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Publication numberUS3466793 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1969
Filing dateMay 11, 1965
Priority dateMay 11, 1965
Publication numberUS 3466793 A, US 3466793A, US-A-3466793, US3466793 A, US3466793A
InventorsMoore Stuart F, Pugh William A G
Original AssigneeGen Mills Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Doll having universally movable limbs
US 3466793 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 6, 1969 w. A. G. PUGH ETAL 3,466,793

DOLL HAVING UNIVERSALLY MOVABLE LIMBS Filed llay 11, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 1T 3 I 25 L V v 9 i 24 .48 44 V I Y 37 43 Sept. 16, 1969 w,;\. PUGH ETAL DOLL HAVING UNIVERSALLY MOVABLE LIMBS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 11, 1965 p 6, 1969 w. A. e. PUGH ETAL 3,466,793

I v DOLL HAVING UNIVERSALLY MOVABLE LIMBS Filed May 11, 1965 v 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Sept. 16, 1969 w. A. s. PUGH ETAL 3,

DOLL HAVING UNIVERSALLY MOVABLE LIMBS Filed May 11, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet. 4

United States Patent 3,466,793 DOLL HAVING UNIVERSALLY MOVABLE LIMBS William A. G. Pugh, Oadby, and Stuart F. Moore, Glenfield, England, assignors to General Mills Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 11, 1965, Ser. No. 454,806 Int. Cl. A63 3/20 US. Cl. 46-161 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A doll with limbs which are movable in simulation of human arms and legs. They are each connected to a stalk which is rotatably fastened in a socket in the torso, their ends are a floating fit in these sockets, and the limbs are arranged to fall into a naturalistic condition of repose. Each arm is pivoted to the outer end of its stalk, while each leg has a loose, universally rotatable connection to a stalk which is elbowed at its end. Abutment means are provided to limit the extent of swing of the limbs both alongside the torso and outwards therefrom.

This invention relates to dolls and like playthings of the kind comprising a torso with limbs attached thereto. The doll or the like will, of course, also have a head, which may be integral with the torso or associated with it in any convenient fashion, but the present invention is not concerned with the head, but with the attachment of the limbs to the torso.

It is, in fact, concerned with a construction in which the limbs (or at least some of the limbs) are connected to the torso through swivel joints, and objects of this invention are novel forms of swivel jointing which will allow the limbs to faithfully reproduce human limb movements.

Another object is the production of joints each in effect, divided into two separate and individually maneuverable agencies by means of which it is possible to reproduce normal human limb movements with considerable realism. These movements can, in practice, be regarded as a facility for rotation, albeit of limited range, of the limb in a plane transverse to its junction with the torso (as, for example, the up and down swing of an arm with the shoulder as a fulcrum), in combination with a pivoting of the limb in various other planes at an angle to the firstmentioned plane (for example the outwards swing of an arm).

In pursuance of this arm, the invention presents swivel joints comprising a stalk which, at one end, is rotatably connected to a seat in the torso and, at its other end, is pivotally associated with a mounting in the limb.

Yet another object is the arrangement which allows the limb to penetrate to varying extents into the torso during the pivoting motions without at any time exposing a realism-destroying gap between limb and torso.

Another important object of this invention is the formation of the jointing means in such a way as to restrain unrealistic contortions of the limb.

A still further object is to devise a doll joint so that the limb concerned will always tend to return to a naturalistic condition of repose when allowed or encouraged to do so. This is not to say that it is to return on release at any time; it is an important asset of the facility of the end of the limb to penetrate into the torso that the frictional contact between the surfaces of the limb and torso can be sufiicient to retain them lightly in any set position.

In practicing the inven ion, the seat may be provided by a concave element of shell form engaged in a corresponding recess in the torso with the cavity facing outwards, and the stalk passed through the wall of the element at the bottom of the cavity and trapped at the inner 3,466,793 Patented Sept. 16, 1969 (i.e., convex) side of the latter. This arrangement ensures adequate freedom of movement of the end of the limb penetrating the torso, whatever the rotational position of the stalk.

In a simple method of implementing this, the inner end of the stalk is in the form of a cylindrical pin which is passed with a rotatable fit through the seat element and is trapped behind the latter by a spring clip. This is not only simple to produce and efiective in use but it can be quickly assembled. Moreover, the disposition of the rotatable connection at the part of the seat which is deepestsunk into the torso allows for unobstructed maneuver of the limb about the other end of the stalk.

As already suggested, to enhance the realistic effect means may be provided to limit the extent of potential rotation between the stalk and seat element, e.g., in simulation of the restrictions in the up and down swing of the human arm alongside the body. In the specific construction proposed above this can readily be achieved by cooperating formations on the stalk and seat element.

Turning now to the limb mounting, this is advantageously a hollow tubular element equipped at one end for engagement within the end of the limb concerned, with the remainder of the element projecting deeper into the limb and furnishing the means for coupling to the outer end of the stalk.

