US 3319376 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1967 L. DOPPELT ETAL 3,319,376
MOLDED F'LOPPY-LIMBED DOLL WITH CELLULAR TORSO AND LIMBS AND SUBSTANTIALLY CELL-FREE THTN JOINTS Filed Nov. 9, 1966 INVENTORS LAWRENCE DOPPELT MELVIN ROSENBLUM Y ALBERTO UNGARO ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofiice Patented May 16, 1967 3,319,376 MOLDED FLOPPY-LIMBED DOLL WITH CELLU- LAR TSRSO AND LTMBS AND SUBSTANTIALLY CELL-FREE THIN JGINTS Lawrence Doppelt, Great Neck, N.Y., Melvin Rosenhlum, Hilisdale, N.J., and Alberto Ungaro, New York, N.Y., assignors to Golderger Doll Mfg. Co., Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 9, 1966, Ser. No. 593,135 5 Claims. (Cl. 46-156) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE -A molded floppy-limbed doll composed of a head and a skeleton-free body, the body including a torso and limbs joined to the torso by resilient tough thin hinges which permit independent free-swinging movement of the limbs with respect to the torso. The body is rotationally molded of foamed polyvinyl chloride and has a tough one-piece impervious skin. The hinges are substantially cell-free and are denser than the torso and limbs.
The present invention relates to a molded doll formed from a synthetic organic foamed material and characterized by a floppy free-swinging coupling between its torso and each of its limbs.
It is the primary object of our invention to provide a doll of the character described having a one-piece, i.e. unitary, body which is formed in a single cycle of a molding operation and which therefore can be manufactured at an exceedingly high rate of production, which does not require any assembly whatsoever, and which can be marketed as a popular-priced item.
It is a further object of our invention to provide a doll of the character described having a solid body, that is,
a body entirely filled with synthetic organic foamed material, which has a feel which is remarkably life-like, which is further characterized by an ensheathing skin which is washable but is yet impervious to water, which has an overall density less than the density of water so that it will float, for example, in a childs tub, and which is completely immersible in water without the body absorbing any water and without water finding its way internally of the body.
It is still another object of our invention to provide a doll of the character described having a body including a torso and four limbs, the doll being characterized by a free-swinging articulation in hinges connecting the limbs and the torso so that a child playing with the doll can move the limbs back and forth without encountering appreciable resistance by the doll body, such characteristic being similar to the loosely jointed connection between the limbs of a baby and the torso of such a baby, the aforesaid floppy articulation however, being self-formmaintaining so that the limbs are oriented by said hinges in a predetermined as-molded, outstretched position with respect to the body of the doll.
It is still another object of our invention to provide a (1011 of the character described wherein the limbs and the torso (except for the skin) of the doll are of cellular crosssection and the hinges connecting the limbs to the torso are of cell-free cross-section and by virtue of such more solid construction are tough enough to successfully withstand hard long hours of play.
Other objects of our invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
Our invention accordingly consists in the features of the construction, combination of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the molded floppy-limbed foam doll hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings in which is shown one of the various possible embodiments of our invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the novel molded floppylimbed foam doll;
FIG. 2 is a highly enlarged fragmentary front-to-back cross-sectional view of the lower portion of the head, the upper and lower portions of the torso, the hinge connecting the torso to a leg, and an upper portion of the leg, the same being taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary highly enlarged side-to-side cross-sectional view of the hinge between an arm and the torso, and the surrounding arm and torso portions, the same being taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1; and a FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken transversely of a hinge and substantially along the line 44 of FIG. 2, the view being fragmentary and greatly enlarged.
In general and in accordance with the teaching of our invention, there is provided a doll having a head and a body, the body including a torso, a pair of arms and a pair of legs, and hinges connecting the limbs to the torso. The head of the doll is entirely conventional and the present invention relates primarily to the body of the doll. The body is adapted to be joined to any standard doll head having a neck opening. Further, the body of the doll is formed as a single one-piece unit in a single cycle of a molding operation.
It is to be understood that although separate cornponents of the body will subsequently be discussed, as for material. The body is characterized by a skin zone which is essentially non-cellular or equivalently includes tiny unconnected cells, whereby the skin of the body is impervious to water. The interior of the components of the body are cellular in structure the cells preferably being, in the main, unconnected so that if the skin be punctured or broken the doll when immersed in water will still be substantially impervious to water and will not absorb water like a sponge with consequent impairment of its play functions or repugnance to a childs parents. The interior cellular structure of the body taken with the essentially non-cellular skin zone ensheathing the body give the body a somewhat resilient feel with a slightly delayed recovery which is remarkably life-like.
