US 3734500 A
Toy cars operate on independent roadways having multiple intersection points. Switches are provided for steering each vehicle toward or away from the intersections to control the time of entry of the cars into the intersections. Each cars comprises a plurality of releasably assembled body elements held in assembled condition by a latch including a depending post attached to the roof element and extending through an opening in a web member. A tooth on the post and a tooth extending into the opening of the web member interengage to hold the post down against the bias of a post encircling spring. A depending side panel is attached to each end of the web member. Impact on either side member due to a collision of the cars at one of the intersections causes lateral movement of the web to disengage the teeth with the resulting car disassembly.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Waited States Patent Cooper  COMPETITIVE VEHICLE DEMOLITION GAME  Inventor: Julius Cooper, New Hyde Park,
 Assignee: Ideal Toy Corporation, Hollis, N.Y.
 Filed: Nov. 10, 1970  App1.No.: 88,436
 11.8. Cl. ..273/85 R, 46/202, 273/102 A, 273/127 A  Int. Cl ..A63t9/00  Field of Search ..273/85 R, 102 A,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,206,122 9/1965 Frisbie et a1 ..273/86 B X 2,757,482 8/1956 Brown et a1. ..46/201 3,176,429 4/1965 Brown et a1. ..46/201 X 1,859,100 5/1932 Lewis .273/102.l C 3,481,067 12/1969 Cooper ..46/202 X 2,503,877 4/1950 Koemmerlein et a1 ..273/102.1 C 3,402,503 9/1968 Glass et al. ..273/86 B X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 615,654 1949 Great Britain ..273/102.1 C
Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro Attorney-Richard M. Rabkin  ABSTRACT Toy cars operate on independent roadways having multiple intersection points. Switches are provided for steering each vehicle toward or away from the intersections to control the time of entry of the cars into the intersections. Each cars comprises a plurality of releasably assembled body elements held in assembled condition by a latch including a depending post attached to the roof element and extending through an opening in a web member. A tooth on the post and a tooth extending into the opening of the web member interengage to hold the post down against the bias of a post encircling spring. A depending side panel is attached to each end of the. web member. Impact on either side member due to a collision of the cars at one of the intersections causes lateral movement of the web to disengage the teeth with the resulting car disassembly.
15 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEU HAY 2 2 I973 SHEET 2 [IF 5 INVENTOR. JULIUS COOPER I I. W .1
PATENTED HAY 2 219B SHEET 3 [IF 5 INVENTOR. JULIUS COOPER WHEN I LU 1 m SHEET a 0? 5 INVENTOR, JULIUS COOP W fin @4264;
PATENTEUHAYQQ 1075 SHEET 5 OF 5 FIG) 1 COMPETITIVE VEHICLE DEMOLITION GAME FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a game employing toy vehicles, in which two players compete to see which one can demolish the others vehicle; and to vehicles specially designed for such a game.
THE PRIOR ART There are many games in which self-propelled toy vehicles, e.g. automobiles, traverse a miniature roadway. Some of these games also have means controllable by a player for steering the toy automobiles in alternative directions when they enter specially designed intersections provided with steering switches. It is also known to provide means on the roadway for stopping and retaining one of the toy automobiles for a selected period of time. None of these games, however, involves the concept of competitive demolition.
Also known are various toy automobiles assembled of readily separable parts which fly apart upon impact, to simulate the disintegration of a vehicle involved in a collision. These vehicles, however, are all incapable of distinguishing between the various directions from which the disintegrating impact may arrive. They fall apart about as readily in response to impact from the front, back or sides.
Consequently these toy vehicles are not very suitable for a competitive demolition game. Their lack of directional preference makes it immaterial which vehicle rams the other. Even if a player succeeds in ramming the front of his own vehicle against the side of his opponents, his own vehicle would be as likely to disintegrate from the impact. This deprives the winner of the psychological satisfaction of demolishing the losing car while his own remains intact, and also makes it more difficult for the players to judge who won.
THE INVENTION This invention provides a toy vehicle composed of separate parts releasably retained in assembled relationship. There is a trigger which includes one or more target members disposed on the exterior of the vehicle at one or preferably both sides. Broadside impact upon one of these target members causes the trigger to release the vehicle parts, and thereby permit disintegration. Thus, if the player succeeds in ramming the front of his vehicle against the side of his opponents vehicle, only the latter will disintegrate. The other vehicle will remain intact, indicating its victory over the disintegrated one in a manner which is both unambiguous and satisfying to ones competitive impulses.
