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Publication numberUS3546808 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 15, 1970
Filing dateDec 12, 1968
Priority dateDec 12, 1968
Also published asDE1940058A1
Publication numberUS 3546808 A, US 3546808A, US-A-3546808, US3546808 A, US3546808A
InventorsKohner Frank, Stubbman Albert
Original AssigneeKohner Bros Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Twirling figurine toy
US 3546808 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Oifice 3,546,808 Patented Dec. 15, 1970 3,546,808 TWIRLING FIGURINE TOY Frank Kohner, New York, N.Y., and Albert Stubbman,

Franklin Lakes, N.J., assignors to Kohner Bros, Inc.,

East Paterson, N.J., a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 12, 1968, Ser. No. 783,364 Int. Cl. A63h N US. Cl. 46-59 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A toy figurine is secured to a spindle which is positioned above a hollow base having an offset pillar with an inwardly extending tip. The top of the spindle is journalled in the pillar tip and the bottom of the spindle extends through a hole in the base and twirls on the bottom of said base. A pull string extending into the base is looped around the spindle and anchored to a rotarybiased take-up spool. Pulling of the string causes the spindle and figurine to turn. The string automatically rewinds about the spool. The spool has projections that knock on the bottom of the base to generate an activity noise. With the string extended and held fast, release of the base will cause the entire toy to travel toward the extended string end.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention Spinning toys.

Description of the prior art It has been known heretofore to utilize pull strings in been commonly utilized to effect rotation of tops. Additionally known previously, has been the use of pull cords to rotate journalled spinning toys, wherein the spinning toys were mounted on a base. Among the difiiculties encountered with sorne of these prior devices was the fact that once pulled, the string would have to be rethreaded for winding and/ or rewound manually.

It has been additionally known to utilize return mechanisms for the winding of the pull strings. Generally these previous rewinding mechanisms involved a plurality of parts and entailed considerable expense in manufacture.

All of the prior known pull string spinning toys lacked a simple means for producing a secondary animation distinct from the actual spinning. Where only a single means of animation is provided, a young child readily loses interest in the toy.

Additionally known heretofore was the use, in conjunction with spinning toys, of an attractively designed support which served to conceal a pull string return mechanism. In prior devices, the string return mechanism would be exposed, thus easily entangling the pull string by any inadvertent interfering motions of the child.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a spinning figurine toy of the character described which is so constructed that it is not subject to any of the foregoing drawbacks.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a spinning figurine toy of the character described which is simple and rugged in construction, yet can be fabricated by mass production methods at an appreciably lower cost than prior devices designed to serve the same function.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a spinning figurine toy of the character described wherein secondary animation is provided in conjunction with, yet

distinct from, the spinning of the figurine to maintain the interest and enhance the enjoyment of a child.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a pull string animated spinning figurine toy of the character described wherein a resiliently biased take-up spool is positioned to produce a vibrating sound as the pull string animates the figurine.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a pull string animated spinning figurine toy wherein, a resiliently biased pull string take-up spool includes means which is operable to displace the spinning axis of said figurine.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a pull string animated spinning figurine toy wherein a figurine is journalled for rotation between a supporting base and an overhead bearing supported by an offset pillar and wherein a resiliently biased take-up spool will cause the figurine and base to move laterally across a supporting surface upon the release of the base with the free end of the pull string held fast in its extended position.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a pull string animated figurine toy wherein an easily assemblable pull string take-up spool is biased for rotation on a rubber band axis.

It is another object of the invention to provide a method of animating a pull string spinning figurine toy wherein the toy is capable of both rotational and translational movement.

Other objects of the invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.

The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combination of elements, arrangements of parts and a series of steps hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings in which is shown one of the various possible embodiments of the invention:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a pull string animated spinning figurine toy constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the relative positions of the pull string, the take-up spool and the spindle when the pull string is fully extended; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3 and showing in dot-and-dash lines the position of the pull string take-up spool and the spindle as said spool begins to rewind the pull string.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The invention generally comprises a toy figurine which is secured to a vertical spindle and is located between a lower hollow base and an overhead bracket carried by a pillar which extends in offset position from the base. The upper end of the spindle is journalled for rotation in the overhead bearing and the lower end of the spindle passes through an opening in the base and twirls about the bottom of the base when a pull string is allowed to retract into the base after having been extended. The pull string extends into the base, is then wrapped for one or a few turns about a portion of the spindle and has one end secured to a take-up spool; the spool is rotatably biased to maintain the pull string in a wound position. As the free end of the pull string is pulled outwardly from the base the spindle will turn rapidly, because of the small diameter of the spindle, spinning the figurine,

and the take-up spool will unwind. The spool biasing means will store up rotative energy during unwinding of the spool. Portions projecting from the take-up spool strike the bottom of the base producing a resounding noise. When the extended pull string is released the stored rotative energy will turn the spool so as to rapidly wind the pull string thereon. If, however, the extended pull string is held and the base is released, the take-up spool will still wind the pull string under the action of the stored rotative energy, moving the base and the figurine toward the end of the pull string which is held in the users hand. As the take-up spool rewinds the pull string a similar noise is generated.

