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Publication numberUS20100087119 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/445,367
PCT numberPCT/EP2007/008799
Publication dateApr 8, 2010
Filing dateOct 10, 2007
Priority dateOct 12, 2006
Also published asEP2086660A1, WO2008043535A1
Publication number12445367, 445367, PCT/2007/8799, PCT/EP/2007/008799, PCT/EP/2007/08799, PCT/EP/7/008799, PCT/EP/7/08799, PCT/EP2007/008799, PCT/EP2007/08799, PCT/EP2007008799, PCT/EP200708799, PCT/EP7/008799, PCT/EP7/08799, PCT/EP7008799, PCT/EP708799, US 2010/0087119 A1, US 2010/087119 A1, US 20100087119 A1, US 20100087119A1, US 2010087119 A1, US 2010087119A1, US-A1-20100087119, US-A1-2010087119, US2010/0087119A1, US2010/087119A1, US20100087119 A1, US20100087119A1, US2010087119 A1, US2010087119A1
InventorsClaudio Vicentelli
Original AssigneeClaudio Vicentelli
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Set of blocks with freely movable magnetic anchoring elements, for the construction of game assemblies
US 20100087119 A1
Abstract
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.
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Claims(10)
1-40. (canceled)
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.
42. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein the magnetic anchoring element comprises an elongated body having distal ends, and poles of opposite polarities at said distal ends.
43. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein the magnetic anchoring element comprises a plurality of spaced apart magnetic poles arranged on one or more angularly spaced apart pole axis.
44. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein the coupling surfaces of the main block member comprise flat and shaped coupling wall surfaces.
45. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein the hollow body of the main block member is provided with a through hole.
46. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein comprising a main block member having a parallelepiped or polyhedral-shaped hollow body, and at least a first and a second housing chamber for a respective elongated magnetic element, axially spaced apart.
47. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein the magnetic anchoring element is freely rotatable in a plane and slidable parallel to flat coupling surfaces.
48. The set of block members according to claim 41 comprising supplementary shaped block members having different aesthetical and/or functional features, said supplementary block members being provided with magnetic and/or mechanical anchoring means for anchoring with a main block member of the set.
49. The set of block members according to claim 41, wherein at least one of the main block members comprises a coating of soft material.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

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.

STATE OF THE ART

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.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a first cube-shaped main block member;

FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a longitudinal cutaway view of a second cylindrical-shaped main block member, with differently shaped wall surfaces at the ends;

FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional view along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3, or of a possible sphere-shaped block member;

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a third parallelepiped-shaped main block member;

FIG. 6 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of a fourth “L”-shaped main block member;

FIG. 8 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of a fifth arch-shaped main block member;

FIG. 10 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 shows a perspective view of a sixth arched-shaped main block member;

FIG. 12 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 shows a perspective view of a seventh rectangular-shaped main block member;

FIG. 14 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 shows a perspective view of an eighth rectangular-shaped main block member;

FIG. 16 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 shows a perspective view of a ninth semi-circular-shaped main block member;

FIG. 18 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 shows a perspective view of a tenth triangular-shaped main block member;

FIG. 20 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 shows a perspective view of an eleventh triangular-shaped main block member;

FIG. 22 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 shows a perspective view of a first cylindrical-shaped supplementary block, member to be used in combination with the main block members of the previous figures;

FIG. 24 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 shows a perspective view of a second circular-shaped supplementary block member;

FIG. 26 shows a cross-sectional view of the block member of FIG. 25;

FIG. 27 shows a perspective view of a first composition;

FIG. 28 shows a side view of the composition of FIG. 7, to show the disposition of the magnetic anchoring elements;

FIG. 29 shows a side view of a second composition;

FIG. 30 shows a perspective view of a detail of FIG. 29;

FIG. 31 shows a cross-sectional view of FIG. 30;

FIG. 32 shows a cross-sectional view of a third composition;

FIG. 33 shows a partial cross-sectional view, to show a fourth composition in which use is made of a further supplementary block member;

FIG. 34 shows a cross-sectional view of a fifth composition;

FIG. 35 shows an exploded perspective view of a sixth composition;

FIG. 36 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of FIG. 35, with the block members in an assembled condition;

FIG. 37 shows a perspective view of a twelfth main block member provided with a coating of soft material;

FIG. 38 shows a cross-sectional view along the line 38-38 of FIG. 37.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

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.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a first cube-shaped main block member 10, indicated as a whole by reference number 10.1; the block member 10.1 comprises a hollow body 11, of plastic or other non-magnetisable material, which is delimited on the lateral faces by wall surfaces 12 for coupling with other block members of a same or different type, as is explained further on. The hollow body 11 of the block member 10.1 comprises a single chamber 13 defining a seat for housing a magnetic anchoring element 14 for anchorage to magnetic elements of other block members, which is movably and freely rotatable inside the magnet chamber 13.

