US 3494617 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 10, 1970 M. GLASS ET AL 3,494,617
GAME BOARD WITH SELF-PROPELLED VEHICLE Filed July 20, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS MAPV/A GLASS 3 4 #0144490 A. DEA 4N pfl/l/E? d 50705147510 BY o 8 lEO/V/D (4 /914? ATTO RN EYS Feb. 10, 1970 M. I. GLASS ET 94,
GAME BOARD WITH SELF-PROPELLED VEHICLE Filed July 20. 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 mvemozs AT RNEYS United States Patent US. Cl. 2731 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A game including a self-propelled toy locomotive which runs on a track having a plurality of paths on a board, including parallel portions thereof, with a bridge forming part of the track and being shiftable bodily sidewise so that the locomotive may be shifted from one path to the next by the act of skillfully shifting the bridge during the moment that the locomotive is on it. The board has a center section wherein there are no tracks and the locomotive moves in a random manner. The locomotive runs for a random length of time and upon stopping emits a signal. The object of the game is to avoid having the locomotive stop on ones own path.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates in part to mechanical toys and in part to games of skill, and it is primarily directed to a game board in the form of a track and a toy vehicle to run on the track and to be switched from one part of the track to another, with each player controlling at least one switch. Miniature railroads are well known, but the incorporation of a miniature rail vehicle into a game of skill, modified by a chance factor, is believed to be novel.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Game apparatus comprising a vehicle track including parallel portions adjacent each' other, laterally shiftable means on said parallel portions adapted to receive and transfer a vehicle from one track portion to an adjoining parallel portion of track, and a power operated vehicle adapted to be propelled along said track, said vehicle including means for providing a signal contemporaneous with the stopping of the vehicle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the entire game;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the game board or track;
FIGURE 3 is a further enlarged vertical sectional view of the track on the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged vertical sectional view on the line 44 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged longitudinal vertical sectional view of the miniature rail vehicle;
FIGURE 6 is a horizontal sectional view of the vehicle substantially on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5; and
FIGURE 7 is a reduced right side elevation of the complete vehicle.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The game as a whole consists of a board 10 best seen in FIGURES 1, 2, and 4, and which has thereon a plurality of preferably lobe-shaped tracks 12, 14, 16 and 18 about which may travel a miniature rail vehicle 20. Tracks 12, 14, 16 and 18 are preferably alike so that a description of one will suffice for all. Track or lobe 14, as best seen in FIGURE 2 includes an outer runway 22 and an inner runway 24 which runways may be joined at one of their ends by a bridge 26. They may be joined at their other ends by a bridge 27, the bridges being bodily shiftable sidewise as will be fully described. Similar bridges 28 and 29 are associated with lobes 12, 16 and 18, and are preferably identical in construction and operation with bridge 27.
Bridge 27, in the position shown in FIGURE 2, joins runways 30 and 32 of lobe 16, but if shifted sidewise as stated, in a leftward and upward direction, may join runways 22 and 24 of lobe 14. It will now be apparent that, if vehicle 20 were running on runway 30 it would pass over bridge 27 and onto runway 32. However, it while the vehicle were negotiating bridge 27 the latter were suddenly shifted upwardly and leftwardly, as stated, the vehicle would be transferred onto runway 24. Then, if bridge 26 were shifted leftwardly and downwardly it would receive the vehicle from runway 24 and transfer it to runway 22. The vehicle could then continue to run on track-lobe 14 as long as desired. If, during the moment that it was on bridge 26 the latter were to be shifted upwardly and rightwardly, or back into the position shown, the vehicle would be transferred to a runway 34 and could run on track 12. The vehicle can therefore be shunted about from one track to another at will by suitably shifting the several bridges, but skill and accurate timing is essential to avoid derailment.
The type of rail vehicle preferred for use in the game with the above described track is spring driven and is provided with a front supporting wheel 36 and a pair of driving wheels 40 and 42 (FIGURE 6), a simulated smoke stack 44, a cab 46 and what appears to be a fuel storage bin or chamber 48. A bell 50 is supported above cab 46. The outer or visible parts of the vehicle except for bell 50 are preferably and conveniently made of plastic which is easily molded, colored, etc., and which surrounds and encloses, and is supported on a chassis 52 made of plastic, sheet metal or other appropriate material for properly supporting the operating parts. The outer shell includes simulated train wheels 51 which shield the actual supporting wheels 36, 40 and 42.
