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Publication numberUS3061972 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 6, 1962
Filing dateMay 25, 1959
Priority dateMay 25, 1959
Publication numberUS 3061972 A, US 3061972A, US-A-3061972, US3061972 A, US3061972A
InventorsWigal Voorhis F
Original AssigneeWigal Voorhis F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Climbing toy
US 3061972 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 6, 1962 v, w A 3,061,972

I CLIMBING Toy Filed May 25. 1959 mmvrox. 4 L V00RHIS F. WIGAL FIG. 5

ATTORNEY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Nov. 6, 1962 v. F. WIGAL 3,061,972

CLIMBING TOY Filed May 25. 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. VOORHIS F. WIGAL BY & I

ATTORNEY 3,051,972 CLIMBING TOY Voorhis F. Wigal, 909 Highland Ave., Jackson, Tenn. Filed May 25, 1959, Ser. No. 815,563 6 Claims. (Cl. 46206) This invention relates to toys and in particular relates to an improved type of climbing toy that is designed to automatically advance over a smooth surface for the purpose of providing entertainment to the user.

In US. Patent 2,618,889, issued November 25, 1952, to Voorhis F. Wigal, a toy having these general characteristics was provided. The climbing toy of this patent featured a sprocket wheel having a plurality of circumferentially arranged suction cups that progressively engaged the smooth surface so that upon rotation of the sprocket relatively of the toy body, the cups would successively engage and release to progressively advance the toy across the surface involved.

While the climbing toy of the above described patent has met with great commercial success, it has been found that the same is possessed of certain inherent disadvantages.

First, and from the standpoint of winding the toy for use, it was necessary in the prior patent to effectuate the winding up of the sprocket wheel by hand rotation. This was time consuming and often difficult for small children to accomplish because of the fact that the suction cups had to be moved relatively of the body and retained in wound condition during placement on the surface.

In addition to being difficult, it frequently happened that the user would wind the sprocket wheel in the wrong direction, with the result that the toy would not properly operate.

As a second disadvantage of the climbing toy shown in the above described patent, it is to be noted that the use of the same is limited to use on continuous flat surfaces, with the result that if the forward part of the toy struck an object, such as a wall surface, that was at right angles to the original surface, the suction cups would be disengaged and the toy would cease to function.

It has been discovered that the above described disadvantages can be obviated by thefollowing improvements.

First, if a spring loaded cord rewind structure is employed to wind the sprocket wheel againstthe force of the activating spring, it has 'ceen' found that the toy can be easily and quickly readied for use, even by small children, with the possibility of winding in the wrongdirection being completely eliminated. q I Secondly, it has been further'discovered that if the sprocket wheel bearing the suction cup is moved forwardly of the body and the front portion of the body is cut away so as to permit the rotating suction cups to reach out beyond the same, that the climbing toy device will actually be enabled to traverse right angle surfaces without any interruption whatsoever.

Production of an improved climbing toy having the above improvements accordingly becomes the principal object of this invention, with other objects of the invention becoming more apparent upon a reading of the following brief specification, considered and interpreted in the light of the accompanying drawings.

Of the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the improve climbing toy.

FIGURE 2 is a vertical section taken on the lines 2-2 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a vertical section taken on the lines 33 of FIGURE 2. I

7 FIGURE 4 is avertical section taken on the lines 4+4 of FIGURE 3.

1, 3,061,972 Patented Nov. 6, 1962 "ice FIGURE 5 is a vertical section taken on the lines 5-5 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURES 6, 7, 8 and 9 are vertical sectional views showing the position of the suction cups during operation of the device.

Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIGURE 1 thereof, the improved climbing toy, general ly designated by the numeral 10, is shown provided with an advancing mechanism 11 that includes a plurality of suction cups 12, 12 mounted on the peripheral edges of 'a sprocket wheel 13, with sprocket wheel 13 being wound under tension by use of cord winding means 14 so as to permit the car body 15 to continuously advance across surfaces '16 and 17 that are shown disposed at right angles to each other.

Considering first the structure of the car body 15, it is to be understood that the same is preferably made of mating molded halves 20 and 21 that are secured together, as at 22, in known manner to define a simulated hollow car body having molded front wheels 23 and molded integ ral rearwheels 23a with other conventional portions of the car body being similarly simulated in the body, as shown in FIGURE 1.1 H I Referring to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that the body half 21 is provided with concentric tubular-projections 24 and 25, while the body half 20 has a tubular projection 26 that is concentrically opposed to the projection 24 So as to to support the opposed axial ends of sprocket 113, as will hereinafter be described. Additionally, a pin 27 projects inwardly from the inner face of the body half 20 for the purpose of receiving one end of a winding spring 28 as is best shown in FIGURE 2 of the drawings.