More precisely, in the example of FIGS. 1 and 2, the magnetic anchoring element 14 is in the form of an elongated magnetic bar provided with a body having distal ends, and of such dimensions as to allow “spherical rotation” by 360° in the magnet chamber 13, where “spherical rotation” is understood to mean the possibility of the bar 14, or more in general of the magnetic anchoring element, to freely move and rotate in the space around itself according to any rotational axis for 360°, or less. The movement and/or rotation may occur on a cross plane of the block member 10.1, to orientate two or more poles of opposite N and S polarities conjointly towards opposite faces of the cube, or more in general towards opposite anchoring areas of the coupling wall surfaces, as shown for example by the vertical disposition of the bar 14 in FIG. 2.

Also in the example of FIGS. 1 and 2, the length or the dimensions of the bar 14 are slightly shorter than the smaller internal dimension of the chamber 13 existing between internal surfaces of opposite faces of the cube, so as to allow both the rotation, and the free movement of the bar 14 parallel to itself, along two lateral faces of the cube as schematically indicated by the arrow in FIG. 2; in this way a magnetic coupling of one or two modular block members of a same or of different type, is allowed simultaneously on both the lateral faces. Conversely, whenever the magnetic anchoring element inside the block member is made with a plurality of N, S poles of opposite polarities, for example with four or more poles, as mentioned previously, for example in the form of a disk-shaped or spherical-shaped magnetic element with poles orientated according to two or more angularly spaced apart axes, several block members of the set can be conjointly anchored to a same main block member, on two or more anchoring faces, to be retained by a same magnetic element of said main block.

The magnetic bar 14 of the example of FIGS. 1 and 2, and more in general the magnetic anchoring element, can be made in any way, provided it is suitable for the intended purpose; for example, the bar 14 can consists of a single permanent magnet, or combination of one or more magnets with one or more ferromagnetic elements aligned and magnetically in contact with one or more magnets; in some case the magnetic anchoring element may consist of a magnetisable ferromagnetic element.

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 FIGS. 1 and 2 consist of the magnetic bar 14, self-orientate in a required position necessary for generating the magnetic anchoring force between blocks.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show a second main block member indicated as a whole by reference number 10.2, which like the previous block member comprises a hollow body 11 defining a magnet chamber 13 for housing a magnetic bar 14 free to move and/or to rotate spherically.

The block member 10.2 of FIGS. 3 and 4 differs in the shape, from the block member 10.1 of the previous example; in fact, while the block member 10.1 has flat coupling surfaces on the lateral faces of a cube, in the case of FIGS. 3 and 4 the block member 10.2 has a composite outer coupling surface, and namely, comprising a cylindrical area 12′, a first dome-shaped convex area 12″ at one end, and a second dome-shaped concave area 12′″ at the opposite end of the block member 10.2.

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 FIGS. 3 and 4. As an alternative, FIG. 4 can represent a cross-sectional view of a spherical-shaped main block member.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a third main block member 10.3 having a parallele-piped-shaped body 11, again delimited by flat coupling surfaces 12.

