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Publication numberUS3565432 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 23, 1971
Filing dateSep 20, 1968
Priority dateSep 20, 1968
Publication numberUS 3565432 A, US 3565432A, US-A-3565432, US3565432 A, US3565432A
InventorsReiner Lawrence L
Original AssigneeReiner Lawrence L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Methods and apparatus for a chance controlled catapult game
US 3565432 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Lawrence L. Reiner (1 Hickory Lane, Woodbury, Nassau County, N.Y. 11797) 761,121

Sept. 20, 1968 Feb. 23, 1971 Inventor Appl. No. Filed Patented METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR A CHANCE CONTROLLED CATAPULT GAME 18 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl. 273/95, 273/106; 124/4 Int. Cl. A63b 67/00 Field of Search 273/95, 96, 86(1),119,108

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 534,996 3/1895 Cundy 273/96 1,542,063 6/1925 Knight 273/95X 1,853,900 4/1932 Johnson 273/108 3,208,444 9/1965 Sipos 273/95X Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-MS. Siskind Art0rney Lilling & Siegel ABSTRACT: Game apparatus comprising a plurality of animal representations, teeter-totter-type levers for launching the representations into the air, netlike structures for catching the representations and spinner for controlling the sequence of play together with a method of game play utilizing such apparatus.

VPATENTED mam 3565.432

3 sum 1 0F 2 INVEN'I' LAWRENCE REI ATTORNEYS PATENTEU mm 1911' INVEN'IOR. LAWRENCE REINER 11% Z AT TORNEYS SHEET 2' OF 2 METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR A CHANCE CONTROLLED CATAIPULT GAME This invention relates generally to amusement and, more particularly, to novel game methods and apparatus.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide novel game methods and apparatus.

Another primary object of the present invention, in addition to the foregoing object, is the provision of games providing amusement and aiding in the development of balance, coordination, observation and general physical and mental wellbeing.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of novel games which are economical to produce and durable in use.

The invention resides in the combination, construction, ar-

rangement and disposition of the various component parts and elements incorporated in improved games constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention and in novel methods of play thereof. The present invention will be better understood and objects and important features other than those specifically enumerated above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following details and description, which when taken in conjunction with the annexed drawing describes, discloses, illustrates and shows a preferred embodiment or modification of the present invention and what is presently considered and believed to be the best mode of practicing the principles thereof. Other embodiments or modifications may be suggestedto those having the benefit of the teachings herein, and such other embodiments or modifications are intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and spirit of the subjoined claims.

IN THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a top plan view of game apparatus constructed in. accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric partial illustration of a portion of the game apparatus shown in the preceding figure;

FIG. 3 is an elevational cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an elevational cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4ofFlG. l; and

FIG. 5 is an elevational cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1.

With reference now to the drawing, and, more particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown and illustrated game apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and designated generally by the reference character 10. The game apparatus comprises a plurality of individual components adapted for use with one another to enable novel games to be played in accordance with the methods of this invention. For example, the game apparatus 10 may comprise a gameboard 12, a plurality of center pivot levers or projectors 14, a similar plurality of flyer objects or aerial projectiles l6 and a similar plurality of catch devices 18.

The lever 14 which may also be referred to as a hopper may comprise three distinct portions that may be molded integrally together, as of a plastic material. More particularly, the hopper 14 may comprise a pivot stand portion 20 generally medially disposed between a handle portion or hand 22 and an actuating portion or platform 24. The pivot or stand portion 20 may, as illustrated, be disposed generally closer to the bandle or hand portion 22 than the actuating or platform portion 24. The lever or bopper 14 may further comprise a handle arm portion 26 extending between the pivot or stand portion 20 raised thereabove so that a rapid downward movement of the handle portion or hand 22 will result in a magnified upward movement of the actuating portion or platform 24.

