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Publication numberUS3542366 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 24, 1970
Filing dateNov 29, 1968
Priority dateNov 29, 1968
Publication numberUS 3542366 A, US 3542366A, US-A-3542366, US3542366 A, US3542366A
InventorsSchocker Herman H
Original AssigneeSchocker Herman H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination wheeled vehicle,sloping track,loop,and scoring mat
US 3542366 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Herman II. Schoclrer 220 Elizabeth Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah 84102 Nov. 29, 1968 Nov. 24, 1970 lnventor Appl. No. Filed Patented COMBINATION WHEELED VEHICLE, SLOPING TRACK, LOOP, AND SCORING MAT 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 273/ 108, 46/202, 104/55 Int. Cl. A63b 67/00 Field of Search 46/202,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,431,398 10/1922 Hetzner 104/55 8/1929 Marx 104/55 2,532,521 12/1950 Stair 2,862,333 12/1958 Gardiol 3,268,227 8/1966 Thatcher 273/108 3,411,783 11/1968 Montagna 273/86 FORElGN PATENTS 921,738 0/1954 Germany 273/108 OTHER REFERENCES Mattel Toys Catalog, March 14, 1968, pgs. 4 10 a copy of which is in class 273, subclass 86.

Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay A1t0rney-David V. Trask ABSTRACT: A toy, including a wheeled vehicle in combination with an elongate track. The track includes a wheel-accommodating surface with one or more runways defined by wheel guides, and is mounted for use with one of its ends elevated and a loop in an intermediate segment ofits length. A scoring mat is provided for placement in juxtaposition with the end of the track.

Patented Nov. 24, 1970 3,542,366

INVENTOR. HERMAN H. SCHOCKER BY 049% MM ATTORNEY 1 COMBINATION WHEELED VEHICLE, SLOPING TRACK,

LOOP, AND SCORING MAT BACKGROUND OF THE. INVENTION setting an object in motion along'a guide rail or track with suf-' ficient momentum to traverse a loop intermediate the path of travel. US. Pat. No. 2,532,521, for example, discloses a toy which includes a ball and a grooved track. Operation of the toy involves rolling the ball down the track with sufficient momentum to cause it to traverse a loop in the track, relying upon the momentum of the ball to hold it in the groove as it proceeds in an approximately circular path vertically upward, overhead, and downward before exiting from the base of the loop in a more or less horizontal direction of travel. Because of the spherical shape of the ball, it is unnecessary to maintain it in any particular-orientation as it rolls down the track and around the loop. Accordingly, the grooved runway of the track has no function other than to define the longitudinal path of travel of the ball. Similar toys with nonspherical traveling objects employ various connecting means to fasten the moving object to the track while it is in motion. In this fashion, the object is held in its proper orientation with respect to the track and it is prevented from falling from the track as it moves across the upper portion ofthe loop.

Toys, such as that disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 2,862,333, which involve sending an unattached wheeled vehicle along a track, have not included a vertical loop in the track.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides, as a toy, a combination which comprises a wheeled vehicle and a specially adapted looped track upon which the vehicle is set in motion to traverse the loop without being attached thereto. The vehicle includes wheels mounted in spaced, parallel relationship to turn on opposite ends of at least one, preferably two, axles. Miniature automobiles, such as model racing cars, are ideal vehicles. The track is elongate with a wheel-accomodating surface adapted to support and guide thewheels of the vehicle. The wheel-accomodating surface of the track includes one or more runways defined by parallel wheel guides running the full length of the track. The track includes an intermediate loop and'suitable support means to hold it in its position of use with one end elevated above the loop and the other end at an elevation below the top ofthe loop. In use, a wheeled vehicle is sentdown a runway of the track at sufficient speed that its momentum carries it around the loop and along the track beyond the loop. The weight of the vehicle, freedom of rotation of its wheels, pitch and length of the track section above the loop, and the diameter of the loop'should all be correlated so that a vehicle gently started down the track will traverse the loop.

A significant feature of the present invention is the relationship of the wheel guides of the runway and the wheels of the wheeled vehicle. The wheel guides and wheels are mutually adapted so that the wheel guides continually guide the vehicle and hold it in its appropriate longitudinal alignment as it moves down the runway and around the loop. According to some embodiments, the wheel guides are spaced such that the wheels carried at the opposite ends of each axle of the wheeled vehicle may be placed either between the guides or to straddle the guides. According to other embodiments, the wheel guides are formed as spaced, parallel, wheel-receiving channels with parallel vertical wells extending approximately normally from the remainder of the track surface, either as recesses or projections. In any event, the wheel accomodating surface of the track includes at least one runway sufficiently wide to accomodate a wheeled vehicle, which runway is defined by parallel wheel guides running the full length of the track and spaced to maintain the vehicle in approximately longitudinal alignment with the track when the vehicle is set in motion along the runway. It is particularly preferred that the wheel guides be oriented approximately normal to the runway and that the diameter of the wheels be correlated with the vertical height of the wheel guides such that when the vehicle IS placed on the runway, its axles are heldabove the upper edges of the wheel guides. Although this relationship of the wheel diameter to the height of the wheel guides is essential when the wheel guides are recessed from the remainder of the runway, it is an advantageous feature for wheel guides which project upward from the surface of the runway as well.

