US 3716942 A
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United States Patent 3,716,942 FIGURE TOY HAVING A LIMB INCLUDING A TENSIONED, DETENTED CONNECTOR Armando J. Garcia, Sylmar, Gregory M. Gunther, Palos Verdes Estates, and Juanito 0. Villanueva, Lawndale,
Calif., assignors to Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
Filed Sept. 13, 1971, Ser. No. 180,020
Int. Cl. A63h 3/46 US. Cl. 46-163 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A portion of a figure toy limb carries a skin-covered armature provided with a tensioned, detented connector permitting rotation about the longitudinal axis of that portion of the limb which contains the connector. One half of the connector comprises a male insert having first and second ends with latching teeth intermediate the ends and a tension member at one of the ends. The other half of the connector is a female insert adapted to encompass the male insert and engage both the latching teeth and the tension member in such a manner that rotation about the longitudinal axis of the limb is permitted, but meets with resistance.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The background of the invention will be set forth in two parts.
Field of the invention The present invention pertains generally to the field of detented connectors for figure toy limbs and more particularly to a tensioned connector designed to permit rotation about the longitudinal axis of that portion of the limb which carries the connector while providing sufficient resistance to maintain the limb in different rotated positions.
Description of the prior art US. Pats. No. 3,377,602 and 3,350,812 and British Pat. No. 944,161 disclose different examples of joints which may be used in limbs of figure toys in such a manner that the limbs may be rotated about their longitudinal axes.
The present invention exemplifies improvements in joints of this type.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved figure toy limb.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tensioned, detented connector for figure toy limbs.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a connector of the type described which permits rotation about the longitudinal axis of that portion of a figure toy limb which carries the connector while exerting sutficient tension on the connected parts to maintain them in rotated positions.
According to the present invention, a figure toy limb, such as the arm of a doll, is provided with a tensioned, detented connector permitting rotation of the limb about the longitudinal axis of the portion of the limb which carries the connector.
The connector includes a male insert having an elongated member including a first portion having a first predetermined girth and a second portion having a second, smaller perdetermined girth. The second portion extends from one end of the first portion and the longitudinal axes of both portions lie in the same plane so that a shoulder is formed between the first and second portion. This shoulder is provided with latching teeth extending from said one end of said first portion and at least partially encompassing the second portion.
The connector also includes a female insert having a hollow, elongate member including first and second ends. The first end is provided with protuberance means adapted to interlock with the latching teeth when the female insert is slid over the second portion of the male insert. The second end of the female insert includes a shoulder which is engaged by a slotted head on the free end of the second portion of the male insert. This slotted head acts as a spring member drawing the protuberance means into engagement with the longitudinal axis while maintaining sufficient resistance to maintain the limb in different rotated positions.
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 drawing in which like reference characters refer to like elements in the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front, elevational view, with parts broken away to show internal construction, of a figure toy utilizing a connector of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view of the left arm of the figure toy shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2 showing the connector of the present invention in a first position; and
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but showing the connector in a second position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring again to the drawing, a figure toy 10 is shown for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, as comprising a doll having a torso 12 to which appendages comprising a pair of limbs or legs 14, 16; a pair of limbs or arms 18, 20 and a head 22 are connected.
Arm 20 is connected to torso 12 by a pin 24 having a first end 26 which carries a head 28 engaged in an aperture 30 provided in a plate 32 aflixed to torso 12 inside a shoulder opening 23 provided therein.
Pin 24 also includes an end 36 which carries a transverse bar 38 swingably connecting pin 24 to a bifurcated hook 40 provided on a first end 42 of a tensioned, detented connector means 44 forming an armature or internal skeletal-portion for arm 20. Connector means 44 includes a second end 46 which carries a pin 48 to which a distal limb portion or a forearm armature 50 is swingably connected by a looped portion 52 maintained in position on pin 48 by a leaf spring 54 afiixed to connector means 44 by a rivet 56. Arm 20 includes an extremity or hand 58 which may be rotatahly connected to the forearm armature 50 by suitable means (not shown).
