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Publication numberUS2726869 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 13, 1955
Filing dateApr 16, 1952
Priority dateApr 16, 1952
Publication numberUS 2726869 A, US 2726869A, US-A-2726869, US2726869 A, US2726869A
InventorsSchulte Louis G
Original AssigneeSchulte Louis G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Race track game
US 2726869 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 13, 1955 L. G. SCHULTE 2,726,859

RACE TRACK GAME Filed April 16, 1952 IN V EN TOR.

K; A JM W M I United States Patent Cfiice 2 ,726,869 Patented Dec. 13, 1955 RACE TRACK GAME Louis G. Schulte, St. Louis, Mo. Application April 16, 1952, Serial No. 282,642

6 Claims. (Cl. 273-86) This invention relates in general to amusement devices and, more particularly, to race-simulative games embodying a track having lanes for travel by gravity-actuated gamepieces.

In track structures provided with arcuate or helical turn portions interconnecting straight stretches, the gamepiece following the innermost lane will travel a relatively short total distance as its path about the turns will be along relatively short arcs and it will thereby gain a spacial advantage over the competing gamepieces moving through lanes outwardly thereof. Numerous efiorts have been made to counteract this advantage which is inherent in the track structure. Such elforts have included interposing obstacles of various nature in the inner lanes or by inserting additional track sections of novel design in continuity with such lanes. These expedients in each case so altered the character of the game that its resemblance to a realistic race was unfavorably affected.

It is the main object of this invention to provide a lane or track structure which equalizes the length of the travel of the gamepieces without diminishing the basic character of the game as a race,

It is another object to provide a racing game which is entertaining and interesting wherein each gamepiece has a potentially equal opportunity to win, and which game may be economically and durably manufactured.

These and other detailed objects of the invention will be apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure l is a top plan view of a race track structure constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention.

Figure 2 is an elevational view of the race track.

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the track switching device.

Figure 4 is a top view of the track switching device with the upper portion thereof partially broken away.

Referring to Figure 2, A generally designates a base structure for disposition upon a table top or like surface and of suitable character and design for supporting a race track B which descendingly progresses in the man ner of a series of ramps from an elevated Starting point 1 to a finish point 2 therebelow.

Track B, which may be made of wood, plastic, or the like, is composed, preferably, of easily assembled sections and comprises an initial, inclined, straight section 3, the lower end of which abuts or merges with a downwardly spiraling or first turn section 4. Section 4 has a-slight pitch or bank to assist the racing objects thereabout and is connected at its lowerend to, or abuts, a lane or track switching device 5, fixed upon the upper end of a main straight track section or so-called straightaway 6 which is reversely inclined with respect to initial section 3 and is downwardly and laterally displaced therefrom. The lower end of straightaway 6 is connected to a second turn section 7 which curves downwardly in a reverse direction to that of turn section 4 for continuity section 4 and the passages are, respectively, of increasing beginning at starting point 1 and terminating spacedly from the lower end of homestretch section 8 for discharging into the enlarged portion of a funnel-shaped, common recess 14 for communication with a closed-end trough 15 formed in terminal section 9. In straight track sections 3, 6, 8, lanes 10, 11, 12, 13 are in parallel relation and in turn sections 4, 7 are substantially concentric. The track B may be provided with as many lanes as desired, but for the purposes of illustrating the invention only four lanes are shown.

Provided for travel along lanes 10, 11, 12, 13 are capsule elements or gamepieces 16 having a gelatinous or other plastic cylindrical envelope 17 with hemispherical end portions for containing a ball or sphere (not shown) which is heavier than envelope 17 and has a radius slightly less than the hemispherical ends, so that the ball will be relatively free to roll and thereby impart end over end movement to gamepieces 16. Gamepieces 16 preferably have some readily visual-identifying means, such as a distinctive color, so that the players may more easily follow the course of their respective choices.

Disposed transversely across the upper end of section 3 at starting point 1 is a retaining block 18 having on its forward face a plurality of vertical hemi-cylindrical recesses 19, each of which is respectively aligned with one of lanes 10, 11, 12, 13. Mounted upon block 18 is a barrier or starting gate 20 for pivotal movement between an operative position immediately across the forward face of block 18 and an inoperative position rearwardly thereof, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. Barrier 20 is provided on its inner face with a plurality of recesses 21 in correspondence with and complementary to recesses 19 on block 18 so that gamepieces 16 may be received within the openings thereby defined preparatory to commencing the race. Depression of a lever arm 22 integral with barrier 20 pivots the barrier into inoperative position for liberating gamepieces 16 for movement through gravity along lanes 10, 11, 12, 13.

It will be readily understood that gamepiece 16 on inside lane 10 will be the first to complete turn 4 since its path is the shortest and the advantage thereby attained should be suflicient, under normal conditions, to result in that particular gamepiece winning the race. Accordingly, the competing gamepieces normally would complete the race in an order directly related to the location of their associated lanes with respect to the inside track, whereby the one moving along outermost lane 13 would invariably be last.