The torso of the body is connected to each limb of the body by a separate hinge. The hinges are made from the same material as that from which the remainder of the body is formed; however, each hinge has a substantially uniformly essentially non-cellular cross-section. Each hinge is, therefore, tough and is firmer than the other portions of the body and in fact resembles the flexibility of a sect-ion of leather of like thickness. Each such hinge has a broad and fiat front face and a like back face and is thin relative to the hinge and torso, and each such hinge is joined on one side to the torso and on an opposed parallel side to a limb. Accordingly, each hinge bends most along a preferred axis of rotation, said axis passing through its thickness, that is, parallel to and between its front and back faces. Said axis is parallel to the sides of the hinge which join the torso and a limb and is perpendicular to the length of the limb at the hinge. Thus, the hinge conmeeting the arm to the torso permits the arm to swing sideways forwardly and rearwardly while the hinge connecting the torso and a leg permits said leg to swing -upwardly both in front of the doll and in back of the doll. Notwithstanding the flexibility of the hinges, they are suflicient-ly self-form-maintaining to hold the arms of the doll spread apart and the legs of the doll downward and slightly apart when said arms and legs extend in repose from the torso. Each hinge biases its limb to such asmolded position. The floppy articulation of the hinges is such that when the torso is held by hand and pushed forwardly and backw-ardly gently, the arms and the legs swing gently forwardly and rearwardly. Each hinge can be swung in any direction with respect to the torso, although, as has been said, a preferred axis of rotation exists. The head is connected to the torso by engagement of a lower opening the-rein with a reduced diameter section of a neck in one-piece with the body. Such reduced sect-ion permits the head to bob forwardly and rearwardly or side-to-side with respect to the torso.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, the reference numeral denotes a childs molded floppy-limbe'd doll made in accordance with our invention. The various components of the doll resemble those of a baby or young child and said doll includes a head 12 and a body 14. The head includes the usual features such as hair, eyes, ears, nose and a mouth. The head is formed from thinwalled plastic, is hollow and has a circular neck opening 16 leading into the interior of the head. Said opening is formed in the bottom wall 17 of the head. The head 12 is entirely conventional and any dolls head having a neck opening and an internal cavity to which the said opening leads can be used with the body 14.
The body includes a torso 18, four limbs, viz., a pair of arms 20, 22 and a pair of legs 24, 26, and limb hinges.
Each limb is connected to the torso by a different one of said hinges, there thus being a total of four hinges. More specifically, a hinge 28 joins the arm 22 to the torso 18, a hinge 30 joins the leg 26 to the torso, a hinge 32 joints the leg 24 to the torso and a hinge (not shown) joins the arm to the torso. Each hinge is of like construction, although the hinges for the arms are at different orientation with respect to the torso then are the hinges for the legs.
It is appropriate to mention at this point that the entire body constitutes a single piece, that is, the body is unitary. Although it is within the scope of our invention to fabricate extremities of the limbs, such as hands, arms, calves, fore-arms, etc., separately, and join them to the limbs as by glueing, preferably, the body is formed by rotational molding following deposition of a single charge of a foamable resilient resin in a rotational molding machine. Such machine is shown by way of example in United States Letters Patent Nos. 2,569,869, 2,629,131 and 2,696,024. The charge may be in liquid form, for example, a plastisol, including a heat actuatable blowing agent. The charge is sufficiently large to expand upon blowing and fill the entire mold for the body. Thus, it should be clear thatwhile the separate components of the body 14 have been individually named, all of said components including the hinges form a single integral whole and blend into one another without distinct lines of demarcation.
A suitable resilient thermoplastic resin is polyvinylchloride. The body is solid, by which is meant that any crosssection taken of the body shows that the foamed polyvinylchloride material completely fills the interior of the body and that there is no large internal chamber within the body. Moreover, the body has no supporting skeleton, e.g. a maleable wire skeleton, which is typical of many childs dolls; rather the form of the doll and its stance are provided solely by the characteristics of the molded foamed material from which it is made.
In FIG. 2, an enlargement A of a small cross-sect ion of the body including its skin zone and a portion internally of the skin shows that the torso (the same is true of the limbs), has a varying cellular structure at various internal depths. Deeply within the body, as at B, the cells are relatively large; in a zone as at C close to yet internally of the skin zone, the cells are of a smaller size; at the skin zone D of the body, there are essentially no cells or they are very small. The skin cells, if any, are unconnected to one another (the walls of the cells are unbroken) and preferably the internal cells (beneath the skin) are unconnected to one another. The aforesaid variations in cellular size are engendered during the rotational molding process and is believed to occur primarily because the higher temperature present along the molding surface than in the interior collapses most cells near the skin zone. Typically, a charge remains in the rotational mold for ten minutes and the mold oven is at a temperature of 400 F.
