US 3690031 A
A toy construction block set comprising a number of blocks and characterized in that all the blocks have the same configuration and dimensions and that a wide variety of toy assemblies may be assembled with the blocks. Each of the blocks is a hexahedron of a generally triangular configuration in side view and is adapted to be assembled with each other in wall-to-wall relationship.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Shinoda 1 Sept. 12, 1972  TOY CONSTRUCTION BLOCK SET 741,949 10/1903 Woodson ..46/24  inventor: Yoshie Shinoda, c/o Tomy Kogyo 2,783,046 2/1957 L1en ..46/17 X FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS ae1s 1, asus 1 au, o 0, Japan y 64,073 6/1949 Netherlands ..46/17  F1 d A 17 1970 111,763 4/1917 Great Britain ..46/24 1e ug.  APPL 64,289 Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-D. L. Weinhold Att0rneyMcGlew & Toren  US. Cl. ..46/ 17, 46/] K, 46/202  Int. Cl. ..A63h 33/06 57 ABSTRACT  Field of Search ..46/16, 17, 24, 25, 23, 22, v
46/202 1 K A toy construcuon block set comprlsmg a number of blocks and characterized in that all the blocks have  References Cited the same configuration and dimensions and that a wide variety of toy assemblies may be assembled with UNITED STATES PATENTS the blocks. Eachl of thefblocks is a herahedron of a generally triangu ar con 1guration in si e view an is adapted to be assembled with each other in wall-tot u 1 t h I 2,712,447 7/1955 Steinhardt ..46/17 UX w re a ms 1p 2,406,759 9/1946 Glukes ..46/25 4 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP 12 I972 SHEET 1 0F 4 .YOSHIE Samoan ATTORNEY "mmtoszm m2 SHEEI 2 OF 4 INVENTOR losmE Sumobn MWKM ATTORNEY PATENTED EHZIB 1690.031
ATTL RNFY 1 TOY CONSTRUCTION BLOCK SET SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a toy construction block set, and more particularly to a new and useful toy construction block set comprising a number of blocks which are uniform in configuration and size and which may be assembled into a wide variety of toy assemblies of the desired types, including a trackway for toy vehicles.
There have heretofore been proposed a number of toy construction block sets. In general, however, these construction sets include a variety of elements having various configurations and dimensions. It may be pointed out that such elements of the conventional sets require a considerable labor and expenses in the production thereof and also troublesome procedures in the assembling thereof.
It is, therefore, one object of the present invention to provide a toy construction block set comprising a number of blocks having the same configurations and dimensions which are free from the aforementioned objections.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a toy construction set of the kind described above which has great versatility whereby a wide variety of toy assemblies may be fabricated with the blocks of the set.
A further object is to provide uniformly shaped blocks for such a set which are adapted to be assembled into a trackway of the desired type on which toy vehicles can travel.
A still further object is to provide a construction set of the type stated above which has educational value as well as play value for children.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGS. 1 to 3 are perspective views of toys assembled in the form of a rocket, a robot and a dog, respectively, with blocks according to the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one example of a trackway for toy vehicle assembled with the blocks;
FIG. 5 is a'perspective view of another example of a trackway for toy vehicles, illustrating the state in which a toy vehicle is travelling on the trackway,
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a block according to the present invention;
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 are side elevation, rear elevation and bottom plan view, respectively, of the block;
FIG. 10 is a fragmental view showing the portion of the block in which two guide grooves cross each other;
FIG. 1 l is a perspective view of a connector for coupling any two adjacent blocks together;
FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of one example of a toy vehicle adapted to run on the tracks assembled with the blocks; and
FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of the toy vehicle shown in FIG. 12.
Referring now to the drawings, there are shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 a rocket-simulated toy assembly A, a robot-simulated toy assembly B, a dog-simulated toy assembly C, an endless track assembly D with a bridgelike elevated track portion for toy vehicles and another form of an endless track assembly E all of which assemblies are assembled from blocks 1 which constitute elements of a toy construction block set of the present invention. It will be understood that these exemplary toys A, B, C, D and B have been contrived only to illustrate several types of toys which can be made from the construction set of the present invention and that a variety of other toys having different configurations can also be assembled with the blocks 1 of the set.
, As previously mentioned, the toy construction set according tothe present invention comprises a plurality of blocks 1 all of which have the same configurations and dimensions. As clearly shown in FIGS. 6 to 9, each block 1 is formed with a generally triangular, hexahedral configuration, which may be formed of a suitable plastics material such, for example, as polyethylene and which is preferably formed into a hollow structure.
As shown, the bloc, 1 has a bottom face e having a rectangular shape from the opposite end edges and side edges of which face a front end face a, a rear end face b and side faces 0 and c extend upwardly at right angles. Also, it is formed with a top face d which has a generally semi-arcuate curve in side view which is inclined or sloped as it goes toward the front end from the rear end thereof.
