US 3620538 A
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United States Patent  lnventors Francis T. Mercer Manhattan Beach; Frederick A. Petersen, Jr., North Redondo Beach, both of Calif. 21 1 Appl. No. 824,854  Filed May 15, 1969  Patented Nov. 16, 1971  Assignee Mattel, Inc.
 POSITION-RESPONSIVE VOICE UNIT 11 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 274/1A, 46/117. 46/153. 274/9 R, 274/14  lnt.Cl i. G11b3/08, Gl lb 25/04  Field of Search 46/117, ll8;274/l l, 1.9
 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,223,970 4/l9l7 Hare 274/9 6/1963 Ostrander 3.093.928 46/l l7 3.136.089 6/l964 Gardel 46/1 17 3.211.460 10/1965 Leo.....4.l.. r 274/l.l X 3.495.351 2/1970 Bear 46/l 18 Primary Examiner- Leonard Forman Assistant Examiner-Dennis A. Dearing Attorney-Seymour A. Scholnick ABSTRACT: A toy phonograph which selects one ofa plurality of sound tracks in accordance with the orientation of the toy. comprising a tone arm mounted for lateral movement to engage any of the tracks and a selecting member movable by gravity to direct the tone arm into-a particular track. In one position of the toy, the selecting member is moved to a position where it abuts the tone arm to force it to engage a first track. and in a second position of the toy, the member moves to a position clear of the tone arm to allow it to engage another track. The toy has a plurality of sides with different designs, and the recording which is selected at any orientation of the toy is appropriate to the design to be viewed at that orientation, such as the design on the upwardly facing side.
PATENTEUNBV 1 6 |97l SHEET 2 OF 3 a- I l l] I PATENTEBuuv 16 19h 3.620.538
SHEET 3 0F 3 lA/I/EA/I'OES Wham BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This invention relates to toys containing phonograph apparatus.
2. Description of the Prior Art Phonographs have been mounted in a variety of toys, including dolls, books, pillows and other objects. The records used in the phonographs can include several sound recordings on different tracks. Some toys have used mechanisms for the random selection of different record tracks, and some have employed knobs or other means for allowing the child to choose the next recording to be played. The entertainment value of the toys can be enhanced by novel sound track selecting apparatus, which chooses the next sound recording in a manner appropriate to the configuration or orientation of the toy.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a phonograph toy which selects a sound recording in accordance with the orientation of the toy.
Another object is to provide a toy with different decorated sides, which play a sound recording appropriate to the appearance of the side which is positioned to be viewed.
In accordance with the invention, a toy phonograph is provided which selects one of a plurality of sound tracks in accordance with the orientation of the toy. The toy includes a record with laterally spaced sound tracks and pickup means movable to engage a selected one of the tracks. A track-selecting member is mounted to be moved by gravity between different positions. In one position, the selecting member abuts the pickup means to direct it into one track, while in a second position the selecting member allows the pickup means to move to a different position to engage another track. The toy can have a plurality of sides with different designs or representations, and the sound recording is selected to be appropriate to the side to be viewed.
In one embodiment of the invention, the phonograph comprises a turntable carrying a disc record with one groove at a radially outer portion and another groove at a radially inner portion. A tone arm is pivotally mounted so it can move laterally over the record and its stylus can enter either groove. A string that is pulled to wind a drive spring carries the tone arm toward the radially outer edge of the record before each playing. In one position of the toy, a pivotally mounted selector member falls to a position in the path of the tone arm to prevent it from moving radially out past the inner groove when the string is pulled, so the inner sound recording is played next. When the toy is turned upside down, the selector pivots to a position out of the way of the stylus to allow it to move further radially out so the outer sound recording is played next. In another embodiment of the invention, a washer mounted on a post is employed as the selector member, the washer easily falling to a position at one end of the post where it stops outward movement of the tone arm or to a position at the opposite end of the post where it is clear of the tone arm.
