US 3559334 A
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Feb. 2,1971 7 TOY VEHICLE AND APPARATUS FOR MOVING THE VEHICLE Filed Dec.' 5, 1968 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 7 Feb. 2, 1971 v J. BENY E T OY VEHICLE AND APPARATUS FORMOVINGTHE VEHICLE I 2.Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec.
n +|ll II I W H r r z 5 M a m w r z I J z United States Patent Ofice 3,559,334 TOY VEHICLE AND APPARATUS FOR MOVING THE VEHICLE Janos Beny, 429 7th St., Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266, and Marshall B. Pearlrnan, 233 S. Barrington Ave., Apt. 105, Los Angeles, Calif. 90049 Filed Dec. 5, 1968, Ser. No. 781,394 Int. Cl. A63h 17/00 US. Cl. 46-206 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Toy vehicle and apparatus for moving the vehicle up an inclined track area so the vehicle can thereafter coast downhill, comprising an elongated member extending along the incline with vehicle-engaging projections spaced along its length. The projections are flexible and extend with down-path directional components (pointing up the incline) so that they can push the vehicle up the incline but can move back Without carrying the vehicle with it. A motor rapidly oscillates the elongated member, with its projections, in a direction parallel to the track.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to toy vehicles and to apparatus for moving toy vehicles.
Description of the prior art Unpowered toy vehicles may be moved along a path by initially pushing them by hand or placing them at the top of an incline to gain speed as they roll downhill. These methods require a child to repeatedly handle the vehicle after each run along its path, to push it or to again place it at the top of an incline. Repeated handling can be annoying and tends to destroy the entertaining illusion of vehicles moving by themselves.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide simple and economical toy vehicle and apparatus for propelling an unpowered vehicle.
Another object is to provide novel toy vehicle in combination with apparatus for moving a toy vehicle up an incline.
In accordance with the present invention, a toy vehicle and apparatus is provided for moving the toy vehicle up an incline so it can thereafter coast downhill. The apparatus comprises a frame which has an inclined track section along which toy vehicles can move, and an elongated member that extends along the incline. The elongated member is mounted for oscillation up and down the incline, and it has projections spaced along its length that can engage a vehicle. The projections extend with a downpath directional component, so that they can push the vehicle down-path (up the incline), but can move back without dragging the vehicle with them.
In one embodiment of the invention, a buzzer-type device is utilized to rapidly oscillate the elongated member. The buzzer device is electrically energized so that, in a small continuous track layout, the vehicle is repeatedly moved around the layout without operation by a child. In order to aid in preventing the vehicle from moving down the incline during backstrokes of the projectioncarrying member, an elongated holding member is provided. The holding member extends along the incline parallel to the projection-carrying member, to frictionally engage the vehicle and hold it against backward movement. To further enable the projections to move back without carrying the vehicle with them, the projections are constructed of a flexible material.
3,559,334 Patented Feb. 2, 1971 The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will be best understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of vehicle moving apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention; FIG. 2 is a side sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial view of the apparatus of FIG. 2, showing it during a forward stroke;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3 during a backstroke of the apparatus;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on line 55 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 66 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a partial plan view, partly in section, of the apparatus of FIG. 1, showing the oscillating mechanism thereof;
FIG. 8 is a partial side elevation view of vehicle moving apparatus constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a side sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 8; and
FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 8.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates apparatus 10 for connection in series with a track layout to make an unpowered toy vehicle 12 coast along the layout. The apparatus comprises a frame 14 which carries a track section 16 which is oriented at an incline. The apparatus is constructed to move the ve- 35 hicle 12 up the incline so that it can thereafter coast down hill.
The vehicle moving apparatus 10 comprises an elongated vehicle propelling member 18 which is disposed in a slot 20 in the elongated track section, and is mounted 40 for oscillation back and forth along the length of the track. The member 18 carries a multiplicity of projections 22 that can engage an under portion of the vehicle. Each of the projections extends with a down-path directional component (facing up along the incline), as well as a component directed at the vehicle. In addition, the projections 22 are constructed of a flexible material so that they can be easily bent. The flexible construction and down-path directional component enables the projections to push a vehicle up the incline during the forward stroke of the elongated member 18, while allowing the projections to move down-path Without necessarily carrying the vehicle with them. An oscillating mechanism 24 is connected by an arm 26 to the elongated member 18 to rapidly oscillate the member 18 along the length of the track.
In order to aid in preventing the vehicle from moving down the incline during backstrokes of the propelling or projection-carrying member 18, a holding member 28 is provided. The holding member is of elongated shape and extends along the length of the inclined track section. The holding member is designed to frictionally engage a bottom surface of the vehicle to prevent the vehicle from moving down-hill, or at least to slow such downward movement. Generally, however, the projection-carrying member 18 is oscillated rapidly enough so that the toy vehicle does not move backward appreciably during the backstrokes, even in the absence of additional means for maintaining its position.
As shown in FIG. 2, the vehicle 12 is preferably provided with an undersurface that includes a sharp ledge portion 30 that extends substantially perpendicular to the vehicle path, or even with a backward rake. Generally, one of the projections 22 engages the ledge portion 30 during a forward, or down-path, stroke to move the vehicle a limited distance up the incline. FIG. 3 illustrates the situation during a forward stroke of the projectioncarrying member 18. One of the projections 22A engages the ledge portion 30 of the vehicle, the vehicle tending to bend back the projection 22A when the projection moves forward. Several other projections 22B downath from projection 22A are bent forward, or in a down-path direction by another vehicle portion 31 ahead of the ledge. In the course of Oscillating, the member 18 may move forward by a distance such as twice the separation S between adjacent projections. The projection 22A thereupon moves the vehicle up the incline by the distance 25. The projection-carrying member 18 then moves backward, or up-path, as show nin FIG. 4. During such uppath movement, the vehicle remains substantially stationary while the next two projections 22B ahead of the projection 22A move behind the ledge 30. Thus, at every stroke, the vehicle moves up the incline by a distance 25.