The actuating portion or platform 24 may comprise an obliquely disposed portion or surface 30 disposed, for example, at an angle of approximately 30 with the horizontal. The platform 24 may further comprise a generally flat foot portion 32 extending generally outwardly of the oblique portion 30 from generally along a chordal juncture 34. Yet still further, the platform 24 may be provided with a generally upstanding curvalinear ridge 36 extending generally along the periphery of the foot portion 32. A support post 38 may be provided of generally cylindrical configuration extending generally upwardly from substantially the center of the platform 24 in a direction generally perpendicular to the surface of the foot portion 32. The upper end portion 40 of the post 38 may be provided with a generally semicircular ridge 42 disposed generally in the longitudinal plane of the hopper or lever 14. The entire platform 24 may, as shown, be of generally circular configuration.

The pivot portion or fulcrum may comprise a generally arcuate back 44 and a pair of sidewalls 46 extending generally angularly therefrom extending, for example, to an angle of approximately 55 and extending generally outwardly in both directions from the pivot portion 20 to define the arms 26 and 28 and sides 50 and 52 of the hand 22 and platform 24, respectively. A generally V-shaped reinforcing rib structure 54 may be disposed generally interiorly of the back 44 and sides 46 at the pivot or fulcrum 20 to add rigidity thereto.

The handle or hand 22 may, as shown, be configured generally to the configuration of a hand provided with fingers 56 and thumb 58 each having a surface thereof lying in a common plane defining an anvil surface 60 which may form generally a continuation of the back 44 of the hopper 14. The surface 30 of the platform 24 may similarly form a general continuation of the back 44. Yet further, the sides 46 may be provided with smoothly curved edges 62 and 64 blending into the hand sidewalls 50 and platformsidewalls 52, respectively. Hence, the entire hopper or lever 14 may providean aesthetically appealing and smooth contour.

The flyer member 16 may be of substantially any desired configuration and may, for example, provide representations of insects, or the like, such as bees. While the exterior configuration of the flyer members or bees l6 isof only a minor consideration, from a structural viewpoint, there are several features thereof which are important. Firstly, the flyer members or bees are preferably hollow and accordingly provided with an interior generally smooth dome-shaped chamber adapted to receive therewithin the post 38. Yet further, the base surface of the flyer members or bees 16 preferably comprises a pair of surfaces 66 and 68 disposed at angles relative to one another equal to the angle between the oblique surface 30 and the foot surface 32 of the platform 24 so that the flyer members or bees 16 may be readily and easily disposed in position upon the platform 24 and held in position thereon by the foot 32, upstanding ridge 36 and post 38. Yet further, the flyer members or bees 16 may comprise wing portions 70, a nose or stinger portion 72 and a tail portion 74 each extending generally upwardly and outwardly from the main body portion having the chamber to enable the flyer members to be readily and easily disposed within the catcher members 18 to be described hereinafter and as shown in FIG. 5.

With particular reference now to FIG. 5, the catch members 18 may comprise a basket portion 76 and a handle portion 78 extending generally outwardly thereof. The basket portion 76 may generally comprise a spherical section defined by a generally circular rim 8i] and a plurality of ribs 82 extending generally downwardly arcuately therefrom. The rim may be of generally inverted U-shaped configuration having an outer leg 84 and an inner leg 86 with the ribs 82 forming extensions of the inner leg 86. The lower portions of the ribs 82 may each blend into and define a'generally circular base 88 for the basket portion 76. The handle portion 78 may be of generally inverted U-shaped configuration and extending generally smoothly outwardly and in the same general plane as the rim 80 of the basket portion 76. The handle portion 78 may be provided with a plurality of generally transversely extending beads or ridges 90 to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance and to aid in holding of the catch member 18. Yet further, the catch member 18 may comprise a generally triangular gusset plate 92 providing additional structural rigidity at the juncture of the basket portion 76 and the handle portion 78. The catch members 18 and the flyer members 16 may, similarly to the lever or bopper members 14 be each integrally molded from a material, such as injection molded plastic. The catch members 18 may be conveniently referred to as nets.

