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Publication numberUS3625516 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 7, 1971
Filing dateJan 26, 1970
Priority dateJan 26, 1970
Publication numberUS 3625516 A, US 3625516A, US-A-3625516, US3625516 A, US3625516A
InventorsMartin J Handweiler, Kenneth R Wisner
Original AssigneeBlack Tulip Toy Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Invisible maze puzzle
US 3625516 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventors Martin J. l-landweiier;

Kenneth R. Wlsner, both of New York, N.Y. I Appl, No. 5,803 Filed Jan. 26, 1970 Patented Dec. 7, 1971 Assignee Black Tulip Toy Company, Inc.

New York, NY.

INVISIBLE MAZE PUZZLE 9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs. u.s. Cl 273/15: R, I 273/1 M,46/240 Int. Cl A631 9/06 Field otSearch... 273/1 R, l

M, 108, 153 R, 137 A, 136A, 135 A,i34A, 131 A; 35/22 R; 70/290; 46/236, 239, 240

Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Richard .1. Apley Attorney-Cami] P. Spiecens ABSTRACT: A maze puzzle relying on the sense of touch of the player comprises a flat container of opaque material. 0n the inner surfaces of the top and bottom of the container are mazes. Slots in the opposite sidewalls of the container permit the passage of a flat rod, having a stud on one end thereof, into the pathways of the mazes so that depending on how the rod is inserted a different maze puzzle is available.

PATENIEBuEc nsn 352551 INVENTORS Marrin J. Handweiler BY Kennerh R. Wusner ATTORNEY INVISIBLE MAZE PUZZLE This invention pertains to amusement devices and, more particularly, to maze puzzles.

Maze puzzles, per se, are very old and have provided much amusement to people of all ages. Most maze puzzles rely on the visibility of the maze for their solution. Therefore, the degree of difficulty is limited.

It is, accordingly, a general object of the invention to provide an improved maze puzzle.

It is another object of the invention to provide a maze puzzle which relies on the sense of touch of the player.

It is another object of the invention to provide a puzzle which is easily and cheaply fabricated and is, therefore, ideally suited for a promotional giveaway.

Briefly, the invention contemplates'a maze puzzle comprising a container having top and bottom opaque surface members in parallel planes which are interconnected by at least one sidewall. Extending inward from at least one of the surface members are a plurality of walls to define a maze. A notched slot is provided in the sidewall to accept a flat rod with a stud extending upward from a face of the rod at one end thereof. By inserting the rod into the notched slot the stud enters a pathway and is guided through the maze by the players sense of touch. In the sidewall, remote from the slot, is a passageway means through which the rod can exit.

A feature of the invention is providing difierent mazes in each of the surface members so that two different maze puzzles are provided in the same unit.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of a onewall door in at least one pathway to prevent backtracking and, therefore, increasing the difficulty of the puzzle.

A further feature of the invention is the use of magnetism to cause the stud to direct a model figure over the outer face of a surface member which can simulate a vehicle such as an airplane in flight.

A still further feature is the provision of two such mazes at different levels in the container so that a competitive game for two players is provided.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying drawing which shows the presently preferred embodiment of the invention.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the maze puzzle suitable for a solitaire game;

FIG. 2 is a top view, partly broken away, to show the maze in one surface member of the puzzle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the puzzle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top view of a portion of the other surface member to show a different maze of the puzzle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged portion of the maze of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the rod used by a player in working the puzzle of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 7 shows a variation of the puzzle which is suitable for two player competition.

In FIGS. 1 and 3 there is shown a maze puzzle comprising a flat container 8 having a top surface member 10 and a bottom surface member 12, connected by sidewalls 14. Although distinct sidewalls are denoted, it should be realized that the sidewalls are preferably downwardly and upwardly extending integral parts of the surface members. The container is made of opaque plastic wood or metal. On the inner face of surface member 12 are a plurality of walls 16 which form a plurality of irregular pathways to define a first maze. Similarly, on the inner face of surface member I0 is another plurality of walls which forms a plurality of other pathways to define another maze. At least two sidewalls 14 have a slot 20 to provide access into the container 8. Furthermore, there are provided notches 22 and 24 in each edge of the slot 20. The notch 22 gives direct access to a pathway of the maze in member 10; and the notch 24 gives direct access to a pathway of the maze in member 12.

