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Publication numberUS3622158 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 23, 1971
Filing dateJun 18, 1970
Priority dateOct 30, 1969
Publication numberUS 3622158 A, US 3622158A, US-A-3622158, US3622158 A, US3622158A
InventorsBoydman Hyman P, Tepper Sidney
Original AssigneeTopper Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Racing toy having vehicle-propelling means
US 3622158 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors SidneyTepper Original application Oct. 30, 1969, Ser. No. 872,655, new Patent No. 3,545,757. Divided and this application June 18, 1970, Ser. No. 47,487

[54] RACING TOY HAVING VEHlCLE-PROPELLING MEANS 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 273/86 D, 46/206, 104/162 [51} Int. Cl A63h 18/14 [50] Field of Search 273/86 R, 86 B, 86 C, 86 D, 86 E, 86 F; 46/1 K, 202, 206; 104/60, 72, 162

[56] Reierences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,548,534 12/1970 Beny et a1. 104/162X 3,531,119 9/1970 Bonanno 104/60 X FOREIGN PATENTS 558,969 12/1957 Italy 273/86 C Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Attorney-Breitenfeld & Levine ABSTRACT: One or more tracks support rollable vehicles each of which moves around the entire track as a result of force applied to it during its movement along a propulsion region. A vehicle-driving member is located beneath, and moves along, each propulsion region in response to movement of a handle operated by a player. The driving member, carries an element, e.g., a pawl, for engaging a depending extension on a vehicle and moving the vehicle on the track propulsion region The element has a finger projecting forwardly and the vehicle extension has a ledge projecting rearwardly, the finger and ledge interlocking temporarily when the element engages the extension 2; 3 I L 7 3 I l 7 j j JL/E In Q MENU-L I 1 III 1 l 3% 36 37 kY Ni Y. 4

PATENTEDNBV 2 IHTI 3622.1 58

sum 1 or 3 FIG. 6 INVENTORS:

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FIG. 5

RACING TOY HAVING VEHICLE-PROPELLING MEANS This application is a division of copending application Ser. No. 872,655, filed Oct. 30, 1969, now US, Pat. No. 3,545,757.

This invention relates to racing toys of the type in which vehicles move around one or more continuous tracks. A toy of this type is illustrated and described in copending application Ser. No. 802,365, filed Feb. 26, 1969, now US. Pat. No. 3,514,108.

The toy of the above-identified patent is of the particular type in which a vehicle can be caused to move along its track through successive unbroken cycles or laps. The arrangement illustrated in said patent includes a vehicle driving member or carriage slidable beneath a propulsion region of each track, shown as an uphill track portion. The carriage carries a projection extending upwardly through a slot in the track portion for engaging a depending part of a vehicle, whereby forward movement of the carriage causes forward movement of the vehicle. A handle manually manipulatable by a player is furnished, the handle being connected to the carriage so that movement of the handle is transmitted to the carriage, such movement serving to propel a vehicle along the uphill track portion. Once the vehicle reaches the top of the hill it is released, whereupon it moves around the track by gravity to the bottom of the uphill portion and, as a result of inertia, part of the way up the uphill portion.

If the player is skillful, he moves his handle at a time such that the projection carried by his carriage engages the depending part of his vehicle while the latter is still moving along the propulsion region due to inertia. In this way, further propulsion is given the vehicle with a minimum amount of lost vehicle speed.

It has been found that when the carriage projection and depending vehicle part are straight or flat, the projection has a tendency to slide past the depending part and hence not propel the vehicle. This is especially true when the carriage is moved very rapidly.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a racing toy of the type described wherein the projecting carriage element engages an extension depending from a toy vehicle in a secure manner so that there is no chance of the two slipping past each other, and hence there is assurance that each time the moving carriage element engages the depending vehicle extension the vehicle will be propelled forwardly.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a racing toy according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the toy base;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary top view of the rearward ponion of the propulsion region of the tracks, showing a partially broken-away toy vehicle on one of the tracks;

FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken on line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the vehicle about to be engaged by the driving member;

FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 3;

The racing toy chosen to illustrate the present invention comprises two side-by-side tracks 10 and 11 of generally elliptical contour. Although two tracks are shown in the present example, only one or as many side-by-side tracks as desired may be used. The tracks may be formed of a molded plastic material, and may be provided in sections adapted to be snapped together to form the continuous tracks. As shown in FIG. 6, the two track regions of each section may be formed integrally, with an integral upstanding divider I2 separating the two tracks. The tracks are also provided with outer upstanding walls 13 to prevent the vehicles from rolling off the tracks.

