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Publication numberUS3647213 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 7, 1972
Filing dateJan 12, 1970
Priority dateJan 12, 1970
Publication numberUS 3647213 A, US 3647213A, US-A-3647213, US3647213 A, US3647213A
InventorsBaker Donald L
Original AssigneeBaker Donald L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game apparatus including swivelable projector and pivotable targets
US 3647213 A
Abstract
A game apparatus to be played with a spherical playing object having an inclined ramp playing surface, a plurality of playing object retaining devices upon the playing surface, a portion of the retaining devices including pivotal levers which upon contact on one end thereof is capable of effecting dislodgment of a resting playing object located at the other end of the lever, a playing object propelling device to move a playing object upon the inclined ramp playing surface against the pull of gravity, the propelling device being swivelable within an arc to be capable of catching a returning playing object and effect replay of the object.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent [151 3,647,213

Baker 1 Mar. 7, I972 [54] GAME APPARATUS INCLUDING 3,224,776 12/1965 Mehelich ..273/124 SWIVELABLE PROJECTOR AND 3,358,997 12/1967 Belz ..273/120 PIVOTABLE TARGETS 2,146,156 2/1939 Nicot ..124/4 [72] Inventor: Donald L. Baker, 516 Mills Way, Goleta, Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Calif. 93017 Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Filed: Jan. 1970 AttorneyRobert E. Geauque [21] Appl. No.: 2,257 [57] ABSTRACT A game apparatus to be played with a spherical playing object 52] us. Cl. ..213/101, 273/120 R, 124/4, having an inclined p P y surface, a plurality of P y 273/123 R, 273/129 object retaining devices upon the playing surface, a portion of 511 im. Cl. ..A63b 65/12 the retaining devices including Pivotal levers which upon [58] Field of Search "273/101 1024 105 120, 123 tact on one end thereof is capable of effecting dislodgment of l 1 a resting object located at the other end Of the lever, 3 playing object propelling device to move a playing object [56] Reerences Cited upon the inclined ramp playing surface against the pull of gravity, the propelling device being swivelable within an arc to UNITED STATES PATENTS be capable of catching a returning playing object and effect replay of the object. 2,378,983 6/1945 Conwell ..273/ 124 3,073,600 1/1963 Stieber ..273/120 9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR 1 I972 SHEET 2 [IF 2 mmmmii v a g BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of this invention relates to amusement game devices designed primarily for human beings.

In the designing of any amusement device for human beings, it is difficult to make the device so anyone, both sexes and all ages, can play without any special required skill and yet have a game which is competitive and challenging. Further, the device must be sufficiently interesting so that it will be played repeatedly. Heretofore, many such amusement devices have been quite complex in play, thereby causing people to not take the initial time to learn the game. The game should be teachable within 1 or 2 minutes.

Another problem of prior game devices is that it is difficult to design a game that would be interesting and challenging to a single player and yet also be interesting and challenging to a plurality of players. The game must not only be competitive between numerous players, but also must require sufficient skill in attempting to achieve a certain numerical score that individual competitive desire is created.

An additional factor in the designing of an amusement device is marketability, or more specifically the cost of manufacture and retail selling price. Heretofore, amusement devices which have been designed to be competitive, challenging and interesting are commonly quite complex in construction. Frequently, such devices are electrically operated and composed of a series of electrical motors, solenoids and transistors. Such complex construction increases cost and also increases the selling price.

Another factor in increasing marketability is the physical size of the amusement device and the motive power to effect play. If the device can only be played with electricity, the amusement device usually cannot be readily played on picnics or other outdoor outings. Also, the size and weight of the device should easily permit transportability by one person from one locale to another. The amusement device should be readily movable from one portion of a house to another, and also fit easily within an automobile.

It would be desirable to design an amusement device which can be taught to anyone (of average mentality) in a short period of time, competitive in that the basic skills of the players are matched, continually challenging to both a plurality of players and a single player, and being of simple construction, thereby making the game economically salable. Also, the entire game device should be readily portable and carryable by a single person and capable of being played both indoors and outdoors.