To oflset, or compensate for, the advantage gained by some gamepieces 16 and the handicaps incurred by others as a result of the relative positions of their lanes, the track switching device 5 is provided to shunt the gamepieces 16 to lanes different from those being traveled up to that juncture so that each will traverse a substantially equal distance over the course of the track B.

The track switching device 5, which may be made of interfitting top and bottom sections 23, 24 has inner and outer side walls 25, 26, aligned with the lateral faces of track section 6. Inner wall 25 is shorter than outer wall 26 whereby the forward end wall 27 extends obliquely therebetween. The top section of track switching device 5 is provided with receiving passages 28, 29, 30, 31 in continuity with lanes 10, 11, 12, 13, respectively in turn length determined by the distance of their associated lanes from the outside of the track B. Passages 28, 29, 30 are axially angulated to provide outwardly directed portions 36, 37', 38, respectively, progressing across the upper surindicated by upper apertures 32, 33, respectively. The discharge terminal of passage 31 is connected by a down-. wardly extending tunnel, having an upper aperture 34;

with the receiving terminal of portion 41 in lower section 24. The discharge terminal .of passage 30, 38 is connected by a downwardly extending tunnel, having an upper aperture 33, with the receiving terminal 40 of lane 11 in lower section 24. The discharge terminal of passage 29, 37 is connected by a downwardly extending tuunel, having an upper aperture 32, with a receiving terminal of portion 39, in lower section 24; The discharge terminal of passage 28, 36 is connected by a downwardly extending ramp 35, with. the receiving terminal of lane a 13 in lower section 24. Elements 32, 33, 34, 35 are in substantial longitudinal alignment and are adjacent to outer side wall 26 and are presented in the order stated with ramp 35 in the forwardmost position.

Accordingly, a gamepiece 16, moving along the inner lane 10 of top section 23, as shown in the upper portion of Figures 3 and 4, will travel along elements 10, 28, 36, 35 to the outer lane 13 of bottom section 24, as shown at the lower left hand portion of Figures 3 and 4. A gamepiece .16, moving along the next outer lane 11 of top section 23, will travel along elements 11, 29, 37, 32, 39 to the second outer lane 12 in bottom section 24. A gamepiece'16, moving along the next outer lane 12 in top section 23, will travel along elements'12, '30, 38, 33, 40 to the second inner lane 11 in bottom section 24. A gamepiece 16, moving .along outermost lane 13 in top section 23, will travel along elements 13, 31, 34, 41 to the inner lane 10 in bottom section 24.

With the use of track switching device 5, a gamepiece 16, having previously traveled along outer lane '13, will be directed by short channel 31 to drop through aperture 34 for delivery to passage 41 which will direct the piece to inner lane 10 in straightaway section 6. The gamepiece 16 which had traveled inner lane. 10 from starting point 1 through turn 4 will be caused to move' through channel 28 for descent along ramp 35 for dis-- charge into outer lane 13 in section 6, whichlane it will follow for the remainder'of the race. A similar change of lanes will be effected vbythe gamepieces on lanes 11, 12. Thus, switching device causes an interchange of lanes between the gamepieces so that those following a relatively shorter path for the first portion of the race will travel a relatively longer path for the balance -thereof ;in order that the distance traversed by each will be substantially equal. race will be in doubt until the very end .thereof. The disadvantages encountered'bythe gamepieces in the outer lanes during the first portion 'ofthe race will be counteracted by the travel of those gamepieces along the inner or shorter paths throughout the last portion of the race as a result of the action of the switching device. Track switching device .5 does not cause any basic change in the'race track-simulative character of track B and forms a compact unit readily integrated with the track.

The details of construction maybe varied without departing from the spirit of the invention and the exclusive use ofthose modifications comingwithin thescope ot-the claims :is contemplated. 7

Consequently, the winner of the What is claimed is:

1. In a racing game having a track with -a plurality of lanes provided therein, the improvement comprising a lane switching device having on its upper surface a first series of passages in respective communication at one end of the device with the track lanes,'said device further having a second series of passages disposed in downwardly displaced relation to said first series of passages and in respective communication with the track lanes at the other end of said device, and downwardly leading apertures between passages said first and second series to join the inner and outer lanes in reverse order the track lanes at 7 relation as to cause the lanes in the turn section to be in- Y each end of the device being directionally aligned.

' 2. A racing game comprising a track having a plurality or lanes extending substantially throughout its length in side by side relation, said track having a turn section, game pieces provided for movement along each lane, and

a'lane switching device disposed in said track in sequence with the turn section, said device having on its upper surface a first series of passages in respectivecornrnunication with the track lanes progressing from the turn section, said device further having a second series of passages disposed I in downwardly displaced relation to said first series of passages and being in respective communication with selected track lanes only on the opposite end o'fthe lane switching device from the turn section, and means'co'nnecting passages'spaced from each other in said first and second series to join the lanes of each series in such tereonnected with difierent lanes subsequent to the switching device whereby the total distance traveled by each game piece throughout the track will be substantially equal, the track lanes at each end of the device being directionally aligned so'that after travel through the switching device the gamepieees will-resume their original 7 direction of movement.