The mazes are exploded by feeler rod 26 of FIGS. 1, 2 and 6. Feeler rod 26 comprises a flat rod member 28 of such thickness to slidably pass through a slot 20. At the end of flat rod member 28 and extending upward from one face is a stud 30. Stud 30 has such a width and height so as to pass through a notch 22 or 24 and slidably move through the pathways of either maze.

In operation, player inserts feeler rod 26, stud end first, into slot 20. If the stud 30 extends upward, as viewed in FIG. 1, it enters the maze of surface member 10. The player by using his sense of touch attempts to guide the stud 30 of the feeler rod 26 to the notch in the sidewall (not shown), directly opposite the entry notch. If the stud 30 had extended downward then the maze in the surface member 12 would be explored in a similar manner. Thus, it is seen that two separate maze puzzles are available from the same structure. Furthermore, since the entry notch and the exit notch are interchangeable by the player, the number of puzzles is again doubled.

Several further variations are possible. It is possible to increase the difficulty of the maze by including a one-way door in one of the pathways to prevent back tracking. FIG. 5 shows such a door which can be a flap 32 of spring metal fixed at one end to a wall of the maze an having another end overlapping a pathway comer 34. Thus, if the player passes stud 30 through the door 32 from pathway 36 into pathway 38 which leads to a blind alley, the stud 30 cannot pass back through the door 32 to pathway 36. Instead, the stud 30 must be guided to pathway 40 which will lead back to an'earlier stage of the maze.

Furthermore, the puzzle can present visual enjoyment to a child, according to the following variation. The stud 30 can be made from a permanent magnet and the surface members 10 and 12 of plastic. The outside faces of the surface members can be printed to resemble the sky with clouds. There is then provided a small model 42 of an airplane punched from sheet steel (See FIG. I). Then, by placing model 42 above an entry notch and inserting the feeler rod 26 into that notch, the magnetic force of the magnet will guide the model 42 of the airplane over the surface.

Up to this point in the description, the puule is used by a single player to play a solitaire game. It is also possible for the puzzle to be used as a competitive game for two players.

In this case, there is a flat smooth center surface member II sandwiched between top and bottom surface members 10 and 12' similar to members 10 and 12 of FIG. I (See FIG. 7). Each player is provides with one of the feeler rods 26A and 268 which he inserts in one of the slots 20A and 20B. Then, the players try to solve their own maze puzzles as described above. The winner being the first to solve his puzzle.

Of course, mazes can also be cut in each surface of center surface member 11 and the slots 20A and 208 provided with second notches like the slots 20 of FIG. I so as to provide each player with two puzzles.

There has thus been shown a versatile maze puzzle which relies on the sense of touch of the players to obtain a solution.

While only a limited number of variations of the puzzle have been shown and described in detail, there will now be obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications and variations satisfying many or all of the objects of the invention but which do not depart from the spirit thereof as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An invisible maze puzzle comprising a container having top and bottom surface members which are parallel planes and at least one wall interconnecting said surface members, at least said surface members being opaque, a plurality of walls extending from the inner face of one of said surface members,

said plurality of walls being disposed in different directions in a predetermined manner to form a plurality of irregular pathways constituting a first maze, said sidewall being provided with at least one slot in a plane at right angles to said surface members, a first notch in one edge of said one slot for providing access to a pathway of said first maze, a flat rod having a thickness so as to slidably move in said slot, a stud extending upward from one face of said flat rod and adjacent one end thereof, said stud having such dimensions to slidably move through the pathways of said first maze, said first notch having such dimensions to permit the passage of said stud to a pathway of said first maze, and said sidewall being provided with a passageway means remote from said first slot, said passageway means having a shape to at least permit the free passage of the said stud and said one end of said flat rod.

2. The maze puzzle of claim 1 wherein a second plurality of walls extends from the inner face of the other of said surface members, said second plurality of walls being disposed in different directions in a second predetermined manner to form a plurality of irregular pathways constituting a second maze, and a second notch similar to said first notch being provided in the other edge of said one slot for providing access to a pathway of said second maze.