To use the toy, the track is set up with one end elevated so that a segment of the track slopes from the elevated end to the bottom of the looped segment. Suitable track support means are provided, either attached to one end of the track or attachable thereto. to hold the elevated end of the track higher than the top of the loop. The toy also includes suitable loopsupport means for holding an intermediate longitudinal segment ofthe track in an approximately circular, vertical looped configuration such that the track extends from its elevated end to enter the bottom of the loop; continues around the loop with its wheel-accomodating surface on the inside of the loop; and then extends out from the bottom of the loop, adjacent the segment of the track entering the loop, in a direction away from the elevated end. The loop-support means may be attached permanently to the track so that the looped segment of the track is permanently held in its looped configuration, or it may be a separate structure adapted for attachment to the track. A wheeled vehicle sent down a runway of the track with sufficient velocity, travels around the loop with its wheels held against the wheel-accomodating surface of the track and exits the loop at its bottom to continue along the track segment beyond the loop. The latter segment may be provided with various ramps or other devices, but its elevation should be lower than the top of the loop, preferably ending near or below the elevation of the base of the loop.

A game may be played with the toy of this invention by having various players compete to determine which one can send a particular wheeled vehicle furthest off the end of the track. Other games may be devised having as their object sending a vehicle along the track at a velocity such that it travels a precise predetermined distance after leaving the loop. Thus, according to one embodiment of the invention the toy includes a scoring mat in the form of a roadway adapted for placement in juxtaposition with the end of the track opposite the elevated or starting end. The roadway is marked transversly to divide it into a plurality of longitudinally sequential score-indicating areas such that when a wheeled vehicle leaves the end of the track,,a score is indicated by the position on the mat at which the vehicle comes to rest.

In thepreferred embodiments of the invention, means are provided to elevate a portion ofthe runway or track in the segment of the track following the loop as a ramp. Thus, for the vehicle to traverse the ramp, it must exit the loop with a certain minimum velocity or momentum. The ramp portion of the track may operate as an obstacle to trap vehicles lacking sufficient momentum as they exit the loop, or it may be employed as the approach to a jump or.sirnilar device. In any event, the ramp portion of the track lends more interest to the toy and any game associated with the toy.

Another significant aspect of the invention is the relative positioning of the elevated end of the track with respect to the loop. In general, the approach length from the starting end of the the track; i.e., the most elevated portion of the track, to the center of the loop base should be greater than the elevation of the starting end; i.e., the vertical distance between the starting end and the base of the loop. Ideally, the track length to the base of the loop should be about 1 /2 to about three times as long as the height of the starting end of the track. Although suitable toys may utilize approaches to the loop much greater in length, the ratio of approach length to starting elevation should not be much less than 1 /2 for suitable operation. The diameter of the loop, although variable, is correlated to the elevation of the starting end of the track. The diameter of the loop should thus in all cases be less than one half the elevation of the starting end of the track, and will usually be less than one third this length. The diameter of the loop must, however, be greater than the length of the wheeled vehicle to be sent down the track.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings, which illustrate what is presently regarded as the best mode for carrying out the invention:

FIG. I is a pictorial view of a toy of'this invention, embodied as a game; a

FIG. 2, a sectional view taken from the standpoint of the line 2-2 of FIG. l','and

FIG. 3, a corresponding sectional view of an alternative form ofthe track. 7

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustratesa form of the invention in which a major portion of the track and track-support components are permanently connected to permit ready set-up and storage of the toy. Thus, the toy comprises a track member ll which includes a sloping approach segment 11a with a starting end lib, and a looped segment 110. A second track member 12, which may be considered the coasting segment of the track, is adapted for placement with a portion of its end 120 under the end 110 of the track member ll as illustrated. The track segment 12 is elevated along a portion of its length 12b to form a ramp. The upper or wheel-accomodating surfaceof the track is adapted as a runway defined by wheel guides 13 which extend from the elevated end 11a of the track, through the loop 11b, and across the second track segment 12. A scoring mat 14 is placed in juxtaposition with the exit end 120 of the track segment 12. The score mat is marked transversly into a plurality of longitudinally sequential scoring areas 15.

In theillustrated instance, the track members 11 and 12 are constructed of metal and the loop 11b is held in place by means of a soldered metal tie rod 16, which also functions as a base for the loop. The elevated end of the track is anchored in a bracket 17 which-is supported by a rigid standard 18. The standard 18 is pivotally connected to the bracket 17 as shown 19 so that the track structure may be collapsed for storage. Although the track is illustrated as being rigid, it is within contemplation that it be constructed of flexible or pliable material so that the approach segment might sag appreciably ahead of the looped segment. y

A cross section of the track illustrated by FIG. 2, shows the configuration of thewheel-accomodating surface of the track. Thesurface is adapted by wheel guides 13 as a runway. The wheel guides are formed by parallel outer walls 13a and inner ridges 13b projecting generally upward from the runway surface 20. When the wheels 21 of-a model racing car 22 of this invention are placed in the guides 13, the axle 23 connecting the wheels 21 rides above the upper edges of the guide walls 130 and ridges 13b.

