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Publication numberUS3590524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 6, 1971
Filing dateOct 27, 1969
Priority dateOct 27, 1969
Publication numberUS 3590524 A, US 3590524A, US-A-3590524, US3590524 A, US3590524A
InventorsBeny Janos, Bosley Denis V
Original AssigneeMattel Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy vehicle accelerator
US 3590524 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent inventors Janos Beny Manhattan Beach; Denis V. Bosley, [Palos Verdes, both of, Calif. App]. No. 869,655 Filed Oct. 27, 1969 Patented July 6, 1971 Assignee Mattel, Inc.

Hawthorne, Calif.

TOY VEHICLE ACCELERATOR 12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 46/243, 46/202,104/168,198/127 Int. Cl A63h 33/26 Field of Search 46/202,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,575,914 11/1951 Gl'lffil'l etal. 1. 104/168 2,947,263 8/1960 Vidmar 104/168 3,039,402 6/1962 Richardson 104/168 3,040,866 6/1962 Rehm 198/30 3.132.736 5/1964 May et a1. 198/127 Primary Examiner- Robert Peshock Assistant Examiner-Robert F. Cutting Attorney-Seymour A. Scholnick ABSTRACT: An accelerator for unpowered toy vehicles traveling along a roadway wherein a pair of oppositely turning motor-driven vehicle-engaging rollers are each rotatably mounted on pivoted levers, the levers being biased to swing toward each other and mounted opposite each other adjacent opposite sides of the roadway in order that the rollers temporarily but equally engage opposite sides of the vehicles an thereby stably accelerate the vehicles in a predetermined direction.

'IUY VEHICLE ACCELERATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

1. Field of the Invention The present invention pertains generally to the filed of toy vehicles and trucks or roadways upon which they travel and more particularly to a novel technique for accelerating such unpowered toys along the roadway in a stable condition.

2. Description of the Prior Art Toy vehicles such as miniature cars which are initially accelerated by the force of gravity are well known in the art. This requires the operator of the toy to continually replace the toy at the top of an elevated portion of the roadway and precludes sustained toy travel over a lengthy path.

In the past, several techniques have been developed which engage and accelerate these vehicles. Generally, these methods are rather complicated, bulky and expensive to manufacture. A toy vehicle accelerator which overcomes these disadvantages would therefore be a significant advance ment in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:

In view of the foregoing factors and conditions charac teristic of prior art acceleration boosters, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved toy vehicle accelerator not subject to the disadvantages enumerated above and having an improved vehicle propulsion means mounted adjacent roadway along which unpowered toy vehicles travel.

It is another object of the invention to provide a toy vehicle accelerator that does not require that a portion of a roadway upon which toy vehicles travel be elevated and which provides an acceleration force independently of the force of gravity.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide an inexpensive to fabricate and simple to operate toy vehicle accelerator.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle accelerator which readily adapts itself to vehicles having differing widths.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a toy vehicle accelerator wherein all transverse forces are of equal magnitude and opposite in direction to cancel any unbalancing effects of the propulsion unit.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle accelerator which may be caused to accelerator only selected toy vehicles.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle accelerator readily adaptable to a single track or roadway as well as adjacent parallel roadway configurations.

According to the present invention, a pair of levers are pivotally mounted opposite each other adjacent opposite sides of a toy vehicle roadway, the levers being biased toward each other. Also, vehicle propulsion means including a pair of driven vehicle engaging rollers are rotatably mounted opposite each other on the levers for temporarily but equally engaging opposite sides of the vehicles to stably accelerate the vehicles in a predetermined direction.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention and specific embodiments thereof will be described hereinafter by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements or parts. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toy vehicle accelerator accommodating adjacent parallel tracks and constructed according to the present invention:

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the electrical and mechanical elements used in the device of FIG. 11;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the accelerator of FIG. 1, showing a toy vehicle just being engaged by the vehicle-engaging rollers; and

FIG. d is a plan view of the accelerator of FIG. I, showing the vehicle-engaging rollers disengaging the toy vehicle after accelerating same. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:

Referring again to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. il, a dual-track toy vehicle accelerator II is shown having a centrally located motor and battery housing I3 situated on a base I5 and first and second track or roadway sections I7A and 17B disposed along opposite sides of the housing 13 and between the housing I3 and separate first and second outer gear housings WA and I98, respectively.

The separate accelerating mechanism, here designated by reference numerals 23A and 23B, are identical and may be used individually with a single track layout or simultaneously but independently with a dual track setup as shown. Accordingly, it should be understood that the principles of the invention apply equally to single and multiple track systems. In view of this fact, henceforth the invention will be described with reference to only one accelerating mechaniam.

Referring now to FIGS. I and 2, the accelerating mechanism 23A includes an inner vehicle engaging roller 27, and an outer vehicle engaging roller 29, each mounted on first ends Ell and 33 of flat levers 35 and 317, respectively. The rollers 27 and 2? protrude through appropriate apertures in their respective housings, such as aperture 39 in the motor-battery housing I3.

