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Publication numberUS3494070 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 10, 1970
Filing dateSep 26, 1968
Priority dateSep 26, 1968
Publication numberUS 3494070 A, US 3494070A, US-A-3494070, US3494070 A, US3494070A
InventorsLemelson Jerome H
Original AssigneeLemelson Jerome H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle toy and track therefor
US 3494070 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 10, 1970 J. H. LEMELSON VEHICLE TOY AND TRACK THEREFOR Original Filed May 4, 1962 and,

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109 HO INVENTOR.

JEROME l-LLEMELSON ATTORNEY United Statcs Patent 3,494,070 VEHICLE TOY AND TRACK THEREFOR Jerome H. Lemelson, 85 Rector St., Metuchen, NJ. 08840 Original application May 4, 1962, Ser. No. 636,136. Divided and this application Sept. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 762,794

Int. Cl. A63h 33/26, 33/00, 19/36 US. Cl. 46-241 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to a toy trackway having a guide for guiding a toy vehicle therealong, which track includes a tandem array of teeth adapted to complement an endless array of teeth formed on the drive member of the toy vehicle so that substantial traction may be provided for the toy vehicle driven thereover. The arrangement is such that the vehicle may be driven along and maintained on the track even at steep angles.

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of a co-pending application Ser. No. 636,136, filed May 4, 1967, now Patent No. 3,451,161.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION This invention is directed to a track toy comprising a toy track formed of a suitable material, e.g. plastic or other material having formed there a tandem array of teeth extending the length of the track which face the toy veh'icle traveling over the track. The toy vehicle, which is self-propelled along the track, is provided with a drive formed of a complementary endless array of teeth arranged to mesh with the array of teeth formed in the track. Auxiliary complementary means associated with the track and the vehicle are provided for maintaining the vehicle against the track so as to retain the vehicle in driving relationship with the teeth of the track even at steep angles to the horizontal. An object is to provide a powered toy vehicle and a track therefor in which the vehicle may travel along a track disposed at any attitude relative to the horizontal without falling off the track.

Another object is to provide a new and improved track for toy vehicles as the like which may be easily shaped into various configurations and on which the toy vehicle may travel at steep angles without falling off.

Another object is to provide a new and improved toy track for a powered vehicle, which track is provided with means for holding the vehicle against the track without interference to its travel along the track even while moving along the track at angles which would otherwise cause the vehicle to fall off the track.

This invention may utilize plastic or rubber material in the construction of a track and/ or a toy vehicle wheel or prime moving means having, in one form, magnetic particle therein adapted for attracting and holding said vehicle against said track by the forces of magnetic attraction whereby said vehicle may travel at various attitudes including steep inclines to the horizontal or in hanging relation on said track. In the embodiment provided hereafter, one or both of the two members, track or vehicle, may be magnetized whereby it will always be attracted to the other or attract the other in a manner whereby the vehicle may travel relative to thetrack yet will be held thereagainst. If the vehicle Wheel or drive means. is made of a magnetic plastic which is magnetized, the track may be made of a similar magnetic plastic or 3,494,070 Patented Feb. 10, 1970 magnetically susceptible material which need not be magnetized but which will be attracted to the former with suflicient force to hold the vehicle on the track at steep angles to the horizontal as it travels therealong.

Conventional thermoplastic polymeric materials may be utilized for both track and vehicle. Whenever magnetic plastic or rubber material is mentioned hereafter, it may be considered to consist of any plastic which is filled or mixed with finely divided para-magnetic particles such as micro-sized iron powders or ferrites such as barium ferrite. A particular available flexible magnetic plastic material is known as Koroseal flexible magnetic strip manufactured by The B. F. Goodrich Company which may be permanently magnetized. Koroseal flexible magnetic strip has a relatively high demagnetizing force which is over 20 times that of carbon steel and nearly twice that of the so called Alnico V magnetic material. The residual flux density of Koroseal magnetic strip is approximately 1150 oersteds and its maximum energy product (B.H.P. max.) is .402 times 10. Koroseal magnetic extrusions may be magnetized in various manners including an arrangement whereby the north pole runs continuously the length of the strip on one edge and the south pole on the opposite edge or can have its poles across the width or thickness or along one face with the two poles along the edge or along one face with alternating poles, and in long continuous lengths. As a result it may be used to continuously attract a magnetically susceptible object such as the wheel of a toy vehicle. This invention utilizes extrusions of a flexible or rigid magnetic plastic such as Koroseal which are shaped to perform multiple other functions such as guiding a toy wheel or wheels of a toy vehicle and improving the relative forces between the two.

Wherever provided hereafter, the magnetic plastic is thus either magnetized with one pole thereof running the length of the strip member comprising the track or the tire of the vehicle wheel, or is magnetized at a plurality of positions along its length. The magnetization may run lateral to the longitudinal axis of the track or strip or parallel thereto in which the poles at a surface of the strip alternate (i.e. N, S, N, S, N, S, etc.) Any of these magnetizing arrangements will effect the attraction of a wheel made of a para-magnetic material which is not magnetized such as sheet steel or the like.

In Wheel constructions provided hereafter in which either the wheel or the rim or tire portion thereof is made of a magnetic plastic, the magnetic portion or rim of the wheel may be magnetized in one of several manners. In a preferred embodiment, if the track is made of a magnetic plastic it is preferably magnetized with the same pole provided along one side of its length and the opposite pole along the other. In this arrangement, the wheel may be magnetized with its rim or tire having the same pole along the entire outer diameter or periphery thereof which pole is opposite to that of the pole of the magnetic track portion which it engages so that a maximum magnetic attraction force is derived between the two.

The invention also consists of certain new and original features of construction and combination of parts hereinafter set forth as claimed.

The nature of the invention, as to its objects and ad vantages, the mode of its operation and the manner of its organization, may be better understood by referring to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof in which:

FIGURE 1 illustrates fragmentary section view of a toy track of this invention disposed at a relative steep angle to the horizontal in combination with a self propelled powered vehicle shown in section traveling therealong.

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary detailed view illustrating the intermeshing relationship of the vehicle drive means and the toy track means.

FIGURE 3 is a detailed sectional view taken along FIGURE 3-3 on FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings, the illustrated form of the invention comprises a track 100 made of a flexible as rigid plastic material which in either case may be magnetized or hereinbefore described, having longitudinally extending guide means 101 formed along the longitudinal margins projecting on at least one side thereof for guiding a toy vehicle 105 along the length of the track 100. The track 100 consists essentially of a central portion defining the pathway 102 and the side of which are inflected or raised for providing side guide portions or rails 101 which extend the length of the track. The side guides 101 function to define the pathway along which the vehicle travels.

Referring more specifically to FIGURE 2, the track 100 comprises a base member 109 the upper surface of which may be capped or coated with a magnetic plastic material as a layer or sheet 110 having laterally extending serrations or projecting rib forming teeth-like formations. It will be noted that the projecting ribs 111 extend along at least a transverse portion of the track 100 extending along the entire length thereof.

The vehicle 105 illustrated is provided with a drive means 106 adapted to complement the serrations or transversely extending teeth 111 of the track 100 so as to effect a drive between the vehicle 105 and the track 100. As shown, the vehicle 105 may be driven by means of serrated wheels or by one or more closed loop tractor belts 107, as illustrated, which are threaded over complementary wheel means 103, 104, one of which is connected into driving relationship with a suitable source of power, as for example, an electric motor 115 which may be battery energized. The illustrated vehicle belt means 107 may be made of a magnetic or magnetically susceptible material, and may or may not be magnetized depending upon the characteristic of the closed loop belt of the vehicle. The belt or track 107 is driven around at least two drums or sprockets 103-, 104 mounted on shafts 103a and 104a journalled or supported on the body of the vehicle. By power operating shaft 103a, the belt 107 may be made to travel in a closed loop or path in a manner so as to engage the upper surface of the track along the longitudinal portion with the portion of its loop which extends beneath the wheels or drums 103, 104. With sufficient friction between the surfaces of the belt 107 along length 107a thereof, and the surface of the track, the vehicle will be driven therealong. To enhance the frictional drive between the belt 107a and the track 100, the belt 107 is provided with transversely extended cleated portions 108' which are adapted to complement the teeth portion 111 of the track. If desired the belt 107 may be made out of flexible magnetic plastic or rubber material of the type which may be magnetically attracted to the track 100 with a sufficient force to cause the length of said belt between the two drums or sprockets 3 and 104 to drive the vehicle forward even when the track 100 is at a relatively steep angle to the horizontal. Depending upon the weight of the vehicle 105 and the relative force of magnetic attraction between the surface of the belt or Wheels and the track, the vehicle 105 may even hang upside down from the track 100 and be driven therealong by the closed loop movement of the belt 107. Anyone of several combinations of materials may be provided for the belt 107 and the track 100 of FIGURES 1 to 3.

For example: The belt 107 may be made of a flexible magnetic plastic material which is magnetized along its length sufficiently to cause it to be attracted to the surface layer 110 of the track which may also be made of a magnetic plastic material or sheet metal such as sheet steel. In this embodiment it is not necessary to magnetize the track.

The belt 107 may also be made of a flexible plastic or rubber which is not magnetized, but which is attracted to the portion of track 110, which is made out of a magnetizable material which is magnetized.

The belt 107 may also be made of plurality of hinged sections of rigid magnetic plastic each of which is magnetized in a manner such that it will be held against sheet steel or the like comprising the track 100. In such instances a vehicle may be made to travel vertically up and down the surface of a steel cabinet and the like.

The member 107 may also be a flat sheet or cylinder of flexible magnetic plastic material which is sufliciently flexible to be driven around sprockets or drums 103 and 104. Since the magnetic particles have a tendency to weaken the plastic in which they are embedded, the belt 107 may be reinforced with a core of synthetic fibers, threads or a single cloth or a thread member embedded therein or laminated thereto on the internal and/ or external surfaces thereof.

Further features of the toy vehicle 105 include a battery operatively connected thereto for the powering motor 115. The motor shaft 116 is coupled to a drum or wheel shaft 103a through beveled gears 117 and 118.

In FIGURE 1 the vehicle 105 is shown climbing a steeply inclined track 100 by engagement of moving magnetic belt 107 meshing therewith. The top of the track 100 may be sheet steel, plastic coated steel or magnetic plastic coated metal, wood or other material. While the vehicle 105 illustrated has an endless belt 107 for guiding the vehicle over the serrated track, it will be understood that the drive means 106 of the vehicle 105 may comprise circular wheels, the peripheries of which are provided with serrations for complementing the :transversely extending tooth portions 110 of the track.

If the afore-described vehicle 105 is sufficiently light enough in weight, it may be made to climb very steep grades or hang upside down on paramagnetic surface of a track 100. However, if the vehicle is relatively heavy, it may easily slide down a steep incline 0r tumble off due to the inability of the forces of magnetic traction between the vehicle drive means 106 and the track 100. With a plurality of irregularities adapted to mate or complement with each other, a further supporting means is provided which, together with resulting forces of magnetic attraction, will maintain the wheel or belt or drive 106 of a vehicle 105 in intimate contact with the base or track 100 at very steep angles. In other words, the maintenance of the vehicle 105 against the track or surface is not only dependent upon the friction developed between the track and vehicle and which may be enhanced as the result of the forces of magnetic atttraction which increases the coeflicient of friction between the two surfaces, ie, the drive 106 and track 100, but also depends on the reaction of the irregularities in the base or track 100 operating on the vehicle 105 which individually supports some of the weight of the vehicle, which weight is transmitted normal to the irregular surfaces.

Referring to FIGURE 2 the track 100 is illustrated as comprising a base member 109 the upper surface of which is capped or coated with a magnetic plastic material as a layer or sheet 110 having laterally extending serrations or projection ribs 111 formed therein. The drive unit 106 of the vehicle 105 consists of a base member 107 which may be a wheel hub or belt member on the exterior surface of which is mounted a capping member or tire 108 which is externally or exteriorally shaped with a plurality of ribbed formations 108' adapted to mate with rib formations 111 of the track 100. Thus as the vehicle 105 travels relative to the track 100, several of the peripherial rib formations 108' of the belt 108 will mate with the respective rib formations or irregularities 111 of the track 100 which will be maintained in surface abutment with each other by the resulting magnetic attraction forces, and the drive unit 106 of the vehicle right against 110 at steep angles to the horizontal without falling or sliding off. As herein described the drive 106 of vehicle 105 may represent a wheel or drum and may be made entirely of magnetic plastic material shaped into a wheel or cylinder as described.

What is claimed is:

1. A vehicle toy comprising in combination:

a track made of a flexible material which is free to be formed into an irregular shape and having guide means for guiding a toy vehicle longitudinally along said track,

said track having a tandem array of teeth extending the length of and substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of the track and protruding in the direction of a toy vehicle traveling said track,

a self-propelled vehicle having a power driven member formed with an endless array of teeth and located whereby said drive member teeth engage the teeth of said tandem array of teeth of said track when said vehicle is positioned to travel along said track, and

auxiliary means associated with both said track and vehicle for maintaining said vehicle against said track and the teeth of said drive member and track in mesh engagement during the travel of said vehicle along said track even at steep angles to the horizontal.

2. A vehicle track toy comprising in combination:

a track having guide means for guiding a toy vehicle longitudinally along said track,

said track having a tandem array of teeth extending the length of and substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of the track and protruding in the direction of a toy vehicle traveling said track.

a self-propelled vehicle having a drive member formed with an endless array of teeth and located whereby said drive member teeth engage the teeth of said tandem array of teeth of said track when said vehicle is positioned to travel along said track,

the track and drive member of the vehicle being formed of complementary magnetically attractive material defining auxiliary means for maintaining said vehicle against said track and the teeth of said drive member and track in mesh engagement during the travel of said vehicle along said track even at steep angles to the horizontal.

3. A vehicle track toy comprising a combination:

a track having guide means for guiding a toy vehicle longitudinally along said track,

said track having a tandem array of teeth extending the length of and substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of the track and protruding in the direction of a toy vehicle traveling said track,

a self-propelled vehicle having a drive member defining a prime moving means for said vehicle and depending downwardly from said vehicle, said drive member operative for normally supporting said vehicle on a surface and driving said vehicle along said surface when said drive member operates.

said drive member formed with an endless array of teeth for engaging the teeth of said tandem array of teeth of said track when said vehicle is positioned to travel along said track, and

auxiliary means associated with said track and vehicle for maintaining said vehicle against said track and the teeth of said drive member and track in mesh engagement during the travel of said vehicle along said track even at step angles to the horizontal.

4. A vehicle track toy in accordance with claim 3., whereby said drive member comprises an endless belt having said teeth formed in the outer surface thereof, first and second drum means supported by said vehicle for guiding said belt in an endless path and for locating said belt whereby a number of teeth thereof engage a plurality of the teeth of said track during the travel of said vehicle along said track.

5. A vehicle track toy in accordance with claim 3, said prime moving means for said vehicle comprising a plurality of wheels, at least one of said wheels having said teeth formed in and extending outwardly from the peripheral surface thereof for engaging the teeth of said tandem array of teeth extending along said track when said vehicle is positioned to travel longitudinally along said track.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,541,580 6/1925 Rossini 46-202 1,997,512 4/1935 Einfalt 46-202 2,838,009 6/1958 Bonnano 46-202 2,895,429 7/1959 Baermann 46202 ANTONIO F. GUIDA, Primary Examiner ROBERT F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 46243

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1541580 *Jul 11, 1924Jun 9, 1925Leon Kiley JoeCollapsible-rim-securing means
US1997512 *Mar 3, 1933Apr 9, 1935George EinfaltToy railway
US2838009 *Oct 4, 1950Jun 10, 1958Lionel CorpToy railroads
US2895429 *Aug 16, 1954Jul 21, 1959Max BaermannFriction increasing arrangement
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4764148 *May 1, 1987Aug 16, 1988T. K. Wong & Associates LimitedToy adapted to crawl down a vertical surface
US5081986 *Sep 7, 1990Jan 21, 1992In Cho NMassaging and combing helmet for insomnia
US5720646 *Dec 5, 1996Feb 24, 1998Shannon; Suel G.Vehicle for use with games or demonstrative tools
US7517272Jan 17, 2006Apr 14, 2009Jonathan BedfordPlay set with toy vehicle track and carriage
US7549906Jan 17, 2006Jun 23, 2009Mattel, Inc.Toy play set with moving platform
US7628673Jan 17, 2006Dec 8, 2009Mattel, Inc.Play set with toy vehicle-related assembly
US7922101Nov 29, 2007Apr 12, 2011Genie Toys PlcPortable, flexible, and adaptable train system
US8061627Jan 23, 2009Nov 22, 2011Genie Toys PlcFlexible track system
US8297527 *Mar 3, 2011Oct 30, 2012Genie Toys PlcPortable, flexible, and adaptable train system
US8944881Aug 29, 2011Feb 3, 2015Mattel, Inc.Toy track set
US9314705Aug 29, 2011Apr 19, 2016Mattel, Inc.Toy track set
US20060286896 *Jan 17, 2006Dec 21, 2006Jonathan BedfordPlay set with toy vehicle-related assembly
US20060286897 *Jan 17, 2006Dec 21, 2006Jonathan BedfordToy play set with moving platform
US20070259600 *Jan 17, 2006Nov 8, 2007Jonathan BedfordPlay set with toy vehicle track and carriage
US20080248716 *Apr 4, 2008Oct 9, 2008J. Shackelford Associates LlcToy track system
US20090139424 *Nov 29, 2007Jun 4, 2009Genie Toys, Plc, A Corporation Of Great BritainPortable, flexible, and adaptable train system
US20100187323 *Jan 23, 2009Jul 29, 2010Genie Toys Plc, A Corporation Of Great BritainFlexible track system
US20110146529 *Mar 3, 2011Jun 23, 2011Genie Toys PlcPortable, flexible, and adaptable train system
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/138, 446/445, 446/433
International ClassificationA63H18/08, A63H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/08
European ClassificationA63H18/08