US 3693282 A
A device for launching a toy vehicle across a floor surface, the piston or launch bar device having a spring actuated piston and means for locking the piston in a cocked position with the spring stressed, a button for releasing the piston from said locking means, and a safety device wherein the button will not release the piston unless the device is held firmly against the floor in launching position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Adicks et al.
[4 1 Sept. 26, 1972  TOY VEHICLE LAUNCHING DEVICE WITH SAFETY MECHANISM  Inventors: Cecl F. Adicks, Playl Del Rey Mound; Cecil F. Adickes, Playa Del Rey, Calif.
Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever A ttomey- Carlsen,Carlsen& Sturm  ABSTRACT A device for launching a toy vehicle across a floor surface, the piston or launch bar device having a spring actuated piston and means for locking the piston in a cocked position-with the spring stressed, a button for releasing the piston from said locking means, and a  [1.8. CI. ..46/1 R, 4/202, 46/202 safety device wherein the button will not release the [5 1] Int. Cl. ..A63h 33/0, A63h 33/00 piston unless the device is held firmly against the floor  Field of Search ..46/202, 1 R; 46/202, 1 R in launching position.
 I Rem'ences Cited 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,803,922 8/1957 Holt ..46/202 ,2 /6 /7 y 26\ 2 H 6 l8 1 Y 44 2/ I; i l I I g in, I 5 l l l l 20 T PATENTEDSEP 26 I972 SHEET 1 OF 3 mum.
TOY VEHICLE LAUNCIIING DEVICE WITH SAFETY MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY or THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a self-contained launching device for propelling miniature toy vehicles over a floor surface or the like which. is of such design, compactness and size as to be easily carried in a childs normal sized pants pocket.
Another and more specific object of the invention is to provide a small pocket sized launcher for toy vehicles with a safety mechanism which prohibits accidental triggering or release of the launcher while it is carried in a child s pocket.
With these objects in view the invention broadly comprises a U-shaped housing adapted to form a forwardly opening launch station, a spring actuated launch piston movable between a rearward retracted cocked position within the housing and a forward release position between the legs of the housing, means for locking the piston in cocked position, a manually actuable release button for releasing the locking means, and a safety device prohibiting actuation of the release button, said safety device including a member yieldably projecting downwardly from the housing and which must be depressed upwardly into the housing before the release button becomes operative.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of the launcher with the launch bar or piston in release position.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the launcher with the safety feet extended to prohibit release of the launch bar.
FIG. 3 is a transverse vertical section through the launcher taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a generally horizontal section through the launcher taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal vertical section through the launcher taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows.
FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5 but with the launch bar in retracted or cocked condition.
FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 6 but shows the condition of the launcher elements just-after release of the launch bar.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the drawings reference numerals will be used to denote like parts or structural features in the different views. The numeral 10 denotes generally a U-shaped housing formed of upper and lower mating sections. The housing comprises a main compartment II with a pair of legs 12 extending forwardly therefrom in spaced parallelism and forming a launching station 14 therebetween. The legs 12 have parallel slide members 15 extending along their inner or facing sides. A rectangular launch bar or piston 16 has grooves on its outer sides which are slidably mounted on slide members 15 so that piston 16 is slidable between a forward position occupying station 14, as in FIGS. 1, 4, and 5 and a retracted position within compartment 11, as in FIG. 6.
Piston 16 has a pair of rearwardly opening elongated sockets 17 extending the length thereof. Each socket 17 seats the front end portion of an elongated coil spring 18. A spring retention bracket 19 has a pair of elongated posts 20 mounted endwise on a plate 21 which is held between inwardly projecting portions 22 and 24 on the housing. The front end of each spring 18 encircles a retention nipple 25 (FIG. 5) and a pad 26 of spongy resilient material is mounted to extend across the front edge of piston 16. A pair of transversely spaced catch members 27 are mounted to extend upwardly from the rear end of bar 16.
It will be understood that the springs 18 yieldably urge the launch piston toward its forward position as shown in FIG. I. The means for locking the piston in the retracted or rearward position shown in FIG. 6 will now be described. A U-shaped safety device 30 comprises a cross bar 31 which extends transversely over and across the piston 16, when the latter is retracted, with transversely spaced legs 32 depending from the ends thereof through apertures 34 (FIG. 4) in the bottom of housing 10 with the legs 32 having flat feet 35 at their lower ends. Cross bar 31 has an upright post 35 integrally formed therewith and extending upwardly from the center of the bar.