The rollers 27 and 29 are comprised of outer annular resilient members 1 and 43 and respective tubular shafts 45 and 47. The resilient members may be fabricated from a soft rubber or similar natural or synthetic material and the shafts from such materials as aluminum, iron, steel or a hard plastic. These last-mentioned members are rotatably held by individual spindles 49 and SI, the first being mounted on the lever 35 and the other on the lever 37.

Adjacent opposite ends 53 and 55 {from the ends 31 and 33 the respective levers 35 and 3'7 are pivotally mounted on respective posts 57 and 59 extending upwardly from the base I5 and preferably held at their other ends by upper wall 61A of the outer gear housing 29A. In this manner, the rollers 27 and 29 may swing toward and away from each other as indicated by arrows 63 and 65, respectively.

Each of the tubular shafts and 47 are attached to or made integrally with relatively small drive gears 67 and 69 which in turn are meshed with relatively larger idler gears 71 and 73, respectively, the latter gears being rotatably mounted on respective ones of the posts 57 and 59 and held adjacent the levers 35 and 37 by fixed collars 75 and 77. Idler gear Ill includes peripheral gear teeth fill which at all times mesh with gear teethhfi of the idler gear 73 at a point between the posts 57 and 59.

Coupled to the gearing system just described is an electric motor llfi which is energized by batteries E7 through conductors 89 and through a battery supply on-off switch 91. Also inserted in series with one of the electrical conductors 89 may be disposed an external temporary contacting operator switch 935 which is connected to the circuit by means of connectors 95. A parallel connected second motor A and second connectors A will also be used where a dual accelerator is provided.

When the motor 85 is energized by the closing of the electrical circuit by means of switches 9i and 93, drive pinion 97, (mounted on the motor shaft 99) is caused to rotate in the direction indicated by arrow WI. The pinions gear teeth 103, being meshed with the gear teeth ill of the idler gear 71, in turn causes this idler gear to rotate in the opposite direction as shown by arrows I05, and the other idler gear 73 is also rotated in the direction shown by arrow 107. As a consequence of the above-described motor driven gearing arrangement, the vehicle-engaging rollers 27 and 29 rotate in opposite directions, illustrated by arrows I08 and 109, at equal speeds.

It should particularly be noted that the lever supported dash/e .getsrs 67 and 69 are meshed with the contrarotating larger idler gears 71 and 73 in such a manner that causes, due to frictional forces, the end 351 and 33 of the levers 35 and 37 to swing toward each other, unless constrained. in this manner a self-biasing arrangement is provided so that the rollers are in position to make a balanced contact with the sides 115R ofa my vehicle 153 as seen in MG. 3. As the rollers engage the vehicle 153, the levers 35 and 3'7 are forced outward against the bias ing force while the rollers force the toy to accelerate out of the accelerator ll in the direction of the arrow 155 seen in FIG. 4. Thus, the vehicle-engaging rollers 27 and 29 will generally conform to any vehicle side configuration and to varied widths of toys passing therebetwcen.

The accelerator llll may also be used as a starter by the use of a starter arrangement i557 comprising a starting handle 159 (only one shown) at each end ofa transverse bar toll rotatably held below the roadway sections ll7 by simple conventional means (not shown). The bar lloi also carries a roller disengaging arm i163 extending transversely of the bar at positions to contact and force aside a corresponding lever extension 165 when the handles 1159 are upright.

To operate this mechanism, the handles i159 are moved to the position shown in H65. 2 and 3, and the toy 153 is moved along the roadway ll? up to a starting post 369 also extending from the transverse bar Roll and through an appropriate slot 262 in the roadway H7. The post res may be provided with a sleeve lil of suitable material in order to prevent. chafing of the front end of the vehicle R53. To release the vehicle, either one of the handles 159 (in a dual track arrangement) is moved or rotated clockwise as indicated by arrows 21 55. This move ment rotates the post 169 (see arrow WW and the disengaging arms 1163 from the lever extension 165 to allow the vehicle 153 to pass and to allow the lever to move in the direction 63 whereby the roller 12? engages the side llfill of the toy with an equal but opposite transverse force to the roller 29, and with an aiding accelerating force in the direction of vehicle travel 1155.

The accelerator ill may be placed at a track of a track or roadway system or in series with an elongated or continuous one. This may be accomplished by inserting suitable track sections 171 to coupling tabs B73 extending from each end ofthe accelerator roadway sections l7. For more detailed description of such track and coupling tabs, reference may be made to a copending application Sll. 779,874 assigned to the signee ofthe present invention.

A device constructed according to the invention may also include a flywheel Sill ll. mounted on the motor s aft 99 as seen in H68. 1 (protruding through an aperture 2 the housing: 13) and in H6. This configuration prm uch gr: vehicle acceleration for the same current drawn by the motor 35 without the flywheel.