To the end of supporting and guiding the cord me'ch anism 14, the body half 21 is further provided witha bracket 29 that has an eyelet 30 through which cord 31 may be passed, with a similar eyelet 32 beingprovided in .the rearmost portion 33 of the body section 21 foradditional guiding support (see FIGURE 3). A guide rail 34 of archedconfiguration (FIGURES) also projects from the body portion 21 to center cord 31 on sprocket 13 at all times, while bumper 57 and ring 56 are also pro vided on cord 31 for known purposes.

For the purpose of permitting clearance of the suction cups as the same move relatively of the body 15, the front portion of the body 15 is shown preferably cutaway, as at 35, to a width sufficient to allow the suction cups 12, 12 to pass therebetween. Also, it is, of course, to be understood that similar undercuts 36 and 37 are provided on the undersurfaces of the formed body 15, with rib'portions 37a, 37a being provided on the respective body halves for the purpose of providing rigidity to the body 15, while permitting clearance of the suction wheels during their movement relatively thereof. In this manner, the suction cups, during rotation will project beyond and below the front portion of body 15.

. The sprocket wheel assembly 13 is best shown in FIGURES 2, 3 and 5 through 9 of the drawings and, accordingly, it will be noted that the same includes a central shaft 40 having opposed axial ends 40a and 40b that are preferably of reduced diameter to permit journaling in the opposed tubular projections 24 and 26, respectively, with this condition being best shown in FIGURE 2 of the drawings.

Spaced axially inwardly from the axial end 40a of shaft 40 is a radially extending flange 41 that has an axially projecting tubular housing 42.upon which the cord 31 may be' wound, as shown in FIGURE 2 of the draw ings. In this regard, it .is important to note that the cylindrical housing 42 serves as a drum for the cord 31 and, accordingly, for the purpose of preventing fouling of the cord winding mechanism 14, the external diameter of this drum issh'own'as being somewhatless than the internal diameter of the tubular member 25, with this diameter difference just described being preferably less than the thickness of the cord 31 so as to prevent entry of the cord 31 between the drum 42 and cylindrical member 25. Further in this regard, the drum 42 is shown preferably located at a radial distance from the outer periphery of a circular course of axially extending arms 44, 44 that are secured to flange 41 and, in this manner, the ends of said arms define shoulders 44a, 44a that serve to retain the cord in place on drum 42 at all times. (See FIG. 2.)

In addition to the aforementioned structure, the sprocket 13 is further characterized by the fact that the projecting ends of each arm 44, 44 are connected to a sprocket wheel 45 that has a series of fingers 46, 46 projecting therefrom, with these fingers each supporting a suction cup 12, as will now be described.

In this regard, the construction of a typical suction cup and the mounting thereof is shown best in FIG- URE 4 where each cup is illustrated as including a base 50 having a bell-shaped body section 51 that terminates in a peripheral edge 51a, with the opposed face of base 50 having a projecting shank 52 that is provided with a reduced diameter portion 53 that may be positioned in an appropriately contoured opening 54 that is provided in the ends of the fingers 46. In this manner, each cup is flexibly attached to a finger 46 so that the sprocket may move during engagement of the cup.

It is also preferred that the surfaces of each cup 12 be roughened or provided with other air escape means so as to effectuate a holding or gripping of the surface by the same for a relatively short but substantially predetermined length of time. In this fashion, the engagement of one cup can be timed to release of the preceeding cup and vice versa, so that rapid advance of the toy is possible.

To the end of permitting the sprocket mechanism 13 to be wound under tension relatively to the body 15, the opposed ends 28a and 28b of spring 28 are shown secured around pin 27 and a selected arm 44, respectively. Further and for the purpose of providing animation during use a head figure is pivoted as by pin 61, to appropriate opposed journals 62, 62 that are provided on the body section 20 and 21.

In use or operation of the improved climbing toy, it will first be assumed that the component parts have been assembled as indicated in the drawings, with the suction cups having been assembled on the sprocket wheel and with the cord and spring means being connected between the body and the sprocket wheel.

In this condition, it is merely necessary that the user exert a pull on the ring 56, which will cause cord 31 to rotate the entire sprocket assembly 13 relatively of the body 15 against the force of spring 28, which will then become under tension.

At this point, the front portion of the body 15 may be positioned adjacent the surface 16 as shown in FIG- URE 6 of the drawings, wherein suction cup 12a has just been snapped into position. When suction cup 12a has been engaged, it is believed apparent that the tension of wound spring 28 will then advance suction cup 12c towards surface 16 as shown in FIGURE 7, with suction cup 120 engaging surface 16 prior to release of suction cup 12a, as shown in FIGURE 8. When the condition of FIGURE 8 is reached, the advancing suction cup 12d will have reached out forwardly of the body 15 and will have engaged against the wall surface 17. It follows that continued rotation of sprocket wheel 13 will ultimately cause cup 12e to engage surface 17, followed by engagement of cup 12b, as shown in FIG- URE 9.

Engagement of cup 1217 is then sequentially substantially followed by engagement and release of cups 12c, 12d and 12e, respectively.

