US 2673421 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 30, 1954 J. J. LEONARD 2,673,421
MAGNETIC FIGURE TOY Filed Oct. 12, 1949 3nventor JOH/V J. L EON/1RD (Ittorneg Patented Mar. 30, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE MAGNETIC FIGURE TOY John J. Leonard, Wyncote, Pa. Application October 12, 1949, Serial No. 120,949
8 Claims. 1
This invention relates to figure toys, and particularly to animated toys in which figures or articles are caused to move in various patterns or paths.
Although it is recognized that there have been many attempts to cause figures to move about upon a surface by moving magnets in certain patterns thereunder, as previously provided these have been of limited use, and the patterns of figure movement have been restricted to a given relatively small area, and interchangeability of patterns, or movement of the figures out of the circumscribed path pattern and into another path pattern has been impossible.
It is among the objects of this invention: to provide moving figures with alternative paths of movement; to improve figure toys; to provide elaborate patterns of figure toy movements; to provide figure toys with controlled alternative patterns of movement so as to enhance the observers interest therein; to provide mechanical improvements in toys controlled in movements by moving magnetic devices; and to provide other improvements as will appear a the description proceeds.
Fi 1 represents a fragmentary side elevation of a form of the invention involving skiers, a skitow on a mountain and a passenger car and track device in which the figures representing skiers move on toy-train tracks to a loadin and unloading platform, and after taking a ski-tow toward the top of the mountain mov alternately on two paths down the imitation mountain, after which they may be shunted back into the toy car.
Figs. 2, 3, l, and 5 represent fragmentary details of the form of the device shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 6 represents a fragmentary plan, partially in section, of the delivery end of the railway car of Figs. 1 to 3.
In Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive, the invention is shown as applied to a ski-tow and ski-slope, and movable figures simulating skiers, having alternate down-hill paths for the skiing figures, and with the entire system arranged and disposed for lateral translation of the collection of skier figures in a toy railway train, both in approaching and leaving the. simulated skiing terrain.
A pair of rails or tracks 55', of conventional toy train construction is provided, having a portion parallel to the edge 5| of a station platform 52. The platform extends generally horizontally in predetermined vertical spacing from the level of the tracks 50', and merges into the sloping surface 53 of the imitation mountain 54.
The surface of the mountain 54 provides two paths for the skiers 59 to traverse in the downward descent thereof respectively the slalom path 69 and the downhill path 19, while afiording a single path 89 up the mountain. The respective paths are outlined beneath and concealed by the superficial simulation mountain surface, representing snow or the like, and comprise channels or grooves for guiding magnetic units. These channels include a single groove 55 leading up the slope under path 39, leading into an upper transverse groove 55, leading into a junction 5'! between a generally linear groove 58 beneath downhill path 79, and a sinuous groove 66, beneath slalom course or path 69, both extendin down the mountain 5 5. The downwardly inclined and extending grooves 58 and 60 merge at 6! in communication with a ski-tow approach, transverse groove 62, and the loading front platform groove 63. Grooves 62 and 63 merge at 64 into the upwardly sloped groove 55. At the junction 51 an automatically operated switching element 10 is mounted. The purpose of switching element 10 is to separate the guided magnets alternately into those following channel 60 and those following channel 58, so as to separate the skiers following a sinuous course down the mountain, as in an imitation of slalom, from those following a straight downhill course. A manually operated switch element H is disposed in the junction 6|, shown in a transitory midposition in Fig. 3, operable between limited positions in which either all skiers move toward the front 5| of the platform 52, for loadin into the car to be described, or all skiers move in a transverse movement in line with the groove 62 to climb the slope on the upward path aligned and registering with the ski-tow to be described.