An alternative form of the track is illustrated in cross section by FIG. 3. According to this embodiment, the wheels 21 are placed on the runway surface 24 between parallel wheel guides 25. The diameter ofthe wheels is sufficient with respect to the height of the guides 25, that the axle 21 rides above the upper edges 25a of the guides. The spacing of the guides 25 is greater than the spacing of the wheels 2!, but should not be so great as to permit appreciable yawing movement of the vehicle. Somewhat wider runways of this type are permissible for longer wheel bases.

The spacing of the front and rear axles and spacing of the wheels mounted on each axle should be correlated with the spacing of the wheel guides to maintain the longitudinal axis of the vehicle approximately parallel with respect to the longitudinal axis of the runway. To insure good travel of the vehicle,

the maximum possible minor angle of intersection of these axes should no exceed about 30 and should preferrably be much less.

I claim:

l. A game comprising:

at least one wheeled toy vehicle with wheels mounted in spaced parallel relationship to turn on opposite ends of an axle;

an elongate track with a wheel-accomodating surface including at least one runway sufficiently wide to ac comodate a said vehicle defined by parallel wheel guides extending the length of the track and spaced to maintain the vehicle in approximate longitudinal alignment with the track when the vehicle is set in motion along the rur.-

way;

track-support means adapted to anchor one end of the track at an elevated position with respect to the remainder of the track;

loop-support means for holding an intermediate longitudinal section of the track in an approximately circular vertical loop configuration such that the track slopes form said elevated end to enter the bottom of the loop, continues around the loop with the wheel-accomodating surface on the inside of the loop, and extends out from the bottom of the loop adjacent the segment of the track entering the loop in a direction away from said elevated end;

said track, when the track, track-support means and loop support means are assembled for use. extending from its elevated end downward to the base of the loop for a distance between about 1 V2 and about three times the elevation of said end, around the loop, out of the loop at approximately its base elevation and then rises upward to an elevation intermediate the top and base of the loop, the diameter of the loop being less than about one third the elevation of said elevated end;

the diameter of said wheels being correlated with the height of the wheel guides normal to the runway such that when the vehicle is placed on the runway, the axle of the vehicle is held above the tops of the wheel guides;

a scoring mat in the form ofa roadway for placement in juxtaposition with the end of the track opposite said elevated end, said scoring mat being divided transversely into a plurality of longitudinally sequential score-indicating areas sothat when a said wheeled vehicle is sent down a said runway with sufficient momentum to carry it through the loop and off the end of the track, a score is indicated by the longitudinal position at which the vehicle comes to rest on the mat; and

the object of said game being to send a said toy vehicle along said track at a velocity such that it travels a precise, predetermined distance along said scoring mat after leaving said loop.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3677469 *Sep 2, 1970Jul 18, 1972Mattel IncLooped track system for toy wheeled vehicles
US3860238 *Feb 5, 1974Jan 14, 1975Tomy Kogyo CoContinuous racetrack having turnaround portions
US4389810 *Apr 26, 1982Jun 28, 1983Green Carmel HMetering toy for selecting a self-propelled vehicle of greatest strength
US5078642 *Oct 24, 1990Jan 7, 1992Glessner Jon LToy bar soap slide
US5377974 *Oct 7, 1993Jan 3, 1995Rodriguez Rivera; Angel L.Hoop balancing game
US5586923 *Feb 9, 1995Dec 24, 1996Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle playset for thermochromic vehicles
US6647893 *Jun 17, 2002Nov 18, 2003Osment Models, Inc.Race track assembly
US7537509Jun 11, 2007May 26, 2009Mattel, Inc.Toy track devices
US7651398May 4, 2007Jan 26, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle raceways
US7690964May 4, 2007Apr 6, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy ramp devices
US7946903May 4, 2007May 24, 2011Mattel, Inc.Wheeled toy vehicles and playsets for use therewith
US8430712May 4, 2007Apr 30, 2013Mattel, Inc.Track set
US8465339May 24, 2011Jun 18, 2013Mattel, Inc.Wheeled toy vehicles and playsets for use therewith
US8608527Aug 29, 2011Dec 17, 2013Mattel, Inc.Wall mounted toy track set
US8876572Aug 24, 2012Nov 4, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle launching ramp and landing ramp
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US9492759May 4, 2007Nov 15, 2016Mattel, Inc.Wheeled toy vehicles and playsets for use therewith
US9566528Oct 2, 2013Feb 14, 2017Mattel, Inc.Rotating top launcher
US9623343 *Sep 29, 2014Apr 18, 2017Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle play set with airbrush
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US20080014832 *May 4, 2007Jan 17, 2008Ostendorff Eric CToy vehicle raceways
US20080032596 *May 4, 2007Feb 7, 2008David SheltmanWheeled toy vehicles and playsets for use therewith
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/108, 463/69, 104/55, 446/444
International ClassificationA63H18/00, A63H18/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/028
European ClassificationA63H18/02F