In addition to vehicles of the type just described, the invention also provides a roadway with at least one grade intersection, and means for controlling the entry of such vehicles into that intersection, in order to set up a competitive situation testing the relative abilities of the opposing players to maneuver their vehicles into front-to-side ramming relationship.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a controllable roadway for use in the game of this invention. I
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of a toy vehicle in accordance with this invention, which is designed to be propelled along the roadway of FIG. 1. In this view, the onoff switch of the vehicle is in the off position.
FIG. 3 is a similar but fragmentary view of the same vehicle, showing the on-off switch in the on position.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the manner in which the vehicle of FIGS. 2 and 3 is guided along the roadway of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the player-operated steering mechanism of the roadway in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged top plan view of the triangular steering switch of that mechanism, showing its location and movement in relation to a roadway intersection.
FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view showing the parts of the vehicle of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, some of which are separable to simulate its disintegration during a collision.
FIG. 8 is an elevational view, with parts broken away for clarity of illustration, showing one such vehicle ramming broadside against another, resulting in the disintegration of the latter vehicle.
FIG. 9 is a vertical section of one of the vehicles, taken along the lines 9-9 of FIG. 11, looking in the direction of the arrows, and showing the separable parts in their assembled and latched condition.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of portions of both vehicles, with parts of one broken away for clarity of illustration, and showing the movement of the member which triggers disintegration upon impact.
FIG. 11 is a horizontal section, taken along the lines 1 1-11 of FIG. 9 looking in the direction of the arrows, and showing the vehicle mechanism in its latched condition to hold the parts in assembled relationship.
And FIG. 12 is a horizontal section similar to FIG. 11, but showing the latch mechanism as it is released in response to broadside impact by another vehicle.
The same reference numerals refer to the same elements throughtout all the views of the drawing.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 illustrates a toy vehicular roadway 10 which is one lane wide throughout, and has a guide groove 12 running along the middle. The roadway comprises two separate circuits generally designated 14 and 16 respectively. The major portion of each of these circuits has a configuration which may be described as the topological equivalent of a figure 8, in the sense that it comprises opposed loops separated by a crossover. Thus, circuit 14 comprises a left loop 14a and a right loop 14b (as seen in FIG. 1), with a central crossover 14c; while circuit 16 comprises a left loop 16a and a right loop 16b, with a central crossover 160. In addition, circuits 14 and 16 include bridging paths 14d and 16d respectively which connect their respective opposite loops 14a, 14b and 16a, 16b.
Each roadway is traversed by its own toy vehicle 17, of the type seen in FIG. 2. These cars are driven by small internal electric motors and have self-contained power supplies consisting of miniature dry cells. An onoff switch 18 makes or breaks the motor energizing circuit. The switch is seen in the off position in FIG. 2, and in FIG. 3 it is rotated (see arrow 20) to the on position.
When energized, the motor drives rear wheels 22 through a drive train including gear 23. The front wheels 24 are pivotable in the conventional manner for steering purposes, by means of a steering linkage 26 seen in FIGS. 2 and 4. The steering linkage is operated by a depending pin 28 which extends downwardly into the central groove 12 of each roadway circuit 14 and 16. On curved sections of the roadway, the corresponding curvature of the groove 12 moves the pin 28 sidewardly to turn the steeringwheels 24 and thus guide the car 17 around the curve.
The points where the bridging paths 14d and 16d join their respective figure 8 loops 14a and 14b or 16a and 16b (see FIG. 1), may be referred to as switching locations 14e, 14f, 16e and 16f respectively. Each is controlled by a concavely curved triangular switch member 30 which is under the control of one of two steering wheels 32. This is a game of competition between two players, one of whom controls the switching members at locations 14e and 14f by means of steering wheel 32.1, and the other controls the switch members at locations 16e and 16f by means of steering wheel 32.2.
As seen in FIG. 5, each steering wheel 32 rotates an eccentric pin 36 which traverses a yoke 38 to the right or left, (see arrow 40), depending on the direction of rotation of the wheel. The yoke 38 has opposed arms 42 and 44 each of which operates one of the two triangular switching members 30 controlled by that particular steering wheel. This is accomplished through a friction coupling between members 46 and 48 which are secured respectively to the arms 42 and 44 and the triangular switching members 30. (Only one set of fric tional coupling members 46, 48 and its associated switching member 30 are shown in FIG. Motion of the arm 42 or 44 and its frictional coupling member 46 in either direction indicated by arrow 40 drives the associated frictional coupling member 48 in the corresponding direction, as indicated by arrows 50. This results in a concomitant pivoting motion of the associated switching member 30 about a pivot pin 54, in one of the directions indicated by arrows 52.