To actuate the magnetic devices moving in the grooves, a motor 13, through gears 14 and 15, drives a double pulley 16 mounted on th journalled shaft 71, so that the pulleys lie generally parallel to and beneath the superficial surface upon which the skiers slide. The pulley 16 is disposed toward the lower portion of the slope, more or less adjacent to the groove 52. Toward the upper part of the mountain a pulley is mounted on the journalled shaft BI in general parallelism with pulley 76. An endless belt 82 extends about pulley 86, and one of the pulleys of the double pulley l6, and carries a plurality of rigidly mounted telescopic members 83. Members 83 comprise a plurality of telescopic elements containing suitable springs internally as to bias the telescopic elements into their shortest axial length. At their free ends the members 83 carry the groove-riding permanent magnet plows 84. The plows are preferably rounded at the ends so as to follow curves in the guides formed by the grooves. When the telescopic members 83 have retracted to their shortest extent they all ride in series alignment in one direction with belt 82 in the singl vertical groove 55, and they are also guided in series alignment through upper groove 55. Depending upon the attitude of the automatic switch member 19, the approaching plows move automatically alternately into groove 58 and groove 69. It will be apparent for this purpose that the switch It might be manually controlled to steer all of the skiing figure successively down a single path, or selectively down either or both paths. Regardless of the path followed, with switch II moved to the left, all of the plows will be guided successively into serie progression through the horizontal groove 52 and return into groove 55. With switch II to the right, all of the plows in progression move through front groove 63 beside tracks 59.
The toy car 99 having wheels 9I guidable on the tracks 59 is provided with the usual controls and motors so as to be controllably movable and stoppable on said tracks. A miniature electric motor 92 is mounted internally of the car and has a shafting extending longitudinally of the car, as indicated at 93, with suitable pulleys and belting to drive the shafts of the rollers to be described. An endless conveyor belt at extends longitudinally horizontally of the car, mounted on and stretched between the permanently mounted rollers 95 and 96 at the ends of the car. Roller 95, illustratively, is driven by a belt drive 9'! on pulley 98 of the roller 95, from a shafting pulley on the shaft 93. Roller 96 i similarly driven. An entrance door I09, is pivoted on a vertical hinge IllI at one end of the car, and toward the lower end thereof carries a rigid shaft I92 normal to the door I99. At the free end shaft I02 carries the rigid guiding abutment I93 extending outwardly generally parallel to the door I99 and arranged to overlie the upper surface of the platform 52 adjacent to its edge 5!, when the car is juxtaposed thereto and the door is opened. Journalled for rotation on the shaft I92 is the roller I94. At the side of the car opposite to the door i the fixed driven roller I95,
driven by belt Hi5 and pulley I91 on roller I95.
Belt I96 passes about a pulley I08 on shaft 95. A' conveyor belt I I passes about the car-mounted roller I95 and the door mounted roller I94, overlying the upper run of the longitudinal conveyor belt 94, and stretched taut when the door is opened to its proper full extent, as indicated in Fig. 4. As the door closes, the guard I03 and the roller I54 clear the side of the car at the door opening and the belt IID becomes limp and untensioned and may collapse without disassociation from its rollers. However, this is not of particular moment because at this time it has no functionin as a conveyor. When the door opens the conveyor is again stretched tight for conveyor functions. In order to control the door, a solenoid-operated spring-biased link III is pivoted to the door toward the upper end thereof at H2, and the opposite end of the link is slidable in the solenoid spring housing II3, pivoted at IE4 to the bracket II5 mounted on the inner end of the car. An exit door H6 is provided at the other end of the car, which is similar to door I09. An exit conveyor belt II! i journalled on the door H9 and extends transversely of the longitudinal belt 94, of such length and d p sition when tensioned with full opening of the door, as to lie over platform 52, extending across edge 5I thereof, terminating substantially adjacent to the groove 53. In order to assist movements of the ski figures between transverse belt conveyors Ill! and Ill, and longitudinal conveyor 94, a vertical longitudinally extending transversely curved guide is provided, comprising the entrance guiding portion IIB overlying conveyors III] and 94, the longitudinally extending portion I29 adjacent to conveyor 94, and the exit guiding portion I2I overlying conveyors 94 and Ill. The guiding portions II8 and I2I at the car side are generally parallel to the transverse conveyor belts to which they are juxtaposed, and curve about and across said transverse conveyor belts to force the skiing figures 59 from one transvers belt upon the longitudinal belt and from the latter to the other transverse conveyor.