The material used in the fabrication ofthis toy are not cri cal and any material generally considered suitable i ticular use may be utilized.

From the foregoing, it will be evident that the invention vides a new and useful toy that may be used to stably p o ;l miniature unpowered vehicles while moving or propel them from a standing start. The invention is specially adapted to accommodate vehicles of varying widths, weights and sizes.

Although a specific embodiment of the invention has been described in detail, other organizations of the embodiment shown may be made with the spirit and scope of the invention.

BLE CO'PY levers bein biased toward each other; and A vehicle propu sion means including a pair of driven vehicleengaging rollers rotatably mounted opposite each other on said levers for temporarily but equally engaging opposite sides of the vehicles to stably accelerate the vehicles in the portion of roadway above said base a predetermined direction.

2. A toy according to claim ll, wherein said vehicle propulsion means includes motor means for providing rotational power, and mechanical means operatively coupled to said pair of rollers and to said motor means for utilizing said rotational power to rotate said rollers identical speeds in opposite directions.

3. A toy according to claim 2, wherein said levels are biased toward each other by said mechanical means.

4. A toy according to claim 2, wherein said motor means is an electric motor.

5. A toy according to claim l, wherein sair mechanical means includes a pair of drive gears each disposed on lever to correspond supported spindles coaxially with and attached ing ones of said rollers. Said spindles being i the opposite end of said levers from wher pivoted about respective fixed posts, said mechaalso including a pair of relatively larger i u rotatably mounted on different ones of said each meshed with corresponding ones o said drive g r to each other, said drive pinion being meshed with at a s; one of said idler gears.

o. A toy according to claim l, wherein said tubular shaft mounted annular resilient membersv "I. A toy according to claim ll, also including; starting means operatively coupled to one of said levers and a mo able start ing post for allowing the toy vehicles to be accelerated from a standing start.

3. A toy according-to clai. '7', wherein sai i nn means also includes a transverse rod on which a r arm and said starting post are orthogally carried, gaging am: only contacting and holding aside said of said levers when said starting means in a. pr -d 9. A toy according to claim 3. wherein a fiyw carried d rotating motor shalt.

. A toy according to claim i, wherein said motor means also includes electric motor activated by a potential source 1 a series-connected power switch.

. A toy according to claim 3165, wherein an externally provided temporary contacting operators switch connected in series with said electric motor said power switch.

12.. A toy according to claim I, wherein a second pair of said levers and a corresponding second one of said vehicle propulsion means are disposed adjacent a second roadway positioned adjacent and parallel the first-mentioned roadway.

roll

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US3040866 *Jul 6, 1961Jun 26, 1962Telefunken PatentConveying device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3791637 *Mar 23, 1972Feb 12, 1974Sumitomo Metal IndIngot making equipment for steel making works
US4070024 *Oct 7, 1976Jan 24, 1978Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Continuous racetrack having vehicle accelerating device
US4174587 *Sep 12, 1977Nov 20, 1979Mattel, Inc.Air turbine operated vehicle accelerator toy
US4712484 *Jun 25, 1986Dec 15, 1987Stiwa-Fertigungstechnik Sticht GesmbhConveyor arrangement
US4759253 *Jul 30, 1987Jul 26, 1988Rudolf Wittner Gmbh U. Co.Metronome
US5052972 *Jul 20, 1990Oct 1, 1991Kabushiki Kaisha Hanzawa CorporationDrive device for toy automobile
US5067413 *Feb 1, 1990Nov 26, 1991Daifuku Co., Ltd.Apparatus for conveying travelable body
US5722384 *Sep 27, 1996Mar 3, 1998Cox; Stacey L.Multi-directional ball throwing system
US6089951 *Jan 29, 1999Jul 18, 2000Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle and trackset having lap-counting feature
US6695675Jun 5, 2003Feb 24, 2004Maisto International, Inc.Accelerator for toy vehicles having multiple engageable levels
US6776685 *May 14, 2002Aug 17, 2004Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle ramp
US6951497Jun 5, 2003Oct 4, 2005Maisto International, Inc.Toy vehicle intersection with elevational adjustment
US7794301 *Nov 6, 2006Sep 14, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle trackset
US7901266May 4, 2007Mar 8, 2011Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle collision set
US7955158 *Mar 26, 2007Jun 7, 2011Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle booster and track set
US7963821Sep 14, 2007Jun 21, 2011Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle track set
US8192246Aug 26, 2010Jun 5, 2012Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle track set
US8366508 *May 12, 2011Feb 5, 2013Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle booster and track set
US20110212667 *May 12, 2011Sep 1, 2011Miva FilosetaToy Vehicle Booster and Track Set
WO1999049948A1Jan 28, 1999Oct 7, 1999Mattel IncToy vehicle jumpset with crossing rise and descent paths
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/429, 198/624, 104/168, 463/58, 124/78
International ClassificationA63H18/14, A63H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/14
European ClassificationA63H18/14