US 20100087119 A1
A set of magnetically anchorable block members for the construction of games; the set includes a plurality of main block members (10.1 to 10.12), each main block member (10) includes a hollow body (11) having peripheral wall surfaces (12), and at least one elongated magnetic anchoring element (14) shaped and disposed in a housing chamber (13) of the hollow body (11) to freely move and/or rotate in one or more planes, and to orientate magnetic poles allowing the anchorage of one or more main block and/or supplementary block members (10; 26) separately or conjointly on one or more opposite wall surfaces (12), in correspondence with a plurality of anchoring positions, in the construction of a game assemblies.
41. A set of magnetically anchorable main block members, for the construction of game assemblies, in which each main block member comprises:
a hollow body having peripheral coupling wall surfaces;
at least one magnetic anchoring element arranged in a housing chamber of the hollow body to freely move, the magnetic element having at least two spaced apart magnetic poles of opposite polarities to allow a connection of each pole to a magnetic element of another block member of the set;
the magnetic element and the housing chamber being conformed to allow the magnetic element to freely rotate according to one or more rotational axes, and freely move according to one or more planes, for orientation of the opposite magnetic poles of the magnetic element conjointly towards a plurality of anchorage points pertaining to opposite coupling wall surfaces of the said main block member for coupling to other block members of the set.
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This invention refers to games for children, comprising a plurality of composable and magnetically anchorable blocks, in particular concerns a set of blocks for the construction of game assemblies of any type, for example imitation of structures or construction of mere imagination objects in general, animals, dolls, living creatures, vehicles and the like. The invention is also addressed to a set of blocks for the construction of game assemblies, as mentioned above, in which use is made of main block members of a same or different type, in combination with supplementary block members for aesthetically and/or functionally implementing the game assembly.
Games for children comprising a plurality of magnetically anchorable and variously assemblable blocks are widely known for example from EP-A-0.051.576, WO-A-2004/062760, JP-A-63-119207 and EP-A-1.559.464.
In particular EP-A-0.051.576 shows a game consisting of a plurality of cube-shaped blocks, each comprising one or more permanent magnets in such a way that the blocks can be variously positioned on top of one another, or side by side arranged and magnetically anchored each others.
WO-A-2004/062760 in turn shows a game with composable magnetic blocks, in which the blocks are cube shaped or of any other geometrical shape, in which each block comprises a peripheral surface having several faces and/or coupling areas, and in which the individual faces of the block are provided with one or more magnets variously disposed to allow one or more anchoring positions between assembled blocks.
Conversely, JP-A-63-119207 and EP-A-1.559.464 illustrate composable blocks for the construction of games, in which each block comprises a hollow body of a prevalently cubic shape, having several lateral coupling faces, in which each block, in correspondence with each face, has one or more chambers for housing freely movable magnets in the form of disks; the magnets can freely orientate themselves with any one of N and S poles facing towards a lateral face of the block, in relation to the magnetic field generated by a magnet of a block close to the first one.
A set of blocks of this kind present a number of drawbacks and, in the construction of games, are extremely restrictive due to the limited possibilities of positioning and magnetically coupling the blocks.
In general, each magnet allows the anchorage at pole only at a time, in a pre-established position, without any possibility of anchoring several blocks with a same magnet, or differently orientating and/or positioning the blocks, during the assembling.
Moreover, these types of blocks, besides presenting limited anchoring and composition possibilities, they allow the construction of prevalently static games, or with very few movement capability.
The main object of this invention is to provide a set of blocks for the composition of game assemblies for children, of the type comprising a plurality of magnetically anchorable blocks having an extremely simplified structure, which calls for the use of a smaller number of magnets, involving lower costs compared to the previously known blocks for games, providing at the same time an increased flexibility and possibility of magnetic coupling between the blocks, in the composition of any game assembly.