The essentially non-cellular structure of the skin zone makes the skin tough and resistant to tearing or puncturing. Also, due to the essentially non-cellular structure of the skin zone, the body has an ensheathing skin 34 which is impervious to water, i.e. tubbable. Since the skin covers the entire external surface of the body, water cannot enter into the interior of the body. Thus, the doll of the present invention is particularly well adapted to be washed by a young child or taken into his bath as often as desired with no noticeable effect on the body. Moreover, the body may be immersed in water without harm or soaking up water. The density of the body as a whole is materially less than the density of water, for instance from about one-fifth to about one-fifteenth, so that the doll will float in a tub. In a test made with a doll formed in accordance with the present invention, the doll body was completely submerged under water for one hour. When it was removed, it was buoyant and no increase could be detected in its weight.
The body as a whole is resilient. By this is meant that a finger of a child may be pushed partially into the body and the skin will yield locally and inwardly; when the finger is removed, the skin reverts to its initial position. The body has a slightly delayed return yet resilient feel which is remarkably life-like.
The hinges of the doll constitute floppy, free-swinging connections between the limbs and the torso. The hinges permit the arms and legs to be swung freely with respect to the torso, yet the hinges are sufficiently self-form-maintaining to hold the arms 20, 22 outright and the legs 24, 26 downward and somewhat spread apart in their asmolded positions. In other words, each hinge is resilient and has a position of repose to which it reverts if the limb which it joins to the torso is not being urged to a displaced position. In such repose position, the hinge is sufliciently sturdy to tend to retain its limb in its as-molded position. Accordingly, if say an arm of an erect body is pushed rearwardly, the hinge articulation permits thisvto be done easily and without noticeable resistance. When the arm is then released, the hinge will swing the arm gently back to its as-molded position.
Each hinge is of like construction and for brevity only the hinges 28 and 30 will be discussed in detail. Each hinge is thin, i.e. has a thickness substantially less than the thickness of any limb or the torso of the doll. By way of example, the thickness of the hinge 30 in a doll formed in accordance with the invention is approximately 4" while the minimum thickness of the leg of such a doll remote from the hinge is approximately 1%", said latter named measurement being taken from the front to the back of the leg and immediately below the knee.
Each hinge further has a planar front face, respectively, 28a and 30a, and a flat planar rear face 28b and 30b. The front and rear faces of each hinge are substantially parallel and spaced apart by the thickness of each such hinge. Moreover, all of the hinges lie in a common plane which passes through the torso of the doll from side to side, said plane bisecting the neck opening 16 and passing through the legs of the doll.
Each of said hinge faces is rectangular and includes both a short dimension and a long dimension, both of said dimensions lying in a plane perpendicular to the thickness of the hinge. When the doll is held upright as shown in FIG. 1, the arm hinges have their short dimensions horizontal and their long dimensions vertical. Conversely, the leg hinges have their short dimensions vertical and their long dimensions horizontal.
The arm hinges each have a preferred axis of rotation, said axes being vertical when the doll is upright, which is substantially parallel to their long dimensions and said axes of rotation lies in a plane parallel to the plane in which the hinges lie. Said axis is perpendicular to the length of the arm at the hinge. The leg hinges each also have a preferred axis of rotation which is horizontal when the doll is upright, parallel, to their long dimension and which lies in a plane parallel to the plane of the hinges. Said axis is perpendicular to the length of the leg at the hinge. Although the preferred axes of rotation of the arm hinges and leg hinges have been discussed, it will be understood that each limb can be rotated in any rotative direction on its hinge with respect to the torso. Rotation about any axis other than the preferred axis meets with more resistance by the hinge, yet this resistance can be overcome even by the force exerted by the hands of a small child.
FIG. 4 is a greatly enlarged cross-sectional'fragmentary view of a typical hinge, the hinge 30, and illustrates that said hinge in cross-section is uniformly substantially non-cellular. The hinges have this dense cross-section due to the rotational molding which is employed to form the doll body. Since the hinges are appreciably constricted, the sections of the mold forming the configuration of the hinges are quite close together. Their proximity both inhibits foaming of the plastic charge in this portion and the heat of these adjacent sections .(because said sections are exposed to oven heat and are close together), tends to heat this portion of the body to a higher temperature than the inside of the torso and limbs and thereby to collapse any cells which might form in this portion of the body. Thus, a typical hinge has a harder feel then the remainder of the body and in fact, resembles the consistency of leather of like thickness.