The gameboard 12 may be of generally planar construction fabricated, for example, of cardboard, or the like. Generally centrally of the gameboard 12, there may be provided a spinner member 94 structurally associated with the gameboard 12 as by means of a rivet 96 to enable the spinner 94 to rotate thereabout. The spinner 94 may, for example, be similarly configured to the general shape of an insect, such as a bee with the nose or stinger 98 thereof being exaggerated to define the pointer of the spinner 94. The spinner 94 may further comprise a generally tubular axle 102 through which the rivet 96 is adapted to be particularly disposed and to support the body of the spinner 94 in spaced apart relationship to the gameboard 12 to enable the spinner 94 to be freely rotated relative thereto.

The gameboard 12 may be further provided with indicia, applied thereto in any convenient manner, as by means of conventional printing techniques to define a plurality of playing zones defined by circles 104 upon which the platforms 24 are particularly adapted to be disposed. Preferably, a number of circles 104 equal to the number of boppers 14, bees 16 and nets 18 is provided. Yet further, each circle 104, each bopper 14, each bee 16 and each net 18 is preferably of a different color with one each circle, bopper, bee and net being of the same color. Hence, there is defined a particular bopper, net and bee which corresponds to a particular circle. For example, there may be provided four circles 104, four boppers 14, four bees 16 and four nets 18 with one circle, bopper, bee and net being colored red; one circle 104, bopper 14, bee 16 and net .18 being colored blue; one circle 104, bopper 14, bee 16 and net 18 being colored green, and one circle 104, bopper 14, bee 16 and net 18 being colored yellow.

Arranged in a generally circular pattern around the spinner 94 and at a distance from the rivet 96 whereat the stinger or pointer 98 of the spinner 94 will then be in overlying relationship, there may be provided a plurality of colored arcuate portions 106 adapted to cooperate with the spinner 94 to define a particular color turn. For example, there may be provided eight arcuate color portions 106, with one opposed pair thereof being red, one opposed pair thereof being green, one opposed pair thereof being yellow and one opposed pair thereof being blue. The periphery of the gameboard 12 may comprise a plurality of smoothly alternating concave and convex edge portions 108 and 110, respectively, as shown. As part of the game apparatus, there may be further provided a plurality of chips, tokens or the like, to enable ready and easy scoring thereof.

To play the game, one player hops his bee when the spinner points to his color. To win chips, opponents try to trap the bee before its bopped or catch the bee after it is bopped. At the end of the game, the player with the most chips is the best bopper and accordingly wins the game. A player wins chips or points by bopping his bee and catching or trapping opponents bees. in other words, by striking the hand 22 of a bopper 14 with a bee 16 disposed on the platform 24, the bee 16 will be caused to fly upwardly into the air. if none of a player's opponents manage to catch or stop the bee with their nets 18, then the player who launched his bee gains points or chips. if, however, one of his opponents manages to stop or catch the flying bee with his net 18 then that player wins points or chips.

in setting up the present apparatus for play, the gameboard 12 should be placed generally in the center of a table with each player positioning himself in front of one of the colored circles 104. Each player takes the bopper 14, bee 16 and net 18 that matches the color of his circle. l-le places the foot or platform 24 of his bopper 14 on its matching circle and sits his bee 16 on the platform 24 of his bopper 14, as clearly shown in FIG. 1. Each player may, for example, start with 10 chips.

One of the players would institute play. For example, by convention, the player with the red bopper 14 may spin for the first round. Play would then continue, in turn, to the left, for example, so that each of the other players spin in succeeding rounds.

When the spinner 94 stops with the pointer 98 thereof on a color, the player whose bopper or lever 14 matches that color must immediately bop his bee into the air. in other words, upon having his color chance selected by the spinner 94, that player must immediately launch his flyer member or bee 16 into the air. That player will be hereinafter called the bopping player.