A still further object is to provide a set of composable and magnetically anchorable blocks, for the construction of game assemblies, in which the magnets are shaped and arranged in such a way as to provide the utmost freedom of orientation of the magnets themselves, allowing at the same time a freely coupling and positioning of the same blocks.
A still further object is to provide a set of blocks, as mentioned previously, whereby it is possible to construct a large variety of static game assemblies, or assemblies having an extremely variable dynamic playability, in relation to the type and characteristics of the blocks used and of the game assembly to be composed.
A still further object is to provide a set of blocks comprising variously shaped basic block members, which can be variously assembled and optionally comprising supplementary block members in combination with basic block members, the supplementary block members being shaped in such a way as to aesthetically and/or functionally complete the game itself.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a set of blocks for the construction of game assemblies, whereby it is possible to transmit a plurality of visual, tactile and/or sound stimuli to children, also enabling them to learn shapes, colours and/or other elementary feature of the blocks, during the game.
For the purpose of the present invention “magnetic element” indifferently means either a magnetically active element, such as a permanent magnet, or an inductively magnetisable element, such as a ferromagnetic piece.
The above can be achieved by a set of magnetically anchorable main block members for the construction of game assemblies in which each main block member comprises:
a hollow body having peripheral coupling wall surfaces;
at least one magnetic anchoring element movably arranged in a housing chamber of the hollow body, the magnetic element having at least two spaced apart poles of opposite polarities, characterised in that:
the magnetic element and the housing chamber are conformed to allow a free movement and/or rotation of the magnetic element in at least one plane, and the connection of one or conjointly of at least two magnetic poles of the same magnetic element to magnetic elements of other block members of the set in correspondence with a plurality of anchorage points pertaining to one and/or respectively to opposite coupling wall surfaces of the main block.
According to a further feature of the invention, the set of block members can comprise one or more supplementary block members variously shaped and conformed in combination with the main block members, for aesthetically and/or functionally purposes implementing the game.
These and further characteristics and advantages of the set of main and supplementary block members according to the invention will be more evident from the following description and from the drawings illustrating several preferential embodiments of the block members and possible constructions or assemblies; in the drawings:
The set of blocks according to the invention, the innovative characteristics of the individual block members, a number of preferential embodiments of the blocks and of possible constructions, will be described in greater detail here-under with reference to the figures of the accompanying drawings.
As mentioned previously, the essential feature which mainly characterises and is distinguishing the magnetic block members according to this invention, consists in making each block member with a hollow body having peripherally arranged coupling wall surfaces for coupling with other blocks of a set, in which the hollow body comprises one or more appropriately shaped and spaced apart magnet chambers, each defining a seat for housing an appropriate magnetic anchoring element having two or more poles of opposite polarities; the magnetic anchoring element being for example in the form of an elongated magnetic element or bar, a cross-shaped element, a spherical-shaped element, or a magnetic element with any other suitable shape; the magnetic element is freely movably and/or rotatably housed in a seat, according to one or more rotational axes, or planes, to orientate magnetic poles of opposite polarities towards any anchoring point of opposite anchorage areas of the wall surfaces for coupling to other block members having identical or different shapes and/or characteristics.
The conformation of the magnet chamber housing the magnetic anchoring element, and the conformation of the magnetic element itself, must therefore be such as to allow not only any positioning and/or free orientation of the magnetic element within seat of the block, in relation to magnetic forces generated by the magnetic elements of other blocks, when they are assembled, but must also be such as to allow any one of the magnetic poles to be self-orientated and positioned close to any anchorage point of the coupling wall surfaces, or to allow poles of opposite polarities to be conjointly and selectively orientated towards any anchorage point belonging to opposite areas and/or coupling surfaces of a block.
With reference to the accompanying drawings, the characteristics of the set of blocks and of the individual block members will be explained in greater detail, making reference to preferential embodiments which does not exhaust all the possible forms.
