US 3616570 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 2, 1971 .s GROVES EI'AL 3,616,570
ANIMATED DOLL Filed Feb.- 12, 1970 3 sh t s sheet 1 0 2 SYDNEY LGROVES JOE U5 YOUNG AT TORNEV JOSEPH wssor;
Nov. 2, 197] I GROVES EI'AL 3,616,570
ANIMATED DOLL Filed Feb. 12, 1.970
3 Sheets-Sheet 5 74 61 I I w I f I IN VEN TORS SVDNEY L. moves JOE H- YOUNG ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,616,570 ANIMATED DOLL Sydney L. Groves, Redondo Beach, Joseph Kossolf, Hawthorne, and Joe W. Young, Los Angeles, Calif., assignors to Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
Filed Feb. 12, 1970, Ser. No. 10,838 Int. Cl. A63b 11/00 US. Cl. 46--120 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A simple ballerina doll whose legs can pivot together or separately, to perform kicks, toe stepping, and splits, or to assume a sitting position. The doll includes a pair of pivotally mounted legs and an actuator member with a vertical slot that receives a shaft on the doll body, so that the actuator member has opposite ends coupled to a different one of the legs, so that if the actuator member merely pivots, then the legs may move in opposite directions, while if the actuator member is moved down without pivoting, then both legs move up together. A button on the side of the doll enables a child to push the actuator member down or allow it to move up without touching the legs. The doll also has a pivotally mounted knob on its head which a child can hold while turning the doll, and a head spotting mechanism for making the doll face in the same direction for about 90 of each turn.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to toys and, more particularly, to animated dolls.
Description of the prior art Dolls which can perform human-like motions have been found to provide considerable entertainment for children. A doll which can perform ballerina dancing motions, such as twirls, leg raises, and splits, could prove especially entertaining. However, dolls which could perform these movements have generally been very complicated, necessitating a high price. A doll which could perform these movements using a simple mechanism, could be sold at a lower price.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a simple and economical doll which can perform dancing movements.
Another object is to provide a simple mechanism for controlling pivoting of doll legs in a manner to imitate dancing movements.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a doll representing a child ballerina is provided which is capable of performing pirouettes, toe steps, kicks, splits and movement to a sitting position. The doll includes a body with a pair of pivotally mounted legs thereon. An actuator member is mounted within the body, this member having a vertically extending slot which receives a shaft that is fixed to the doll, to permit the actuator mem ber to slide up and down and pivot. Each end of the actuator member is coupled to one leg of the doll to control pivoting of that leg. If the slot of the actuator member iskept at a constant position along the shaft, then forward pivoting of one leg causes backward pivoting of the other leg. However, movement of the actuator member along its slot without pivoting, causes both members to move forward or backward together. A pushbutton which is concealed at the side of the doll body, can be pushed to slide down the actuator member against the force of a spring, to move the legs. The legs can also be directly pivoted. A child can hold one foot against the ground while moving the other leg directly or by pressing the pushbutton so that one leg remains extending down to support the kdoll inv a twirl, while the other extends forward or The doll is provided with a knob at the top which a child may hold while turning the doll in a pirouette or spinning motion. The turning doll motion can be performed with one leg on the ground and the other leg kicked forward. A mechanism is also provided for spotting the head so that it faces in the same direction during part of each rotation of the body, in the manner of a ballerina.
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 FIG. 1 is a partially sectional front view of a doll constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the doll of FIG. 1, with one leg kicked forward;
FIG. 3 is a partially sectional front view of the doll as shown in FIG. 2; I
FIG. 4 is a view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a view taken on the line 55 of FIG. 3;
I FIG. 6 is a view taken on the line 66 of FIG. 1; FIG. 7 is a view taken on line 77 of FIG. 1; and FIG. 8 is a view taken on the line 88 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a doll 10 having a body 12, a head 14, a pair of arms 16, 18 and a pair of legs 20, 22. The doll is constructed so that it can perform movements imitating a dancer, and especially a ballerina dancer. The head 14 contains a head spotting mechanism 24 which causes the head to facein the same direction for about of each body turn, to imitate the motion of a spinning ballerina. The doll body contains a leg pivoting mechanism 26 which contains apparatus for controlling pivoting of the legs so that they can kick together or separately so as to perform a forward kick, splits, and movement to a sitting position. The arms 16, 18 are mounted on ball joints 28, 30 to enable movement to a variety of positions, although such movement is not performed automatically as is movement of the head and legs.
