US 3310907 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
S. ROBBINS March 28, 1967 FIGURINE HAVING IMPROVED INERTIA CHARACTERISTICS Filed March 4, 1965 INVENTOR BY KM QM ATTORNEY United States te This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 388,133, filed Aug. 7, 1964, now abandoned.
This invention relates to a figurine having a disproportionately large head structure so that it may better be used to represent well-known personages. In particular, it relates to one having certain structural features and material selection such that the figurine may be properly balanced even with such a large head and without the necessity for a large base structure.
In the past, figurines have been made that were capable of representing well-known personages, but had the problem that either a normal size head relative to the body had to be used, or a wide base or other supporting structure was necessary in order to enable the figurine to stand with a reasonable degree of stability. This problem is emphasized when the figurine had a head substantially as long as the body itself, since even a slight draft on the large head could cause it to fall.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to create a figurine having a relatively small body portion and a large head portion capable of showing details of facial characteristics, but which figurine is sufficiently stable so that it may stand by itself. Such body proportions permit accentuation of the head size to further recognition, without requiring that the entire figure be large.
It is a further object of this invention to produce such a figurine which has good balance characteristics with a minimum, if any, base structure over and beyond the feet of the figurine itself and preferably without the necessity for adding any weight to the feet.
It is a further object of this invention to provide such a figurine which may be economically made of molded plastic materials, but which has ability to show facial details with sufiicient clarity so that the personages in question may be readily identified.
It has been discovered that these and other objects of this invention may be accomplished by making the head and body portions of the invention of dissimilar plastic materials, both of which are moldable, with the walls of the head of sufiicient thinness so that the center of gravity of the assembled figurine is in the body portion. Preferably the specific gravity of the head material is greater than that of the body material. The plastics in question should also be compatible with one another and be capable of a sufiicient frictional relationship to one another, such that the figurine may be easily assembled, but in which the head will retain its relative position on the body.
Turning to the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an example of a figurine of the type of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross section of the figurine of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross section showing a modification of my invention; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a simple test for center of gravity of the finished figurine.
Turning to FIG. 1, there is shown a figurine 1 having a head 2 and a body portion 3. The body portion 3 has feet 6 with fiat undersurfaces 7 generally perpendicular to the axis of figurine 1, so that the figurine may stand on feet 6.
It will be noted that head 2 is of approximately the same length as body portion 3. Head 2 and body portion 3 are of dissimilar plastic material and are joined ice at the neck 8. If desired, the head may have hair 4 attached in any desired manner.
Since the head is substantially larger than it would be in a properly proportioned figurine, it is possible for the head to show facial and other details sufiicient to make the figurine easily recognizable without the necessity for the over-all figurine being too large in size to be conveniently used.
FIG. 2 shows the figurine of FIG. 1 in cross section so that the structure and body proportions may be more readily observed. Two measurement arrows, identified as B for body and H for head, are shown in FIG. 2, showing the relative lengths of the body and the head portions. In the preferred form of my invention, the head has a length approximately equal to the length of the body or slightly less. In the practice of my invention the ratio of the length of the head to the length of the body varies from about 1:1 to about 2:5.
The head and the body are each made of moldable plastic material, but are of dissimilar, though compatible, plastics. The material which the body is made of must be of sufficient stiffness to support the weight of the head and keep the figurine from bending. The preferred method of manufacture is through injection molding. It has been found that for the body portion, thermoplastic materials having a relatively low specific gravity are preferred. These would include such plastic materials as, for example, cellulose acetate or polyethylene. The specific gravities of desirable materials are generally in the range of about 0.9 to about 1.3.
The head, on the other hand, should be made of plastic material that is able to give great detail, preferably have a certain amount of flexibility, and be of a material that can be finished as desired. The best plastic materials for this purpose have higher specific gravities, such as polyvinyl chloride, and normally the head would be manufactured by rotational molding of the polyvinyl. Plastic materials having desired characteristics generally have a specific gravity in the range from about 1.2 to about 1.7.
The plastic materials used must be compatible with one another, and which would have compatible plasticizers. In addition, they must be such as could frictionally engage one another so that the head may be retained on the body with the advantage of frictional as well as locking fit.
