US 3526991 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 8', 1970 GOLDFARB ET AL 3,526,991
DELAY ACTION PLAY UNIT Filed Jan. 9, 1969 Lara. 2.
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4400/. PA E. G01. 01 -7725 REA/E See/0N0 g/a2 04W United States Patent 3,526,991 DELAY ACTION PLAY UNIT Adolph E. Goldfarb, 7427 Varna St., Los Angeles, Calif.,
and Rene Soriano, Los Angeles, Calif; said Soriano assignor to said Goldfarb Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 731,914,
May 24, 1968. This application Jan. 9, 1969,
Ser. No. 790,074
Int. Cl. A63h 11/06 US. Cl. 46-129 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A pop-up play unit which may be set, and which will, after a time interval, be propelled up into the air. The illustrated unit comprises a base adapted to rest upon a support surface and carrying a coil compression spring. The spring in turn carries a suction cup element which is releasably engageable with the supporting surface against the force of the spring. When the suction cup element releases, the spring propels the entire unit upwardly.
This application is a continuation-in-part of pending US. application Ser. No. 731,914 filed May 24, 1968, in the names of the same inventors and assignee.
Devices utilizing springs and suction cups for delayedaction projection of the device have not, to applicants knowledge heretofore been satisfactory. In particular they have not been provided in a form suitable for manipulation and play by even small children, for repeated use and for non-harmful use on tables, desks and like furniture surfaces.
In one aspect, the present invention contemplates a spring-operated jumping toy comprising a base adapted to rest upon a support surface, an exterior body operatively mounted in a clearance position with respect to the base so as to be movable therefrom towards the base through a spring-loading stroke, a spring operatively arranged in an interposed position between the exterior body and the base so as to be compressed after each said spring-loading stroke, and time-delay means operatively effective to releasably engage the support surface to selectively hold said exterior body after each said springloading stroke for a predetermined interval, whereby upon the subsequent release of said exterior body there is also a sudden release of said spring effective to propel said jumping toy into the air.
A simple, lightweight and economical unit constructed in accordance with the present invention contemplates a base with an upwardly extending center post and a flat downwardly directed surface adapted to rest upon a support surface, a coil compression spring is secured on the center post and extends upwardly. A suction cup element is carried on the upper end of the spring and is proportioned so that it may be brought into releasable engagement with the support surface by pushing downwardly on the suction cup element to compress the spring. The suction cup element includes a sleeve portion extending upwardly from the center of the suction cup portion for receiving the upper end of the spring. The sleeve is imperforate and closed at its upper end to prevent air leakage into the suction cup when it is set. When the unit releases, the entire unit, including the base, is propelled high into the air. If desired, the suction cup element may carry suitable aesthetic, or functional play structure. For example, the suction cup element may carry a light-weight plastic dome or parachute which will tend to stabilize the projection and fall of the unit as well as slowing down its descent. The flat base undersurface protects the support surface which may be a table or desk and there are no dangerous exposed spring ends. The unit is strong and durable for repeated use. One or more of the units may be used in the play of a game.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved delay-action play unit which has Various applications and can be used in connection with a game.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description and the associated drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a delay action spring-and-suction-cup' play unit which embodies features of the present invention:
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal section taken generally along a vertical plane through the assembled unit of FIG. 1, showing the unit in released or non-set condition;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the unit in the set condition:
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of a modified form of unit.
A delay-action play unit 10 which is illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3 comprises a base 12 disposed on a supporting surface 32, a coil compression spring 14 for projecting the unit into the air, and a suction cup element 16 for delaying the action of the spring. The illustrated units each include a body 18 in the form of a dome carried by the suction cup element 16.
To set the unit, the child pushes the suction cup element downwardly toward the base (against the force of the spring and so as to compress the spring) to releasably engage the suction cup element with the supporting surface 32.
As illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3, the base or base element 12 comprises a generally disc-shaped portion 22 having flat upper and lower surfaces 24 and 26. The lower surface 26 comprises a flat contact surface or area for resting upon the supporting surface 32. The base element 12 also includes an integrally formed center post or stud 28 which extends upwardly from the center of of the disc portion 22. The post 28 may be provided with means such as partial thread-formations or a hub 30 integrally formed at the lower end of the post for interengagement with the coil spring 14. The base element may be formed of any suitable material; it is desirable that it be relatively light-weight as well as durable and capable of providing an adequate contact surface 26 for engaging surface 32. The light-weight of the base element contributes to the ability of the unit to be projected high into the air. The unit is self-standing when it is set with the disc portion 22 resting on the support surface 32 and the suction cup element 16 engaging that surface 32.
The spring 14 may be a conventional coil compression spring of suitable length, size and strength to impart the desired propelling action to the unit when the spring is released from a compressed condition. The lower end of the spring 14 is secured to the center post 28 of the base element 12 by interengagement with the partial thread-formations or a hub, while the upper end of the spring is secured to the suction Cup element 16. It has been found that added stability and control over the compressions of the spring can be achieved if the diameter of the spring is gradually varied over its length so that the diameter at the ends is larger than the diameter at the center. This spring configuration reduces the tendency of the spring to shift to one side When it is depressed downwardly. This added stability is particularly desirable for younger children who are able to press down on the body element but have littl control over the exact direction of that pressure.