This coupling can be realised in various ways. In a simple case the stalk is hinged between opposite side walls in the interior of the mounting element so that it can pivot relatively to this element in an axial plane of the latter. This, in combination with the motions provided for by the rotary mounting in the torso, will provide for a wide range of orientations of the limb, and affords particularly realistic effects when applied to the arm of a doll.

Here again, limits may be placed on the range of this relative pivoting to obtain realism. Thus, very simply, the mounting shell itself may be designed so that it will have parts acting as limiting stops to the relative pivoting in either direction. Furthermore, the limb concerned (i.e., an arm) will be designed so that if it is released or pushed from an outswung position it will fall under gravity into a natural repose position.

The coupling between the mounting element and stalk can, however, be devised to provide for more complex movements if so required. In one example the coupling may be such as to allow at least a restricted degree of universal motion of the mounting element on the stalk by passing the latter loosely through an opening in an inset: end wall of the mounting element and providing it with a head ball at the other side of the latter. This inhibits separation, and gives a great range of potential positions of the limb relatively to the torso, restricted only by the degree of freedom conceded to the stalk in the shell opening.

In a very suitable arrangement the stalk is sphericallyheaded and the opening in the transverse wall of the mounting element has a substantial clearance from the stalk at this part and has a bevelled rim forming a cup for loose reception of the head. The parts concerned will be dimensioned according to the application envisaged, but it will be appreciated that it will be simple to provide suitable abutment means between the parts where they might be desirable to impose any particular discipline on the movements.

In a specific instance this form of joint has been found admirably suited to the mounting of the leg of a doll. In this case, however, it is found best to simulate the human physiology by arranging the stalk of an inclination of about 45 to the axis of symmetry of the torso. As this may be difiicult to reconcile with the desire to allow the leg to fall naturally into a vertically hanging rest position,

the stalk itself will advantageously be cranked at the outer end part so that its end section adjacent the ball head will actually be at an angle to the part of the stalk con nected to the. seat, e.g., at 45, and consequently the outer end part, will, in use, be parallel to the axis of symmetry of the torso. This will not only give greater freedom for the required up-and-outwards swing of the leg, but will allow for the required vertical hang in repose.

Apart from the features deriving from the foregoing analysis, the invention also includes particular forms of joining means devised to implement these features.

A doll incorporating swivel joints according to the present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a front view of the body of the doll with parts broken away and shown in cross section,

FIGURES 2, 3, 4 and 5 are respectively cross sections on the lines IIII, III-4H, IVIV and V--V of FIG- URE 1,

FIGURE 6 is an exposed perspective illustration of an arm joint of the doll, and

FIGURE 7 is an exploded perspective illustration of a leg joint of the doll.

The parts of the doll illustrated comprise a torso 1, arms 2 and 3, and legs 4 and 5, all these par-ts being moulded of hollow form from a resilient vinyl plastics material. One of the arm joints is generally denoted 6 and one of the leg joints 7, and these joints are devised to allow for the relative rotation and pivoting movements between the limb concerned and the torso in fullfilment of the principles explained earlier in this specification. The components of these joints are injection moulded from a relatively rigid plastics material, such as polypropylene.

Dealing first with the joint 6, this has as its bas1c components a stalk 8, a body seat 9 and a limb mounting 10. The seat 9 is in the form of a frusto conical cup or shell element which is flattened at the centre and has a circular flange 11. In assembly, it is pushed into a corresponding cavity 12 formed in the torso 1 at the shoulder of the doll with its mouth opening outwardly and the flange 11 trapped behind an undercut rib 13 formed around the arm opening of the cavity 12. Being of a resilient plastic, this rib will yield when the element is inserted into position, and it will be noted that the flange 11 is interrupted at 14 for cooperation with a corresponding web 15 across the undercut groove in rib 13, thereby allowing for location of the element 9 in position. Element 9 will advantageously be firmly anchored in position in the torso 1 by adhesive.

The stalk 8 is in the form of a cylindrical pin which is passed through a corresponding opening 16 in the bottom of the cup presented by element 9 and is trapped in position by a spring clip 17 which engages in an appropriate annular groove 18 at the inner end of stalk 8.

It will be observed that this stalk is also moulded with a collar 19 having a radially projecting pip 20. This collar is a face fit against an internal boss 21 of the shell seat 9, and pip cooperates with a short rib 22 on this boss to limit the angular rotation of the stalk 8 relatively to element 9.

