US 3621602 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 23, 1971 J BARCUS ETAL 3,621,602
TRACK MEANS COMBINED WITH SIMULATED STUNT HOOP FOR TOY VEHICLES l Filed Se t. 25, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 JACK 1. 842005 5752 7.- STORM/0N HTTORA/EV NOV. 23, 1971 BARCUS ETAL TRACK MEANS COMBINED WITH SIMULATED STUNT HOOP FOR TOY VEHICLES Filed Sept. 25, 1 969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 lA/VEA/TQEJ 3346K L .BA-Qcus ZESZ'EP 7. STOBMOA ATTOEA/EV United States Patent 3,621,602 TRACK MEANS DOMBINED WITH SIMULATED STUNT HOOP FOR TOY VEHICLES Jack L. liarcus, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Lester T.
Stormon, Manhattan Beach, Calif., assignors to Mattel,
llnc., Hawthorne, Calif.
Filed Sept. 25, 1969, Ser. No. 861,053 Int. Cl. A63h 33/00 US. Cl. 461 K 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hoop or ring accessory for use with toy vehicles. The hoop is provided with an insert of flexible material imprinted with a flame pattern and cut so as to deflect outwardly to allow a toy vehicle to pass therethrough thereby simulating the vehicle leaping or driving through flames.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to accessories for toy vehicles and more particularly, to an improved hoop which simulates a toy vehicle passing through a ring of fire or tearing through a sheet of solid material.
In recent years, toy automobiles both powered and gravity actuated that traverse track systems have become increasingly popular. In order to increase the play value of these types of toys and in turn make them more saleable, many accessories such as loop-the-loop tracks, jumps and lap counters are available in conjunction with these toys.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the general aim of the present invention to provide a new and improved accessory for toy automobiles that allows it to simulate jumping or passing through a ring of fire or crash through a solid sheet of material.
It is another object of the invention to provide an accessory for a toy car and track set which is relatively low in cost and which adds considerably to the excitement and enjoyment of playing with the toy.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an exemplary hoop or ring embodying the features of the present invention used in conjunction with a jump accessory;
FIG. 2 is a side sectional view, taken substantially along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section of the hoop, taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; I
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a toy vehicle passing through the exemplary hoop of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of the hoop of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is an insert for use with the present invention depicting a simulated flame or ring of fire.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS While the present invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, illustrative embodiments are shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail.
Referring now to the FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, an exemplary hoop, generally indicated at 10, is illustrated, the hoop including a frame 11, an insert 12 and a retaining ring 14. As here shown, the hoop is fixedly inserted into a jump approach ramp 16 which is connected to track ice section 17 and elevated from the ground by trestle 19. A second jump landing ramp 16a is spaced from and in alignment with ramp 16.
In accordance with one of the important aspects of the present invention, provision is made for having the center of the hoop 10 appear to be or simulate a solid sheet of material or flame and yet allow a toy vehicle to pass readily through the hoop without substantially retarding the movement of the vehicle or damaging the hoop. This is accomplished by providing the center of the hoop with an insert 12 which gives the appearance of being solid, yet which is readily deformable and separable if a toy vehicle passes therethrough and return to its original configuration thereafter. Referring to FIGS. 4- 6, the insert 12 is a sheet of flexible material such as plastic which comprises a plurality of several portions or leaves 20 which are generally aflixed about the circumference of the frame 11 and open outwardly from the central area of the hoop 10.
In order to increase the flexibility of the leaves 20 and prevent possible tearing of the insert 12, a plurality of aperture-s 22 may be provided about the periphery of the leaves 20 at their common junction.
To attach the hoop 10 to the ramp 16, a pair of tabs 251F 16. 5) are integrally provided in the frame 11 and as best seen in FIG. 2, are adapted to be removably inserted between the ramp 16 and the trestle 19.
In operation, as figuratively depicted in FIGS. 1 and 4, a toy vehicle 27 (FIG. 4) rapidly moving on track 17 rolls up the ramp 16 through the hoop, and jumps through a space and lands on ramp 16a which directs the vehicle 27 back to track 17. As seen in FIG. 4, as the toy vehicle 27 passes through the hoop 10, the leaves 20 separate, thus allowing the vehicle to freely pass through. In order to add additional realism and excitement to the instant invention, a simulated flame pattern may be printed on the insert 12 so that when the leaves 20 are separated, it produces the illusion of flames licking about the vehicle 27 as it passes through the hoop. While not shown, an insert 12 could be provided with brick or timber indicia printed thereon to produce the illusion of the vehicle breaking through a solid Wall.
In order to use various inserts 12 in conjunction With the hoop 10', provision is made to allow the inserts to be readily removable. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, a plurality of protrusions 30 are provided about the frame 11 which are adapted to engage corresponding holes 31 in the insert 12. The retaining ring 14 can then be snapped into the frame 11 to maintain the insert in place and provide peripheral support.
While the hoop has been depicted in the illustrated embodiment as being attached to the end of the approach ramp 16, it could also be positioned at the end of the receiving ramp 16a, disposed intermediate the two ramps on its own support or placed on a flat section of track 17 without departing from the spirit and scope of the instant invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for use with a miniature toy vehicle, comprising:
track means for directing a toy vehicle along a predetermined path;
a hoop having an opening therein of a size to permit a toy vehicle to pass therethrough, said hoop being so positioned relative to said track means that said predetermined path extends through said opening; and
a plurality of flexible sheet material elements supported by said hoop, adjacent the periphery of said opening and extending inwardly thereof across said predetermined path, said elements being capable of being resiliently deflected from said path by a my vehicle moving therealong and through said opening.
2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said elements are part of an integral sheet of flexible material.
3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said elements are provided with surface features to simulate fire and flame.
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said hoop is attached to an inclined track section for use with toy vehicles.
5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said hoop is disposed intermediate two inclined track sections for use with toy vehicles whereby a toy vehicle traversing said inclined track section will jump through said hoop.
6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said elements substantially close said opening when they are in their normal positions and deflect outwardly from the central portion of said opening when a toy vehicle passes theretlhr'ough.
7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2, wherein said integral sheet of flexible material is removably attached to said hoop.
8. The apparatus as set forth in claim 6, wherein said elements are provided with surface features to simulate a solid material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,510,995 10/1924 Lockyer 27386 G 1,780,081 10/1930 Keiser 27386 B UX 2,218,164 10/1940 Carpenter 27386 B 2,036,524 4/1936 Girard et al. s 272--85 2,708,927 5/1955 Dixon et al. 160-180 3,218,757 11/1965 Benkoe 46--202 3,502,332 3/1970 Wolf 46202 X FOREIGN PATENTS 293,751 8/1969 Australia 160-179 F. BA-R'RY SHAY, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.