SUM MARY OF THE INVENTION The amusement device of this invention is to be supported on a substantially level surface, the device having an inclined playing surface. The playing surface is to cooperate with a spherical playing object in providing a path for entry of the playing object from the lowest side of the surface to the uppermost side of the surface. The surface is to include a plurality of playing object resting areas. The areas include hiatuses within the playing surface to cause the playing object to be at rest upon entrance of the object, and the areas also include a plurality of pivotal levers. Each lever includes a playing object retaining recess and an extending arm element. Upon contaction of the arm element with sufficient force by a playing object, any other playing object being retained within the recess of that particular lever is to be dislodged from the recess.

The playing objects are to be propelled upon the playing surface by a vertically inclinable ramp propelling device in which the propelling force can be varied as desired. The Propelling device is capable of being swiveled horizontally within a predetermined arc. Any playing object which did not come to rest within a resting area is caused to return within the confines of the arc. Upon location of the propelling device by swiveling to the specific point of the are at which a playing object is returning, the playing object is locatable upon the propelling device to permit replay of the object. If the returning playing object is not located upon the propelling device, the playing object passes into a nonplaying area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top view of the amusement game of the invention showing the playing surface in detail;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cutaway view of the pivotal lever playing object rest areas employed in this invention taken along line 2-2 ofFIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partly-in-section side view of the amusement game playing surface of this invention taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the propelling device of this invention taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an ENLARGED top view of the propelling device employed within this invention showing the propelling device in a position of activation; and enlarged FIG. 6 is a side sectional view of the propelling device of this invention taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOWN EMBODIMENT Referring particularly to the drawings in FIG. 1 there is shown an amusement device 10 having a polygonal shaped playing surface 12. It is envisioned by applicant that surface 12 is to be substantially flat. However, in some embodiments it may be desirable to form the surface 12 in a curved manner or with ridges and valleys to vary the skill of play. The surface 12 is to be supportable upon a substantially horizontal plane 14 by side walls 16 and 18 (not shown) and front wall 20. The surface 12 is supported upon plane 14 so that the surface 12 is inclined with respect to horizontal plane 14 with surface 12 having an uppermost end 22 and a lowermost end 24.

Attached to surface 12 at the uppermost end 22 is a trough 26 which is to be capable of retaining a plurality of playing objects 28. A flange 30 surrounds the trough 26 and the greatest part of playing surface 12 to prevent the playing objects from leaving the surface 12. Located adjacent uppermost end 24 are a plurality of hiatuses 32. Each hiatus 32 is to be capable of retaining a single playing object against movement upon surface 12. Located adjacent each side of surface 12 are a plurality of levers 34. There is shown in FIG. 1 three such levers 34 per side of surface 12, each spaced from each other from the lowermost end 24 to the uppermost end 22. The center lever 34 on each side is also displaced laterally from the other two levers 34 on that side. Each lever 34 is pivotally attached to surface 12 by a pivot pin 36. The pin 36 divides each lever 34 into a forward recess 38 and a rearward arm element 40. The forward recess 38 of each lever 34 faces outward toward the flange 30 of their respective side. Each recess 38 is to be capable of retaining a playing object 28 against movement. The arm element 40 of each layer 34, upon being contacted by a playing object moving downward upon surface 12, is capable of effecting dislodgment of a playing object which is retained within the recess 38 of the lever 34. Also, if the playing object 28 strikes the recess 38 on the upward direction, the same effect can be achieved of dislodging a resting playing object. A stop pin 42 is to limit the pivotal movement of each lever 34 in the clockwise direction with pin 43 limiting the pivotal movement of each lever 34 in the counterclockwise direction.

Attached to each side of the surface 12 adjacent the lowermost end 24 are right and left pockets 48 and 50, respectively. Pockets 48 and 50 are to retain a plurality of playing objects 28 to be used during play.

It is to be noted that applicantihas envisioned that the playing object 28 shall constitute a ball. However, it is to be within the scope of this invention to employ other shapes of playing objects such as a cylinder, an egg-shaped object, etc.

