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Publication numberUS3566535 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 2, 1971
Filing dateOct 3, 1968
Priority dateOct 3, 1968
Publication numberUS 3566535 A, US 3566535A, US-A-3566535, US3566535 A, US3566535A
InventorsHandler Elliot, Ryan John W, Sapkus Jurgis, Shapero Wallace H
Original AssigneeMattel Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Look-alive doll pivot joint
US 3566535 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 2, 1971 E, HANDLER ETAL 3,566,535

LOOK-ALIVE DOLL PIVOT JOINT Filed OCT.. 3, 1968 United States Patent O Calif.

Filed Oct. 3, 1968, Ser. No. 764,669 Int, Cl. A63h 3/20 U.S. Cl. 46-161 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A pin point joint for an articulated toy to join two body members, including a pin with a sharpened tip rigidly supported by one body member, and a disc, dening a cone-shaped cavity, supported by the other body member. A torsion spring, connected to the two body members, spring biases the pin into the cavity with the pins tip in engagement with the cones vertex. The torsion spring is used to provide pivotal and/or rotational restoring forces to the first member, to reposition it in its quiescent position, after its position is disturbed by force applied by a playing child.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (l) Field of the invention This invention generally relates to articulated toys and, more particularly, to a joint arrangement for articulated members of a toy.

(2) Description of the prior art The toy art is replete with articulated toys featuring different members or body portions which are joined together and are capable of being moved or adjusted relative to one another. Dolls with movable heads and limbs are typical of such toys. Although many such toys have been suggested and actually manufactured, the arrangements in prior art have been found to be deficient or disadvantageous for one or more reasons.

In order to minimize toy production costs so as to be commercially competitive, many of the designs of joint arrangements employed in prior art articulated toys, have been oversimplitied. Consequently, the toys are too fragile and cannot sustain the harsh treatment to Which they are typically subjected to by playing children. Also, oversimpliiied joint arrangements greatly limit the lifelike movements of the body portions which they join t0- gether, thereby impeding the articulated characteristics of the toy and the enjoyment desirable from playing therewith.

Even the more complex and therefore more expensive joint arrangements have not been too satisfactory, particularly in providing maximum flexibility and reliability with which one body portion can be moved relative to another to produce maximum life-like movements so that the toy seems to look alive. Thus a need exists for a re1- atively simple and inexpensive yet highly reliable and flexible joint arrangement hereafter referred to as a joint for use in toys to provide articulated look-alive toys.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new joint of the type usable to join articulated members of a toy.

Patented Mar. 2, 1971 lCef Another object ofthe invention is to provide a relatively simple joint for use in the construction of a look-alive toy.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a new reliable joint, capable of sustaining relatively harsh treament with which both portions of a toy may be flexibly joined together to produce look-alive movements when played with by a child.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new relatively inexpensive though highly reliable and flexible joint for use in joining articulated members of a top designed to provide life-like movements even after having been subjected to relatively harsh treatment by a playing child.

These and other objects of the invention are achieved by providing a joint comprising a pin-like element, hereafter referred to as the pin, xedly supported by one body portion. This body portion is joined to another body portion, which iixedly supports a disc-like member defining a cone-shaped cavity into which the pin is biased, such as by means of a spring, so that the sharpened or pointed tip of the pin engages the disc at the cones vertex. The pin is rotatable within the cavity as well as being pivotally movable therein to thereby provide maximum exibility of life-like movement of the two body portions relative to one another. The novel joint of the present invention may be incorporated in any articulated toy including but not limited to a doll, in conjunction with which the invention will hereinafter be described. In the doll a separate joint may be employed to join the head and each of the dolls limbs to its torso.

The novel feaures of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION `Oil? THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front across-sectional View of a doll incorporating the joint of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an expanded cross-sectional view of the joint; and

F IG. 3 is an isometric view of the joint.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Reference is now made to FIG. l which is a crosssectional view of a doll 10 in conjunction with which the novel joint of the present invention will be explained. However, as previously indicated, the principles of the invention may be employed in any toy or other device in which separate members need by flexibly coupled or joined. The doll 10 is shown having a torso 12, dening a head opening 16 at which a head `14 is articulated to the torso by means of a joint 20. Identical joints 20 are used to join the dolls limbs, such as arms 21 and 22 and legs 23 and 24 to the torso and torso openings, generally designated by numeral 25. Since all the joints 20 are identical, only the joint used to couple the head 14 to the torso will be detailed. However, the numerals used to designate the various joint parts will also be used to designate the parts of the other four joints shown in FIG. 1.