3. In a racing game having a track with a plurality of;

lanes and a game piece for travel along each lane, the improvement comprising a lane switching device having on its upper surface a first series of passages in'respective communication with track lanes at one .end of the device, said device further having a second series of passages disposed in downwardly displaced relation to said first series of passages and in respective communication with track lanes at the other end of said device, and separated parallel means connecting passages in said first and second series to join same in pairs for interconnecting different lanes, the track :lanes at each end of the device being-directionally aligned so that after travel through the switching device the game pieces will resume their original direction of movement. V

4. A racing game comprising a track having a plurality of lanes extending substantially throughout its length in side by side relation, said track having a turn section and a straight section consequent thereto, said straight section being in lowered relation to saidlturn section, a game piece provided for travel through .each lane, and a two stage lane-switching device disposed in said :track inter-- mediate said turn section and said straight section, said device having ahody portion with its-upper surface aligned with the turn section and having afirst series of passages therein in respective communication with the track l'anes progressingfrom the turn section, said body portion being further provided in its undersurface with a second series of passages in respective communication with the track lanes, in the straight section, said body ,further having,

downwardly leading, communicating means for connecting the passages in said ,first series at. their discharge :ends to the passages in said second series at {their -.receiv.ing

ends tojoin same in pairs so that .the lanes interconnected by the device are not the same, the track lanes progressing from the turn section to the device, and the .tracklanesin the straight section being directionally aligned so' that after trav l th o g the de ce t game p ec s w l re um their orig di on o movement *5. In a racing game, a: pair of track sections extending in the same general direction but having adjacent ends at diiferent levels and each having an inner side and an outer side, each section comprising a plurality of parallel lanes arranged side by side for travel of rolling game pieces, each lane having a longitudinal axial portion inclined relative to the remainder of the lane and all of said inclined portions having terminals disposed one after the other along the outer side of the corresponding track section, the discharging terminals of the lanes of the upper section overlying the receiving terminals of the lanes of the lower section and substantially vertical passageways connecting the corresponding upper and lower terminals, whereby the inner lane of the upper section is continuous with the outer lane of the lower section and the remaining lanes of the two sections are similarly connected in reverse order, all of said lanes and passageways being separate from each other throughout their length.

6. In a racing game having a track with a plurality of lanes arranged side by side, the track including a reversed curvature whereby game pieces moving over it move successively in opposite directions, said track including a lane switching device for game pieces and having a first series of passages individually communicating with the track lanes at the receiving end of the device, the'device having a second series of passages individually communicating with the track lanes at the discharging end of the device, individual connections between corresponding adjacent receiving and discharging terminals in the device in paired relation so that diiferent track lanes at the receiving and discharging ends of the device are interconnected, the track lanes at each end of the device being directionally aligned.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 597,764 DeRibas Jan. 25, 1898 1,449,565 Vogel Mar. 27, 1923 1,657,511 Lorenz et al Jan. 31, 1928 1,662,162 Nestor Mar. 13, 1928 1,714,433 Molnar May 21, 1929 FOREIGN PATENTS 511,655 Great Britain Aug. 22, 1939

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US597764 *Feb 6, 1897Jan 25, 1898 Game apparatus
US1449565 *Feb 25, 1921Mar 27, 1923Vogel HarryGame
US1657511 *Jul 21, 1926Jan 31, 1928Lorenz FrankGame
US1662162 *Mar 29, 1927Mar 13, 1928Henry M NestorGame apparatus
US1714433 *Jan 14, 1927May 21, 1929Charles V MolnarGame apparatus
GB511655A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2853301 *Mar 1, 1955Sep 23, 1958Glass Marvin IToy racing game
US3204956 *Jul 29, 1963Sep 7, 1965Ames Alvin GGuided projectile game
US3379440 *Feb 3, 1965Apr 23, 1968Jaffe Herbert RoyCollapsible plastic marble race game
US4077628 *Dec 6, 1976Mar 7, 1978Hebert Frederick GRace track game
US4932917 *Jul 11, 1989Jun 12, 1990Discovery Toys, Inc.Start gate marble race toy
US5908343 *Sep 19, 1997Jun 1, 1999Rothbarth; James N.Kinetic toy
US6293800May 13, 1999Sep 25, 2001John RobertsonEducational and entertainment device
US6520374 *Aug 1, 2001Feb 18, 2003Kil Jae ChangCurvy slide delivery chute in a machine for vending products
US7537509Jun 11, 2007May 26, 2009Mattel, Inc.Toy track devices
US7651398May 4, 2007Jan 26, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle raceways
US7690964May 4, 2007Apr 6, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy ramp devices
US8734201Apr 29, 2011May 27, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle racetrack with paired obstacles
US9050994Nov 18, 2011Jun 9, 2015Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle raceway and rolling cart
US20080014832 *May 4, 2007Jan 17, 2008Ostendorff Eric CToy vehicle raceways
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/69, 446/168, D21/564
International ClassificationA63F7/00, A63F7/36, A63F7/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/04
European ClassificationA63F7/04