The lowermost end 24 includes an angular opening 44 which is capable of permitting removal of a playing object 28 from the surface 12. A pan 46 is located beneath the opening 44 to catch and retain any playing objects 28 which pass through opening 44. A right guide rod 52 and a left guide rod 54 are to cooperate and move about opening 44. Rods 52 and 54 are fixedly spaced apart by pins 58 and 59 a distance slightly less than the diameter of the playing objects 28. The rods 52 and 54 are connected together through extension plate 56 which is pivotally secured to brace plate 60 by means of bolt 62. Brace plate 60 is fixedly secured to surface 12. The upper surface of extension plate 56 is to abut the lower side of surface 12 and be movable with respect thereto. Therefore, rods 52 and 54 are capable of being swiveled the entire arc length of opening 44. The bolt 62 is to coincide with the center point of the arc of the opening 44.

Pivotably attached to pin 58 and located intermediate rods 52 and 54 is a V-shaped ramp 64. Ramp 64 extends rearward of lowermost end 24 a distance slightly greater than that of rods 52 and 54 and terminates in a block 66. The playing objects 28 are to be able to rest within the groove of the ramp 64 with block 66 limiting the rearward movement of each playing object 28.

Approximately one-fourth the distance along the length of ramp 64 is pivotally secured a link 68. Link 68 is further pivotally attached to an actuator 70 at its forward end thereof. Actuator 70 extends rearwardly a distance slightly greater than that of ramp 64, and terminates at its forwardmost end in a manual actuating portion 72. Actuator 70 is also pivotally secured to pin 59.

The operation of the amusement game device of this invention is as follows: It will be assumed that two (in number) of players are playing the game; however, any reasonable number of players including a single player may operate the game device of this invention. Five playing objects 28 (marbles or steel balls) are located within each pocket 48 and 50. The objects 28 in pocket 48 should be of a different color from the objects 28 in pocket 50 to differentiate one players objects from the other players objects. The first player removes an object from his pocket 48 and places the ball within the groove of ramp 64 adjacent block 66. The player then presses upon portion 72 which causes ramp 64 to pivot about pin 58 until gravity causes the object to move down ramp 64 toward surface 12. The objective of the game is for each player to cause his objects to rest within the trough 26, the hiatuses 32, or the recesses 38. As it usually requires more skill to cause an object 28 to come to rest in the recesses 38 in the lowermost levers 34 than in trough 26, the lowest numerical score value is denoted to trough 26 with the highest numerical score value denoted to the lowermost levers 34. The hiatuses 32 have the next to the lowest numerical value and so forth with the remaining levers 34 increasing in numerical score value.

After the release of the first object 28 of the first player, if the object comes to rest anywhere on the playing surface 12 or within trough 26, the second then proceeds to put in play in the same manner his first object 28. if the first players object 28 returned to opening 44, the first player has an opportunity to effect replay of that object 28 by swiveling ramp 64 and causing the object 28 to be located upon the groove of the ramp 64 instead of falling into pan 46. For purpose of explanation, it will be assumed that the first players object 28 came to rest in a recess 38 of a lever 34. The second player then has the opportunity of not only scoring himself but of dislodging the first player's object from its recess by having his object contact the arm 40 of that lever 34 in a downward path. The player can direct the object toward a particular direction by swiveling the ramp 64 in the desired direction.

The game is played in this manner with the players alternating until all objects 28 are played. The numerical score value of the balls remaining on the playing surface is then added for each player with the total scores being compared. A player cannot count the score of a ball that was dislodged during play. The player with the highest numerical total score wins the game.

Various alternatives are possible with applicant's amusement game device which are to be considered within the scope of this invention. For example, a single or plurality of baskets may be vertically spaced from surface 12 by extension 82 adjacent end 22. The players may then attempt to fling the playing objects 28 through the air and into a basket 80 prior to coming to rest upon the playing surface 12. Asflinging an object 28 into a basket 80 would require greater skill, a higher numerical value would be assigned to achieving such a result. In an example of a different mode of play, a player may propel a plurality of objects 28 at a time. To catch" a number of objects that will return to opening 44, including dislodged objects, could substantially increase the skill required to effect play.

I claim:

1. An amusement game device comprising:

a playing surface being inclined at an angle with respect to horizontal wherein said surface includes an uppermost section and a lowermost section;

a playing object to be propellable upon said playing surface from said lowermost section generally toward said uppermost section;

a plurality of playing object resting areas located upon said playing surface;

a playing object propelling device being located adjacent said playing surface and capable of propelling a playing object upon said playing surface, said propelling device being swivelable about a predetermined arc length of the edge of said playing surface, whereby said propelling device can effect propelling of said playing object in various directions upon said playing surface and at varying velocities selected by each player; and

said propelling device includes a ramp capable of supporting said playing object and providing a path for movement of said playing object to and from said playing surface, said ramp being selectively tiltable at varying angles to effect propelling of said playing object at various velocities upon said playing surface.

