US 3358401 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. A. GRAF Dec. 19, 1967 ELECTRICALLY ILLUHINATED ANIMATED TOY Filed Sept. 20, 1965 INVENTOR.
3'0 IM A. GRAF United States Patent 3,358,401 ELECTRICALLY ILLUDIINATED ANIMATED TOY John A. Graf, 7236 112th St., Forest Hills, N.Y. 11375 Filed Sept. 20, 1965, Ser. No. 489,100 7 Claims. (Cl. 46-228) This invention relates to toys of the type in which a figure, usually representing some animal or human figure, is formed Wholly or in part of a series of segments strung upon and held together by one or more cords or wires.
In toys of this type, arrangements are provided for controlling the tension of the restraining cords or wires, a relatively high degree of tension resulting in a holding of the diverse segments in close proximity to one another, so that they form the equivalents of one or more semirigid members, thereby causing the figure to assume an erect posture. A decrease of tension of the restraining cords allows the various segments to move slightly from one another, so that the figure, under the influence of gravity, tends to assume a more or less prone position. The change of tension of the restraining cords is usually accomplished by some manually controllable mechanism, and arrangements are often provided whereby different portions of the figure may be more or less independently controlled, so that a variety of postures may be assumed thereby, at the volition of the operator thereof.
In the instant invention, the toy is not only so arranged that an alteration of the external configuration thereof may be brought about by manually controlled cord tensioning means, but two additional mechanisms are simultaneously controlled by this same single means.
One of the most important requirements of a toy of the type described is that it shall supply prominent sensual stimuli, both when it is not being actively manipulated, and when it is in actual use. In the toy of this invention, provision is made of automatic restorative mechanism which will operate when the toy is not in use, and which will cause the figure to assume an erect posture, thereby subtending a greater visual angle, so that it will be more easily seen and will attract greater attention at a casual glance. Another advantage of this feature is the presentation of a much more pleasing aspect than is presented by a toy of this type which assumes the prone position when not in use, as is the case in many prior art structures.
An additional and highly important element of this invention resides in the provision of devices incorporated within the body of the toy, which will automatically function to cause one or more portions thereof to emit light rays when the toy is activated. The production of light emanating from an object itself, rather than merely being reflected therefrom, has an extremely potent psychological effect in attracting attention thereto, and is particularly attractive to the juvenile mind of the usual operator of the toy. If portions of the figure be made transparent or translucent, the enclosure therewithin of a source of light will cause the intrinsic brilliancy of the optical image formed upon the retina of the observer to be relatively so intense that apperception of the figure will be much more prompt than would be the case if the reflected light alone were depended upon for the attention-drawing functioning of the toy.
One object of the instant invention is to provide a toy of the jointed or strung type in which the toy will retain an erect or tense position when not in use.
Another object of this invention is to provide a toy of the type indicated, in which the release of the tensioning of the stringing cords is automatically accompanied by temporary suspension of the functioning of the mechanism which normally causes the figure of the toy to remain erect.
invention is to provide a toy of the manually controlled collapsing type in which collapse or assumption of the prone position by the figure of the toy may simultaneously cause some portion of the toy to become self-luminous.
Yet another object is to provide a toy in which a single control member causes selective collapse of dilferent portions of the figure of the toy, and at the same time optionally causes interior illumination of a portion of the figure.
For the accomplishment of the objects above set forth, and for the securing of still other advantages which will be apparent to those skilled in the art, this invention comprises certain elements and combinations thereof, which are clearly displayed in the hereunto attached drawings, and in the following specification.
Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings, in which are shown two views of one embodiment of this invention.
FIGURE 1 shows in front elevation and partly in section a toy formed according to this invention, the head portion of the figure having been partly removed in order more clearly to illustrate the lighting device contained therein.
FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the structure of FIG- URE 1, also shown partly in cross section.
A hollow base 10, of any suitable material, has a button 11 normally held slightly extruded therefrom by spring 12 and fitted into suitable depressions in the base and the button. Cords 13 are fastened to the upper surface of the button and pass through longitudinal bores 14, in the articulated portions 15. At the tail, the ends of the cords passing through the rear legs are tied in a knot 16, preferably fanned out to simulate hair.