Unlike the block member 10.1 of FIGS. 1 and 2, the block member 10.3 comprises at each end a cube-shaped magnet chamber 13, for housing a respective magnetic bar 14 capable of moving and freely rotating by 360°, to orientate any one or both of the N and S poles towards any one of the flat coupling surfaces 12; the block member 10.3 also comprises an intermediate hollow chamber 15 having such dimensions as to avoid any magnetic interference between the two magnetic bars 14 in the magnet chambers 13 at both ends. Optionally, the block member 10.3, in correspondence with the intermediate chamber 15 or in any other suitable position, can be provided with at least one through hole 16 crosswise directed in respect to a longitudinal axis of the block member, for inserting a cylindrical or bar-shaped element as described further on.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show a fourth main block member 10.4 having characteristics similar to those of the block member 10.3 of the previous figures, with the sole difference that the body 11 of the block member 10.4 has an “L”-shape, in which the two chambers 13 for housing the magnetic bars 14, or more in general the magnetic anchoring elements, are disposed on two adjacent sides of the intermediate chamber 15. Consequently, in the FIGS. 7 and 8 the same reference numbers as FIGS. 5 and 6 have been used to indicate similar or equivalent parts.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show a fifth arch-shaped main block member 10.5, which extends along an arch of 90°. The block member 10.5 again comprises a hollow body 11 delimited at the two ends and on two opposite sides by flat surfaces 12, while on the other two sides the block member is delimited by arch shaped surfaces 17′ and 17″ having a same centre and different radiuses of curvature. Once again the block member 10.5 can be provided with a through hole 16 which extends transversally between the two flat lateral surfaces 12; two magnetic bars 14 are housed in the hollow body 11, on two sides of the central hole 16, with the possibility of rotating by 360°, and translate parallel to themselves in the axial direction of the hole 16 to freely orientate the magnetic N and S poles towards any one of the coupling surfaces 12, 17′ and 17″.

FIGS. 11 and 12 show a sixth main block member 10.6, having an arched shaped hollow body 11, which extends along an arch of 90°.

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 FIG. 32.

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

FIGS. 13 and 14 show a seventh main block member 10.7 having a flat rectangular-shaped hollow body 11, delimited by flat peripheral wall surfaces 12.

The block member 10.7 of FIGS. 13 and 14 has modular dimensions corresponding to the modular dimensions of the remaining block members of the set; however, in this case the hollow body 11 is divided into two chambers 19 and 20 by an internal partition cross wall, of which the chamber 19 has a rectangular shape which extends mostly in the longitudinal direction of the block, and in any case conformed such as to allow both the sliding movement and rotation by 360° of the magnetic bar 14, in a plane parallel to the longitudinal axis of the block member which is at right angle to the through hole 16.

FIGS. 15 and 16 show an eighth main block member 10.8 forming part of the set of modular block members according to this invention. The block member 10.8 is again provided with a flattened rectangular-shaped hollow body 11. Like the block member 10.7, the block member 10.8 comprises two substantially square-shaped end chambers 13; each chamber 13 again comprises a magnetic bar 14 free to rotate by 360° in the main plane of the block, or other suitable magnetic anchoring element, to allow a magnetic coupling with other block members of the set, both singles on each flat surface 12 at both ends, and conjointly on opposite lateral surfaces 12.

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.

FIGS. 17 and 18 show a ninth main block member 10.9 having a semi-circular-shaped flattened body 11; the body 11 has a correspondingly shaped chamber 23, which houses a magnetic bar 14 capable of moving and/or rotate, to allow a magnetic anchorage in a plurality of points of the peripheral surfaces, in a way wholly similar or equivalent to the previous examples. The block member 10.9 is consequently delimited by two flat lateral surfaces 12 parallel to the plane of movement of the magnetic bar 14, by a first flat surface 12 along a peripheral side, and by a second arch-shaped peripheral surface 24, along the other side opposed to the previous one. The length of the magnetic bar 14 is slightly smaller to the radius of curvature of the arch-shaped side surface 24, to allow rotational and anchorage by both poles N and S of the magnetic bar 14, on opposite peripheral wall surfaces 12 and 24, as per the main block members of the present invention.

FIGS. 19 and 20 show a tenth main block member 10.10 comprising a substantially triangular-shaped hollow body 11, defining a chamber 25 of identical shape; the chamber 25 is of a sufficient height to allow a free spherical rotation of the magnetic bar 14, by angles of 360°, according to any axis, and movements of the aforesaid bar 14 parallel to itself.

FIGS. 21 and 22 show an eleventh triangular-shaped main block member 10.11 similar to the block member 10.10 of the previous figures, but smaller in height, so as to allow the magnetic bar 14 to move and rotate by 360° in one plane only, corresponding to the main plain parallel to the triangular side surfaces 12 of the same block. Consequently, in the FIGS. 21 and 22 the same reference numbers of FIGS. 19 and 20 have been used to indicate similar or equivalent parts.