The suction cup element 16 is connected to and carried by the upper end of the spring 14. The suction cup element 16 comprises a downwardly facing annular suction cup portion 34 integrally formed with a tubular sleeve portion 36 that extends upwardly from the center of the suction cup portion. The suction cup portion 34 may be of conventional configuration defining a suction cu recess 38 within its downwardly directed concave surface. The sleeve portion 36 is closed at its upper end and connected around its lower end to inner margin of the suction cup portion 34. The sleeve portion 36 defines a recess or receptacle 40 in communication with the suction cup recess 38. The sleeve recess 40 is adapted to receive the upper end of the spring 14 and securing means may be provided, such as by reducing the size of the upper end of the sleeve recess to receive the upper end of the spring in a press fit. The suction cup element may be made of a suitable flexible, resilient material such as rubber or a plastic such as polyurethane. As with the base, the suction cup element may be molded as a single part, although if desired it might be fabricated from two or more parts, so long as a suitable seal is maintained between the parts to prevent any significant air leakage into the suction cup recesses.
The illustrated unit is provided with the body or body element 18 which is carried by the suction cup element 16. The illustrated body element 18 comprises a dome portion 46 in the form of an inverted bowl, or shell of hemispherical shape. The body element further includes connector means in the form of a tubular female receptacle 48 extending downwardly from the insid center of the dome portion 46. The illustrated receptacle 48 is integrally formed with the dome portion. If desired it could be separately formed and secured thereto. The body element 18 may be of any suitable material, with a light-weight material being desirable to facilitate high projection of the unit. The body element 18 is mounted on the suction cup element 16 by means of the upper end of the suction cup sleeve portion 36 extending into the receptacle 48 of the body element in a press fit.
The base, suction cup and body elements and the spring are designed to remain connected together incident to the operation of the unit. However, it will be noted that they may be rather easily disengaged from one another and readily re-engaged for convenience of packaging, shipment, storage and the like. This also facilitates the replacement of one part Which is broken without requiring all of the parts to be replaced.
The units may be decorated in a variety of ways and the illustrated units are, for example, provided with an animated or lifelike appearance. Thus, for example, the body element may be formed or printed with eyes, nose and mouth as shown in the drawings to give it a lifelike quality.
To operate the illustrated unit 10, it is merely placed a on flat support surface 32 as illustrated generally in FIG. 2, and downward pressure is exerted on the body element 18 to compress the spring 14 and urge the suction cup element 16 against the flat support surface 32. The action of the suction cup element is well known, the flexible annular suction cup portion 34 being generally flattened against the support surface 32 to force air out of the suction cup recess 38 and achieve a low pressure within that recess that maintains the suction cup element secured to the support surface 32. The edge of the suction cup portion 34 provides an annular seal to maintain this pressure differential.
The suction cup may maintain itself adhered to a contact surface for a period of time, which will depend on various factors such as the porosity of the materials, the surface finishes of the materials where they are in sealing contact, the forces tending to separate the suction cup from the surface 32. Such forces are exerted by the spring 14, and by the suction cup resiliency which acts to return to its original configuration.
Once the pressure differential is equalized to a point where the suction cup element begins to separate from the contact surface, the air rushes in to rapidly dissipate the remaining differential and the spring is released for rapid expansion. The spring reacts against the support surface (through the base) to tend to propel the suction cup and body elements upwardly, and the entire unit is thereby driven high into the air by the momentum of the spring, suction cup and body elements. The unit may be used over and over again either individually or in the play of a game. Thus, the illustrated unit is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, assemble, store and ship. It is strong and durable. light-weight and compact, and is capable of repeatedly high projections. It is also stable for ease of setting.
In another form of the unit 10' (FIG. 4), the base 12 may be formed without a distinct, disc-shaped portion, with the lower end of a post or stud 28' providing an engaging or push-off surface 26. The surface 26' maintains the end of the spring away from the support surface 32 to prevent scratching or marring of that support surface.
Various modifications and changes may be made in the illustrated structures without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, the size, shape or configuration of the body may be altered, as may that of the base disc portion. As another example, the body element and the suction cup element might be combined as a single part or body in some circumstances.
Various features of the invention are set forth in the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A delay-action jumping unit which comprises:
(a) a base element having a downwardly facing abutting surface for resting upon and reacting against a separate support surface;
(b) a coil compression spring having one lower end connected to said base element and extending upwardly therefrom; and
(c) a suction cup element surrounding and connected to the opposite end of the spring, said suction cup element being proportioned and adapted to be set by being pushed downwardly to compress the spring within said cup and to completely surround said base element and releasably engage the support surface around the base element so as to maintain that engagement against the spring force for subsequent sudden release and propulsion of the entire unit up into the air.
2. A unit as defined in claim 1, including a separate body element of rigid material carried on and connected to the suction cup element.
3. A unit as defined inclaim 1, wherein said suction cup element includes a hollow sleeve portion in which the upper end of the spring is received to connect the spring to the suction cup element and said base element includes a central post on which the lower end of the spring is received to connect the spring to the base element.
4. A unit as defined in claim 1 wherein said spring varies in diameter, being smallest intermediate its two ends.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1928 Nebel 46--129 11/1939 Adams 46-129 U.S. Cl. X.R.