US 3623263 A
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NOV- 30, 1971 J. A. FRAMPTON 3,623,263
ANIMAL SIMULATING AMUSEMENT DEVICE Filed May 18, 1070 K El E 5 ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,623 263 ANIMAL SIMULATING AMUSEMEN T DEVICE John A. Frampton, 144 E. Beechwold Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43214 Filed May 18, 1970, Ser. No. 38,258 Int. Cl. A63h 13/16 U.S. Cl. 46-146 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An amusement device, in the form of a gift type box, having a lower base section and an upper cover section which are pivotally connected together to form an openable container for a flexible animal-simulating body, such as a snake. A lever mechanism is connected between the cover section and the creature body to impart a life-like movement to the creature body when the cover is moved to its open position to thus surprise the unwary inquisitor.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a practical joke amusement device, and more particularly relates to an amusement device, simulating a gift box, which when opened surprises the recipient by conveying the illusion that a live creature 1s emerging from the box toward the recipient.
Pop-out toys, jack-intheboxes, and similar devices have long been a source of amusement to donors of gifts and of shock to their recipients. Such devices are ordinarily containers which, when opened, suddenly reveal a replica of a clowns head, grotesque human head, or an animal body or part thereof. Many are resiliently biased to impart a quick, jumping movement to the head or body. These types of devices are usually spring biased and move almost instantaneously from their contained position to their released position. In order to obtain a more realistically life-like, slower body movement, it has been necessary to provide more complex mechanisms.
Amusement devices of the jack-inthebox type usually require a releasable latch in order to retain their cover in its closed position and maintain the spring in its compressed condition. Such latches forewarn the recipient of the gift that a springing action should be expected upon release of the latch. In yet other types of devices, realism is impaired because more than the simulated body moves towards the recipient of the gift. For example, the movement of a platform, on which a simulated creature body is mounted, towards the recipient detracts from the lifelike appearance of the box contents. Similarly, the appearance of springs, cord, or similar structures extending from the cover to the base of the gift box detracts from the life-like activity of the simulated creature body. Examples of some of these amusement devices are described in my prior Pats. No. 2,687,887 and No. 2,692,455.
There is therefore a need for a new and improved actuating mechanism for linking the cover of such amusement devices to the body being actuated. My invention provides an improved simplified lever mechanism which results in improved realism.
SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The amusement device of this invention has a box-like container having a base section and a cover section pivotally secured to said base section and movable to open and close the container. A lever means is attached at one end to the cover section for pivotal movement therewith and extends within the container. The lever means has an opposite end arranged to move outwardly toward a side of the cover section upon opening movement of the cover section. A creature-simulating body is mounted on this opposite end and is movable therewith. An operator may ice pivot the cover from a closed to an open position and thereby impart a simulated life-like motion to the creature body.
Preferably, the amusement device is provided with a false bottom mounted to the base section and having an opening. The preferred lever means has a first leg lixed to the cover section for pivotal movement therewith. This iirst leg extends into the base section beneath the false bottom. The lever means also has a second leg pivotally secured to the first leg beneath the false bottom and extending upwardly and forwardly through the opening in the false bottom to the creature-simulating body.
An object of this invention is to provide an amusement device of simple construction which can be inexpensively made from paper board or similar material to closely resemble an attractive gift box.
A further object of the invention is to provide an amusement device in which the actuating mechanisms are hidden from the view of the recipient as the cover is opened and in which only the simulated creature body can be seen moving in a realistically slow life-like manner toward the recipient.
A further object of the invention is to provide an amusement device that can be returned to its original position and reset by merely closing the cover so that there is no need to specially cock or otherwise bias a resilient member or to specially position another member.
Further objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and claim when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION 0F THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in perspective illustrating the preferred embodiments of the invention in a partially opened position;
FIG. 2 is a view in vertical section of the embodiment in FIG. l taken substantially along the line 2--2 of FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a view in vertical section similarly taken substantially along the line 2 2 of FIG. 1 but showing the container in its closed position; and
FIG. 4 is a View in vertical section taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
In describing the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, it is not intended to be limited to the specilic terms so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific term so selected, includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 has a box-like container comprising a cover section 10 pivotally connected to a base section 12. Preferably the box is exteriorly decorated to simulate an attractive gift box. It may be constructed of paperboard, plastic, metal, or other suitable material but paperboard is preferred. The base section 12 has a horizontal bottom panel 14 and two side walls 1.6 and 18, a front wall 20 and a rear wall 22 all extending vertically upwardly from the horizontal bottom panel 14. The cover section has a horizontal top panel 24 and two side walls 26 and 28, a front wall 30 and a rear wall 32 all extending vertically downwardly from the top panel 24 and registering with the walls of the base section 12 to form an enclosed container. The cover section 10 is pivotally connected to the base section 12 at the rear of the box. A simple hinge is constructed from a paperboard insert 34 glued, stapled,
3 or otherwise mounted against the rear wall 22 of the base section 12 and the rear wall 32 of the cover section 10. This paperboard insert 34 has a fold line 36 operating as the axis of rotation along the intersection of the rear wall 32 of the cover section 10 and the rear wall 22 of the base section 12.