More specifically, the front end face a of the block 1 is square. The rear end face b has a rectangular shape which is twice as large as the area of the front end face a. The bottom face e has an oblong shape having an area which is threefold as large as the area of said front end face. The top face d is formed with a convexly curved face having a radius r of curvature and a concavely curved face having a radius r' of curvature both of which radidii are equal to the length of the rectangular rear end face b. I
Accordingly, when two blocks-1 are aligned together by bringing their respective rear end faces b into contact with each other, these adjacent two blocks 1 will form a hill-like configuration in profile. Also, when two blocks 1 are placed one upon the other in such a way that the curved top faces d thereof are brought into contact with each other, a cube having a square side face will be formed.
In both the curved top face d' and the bottom face e of the block '1, there are formed guide grooves 4 and 5, respectively, which extend longitudinally between the centers of the opposite top end edges and between the centers of the opposite bottom end edges, respectively. In the two side faces 0 and c, there are formed curved guide grooves 2 and 2' each of which is in agreement with the loci of a quarter of a circle described about the center which is the point of intersection of the bottom face e and the rear end face b with a radius corresponding to one half of the length of the bottom face, and also rectilinear guide grooves 3 and 3' each of which extends rectilinearly from the center of the side edge of the front end face a to the side edge of the rear end face b in parallel with the bottom face e after intersecting the semi-arcuate groove 2 or 2'. All of these guide grooves 2, 2 and 3, 3' and 4, 5 are of a substantially channel-like cross-section shape. These guide grooves serve as the tracks for guiding a toy vehicle as will be described later.
tioned on the longitudinal center line of said rear end face b.
Preferably, the coupling member 9 is formed of a resilient material such as a plastics. This coupling member 9 is provided with a flange-like disk portion and a pin 11 having rounded free ends and piercing through the disk 10 at a right angle thereto. The diameters of the disk 10 and the pin 1 l are of such sizes that the disk and the pin will tightly fit the counterbore 6', 7' or 8. and the inner bore 6, 7 or 8 of the coupling hole f, respectively, so that the blocks 1 may be securely coupled to each other. Each of thesemi-arcuate guide grooves 2 and 2' has a depth which, in its region of intersecting with the rectilinear guide groove 3 or 3', is slightly deeper than the depth of the latter 3 or 3'. That is, the bottom face of the curved guide groove 2 or 2' lowers gradually toward and in the vicinity of the intersection, thus forming a concave.
When it is desired to assembly any desired toy with blocks 1 of the set according to the present invention the blocks 1 are stacked one upon another and/or are assembled in end-to-end relationship and/or side-toside relationship by using or without using coupling members 9, as desired.
The toy assembly A in the form of a rocket shown in FIG. 1 is assembled with an appropriate number of the blocks 1 without using any coupling member 9. As shown, the blocks 1 are stacked up one upon another and are held in assembled relationship to form a simulated rocket having a vertically elongated body Aa. Similarly, the toy assembly C in the form of a dog shown in FIG. 3 is assembled with blocks 1 without using any coupling member 9. As clearly shown in FIG. 3, the dog C is composed of the rectangular body C1, the head C2, the tail C3 and the legs C4. Although the body C1 is assembled with eight blocks 1, the head C2, the tail C3 and each leg C4 are each formed of a single block 1. Nevertheless, the head C2, the tail C3 and each leg C4 each appears real. Because, the block 1 has a generally triangular, hexahedral configuration as previously mentioned and such configuration can be advantageously and versatilely utilized to form any desired part or portion of a toy.
The toy assembly B in the form of a robot shown in FIG. 2 is assembled with an appropriate number of blocks 1 and coupling members 9. Each arm Ba is composed of two blocks 1 which are coupled with each other by means of a coupling member 9, and is securely connected to each side of the body of the robot by means of a coupling member 9. 60 B The toy assembly B in the form of a robot shown in FIG. 2 is assembled with an appropriate number of blocks 1 and coupling members 9. In each example shown in FIG. 1, 2 or 3, the body can be assembled with blocks 1 without using any coupling member 9, but such a portion as an arm Ba which projects laterally from the body cannot be securely supported on the body without using a coupling member 9.
FIGS. 4 and 5 show exemplary track assemblies D and E for toy vehicles which are assembled with an appropriate number of blocks 1 and coupling members 9, respectively. Both of the track assemblies D and E are provided with endless tracks Da and Ea in the form of a groove, respectively. In the example shown in FIG. 4, the track Da is formed of the guide grooves 2, 2, 3, 3, 4 and 5 which are connected together at their respective ends, while, in the other example E, the track Ea is formed only of the guide grooves 2, 2', 3, 3 and 4, as shown. The fundamental difference between the two track assemblies D and E consists in that the former D is provided with an elevated bridge-like trackway portion Db under which a lower trackway portion Dc passes, but the latter E has not such portions.