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 toy constructed in acperspective view of the selector apparatus FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the selector apparatus of the embodiment of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a partial plan view of a toy constructed in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a pillow toy constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the pillow toy of FIG. 9; and
FIG. 11 is a bottom view of the pillow toy of FIG. 9.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a toy constructed in accordance with the invention comprising a phonograph mechanism 10 which is mounted with a toy housing 12. The phonograph is of a type described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,293,795. The housing can have any of a variety of shapes, such as a pillow with opposite sides having different designs or themes. The phonograph mechanism includes a turntable l4 pivotally mounted on the phonograph housing 15, with a record 16 thereon, the record having a radially outer track 18 and radially inner track 20. Each track defines a difierent sound recording. A tone arm 22 pivotally mounted at 24 carries a stylus pickup 26 that can engage the record tracks to play the sound recordings. The particular recording to be played depends upon the position to which the tone arm is pivoted when the record begins to turn.
The turntable is driven by a coil spring 28 that is held about a drum 30 on the turntable. The spring has an inner end fixed to the drum and an outer end 32 fixed to posts 34 on the phonograph housing. The spring is wound by a string 36 with an inner portion 38 that extends around a wheel fixed to the turntable. The string extends through a hole 40 in the tone arm, a hole 42 in a string guide 44, and a passageway portion 46 in the phonograph housing that extends through the toy housing. A pull ring 48 is fixed to the outer end of the string.
When the pull ring 48 is pulled, the string is unwound from the turntable and it rotates the turntable in the direction of arrow 50, thereby winding the spring tightly about the drum. When the pull ring is then released, the spring rotates the turntable and record thereon in a direction opposite to arrow 50, so that the stylus 25 plays a recording. A governor 53 regulates the speed of the turntable. During pulling of the string 36 to wind the spring, the string extends tautly between the turntable and the elevated guide hole 42, and it therefore lifts the tone arm off the record. At the same time, the friction of the moving string with the walls of the tone arm hold 40 causes the tone arm to be pulled radially outwardly. When he string is released, the stylus 26 is pushed (by a speaker cone spring, not shown) against the record to engage one of the grooves 18 or 20, the particular groove engaged depending upon the radial position at which the tone arm was stopped as it moved out.
The tone arm can be haltedin outward radial movement by either a fixed stop 52 which is a post fixed to the phonograph housing, or a stop 54 mounted on a selector member 56. As also shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the selector member 56 is pivotally mounted on a bearing post 58. A limit member 60 mounted on the phonograph housing can abut either of two ledges 62, 64 on the selector member to limit the rotational position of the member. A weighted arm 66 of the selector member is moved by gravity to urge the selector member into either of two rotational positions where one of the ledges abuts the limit member 60.
When the toy is in the right-side-up position of FIG. I, the weighted arm 66 pivots the selector member so that stop 54 is in the path of the tone arm 22. When the tone arm is moved out during pulling of the string, an outer portion 68 of the tone ann abuts the stop 54. This fixes the tone arm at position 22A where the stylus 26 lies in between the inner and outer record tracks 20, 18.
When the string is released, the stylus follows the inner groove 20, which spirals inwardly during playing, to play the sound recording of the inner groove. It may be noted that when the tone arm portion 68 abuts the stop 54, it tends to push the selector member even harder against a limit member 60, so the selector member is not pivoted out of the way.
When the toy is rotated about an imaginary horizontal axis to an upside-down position, as shown in FIG. 2, the weighted arm 66 pivots the selector member to the position 568, where the ledge 64 abut the limit member 60. At this position, the stop 54 on the selector member is clear of the tone arm portion 68. When the string 36 is pulled to wind the spring motor, the tone arm moves radially out until it abuts the fixed stop 52. The tone arm is then in position 228 wherein the stylus 26 is at the outside of the outer groove 18. When the string is released, the phonograph plays the recording defined in the outer groove 18. Thus, the selection of sound recordings is controlled by the orientation of the toy. FIGS. 4-6 illustrate another embodiment of the invention wherein the record 100 is in a horizontal plane in both its right-side-up and upside-down positions, instead of always being in a vertical plane as in the embodiment of FIGS. l-3. The phonograph of FIGS. 4-6 is similar to the phonograph of FIGS. l3, including a turntable 102 powered by a spring motor 104 that is wound by a string 106. The string extends through a tone arm 108 to pull it off the record 100 and move it radially outward when the string is pulled. A speaker cone 110 has a plunger 112 which biases the tone arm toward the record to hold it against the record except when the string is being pulled. The record 100 is identical to the record 16, including an outer groove I14 and inner groove 116 having different sound recordings. The particular recording to be played depends on the radial position at which the tone arm I08 is stopped as it moves outwardly.
