US 3180639 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 27, 65 J. COTLER ETAL 3,180,639
INFLATABLE TOY AND DISPLAY DEVICE Filed April 27, 1962 INVENTORS JULES COTLER JEROME .LEMELSON United States Patent 3 180 639 INFLATABLE TOY Ahll) DISPLAY DEVICE Jules Cotler, 105-05 69th Ave, Queens County, N.Y., and Jerome Lemelson, 3B Garfield Apts, Metuchen,
Filed Apr. 27, 1962, Ser. No. 190,674 2 Claims. (Cl. 27 2--1) This invention relate-s to a structure in an inflatable toy or display having a structure permitting upright support-0n a surface. In particular, this invention relates to an inflatable article of manufacture having an oblong shape which will be self-supporting without the need for adding weight or ballast thereto.
It is known in the art to construct an inflatable display or toy of oblong shape and to decorate one or more surfaces thereof with illustrations of mock figures, animals and the like. These devices generally require a ballast material such as sand or a weight secured to the bottom end of the inflatable structureto retain it in an upright condition. The employment of such ballast not only involves a costly manufacturing procedure but adds to the Weight of the total structure and substantially increases the size of the container in which the. deflated article is packed.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved structure in aninflatable article of manufacture which includes a portion of generally oblong shape which may be retained in an upright condition without the use of ballast or separate supporting means.
Another object is to provide an improved inflatable article of manufacturing having an upstanding central portion which will float on water in an upright and stable condition.
Another object is to provide an improved inflatable water toy having an oblong central portion whichv is integral with a circumferentially extending ring or toroidal portion defining a means for both supporting the central portion upright on the water Without resorting to ballast and for increasing the buoyancy of the central portion.
Another object is to provide an improved structurein an inflatable water toy having both stability defined by a ring portion on which a child may float and a centrally disposed oblong portion which is secured to said ring portion which may be utilized as a means for both stabilizing and retaining a human being on the ring portion.
Another object is to provide an improved structurein an oblong inflatable enclosure which may be used for display purposes.
Another object is to provide an improved a rack for merchandize which is fabricated of light weight,
structure in plastic material which may be inflatedand deflated.-
Another object is toprovide an inflatable toy which is constructed to represent a space capsule and is so shaped as to present a stable, self supporting unit on land which will also float upright on water.
To the attainment of the objects and advantages referred to, the present invention consists in the novel features,
inafter described or illustrated-in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. l'is' an elevation with portions broken away and sectioned to illustrate the structural details of an inflatable toy or display madein accordance'with the teachings of the invention;
7 FIG. 2 is a plan view of FIG. 1 without o fdsfi ectiom ing; and
FIG. 3 is a partial view of the bottom of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1 and is also a plan viev. of the ring 3,139,63? Patented Apr. 27, 1965 shaped base portion shown in FIG. 1 before attaching the centrally disposed portion.
FIGS. 1 and 2 show an inflatable article of manufacture constructed to represent a space capsule and referred to by the general notation 10. Assembly 19 is preferably made of four or more die cut sections of thermoplastic sheeting such as polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene which are heat sealed to define two inflatable portions shown inflated to the shape of a base ring portion 12 which is integrally secured to a centrally disposed upwardly extending oblong body portion or simulated capsule 18. The base portion 12 circumscribes and serves as a stabilizing support for central upright 18 and is shown toroidally shaped although it may have other shapes.
The base portion 12 is preferably fabricated by abutting two sheets o-fflexible plastic material of circular orother peripheral shape and applying two circumsciibing sealing dies thereto to define circumscribing line welds between the two sheets, by radio freqency or heat energy applied to the dies, to provide an annular enclosed volume which is capable of being inflated to the ring like shape illusof construction, arrangements, design and details heretrated when internally pressurized. The heat sealing dies define weld lines 15 and 15, one inside the other defining said annular volume. Sheets 14 and '16 from which the ring-like inflatable enclosure is fabricated provide flat portions 14' and 16' interior of the inner circular weld line 15' which do not define portions of the ring-like portion 12 and do not inflate therewith. V
The upstanding, central body portion 13 is shown fabricated of two or more sections of flexible plastic sheeting, 21 and 22 which are also heat sealed or electronically sealed together along a sealing line 24 extending along the side upper peripheral borders of said sheets to define a bag-like structure closed save at the bottom thereof. The lower circumscribing border of assembly 18 is line sealed in a circumscribing seal 19 to the material 20 projecting inward from and an extension of the walls of the ring portion 12. Thus the walls of the upstanding, oblong inflatable central portion 13 aredefined by sheet members 21 and 22. and one of the inward extensions 14 of the'material of which the ring-like support are made but are not actually defined by the walls of the ring portion. In FIG. 2, notation 2h refers to a flat, circular portion-of the material 21? providedinward of the ring 12 bet-weenthe circular sealing lines 19 and 15'. If the two sealing lines are provided as one circular sealing line, portion 23' will be eliminated. However, the structure illustrated is easier to fabricate and the flat section 21) may define a volume between the sidewalls of 18 and 12 in which articles niayibe held for display purposes.
The centrally disposed body portion 18 is shown as generally taperinginwardly and upwardly and provides a structure which is quite stably supported both on land and in the water by the circumsclibing inflated ring portion 12.