Prevention of backward movement of the vehicle during each backstroke is prevented by the fact that the projection-carrying member 18 oscillates rapidly, so that the vehicle does not have time to move backward very far before the next forward stroke, and also by reason of engagement of the holding member 28 with the vehicle. As shown in FIG. 6, the holding member 28 includes a multiplicity of protuberances 332 which are designed to engage an underportion 34 of the vehicle. The protuberances 32 are high enough to tend to raise the vehicle slightly, so as to assure frictional engagement with the multiplicity of protuberances 32 which are designed to firmly grip the vehicle, or else it would seriously hamper forward movement up the incline. The projections may be constructed of a flexible material to assure a low level of frictional contact.
As shown in FIG. 5, a base plate 36 is provided which lies under the track section 16. The holding member 28 extends through a slot 38 in the track section, and is held stationary in place on the base 36. The projection-holding member 18, which extends through the slot 20 in the track section is designed for reciprocal motion. It slides back and forth on the base 36. The arm 26 which reciprocates the projection-carrying member extends through a small slot 40 in the base and is fixed to the member 18.
FIG. 7 illustrates a buzzer-type apparatus for rapidly oscillating the arm 26, to cause it to rapidly oscillate the projection-carrying member 18. The oscillating apparatus comprises an electromagnetic coil 42 having one lead 44 that is connected through a resistor 46 to a battery terminal 48. Another coil lead 50 is connected to a flexible switch element 54. The switch element 54 has a switch contact 56 at one end which can touch another contact 58 on another flexible electrically conductive member "60. The member 60 is connected to another battery terminal 62. The arm '26 which oscillates the projection-carrying member has a rearward portion 64 that is pivotally mounted at 66 to the frame.
When the battery terminals 48 and 62 are connected to an electrical source, such as an ordinary dry cell battery, current can flow from the terminal 48 through lead 44, through the coil 42, through lead 50, conductor member 54, across contacts 56 and 58, to the other terminal 62. This results in energization of the coil 42' to cause it to attract the arm 26, which is constructed of ferromagnetic material. The arm 26 is attracted to the coil, carrying with it the contact 56, to thereby open the electrical circuit to the coil to reduce its energization to a zero level. The spring bias provided by the flexible conductor 54 causes the arm 26 to then spring away from the coil and cause the contacts 56 and 58 to again close. As a result, the arm 26 moves rapidly back and forth. The arm movement near the coil is amplified by the longer distance from the pivot 66 to the point where the arm engages the projection-carrying member 18. Accordingly, the member 18 oscillates over a somewhat greater distance. In order for the apparatus to function properly, it is generally necessary that the projectioncarrying member 18 oscillate by more than the spacing of the projections.
FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 illustrate another embodiment of the invention wherein the oscillating mechanism comprises a Wheel 92 with an ofi-center pin 94 thereon. A driving member 96 has one end 98 that engages the pin and an opposite end portion 100 that engages an elongated projection-carrying member 102 which is similar to the member 18 of the previously described embodiment. The connecting member 96 is flexible, so that only the up-path and down-path components of its motion are transmitted to the end portion 100, which is confined to longitudinal movement along the track.
The wheel 92 can be rotated rapidly by motor means such as an electric motor, a spring wound motor, or a hand-turned crank. Is the case of a hand-turned crank, a speed increasing mechanism is preferably included to enable rapid wheel rotation. As the Wheel rotates, the elongated member 102 and the projections 104 thereon move up-path and down-path to raise a vehicle 12 up the incline. The vehicle 12' is constructed in the same manner as the vehicle previously described, having a ledge portion 30 thereon for engaging the projections 104. The use of the rotating Wheel generally facilitates the obtaining of large amplitude oscillations. Thus, the projections 104 can generally be spaced further apart. While no additional holding member is shown for aiding in prevention of backward vehicle movement, such a member can be provided if desired.
While the foregoing mechanisms are particularly useful for moving vehicles up an incline, they also can be used to move vehicles along a horizontal path, though generally at a relatively slow speed. Thus, they can be used to move vehicles slowly into a toy garage or in numerous other applicatioss. Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art, and consequently, it is intendedthat the claims he interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. Toy vehicle and apparatus for moving the vehicle up an incline comprising:
track means defining an inclined vehicle path for supporting vehicles moving down-path in a direction up said incline;
an elongated member mounted on said track means for movement substantially parallel to said vehicle path;
a plurality of projections mounted on said elongated member and extending with a down-path directional component;
means for reciprocating said elongated member substantially parallel to said vehicle path; and
a toy vehicle having a first portion thereof for deflecting said projections into a position with an increased down-path component, and a second portion located behind said first portion for engaging said projection to tend to deflect them into a configuration with a smaller down-path component when said projections move in an up-path direction.
2. The toy vehicle and apparatus described in claim 1, wherein said means defining an inclined path comprises a track portion with sides for supporting wheels at either side of said vehicle, and said elongated member is mounted beneath the path of said vehicle for movement of said vehicle on top of said projections.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,545,676 7/1925 Mantley 462l6 ROBERT PESHOCK, Primary Examiner