A selector member 118 is pivotally mounted on a bearing I20 to allow it to pivot by gravity forces between two positions. In a first position, shown in FIG. 4, the member pivots until a ledge 122 thereon abuts a limit member 124. A stop portion 126 on the selector member then is in a position to abut a side of the tone arm 108 so that the stylus 128 enters into the inner groove 116 when the turntable starts to rotate under the spring force. When the phonograph is turned upside down, to the position of FIG. 5, the selector member pivots to a new position wherein a ledge 130 abuts the limit member 124. At this position, the stop 126 does not abut the tone arm, so the tone arm can move further out. The outward position of the tone arm is limited when it abuts a fixed stop 132, at which position it lies at the outer edge of the outer groove 1 14.
FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate still another embodiment of the invention which is useful for a phonograph whose right-side-up andupside-down positions are those shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8, the choice of inner groove 140 or outer groove 142 to be played by the stylus 144 on the tone arm 146 is determined by a washerlike selector member I48. The washer member 148 is loosely held on a post I54 so that it can fall toward the bottom of the post at I548 or toward the top of the post at 154T. A retaining rib (not shown) at the top of the post prevents the washer from falling off the post, and a guiding rib 155 prevents rotation of the washer. A portion 153 depending from the washer prevents it from falling against the record. When the phonograph is oriented with the end I54B of the post below the end 154T, the washer falls to the position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, wherein it is in the path of the radial, or lateral movement of the tone arm 1 46. The stylus 144 is then in a position to engage the inner record groove 140. On he other hand, when the phonograph is turned upside down so that the end 154T of the post is below the end 1548, the washer moves toward the post end 154T wherein its periphery is clear of the tone arm. At this orientation of the phonograph, the tone arm can move outwardly until it strikes the fixed post 154. The stylus I44 is then directed into outer groove 142. This embodiment of the invention has an advantage of being especially simple and economical.
FIGS. 9, I and 153 illustrate the outer appearance of a toy containing a phonograph with a selector mechanism of the type described above, particularly that of FIGS. 7 and 8. The toy is a pillow I60 with a cover or housing having a first side or face I62 and opposite second face 164. A phonograph mechanism is contained within the pillow, with only the pull ring 166 showing, the ring extending from a side of the pillow. The first face 162, which has the design appearance shown in FIG. 10, represents the nursery rhyme group, the Three Bears. The second face 164 is decorated to illustrate the nursery rhyme figure Goldilocks. The phonograph mechanism, which can be of the type shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, has an outer record groove which contains sayings which might be made by the three nursery rhyme bears, in appropriate voices. The outer record groove is played when the first side 162 is uppermost, and is therefore being displayed. The inner record groove represents a saying representative of the character Goldilocks, and in an appropriate voice, and it is played when the second face 164 is uppermost so that it is displayed. Thus, the sound track to be played is selected in accordance with the side of the toy which is positioned to be best viewed.
The pillow has an irregular outline and a substantially constant cross section so that the same outline appears at the first and second sides 162 and 164. The character or living creature designs on the opposite faces are drawn so that the same outline feature on either side represents an appropriate part to that character. For example, the ears 168 and 170 of the Three Bears is the same outline as the curls I70 and 168' of the Goldilocks figure. Similarly, the foot portion I72 for the Three Bears is the outline 172 of Goldilocks which represents the trunk of a tree in front of which Goldilocks is standing. By utilizing the same outline for opposite sides of the toy, but making the outline portions represent parts appropriate to the design on each side, irregular outlines appropriate to the design can be utilized, which enhances the appearance of the designs.
The housing can have a variety of themes on different faces,
which may represent animate objects or creatures, or inanimate objects such as trains. It also can be constructed so that the same side is meant to appear at the same orientations. For
example, the recordings can mention that the figure is upside down when so oriented, or a design can be used that represents a happy face when right-side-up but represents a sad face when turned 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:
l. A toy comprising:
record means in said housing having first and second tracks,
laterally spaced from each other, and defining different sound recordings;
pickup means in said housing pivotally mounted for movement laterally of said first and second tracks to selectively engage said first and second tracks;
motor means mounted on said housing for moving said record means relative to said pickup means to play a sound recording;
selector means mounted in said housing for movement by gravity between first andsecond positions when said housing is rotated about an imaginary horizontal axis between first and second housing positions, to position said pickup means to engage said first and second tracks, respectively;
means for moving said pickup means along a lateral path across said tracks; and
said selector means comprising a member mounted for movement between said first position in the path of said pickup means to limit its movement therealong, and said second position clear of the lateral path of said pickup means.
2. The toy described in claim 1 wherein:
said selector means comprises a member pivotally mounted on said housing and having weight means for gravity urging it toward one of said first and second positions, and limit means for limiting said member to predetermined pivotal positions with respect to said housing.
3. The toy described in claim 1 wherein:
said selector means comprises a member for abutting said pickup means and means for guiding said member in substantially linear movement toward and away from a position to abut said pickup means.
4. The toy described in claim 1 wherein:
a second member is fixed to said housing to limit the lateral movement of said pickup means to a position wherein it engages said second track; and wherein said selector means comprises a first member movable to said first position wherein it limits the lateral movement of said pickup means to a position short of engaging said second member, and to said second position wherein it is clear of said pickup means.
5. The toy described in claim 5 wherein:
said selector means comprises a post and said member comprises a washer mounted on said post for slidable movement substantially perpendicular to the lateral path of said pickup means.
6. The toy described in claim 1 wherein:
said housing includes first and second different sides carrying first and second designs thereon defining different subject matter; and
said first and second tracks define sound recordings related characteristic to said first and second designs.
7. A toy comprising:
a portable housing adapted to be placed in different attitudes, in each of which it displays designs of different subject matter,
phonograph means mounted within said housing, including record means having thereon different sound recordings characteristic of said different subject matters; and
means responsive to gravity when said housing is in said dif ferent attitudes for selecting that one of said sound recordings to be played which is characteristic of the subject matter then displayed by said housing,
said record means comprising a plurality of laterally spaced sound tracks, and pickup means movable to engage different tracks; and
said means for selecting comprising a member mounted for movement by gravity between difi'erent positions to limit the movement of said pickup means for directing it into one of said tracks.
8. A toy comprising:
a portable housing adapted to be placed in different atitudes, in each of which it displays designs of different subject matter,
phonograph means mounted within said housing, including record means having thereon different sound recordings characteristic of said difi'erent subject matters; and
means responsive to gravity when said housing is in said different attitudes for selecting that one of said sound recordings to be played which is characteristic of the subject matter then displayed by said housing,
said record means comprising a plurality of laterally spaced sound tracks, pickup means laterally movable to engage one of said tracks, and means for laterally moving said pickup means prior to the playing of a sound recording; and
said means for selecting one of said sound recordings comprising a member for abutting said pickup means to limit its lateral movement, and guide means for guiding said member for movement by gravity between a first position in the path of said pickup means and a second position wherein it is clear of the path of said pickup means.
9. The toy described in claim 12 wherein:
said member comprises a washer, and said means for guiding comprises a post for retaining said washer while allowing its movement therealong.
10. A toy comprising:
a portable housing adapted to be placed in different attitudes, in each of which it displays designs of different subject matter; phonograph means mounted within said housing, lncludlng record means having thereon different sound recordings characteristic of said difl'erent subject matters said record means comprising a plurality of spaced sound tracks:
movable pickup means selectively engageable with different tracks;
means for imparting relative movement between said record means and said pickup means, whereby different tracks may be selected; and
means responsive to gravity when said housing is in said different attitudes for selecting that one of said sound recordings to be played which is characteristic of the subject matter then displayed by said housing, said means for selecting comprising a member mounted for movement by gravity between different positions to limit said relative movement between said pickup means and said record means for directing said pickup means to one of said tracks.
II. The toy described in claim 15 wherein:
said record means comprises a plurality of laterally spaced sound tracks, pickup means movable to engage one of said tracks, and means for moving said pickup means laterally across said tracks prior to the playing of a recording; and
said means for selecting comprises a member pivotally mounted on said housing for pivoting between a first position in the path of said pickup means and asecond position out of the path of said pickup means.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 620 ,538 Dated ovember 16 1971 Francis T Mercer et a1 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 5, line 15, the claim reference numeral "5" should read 4 line 24, cancel "related". Column 6, line 15, the claim reference numeral "12" should read 8 line 41, the claim reference numeral "15 should read 1O Signed and sealed this 12th day of September 1972.
EDWARD M .FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents RM PO 1050 110-691 9 U 5 GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE I!!! O3i6-JJI