Referring now in detail to the drawings, the reference numeral denotes a pull string animated spinning toy which embodies the present invention. The toy includes a figurine 12 fast on a vertical spindle 14 that runs vertically therethrough and projects from both the top and bottom of the figurine.

A hollow supporting base 1 6 is provided and the figurine 12 is positioned between said base and an overhead vertical bearing 18. The bearing 18 is at the inturned tip of an offset pillar 19 that projects upwardly from a rear wall 20 of the base 16. The bearing is directly over the figurine 12 and loosely journals the upper end of the spindle.

The lower portion of the spindle 14 projects into the base 16 which is unitan'ly formed of integrally molded construction with a top wall 26, a front wall 28, side walls 30, and the rear wall 20. The spindle passes through an enlarged opening 32 in the top 26 that is about twice the diameter of the slender spindle.

An outwardly stepped flange 34 is formed at the lower edge of the front, side and rear Walls of the base 16. The inner wall of the flange 34 and the undersurface 36 of the stepped portion of the flange act as a seat against which a bottom plate 38 is secured as by a snap fit or adhesive. The flange 34 and the bottom plate 38 are so dimensioned that the undersurface of the bottom plate 38 and the lower face of the flange 34 are substantially flush.

With the figurine 12 positioned between the overhead bracket and the base, the lower portion of the spindle 14 projects into the base until the lower tip thereof contacts the bottom plate. This position is illustrated in FIG. 2 and it is to be observed that the lower tip of the spindle 14 touches the bottom plate 38 while the under portion of the figurine 12 is still spaced from the top wall 26 of the base. Moreover in this position, which is the idle position of the toy, the top of the figurine is below the undersurface of the bearing 18.

The pillar 19 is secured to the rear wall 20 of the base 16 by adhesive, with its lower edge in abutting con tact with the upper surface of the stepped peripheral flange 34. To provide additional strengthening of the connection between the pillar and the base 16, a pair of legs 40 project from the lower portion of the opposite edges of the pillar 19, Each leg 40' is secured to a respective side wall 30 of the base 16 with its lower edge in abutting contact with the upper surface of said flange 34. The tips 42 of the legs have inwardly facing longitudinal channels therein which conform to the shape of the flange 34 and side walls 30 so that the inner surfaces of the end portions of the tips are spaced from the flange and side walls for a purpose to be subsequently described.

To further strengthen the connection between the bottom of the pillar and the rear wall 30, an oflset hook 44 projects from the center of the lower edge of the pillar 19, first normally into an opening in the rear wall 30 and then downward to rest against the inner surface of the flange 34.

An animating means is housed within the base 16 with a pull string actuator 46 threaded through an opening 48 in the front wall 28. To prevent retraction of the free end of the pull string 46 into the base and to facilitate gripping said free end, said end of the pull string is secured to a ring 50.

Within the base the pull string is looped (takes one or two turns) about the spindle 14 and is anchored at its opposite end to a take-up spool 52. The take-up spool is mounted on a rubber band axle 54- which spans the space between the side walls 30*. The take-up spool 52 is generally cruciform in cross section with four oppositely disposed equiangularly spaced Webs. The anchored end of the pull string 46 is secured to one of said webs by being looped through a central opening in said web and being securely tied thereto.

Three of the webs which form the take-up spool 52 are formed with a concavely shaped radially outermost edge, the ends 58 thereof projecting radially outwardly from the longitudinal axis of the spool a distance greater than the central portions of said webs. The concavity of the outer edges facilitates the winding of the pull string 46. As the pull string is wound it tends to wind about the central portion of the concave surface and thus will not wander beyond an end of the spool.

The fourth web 60 is constructed to readily and easily provide an arrangement for mounting the take-up spool on the axle 54. This web is constituted of two parallel flanges 61 projecting from the central portion of the takeup spool 52 to form a U channel that receives the axle 54. To mount the take-up spool on the axle, the axle is threaded into the U-channel between the flanges 61. A plug 62 is then inserted and serves as a closure preventing the axle from disengaging from the take-up spool. The outer edges of the flanges constitute the concave radially outermost edges of the fourth web.