The latch member or release button, denoted generally by numeral 37, has a downwardly opening shell-like configuration. It projects upwardly through a transversely centered opening 38 in the housing 10 and is prohibited from upward removal therethrough by a front lip 39 and a rear portion 40 disposed under the housing cover. A resilient tab 41 projects rearwardly from portion 40 under a retainer 42 on the housing to form a leaf spring. The rear wall of portion 40 is extended laterally and forms a latch bar 44. A downwardly opening spring retention compartment 45 is formed on the underside of member 37 and seats the upper end of coil spring 46, the lower end of which is seated upon post 36 in encircling relation. Spring 46 yieldably retains the release button 37 in raised position in the housing.
Simulated operation gauges 50 may be formed in the top of housing 10.
Operation of the device will now be explained. FIGS. 1, 4 and 5 show the launcher uncocked or in inoperative condition with launch piston 16 disposed in forward position between the legs 12. To cock the launcher bar 16 is pushed rearwardly into housing 10 against the tension of springs 18 to the position shown in FIG. 6. As the piston is moved rearwardly the catch members 27 will slide under and be locked by latch bar 44, the latter being yieldably retained in a lowered position by leaf spring 41.
When the device is thus cocked it is ready to launch or propel a toy vehicle forwardly from station 14. This can only be accomplished, however, by placing the 46, as shown in FIG. 7. When in this condition, as
release button 37 is depressed from the position shown in broken lines to the position shown in full lines in FIG. 7, the cross bar 31 will serve as a fulcrum for member 37 and latch bar 44 will be raised releasing the catches 27 and permitting springs 18 to move piston 16 rapidly forward until the catch members contact the front of the housing. This launches a vehicle forwardly across surface S from the station 14.
Piston 16 cannot be released from its retracted position unless the legs 32 are retracted as explained. If the device is cocked as shown in FIG. 6 but held in the air, or perhaps loosely in a childs pocket, depression of the release button 37 will merely move it from the position shown in full lines to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 6 and latch bar 44 will remain in its locking position. This is due to the fact that cross bar 31 has not been raised to the position where it will serve as a fulcrum. In other words, with the cross bar raised (FIG. 7) the force of spring 46 will overcome the force of spring 41 but with the cross bar lowered (FIG. 6) it will not.
; The device accordingly provides an economical and effective toy vehicle launching device with minimal chance of accidental discharge and injury to the user.
Having now therefore fully illustrated and described the invention, what I claim to be new and desire to protect by United States Letters Patent is:
l. A toy vehicle launching device comprising a. a housing adapted to be placed against a floor surface,
b. a pair of legs extending forwardly from the housing in parallelism to extend along the floor surface and form a launching station therebetween, I
c. said legs having parallel facing slide means formed therein,
d. a rectangular launch piston mounted on said slide means for sliding movement therealong between a retracted position in the housing and a forward extended position in the launching station,
e. spring means acting between the piston and housing to yieldably bias the piston toward its forward position, and
f. a manually releasable latch member on the housing thereof located on the top of the housing.
3. The subject matter of claim 1 including safety means engaging the latch member and projecting below the housing for prohibiting release of the latch member unless the housing is placed against such floor surface.
4. In a device for launching a toy vehicle over a floor surface,
a. a housing having a launch station opening forw dl er from, b. a i auhc piston mounted in the housing for fore and aft sliding movement between a retracted position within the housing and a forward position extending into said launch station,
c. spring means acting between the housing and piston biasing the piston toward its forward position,
d. manually releasable latch means on the housing for locking the piston in retracted position against the force of said spring means,
e. and safety means in the housing engaging the latch means prohibiting manual release of the latch means until the housing is placed in operative position relative to a floor surface.
5. The subject matter of claim 4 wherein said safety means includes a member mounted for vertical sliding movement through the bottom of the housing between a raised position and a lowered position projecting downwardly from the housing and interrelated with the latch means to permit manual release thereof only when the member is in raised position, and spring means yieldably urging the member toward its lowered position.
6. The subject matter of claim 4 wherein said safety means comprises an inverted U-shaped member adapted to extend transversely over the piston in retracted position and having legs projecting downwardly through the bottom of the housing and with its bight portion serving as an operating fulcrum for the latch member when the U-shaped member is raised.
7. The subject matter of claim 4 wherein said launch piston is provided with integral catch means, and said latch means is provided with a latch bar for releasable locking engagement with the catch means, a first spring means yieldably biasing the latch bar into locking engagement with the catch means, a second spring means acting between the latch means and safety means to yieldably bias the safety means into operative position, and said safety means including a leg projecting below the housing which is depressed upwardly when the housing is placed in operative position to permit the latch means to be operated to overcome the bias of the first spring means and release the launch piston.