While vehicle 20 is intended torun on a track, it is desirable that it shall be at home on any fiat surface, as
will become apparent, and wheels 36, 40 and 42 are therefore not flanged but have rounded treads, and the vehicle is guided by a pilot wheel 54 which is disposed in a horizontal plane and freely rotatable on or with a pivot shaft 56 carried on a bracket 58 rigid with chassis 52. Pilot wheel 54, as best shown in FIGURE 3, is carried along between ribs or rails 59 and 60 which extend throughout the length of the several runways and the bridges 26, 28 etc. Pilot wheel 54 has slight clearance in the space between ribs 59 and 60 and by rolling along one or the other while supported entirely from the vehicle wheels, forces the latter to follow the desired path.
Wheels 40 and 42 travel on areas 62 and 64 of the track at either side of ribs 60 and 59, respectively, when the vehicle is guided by pilot wheel 54 as seen in FIG- URE 3, but will roll smoothly on any flat surface when required by the exigencies of the game.
Power for driving the vehicle is stored in a spring 66 (FIGURE 6) anchored in a safety barrel 68 fixed to chassis 52, the spring having its inner end fixed in conventional manner to 'a shaft 70 through which it may be Wound by application of a suitable 'key not shown, or otherwise, and through which it drives a large gear 72 journaled on shaft 70, the latter having fixed thereon a gear 74 which drives a timing mechanism to be described and which may double as a ratchet to drive gear 72 through a pawl 76, FIGURE 5, pivoted to gear 72 on a pin 78 and yieldingly pressed against gear 74 by a leaf spring 80.
Gear 72'meshes with and drives a pinion gear 82 fixed to 'a gear 84, gear 84 meshing with and driving a pinion gear 86 fixed to a gear 88 which meshes with and drives a pinion gear 90 fixed on a shaft 92 constituting the front axle of the vehicle and on which are fixed above mentioned wheel 36. Spring 66 may therefore propel the vehicle by driving the several gears as described, it being understood that they are suitably supported for rotation within chassis 52 in any suitable or conventional manner. However, the motion would be uncontrolled and would be likely to be too rapid for it to be possible to shift the several bridges as hereinbefore described, while the vehicle was traveling over them. A governing device is therefore provided. Wheels 40 and 42 are carried on and rotate with an axle shaft 94 which supports therear portion of chassis 52.
Gear 88, as well as driving pinion gear 90, also drives a pinion gear 96 fixed to a gear 98 which meshes with and drives a pinion gear 100 fixed to a gear 102 which meshes with and drives a pinion gear 104 on a shaft 106 carrying fan blades 108. As will now be apparent shaft 106 will be rotated at a very rapid rate as compared with axle shaft 92, and in view of the large speedup, a slight torque resistance at shaft 106 will keep the mechanism in control so that the vehicle will not run away. Such slight resistance is furnished by the air drag against fan blades 108.
A realistic touch is added by means of a spring arm 109 fixed at 110 to chassis 52 and carrying a clapper 112 which may strike bell 50 through an opening 114 in the top of cab portion 46. A gear 116 fixed on a shaft 118 has trip fingers 120 which, by reason of the relatively slow rotation of shaft 118, will catch arm 109, spring it down to the dotted position in FIGURE and release it, whereupon clapper 112 will strike bell 50. The gear ratios are such that this will happen at moderately spaced intervals as in a full sized locomotive.
Reference was hereinbefore made to a simulated disaster in the nature of an explosion. Within fuel storage chamber 48 a simulated explosive 122 resembling for example a stick of dynamite is concealed, having been pressed down therein against the mid portion 124 of a bail having a side arm 126 rigidly held as in spaced brackets 128 so as to be sprung downwardly by insertion of explosive 122. The bail also has a side arm 130 (FIGURE 6) which is loosely supported in a bracket 132 located on the opposite side of chassis 52 from brackets 128. Portion 124 is forced by explosive 122 past a pawl 134 fixed on a portion of chassis 52 portion 124 being retained thereby in a lowered position so that explosive 122 rests upon it out of sight within storage chamber 48. Bail portion 124 is released after a substantial period of running of the vehicle by mechanism including a gear 136 meshing with and driven by above mentioned gear 74. Gear 136 has I fixed thereto a pinion gear 138 which meshes with and drives a gear 140 which has fixed thereon spaced from the axis of the gear a pin 142. It will be apparent that gear 140 will be rotated at a very slow rate by rotation of shaft 70, through gear 136, and 138, but pin 142 will eventually encounter a spring arm 144 fixed on a bracket 146 on chassis 52, springing it toward the right in FIGURE 5 substantially into the dotted position therein and releasing it, whereupon a clapper 148 fixed on arm 144 will be momentarily projected through an opening 150 in chassis 52 and will strike portion 124, springing it backwardly out from under pawl 134, whereupon the force stored in bent side arm 126 will be exerted on explosive 122 as the arm straightens out, projecting explosive 122 forcibly out of storage chamber 48.
