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Publication numberUS3447257 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1969
Filing dateJul 13, 1966
Priority dateJul 13, 1966
Publication numberUS 3447257 A, US 3447257A, US-A-3447257, US3447257 A, US3447257A
InventorsIeda Michael
Original AssigneeIdeal Toy Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reversible steering member
US 3447257 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 3, 1969 M. IEDA REVERSIBLE STEERING MEMBER Filed .my 1s. 1966 sheet of 2 ""llllllml 'uuml mam.;

ifraeA/f X5 June 3, 1969 M. IEDA 3,447,257

REVERSIBLE STEERING' MEMBER Filed July 13, 196e sheet 3 of 2 ma/@duid United States Patent O 3,447,257 REVERSIBLE STEERING MEMBER Michael Ieda, Williston Park, N.Y., assignor to Ideal Toy Corporation, Hollis, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed July 13, 1966, Ser. No. 564,942 Int. Cl. A63h 17/26, 33/26 U.S. Cl. 46-213 1 Claim ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates generally to a miniature toy vehicle selectively operable on a track which controls the movement thereof and also on a riding surface requiring vehicle movement control by appropriate structure on the vehicle, and more particularly to certain improvements in steering structure of such a toy vehicle.

Battery-powered toy vehicles or the like are easily operated on a track having a usual guide groove therein by permitting a depending guide or track follower on such vehicle to extend into the guide groove and thus cause the vehicle to follow the guide groove curvature and otherwise perform on the track. To increase the play value of the vehicle, it is also desirable that provision be made for operating the vehicle on a oor, table or other such conventional riding surface which, of course, does not have a guide groove. Thus, it is customary to provide appropriate steering structure on the vehicle to hold the front wheels in one of several positions, and in this manner force the vehicle to follow a prescribed path, either circular or straight, on the conventional riding surface. In known toy vehicles designed for use both on and off of a track, the manner and structural changes necessary for converting from one use to the other is unnecessarily complicated and generally involves disassembly and assembly of the front wheel structure of the vehicle.

Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle having improved steering structure overcoming the foregoing and other shortcomings of the prior art. Specifically, it is an object to provide an improved steering structure for a toy Vehicle which is primarily adapted for free-wheeling steering in contemplation for use on a track and is also readily converted therefrom, without substantial modification of the front wheel assembly, to steering control involving select fixed wheel positions for the vehicle thereby facilitating the use thereof on a conventional riding surface.

A toy vehicle demonstrating objects and advantages of the present invention includes a usual chassis having a front wheel assembly mounted adjacent one end thereof and which assembly further includes a usual pair of left and right wheels and a tie member connected therebetween to provide pivotal movement of this pair of wheels in unison. Removably mountable on the tie member in one of two predetermined mounted positions is a steering member, so constructed that in each said mounted position the member is effective to exert a steering influence ou the vehicle consistent with the luse of the vehicle on a track or on a conventional riding surface. Thus, by the simple expedient of providing the steering member with one or two possible mounting positions, the Vehicle is 3,447,257 Patented June 3, 1969 correspondingly provided with an appropriate steering control consistent with the use of the vehicle either on the track or on the conventional riding surface.

The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention, will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a toy track having a toy vehicle thereon;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial elevational view taken in section on line 22 of FIG. 1 illustrating the manner in which a steering member of the vehicle and the guide groove of the track cooperate to exert a steering inuence on the vehicle;

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the vehicle front wheel assembly and of the steering member, portions thereof being broken away to better illustrate the structural details of these parts;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial plan view illustrating the manner in which the vehicle follows the curvature of a track guide groove;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken in section on line 5-5 of FIG. 2 of the steering member illustrating one of two contemplated mounted positions of this member on the vehicle;

FIG. 6 is a partial elevational view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the steering member in the other of its contemplated mounted positions on the vehicle and illustrating the manner in which a wheel guide of the steering member exerts a steering influence on the vehicle;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged plan View taken in section and looking in the direction of the arrows on line 7 7 of FIG. 6 showing further details in the construction of the wheel guide of the steering member;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged isolated perspective view of the Vehicle front wheel assembly illustrating more particularly the manner in which the wheel guide exerts a steering influence on the vehicle; and

FIG. 9 is a partial elevational view, taken in section on line 9 9 of FIG. 8, illustrating further details of the mounted position of the steering member.