To bop a bee or to launch a flyer member into the air, with the bee l6 sitting or positioned on the platform 30 abutting the ridge 36 and with the nose pointed up, if a player rapidly slams down the hand 22 of his bopper 14, the platform thereof will be raised upwardly and the tlyer member or bee 16 will be launched into the air. Preferably, the hand 22 of the bopper 14 should be held down for a few seconds, enabling the flyer member or bee 16 to travel substantially straight upwardly.

At the same time that the bopping player goes to bop his bee, all opponents should pick up their nets l8 and try to either:

1. Trap the bee before its bopped, or

2, Catch the bee after it is bopped.

To provide for an appropriate time lag, the opponents should all keep their nets 18 on the table until the spinner 94 points to a color. They may, however, hold their nets 18 by the handles 78 while they are on the table. To trap a bee, an opponent picks up his net and tries to cover the bopping player's bee on the bopper or on the table before the player has a chance to bop his bee into the air. If two or more opponents try to trap the same bee, the opponent whose net is directly on top of the bee wins the round.

If the bopping player is fast enough to bop his bee into the air without its being trapped, the opponent who catches the bee in midair in his net wins the round. If the bee drops on the table or on the floor, it is out of play. No opponent has either trapped the bee or caught it and therefore the bopping player wins the round.

The game may be scored in substantially any desired manner; however, it has been found that the following scoring method is especially suitable. When an opponent catches a bee in his net he collects one chip from the bopping player. When an opponent bops a bee before it leaves the bopper, he collects two chips from the bopping player. if, however, no player catches the bee, or traps the bee, the bopping player collects one chip from each opponent.

Various penalties may also be utilized to supplement the basic scoring mode described above. Hence, if a player should bop his bee when an opponent's color is spun, the player may be required to pay one chip to each opponent. if, after a color is spun, a player traps a bee of another color, that player may be required to pay one chip to each opponent.

If a player should trap or catch his own bee, or if a bee, after being bopped, hits the ceiling, the bopping player may be required to pay one chip to each opponent.

Termination of the game may similarly be decided in substantially any desired manner and, for example, when a player has no chips remaining, he may be declared out of the game and the first player to collect 20 chips, for example, may be declared the winner. When a player must pay a penalty, but does not have enough chips to pay each player the required amount, he may, for example, be required to first pay the player on his left the full amount and then each succeeding player to the left, until he has no chips remaining.

When there are less than four players in the game, or when a player has been eliminated as having no chips remaining, the colors not picked or in use by any player become odd colors. If an odd color is spun, no player should bop his bee. However, when a player accidentally bops his bee on an odd color, he may be required to pay one chip toeach opponent.

Hence, the subject game provides amusement and entertainment for two to four players and, with appropriate modification may be adapted for use by substantially any desired number of players while simultaneously aiding in the teaching of mental alertness and coordination. a

While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in terms of a preferred embodiment or modification which it has assumed inpractice, the scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiments or modifications herein described, disclosed, illustrated or shown, such other embodiments or modifications as may be suggested to those having the benefit of the teachings herein being intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and spirit of the claims here appended.


i. A game comprising in combination: a gameboard having a plurality of projectors adapted to be pivoted about a fulcrum intermediate their ends, a plurality of aerial projectiles placeable on one end of each said projector and adapted to be projected by said projectors when pressed downwardly on the end opposite of which the projectile is positioned, means disconnected from said gameboard for catching said aerial projectiles when in flight, and chance means for selecting which of the projectors is to be actuated by a player.

2. Game defined in claim 1, wherein each of said projectors comprise a pivot stand or fulcrum integrally formed therewith enabling said projectors to be pivoted thereabout.

3. Game defined in claim 2, wherein said pivot point or ful- V crum is disposed generally nearest the said projectile is positioned.

4. Game defined in claim 3, wherein said pivot stand or fulcrum comprises a generally arcuate back and a plurality of side edges extending generally downwardly thereof.