A child can spin the doll by holding a knob 32 at the top of the head and manually rotating the dolls body. These and other movements are performed without requiring a motor, thereby simplifying the doll construction, although an electric or wind-up motor may be used. The doll body is generally spun while only one leg 20" or 22 is on the ground. The movement of one leg off the ground can be accomplished by holding one leg steady while manually moving the other leg forward, to simulate a forward kick or to move the doll in a position for spinning. If it is desired to move the legs in opposite directions to simulate a split, then one of the legs can be pivoted forward and the other leg will automatically move backward if it is free to do so. If it is desired to place the doll in a sitting position, then a pushbutton 34 at the side of the doll body can be pushed in, to cause both legs to pivot forward together, if they are free to do so. Thus, the doll can spin with its head performing head spotting, and the doll legs can pivot in many ways with respect to each other to simulate various positions of a dancer.
The head 14 is rotatably mounted on the body 12 to enable the head to remain stationary while the body pivots, to simulate head spotting which a ballerina performs when she spins. However, after the body turns about 90 from a front position, the head 14 must turn with the body or else the spinning will be unnatural. The head spotting mechanism 24 is constructed to hold back the head 14 until the body has turned about 90 from a forward direction, and to urge the head to turn with the body thereafter.
The head spotting mechanism 24 includes a head shaft 38 with a lower end 42 that is fixed to the body, a center portion that extends through a head cylinder 40 and an upper end 44 that is rotatably mounted on the knob 32. The lower end 46 of the head cylinder is rotatably engaged with a neck portion 48 of the body so that the head is held on the body but can rotate with respect to it. A spring 50 which is disposed about the head shaft, is provided to urge the head to turn with the body. As shown in FIG. 7, the spring has one end 52 which bears against a protrusion 54 on the head cylinder 40 and an opposite end 56 which bears against a portion 58 on the body. If the head and its cylinder 40 remain stationary while the body and its portion 58 rotate, the spring 50 is wound and it tends to drive the head in the same direction as the body. However, the spring coupling allows the head to remain stationary while the body pivots, if the head is firmly held against rotation.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the head spotting mechanism 24 also includes apparatus that essentially fixes the head 14 to the knob 32 during about 90 of body rotation, to keep the head facing in a forward direction. This mechanism releases the head after the body has turned about 90 so that the head can be driven by the spring 50 to rotate with the body during the remainder of a 360 body turn. The spotting mechanism includes a cam 60 that is rotatably fixed to the head shaft 38, so that it rotates with the body, the cam having a cam groove 62. A clutch member 64 is provided which is free to rotate and slide in and out with respect to the head shaft 38. The clutch has a follower 66 which is engaged with the cam groove '62, and an upper protrusion 68 which extends to the region of ribs 70 on the knob 32. The knob 32 has four ribs 70 spaced by 90 around the knob, which abuts the protuberance 68 to hold the clutch member 64 against rotation. The clutch member 64 has a drive portion 72 which can engage a protuberance 74 on a crown 76 that is fixed to the head 14.
The head spotting mechanism operates when a child holds the knob 32 against rotation, so that the upper protuberance 68 of the clutch member 64 is held against rotation by the ribs 70 of the knob. When the clutch member slides outwardly so that the driving portion 72 engages protuberance 74, then the head 14 is held stationary, and the spring 50 cannot rotate it. However, when the clutch is moved backward so that the driving member 72 disengages from protuberance 74, then the head is free to be rotated by the spring 50 so that it moves with the body 12. I
The groove 62 of cam 60 has the shape shown in lfIG. 8. Although the doll body and cam 60 may rotate in elther direction, they will be described herein for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, as rotating in the direction of arrow 78. This tends to rotate the head in that direction. However, when the driving member 72 is in a position to engage the protuberance 74 of the crown, the dolls head is held back from rotation. The doll is originally established with the body and head facing in a forward direction and the cam 60 and clutch follower 66 in the positions shown in FIG. 8. After the body and cam 60 have rotated about 90 from this position, in the direction of arrow 78, the follower 66 and driving portion 72 thereon are moved inwardly. This releases the protuberance 74 and allows the head to rotate with the body. After about another 180 rotation of the body, the follower reaches a portion of the groove 62 that moves the follower outwardly so that the driving portion 72 can later engage the pro- 4 tuberance 74 of the crown. After another rotation, when the body has made a full 360 turn, the driving member 72 again contacts the protuberance 74 of the crown. Thus, the clutch holds the head against rotation for about 90 of every complete turn of the body, to simulate the head spotting of a ballerina.