The tracks 10 and 11 are generally flat and horizontal, except at their curved end regions 14 which are raised to create inclined banks. The banked regions 14 are supported by stanchions l5 and the straight track portions are raised slightly above their support surface by skirts 9 depending from the outer side edges of tracks 10 and 11. At the center of one of the straight runs of the tracks 10 and 11 the latter are joined to a housing 16 enclosing the mechanism for propelling vehicles along the tracks. Thus, the portion 21 of tracks 10 and 11, to which the housing 16 is connected, is termed the propulsion region of the tracks, since it is when the vehicles are in this region that a forward propulsion force can be applied to them by means of the mechanism in housing 16.

When the toy is in use, each player controls a mechanism for propelling his vehicle along the propulsion region 21 of its respective track. The vehicle then rolls by inertia around its track, in a counterclockwise direction in FIG. 1, until it reaches the propulsion region 21, at which point the player again propels his vehicle along the propulsion region. The player whose vehicle completes a predetennined number of laps or cycles around the track first is the winner, and the winner will ordinarily be the player most proficient at operating his vehicle-propelling mechanism. It may be mentioned that since track 10 is outside of track 11, in the present example the two tracks are not of equal length. Hence, the player whose vehicle uses track 10 need complete fewer laps than the other player in order to cover the same total distance. If desired, the tracks could be furnished with two crossovers to equalize the lengths of the two tracks.

In the present embodiment, the housing 16 contains two vehicle-propelling mechanisms, one being operated by the handle 17 and the other by the handle 18. Handle 17 is actuated to propel a vehicle 19, illustrated as a toy automobile, along the propulsion region of track 10, and handle 18 is actuated to propel another toy automobile 20 along the propulsion region of track 11. Each handle 17 and 18 is slidably accommodated within a straight slot 23 formed in the top wall (see also FIG. 2) of the housing 16, these slots serving to guide the movements of the handles when the latter are actuated. The floor 25 (FIG. 6) of the propulsion region 21 of each track is formed with a central longitudinal slot 26, and a pawl projects upwardly through each slot. As each handle 17 or 18 is shifted from its leftwardmost position in FIG. I to its rightwardmost position, the pawl 27 or 28, respectively, (FIGS. 2-6) associated with it moves from the left end of its respective slot 26, as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 3-5, to the right end. Each vehicle l9 and 20 is provided with a depending lip or extension 29 (FIGS. 4 and 5) adapted to be engaged by one of the pawls.

Thus, when the vehicle 19, for example, arrives at the left end of the propulsion region 21 of track 10, the appropriate player shifts handle 17 to the right so that the pawl 27 engages the depending lip 29 of the vehicle and propels it toward the right. Thereafter, the player moves the handle 17 back toward the left, returning the pawl 27 to the left end of the track propulsion region in preparation for again propelling the vehicle 19 for further counterclockwise movement around the track. To a great extent, the skill required in playing with the present toy involves the ability to actuate the handle 17 or 18 at precisely the right time so that the respective pawl smoothly engages the lip of the moving vehicle as the latter enters the propulsion region 21. In this way, full advantage is taken of the initial movement of the vehicle into the propulsion region due to its inertia.

The mechanisms for transmitting movements of the handles 17 and 18 to their respective pawls 27 and 28 are illustrated in detail in FIGS. 2-6. The two mechanisms are almost identical, and therefore except for the points at which they differ only one will be described. However, corresponding parts of the mechanism bear identical reference numerals followed by a prime. Mounted on the lower face of each track propulsion region is a guideway 32 (FIGS. 4-6) defined by two parallel walls 33, which may be integrally formed with the track floor 25. Walls 33 rest on, and are secured to, as by cement, a bottom wall 34 which may be integral with the top wall 24 of the housing 16. Formed in bottom wall 34, directly beneath and parallel to slots 26, are a pair of slots 35. The guideway 32 extends for substantially the full length of the propulsion region. Slidably arranged within the guideway 32 is a vehicle driving member or carriage 36 carrying near its rear end a transverse pin 37 (FIGS. 4 and 5) upon which pawl 27 or 28 in pivotally supported. A coiled spring 39 (FIG. 4) surrounds pin 37, one end of the spring being fixed with respect to carriage 36, and the other end of the spring being secured to the pawl 27. The spring 39 normally holds the pawl 27 against an abutment portion 40 of the carriage 36 so that the pawl cannot rotate in a counterclockwise direction when in the solid line position shown in FIG. 4. Consequently, when the carriage 36 is moved along the guideway 32, this movement is transmitted to the lip 29 of vehicle 19 or 20 by the pawl. However, the pawl can rotate clockwise, against the force of spring 39, so that when vehicle 19 or 20 enters the track propulsion region 21, lip 29 can move past the pawl. In other words, when vehicle I9 is moving from the left toward the right, and the front face of its lip 29 strikes the rear inclined face of pawl 27 rotating it clockwise, the upper end of the pawl moves toward the slot 26, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 4, permitting the vehicle to pass. The pawl is then immediately snapped into a position for engaging the rear face of the lip 29 by the spring 39.

Pawl 27 and 28, includes a finger 30 projecting forwardly, i.e., in the direction of movement of a vehicle along its track, from the top of the pawl. Lip 29 is formed, at its lower end, with a ledge 31 projecting rearwardly, i.e., in the direction opposite to the direction of vehicle movement. When pawl 27 moves into engagement with lip 29, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 5, finger 30 moves to a position above ledge 31, temporarily interlocking the pawl and lip and preventing relative vertical movement between the two, i.e., preventing movement of vehicle 19 away from the track. As a result, there is no chance of pawl 27 slipping past lip 29 even if carriage 36 carrying the pawl is moved forwardly very rapidly by a player.

The carriage 36 carries a depending pin 43 extending through slot 35 to which one end of a lever 44 (FIG. 2) is pivotally connected. Lever 44 comprises two telescoping parts, namely, an outer member 45 and an inner member 46 slidably arranged within member 45. It is the free end of extension 46 which is pivotally connected to the carriage 36. The opposite end of the member 45 is pivotally supported on a pin 48 carried by a bracket 47 secured to the under face of top wall 24. Beneath bracket 47 is a horizontal plate 50, also mounted on the under face of top wall 24 by elongated pins 51, which supports another bracket 47' carrying pine 48. It will be seen that since brackets 47 and 47' are located in different horizontal planes, levers 44 and 44' are allowed to swing, about pins 48 and 48', in difierent horizontal planes without interfering with each other. Since the distance between the pin 48 and the guideway 32, as viewed in FIG. 2, depends upon the angle of the line drawn between them, the sliding relationship between the members 45 and 46 permits the effective length of the lever 44 to be varied as the lever pivots about the pin 48.

A link 52 pivotally connects the handle 17 to lever member 45 and serves to transmit horizontal shifting movement of the handle along its slot 23 to the member 45. Lever 44 is thereby caused to rotate about pin 48, and via connection 43 move carriage 36 along its guideway 32. The arrangement is such that handles 17 and 18 may be moved horizontally, along their respective slots 23, through precisely the same distance, and levers 44 and 44' swing about their pivot axes through exactly the same length arcs, since the horizontal spacing between pins 48 and 48' is equal to the horizontal spacing between the slots 26 in tracks and 11. Consequently, neither player is given any mechanical advantage which the other player does not also enjoy.

The invention has been shown and described in preferred form only, and by way of example, and many variations may be made in the invention which will still be comprised within its spirit. It is understood, therefore, that the invention is not limited to any specific form or embodiment except insofar as such limitations are included in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A racing toy comprising:

at least one track for supporting a toy vehicle adapted to move along the track, said track having a vehicle-propulsion region,

a longitudinal slot in said propulsion region,

a vehicle-driving member movably mounted beneath said propulsion region, said member being movable parallel to said propulsion region,

a motion-transmitting element carried by said driving member projecting upwardly through said slot, said element having a finger projecting from it in the direction of movement of a vehicle along said track, said finger being substantially parallel to said propulsion region of said track and being located above said track, and

a toy vehicle adapted to move along said track, said vehicle having a depending extension adapted to be engaged by said element to transmit motion from said driving member to said vehicle, said extension including a ledge projecting in a direction opposite to the direction of movement of said vehicle along said track, said ledge being substantially parallel to said propulsion region of said track when said vehicle is on said propulsion region, and the upper surface of said ledge being parallel to the lower face of said finger,

said finger moving to a position above said ledge when said motion transmitting element engages said extension.

2. A racing toy as defined in claim 1 wherein said element is resiliently biases upwardly so that it can be moved downwardly by said vehicle extension engaging it from behind while traveling forwardly, but said element remaining in its uppermost position when engaged from the front so that it transmits forward movement of said driving member to the vehicle.

3. A racing toy as defined in claim 2 wherein the edge of said element opposite said finger is inclined with respect to said track to facilitate movement past it of said vehicle extension.

4. A racing toy as defined in claim 1 wherein said element is a pawl pivotally mounted on said driving member, and including means for resiliently biasing said pawl upwardly, said pawl moving downwardly against the force of said biasing means when contacted by the extension of a vehicle traveling forwardly so that the vehicle can move past said pawl, and means preventing said pawl from moving downwardly when contacted by a vehicle extension which has moved past it, whereby the pawl serves to transmit movement of said driving member in a forward direction to the vehicle.

5. A racing toy as defined in claim 1 including at least two side-by-side tracks, each track having its own slotted vehicle propulsion region, and a separate vehicle-driving member and motion-transmitting element beneath each propulsion region.

6. A racing toy as defined in claim 1 including means for controlling movement of said vehicle-driving member.

7. A racing toy as defined in claim 6 wherein said control means includes a handle movable by a player, and means connecting said handle to said driving member for transmitting movement of said handle to said driving member.

8. A racing toy as defined in claim 5 including separate handle means movable by each player, and means connecting each handle to one of said driving members for transmitting the movement of each handle to its respective driving member.

I! t t l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US570016 *Jan 11, 1896Oct 27, 1896 Amusement apparatus
US1095965 *Sep 22, 1913May 5, 1914Alton Eugene GlazierAmusement apparatus.
US3514108 *Feb 26, 1969May 26, 1970Topper CorpRacing toy having manually manipulable vehicle propelling means
US3531119 *Feb 26, 1969Sep 29, 1970Topper CorpRacing toy having player controlled vehicle propelling means
US3548534 *Dec 23, 1968Dec 22, 1970Mattel IncMoving apparatus for a vehicle toy
IT558969A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3860238 *Feb 5, 1974Jan 14, 1975Tomy Kogyo CoContinuous racetrack having turnaround portions
US3998460 *Feb 3, 1976Dec 21, 1976Mattel, Inc.Vehicle racing game apparatus
US4504242 *Jun 4, 1982Mar 12, 1985Mattel, Inc.Modular unit with toy vehicle propulsion device
US5974977 *Sep 29, 1997Nov 2, 1999Johnson Research & Development Company, Inc.Magnetic propulsion toy system
US7455566May 2, 2006Nov 25, 2008Nelson Webb TMagnet tracking toy and its associated method of operation
US8262431 *May 23, 2008Sep 11, 2012Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.Traveling toy system
US8961262 *Mar 4, 2014Feb 24, 2015George S. Hudimac, Jr.Model motor vehicle highway system
US20070259596 *May 2, 2006Nov 8, 2007Nelson Webb TMagnet tracking toy and its associated method of operation
US20080248716 *Apr 4, 2008Oct 9, 2008J. Shackelford Associates LlcToy track system
US20100173562 *May 23, 2008Jul 8, 2010Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.Traveling toy system
US20140315471 *Mar 4, 2014Oct 23, 2014George S. Hudimac, Jr.Model motor vehicle highway system
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/64, 104/162, 446/444, 463/69
International ClassificationA63H18/00, A63H18/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/14
European ClassificationA63H18/14