In all instances, it will be noted that the rear portion 33 of the body 15 serves as a stop to prevent rotation of the body 15 around the axis of the sprocket assembly 13. This is true because in FIGURES l, 3 and 6 through 9, the sprocket wheel 13 will be rotating counter clockwise, with the result that there would be a tendency for body 15 to rotate clock-wise were it not for the engagement of rear wheels 24 with surface 16 or 17 as the case may be.

It will be seen from the foregoing that there has been provided a new and improved type of climbing toy that is characterized by the presence of an automatic winding mechanism that precludes fouling, simultaneously simplifies winding and also it has been shown how the improved toy is further characterized by the fact that the same can be continuously operated in an uninterrupted path from one plane into another plane that is disposed at an acute angle therewith.

While a full and complete disclosure of the invention has been set forth in accordance with the dictates of the patent statutes, it is not intended that the invention be so limited.

Thus, while the invention is illustrated in connection with a simulated automobile, it is to be understood that the shape or design is not intended to be so limited, with the only requirement of shape being the presence of a rearwardly disposed portion that can prevent rotation of the body around the axis of the sprocket wheel during the time that the spring drive is under tension. Similarly, while the invention conveniently lends itself to being manufactured of plastic, it is to be understood that the same is not limited to being made of plastic material.

Accordingly, modifications of the invention may be resorted to without departing from the spirit hereof or the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A self propelled device for movement across angularly disposed planar surfaces, comprising; a hollow body having bottom, front and rear portions; a shaft disposed interiorly of said body and extending transversely thereof adjacent said front portion; a plurality of gripping members arranged in a closed cyclic path of movement around the axis of rotation of said shaft and being disposed at a radial distance therefrom with said gripping members being adapted to support said body with respect to a planar surface; means for rotating said shaft and said gripping members in unison relatively to said body; said front portion of said body having an opening in its frontal edge; said gripping members moving through said frontal opening and projecting both forwardly of and beneath said body during rotation of said shaft, whereby the same may simultaneously engage angularly inclined surfaces that are disposed forwardly of and beneath said frontal edge, with said body advancing across said surfaces during said simultaneous engagement; the rotation of said gripping means etfectuating temporary adherence between such surfaces and any one of said gripping means, whereby said body may be progressively advanced across said surfaces.

2. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the fact that said gripping members are suction cups.

3. A self propelled device for movement across angularly disposed planar surfaces, comprising; a hollow body having a bottom and front and rear portions; a shaft disposed interiorly of said body and extending transversely thereof adjacent said front portion; a plurality of gripping members arranged in a circular course around the axis of rotation of said shaft and being disposed at a radial distance therefrom with said gripping members being adapted to support said body with respect to a planar surface; said gripping members progressively engaging said surfaces during rotation of said shaft, whereby said body may be progressively advanced across said surfaces; compressible tensioning means interconnecting said body and said shaft and exerting rotational force on said shaft during compression thereof; a string wound around said shaft and having an end portion thereof accessible from the exterior of said body; said string rotating said shaft and compressing said tensioning means upon unwinding from said shaft during withdrawal thereof from said body; said string being drawn towards rewound condition on said shaft in increments of movement that progressively occur in response to increments of progressive advance of said body.

4. The device of claim 3 further characterized by the fact that said shaft includes a tubular housing that concentrically encircles said shaft and receives said string in wound condition thereon.

5. The device of claim 4 further characterized by the presence of guide means for guiding said string onto said housing during rewinding thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,779,349 Whatley Oct. 21, 1930 1,828,288 Marx Oct. 20, 1931 1,871,297 Berger Aug. 9, 1932 2,618,889 Wigal Nov. 25, 1952

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1779349 *Feb 5, 1930Oct 21, 1930Whatley Joseph LMechanical toy
US1828288 *Feb 4, 1930Oct 20, 1931Louis MarxToy
US1871297 *Jun 28, 1930Aug 9, 1932Berger Samuel IToy tank
US2618889 *Mar 1, 1949Nov 25, 1952Wigal Voorhis FClimbing toy
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3475854 *Feb 3, 1967Nov 4, 1969Mattel IncSelf-propelled crawling toy
US3529479 *Aug 22, 1969Sep 22, 1970Mattel IncGear train and clutch for a self-propelled toy
US3653152 *Feb 18, 1970Apr 4, 1972Ideal Toy CorpDoll pullstring-controlled secondary animation
US4477998 *May 31, 1983Oct 23, 1984You Yun LongFantastic wall-climbing toy
US5306199 *Feb 8, 1989Apr 26, 1994Salvatore LocricchioManually actuated toy dinosaur structure and method
US5746641 *Jul 7, 1997May 5, 1998T.K. Wong & Associates Ltd.Toy
US8784154Nov 23, 2010Jul 22, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy figure with reciprocally movable limb
U.S. Classification446/177, 446/279
International ClassificationA63H17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H17/004
European ClassificationA63H17/00C