected to the sleeve 50. However, if a sleeve 50 is not used, the connection members 36 can be directly connected to the center cushioning cover 26 of the resilient center section 14 and the cushioning cover end portions 34 of the end sections 16.

The illustrated deformable toy support member 10 is configured to be removably attached to the infant supporting element 22. The infant support element 22 is connected to the deformable toy support member 10 by the connection members 36. The infant supporting element 22 may comprise any number of items that are used to support an infant, including, but not limited to a play mat, bath tub, stroller, high chair, pack-and-play, crib, car seat, bouncy seat, blanket, baby changer, doorway jumper, or activity center. FIG. 4 illustrates one example of the infant supporting element 22, wherein the infant supporting element 22 comprises a play mat 84. It is contemplated that the mat 84 may be waterproof, washable, made from a decorative material consisting of multiple colors and/or designs to further add to the infant's entertainment, and/or made from a material which is erasable to enable a child to draw on the infant supporting element without permanently marking the fabric or material. In the illustrated example, the mat 84 may be collapsible in various locations to make the infant supporting element 22 easier to transport and store. The mat 84 may comprise a sheet of padded material 86 having a pair of side support poles 88. The mat 84 includes a pair of opposite channels 90, with the poles 88 extending through the channels 90. Furthermore, the poles 88 may be collapsible for assisting in storage and transportation of the mat 84. For example, the poles 88 may include a first pole segment 88 a and a second pole segment 88 b, with the first pole segment 88 a including a narrow diameter end that is configured to slide within the second pole segment 88 b, thereby making the first pole segment 88 a and the second pole segment 88 b releasably connected. Alternatively, the poles 88 may be able to be folded (e.g., via a hinge).

As illustrated in FIG. 5, the deformable toy support member 10 is connected to the mat 84 by wrapping the flexible panel 40 about an outside of the pole 88, wrapping the flexible panel 40 under the bottom of the deformable end section 16, and inserting the flexible panel 40 through an aperture 99 between the pole 88 and a side edge 101 of the channel 90. The deformable toy support member 10 is then releasably connected to the mat 84 by connecting the first part of the hook-and-loop type fastener of the connection member 36 to the second part of the hook-and-loop type fastener of the connection member 36.

While a hook-and-loop type fastener as illustrated as being used in FIGS. 4 and 5, the flexible panel 40 could include any type of fastener or connector. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the deformable toy support member 10 could be connected to the infant supporting element 22 using a connection member that is not connected to the deformable toy support member 10. For example, the end sections 16 could be inserted into sleeves of the infant supporting element 22 to connect the deformable toy support member 10 to the infant supporting element 22.

In the illustrated example, the deformable toy support member 10 is configured to have toys 20 connected thereto using at least one toy attachment member 52. The deformable toy support member 10 can include any number of toy attachment members 52. The toy attachment members 52 can comprise any fastener and/or material which would secure the toys 20 to the deformable toy support member 10. Examples of toy attachment members 52 may include, but are not limited to, hook-and-loop fasteners, suction cups, straps, eyelets, snaps, buckles, ties, hooks, and various combinations thereof. The toy attachment members 52 may be attached to one or more toys 20.

In a first embodiment of the present invention, the deformable toy support member 10 includes three toy attachment members 52, with each toy attachment member 52 comprising a strip of fabric 54 having a hook-and-loop type fastener and being attached at a first end 58 to the bar 12. A first part 60 of the hook-and-loop fastener is positioned adjacent a second end 62 of the strip of fabric 54 and a second part 56 of the hook-and-loop fastener is positioned adjacent the first end 58 of the strip of fabric 54 (e.g., on the strip of fabric 54 at the first end 58 or on the bar adjacent the first end 58). As illustrated in FIG. 7, the first part 60 and the second part 64 of the hook-and-loop fastener are engaged to form a loop 70 for holding the toys 20. The toys 20 can comprise any object of interest or potentially of interest to the infant. For example, the toys 20 can be shapes (e.g., triangle, star, circle, etc.), animals or any other item. In the illustrated example, the toys 20 include a loop of material for inserting into the loop 70 of the toy attachment member 52 to connect the toys 20 to the toy attachment member 52, and thereby, to the deformable toy support member 10. However, it is contemplated that the toy attachment members 52 can be connected to the toys 20 in any manner.

In a second embodiment of the toy attachment members 52, the toy attachment members 52 comprise at least one piece of material 80 connected to the bar 12, with each piece of material 80 having at least one eyelet 82 (e.g., formed using at least one circular piece of metal or plastic having an open center). The toys 20 can be connected to the deformable toy support member 10 by inserting a member of the toys (e.g., a plastic loop) through the eyelets 82 as is known to those skilled in the art.

It is to be understood that variations and modifications can be made on the aforementioned structure without departing from the concepts of the present invention, and further it is to be understood that such concepts are intended to be covered by the following claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8182356 *Jan 3, 2010May 22, 2012Hylton Jason BTherapeutic swing
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/227
International ClassificationA63H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/006
European ClassificationA63H33/00F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 22, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: SASSY, INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BRYAN, CHRISTOPHER D.;CORLEY, SCOTT ERNEST;REED, ERIN MARIE;REEL/FRAME:019732/0181
Effective date: 20070816