The leg pivoting mechanism 26, which enables the legs to pivot in opposite directions or together, includes an activating member 80 which has a substantially vertically extending slot 82 (when the doll is upright) that is engaged by a shaft 84 which is fixed to the doll body. The activating member also has a right end 86 and left end 88 which are coupled to the right and left legs 20, 22, respectively, to operate them. Each side of the leg pivoting mechanism includes a toothed rack 90, 92 which is guided in sliding movement along the body in an almost vertical direction. Each rack also has an upper end pivotally engaged with one end of the activating member and a lower end engaged by one end 94, 96 of a coil spring 98. The coil spring 98 is disposed about a post 100 which is fixed to the doll body, and its opposite ends urge the racks 90, 92 upwardly. Each leg 20, 22 of the doll is fixed to a shaft 102, 104 which is rotatably mounted on the doll body. Each shaft carries a pinion 106, 108 at its inner end, and each pinion is engaged with the teeth of its respective rack 90, 92.
If the right end 86 of the activating member *80 moves down, the right rack 90 will move down and rotate pinion 106 so that the right leg 20 kicks forward. In a similar manner, if the left end 88 of the activating member moves down, the left leg 22 will kick forward. If the center portion of the activating member does not move along the shaft 84, then it will only pivot, and upward movement of one end 86 will result in downward movement of the other end 88, and vice versa. Accordingly, if one leg 20 is pivoted up, causing the right end 86 of the activating member to move down, then the other end 88 of the activating member will move up and cause backward pivoting of the left leg 22. The legs will therefore pivot in opposite directions and, if pivoting continues far enough, the doll will perform a split. 0n the other hand, if one leg is held stationary, as by resting the toe of that leg on the ground, then it will not move although the other leg still can be pivoted forward or backward.
If the activating member 80 is moved down against the force of spring 98, then both ends '86, 88 of the activating member may move down simultaneously, causing both legs 20, 22 to pivot forward. If this pivoting is continued far enough, the dolls legs will extend horizontally and the doll will be in a sitting position. Such forward movement of both legs can be accomplished by operating the pushbutton 34. The push button 34 is attached to a lever 110 which is pivotally mounted at 112 on the doll body. The lever has an end 114 opposite the pushbutton, which bears against an upper end of the center portion of the activating member 80. When a child pushes in on the pushbutton 34, the lever end 114 pushes down on the activating member, to urge both legs 20, 22 to pivot forward.
The pushbutton 34 can be used to pivot only one leg of the doll, if the other leg is held stationary. Thus, the left leg 22 can be held stationary in a vertical position by pressing its toe down against the ground so that it cannot move. If the pushbutton 34 is then pushed in, the other leg 20 will move forward. The leg 20, in this case, will move about twice as far forward with a given amount of movement of pushbutton 34, as it would move if both legs were free to move forward. Thus, by holding one leg stationary while the other leg is free to pivot upward, a child can make the free leg kick upward. Such a situation is shown in FIG. 2, wherein the toe 22T of one leg is held against the ground while the other leg 20 is free to move up so that it kicks up to a forward position. While a child could move leg 20 upward by grasping it and pulling it up while holding the other leg 22 stationary, the automatic movement of the leg by pressing on pushbutton 34 makes it seem as though the doll itself is raising its leg.
The pushbutton 34 is located beneath one arm of the doll, and is flush with the outside of the doll body so that it is not apparent. Normally, the doll will be covered by clothes and the pushbutton 34 will not be seen at all. Inward pressure on the side of the doll will then appear to mysteriously cause the doll to kick forward, in an entertaining manner. When pressure on the pushbutton 34 is released, it is desirable that the lever 110 pivot back to the position wherein the pushbutton 34 is flush with the body. To accomplish this, a spring 116 is provided, whose inner end is held by a pair of brackets 118, 120 on the doll body. The outer end 122 of the spring biases the pushbutton outwardly to its flush position wherein it abuts a wall of the doll body.
When the legs of the doll are pivoted to an extreme forward position, which is about 90 from the vertical, it is desirable that the legs remain in this position. A pair of retainer members 124, 126 are provided to retain either leg in a forward horizontal position when it is pivoted thereto. Each retainer member 124, 126 is fixed to the same shaft 102, 104 to which the leg and pinions are fixed. Each end 94 of the spring is biased when the leg is between a vertical and forward position. If the leg is pivoted forward, the spring end 94 rides along this portion 128 until the spring end reaches a rising portion 130 of the retaining member as the leg approaches a 90 rotation from the vertical. As shown in FIG. 5, forward pivoting of the leg 20 towards the horizontal causes the spring end 94 to move over the rising portion 130 and fall into a recess 132 in the retaining member, Once the spring end 94 has fallen into the recess 132, the leg 20 tends to remain in the horizontal position, and a child must apply a downward force to pivot the leg downwardly.