Joint 20, shown in expanded cross-sectional view in FIG. 2, includes a hollow spherical member 30 which is xedly attached at its periphery either directly, or by means of a plug 32 to head 14. The open base of member 30 which is designated by numeral 34 is directed outwardly from the head 14.

As shown in FIGS. `1 and 2, a pin 36, having a pointed end or tip 38, extends from plug 32 radially inwardly through the member 30, with the tip 38 pointing towards the open base 34, ending in the center of the spherical cavity of the member 30. Preferably, the member 30 defines an annular cavity 40 about its base 34. The function of the cavity is to accept and retain one end of a spring 42. The spring 42, which is preferably a torsion spring, extends outwardly through the opening at base 34.

A post 44 ixedly connected and supported in torso 12, fixedly supports a rod-like stem 45 at one end thereof. At the opposite end the stem, which extends towards opening '16 with the stems longitudinal axis preferably aligned with the center of the opening supports a disc 46. Disc 46 has a side 48 which is remote from the stern and, preferably in a plane perpendicular to the stems longitudinal axis. The disc 46 defines a cone-shaped cavity 50 which extends from side 48 inwardly so as to define an inwardly located cavity vertex 51. The cavity is preferably defined so that its vertex is aligned on the stems longitudinal axis, and in a plane within disc 46 which is parallel to the plane in which side 48 is located. The plane containing vertex 51 is designated in FIG. 2 by dashed line 51x.

The post 44 may define an annular cavity 52 about stem 45, which is of reduced diameter 45x at the end connected to post 44. The function of cavity 52 and, in particular, the reduced diameter 45x of stern 45 is to retain one end of spring 42, opposite the end retained in cavity 40 of member 30. 'Ihe spring 42 is connected to both member 30 and post 44 when the spring is in tension. Consequently, the spring biases member 30 toward post 44, thereby spring biasing the pin 36 in cavity 50. As a result, the pointed end 38, is urged to be in contact with disc 46 at the cavity vertex 51. The diameter of disc 46 is chosen to be greater than the diameter of base opening 34 so that once the disc 46 is positioned in the hollow spherical member 30 and the spring 42 is secured in cavities 40 and 52, the disc prevents an appendage, coupled to the spherical member 30', from being pulled apart from torso 12.

As diagrammed in FIGS. 1 and 2, it is assumed that the only force applied to the hollow spherical member is the force applied by the spring 42 which urges the tip 38 of pin 36 to be in contact with vertex 51 of cavity 50. In such an arrangement, the longitudinal axis 52 (FIG. 2) of pin 36 is coincidently aligned with the longitudinal axis 55 of the stem 45 which also represents the longitudinal axis of the spring 42. The diameter of opening 16 in the torso 12 and the outer diameter of member 30 are chosen so that when the pin 36 is in contact with disc 46, the member 30 loosely fits and fills the opening 16 so as to create the appearance of a unitary body structure.

In operation, in the absence of the application of a force by a playing child to head '14, a condition which is assumed to represent a stable condition or position, the head 14 is supported on the torso I12 at the point of contact between the pin 36 and disc 46. The spring tension maintains the head in an upward straight position with axis 52 of pin 36 remaining aligned with the longitudinal axis `55, which may be regarded as the joints longitudinal axis.

Any force applied to the head other than in a direction which passes through Vertex 51 causes tilting of the head from the stable position and thereby causes pin 36 to move in the cavity 50 about vertex 51. The titlting head temporarily deforms the spring 42 through member 30. However, once the force is removed, the restoring force in the spring returns the member 30 and the head connected thereto to their stable positions, in which the head is in its straight upward position and the pins axis 52 is again aligned with the joints longitudinal axis 55. The ability of the pin 36 to move in the cavity 50 is greatly enhanced by providing a point contact between the pins pointed end 38 and the vertex 51 of cavity 50.

The range of motion of the pin 36 Within the cavity 50 with respect to the joints longitudinal axis, or alternately stated to tilt with respect to plane 51x is clearly a function of the cones vertex 51, and that of the pin. Two opposite and extreme positions of pin 36 with respect to the plane 51x are designated in FIG. 2 by lines 61 and 62, with dashed lines 63 and 64 representing the two extreme positions which plug 32 may assume. Lines 52, 55, 61 and 62 are also shown in FIG. 3, to which reference is made herein. Therein, elements identical with previously described elements, are designated by like numerals.