Referring now to FIGS. 12 and 13, there is shown a toy vehicle 12 which can travel on the track assembled with blocks 1, such as a track D or E shown in FIG. 4 or 5. The vehicle 12 comprises a chassis 13 on which a driving mechanism including a battery-operated motor, not shown, is mounted and a hollow body 14 with its lower end opened and which is so constructed as to be resiliently detachably mounted on the chassis 13.
A cylindrical driving wheel 15 which is operatively connected to the driving mechanism is intransversely and rotatably supported on the chassis 13 at the rear portion thereof. Preferably, the surface-contacting portion 15' of the driving wheel 15 is formed of a rubber material so as to ensure sufficient frictional contact between said surface-contacting portion and the surface of the block 1, which constitutes a path of travel for the vehicle 12, to thereby prevent slippage of the wheel 15.
Thevehicle 12 is also equipped with a guide means 16 which is horizontally rotatably mounted on the underside of the chassis 13 at a portion adjacent to the front end thereof. The guide means 16 functions to guide the vehicle 12 along the track groove Da or Ea and comprises a disk 16a pivoted to the chassis 13 so as to be rotatable about a vertical axis, a pair of brackets 16b depending from the disk and a downwardly projecting tongue-like member 16c vertically displaceably supported by the brackets 16b and adapted to engage in the track groove. such as Da or Ea, of the track assembly D or E so as to guide the vehicle 12 therealong. A stopper 17 depends from the underside of the chassis 13 at a portion immediately behind the guide means 16 so as to be engaged with each of the inner ends of the brackets 16b when the guide means 16 is rotated, thereby permitting said guide means to be rotated only within a predetermined angular range.
When it is desired to run the vehicle 12 on the track assembly D or E, the vehicle 12 is placed thereon and the dependent member 16c of the guide means 16 is inserted in the track groove Da or Ea. Then, as the motor is actuated by manipulating a switch lever, not shown, the vehicle 12 starts travelling along the guide groove by being guided thereby.
It is to be noted that the toy vehicle 12 may take the form of a toy airplane, a toy locomotive or any other vehicle, instead of being in the form of a car as illustrated.
As may be seen from the foregoing description, the toy construction block set according to the present invention enables the user to construct a variety of toy assemblies including trackway assemblies by combining together an appropriate number of the blocks which are identical with each other in configuration and size. It is to be noted that even in case some of the blocks are missing in the set, the user still is able to assemble toys with the rest of the blocks because of the identical configuration and size of the blocks.
What I claim is:
l. A toy construction set comprising a plurality of construction blocks each having an identical configuration and identical dimensions, said blocks each being a hexahedron having a square front face, a rectangular rear face, each of said front and rear faces having a generally centrally located hole defined therethrough, rectangular upper and bottom faces, said upper face extending from said front to said rear face and being formed as a continuous smooth curved surface which is generally convex for approximately half its length and generally concave for approximately the other half of its length, generally right-angled triangular side faces, longitudinally extending guide grooves adapted to serve as tracks for a toy vehicle formed in each of said upper, bottom and side faces, and curved guide grooves adapted to serve as tracks for a toy vehicle formed in each of said side faces, said curved guide grooves intersecting said longitudinal guide grooves of said side faces, respectively, whereby said identically configured blocks may be assembled together in a variety of arrangements to form various fanciful toy shapes.
2. A block set, according to claim 1, including connector means for securing said blocks together in wallto-wall relationship, said connector means having a cylindrical portion adapted for insertion into each of the holes of said blocks, said connector means being formed of a resilient material so as to be resiliently insertable into each of said holes.
3. A block set, according to claim 1, including a toy vehicle, wherein said toy vehicle is arranged to be driven by a self-contained power means and has guide means for guiding said vehicle, said guide means being attached to the underside of said vehicle at a portion adjacent the front end thereof and adapted to be slideably engaged within any of said guide grooves.
4. A block set according to claim 1, wherein each of said blocks is dimensioned with said rear face having an area which is twice as large as the area of said front face and with said bottom face having an area which is three times as large as the area of said front face.
STATES PATENT orrier CE'EHQAT F Patent No. 3, 90, 31 Dated September 12, 1972 Invent 1-( It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
-- Assignee: Tomy Kogyo Co. Ltd.
Tokyo, Japan  Foreign Application Priority Data August 19, 1969 Japan....,No. 78686/69 Sept. 29, 1969 Japan. .No. 92939/69-- Signed and sealed this 17th day of April 1973.
ROBERT GOTTSGHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents F ORM PO-1050 (10-69) USCOMM-DC 603764 69 A U. 5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE I969 0-366-3SL