FIGS. 23 and 24 show a first supplementary block member 26.1, for implementing the set of main block members according to this invention.

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.

FIGS. 25 and 26 show a second circular-shaped supplementary block member 26.2, designed for example to be used as a wheel in the construction of a movable 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.

FIGS. 27 and 28 show, by way of example, a possible construction of a game assembly obtainable by a combination and magnetic coupling of some of the main block members previously described. The game assembly represents a sort of bird capable of performing a rocking movement; in the two figures the block members have been identified with the same reference numbers as similar block members of the previous figures.

FIGS. 29, 30 and 31 show, also by way of example, a second game assembly obtainable with other types of main and supplementary block members previously described. The assembly of FIGS. 29, 30, and 31 tends once again to imitate an animal movable on wheels; also in these figures the various block members have been identified with the same reference numbers as the corresponding block members previously described.

FIG. 32 shows a third game assembly obtainable with four main block members 10.6 disposed in a circle, and four main block members 10.1 disposed according to a diameter; the same figure also shows the direction assumed by the various magnetic bars, in the assembled condition of the blocks.

FIG. 33 shows a fourth game assembly, in the form of a doll, obtainable by the superimposition of two cube-shaped block members 10.1, and a third supplementary block member 26.3 imitating the upper part of the body of a doll. The central part of the supplementary block member 26.3 in turn comprises a magnet 29 which magnetically connects to the magnetic bar 14 of the bottom block member 10.1.

FIG. 34 shows a fifth game assembly, also imitating a doll, in which use is again made of a cube-shaped central block member 10.1, an upper supplementary block member 26.3 slightly modified compared to that of the previous figure, and a further supplementary block member 26.4 forming the legs of the doll. Once again reference numbers 14 and 29 have been used to indicate the magnetic anchoring elements; as an alternative to the magnetic anchoring between the intermediate block member 10.1 and the lower supplementary block member 26.4, use could be made of a simple mechanical connection by press fitting the block member 10.1 into an appropriately shaped seat in the block member 26.4, as shown.

FIGS. 35 and 36 show, also by way of example, another game assembly obtainable with the semicircular block member 10.9 of FIG. 17, in combination with a fifth supplementary block member 26.5 imitating a duckling capable of performing a rocking movement. The block member 26.5 can be simply secured by snap fitting onto the block member 10.9, by providing the block member 26.5 with a longitudinal slot 36 on the lower side, or by means of magnetic anchoring between the bar 14 of the main block member 10.9, and the magnetic disk 29 of the supplementary block member 26.5, as shown.

FIGS. 37 and 38 show an example of a twelfth main block member 10.12, characterised by the presence of a coating 33 of soft material, for example obtained by over-moulding to the rigid body 11 a coating of elastomeric material, such as a synthetic rubber or other suitable plastic material. The coating 33 can be of the same colour or of a different colour compared to that of the hollow body of the block, or compared to the coating of other block members of the set, as indicated by 33 a, and respectively by 12 a.

The FIGS. 37 and 38 show a cube-shaped main block member 10.12 merely by way of example, in that all or part of the main block members of the set, regardless of their geometrical shape, could be provided with an external coating as mentioned above.

FIG. 38 also shows, again by way of example, how the magnetic anchoring element inside the block member 10.12 is now shaped differently from the magnetic bar 14 of the previous examples.

In the case of FIG. 38, the block member 10.12 comprises a magnetic anchoring element having for example a spherical, cylindrical or disk-like core 34 freely movable and rotatable inside the body 11; the core 34 is provided with four angularly spaced apart magnets 35, arranged according to two orthogonal axes; the magnets 35 in the example shown have alternately N and S poles of opposite polarities on the peripheral surface of the core 34. However, other possible dispositions of the magnets and the respective poles cannot be excluded; for example the core 34 could have any number of magnets with N and/or S poles oriented in any direction and in any way disposed on the peripheral surface of the same core 34.

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.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7887056 *Sep 20, 2007Feb 15, 2011Educocio S.L.Puzzle formed by a plurality of cubes
US20120309259 *Jul 13, 2011Dec 6, 2012Kai-Shun MakMagnetic Toy Block
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/92
International ClassificationA63H33/10
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/046
European ClassificationA63H33/04M