With the other leg in a vertical position, the spring end 94 abuts a protrusion 134 on the retaining member. This prevents backward movement of the leg and helps keep one leg in a vertical position when the other leg has been locked to a forward horizontal position, while the doll turns. In either forward or rearward pivoting, it would be undesirable to have the doll rotate more than about 90 from the vertical, since this would appear unnatural. To prevent rotation further than this, a tab 136, 13-8 extends from each side of the doll bodyinto a groove 140, 142 in the doll leg. Each tab, such as tab 136, will abut one end of its groove 140 when the doll leg has been rotated to a horizontal position to prevent rotation further than this.
The doll is typically operated to perform a spin by raising one leg forward about 90 until it latches in place, with the other leg extending approximately vertically. A child then grasps the knob 32 at the top of the dolls head and moves the knob in a circle, without rotating it. As shown in FIG. 2, the head shaft 38 is bent, so that most of the weight of the doll is on one side of the axis about which the body turns relative to the knob 32. Accordingly, movement of the knob 32 in a circle will cause the doll body to rotate, without requiring a child to directly turn it.
Thus, the doll provides a head spotting action and a variety of leg pivoting actions to simulate many different movements of a ballerina dancer. The arms 16, 18 can also be moved to a variety of positions, though this requires direct application of force by a child to the arms. The simplicity of the mechanism, and the absence of a motor enables the doll to be manufactured at low cost.
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. A doll comprising:
(A) a body; (B) a pair of legspivotally mounted on said body; and
(C) leg control means coupled to said legs to pivot them, said control means mounted on said body for movement in a first manner to simultaneously pivot both legs in the same direction and in a second manner to simultaneously pivot said legs in opposite directions relative to each other, said leg control means comprising:
(1) a shaft mounted on said doll body;
(2) an actuator member having a substantially vertically extending slot therein for receiving said shaft and having portions on either side of said slot which are coupled to different ones of said legs; and
(3) a pushbutton having an outer end which is substantially flush with the outside of said doll body and coupled to said actuator member to move a center portion thereof in a substantially vertical direction along said slot, whereby to control leg pivoting.
2. The doll described in claim 1 wherein:
said pushbutton is located on the side of the doll body,
under its arms; and including a lever pivotally mounted on said doll body, and having a first end attached to said pushbutton and a second end coupled to said actuator member, so that said lever pushes down said actuator member when said pushbutton is pressed in, whereby to cause both feet to move forward towards a sitting position.
3. The doll described in claim 1 including:
a head mounted on said body; and
a knob rotatably mounted on the top of said head for enabling the doll to be held.
4. The doll described in claim 3 including head-spotting means connecting said head to said body.
5. A doll comprising:
(A) a body;
(B) a pair of legs pivotally mounted on said body;
(C) an activating member having a center portion mounted on said body, for sliding and pivoting with respect to said body;
(D) a pair of coupling members for coupling portions on opposite sides of said activating member to said legs to pivot them when said sides of said activating member move;
(E) an operating member having a portion on the outside of said doll body for movement by a child, said operating member coupled to said activating member to move it;
(P) a head mounted on said body; and
(G) head-spotting means connecting said head to said body, said head-spotting means comprising:
(1) a head cylinder rotatably connecting said head to said body;
(2) a head shaft having a lower end fixed to said body, an intermediate portion extending through said head cylinder and an upper end extending through said head;
(3) a knob rotatably mounted on said upper end of said head shaft;
(4) a spring disposed about said head shaft, said spring having one end bearing against said head cylinder and another end bearing against said body; and
(5) clutch means connected to said knob and to said head for cyclically holding said head against rotation by said spring when said knob is held against rotation while said body is rotated.
6. The doll described in claim 5 wherein:
said activating member has a substantially vertically extending slot at said center portion; and including a shaft mounted on said doll body and extending into said slot, to guide said activating member.
7. The doll described in claim 5 including:
a retaining member fixed to each leg, each retaining member having a recess; and
spring means having opposite ends biased against said 2,763,095 retaining member to fall into said recesses when said 2,788,611 legs are turned to predetermined positions. 3,228,143
8. The doll described in claim 5 wherein said operating 3,394,494
member comprises a lever having a pushbutton portion 5 substantially flush with the outside of said doll body.
8 Stearns 46149 Weih 46-17 3 Kaplan 46-149 Gardel et a1 46120 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner D. L. WEINHOLD, JR., Assistant Examiner References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1922 Rommer 46-149 10 46136 8/1925 Van Laar 4615l US. Cl. X.R.