As an aid in the simulation of the skiing resort, a form of ski-tow may be provided aligned on the upward course thereof with the path 89, so that figures progressing up the face of the slope externally of the surface 53 by the magnetic attraction of the respective plows 84, move with the tow. The illusion is created by a series of inverted U-shaped poles H25 asymmetrically straddling the concealed groove 55 and path 89, the lowermost of which poles I25 at one side journals a shaft I29 generally vertical, extending downwardly into the foundation of the mountain 54, and at the lower end carrying a pulley IZ'I, connected by a driving belt I28 with the lower pulley of the double pulley I5. The upper exposed end of the shaft I26 carries a pulley or drum I39, which through short belt I3I drives the pulley I32 on shaft I33, parallel to shaft I25, carrying the lower drum or pulley I34. The top pole I25 of the series journals a shaft I35 on which a drum I36 is mounted. An endless belt I49 passes about the drums or pulleys I34 and I36, preferably guided by and internally of the poles I25, each reach of which, at spaced intervals, carries a dangling pivoted angle piece I31, in simulation of one or another form of conventional ski-tow. If desired, a mere cable may be used. So long as the motor I3 runs, therefore, the rope of the skitow turns about the axes of the pulleys !34 and !36 and the figures of the skiers pass up th hill between the legs of the straddling poles I25.
In operation, let it be assumed that a series of independent skiers 59 is provided, in a plurality thereof, which may all be identical or may be of various forms to simulate various types of skiing. Let it be assumed, to start, that the figures are all crammed into the car, mounted on the longitudinal belt, and stopped at the rear of the car by the convergence of the guide I2l and the closed exit door H6. This is the loading disposition of the figures as they will normally be mounted in the car at the conclusion of the activities of the figures on the ski slop as will be explained. Of course, at this time, the ski slope is empty.
The car moves about the various tracks of the toy train system and finally when desired by the operator, by suitable switching, moves onto the track 59, coming to a stop alongside of the platform contiguous to edge 5| thereof. At this or any other desired point, the motor E3 of the skitow and moving control devices starts. What is observed at this time is the ski-tow simulation moving about its two end axes. Everything else that moves is concealed. However, the plow magape-s at:
netgwi-llb traversingthe respective-grooves By: manipulation of proper-electric switches-1. (not? shown) the rear- :or- -exit 'door of i the car is then opened "to its fullest extent overhangingthe platform, bringingthe eXit'conveycr belt'1 i? intotautened extendedposition in its 'rollers itermie nating substantially overorin line with :the front: groove [i3 ofthe platform 52 so: that asany figure 59 drops from the delivery end of bolt'l I'Lit. drops to the station"platform within the mag-: netic attraction of the next plow-passing. along: groove 634 The rear---o1-exit conveyor belt lltl preferably-extends under the longitudinal-1; belt-:-v 94'," and the series of skiers inthe. car are mounted: on belt 94 abutting-the curved guide I 2 l gand held.- in mutually abutting relation by the closed door and the elements mounted. thereon: and extend ing into the. car; As soon as thedoor I lfii'is opened the end ski figure- 59, of the series :of stored figurespmoves from the longitudinal-belt: 94, is deposited on the nowtightened and running transverse belt H7, and moves across the. edge-5l-of the platform--52- to deposit on the upper surface of the platform,- within the effective field of the next plow-shaped-magnet' that passesin guided relation through groove 63. Thedeposited-skier 59 is drawn by such plowacross the platform surface "and into the entrance tothe ski-tow,-*thence upthe hi1l','across and down the hill againfeitherxon the sinuous or the linear path depending upon the setting of the switch 70. Each'succeedingskier emerges fromthe car andis deposited onplatform 52', upon which it is then moved in translation; During this, egress of the skiers, the switch ll continues to beset to guideall of the plow magnets fl into the front groove 63. As soon as thelast skier is on the platform, the switch- TI' is thrown and the magneticallydrawn figures 'move from the bottom ofthe ski slope across the surface-abov transverse groove 01 slot 62,"to the ski-tow. As soon as the last skier is out of the car, the electric control may'be'actuated' to close the door H6. While usually the drives to conveyor belt are stopped at this time, by stopping the motor 92;.
this is not necessary, as the closing of the door releasesthe tension on-the'exit conveyor beltland the driven roller for same is permitted free rotation elative to the released or tension relieved belt Ill, so that no untoward results attach to the continuation of the drive.