The axle 54 extends between the two side walls 30 in a position which is above the bottom plate 38. Two narrow slits 64 are provided for securing the axle ends to the base 16, one slit in each side wall 30. Each slit projects upwardly from the bottom of the side Wall. The tips 42 of the pillar legs 40 are so relatively positioned that the vertically channeled portion of each tip 42 covers the associated slit 64, leaving a slight space for a purpose hereinafter described.

The slits 64 are so dimensioned with respect to the axle 54 that the axle 54 may be forced within the slit only after being longitudinally stretched. When the axle 54 is stretched, its cross-section decreases and thus it may be inserted into the narrow slits 64.

To assemble the take-up spool within the base 16 both ends of the axle are first wound to pretension the spool for maintaining the pull string in a wound position. The respective ends of the axle 54 are then stretched by pulling, and forced into the slits 64. The ends of the axle 54 are positioned at the upward ends of the slits 64, being slid between the channels of the tips 42 which are spaced from the side walls 30 and flanges 34 a distance such as to frictionally squeeze and bind said ends in the channels, in addition to the ends frictionally squeezed and bound in the slits. In the final mounted position, the ends of the axle project upwardly above the tips 42. At this time the string is wound about the spool, the ring 50 abuts the front wall 28 and the rubber band axle exerts suflicient torque to hold said ring in such position and maintains the pull string tensioned.

In operation, the ring 50 is pulled and the pull string 46 unwinds from the spool 52. This further twists the ends of the axle 54 and increases the stored rotational energy contained therein. While the pull string upwinds from the spool it will turn the spindle 14, causing the figurine mounted thereon to rotate because the string is tightly wrapped about the spindle, with the pull string tensioned from its opposite ends. Inasmuch as the spindle is of small diameter the figurine will turn rapidly. It will be observed that this string tensioning also lifts the spindle as shown in FIG. 3 so that its tip is clear of the bottom wall 38.

The maximum height of the spool 52 is governed by the height of the upper ends of the slits 64 within which the ends 55 of the axle are secured. This elevation is somewhat lower than that of the opening 48 through which the pull string 46 is withdrawn. Thus, as the pull string is withdrawn from the base 16, the pull string exerts an upward force on the spindle 14 lifting the spindle and figurine. Additionally, because the opening 32 in the top wall 26 is of a diameter approximately twice that of the spindle 14, pulling the pull string 46 moves the spindle 14 into journalled contact with the front of said opening 32 as illustrated in FIG. 3.

A noise making feature which is operative is provided while the pull string is being withdrawn or retracted and the figurine rotates. As previously mentioned, the ends 58 of the webs of the four like concave webs of the takeup spool 52 project radially a distance further from the center of the spool then the centers of the webs. These ends 58 project a distance which is sufiicient to contact the upper surface of the bottom plate 38. While the spool 52 rotates due to the unwinding or winding of the pull string 46, the ends 58 repeatedly knock against the bottom 38 causing a resounding percussive noise.

To amplify this noise, the bottom plate 38 is spaced above a horizontal supporting surface, e.g., a floor or table top, by integrally formed squat legs 66. Each leg 66 is positioned at a corner of the bottom plate 38 and serves to maintain the bottom plate in a position elevated from a supporting surface 68. The legs additionally serve to reduce frictional resistance between the base and a supporting surface for a purpose hereinafter described.

After the pull string is fully withdrawn from the base, it stops in its fully extended position as is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The pull string may be rewound about the spool 52 in a plurality of different manners.

As previously mentioned, the spool is biased by the rubber band axle to rotate in a direction which will wind the pull string (counter clockwise as shown in FIG. 3) around the spool. This is due to the fact that the axle 54 was initially biased to wind the pull string. Unwinding of the pull string stores further energy within the axle so that the axle is now twisted a sufficient number of turns to exert considerable torque in a direction which will wind the pull string.

If the extended pull string is released while the base is held, the take-up spool rapidly rewinds the pull string and the string slips around the spindle 14 without causing rotation of the spindle. As this occurs the spindle drops so that its lower tip rests on the bottom wall 38. Optionally the lower portion of the spindle may be knurled to increase frictional engagement between the pull string and spindle, whereby upon release of the extended pull string, the spindle and figurine will twirl.

Alternatively the pull string may be allowed to slowly retract as by a child holding both the free end of the pull string and the base while allowing the pull string to be withdrawn slowly into the base. In this instance, there is tension at both ends of the pull string. Both the anchored end and the free end have forces acting in opposite directions, hence the pull string is tight about the spindle. The spindle 14 will now rotate as the pull string is withdrawn into the base and, hence, the figurine will spin.

