|Publication number||US3703989 A|
|Publication date||Nov 28, 1972|
|Filing date||May 28, 1970|
|Priority date||May 28, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3703989 A, US 3703989A, US-A-3703989, US3703989 A, US3703989A|
|Original Assignee||Tomy Kogyo Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (17), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Tomiyama 1 Nov. 28, 1972  TRACK DEVICE FOR TOY VEHICLE 2,862,333 12/1958 Gardiol ..238/10 E 2 992 598 7/1961 Einfalt ..238/10 E 72 lvnt Eiir TomiamaTok ,Ja 1 or J 0 y yo 3,343,793 9/1967 Waser ..238/10 E Asslgnee: Tomy Kogyo (39-, Ltd-, y 3,480,210 11/1969 Perrinjaquet ..238/10 E Japan 22 Filed; M 2 1970 Primary Examiner-Gerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-Richard A. Bertsch  APPl- N04 41,398 Attomey-McGlew and Toren 52 us. c1. ..238/10 E, 46/43 ABSTRACT  Int. Cl. A track device for a to l h y ve c e w 1c compnses a  Fleld of Search A-lO F, spiral track member having inner and outer ends to 46/1 43 which other track members can be joined to form a track assembly such as a continuous track and being  References Clted so constructed as to be axially extensible and to be UNITED STATES PATENTS mounted on a support at its portion adjacent the inner end so that by mounting it on the support an axially 2,388,483 11/1945 Hes S ..46/43 spirally extended course of travel for the vehicle can 2,532,521 12/1950 Stair ..46/43 be formed 3,394,489 7/1968 Martin; ..46/43 1 3,074,200 l/l963 Ziegenfuss ..238/10 R 8 Clailm, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDnnvza m2 SHEET 1 [IF 3 INVENTOR emRo TOMIYAMA c jawvnTam ATTORNEY PATENTED unv 28 I972 SHEET 2 BF 3 INVENTOR EIJ'IRO TOMIYRMA BY W7 *Tmm ATTORNEY PATENTED NOV 28 1972 3. 703, 98 9 SHEET 3 or a INVENTOR EIJIRO TOHIYAMA ATTORNEY TRACK DEVICE FOR TOY VEHICLE SUMMARY OF INVENTION This invention relates to a track assembly for a toy vehicle and more particularly to a novel track member for a toy vehicle, having a spiral shape and adapted to be connected to other track members to form a continuous track.
It is one object of the present invention to provide a spirally shaped track member or device for spirally guiding the toy vehicle travelling thereon.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a spirally shaped track member so constructed as to be axially extensible, to be connectable to other track members and also to be able to be mounted on a support so that a track for a toy vehicle, having a vertically spirally orv conically extended course of travel for the vehicle can be formed by connecting the spiral track member to other track members and by mounting it on the support.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a spiral track member of the kind described which can be integrally formed of a plastics material by molding and which can be mass produced at a relatively small expense.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a compact spiral track member of 'the character stated which is free from a storage problem and which enables the assembled track to be seton a relatively limited surface.
For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other objects and advantages thereof, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a spiral track member as one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line x-x of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a spiral track member, partially broken away, as another embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line x -X' of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing one example of a track assembly in which a pair of the spiral track members are incorporated; and
FIG. 6 is a side view illustrating how the spiral track member is deformed during the travelling of a vehicle thereon.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a track device A or A having a spiral shape in plan view as shown in FIG. 1 and which may be molded from a plastics material having suitable elasticity such, for example, as a polystylene. Preferably, it is integrally formed of such plastics material so that it can be axially resiliently extended.
As shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the spiral track member A or A, on which a vehicle C travels, comprises a pair of transversely spaced parallel flange portions 1, a longitudinally extending rail portion 2 resting thereon and integrally formed therewith, joint means 3 and 4 provided at the inner and outer ends of the track member, respectively and a supporting arm 5 projecting inwardly from a portion adjacent the inner end of the track member and having at its free end mounting means 5 in the form of an aperture.
In the illustrated embodiments, the upper surfaces 1 of the portions 1 are designed to serve as supporting surfaces or paths of travel for the vehicle C, and the rail portion 2 as guide rail therefor. The spiral track member'A' or device shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is provided on the flange portions 1 with roughened surfaces 1 shaped as rack teeth which ensure frictional contact between the surfaces 1' of the flange portions and surface-contacting portions of wheels 8 of the vehicle C so that such wheels cannot slip during the travel of the vehicle C on the spiral track member A. Indicated by numeral 6 is alongitudinal recess which is provided in the bottom of the spiral track member A, preventing the material loss and making the entire track section light in weight. Within the recess 6 there may be provided ribs, not shown, for reinforcing whole structure of the track section A.
FIG. 5 illustrates one example T of a track assembly fabricated by using pair of the spiral track members A or A, two straight track members B which connect the two spiral track members, two main supports D for supporting the two spiral track members, respectively and an auxiliary support E for supporting one of the straight track sections B, connecting the two spiral track sections at 4. r
In order to assemble the track assembly T shown in FIG. 5, each spiral track section A or A is fixed to each main support D by engaging the aperture 5 with the projection 7 provided at the top of the main support D. When supported in this way, the spiral track section A or .A' is vertically spirally suspended or extended downwardly from the top of the main support D by its own weight and is transformed into a conically spiral shape in side view. Then, the inner ends 3 of the spiral track members are bridged by one of the straight track sections B by engaging the joint means 9, provided at opposite ends of the straight track section, with said inner ends. And then, the outer ends 4 of the two spiral track sections are bridged by the other straight track section B. similarly. Finally, the auxiliary support E is placed so as to hold the underside of the straight track section. Thus a track assembly having an endless or continuous track is fabricated.