The preferred embodiment is provided with inner lip panels 37, 38, and 39 glued or otherwise attached to the inner surfaces of the front wall 20 and the side walls 16 and 18 of the base section 12. These lip panels extend above the front and side walls of the base section to permit the cover section to telescopically encompass the top portion of the base section and further to permit. the base section to extend above the rim of contact between the cover section and the base section 12.
A false bottom 40 is mounted to the base section 12 to form an intermediate platform. The false bottom 40 has a front flange 42 and side flanges 44 and 45. These flanges extend vertically downwardly from the false bottom 40 to rest upon the bottom panel 14 and are mating- 1y received within the Walls of the base section 12. A small hole 46 is formed approximately centrally through the false bottom 40. A creature-simulating body 48, such as a coiled snake, is positioned upon the false bottom 40. A portion of the snakes coiled body is glued or stapled to the false bottom 40 to prevent disorientation of the creature-simulating body when the device is being handled or transported. An intermediate portion of the snake-simulating body is best suited for attachment to the false bottom. The intermediate portion is suiciently distant from the snakes head that its attachment to the false bottom 40 will not restrict movement of the snakes head. The head portion of the snakes body 48 is left free to move relative to the false bottom 40. It will become apparent that bodies simulating other types of creatures may equivalently be used. Preferably, the creature body is formed from a resiliently flexible material such as molded rubber or a synthetic elastomer.
The actuating mechanism for imparting life-like movement to the creature-simulating body 48 is a lever system indicated generally at 50. The lever system 50 has a rst leg which comprises a tab 52, secured by a staple 53 to the rear wall 32 of the cover section 10. The tab 52 extends downwardly into the base 12 and is looped back and secured against itself by a staple 59 to form a loop hinge member 54. The second leg of the lever system 50 is a rod 56 which has a 90 bend S7 and is pivotally received at one end in the loop hinge 54. The rod 56 then extends upwardly and forwardly through the hole 46 in the false bottom 40. The head of the creature body 48 is impaled or otherwise secured to the upper end of the rod 56.
It is advantageous that the axis of rotation between the cover 16 and the base 12 be located beneath the level of the false bottom 40. This permits the false bottom 40 to conceal the lever system 50 by extending rearwardly into contact with the tab `52 at the inside surface of the rear wall 32 of the cover section 10, and yet avoids interference of the false bottom 40 with the swinging movement of the tab 52 when the cover is pivotally moved from its closed to its open position. The false bottom 40 preferably extends to all side walls to conceal the tab 52 and a major portion of the rod 56 without interfering with the operation of these mechanisms.
The operation of the preferred embodiment illustrates the simplicity of the mechanisms involved. As an unwary inquisitor or donee swings the cover 10 from a closed to an open position, the loop hinge portion 54 of the tab 52 swings forwardly and upwardly beneath the false bottom l40 to thrust the rod S6 in an upward and forward direction thereby moving the creature body in a striking motion toward the unwary dupe.
The type of creature being used will determine the point of connection between the rod 56 and the creature. For example, with the snake illustrated, the rod 56 is connected to the head While the intermediate portion of the snakes body is preferably anchored to the false bottom 40 because this simulates a typical snake movement. The body 48 is returned to its original coiled position by merely closing the cover.
While I have disclosed in detail what I presently look upon as a preferred form and construction of my invention, it will be understood that modifications as to details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claim.
1. In an amusement device which comprises a box-like container including a lower cubicle base section having bottom, side, front and rear walls and an upper, planar panel disposed in vertically spaced relation above said bottom Wall, an upper cubicle cover section hingedly connected to the rear Wall of said base section along a hinge axis disposed below the plane of said panel and for pivotal swinging movement between positions opening and closing said container; and a flexible, animalsimulating body movably positioned on the panel of said base section and concealed from view when said cover section occupies a closed position; that improvement which comprises a first lever arm rigidly connected with said cover section and extending downwardly into said base section adjacent the rear wall thereof and beneath said panel, said rst lever arm being pivotally movable with said cover section about said hinge axis; and a second, elongated lever arm having one end thereof pivotally connected With said first lever arm beneath said panel and an opposite end portion extending upwardly through said panel and connected with said animal-simulating body, said first and second lever arms being operable upon swinging movement of said cover section toward an open position to move at least a portion of said animal-simulating body upwardly and outwardly with respect to the front wall of said base section and to return said body to a concealed position upon closure of said cover section.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,479,101 1969 Poor et al. 46-145 47,430 1865 Kolb 206-45.13 416,552 1889 Bique 206-45.13 2,449,116 1948 Hatchett 46-145 2,809,834 1957 Frampton 43-146 RUSSELL R. KINSEY, Primary Examiner A. HEINZ, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. ZO-DIG 32