When spring arm 144 is released it also hits a tongue 152 projecting downwardly from a slide rod 154 to make an exploding sound. Further, rod 154 is slidable fore and aft in chassis 52 and has a spur 156 in position, when rod 154 is shifted rearwardly, to interfere with fan blades 108 and thereby stop the forward motion of the vehicle. Rod 154 projects at the rear of storage space 48 and has 4 r a handle 158 by which it can be manipulated to start the vehicle when desired. Shifting rod 154 rearwardly by hand makes it convenient to wind spring 66.
With spring 66 wound and rod 154 shifted forwardly, it Will be apparent that the vehicle will run at a controlled rate for some unpredictable distance, whereupon spring 144 will be stressed and released, and explosive 122 will be shot out of bin 48 and the vehicle will be stopped. It is this contingency which any player endeavors to avoid having happen when the vehicle is on his lobe of track.
In playing the game one player is assigned to each lobe of the track on board 10 and assumes control of one of the bridges 26, 27, 28 or 29. As seen in FIGURE 1, the vehicle is traveling on lobe 12 and will continue to do so unless one of the bridges 26 or 29 is shifted. Eventually it will stop and through out the explosive 122, and the player in charge of lobe 12 will therefore attempt to get it switched to some other lobe as promptly as he can. He would normally have control of bridge 26 which is, shiftable by means of a handle 160. Bridge 26 is identical with bridge 27, the construction of which is best shown in FIGURE 4.
A body or bed portion 162 carries a short section of track and is guided for sidewise movement on a portion 164 of board 10 by means of spaced rib portions 166 slidable in slots 168 in portion 164. A pin portion 170 projects downwardly through a slot 172 in portion 164 and is engaged in a slot 174 in a lever 176 swingable beneath portion 164 on a fulcrum 178. At the end spaced from slot 174, lever 176 bends upwardly through a slot 180 in board 10 and has a handle 182 for easy manipulation of the lever. If the player is ready when the vehicle approaches bridge 26, he may be able to shift the latter by manipulation of handle 160, which as stated is identical with and works in the same manner as handle 182, while the vehicle is passing over the bridge so that the track thereon will align with pathway 24 of lobe 14, whereupon the player assigned to lobe 14 will have the problem of getting rid of the vehicle. He must promptly shift his bridge 27 into position to receive the vehicle from pathway 24, else the former will drop directly onto portion 164 and be derailed.
It is to be noted that the player may not be skillful enough to shift bridge 26 far enough to connect with pathway 24, but only to a short section of track 184 which leads into space 186 in the middle of the board where there are no guiding ribs, but which is on the same level as runway portions 62 and 64. As hereinbefore stated, vehicle 20 is at home on any level surface, so it will travel generally straight ahead between fence-like guides 188 until it encounters a bumper post 190 generally centered beween fences 188 and mounted on a spring 192 (FIGURE 4) to cushion the shock of impact.
Vehicle 20 has a bumper wheel 194 (FIGURES 5 and 6) ruggedly pivoted on a pin 196 fixed on chassis 52. Wheel 194 projects slightly in advance of the foremost portion of vehicle 20, so as to be the first portion to encounter post 190 or any other obstruction, and being freely pivoted wheel 194 will virtually always cause the vehicle to be diverted to one side, and particularly when contacting post 190, in view of the yielding nature of the latter. The vehicle will therefore probably be diverted either to the left or right. Assuming the latter, it will then encounter a cam surface 198 on one of fences 188 again through bumper wheel 194, and be guided onto a section of track 200, and it will be up to the player assigned to lobe 14 to shift bridge 27 into registration with track section 200 in time to catch the vehicle and prevent a derailment.
In case a player does not succeed in shifting his bridge, when receiving thevehicle from middle section 186, far enough to switch it onto one or another of the track lobes a post portion 202 forming part of fulcrum 178 will stop the vehicle and prevent its running entirely off the board.
The operation of the device is thought to be apparent from the above, a game being provided in which a mechanical toy in the form of a miniature locomotive is used on a track and wherein considerable skill is necessary in order to switch the same from one part of the track to another. Furthermore, the track which the vehicle will approach if switched into the middle of the board is largely a matter of chance, and the players must stay alert to prevent a derailment, and must try to keep the vehicle off of their particular lobes of track as much as possible.