Each hinge has one side, respectively, 280, 300 which is joined to and blends into the torso and each hinge has another side, respectively, 28d, 30d which is joined to and blends into a limb, the side 28d blending into the arm 22 and the side 30d blending into the leg 26. Said sides are parallel and spaced apart. Both the torso immediately adjacent to each hinge and the limb immediately adjacent to each hinge are somewhat bulbous and each hinge holds its limb sufiiciently distant from the torso so that the limb can be swung back and forth through approximately an arc of half a circle without interference by the body.
The density of the body of the doll, other than the hinges, can, as pointed out previously, vary widely, a typical average density for the foamed plastic being seven .pounds per cubic foot. The density of the hinges is approximately the same as the density of the thermoplastic resilient resin as there are essentially no or very few cells in the hinges. The typical density for the hinge is approximately the same as the density of water. If the hinges of the doll were permitted to be foamed they would be considerably weaker and would tend to tear quite easily.
The torso is connected to the doll head 12 by a foam filled neck 35. The neck is unitary with the remainder of the torso and has a mushroom configuration in elevational cross-section (see FIG. 2). The head includes an overhanging flange portion 36 which is circular in plan and which has a diameter greater than the diameter of the neck opening 16 of the head. The neck further includes a constricted shank portion 38 dependent from the flange 36 which joins and blends into the upper part of the torso. The shank portion is also circular in transverse section and has a diameter slightly larger, e.g. one-quarter inch, than the neck opening 16 so that the head may be rotated with respect to the body, with, the wall defining the neck opening frictionally sliding on the shank portion 38. In an assembled doll, the flange portion 36 overhangs the interior surface of the bottom wall of the head surrounding the neck opening 16, thereby retaining the head on the body. Due to the lesser thickness of the shank portion 38 of the neck 35 and due to the resiliency and flexibility of the foamed material from which the body is made, the neck permits the head to be swung from side to side or from front to back with respect to the body.
The body is formed in a two part rotational mold, each part of the mold forming a different front half and rear half of the body. A parting line 40 formed at the juncture of the parts of the mold circumscribes the body and runs on the outside of all of the hinges. Said parting line 40 lies in the same plane in which the hinges lie.
We wish to point out that it is within the scope of our invention to secure less than all of the limbs to the torso in an integral fashion by the use of unitary tough thin hinges in the foregoing manner. Thus, any single limb or any pair of limbs may be attached with the construction detailed heretofore, and the other pair of limbs or balance of the limbs can be connected to the torso in any conventional manner as, for example, through the use of swivel joints.
It thus will be seen that we have provided a molded foamed fioppy-limbed doll which achieves the several objects of our invention and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention and as various changes might be made in the embodiment set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. A molded floppy-limbed doll having a head and a skeleton-free resilient body, the body including, in onepiece, a torso, limbs and resilient tough hinge means, each hinge means constituting a section joining a different limb to the torso for independent rotative movement with respect to the torso in all directions and for free-swinging movement with respect to the torso about a preferred axis of rotation perpendicular to the length of the limb at the hinge means, each said hinge means having a thickness substantially less than the thickness of the limbs and a dimension perpendicular to and substantially longer than its thickness, said dimension being parallel to said preferred axis of rotation, the body being constituted of a synthetic organic resilient resin material, the material of the limbs and the torso of the body being completely filled with cells internally thereof, the body including a tough water impervious skin completely ensheathing the same and in one-piece therewith, said body being buoyant in water, the material of each hinge means being substantally cell-free and each hinge means having a density substantially greater than the density of any limb.
2. A doll as set forth in claim 1 wherein each hinge means when in repose lies in a plane passing through the sides of the torso from the top to the bottom of the torso.
3. A doll as set forth in claim 1 wherein each hinge means has one side joined to the torso and has an opposite spaced parallel side joined to a limb, each hinge means holding its limb away from the torso for swinging movement about the preferred axis without interference through an arc of about one-half a circle.
4. A doll as set forth in claim 1 wherein each hinge means is self-form-maintaining, the hinge means in repose retaining the limbs with respect to the torso in their as-molded position and each hinge means, when its limb is displaced and then released, in the absence of a restraining force gently swinging its limb back to approximately its as-molded position.
of the body material are unconnected.
UNITED References Cited by the Examiner STATES PATENTS McElroy.
Leathers 46-156 ONeill 46-156 Meurisse 273-5 8.2 Brayford 46-156 X Gruss et :11.
References Cited by the Applicant UNITED STATES PATENTS F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner.