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Publication numberUS3477172 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1969
Filing dateNov 10, 1966
Priority dateNov 10, 1966
Publication numberUS 3477172 A, US 3477172A, US-A-3477172, US3477172 A, US3477172A
InventorsPolewski Robert E
Original AssigneeKenner Products Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mechanical toy
US 3477172 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. E. POLEWSKI MECHANICAL TOY 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 10, 1966 ruvemez 7 ATTORN Vs Nov. 11, 1969 R. E. POLEWSKI 3,477,172

MECHANICAL TOY Filed Nov. 10, 1966 v 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR AT R Y Y.

NW. 11, 1969 R. E. POLEWSKI MECHANICAL TOY 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov. 10, 1966 am, $5M


United States Patent 3,477,172 MECHANICAL TOY Robert E. Polewski, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Kenner Products Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware organized in 1967 Filed Nov. 10, 1966, Ser. No. 593,567 Int. Cl. A6311 33/26 U.S. Cl. 46-243 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An electrically powered toy device that is selectively movable forward and backward on a flexible strip running track no matter what the spatial attitude of that strip. The toy provides a particular drive mechanism that is held in constant operating engagement with the flexible strip running track by novel structure within the toy so that even when the running track is vertically suspended, the toy will run up and down the flexible strip running track.

This invention relates to battery powered mechanical toys and, more particularly, is directed to a mechanical toy that functions on a flexible track.

The primary objective of this invention has been to provide an electrically driven toy having a body, for example, in the shape of a bug, that is movable along a running track and that is operable by children of a rela tively young age. Toward this end a toy has been invented which comprises a body, a flexible running track passing through the body, and a battery power source for moving the body forwards or backwards on the track. The body is preferably driven by drive means mounted within the body. The drive means includes a drive gear which, as it rotates engages a plurality of spaced apertures in the flexible track, thereby pulling the bug along the track with substantially no slippage taking place between the body and the track.

Another objective of this invention has been to provide a mechanical toy of the type set forth which is sufficiently sturdy to withstand the rugged play and abuse to which toys of this type are subjected in the normal course of play by children.

A further objective of this invention has been to provide a mechanical toy which is adapted to be made from inexpensive materials and which is comparatively simple to fabricate.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the mechanical toy of this invention depicting the running track, the body, and the battery pack;

FIGURE 2 is a top view of the body with the shell partly cut away for clarity;

FIGURE 3 is a side view of the body with the shell partly cut away for clarity;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged side view of the drive gear shown engaged with the running track;

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 8-8 of FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 9 is a side view of the battery pack;

FIGURE 10- is a top view of the battery pack;

3,477,172 Patented Nov. 11, 1969 FIGURE 11 is a top view similar to FIGURE 10 with the battery pack lid depicted in the open position;

FIGURE 12 is a cross section taken along lines 12-12 of FIGURE 9; and

FIGURE 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 13-13 of FIGURE 10.

In accordance with the principles of this invention, the preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a body 10, a running track 11, and battery pack 12, as best seen in FIGURE 1.

The running track 11 is preferably in the form of a length, for example, ten feet, of a relatively narrow and relatively thin flexible strip 13 made from, for example, high density polyethylene. The flexible strip 13 carries a plurality of regularly spaced apertures 14 for a purpose to be subsequently described. Two electrical conductor strips 15, 16 are also carried by the flexible strip 13, one conductor strip preferably being located on each side of the strip. The conductor strips 15, 16 preferably run substantially the entire length of the track 11. A hook 17 is connected to one end of the track 11 and the battery pack 12 is connected to the other end of the track, the conductor strips 15, 16 on the track making suitable electrical contact with the battery pack.

The body 10 generally includes a cover or shell 20 and a base plate 21. The shell 20 may take a myriad of shapes and colors in accordance with the tastes and desires of the manufacturer. As shown in FIGURE 1, the shell is shaped in the form of a bug having button eyes 22 and feeler wires 23. The shell 20 is preferably formed of a relatively flexible plastic and is engaged with the rigid base plate 21 by cooperation of the shells outwardly flaring bottom rim 24 with protuberances 25 integral with the base plate, see FIGURE 3.

The body 10' is also provided with a freely rotating foot wheel 26, see FIGURE 3, on each side of the base plate 21. The wheels 26 each have a plurality of spokes 27 emanating from a central hub 28, and a curved foot member 2 integral with the outermost end of each spoke. The foot wheels 26 are journalled to axle mountings 30 by means of eccentric axles 31. Also, each hub 28 is eccentrically mounted to its respective axle 31. Such eccentric mounting of the foot wheels 26 causes sporadic or lurching forward movement of the wheels as they rotate over a surface, thereby giving an amusing effect to the forward movement of the body 10.

The drive means, see FIGURE 2, for the body 10 is contained within the body and includes an electric motor 35 and non-slip means by which the motors output is transferred to the track 11. The motor 35 is rigidly held by fastener 36 in motor section 34 of drive means mounting 37. The motors drive shaft 38 extends through a central wall 39 of the mounting 37 and the shaft mounts a pinion gear 40.

The drive gear section 41 of the motor mounting 37 carries the non-slip means to insure that no slippage occurs between the body 10 and the track 11 as the body moves along the track. The non-slip means includes a power transfer gear 44 and worm gear 45, the shaft being reinforced by means of a center core 47, both carried by shaft 46 and journalled to the mountings drive gear section 41, as at 48, 49. The power transfer gear 44 is positioned so that it meshes with the pinion gear 40. A drive gear 50 is situated immediately beneath and is drivingly engaged with the worm gear 45. The drive gear 50 is also journalled, as at 51, 52 to the mountings drive gear section 41.

A pair of separate electrical contacts 53 are provided which ride on the conductor strips 15, 16 carried by the track 11, one contact being provided for each conductor strip. Each contact 53 is connected, by a lead wire 56,

to the electric motor 35. The contacts 53 are mounted by plate 57 on riser 58. The riser 58 is provided with a guide channel 59 through which the track 11 passes so that continuous electrical contact can be maintained between the contacts 53 and the conductor strips 15, 16 as the body moves over the track.

As can best be seen from FIGURES 2-5, the track 11 passes through the body 10. The track 11 enters the body 10 through an elongated front opening 60 in the base plate 21 and immediately passes under a bracket 61 into and rides on a track channel 62 to insure alignment of the track with the drive means. The track channel 62 extends the entire length of and is molded into the bottom of the mounting 37 that is glued to the base plate 21. A depression 63 is provided in the track channel 62 at the point where the teeth of the drive gear 50 engage the apertures 14 in the track 11 so that effective driving engagement of the drive gear with the track is insured, see FIGURE 5. As the track 11 exits from the mounting 37 it passes through the guide channel 59, underneath the contacts 53, and out through a rear opening 64 in the base plate 21.

The battery pack 12 is preferably connected to one end of the track 11, as by stud 67. The battery pack 12 preferably comprises a casing 68 capable of holding, for example, three flashlight type batteries. The casing 68 has a lid 69 and a base 70 that are connected by hinges 71 so that the casing may be easily pivoted open. The casing 68 is maintained in a closed attitude by latch means which include a latch bracket 72 integrally molded with the base 70 and a latch detent 73 integrally molded with the lid 69.

Integrally molded with the casing lid 69 are two angular stacks 74, each of which mounts a freely slidable switch button 75. The buttons 75 are each provided with a flange 76 which cooperates with a recess 77 on the inside of the lid 69 to keep the buttons from falling out of the casing 68. Each button 75 is engageable with a metal contact arm 78 that is connected to one of the conductor strips 15, 16. The casing 68 is also provided with metal connection strips 79, 80, the connection stri 79 being in continuous contact with the contact arms 78, at one end, until one of the arms 78 is depressed out of contact with strip 79. The other end of strip 79 is flared to engage one end of the battery chain in the casing 68. The connection strip 80 is configured so that one end may be contacted when one arm 78 is depressed by pushing a button 75, and the other end of strip 80 is positioned so that it contacts the other end of the battery chain.

In operation, the body 10 may be made to m ve either forward or backward on the track 11, the direction in which it moves being dependent upon the button 75 that is depressed on the battery pack 12. When a button 75 is depressed, an electrical circuit is completed between the battery and the electrical motor 35, the circuit including that portion of the conductor strips 15, 16 located between the contacts 53 and the battery pack 12. As the pinion gear on the electric motor shaft 38 rotates, the power transfer gear 44 and worm gear also rotate. The Worm gear 45 transfers the pinion gear 40 rotation to the drive gear 50. As the drive gear rotates, the teeth on the gear engages the spaced apertures 14 in the track 11 as it passes through the track channel 62 thereby pulling the body 10 along the track 11. Thus, the drive means positively moves the body 10 along the track 11 in a non-slip relationship.

The running track 11 may be hung from, for example, an arm of a lamp, or may be draped over, for example, the back of a chair. Alternatively, the running track may be wound in and out between the legs of furniture. Because the running track 11 is flexible, and because of the positive drive of the body 10 on the track, as described above, the body will move on the track regardless of the attitude in which the track is placed. Of course, such variable track 11 attitudes lead to pleasure and enjoyment in the use of the toy by children.

What I desire to claim and protect by Letters Patent is: 1. A toy comprising a body, a running track in the form of a flexible strip, track channel means attached to said body through which said running track passes, said body being constantly held on said track in a nonmovable attitude by said track channel means, drive means for causing said body to selectively move longitudinally on said flexible strip, and an electrical power source for selectively actuating said drive means. 2. A toy device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said drive means comprises an electric motor, and non-slip means mounted in said body for positively driving said body along said track so that substantially no slipping occurs between said body and said track. 3. A toy device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said non-slip means includes a drive gear operatively connected to said motor, said drive gear carrying a plurality of gear teeth, and said running track comprises structure defining a plurality of spaced apertures,

the spacing between said apertures being substantially equivalent to the circumferential spacing of said gear teeth, said running track being positioned relative to said drive gear by said track channel means so that said gear teeth engage said apertures to positively drive said body on said track. 4. A toy device as set forth in claim 1 including at least one conductor strip mounted to run substantially the entire length of said running track, and at least one electrical contact carried by said body and connected to said drive means, said electrical contact being adapted to bear on said conductor strip as said body moves on said running track, and wherein said power source is electrically connected to said conductor strip.

5. A toy device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said track channel means includes a track channel passing through said body by which said running track is guided through said body, and

at least two guide brackets disposed over said track channel, one being positioned in front of and one in back of said drive means, for retaining said running track in operable relation with said track channel and drive means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,836,126 5/1958 Iaeger 46243 X 2,541,404 2/1951 Cerino 46-105 3,263,364 8/1966 Lindstrom 46244 3,337,985 8/1967 Ryan et al. 46-243 ROBERT PESHOCK, Primary Examiner ROBERT F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner U.S. c1. X.R. 46244

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2541404 *Jun 8, 1945Feb 13, 1951Vincent CerinoMechanical body and leg movements of figure toys
US2836126 *Aug 20, 1954May 27, 1958Ruth Arthur PPumping apparatus
US3263364 *Oct 3, 1963Aug 2, 1966David J MckayElectrically operated toy auto and guide rail
US3337985 *Jul 7, 1965Aug 29, 1967Mattel IncToy vehicle having variable drive means and pliable track
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3633309 *Nov 12, 1970Jan 11, 1972Tomy Kogyo CoToy car with coil track therefor
US4547170 *Jan 10, 1984Oct 15, 1985Mattel, Inc.Moveable toy
US4799916 *Jun 13, 1988Jan 24, 1989Mckay Robert SMotorless toy vehicle and propelling track
US5626504 *Jun 2, 1994May 6, 1997Liu; TingToy vehicle and track assembly
US7628674May 4, 2007Dec 8, 2009Mattel, Inc.Folding track assemblies
US7892068May 4, 2007Feb 22, 2011Mattel, Inc.Foldable vehicle playsets with moving components
US8419500Dec 31, 2009Apr 16, 2013Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle for picking up and relaying track
US8449344Jan 17, 2011May 28, 2013Mattle, Inc.Foldable vehicle playsets with moving components
US20080051001 *May 4, 2007Feb 28, 2008Michael NuttallFoldable vehicle playsets with moving components
US20110065357 *Dec 31, 2009Mar 17, 2011Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle for picking up and relaying track
US20110130068 *Jun 2, 2011Mattel, Inc.Foldable vehicle playsets with moving components
U.S. Classification446/445
International ClassificationA63H11/04, A63H18/00, A63H18/02, A63H11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H11/04, A63H18/021
European ClassificationA63H18/02B, A63H11/04
Legal Events
Jan 7, 1988ASAssignment
Effective date: 19871013
Jul 14, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19851121