Players are assigned to the several track lobes and the vehicle mechanism is blocked against operation by manipulation of handle 158 while spring 66 is wound and the vehicle is placed on one of the track lobes and released by further manipulation of handle 158. The vehicle then starts to run at a controlled rate around the particular lobe on which it is set, guided by wheel 54 running between ribs 59 and 60, while the player assigned to that particular lobe will attempt to shift his bridge in such a way that the vehicle will be transferred to an adjacent lobe. The player in charge of the latter lobe must be alert to have his bridge properly positioned to receive the vehicle so that a derailment will not occur. When the vehicle is safely on the lobe, the latter player will endeavor to switch it to the adjacent lobe, or hemay switch it to the center of the board whereupon it will be deflected to one of the other lobes.
It will be noted that the vehicle, if traveling, for example counterclockwise on lobe 12, will travel clockwise on lobe 14, counterclockwise on lobe 16 and again clockwise on lobe 18. However, if switched to the middle of the board, it will be deflected either to bridge 27 or bridge 29. If it approaches bridge 27, the player assigned to lobe 14 must be alert to catch it and will naturally try to switch it to lobe 16 where it will also travel counterclockwise. If on the other hand it approaches bridge 29, the player assigned to lobe 18 must catch it and will try to switch it onto lobe 12 whereupon it again travels counterclockwise. If, however, either of them switches the vehicle onto his own lobe it will travel clockwise and compound his confusion, and add to the interest and excitement of the game.
Adding still further to the suspense of the game is the fact that the engine is in imminent danger of blowing up after a limited running distance, when spring arm 144 is released and clapper 148 hits bail portion 124, releasing the bail so that it can throw the stick of dynamite 122 out of the fuel bin 48. Spring arm 144 at this time also hits finger 152 and stops the vehicle by shifting slide rod 154. The player on whose lobe this happens is penalized, so that all the players try very hard to switch the vehicle off of their particular lobes as promptly as possible.
During the time that the vehicle is running, spring arm 109 is repeatedly pulled down and released so that clapper 112 can hit bell 50 in a slow cadence similar to that of a hell on a full sized locomotive.
While the game has been described in connection with a specific embodiment, it is contemplated that variations and modifications will occur to those familiar with this art, and it is to be understood that all such variations and modifications are to be considered as part of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Game apparatus comprising a vehicle track including parallel portions adjacent each other, laterally shiftable means on said portion adapted to receive and transfer a vehicle from one track portion to an adjacent parallel portion of track, wherein said vehicle track is formed to provide four closed loops disposed in juxtaposition to each other in a generally circular arrangement to provide four of said parallel track portions, and said laterally shiftable means comprises a bridge-like structure intersecting each pair of parallel track portions, and a power operated vehicle adapted to be propelled along said track, said vehicle including means for providing a signal contemporaneous with the stopping of the vehicle.
2. Game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said vehicle track is on fiat supporting surface including a central section substantially enclosed by said track loop portions, additional track means are disposed in position to receive said vehicle from each of said bridge-like structures and direct it to said central section, and including bumper means on said central section adapted to alter the direction of travel of said vehicle when struck by the latter.
3. Game apparatus as set forth in claim 2, wherein said vehicle includes a rotatable bumper means at its forward end.
4. Game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said vehicle is powered by a spring wound motor which is connected through gearing with a pair of drive wheels adapted to straddle said track, said gearing includes a governor device to provide an essentially constant speed for the vehicle, and including means to halt said motor and drive wheels after a predetermined period of operation of said motor.
5. Game apparatus comprising a generally rectangular board having a raised vehicle track thereon, said track being arranged in a plurality of loops with a loop adjacent each of the four sides of the board and arranged so that adjacent loops have generally parallel sections of track, means defining a generally fiat central area on said board surrounded by said loops of track, a laterally shiftable means comprising a bridge-like structure intersecting each of said parallel sections and operable to receive and transfer a vehicle from one parallel track to the adjoining parallel track portion or to said central area, means adjacent each side of the board for controlling the movement of one of said laterally shiftable means, and a self-propelled vehicle adapted to move along said track.
6. Game apparatus as set forth in claim 5, including bumper means on said central area adapted to alter the direction of travel of said vehicle when struck by the latter, and said vehicle including means on the forward end thereof cooperable with said bumper means to facilitate changing the direction of said vehicle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 729,765 6/1903 Ives 462l7 XR 1,599,813 9/1926 Fischer 46-113 1,677,669 7/1928 Becker 46-113 2,161,314 6/1939 Randall et al.
3,000,137 9/1961 Vine 46-202 FOREIGN PATENTS 860,620 1952 Germany. 473,950 1937 Great Britain.
OTHER REFERENCES American Flyer catalog, p. 10; TNT car.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner P. E. SHAPIRO, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 46-113, 217