More precisely, in the example of
Also in the example of
The magnetic bar 14 of the example of
It is also pointed out that the dimensions of the magnetic anchoring element, in particular the length of the magnetic bar 14, with respect to the smallest width or dimension of the magnet chamber 13, in addition to allow a free movement and free spherical rotation as mentioned previously, must be such as to create small air gaps such that the magnetic element or elements of each block member can influence or be influenced by an external magnetic field generated by a magnetic element of another block or block members coupled with the first one. In this way, the magnetic anchoring elements, which in the example of
The block member 10.2 of
The space between the surfaces 12″ and 12′″, and the diameters must be such as to allow the magnetic bar 14 both to rotate by 360° according to any axis, and to slide parallel to itself according to a longitudinal axis, as per the double arrows shown in the same
Unlike the block member 10.1 of
The block member 10.6 has flat surfaces 12 on two parallel main sides and at both ends; the body 11 of the block member comprises again an arched-shaped surface 17″ extending between the two end side surfaces 12, as well as is a first flat central surface 17A and two flat lateral surfaces 17B on the side opposite to the arched surface 17″, which are disposed parallel to the sides of an octagonal polygon, for the reasons explained further on with reference to the example of
The block member 10.6 again comprises, at each end, a cube-shaped chamber 13 for housing a magnetic bar 14 free to move and spherically rotate by 360° as previously explained, and an intermediate chamber 18 for housing a corresponding magnetic bar 14, the chamber 13 having dimensions and being conformed to allow rotation and movements of the magnetic bar 14 in a transversal plane of the block member 10.6
The block member 10.7 of
The block member 10.8 also comprises a central chamber 21 for a magnetic bar 14 extending in a cross-direction, which in turn is separated from the two chambers 13 by intermediate chambers 22. Alternatively, the magnetic bar 14 of the central chamber 21 could be replaced by two separate magnets, or by differently shaped magnetic elements in respective seats inside the body 11, close to the wall surfaces.
The supplementary block member 26.1 again comprises a hollow body 27, having a chamber 30 at each of its ends to house a magnetic anchoring element 29; in this case, the magnetic element 29 comprises a magnet or a ferromagnetic element, for example disk-shaped, free to move, rotate and/or orientate any one of its N and S active or induced magnetic poles towards a flat anchoring surface 30′ at the ends of the block.
The body 27 of the block member 26.1 can have any external diameter; preferably, its external diameter corresponds to or is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the hole 16 of the previously described block members 10.5 and 10.7. In this way the supplementary block member 26.1 can be used both as a connecting element, and as a rotational axis in the construction of a game assembly.
The block member 26.2 again has a hollow body 27 provided centrally with a dead hole 31 which opens out on one side, and a hollow hub 32, axially aligned to the dead hole 31; the hollow hub 32 defines the housing chamber for a magnet or a ferromagnetic element 29 free to move and to rotate. The dead hole 31 has an internal diameter equal to or slightly greater than the external diameter of the cylindrical block 26.1 of the previous figures, to enable its insertion and the magnetic coupling between blocks.
In the case of
From what has been described and shown, in the numerous examples of the drawings, it will be clear that this invention is addressed to a set of main blocks variously shaped and variously combinable with one another for constructing assemblies for games, characterised by a hollow casing having one or more chambers for housing magnetic bars free to move and/or to rotate, to orientate one or both the magnetic N and S poles towards respective coupling surfaces between blocks, regardless of the shape and/or disposition of such surfaces.
The set of blocks according to the invention, can also optionally comprise supplementary blocks of a functional and/or figurative type, magnetically and/or mechanically associable with specific main blocks of the set, to complete the construction of a game imitating an animal, a doll, a vehicle or for any other figuration.
It is understood therefore that what has been described and shown with reference to the accompanying drawings, has been given purely by way of example and that other modifications and/or variations can be made to the shapes and/or dimensions of the blocks and the various magnetic anchoring elements, without thereby deviating from the claims.