From the foregoing it should thus be appreciated that the head 14 may be titlted about any perpendicular to the pins longitudinal axis `52, thereby causing pin 36 to tilt with respect to plane 51x containing vertex 51, i.e., causing the pin to assume other than a vertical position with respect to such a plane. However, once the tilting force is removed, the head, by means of the springs restoring forces is returned to its upward position.

By selecting spring 42 to be a torsion spring wound about stem 45, the head may be rotated about the joints longitudinal axis 55 by applying a rotational torque thereto. However, once the rotational torque is removed, the springs returning torque returns the head to its quiescent or stable position. The two direction rotational capability of the pin 36 within the cavity is represented in FIG. 3 by the double headed arrows y65, adjacent circle 66, in FIG. 3.

As previously indicated, an identical joint 20 may be employed to articulately couple each of the dolls limbs to its torso. As shown in FIG. l, a single post 44 may be used to support the three stems 45 of the joints 20 used to support the head 14 and the two arms 21 and 22. A similar single post 44 may be used to support the stems 45 which form parts of the leg-supporting joints 20.

Preferably, springs 42 of the joints 20, used to support the right arm 21 and the right leg 23, are right hand wound in order to balance the two right limbs at roughly a angle with respect to torso 12 so that the springs tighten with downward displacement of limbs. For the same reasons, left hand wound springs are incorporated in the joints 20 which are used to support the left arm 22 and the left leg 24. It should be pointed out that even in the stable state the pins 36 in the joints which are used to support the dolls limbs 21-24, are slightly tilted due to the weight of the limbs to which the pins are connected by means of blocks 32.

From the foregoing it should be appreciated that in accordance with the principles of the present invention, a novel joint is provided which has been found to satisfactorily exibly couple or join two body portions such as the torso and the head, even after extensive harsh treatment. The flexibility with which one body portion, as the head, can be moved with respect to the torso, so as to tilt and/or rotate with respect thereto, is attributable to the pin point contact in the joint between the pins pointed tip and the vertex of a cone-shaped cavity, in which the pin may tilt and/or rotate.

After the removal of external forces, such as those which a playing child may apply, the torsion spring which forms part of the joint, restores the head to its quiescent position with respect to the torso. By employing a torsion spring a single element provides both tilting and rotating restoring forces. By utilizing a mainly spherical hollow member which loosely fills the opening in the torso, a single element is used to couple the head to the joint as well as to fill the torso head opening so that the head and torso appear to be a unitary structure.

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 intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.

What is claimed is:

1. In a toy having at least first and second body portions, coupling means for joining said portions comprising:

(A) a member tixedly positioned in said rst body portion, said member having a cavity formed there- (B) a pin member iixedly coupled to said second body portion; and

(C) biasing means coupled to said first and second body portions for biasing said pin member into said cavity for engagement therein;

(I) said biasing means comprising a spring having first and second ends, said spring being coupled to said first body portion at said first end thereof and to said second body portion at said second end thereof, with said pin member being adapted for rotation in said cavity;

(II) said spring being a torsion spring defining a longitudinal axis between its first and second ends with said pin member being rotatable in said cavity about an axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of said spring;

(III) the size of the open end of the cavity at said rst side being greater than the thickness of said pin member whereby said pin member is tiltable in said cavity, with respect to a plane in which the cavity open end is located; and

(IV) said cavity being cone-shaped with the base thereof at a first side of said member and its vertex being inwardly removed therefrom, said pin member being in engagement in said cavity at substantially the cones vertex.

2. The toy as recited in claim 1, wherein said pin member has a pointed end for engaging said cavity at the vertex thereof, With said pin member being tiltable in said cavity with respect to a plane including said cone vertex, said plane being parallel with respect to a plane including said cavity opening.

3. The toy as recited in claim 1 wherein said biasing means comprise a spring having first and second ends, said spring being coupled to said first body portion at said first end thereof and to said second body portion at said second end thereof; and

said spring being torsion spring defining a longitudinal axis between its first and second ends with said pivot member being rotatable in said cavity about an axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of said spring.

4. The toy as recited in claim 3, wherein said coupling means further include a hollow mainly spherical member, fixedly coupled to said second body portion at the circumference thereof, with said pin member radially inwardly aligned in said spherical member, said spherical member further defining a cavity in which one end of said torsion spring is securely held to form the connection therebetween and said second body portion.

5. The toy as recited in claim 2 wherein said biasing means comprise a spring having first and second ends, said spring being coupled to said first body portion at said first end thereof and said second body portion at said second end thereof; and

said spring being a torsion spring defining a longitudinal axis between its first and second ends with said pin member being rotatable in said cavity about an axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of said spring.