Afterthe series of 'skiershave completed their endless roundsioffski activities, according to the desire of the operator, it will be assumedthat it is desired to load them allin the car. For this purpose, with continuance of the drive from-the motor 92 in the car, with the longitudinal belt 94 running, with the rear door H5 closed, and with the drive roller IBE'for the entranc conveyor belt H rotating againstra relaxedand untaut belt H0, the front, or entrance door I06 is automatically opened by the. closing ofithe proper switch means. The belt III] on its roller I04 is swung withthe door lflfl-to substantially horizontal alignment with 13118111131381 surface of the platform 52, at the edge thereof; with: the guiding element I03 overhanging the rplatiorm andthe skier path over groove 63.; The :belt ;I It immediately starts running, with the upper surface moving into the car 9!). The switch II is then swung so that all plows approaching the merging area 6| from either the linear path 58 or the sinuou path 68, are guided into the path or groove 63. As each plow magnet successively moves from the merging area El into thelfonvard srooye- 63.;ithe-ski figure-ma netically; attached'ito it? is iforced by :.th guide- 9?; ;fron1-;v its" path ofimovementswith the plow,- transverse y; thereto. to :drop: onto: the,;end ofrthe entrance;I conveyor. :belt' -:I I 5.: Moving inwardly :in-rthis belt; it ...impingesv1:against- 'thexcurvedportion H8, of the stationary *guidegtoadisposition ongand movement with the belt 94. Each skier moves on belt 94 toward the :opposite: .(exit) end .of-thecaru where; remainingwertical, they pile-up horizontall'y on the, belt; fl lnvithtthe beltmoving beneath the retarded. figures; until all of the skiers arein the car. Atxthiswpointthe, door-1 00: is closed by itsl-solenoid :or spring action; thus: releasing the tension on the entrance belt *I I 0, the motor-1 fifislthenstopped, leavingthe ski figures mounted: in"'upright position: on--the belt 94, in position to be moved outwardly :fromthe car through rear exit .door H6. The-car canthenbe driven on'rails 50", bysuitable switch manipulations, as withscars of- :this type. in toy trains- Anyaddi, tionalmechanismsto maintain the toy figuresv upright and for guiding them inandout of the car. that -.may be desired'or necessary will be provided.
Tha -interest with=-which a-toy of this sort is 'operatedand observed will be understood.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In toys, a generally continuous-surface including a slope out of the horizontal, a plurality of magnetic units, meansyfor'moving said magnetic units sequentiallydn: series generallyparallel to'said surface on'therlower side ,thereof, means establishing a plurality'of paths inclosed circuits for the respective magnets in their sequenti'al series, means for :predetermininga path of said plurality of paths for a givenmagnet of said plurality; a plurality of figures of magnetically attractable material respectively to follow the respective magnetsin their respective paths by movement in translation: on" the 'upper' side of :saidsurface, and "auxiliary path means operable-for causingzamagnet to move out of "the said: closedcircuits andto move a figure onsaid auxiliary path;
2: In toys, a generally continuous surface depicting a snow scene including a slope-out of-the horizontal, a plurality of magnetic units movable under and relative to said-"surface, means establishing a plurality of mutually intersecting paths of movement of said magnetic units, means at the intersection of said'paths for selecting the path to be traversed by agiven magnetic unit as an automatic function of the path determination of the preceding magnetic unit, means for movingjsa-id magnetic units sequentiallyin series along said paths, a plurality of'figures symbolic ofjskiers, thelowermost elements of which comprise vski -isii nulations and containing magneticallyattractable material mounted on saidsurface to..fol low, respectivelmagnetic units by movement intranslation on saidsurface.v
3." In toys; a: generallyjcontinuous surfac simulatinga ski-slope includingaportion inclined out ofthehorizontal, a;plurality of figures of. mag,- netically attractable material mounted. on said surface for:motion:thereoniin:simulation of skiing activities .a.:p 11na1ity of ma nfi ;Il -99 .dcline ing twor-paths for motion of .isaid magnets under said surface traversing said inclined surface portion, said paths having mutual intersection with a common single path traversing said inclined surface portion, means for sequentiall moving said magnets on the respective paths, means at plurality of figures of magnetically attractable material mounted on said surface for motion thereon in simulation of skiing activities, a plurality of magnets, means delineating two paths fOr motion of said magnets under said surface, said paths having mutual intersection with a common single path, means for sequentially moving said magnets on the respective paths, means at the intersection for switching the magnets successively from the common path to one or the other of the plurality of paths whereby figures attracted to the respectiv magnets move in translation in a common path on said surface in one direction thereon and follow alternate paths of motion on said surface in another direction thereon, a toy train track, a toy car movable on said track, means for guiding and moving the said figures from said surface into said car, and means for guiding and moving said figures from said car to said surface.