3. The maze puzzle of claim 2 wherein said passageway means is common to said first and second mazes and is in the form of a second slot similar to said first slot and having third and fourth notches similar to said first and second notches, said third and fourth notches being in the first and second edges of said second slot, respectively.

4. The maze puzzle of claim 1 further comprising a one-way door means in at least one pathway of said first maze.

5. The maze puzzle of claim 2 further comprising a one-way door means in at least one pathway of at least one of said first and second mazes.

6. The maze puzzle of claim 1 wherein at least one of said surface members is of nonmagnetic material and further comprising a figure slidably movable over the outer face of said one surface member, and wherein one of said stud and said figure includes a permanent magnet and the other of said stud and said figure includes a magnetically attractable material whereby the movement of said stud through a maze guides said figure over the outer surface of said one surface member.

7. The maze puzzle of claim 2 wherein at least one of said surface members is of nonmagnetic material and further comprising a figure slidably movable over the outer face of said one surface member, and wherein one of said stud and said figure includes a permanent magnet and the other of said stud and said figure includes a magnetically attractable material whereby the movement of said stud through a maze guides said figure over the outer surface of said one surface member.

8. The maze puule of claim 4 wherein at least one of said surface members is of nonmagnetic material and further comprising a figure slidable movable over the outer face of said one surface member, and wherein one of said stud and said figure includes a pennanent magnet and toe other of said stud and said figure includes a magnetically attractable material whereby the movement of said stud through a maze guides said figure over the outer surface of said one surface member.

9. An invisible maze puzzle comprising a container having top and bottom surface members which are parallel planes, a center surface member sandwiched between said top and bottom surface members, at least one sidewall interconnecting said surface members, a plurality of walls extending from one of the opposed faces of said center and top surface member, a plurality of walls extending from one of the opposed faces of said center and bottom surface member, each of said plurality of walls being disposed in different directions in a predetermined manner to form a plurality of irregular pathways constituting a different maze, said sidewall being provided with a first slot in a plane at right angles to said surface members and being disposed between said top and center surface member, a first notch in one edge of said first slot for providing access to a pathway of one of the mazes, said sidewall being provided with a second slot in a plane parallel to said surface members and being disposed between said bottom and center surface members, a second notch in one edge of said second slot for providing access to a pathway of another of another of the mazes, first and second fiat rods, each rod having a thickness so as to slidably move in one of said slots, a stud extending upward from one face of each of said rods, said studs havin such dimensions to slidably move through the pathways 0 said mazes, said notches having such dimensions to permit the passage of said studs to pathways of said mazes, and said sidewalls being provided with two passageway means, each of said passageway means having access to a pathway of a different one of said mazes and having a shape to at least permit the free passage of a stud and rod therethrough.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4160548 *Nov 23, 1977Jul 10, 1979Marvin Glass & AssociatesAction game apparatus
US4311310 *Nov 19, 1979Jan 19, 1982Scott DankmanElectronic maze game
US4312151 *Sep 22, 1980Jan 26, 1982Henry OrensteinControllable response systems
US4513971 *May 2, 1984Apr 30, 1985Baldwin David LMaze and flexible wand game apparatus
US4537401 *Dec 22, 1983Aug 27, 1985Smith Roger DGame apparatus
US4674749 *Jan 21, 1986Jun 23, 1987Those Characters From Cleveland, Inc.Maze puzzle
US5876212 *Nov 27, 1996Mar 2, 1999Safe-T Products, Inc.Apparatuses and kits for teaching mathematics
US6203014Oct 19, 1999Mar 20, 2001Gambit Gameworks, Inc.Three-dimensional maze game
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US6347995 *Oct 2, 2000Feb 19, 2002Konami CorporationMethod, computer-readable storage medium and video game device for automatically generating a maze map with at least one correct path
US6830454 *Aug 12, 1999Dec 14, 2004Neal HarrisPersonal communication tool and method of use
US7878507 *Feb 9, 2009Feb 1, 2011John Joseph DimondSpatial game apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/153.00R, 273/443, 446/135
International ClassificationA63F9/00, A63F7/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/041, A63F9/0078, A63F2003/0093
European ClassificationA63F9/00L, A63F7/04B