With a head that is of a length approximating the body portion, the total volume of the head will be much greater than the total volume of the body. This will lead to a top heavy configuration, normally requiring a special stand of some nature to enable the figurine to remain in a standing position. This is especially so if the specific gravity of the head material is greater than that of the body. Accordingly, I have provided that the head 2 will be hollow, as shown in FIG. 2, and will have a thin walled construction. Thus, the head will have an outer surface 15 and an inner surface 16 with the thickness being the distance between the two surfaces. This thickness does not necessarily have to be uniform throughout the head, but can be varied, depending upon the particular features in question. It should, however, be of sufificient thinness such that the gross weight of the head is less than the gross weight of the body, so that the center of gravity of the completed doll lies within the body portion 3. The center of gravity of the doll shown in FIG. 2 is marked in a small circle cg. located in the body and identified by the numeral 20. Center of gravity 2% is directly above feet 6 and their fiat under surfaces 7. For the best resistance to tumbling upon casual impact, the center of gravity should be in the upper third, by length, of body portion 3. This location provides the figurine with the desired balance and inertia characteristics.
Body portion 3 has a protruding flange structure 11 at its upper end defining an interlocking recess 12 immediately below the flange 11. Head 2 has a head socket 13 adapted to receive flange 11 and dimensioned such that the lips defining socket 13 fit within interlocking recess 12 to hold head firmly on body portion 3. Thus, there is not only a snap fit between the head and the body, but there is also frictional inner engagement.
Turning to FIG. 3, there is shown head 2 and, in this instance, a hollow body portion 22. The use of such a hollow body portion 22 may be preferred in certain adaptations of the present invention, depending upon the molding techniques and plastic materials used. Neveitl eless, because of the relative volumes of the head and body portions, it is necessary to have the thickness of the head portion such that the center of gravity once again rests within the body portion. Thus, for example, in the modification, the center of gravity cg. could be as indicated by the numeral 24 within the body portion.
The effect of the structure of this invention can be readily observed by taking one of the dolls in question and endeavoring to balance it on a finger such as is shown in FIG. 4. The doll is held in a horizontal position and a finger placed under the doll. If it can be balanced by the finger being under any portion of the body portion, it is then known that the doll is properly designed, and the center of gravity is located within the body portion. If, on the other hand, the head portion overweighs the body portion, then the center of gravity is too high, and the head should be thinner. If, as is sometimes the case, it is desired to have the figurine holding something in its bands, such as, for example, a musical instrument, the weight of the musical instrument may also be considered in determining the center of gravity, since it is the total center of gravity that is of importance to accomplish the purposes of this invention.
N hen the center of gravity is toward the upper portion of the body, as, for example, as shown in FIG. 3, a finger may be too wide a fulcrum to use for determining the center of gravity. In such instances, it is easy to use the edge of a card, or something similar, for the balance test.
Although the preferred method of practicing this invention is through the use of dissimilar plastics of the types described above, there may be instances where the particular circumstances make it preferable to have a head and body portion formed of the same type of plastic, as, for instance, a vinyl or polyethylene. It remains important, under these circumstances, however, for the center of gravity to remain in the body portion as above described.
There has been shown and described the preferred construction and embodiment of my invention. It is obvious, however, that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. A figurine formed of molded thermoplastic material having a density lying between 0.9 and 1.7, com-prising:
a large hollow head portion and a small, stiff body portion including a body and supporting feet at the base of a body, said supporting feet being directly below said body,
said head portion being frictionally inter-engaged with the said body portion, the ratio of the length of said body portion to the length of said head portion being no more than about 2.5 :1,
said head portion having a volume greater than the volume of said body portion, but having walls of sufficient thinness, such that the weight of said head portion is less than the weight of said body portion,
said density, volume, and portion weight factors, fixing the center of gravity of said figurine in said body portion above said feet and in the upper one-third of said body portion, thereby improving the balance and inertia characteristics of said figurine on said supporting feet.
2. A figurine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the thermoplastic material is selected from the group consisting of a vinyl chloride resin, cellulose acetate resin, and polyethylene,
and said head is formed of thermoplastic material having a higher specific gravity than the specific gravity of said body material.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,464,107 8/1923 Pedersen 4687 1,508,420 9/1924 Schwartz et al. 46-87 1,998,864 4/1935 Dodge 46-156 2,384,739 5/1959 Ketcham 46--l73 X FOREIGN PATENTS 821,529 10/1959 Great Britain.
F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner.
RiCi-IARD C. PINKHAM, Examiner.