Reference is now made to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1-5 wherein there is shown `a toy track 10 having a guide groove 12 therein and a toy vehicle 14 adapted to operate on the track by continuously following along the track guide groove 12. As will be described in greater detail subsequently herein, the vehicle 14 is also adapted to operate effectively olf of the track 10, but will now be described, with reference to FIGS. 1-5, as to the manner in which it is adapted for operation on the track 10. In passing, however, it should be noted that the versatility in the operation of the vehicle 14 for performance on a prescribed course such as the track 10 and also `for eti'icient performance on a riding surface not having a guiding track groove is due to the functioning of a steering member 16 removably mountable on the vehicle and effective, depending upon the particular mounted position thereof, to adapt the vehicle 14 for either of the foregoing two uses.

Referring now more particularly to structural details as illustrated in FIGS. 2-5, the vehicle 14 will be understood to be of conventional construction including a usual chassis 18 having a front wheel assembly 20 mounted adjacent the front end thereof. The assembly 20 will similarly be understood to be of conventional construction including a pair of front wheels 22 and 24 respectively having knuckles 26 and 28 pivotally mounted on the chassis 18, as at 30 and 32. Connected between knuckles 26 and 28 in a position overlying the front end of the chassis 18 is a tie member 34 which is eective to provide movement of the wheels 22, 24 in unison with each other. As best shown in FIG. 3, molded on the front end of the chassis 18 directly beneath the transversely movable tie member 34 is a holding projection 36, the function of which will soon be apparent. Turning now to the construction of the steering member 16, this member in the orientation as depicted in FIGS. 2, 3 includes an upper wheel guide portion 38 integral with a lower track follower guide 40, the wheel guide portion 38 being functional only when the vehicle 14 is not operating over a prescribed course such as the track and the follower guide 40 being functional when the vehicle 14 is operating on the track 10. For present purposes it suiiices to note that the wheel guide portion 38 includes a mounting slot 42 appropriately sized to snap about the tie member 34 approximately at a medial location thereon as between two molded projections 44 and 46 on the underside of the tie member 34 (see FIG. 2). A gripping projection 48 is provided on the wheel guide 38 for convenience in removing the steering member 16 from a mounted position on the tie member 34.

As is shown in FIGS. 2-5, for efficient performance of the vehicle 14 on a prescribed course such as the track 10, it is contemplated in accordance with the present invention that the steering member 16 will be mounted on the tie member 34 such that the track follower guide 40, in the general shape of a pin, assumes a depending orientation relative to the chassis 18 such as is shown in FIG. 2 wherein the lower free end of the follower guide extends into the track guide groove 12. As a consequence, and as is clearly shown in FIG. 4, when the vehicle 14 partakes of movement about the track 10 due to powering of the rear wheels thereof by a battery or the like, the track follower guide 40 within the track guide groove 12 is effective to manipulate the front wheel assembly 20, which is then free-wheeling, into the necessary angle to cause the vehicle to follow along the curvature of the track guide groove 12. In this way, the track follower guide 40 in the mounted position of FIGS. 25 is effective in exerting a steering influence on the vehicle 14 during operation of the vehicle 14 on the track 10.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 6-9 illustrating la second contemplated mounted position of the steering member 16 which is used for effective steering of the vehicle 14 on a riding surface 50 which does not have a prescribed guide groove therein, and which, as a consequence, renders the track follower guide 40 ineffective in exerting any steering influence over the vehicle 14. In preparing the vehicle 14 for operation on this conventional riding surface 50, the steering member 16 is removed from its mounted position as depicted in FIGS. 2, 5, turned 180 degrees and again mounted upon the tie member 34, with the track follower guide 40 at this time assuming an upstanding orientation with respect to the chassis 18, as is clearly shown in FIG. 6. In this mounted position of the steering member 16, the wheel guide 38 thereof is functional in exerting a steering'influence on the vehicle 14 in the manner as will now be described. More particularly, the wheel guide 38 includes a knurled surface 52 forming plural detents 54 which, in the FIG. 6 mounted position of the steering member 16, are projected into engagement with the holding projection 36 on the chassis 18. That is, a pair of adjacent detents 54 straddle the holding projection 36 and thereby provide an engaged position therebetween which remains intact until manually changed. Further, each engaged position between the cooperating detents 54 and holding projection 36 is effective to hold the tie member 34 against movement which, in turn, holds the front Wheels 22 and 24 in a prescribed position thereby exerting a steering iniiuence over the vehicle 14. In both of FIGS. `6 and 8, the steering member 16 is in the mounted position thereof which exerts a steering influence on the vehicle 14, although the wheel positions in each of these figures is somewhat different. In FIG. 6, the holding projection 36 is straddled by the two middle detents 54 so that the wheels 22, 24 are held in a position which will maintain the vehicle 14 on a straight line course. In FIG. 8, an end pair of detents 54 straddle the holding projection 36 so that the wheels 22, 24 are held in a slightly turned orientation providing a curved path to the vehicle 14.