At the front portion, the cords are tied in a knot and through each front leg is additionally passed a wire 18 and 19. Wire 18 is fastened to contact piece 20, which, upon depression of the button, makes contact with the outer shell of battery 21, resting in cavity 22. Wire 19 extends over the outer edge of the base and connects to a spring 23 held compressed between a removable cap 24, which allows battery replacement, and the centre contact of battery 21.
The head 25, covering the bulb 17, is made of transparent or translucent material, so that light will pass therethrough. The other portions of the toy are formed of any suitable material, such as wood or plastic, except the compression spring, the metallic electrical conductors, and the cords 13.
Depression of the button will cause release of cord tension, which release may be made non-uniform by uneven depression of the button, since various cords are, as shown, fastened to different points upon the upper surface of the button. Depression of the front portion of the button will additionally bring contact piece 20 against the shell of battery 21, thereby completing the electrical circuit to bulb 17.
Many modifications of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, the button may be located at other positions than at the base of the figure, and the bulb may be located at a different point than the head.
While I have shown and described one form of this invention, it is to be understood that this is by way of example and not of limitation, and that the scope of this invention is to be determined only by the scope of the hereunto appended claims.
Having now shown and described my invention sufliciently clearly to be readily understood by one skilled in the art, what I particularly claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States of America is:
A further object of this "1. A toy in the form of an articulated simulacrum comprising a base member, a body member supported thereby and formed of a plurality of apertured abutting sections, certain of said sections functioning as supporting members for the sections situated superior thereto, elongated threadl-ike connecting members upon which said sections are strung adjacent to one another, means for limiting longitudinal movement of said connecting members within said sections, including knots formed at the uppermost end .of each connecting member, and push button means to Which'the bottom extremity of each connecting member is fastened, a compression type spring normally keeping said pushbutton in expanded position, each of said connection members being held substantially taut when said button is in said expanded position, whereby said body articulations are held in close proximity to one another, and said body member assumes a substantially erect position, and whereby pressure upon said push button causes compression of said spring, loosening of said connecting members, and at least partial collapse of said body member, a source of electrical energy positioned within said base member, an electrically actuated lamp positionedupon some portion of said body member where it will be capable of emitting light-externally of the toy, conductors extending from said electrical source to said electric'lamp, and ancillary contact making members within said base member and arranged to be actuated by the depression of said push button, whereby pressure upon said button simultaneously causes at least partial collapse of said body member and lighting of said electric'lamp.
2. A toy accordingto claim'l, in which said simulacrum is in the'forrn of a cephalous animaL'having a head .por- -tion' for-me'd of at least translucent material, and'said elect'riclamp is located Within saidhead portion.
3. *A toy according to claim '1, in which said source of electricalsenergy comprises at least one voltaic cell, said base member is provided with an aperture extending inwardly from the periphery thereof, said aperture having a size and a configuration corresponding to the size and shape of said voltaic cell, and also including means for restraining said cell within said aperture and means for making electrical contact with said cell at a plurality of points of difierent potential.
4. An articulated figurine including cord-like means for determining the relative position of the individual articulations, means for controlling the tension of said cord-like means, an electric power source and electric light concealed within said figurine,means for transmitting light exteriorly of the portion ofthe figurine conceal ing said electric light, means for completing a circuit between said electric source and light, and unitary manually controllable means 'for simultaneously relaxing said tension and activating said circuit completing means.
5. A figurine according to claim 4, including a base mounting said figurine, and a push button-having a substantially plane surface on thebottom thereof and mounted within said base whereby when undepressed to ;project downwardly therefrom, so as to form an ancillary base, connections from said button to said tens-ioning means, said circuit completing means being also carried by and actuated by the depression of said button.
6. A toy including a plurality of strung articulations, means for determining the effective rigidity of said articulations, means for emitting light from a portion of said toy, and single unitary means for controlling both said rigidity determining means and the functioning of said light emitting means.
7. A toy according to claim 6, in which said light emitting means comprises a battery concealed within the toy, wires strung through the articulations, a bulb connected.
to said wires, and a contact closure actuated by said controlling means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,455,430 12/1948 Luckhaupt 461'19 2,614,362 10/1952 Zavala 46-226 X 3,034,258 5/1962 Schwartz 46-228 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.
'R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner.