US 3713246 A
A construction set including a connector for connecting toy play pieces thereof together or for serving as a simulated nail which may be driven into an aperture provided in one of the play pieces includes a hollow, elliptical body member having a closed end and a headed open end. A shoulder is formed by gussets located in the head and extending along the shank to a point below the head, whereby the simulated nail will, when driven, bottom out on the shoulder instead of the headed end.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Kilroy, Jr. 1 Jan. 30, 1973 541 CONSTRUCTION SET INCLUDING 3,424,051 1/1969 Baugh ..s5 5 R HEADED FASTENER WITH SHOULDER 2,426,32 8/1947 Tooms ..46/29 THEREON I FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Inventor: 22. Inglewood 556,327 4/1958 Canada ..85/DIG. 2
 Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif. Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay  Filed: June 30 1971 Attorney-Seymour A. Scholmck  Appl. No.: 158,319  ABSTRACT A construction set including a connector for connect-  US. Cl. ..46/17, 46/1 A, 85/5 R i 1 pieces thereof together or for serving as a imulated nail may be driven into an aperture Fleld Search 17, 1 A, 29; 85/5 a provided in one of the play pieces includes a hollow, 85/DIG' 2 elliptical body member having a closed end and a headed open end. A shoulder is formed by gussets References C'ted located in the head and extending along the shank to a UNn-ED STATES PATENTS point below the head, whereby the simulated nail will, when dr1ven, bottom out on the shoulder mstead of 3,225,641 12/1965 Harris et al. ..85/5 R the headed end, 3,274,727 9/1966 Zander..... ..46/l6 3,621,751 ll/l97l Fiorentino ..85/5 R 1 Claim, 8 Drawing Figures CONSTRUCTION SET INCLUDING HEADED FASTENER WITH SHOULDER THEREON BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The background of the invention will be set forth in two parts.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The invention pertains generally to the field of constructional play pieces and more particularly to an improved connector means or simulated nails for constructional play sets.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Gilbert U.S. Pat. No. 2,398,223 discloses one example of a constructional toy including play pieces capable of assemblage to form wheeled vehicles and the like. The play pieces include an axle piece composed of agrooved head for retaining a wheel block, a pintle shank for rotation permitting engagement with the wheel block, and a mounting shank which may contain a longitudinal split to permit the mounting shank, which preferably is made of a springy material, to be shoved retainingly into an undersized socket by squeezing together the two sides of the split shank thereby setting up a friction hold.
SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing factors and conditions characteristic of the prior art, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved connector for connecting toy construction pieces together.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a simulated nail including a hollow, elliptical body member.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a connector for connecting toy construction pieces together wherein the connector includes a body member having an elliptical cross-section with a major axis of larger dimension than a receiving aperture for said connector and a minor axis of smaller dimension than said aperture.
According to the present invention, a connector for connecting toy construction toy pieces together includes a hollow, plastic body member having an elliptical cross-section. The body member is closed at one end and may be open at the other end which is surrounded by an enlarged head.
Shoulder means in the form of ribs and gusset plates are provided adjacent the enlarged head so that the connector will not bottom out on the head when it is driven into an aperture having a smaller diameter than the major diameter of the body portion of the connector and greater than the minor diameter of the connector so that a suitable interference fit will be formed over only a portion of the surface of the connector leaving clearance between other portions of the connector and the aperture to make it easier for a childuser to withdraw the connector from the aperture.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of use, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters refer to like elements in the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of several connector means of the present invention in combination with toy construction pieces which have been assembled to simulate a vehicle;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, vertical cross-sectional view of a connector means of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the connector means shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a hammer which may be used with the connector means of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a connector means in position within a receiving aperture before insertion;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing the connector means after insertioninto the aperture; and
FIG. 8 is an elevational view showing the hammer of FIG. 5 in position to withdraw a connector means from an aperture or cavity.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, a connector means constituting a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, generally designated 10, is shown in combination with a simulated vehicle 12 including a body portion 14, a pair of rear wheels 16, 18, a steering column 20 and a left front wheel 22.
Steering column 20 is rotatably received in a cylindrical cavity 24 provided in body member 14 in alignment with a cylindrical bore 26 extending from steering column 20 to the top surface 28 of body member 14.
A first connector means 10A is rotatably received in bore 26 and engages a counterbore 30, which is provided in steering column 20, with a friction fit so that rotation of connector means 10A will rotate the steering column 20.
Steering column 20 includes an upper end 32, which abuts a shoulder 34 formed by the differences in the diameters of bore 26 and cavity 24, and a lower end 36, which is provided with a transverse, through-going bore 38 adapted to rotatably receive a second connector means 10B. Connector 108 includes an enlarged head 40B and a body portion 42B. Body portion 42B is rotatably mounted in bore 38 and frictionally engages wheel 22.
Rear wheel l6, 18 are rotatably mounted on body member 14 by connectors 10C, 10D, respectively, which rotatably receive wheels 16, 18 and frictionally engage suitable counterbores, not shown, provided in body portion 14.
Vehicle 12 may be steered by rotating connector means 10A. However, a simulated steering wheel 10E is also provided and frictionally engages a suitable counterbore (not shown) provided in body portion 14.
Referring now to FIGS. 3-8, each connector means 10 may be injection molded as a unitary structure from a suitable plastic, such as polyethylene and includes a tubular body member 44 having an open end 46 and a closed end 48. Open end 46 is surrounded by an enlarged head 50 having a comparatively flat upper surface 52 and a depending, encompassing sidewall 54 reinforced by a plurality of circumferencially spaced, L-shaped gussets 56. Each gusset 56 includes a depending portion 58 adapted to bottom out on a suitable surface 60 (FIG. 8) when connector means is driven through an aperture 62 provided in a construction part 64. Depending portion 58 of gusset 56 leaves sufficient room between surface 60 and head 50 so that the claw 66 of a toy hammer 68 may be used to remove connector means 10 from aperture 62. Hammer 68 includes a head 70 to which a suitable handle 72 is affixed by a dowl pin 74.
Referring now more in particular to FIGS. 6 and 7, each connector means 10 is of generally elliptical shape in section with a minor axis 76 which increases slightly in dimension from end 48 to the lower edge of gussets 56. Each connector means 10 also includes a major axis 78 which may be uniform throughout the length of body member 44 above end 48. A number of different dimensions for the minor axis 76 and the major axis 78 will manifest themselves to those skilled in the art. It has been found that a 0.530 inch major axis 78 and a 0.410 inch minor axis at end 48 with a 0.440 inch minor axis adjacent gussets 56 are satisfactory when connector means 10 is used in a member or piece 64 having a k inch diameter aperture 62. It will be noted in FIG. 7 that body member 44 fits with a friction fit along the major axis 78 and with a slight clearance between body member 44 and aperture 62 along the minor axis 76. This clearance prevents freeze-up" or excessive force-in fit.
It will be noted in FIG. 6 that the dimension of the major axis 78 exceeds the diameter of aperture 62 before insertion of body member 44 so that a hammering force may be used to drive connector means 10 into aperture 62. The amount of driving force required depends upon the amount of interference between body member 44 and aperture 62. It has been found that with the suggested dimensions mentioned above, the interference is satisfactory to offer a reasonable resistance to the hammering force so that a number of hammering strokes are necessary to drive the connector means 10 into aperture 62.
While the particular connector means herein shown and described in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or the design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a toy construction set including at least one piece having an aperture, a simulated nail adapted to be driven into said aperture with a force fit, comprising:
a hollow tubular body member having a somewhat elliptical cross-section including a major axis having a larger dimension than said aperture, whereby said body member forms an interference fit with said a ertur e" one en of said member being closed and the other end being open, a head structure integral with said open end and comprising a comparatively flat upper surface portion extending outwardly from said open end and an encompassing sidewall portion depending from the outer edge of said flat upper surface portion, said encompassing sidewall portion being spaced outwardly from said tubular body member; and
a plurality of circumferentially spaced gusset members extending radially between said tubular body member and said encompassing sidewall portion and integral therewith and with said flat upper surface portion, said gusset members extending axially along said tubular body member a greater distance than said encornpassing sidewall portion and terminating in axially facing shoulders, said shoulders being of less diameter than said encompassing sidewall portion.