End 42 of connector means 44 includes a strut 60 connecting bifurcated member 40 to the closed end 62 of a female portion 64 of connector means 44. Female portion 64 includes an open end 66 having latching teeth 68 extending therefrom. The portion 64 includes an encompassing sidewall 70 which is penetrated by an opening 72 giving access to a head 74 provided on a male portion 76 of connector means 44.
The end 46 of connector means 44 is carried by the male portion 76 which also includes a second end 78 provided with a plurality of circumferentially-spaced pro tuberances 80 adapted to engage the valley-portion 82 of latching teeth 68 for resisting relative rotation between the female portion 70 and the male portion 76 of connec tor means 44.
The head portion 74 of the male portion 76 of connector means 44 is split, as shown at 84 in FIGS. 3 and 4, and is connected to the male portion 76 by a stem 86 which may be formed integrally with the portion 76. Head 74 includes a shoulder 88 which engages a shoulder 90 formed at the junction of encompassing sidewall 70 and opening 72. The lengths of stem 86 and female portion 64 are such that protuberances 80 are normally maintained in valleys 82 when the individual parts of connector means 44 are in their (FIG. 3 positions. The male portion 76 may be rotated either clockwise, as indicated by arrow 92, or counterclockwise, as indicated by arrow 94. Such rotation is facilitated by head 74 and slot 84 which permit head 84 to deform to the approximate shape shown in FIG. 4 when protuberances 80 ride on the tops 96 of teeth 68, as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, stem 86 and head 74 comprise a tension stud permitting rotation between the upper portion 98 and the lower portion 100 of arm 20 about its longitudinal axis while exerting sufiicient force to maintain these parts in different rotated positions.
Connector means 44 may be molded from a suitable plastic material, such as acetal resin, or the like, and is covered with a pliable plastic skin 102 made from a suitable plastic material, such as plastisol. Relative rotation between covering 102 and forearm armature 50 is prevented by a pair of barbs 104, 106 extending from the stem 108 which carries the looped or circular portion 52 of armature 50.
'It will be apparent from the foregoing that the present invention provides a tensioned, detented connector means for figure toy limbs having a resistive force holding the molded plastis'ol or vinyl limb in a twisted position. It Will also be apparent that the slotted head on the male portion 64 permits the stud to pass through the bore 110 of the female portion 64 and provides spring action which allows the latching teeth 68 to overcome the interference of protuberance means 80 when limb 20 is twisted.
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 design herein shown other than defined in the appended claims, which form a part of this disclosure.
What is claimed is:
1. A figure toy having a limb, said limb having one portion which is rotatable relative to another portion thereof about the longitudinal axis of at least one said portion of said limb, said limb further including improved connector means for said portions, comprising:
a male portion having an elongated member including a first male portion having a first predetermined girth and a second male portion having a second, smaller predetermined girth, said second male portion extending from one end of said first male portion with the longitudinal axes of said first and second male portions coinciding, a first shoulder between said first and second male portions, said first shoulder having locking means including protuberances provided thereon, said protuberances extending from said one end of said first male portion and at least partially encompassing said second male portion;
a female portion having a hollow elongated member including first and second ends, said first end of said female portion being provided with latching teeth adapted to interlock with said protuberances when said female portion encompasses said second male portion, said second end of said female portion including a second shoulder; and
connecting means including a slotted head on the free end of said second male portion, said slotted head including a third shoulder engageable with said second shoulder, said slotted head acting as a spring member drawing said protuberances into engagement with said latching teeth.
2. A figure toy as stated in claim 1 including a pliable plastic material covering said connector means.
3. A figure toy as stated in claim 1 wherein said figure toy is a doll having arms, said limb comprising at least one of said arms.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,152,311 5/1959 Jacobson 46-161 X 3,628,282 12/1971 Johnson et al. 46l6l 2,885,822 5/1959 Onanian 46-26 3,350,812 1l/1967 Lindsay et al. 46173 X F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 46-l 6 1, 173