5. Game defined in claim 4, wherein said pivot point or fulcrum further comprises a generally V-shaped reinforcing rib disposed generally interiorly of said sides.

6. Game defined in claim 5, wherein said one end of said projector comprises a platform adapted to have said aerial end opposite of which projectile disposed thereon.

7. Game defined in claim 6, wherein said platform comprises a generally obliquely extending portion and a foot portion at one side edge thereof.

8. Game defined in claim 7, wherein said platform further comprises a ridge extending generally peripherally of said foot portion adapted to aid in retaining said aerial projectile disposed thereon.

9. Game defined in claim 8, wherein said projector further comprises a post extending generally upwardly of said platform and said aerial projectile is provided with a generally upwardly extending cavity therein adapted to be engaged by said post. 7

10. Game defined in claim 9, wherein said aerial projectile comprises a generally angular bottom adapted to engage said oblique portion and said foot portion of said platform.

11. Game defined in claim 10, wherein said aerial projectile member is configured to a representation of a winged insect.

12. Game defined in claim 11, wherein said means disconnected from said gameboard for catching said aerial projectiles comprises a basket or bowl shaped netlike object.

13. Game defined in claim 12, wherein the end opposite of which said projectile is positioned is configured to the representation of a hand.

14. Game defined in claim 12, wherein said chance means for selecting an aerial projectile to be launched comprises a spinner.

15. Game defined in claim 14, wherein said gameboard defines the positions of said plurality of projectors, and said spinner being rotatably associated with said gameboard.

16. Game defined in claim 15, wherein each of said pro ectors, aerial projectiles and nets comprises a different color and wherein said gameboard comprises colored areas for positioning said projectors and for selection by said spinner to define the aerial projectile to be launched.

17. Method of game play comprising, at least the steps of, positioning a plurality of aerial projectiles on a plurality of projectors, which are pivotable about a fulcrum actuating a chance means to select the aerial projectile to be launched, launching said selected aerial projectile by pivotal movement of said projectors and attempting to interfere with the flight of said aerial projectile.

18. Method of game play defined in claim 17, wherein said interfering attempt comprises positioning a net in the path of travel of said selected aerial projectile.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US534996 *Oct 20, 1894Mar 5, 1895 Thomas h
US1542063 *Oct 21, 1924Jun 16, 1925Parker BrothersGame apparatus
US1853900 *Nov 7, 1931Apr 12, 1932Gladwin E JohnsonGame apparatus
US3208444 *Nov 20, 1962Sep 28, 1965Sipos WalterGame device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3669451 *Jul 23, 1970Jun 13, 1972Welbourn Dale KCatapult game including striking wallet and receiver
US3870304 *Dec 26, 1973Mar 11, 1975Minnick George DInflatable striking member and projectile dispensing receptacle
US5435570 *Dec 12, 1994Jul 25, 1995Labrasseur; RobertGame apparatus with launching device and method of playing
US5470078 *Nov 26, 1993Nov 28, 1995Conlan; Tye M.Computer controlled target shooting system
US6684819 *Jan 27, 2003Feb 3, 2004Carl L. LockeToy device for an animal
US6869374Feb 23, 2004Mar 22, 2005Keith E. LaneOutdoor dart game
US7611146 *Jun 8, 2006Nov 3, 2009Arden Wayne RGaming apparatus and method of employing the same
US8444151 *Nov 18, 2011May 21, 2013Mattel, Inc.Launch and target game
US8864137Aug 22, 2011Oct 21, 2014Mattel, Inc.Action game apparatus and method
US20120161397 *Nov 18, 2011Jun 28, 2012Mattel, Inc.Launch and target game
US20140073218 *Feb 22, 2013Mar 13, 2014Mark BartholdMethod and apparatus for launching action figures
U.S. Classification273/412, 273/317, 473/569, 124/4
International ClassificationA63F9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/02
European ClassificationA63F9/02