5. In toys, a surface simulating a ski slope adjacent to the platform of a toy train track, a car movable on said track, a longitudinal conveyor belt mounted for movement longitudinally of said car, a movable door for said car, means for moving said door open and closed, a transverse conveyor belt, a roller journalled for rotation on said door and arranged when the door is open to operatively tighten said transverse belt to extend into operative relation to said platform, magnetic means beneath said surface for moving skiing figures in translation on said surface and on said platform adjacent to said transverse conveyor belt, and means for moving said respective conveyor belts to successively move said figures from said surface into said car, and said means for moving said door operative for closing said (1001' to permit translational movement of said car on said tracks.
6. In toys, a surface simulating a ski slope adjacent to the platform of a toy train track, a car movable on said track, a longitudinal conveyor belt mounted for movement longitudinally of said car, movable door for said car, means for moving said door open and closed, a transverse conveyor belt, a roller journalled for rotation on said door and arranged when the door is open to operatively tighten said transverse belt to extend into operative relation to said platform, magnetic means beneath said surface for moving skiing figures in translation on said surface and on said platform adjacent to said transverse conveyor belt, means for moving said respective conveyor belts to successively move said figures from said car onto said surface, and said means for moving said door operative for closing said door to permit translational movement of said car on said tracks.
7. In toys, a substantially continuous surface including a slope out of the horizontal, a series of magnets, means for moving said series in sequence adjacent to but beneath said surface in a closed cycle of movement, a series of figures each representing human beings having snowengaging element simulations on the lower extremities in contact with said surface, respectively response to the magnetic attraction of given associated magnets and arranged to move in translation across said surface in moving with said respective magnets, means establishing a common single path of travel for part of said closed cycle traversing said slope and for establishing two paths of travel reversely traversing said slope for the respective magnets of said series in another part of said cycle, and means for automatically switching one magnet from the common path to one of the two said paths in response to the passage of an immediately preceding magnet from the common path to the other of said two paths, so as to cause alternate attracted figures to follow the said two paths while all of said figures follow the single path in making a complete cycle.
8. In toys, a generally continuous surface including a portion inclined out of the horizontal and representing a ski slope, a plurality of figures of magnetically attractive material disposable on said surface for movement relative thereto, a guide groove under the surface forming a common path traversing said inclined portion, a plurality of guide grooves forming plural paths intersecting each other and the common groove at the beginning and ending of the common groove and traversing said inclined portion, said grooves all having substantially uniform spacing from adjacent areas of said surface, switch means adjacent such intersecting of the grooves, an endless conveyor generally parallel With said surface, a plurality of telescopic arms mounted for movement with the conveyor, magnets on the ends of the respective arms disposed for guided movement in said grooves, said switch means including automatic resetting means operative by the passage of one magnet into and along one of said plural paths to cause a successive magnet moving along and from the common path to move into and along another of said plural paths, whereby said respective figures are caused to traverse said surface in accordance with selected combinations of said paths.
JOHN J. LEONARD.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Germany use--- Feb. 6, 1939