From the foregoing, it should be readily appreciated that the toy vehicle 14 has considerable versatility in that it can operate effectively both on a prescribed course such as the track 10 and also on the riding surface 50 which does not have a guide groove. Moreover, this versatility in the operation of the vehicle 14 results from the simple expediency of providing one of two contemplated mounted positions of the steering member 16 on the vehicle 14. These positions are readily achieved without any disassembly of the parts of the vehicle or other complications.

What is claimed is:

1. A toy vehicle selectively adaptable to operate on a track having a flat riding surface and a guide groove therein and on another riding surface without a guide groove,

said vehicle including a chassis having a first retaining means,

a pair of wheels rotatably and pivotally mounted on said chassis for contact with said fiat riding surfaces,

a tie member interconnecting said wheels for parallel pivotal movement,

a one-piece steering member having a second retaining means on one surface thereof for cooperation with said first retaining means and a track follower permanently connected thereto projecting from another surface thereof,

means for selectively securing said steering member to said tie member for movement between a first position wherein said first and second retaining means are in operative engagement for holding said -wheels in a selected pivotal orientation and said track follower is in an inoperative orientation above the plane of said at riding surfaces,

and a second position, wherein said rst and second retaining means are disengaged and inoperative and said track follower extends downwardly below said plane of said flat riding surfaces and into a guide groove into a track for guiding pivotal movement of said wheels.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l3,027,682 4/1962 Schlau.

F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner.

ROBERT F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner.

Us. c1. xn. 46-244

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3027682 *Feb 8, 1960Apr 3, 1962Strombeck Becker Mfg CoToy vehicle steering means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3535821 *Sep 29, 1969Oct 27, 1970Ideal Toy CorpMiniature toy vehicle
US3537210 *Dec 27, 1968Nov 3, 1970Ieda MichaelMiniature toy vehicle
US5141469 *Jan 25, 1991Aug 25, 1992Kyosho CorporationToy racing set
US5928058 *Jun 4, 1997Jul 27, 1999Francis; Geoffrey V.Slot car and mechanism for guiding same
US6439955 *Dec 21, 1999Aug 27, 2002The Marketing Store Worldwide L.P.Toy vehicle and track system
US6612066Sep 27, 2002Sep 2, 2003David W. JamesAdjustable depth fishing bobber
DE3035611A1 *Sep 20, 1980Apr 8, 1982Neuhierl HermannRemote control steering for models - has electric motor rack and pinion steering with rack not fixed to steering cross-member
EP0464978A1 *Jan 30, 1991Jan 8, 1992Kyosho CorporationSingle-channel racing toy and its race track device
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/446, 446/460
International ClassificationA63H18/00, A63H18/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/08
European ClassificationA63H18/08
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 16, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: CBS INC., 51 WEST 52ND STREET, NEW YORK, NY 1001
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:IDEAL TOY CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004210/0055
Effective date: 19831108
Owner name: IDEAL TOY CORPORATION 184-10 JAMAICA AVENUE HOLLIS
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:IDEAL TOY CORPORATION, A NY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004210/0050
Effective date: 19720410