When it is desired to run the toy vehicle C along such a continuous track, one has only to place the vehicle on any desired portion of the track and to start a motor, not shown, contained therein. In the illustrated embodiment, the vehicle C is a four-wheeled car of which the rear wheels are driving wheels that are driven by the motor. When the vehicle C is mounted on the track in such a manner that the front and rear wheels 8 stride the guide rail 2, which guides and prevents the vehicle from accidentally coming off of the track during its travel along the track, the surface-contacting portions of the wheels 8 are brought into contact with the upper surfaces 1 or 1" of the spiral track section A or A.
FIG. 6 illustrates the states in which the vehicle C is descending while travelling along one of the vertically extended spiral track sections shown in FIG. 5. As clearly shown by the phantom lines, the intermediate portions of the spiral track section A is moved downwards and slightly resiliently deformed by the weight'of the vehicle C travelling thereon. As may be seen from the drawing in FIG. 6, when the vehicle C assumes a relatively lower position of the spiral course,
the portion or area of the track section adjacent the position is deformed greater than the upper intermediate portions where the vehicle has come from. However, when the vehicle C has completed the .travel of the spiral course, the spiral track section returns to the normal position as indicated by the solid lines by its elasticity. Thus, during the travel of the vehicle C from one end to the other end of the spiral course, the spiral track section is caused to make a kind of peristaltic movements, continuously, and when the vehicle leaves the spiral course, the track section returns to its normal position and ceases such movements. It goes without saying that in the case of the track assembly T shown in FIG. 5, such movements and actions are repeated, thus providing such interest and attractiveness for children.
It should be noted that the track device A or A of the present invention may be used in combination with any suitable track system. For example, instead of using a pair of spiral track devices A or A or members respectively supported by a pair of main supports D as in FIG. 5, only one spiraltrack member A or. A supported by a main support D may be used in combination with other track assembly composed, for example,
of different track sections such as straight tracksections as B, suitably curved track sections, not shown, etc. to thereby form a continuous track of different shape or configuration other than the example T shown in FIG. 5. It is to benotedfurther that the spiral track A or A is capable of spirally guiding the vehicle C travelling thereon is its fiat state, that is, without being extended axially as in FIG. 5.
While there have been described what are at present considered to be the preferred embodiments of this in? vention, it will be'noted that various changes or modifications may be made therein. For example, on one hand, the joint means 3 and 4 of the spiral track A or A' in the form of a male joint may be made in the form of a female joint, on the other hand, the joint means in the form of a female joint 9 of the straight track section B may be made in the form of a male joint. Also, the straight track section B connecting the outer ends 4 of the spiral track members may be a suitably shaped bridge having a pedestal and a track adapted to be connected to said outer ends. Further, the transverse crosssection of the spiral track member may take any suitable shape other than those illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4. Furthermore, the joint means 5 in the form of an aperture may be, for example, a positive locking device such as a spring-loaded clip device. Similarly, means 7 provided on the top of the main support D for securely supporting the spiral track member may be replaced with any other suitable means. Also, it goes without saying that the main support D may be made in any desired shape. Similarly, the wheeled vehicle C may take any desired shape. For example, it may be in the form of an automobile, a train, a locomotive, a space ship, etc.. The motor for driving the vehicle may be either a battery operated motor or a spring motor. The
' number of wheels mounted on the vehicle may be two or three instead of four. However, the surface-contacting portions of the wheels are preferably roughened so that there can be no slip between the track and the wheels.
Thus, thetrack device according to the present invention is full ca able of attain n the ob'e t d providing the a ilvari tages hereinbet oi e stated ot iiffording the so-called high playing effect or play value. What I claim is: i 1. A track system for a toy vehicle, comprising a first spiral track for spirally guiding the vehicle traveling thereon, said first spiral track having inner and outer ends, said first spiral track having connecting means at its inner and outer ends for connecting other'tracks thereto so that a track assembly for the vehicle can be formed by connecting such tracks together, a second spiral track for spirally guiding the vehicle traveling thereon, said second spiral track having connecting means at its'inner and outer ends for connecting other tracks thereto so that a track assembly can be fabricated by connecting such tracks together, first support means for axially and spirally suspending said first track from one vertical level toward a lower level,
second support means for axially and spirally suspending said second track from a vertical level toward a lower level, a first extender track connecting one end of said first track with one end of said second track, a second extender track extending the other end of said first track with the other end of said second track so as to form a track assembly.
2. A track system as in claim 1 further comprising third support means for supporting the lower end of said assembly. 1
3. A track system as in claim 1 wherein said first support means engages said first track near one end, said first track having a plurality of loops and being continuously unsupported over a plurality of loops.
4. A system as in' claim 3 wherein said second support means engages said second track near one end, said second track including a plurality of loops and being continuously unsupported over a plurality of loops. 7
5. A system as in claim 4, wherein said first support means engages said first track near one end, said first track having a plurality of loops and being continuously unsupported over a plurality of loops.
6. A system as in claim 1, wherein said spiral track member is formed of a plastic material having an elasticity sufficient to be axially and resiliently extensible.
7. A system as in claim 1, wherein said first track and said second track include respective inner and outer ends, and wherein said first-support means supports said first track near its inner end and said second support means supports said second track near its inner end.
8. A system as in claim 7, wherein said first support means includes an upstanding support passing through the spiral of said first track and includes a support arm extending horizontally towards said first track, and wherein said second support means includes an upstanding support passing axially through said second track and includes a horizontal arm engaging in said second track.
a: e a: e 1:
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|International Classification||A63H18/04, A63H18/00|