A third method in which the pull string may be unwound is to rest the base on a flat smooth supporting surface with the free end of the pull string held fast a distance from the base. The base is then released and will slide along the supporting surface, following the unwound portion of the pull string as the pull string winds about the spool. In this method of rewinding there is again tension at both ends of the pull string, i.e., the anchored end and the free end, so that the pull string is wrapped tightly about the spindle and will cause the spindle to twirl as the pull string is withdrawn into the base whereby the figurine will spin.

It thus will be seen that there are provided a twirling figurine toy and methods of using the same which achieve the several objects of this invention and which are well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.

As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention and as various changes might be made in the embodiment set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompany ing drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described the invention, there is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent:

1. A twirling figurine toy, said toy comprising a hollow base, an offset pillar projecting upwardly from said base, said pillar having an inturned tip, an overhead vertical bearing supported by said tip, an upright spindle, a figurine positioned above said base and below said bearing, said figurine being secured to said spindle, a portion of said spindle projecting below said figurine and into said base, a portion of said spindle projecting above said figurine and journalled for rotation within said overhead bearing, a pull string extending into said base, a take-up spool in said base, said pull string being looped about said portion of said spindle projecting into said base, one end of said pull string being anchored to said spool, said pull string being wound about said spool when said toy is idle, the other end of said string being free and external to said base, a rubber band axle on which said spool is fast, said rubber band axle being positioned within said hollow base between opposite walls of said base, said rubber and axle being wound and storing rotational energy when said pull string is withdrawn from said base, said spindle and said figurine being twirled as said pull string is withdrawn from said base, said pull string being retracted into said base and rewound about said spool under the action of said stored rotational energy.

2. The twirling figurine toy of claim 1 wherein a noise making means projects axially from said spool, said noise making means knocking against said hollow base as said spool rotates.

3. The twirling figurine toy of claim 2 wherein said hollow base includes a bottom, said noise making means intermittently knocking against said bottom as said spool rotates.

4. The twirling figurine toy of claim 3 wherein said base rests on a supporting surface, said base includes formations projecting downwardly therefrom, said formations presenting a space between said base and said supporting surface, said space facilitating the transmission and amplification of sound vibrations when said noise making means knocks against said bottom.

5. The twirling figurine toy of claim 1 wherein slits are provided on opposite walls of said base, said slits being of a width less than the cross-section of said axle, portions of said axis adjacent the ends thereof being squeezed and bound in said slits.

6. The twirling figurine toy of claim 1 wherein said spool includes a plurality of radially projecting webs, the outer edges of said webs being concave in shape, the central portions of said webs projecting radially a distance from the center of said spool less than the ends of said webs.

7. The twirling figurine toy of claim 6 wherein one of said webs includes tow parallel spaced flanges forming a U channel with the center of said spool as the base thereof, a portion of said axle positioned within said center, and an elongate plug positioned between said spaced flanges.

8. The twirling figurine toy of claim 1 wherein said base includes formations projecting downwardly, said base adapted to rest on a smooth flat supporting surface with said formations as the sole points of contact between said base and said smooth fiat supporting surface, said formations lying in a common plane and thereby serving to reduce frictional resistance between said base and said supporting surface.

9. A method of animating a twirling figurine toy constructed as set forth in claim 8, said method comprising placing said base on said smooth flat supporting surface,

holding the free end of said pull string at a point along FOREIGN PATENTS said supporting surface spaced from said base and then 522 299 1921 France 46 59 releasing said base and allowing it to move along said 764,546 193 4 France 46 59 supporting surface toward said held free end of said pull 5 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner References C'ted D L WEINHOLD IR A '1 tE UNITED STATES PATENTS an Xammer 187,062 2/1877 Steller 4659 vs. C1.X.R. 195,326 9/1877 Bailey 9 6 0 1 5 872,962 12/1907 Nigger 46-190 4 6 7 1,779,349 10/1930 Whatley 46-206

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US187062 *Feb 6, 1877 Imprbvement in toy whirligigs
US195326 *Aug 10, 1877Sep 18, 1877 Improvement in spinning-tops
US872962 *Jun 13, 1907Dec 3, 1907Fred J NiggelTick-tack.
US1779349 *Feb 5, 1930Oct 21, 1930Whatley Joseph LMechanical toy
FR522299A * Title not available
FR764546A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8013457Nov 7, 2007Sep 6, 2011Potenco, Inc.Human power generation using dual pulls
US8093731Nov 7, 2007Jan 10, 2012Potenco, Inc.Gearless human power generation
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/249
International ClassificationA63H13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H13/00
European ClassificationA63H13/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 23, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: HASBRO, INC., 1027 NEWPORT AVE., PAWTUCKET, TI. 02
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CBS INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004682/0688
Effective date: 19860211