6 6. The toy as recited in claim S wherein said coupling means further include a hollow mainly spherical member, fixedly coupled to said second body portion at the circumference thereof, with said pin member radially inwardly aligned in said spherical member, said spherical member further defining a cavity in which one end of said torsion spring is securely held to form the connection therebetween and said second body portion.

7. The toy as recited in claim 6 wherein the cavity of said hollow substantially spherical member defines a cavity opening for enabling the insertion of the member defining the cone-shaped cavity to be inserted into said hollow substantially spherical member, for engaging said pointed end of said pin member in said cone-shaped cavity in the interior of said hollow substantially spherical member.

8. In a toy having at least first and second body portions, coupling means for joining said portions comprisg(A) a member fixedly positioned in said first body portion, said member having a cavity formed there- (B) a pin member fixedly coupled to said second body portion; and

(C) biasing means coupled to said tirst and second body portions for biasing said pin member into said cavity for engagement therein;

(I) the size of the open end of the cavity at said first side being greater than the thickness of said pin member whereby said pin member is tiltable in said cavity, with respect to a plane in which the cavity open end is located;

(II) said biasing means comprising a spring having first and second ends, said spring being coupled to said first body portion at said first end thereof and to said second body portion at said second end thereof, with said pin member being rotatable in said cavity; and

(III) said coupling means further including a hollow mainly spherical member, fixedly coupled to said second body portion at the circumference thereof, with said pin member radially inwardly aligned in said spherical member, said spherical member further defining a cavity in which one end of said spring is securely held to form the connection therebetween and said second body portion.

9. In a toy:

a first hollow body portion defining an opening;

a rod-like stem, defining a longitudinal axis and having first and second opposite ends;

means for fxedly securing said stern in said rst body portion at its first end, said stem being directed toward said opening in said first body portion;

a cavity-defining member connected to said second end of said stem, said member having an open ended cavity extending inwardly from a side thereof away from said stem, said cavity having a center substantially aligned with the stems longitudinal axis;

a second body portion separate from said first body portion;

a pin member iixedly coupled at a first end to said second body portion, and having a second end opposite said first end insertable in said cavity;

a hollow support member coupled to said second body portion and extendable into said first body portion through the circular opening thereof, said support member surrounding said pin member; and

spring biasing means coupled at one end to said stem near the stems first end and at an opposite end to said support member for biasing said pin member into said cavity for engagement therewith.

10. The toy as recited in claim 9 wherein the pin members second end is pointed substantially defining a point at which said pin member contacts said cavity-defining member in the cavity thereof.

11. The toy as recited in claim 9 wherein said cavity is cone-shaped with its base dening its opening and its vertex inwardly directed into said cavity-defining member, said spring biasing means biasing the pointed end of said pin member to be in contact with the cones vertex and enabling1 said pin member to rotate in said cavity.

12. The toy as recited in claim 11 'wherein said spring bias means comprises a torsion spring wound about said rod-like stern.

13. The toy as recited in claim 12 wherein said hollow support member comprises a hollow spherical member coupled at its periphery to said second body portion `with the pin member radially inwardly aligned therewith, said spherical member delining an open base and means coupling said torsion spring at the base of semispherical References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1l/1935 Jackson 46-173X 6/1958 Weih 46--161X ROBERT PESHOCK, Primary Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3911613 *Feb 15, 1974Oct 14, 1975Marvin Glass & AssociatesArticulated figure toy and accessories
US4268991 *Feb 9, 1979May 26, 1981The Quaker Oats CompanySoft flexible articulated doll
US5906531 *Jan 16, 1998May 25, 1999Llorens; Jaime FerriDoll provided with movement of an arm and head
US6142851 *Mar 26, 1998Nov 7, 2000Hasbro, Inc.Toy with motion transmitting elements
US6712211 *Mar 3, 2003Mar 30, 2004C. C. & L Company LimitedStationery holder
US7246569Dec 7, 2005Jul 24, 2007Easy Gardener Products, Inc.Electronic predator replica
US7255060 *Dec 7, 2005Aug 14, 2007Easy Gardener Products, Inc.Owl with spring connected head and wind activated fin
US20100178845 *Aug 5, 2008Jul 15, 2010Masanori MachinoJoint apparatus for a toy
DE3638549A1 *Nov 12, 1986May 21, 1987Mattel IncSpielzeugfigur mit gelenkarmen
WO2009088303A1 *Jan 9, 2009Jul 16, 2009Ian HoskinsJoint assembly for manikin or patient simulator
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/381
International ClassificationA63H3/46, A63H3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/46
European ClassificationA63H3/46