At its outer end the stalk 8 is provided with a cross piece 23 which is pivotally received in cheeks 24 moulded across the opposed internal faces of the conical wall of the mounting element 10. This latter is provided by a tubular element in the form of a conical thimble and it has a rim 25 at its open end which is engaged behind an undercut groove 26 in a conical inturned flange 27 defin ing the open end of the arm 2. This flange resiliently yields when the mounting element is pushed into position. This flange 27 then tightly embraces the conical wall of the element 10, and these parts can be firmly bonded by adhesive. It will be noted that the rim 25 is provided with a small cutout 28 which cooperates with a corresponding web across the groove 26 to locate the parts in correct relative position during assembly.

With the joint 6 as described assembled, the arm 2, it will be seen, is capable of performing a range of movements, relatively to the torso 1. In the first place, it can be turned on the torso in a plane parallel to the plane of symmetry of this torso, in the way that the human arm can swing up and down beside the body. This is provided for by the simple rotation of the stalk 8 in the seat element 9, and it will be appreciated that the extent of this swing is limited by engagement of the pip 20 with the ends of the rib 22. Referring to FIGURE 2, it will be observed that this provides a range of movement of about 270 between a lower and backwardly swung position 2, forwards through a bottom and natural rest position 2, to an upper position 2". Further, the centre of gravity of the arm 2 is arranged such that, when released or given a push, the arm will descend under gravity to the natural rest position 2, shown in full lines in FIGURE 2, in which it hangs beside the body.

The mounting element 10 and the associated components allow for movement of the arm outwards from the side of the body, again with a natural return to the repose position 2. These outward swings are permitted by the pivoting of cross piece 23 in the mounting element 10, and it is found in practice that the combination of the facility for pivoting in this way, With any chosen position in the first mentioned swing, enables the arm to be brought into any natural posture which the human arm can occupy. Here again unnatural postures are prohibited by engagement between the stalk 8 and the flange 27 or its backing 25.

Furthermore, it will be noted that, when assembled, it is arranged that the upper end of arm 2 shall project to a marked degree into the cavity 12 so that, in whatever posture the arm may adopt, no gap will appear between the torso and the arm and indeed there will, in any arm position, be a slight frictional engagement between the resilient plastic surfaces of the arm and torso cavity which will retain the arm temporarily in the adjusted position.

Turning now to the leg joint 7, this has main components in the form of a seat element 30 of generally frusto conical shell form, a stalk 31 and a limb mounting 32. The element 30 is similar to element 9, having a flange 33 and a flattened bottom 34 provided with a hole 35 for the passage of the end of stalk 31. As in the previous case, the seat element 30 is fitted into a corresponding cavity 36 formed in the lower part of the torso 1 with its mouth opening outwardly, and it will be observed that the rim 37 of this opening is arranged in a plane at approximately 45 to the axis of symmetry of the torso, thus generally conforming with the pelvis structure of the human body. The rim 37 is undercut at 38 to locate and trap the element 30 after the latter has been pushed into the cavity, as allowed for by the resilient nature of the plastic material of the torso. Again, the rim 37 and the flange 33 of the mounting element can be provided with complementary formations to positively locate the element in its cavity, but this is not here so important because of the greater freedom of movement which is allowed by the limb mounting (see below). In any event, the position of the mounting element 30 can be consolidated by the use of adhesive.

The stalk 31 in this instance has a collar 39 similar to the collar 19 of the stalk 3 and, like the latter, the inner end of the stalk is arranged to pass through a boss 40 in the seat element 30 and be engaged to the rear of the latter by a spring clip 41, with collar 39 bearing against the boss 40. Thus the stalk 31 can rotate within the stationary element 30.

The stalk 31 is not, however, entirely rectilinear as in the case of the stalk 8 but is provided at its outer end with a cranked portion 42 terminating in a ball head 43 the centre of which is on the axis of the main rectilinear portion of stalk 31. The purpose of this cranked portion will later become apparent.

The leg mounting element 32 is of cylindrical tubular form open at one end but closed at the other by an oblique wall 44 in a plane at 45 to the axis of the cylinder. This mounting element 32 is provided with a flanged rim 45 which is adapted to be received and gripped in an annular groove 46 in the end of the leg 4 once the mounting 32 has been pushed into the yielding end opening in this leg. The rim 45 is provided with a notch 47 which cooperates with a web (not shown) across the groove 46 to locate the mounting in a position in which the wall 44 is approximately at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the leg. It will be further noted that this Wall is provided With a central opening defined by an annular bevelled rim 48.

In assembly, the stalk 31 is first threaded through the opening defined by rim 48 in mounting element 32 and the loading end of the stalk is pushed through the hole 35 in the seat element 30, and trapped at the rear of the latter by the clip 41. The mounting element 32 is then pressed into the opening in the leg and snapped into groove 46. The leg 4 then hangs suspended from the torso 1, and it is arranged that, in this situation, the cranked end portion 42 of stalk 31 shall be disposed with its axis parallel to that of the torso 1, i.e., in the position illustrated in FIGURE 1.