The side walls of 18 may be exteriorly decorated to illustrate various features of the article being represented and increase the realism of the toy. Similarly, the exterior surfaces of the ring portion 12 may be imprinted or silkscreened with surface decorations, advertising, instructionsor the like to increase the value and provide a realistic yersion of the full scale capsule.
The volumes 13 and 18 defining the interiors of the ring and oblong central portion 18 are illustrated as being separate from each other and separately inflatable through respective valves disposed in the walls of each. These volumes may also be interconnected although the structure illustrated is easier to assemble.
In its simplest form, the assembly ltl may be made of four sections of flexible plastic sheeting, two of which 14 and 16 define both the lower ring portion 12 and the to -represent various mock figures or other structures,
displays and the like. Whereas the conventional inflatable figure toy or display shaped as an oblong body is generally bulbous at its base due to the characteristics of the flexible sheet material to bulge into a rounded shape and requires a substantial amount of ballast to retain the upstanding portion in an upright condition, the assembly of FIGS; 1 to 3 requires no such ballast and will not ordinarily rock back and forth or sway in unstable condition which is experienced by the conventional oblong inflatable body. Accordingly, the device It) may be produced at relatively low cost and may be utilized for amusement, display and other purposes.
and is preferably sealed in an opening in the lower wall 16 thereof. The valve is shown heat sealed within an opening in the centrally disposed, non-inflated portion of the assembly comprising the ring formation. It is noted that a single valve may be provided for inflating both the volumes 13 and 18' defining the ring and central portion 18 if apassageway is provided between the' two volumes by interrupting thecircular weld or seal 26' between both'sections' 18 and wall 20 and The conventional inflatable toy or display standing to 60 inches off the ground requires from two to .five
pounds of sand for ballast in order to retain it erect;
The inflatable ring-like base 12 serves essentially the same purpose but weighs only several ounces or more, thus permitting a large display or toy to be produced and mailed at low cost if necessary. Further advantages are attained in that the deflated display or toy will occupy substantially less volume than a unit containing sand ballast and will require a substantially lighter and less expensive box or container for packaging; Whereas a sand ballasted oblong. display or toy of this type .is relatively unstable, the lateral support of the ring-like base provides ample stability for most displays or toys even if an object is retained or held by the upstanding body 18.
In a preferred form of the invention, the centrally disposed, upwardly tapering portion 18'may be shaped and decorated to represent a space capsule. Portions of the wall such as17 may be, produced of transparent sheet plastic material to represent viewing ports or windows. These windows may be provided on opposite walls or wall portions of the elongated central portion 18 in alignment with each other as shown to permit viewing through the capsule. Illustrations representing the interior hardware and/or pilot of the capsule may be provided to decorate the interior of wall 18 and/ or the interior surface 'of the bottom wall 20 thereof which bottom wall is an extension of the sheet material comprising the upper and lower portions 14 and 16 of which the toroidal ring 12 is made.
' If the invention is utilized asa water, toy, a child'may sit on the ring, wrap his legs around the central inflated portion 18 and float without difficulty, a feature which would not be easily performed on theconventional bottom weighted oblong inflatable enclosure.
As a display device, the assembly illustrated may be exteriorly shaped and decorated to represent. various product, its label, closure, or other features thereof.
The central portion 18 may also be upwardly shaped and tapered to represent a tree such as a pine tree where upon objects may be hung therefrom by means of loops terior of the weld line 24 which may be utilized to hang up the display.
Numerous other modifications of the present invention may be appreciated by those skilled in the art and accordingly'the appended claims should be construed broadly as is consistent with the appended claims and, in certain instances, some features of the invention will be used without a corresponding use of other features.
1. In an inflatable article of manufacture a structure which comprises an assembly" of a plurality of flexible plastic sheets defining,:when inflated, an oblong central portion and a circumscribing ring-like portion adapted for stabilizing and retaining said central portion upright on a surface, said ring-like portion being made of two sheets of flexible: plastic material which are heat sealed together defining circumscribing sealing lines of different diameters one inside the other, the'interior sealing line being substantially circular in shape, there being flexible sheet material inward of said inside sealing line extending completely across the ring-like portion of the inflatable structure, said central portion fabricated of at least two sheets of flexible plastic material and adapted for, extending upwardly within said ring-like formation when inflated, from the central portion ofthe ring-like portion and having as a bottom wall the material extending across the inside of the ring-likeportion.
2. An inflatable toy shaped and decorated'to represent a space capsulecomprising an assembly of a plurality of flexible plastic sheets defining, when inflated, an upstanding central portion and a circumscribing ring-like portion secured thereto, said ring-like portion adapted for stabilizing and retaining tsaid central portion. upright on a surface, said ring-like portion being'made of two sheets of flexible thermoplastic material heat-sealed together central portion fabricatedof flexible plastic material and tapering upwardly Within said ring-like formation when inflated, said central portion having its lowerwalls heatsealed in a circumscribing weld line to said material provided inward of said inside sealing line of said ringlike'portion, said central po'rtionhaving its bottom wall defined by the sheet materialextending completely across the ring-like portion of the inflatable structure;
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. DELBERT'B. LOWE, LOUIS :R. PRINCE,Examiners.