2. An amusement game device comprising:

a playing surface being inclined at an angle with respect to horizontal wherein said surface includes an uppermost section and a lowermost section;

a playing object to be propellable upon said playing surface from said lowermost section generally toward said uppermost section;

a plurality of playing object resting areas located upon said playing surface;

a playing object propelling device being located adjacent said playing surface and capable of propelling a playing object upon said playing surface, said propelling device being swivelable about a predetermined arc length of the edge of said playing surface, whereby said propelling device can effect propelling of said playing object in various directions upon said playing surface and at varying velocities selected by each player; and

at least one of said resting areas comprises a lever, said lever being pivotally connected to said playing surface, said lever having a recess for cooperating with said playing object and restraining said playing object against movement by gravity upon said playing surface, said lever having an arm element, said arm element upon contaction by said playing object during movement from said uppermost section toward said lowermost section being capable of pivoting said recess tending to dislodge said playing obect.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein:

said playing object being capable of returning into cooperation with said propelling device after being propelled upon said playing surface, said playing object being capable of leaving said playing surface adjacent said propelling device.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein:

a container being located adjacent said propelling device for catching and retaining said playing object upon leaving said playing surface.

5 An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein:

said propelling device includes a ramp, said ramp being 5 capable of supporting said playing object and providing a path for movement of said playing object to and from said playing surface, said ramp being tiltable by an actuator.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein:

said actuator being pivotal in a first direction, a linkage assembly connecting said actuator to said ramp, said ramp being pivotal in a second direction opposite to said first direction.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein:

said actuator being actuatable by manual force.

8. An apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein:

said ramp and said actuator being supportingly retained between first and second spaced guide rods, said first and second guide rods being connected by an extension plate, said extension plate being pivotally movable with respect to a playing surface about a pivoting axis, said pivoting axis coinciding with the center line of the arc of the edge of said playing surface adjacent said propelling device.

9. An apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein:

said playing object being in a spherical shape.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2146156 *Oct 15, 1937Feb 7, 1939Miller John RCatapult game or toy
US2378983 *Jan 3, 1944Jun 26, 1945Conwell William JGame
US3073600 *Sep 7, 1960Jan 15, 1963Fred StieberGame apparatus
US3224776 *May 7, 1964Dec 21, 1965Wolverine Toy CompanyEnclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus
US3358997 *Apr 22, 1965Dec 19, 1967Franklin D BelzMechanically batted toy baseball game
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3775883 *Jun 2, 1971Dec 4, 1973H AtkinsMessage accentuation device
US3797828 *Dec 20, 1972Mar 19, 1974Marvin Glass & AssociatesLauncher and targets having overload mechanism
US3899173 *Dec 5, 1973Aug 12, 1975Louis ZarisSimulated basketball game
US3980302 *May 8, 1975Sep 14, 1976Marvin Glass & AssociatesSurface projectile game device
US4089525 *Nov 13, 1975May 16, 1978Michele PalazzoloPro-skill basketball game
US4155553 *Aug 2, 1976May 22, 1979Lin Shi TronBall storing target and projector
US4239220 *Sep 27, 1978Dec 16, 1980Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Target game and components thereof
US4273341 *Feb 14, 1980Jun 16, 1981Wolverine Toy CompanyGame apparatus including projectile and pivotal targets
US4991844 *May 9, 1989Feb 12, 1991Derry David GApparatus for playing a ball game
US5112048 *Nov 5, 1990May 12, 1992Kienle Robert NGarage roof party game
US6612573 *Feb 8, 2001Sep 2, 2003Daniel B. KlitsnerElectronic game apparatus simulating variable launch power and direction of game object
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/355, 273/397, 273/120.00R, 273/129.00R, 273/123.00R, 124/4
International ClassificationA63F7/28, A63F7/02, A63F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/025
European ClassificationA63F7/02P