With this assembled arrangement, it will be appreciated that the stalk, and with it the leg, can be rotated on the seat element 30. Further, the leg can be pivoted relatively to the stalk in a quasiuniversal fashion, the restrictions to this being imposed by abutment between the stalk and the mounting element 32. FIGURE 4, for example, shows the limiting positions 4 and 4" in one plane, these being defined by engagement of stalk portion 42 with the edges of rim 48 of the element. FIGURE 5 shows the limiting im posed positions 4 4 in another plane by the engagement of the main portion of the stalk with the rim 45 of the element.

These restrictions confine the leg Within realistic limits and, as in the case of the arm described above, the fit between the upper end of the leg and the torso socket is made sufiicient for the leg to be self-retaining in any adjusted position, but to be returnable, when a light pressure is applied, to the neutral rest position 4.

We claim:

1. In a doll comprising a torso having at least one recess having a mouth opening outwardly from said torso, a limb swivelably attached to said recess by a rod-form stalk which is rotatably anchored in the said recess, a pivot connection pivotally attaching the stalk to the said limb, the inner end of the limb projecting partially into the said inset recess in the torso and making line contact with the edge of the said mouth of said recess, said pivot connection between the stalk and the limb being located in the plane of the edge of said mouth, and including a frustoconical shell in said recess with its smaller end located innermost, the inner end of the stalk connected to the inner end of the shell, such that the inner end of the stalk is relatively deep seated in the recess and such that the inner end of the limb extends into the recess beyond the said line contact.

2. A doll as claimed in claim 1 the limb being an arm, said shell element including an opening rotatably receiving said stalk, and said shell element and said stalk having cooperating abutments to limit the extent of angular rotation of said stalk and hence the swing of the arm alongside the torso.

3. A doll as claimed in claim 2, wherein the inner end of the said arm has a tubular mounting element engaged therein and the stalk is furnished at its outer end with a cross piece pivoted at its ends in said mounting element, whereby the arm is adapted to be swung sideways and outwards from said torso to an extent limited by abutment between the wall of the mounting element and the stalk.

4. A doll as claimed in claim 1 wherein the limb is a leg and wherein the stalk for connecting the leg to the torso comprises a rod provided at its outer end with an elbowed formation having two mutually offset portions both at an angle to the remainder of the rod and a spherical head adjoining this elbowed formation, said stalk passing loosely through an opening in a transverse wall of a mounting element engaged in the inner end portion of the leg concerned for rotatable movement of said stalk relative to the said mounting element, whereby the leg can be swung up and down alongside said torso and outwards from the latter an amount limited by engagement of said elbowed portion with the wall of said mounting element.

5. A doll comprising a torso with a recess at each shoulder and with a tapered pelvis formation at the lower part, a frustoconical seat element engaged in each said recess, said element having an opening at the apex of the cone, a rod-form stalk having one end passing through said opening, a spring clip engaging said stalk end at the convex side of said seat element, two arms attached to said torso, a tubular mounting element engaged in a recess in each of said arms, pivot bearings connecting the outer end of each stalk to the interior of the tubular mounting element of each arm, a further frustoconical seat element with a central opening disposed in a recess at each of the two sides of said pelvis formation, the axis of said further seat element being inclined to the axis of symmetry of the torso, a leg jointed to each of the two sides of said pelvis formation, a leg mounting element atfixed in each of the legs, said leg mounting element comprising a frustum of a cylinder truncated by an end wall disposed obliquely to the axis of the cylinder and having a central opening defined by a bevelled rim, and a stalk in the form of a cranked rod with a ball head at one end connecting each said leg mounting element to the corresponding further seat element in the torso, with said ball head engaged in a seating provided by said bevelled rim.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 526,667 9/1894 Schultz 46-161 1,548,382 8/1925 Paul 28721 2,021,115 11/1935 Jackson 46173 XR 2,37 3,963 4/ 1945 Kallus 46173 2,544,135 3/1951 Cohn 46173 2,653,415 9/1953 Becker 46173 2,979,720 4/ 1961 Leonard 28712 XR 3,098,318 7/1963 Gardel 46173 3,277,602 10/ 1966 Speers 46173 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 398,914 2/1925 Germany.

731,925 6/ 1955 Great Britain. 1,322,001 2/ 1963 France.

F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner JAMES W. MITCHELL, Assistant Examiner

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US3634966 *Mar 27, 1970Jan 18, 1972Ostrander Robert KJointed doll
US6089950 *Jun 1, 1998Jul 18, 2000C. J. Associates, Ltd.Toy figure with articulating joints
US6287166Apr 17, 2000Sep 11, 2001C. J. Associates, LimitedToy figure with articulating joints
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US8308524Nov 13, 2012Mattel, Inc.Pectoral shoulder joint toy figure
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U.S. Classification446/383
International ClassificationA63H3/46, A63H3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/46
European ClassificationA63H3/46