FIG. 6 illustrates the alternative limiting positions to which each of the triangular switching members 30 can be moved about their pivot pins 54. At each switching point, one limiting position of the switch member 30 serves to block off a first one of two alternative branches of the guide groove 12, and open up the second alternative branch, while the opposite limiting position of the switch member 30 produces the opposite result. This is true, furthermore, at each of the three vertices of the triangular switching member 30.
As so far described, self-propelled vehicles and cooperating roadways of this general type are conventional in the toy field. Additional details of the operation of the triangular switching member 30, for example, are to be found in U.S. Pat. No. 3,481,067 of J. Cooper.-
In playing the game of this invention, two competing players operate two cars 17. One car is placed in motion in an arbitrary direction about circuit 14,. and is under the exclusive control of one player operating steering wheel 32.1; while the other car is placed in motion in an arbitrary direction along the circuit 16 and is under the exclusive control of the opposing player operating steering wheel 32.2. Such exclusivity is a consequence of several facts: First, the circuits 14 and 16 are completely isolated from each other, in the sense that a car traversing either circuit can not be steered onto the other. Second, all the triangular steering members 30 of circuit 14 (at locations 14e and 14f) are under the control of the player using steering wheel 32.1,while all those of circuit 16 (at locations 16e and 16f) are under the control of the player using steering wheel 32.2. In addition, each of the roadway loops l4 and 16 is provided with a vehicle braking and retaining mechanism 62.1 and 62.2 respectively, which is under the exclusive control of the operator of that loop, permitting him to capture his vehicle 17 if he chooses and hold it at that location until he is ready to release it. Braking mechanisms for use with vehicles of the type illustrated herein are already known and described in US. Pat. application Ser. No. 868,437, filed Oct. 22, 1969 and now U.S. Pat. No. 3,618,947.
Each of the switching locations 14e, 14f, 16e and 16f is at the junction of three roadway branches. As an illustrative example, switching location 14e constitutes the junction of two sections of figure 8 loop 14a and one end of the bridging path 14d; and similarly for the other switching locations 14f, 16e and 16f. Each of the triangular switching members 30 achieves triangular switching symmetry, in the sense that a car 17 which enters the switching location along any one of the three sections can be steered in such a manner as to exit from that location along either of the other two sections, according to the wishes of the player operating the associated steering wheel 32. Using switching location 14e as an illustrative example once again, a car entering that location from the left section of loop 14a (from the viewpoint of FIG. 1) can be diverted either to the right section of loop 14a or to the bridging path 14d. On the other hand, a car entering from the right section of loop 14a can be diverted either to the left section of loop 14a or again to the bridging path 14d. Finally, a car entering switching location 14e from the bridging path 14d can be diverted to either section of loop 14a. A similar analysis can be made of each of the other switching locations 14f, 16e and 16f.
Although circuits 14 and 16 are mutually isolated in the sense just described, they do intersect at four locations 60. The decisive action of the game takes place at these intersections, for it is only there that the respective toy vehicles 17 of the two competing players can collide. The outcome of such a collision is determined by the relative skills of the opposing players in utilizing their respective steering wheels 32 and brakes 62 to determine the exact time of entry of their respective vehicles 17 into the critical intersections 60. The object of the game for each player is to cause a broadside collision at one of the intersections in which ones own vehicle rams its front end against either side of the opponents vehicle. The cars 17 are so designed that only the one which is struck broadside will disintegrate, while the one which absorbs the impact upon its front end will not disintegrate. Then a convenient visual comparison of the relative conditions of the two cars will indicate, in a clear and satisfying manner, that the player controlling the disintegrated car is the loser, and the player controlling the intact car is the winner.
This preferential directional aspect of vehicle disintegration is best explained by reference to FIGS. 7 through 12. FIG. 7 illustrates the parts of a vehicle 17 in disassembled relationship. These include a body 70, which contains the electric motor, the batteries, the onoff switch 18, the wheels 22 and 24 and the steering linkage 26. The other parts are a trigger 72, a retaining member 74 and a roof member 76. It is the roof member 76 which is separated spontaneously from the remainder of the vehicle in response to a broadside collision.
The body 70 has a central region which forms a flat platform 80. The trigger 72 comprises a flat horizontal web 84 which rests on the platform 80, and is somewhat wider than the platform in the lateral direction. Depending from the opposite sides of the web 84 are respective target panels 86. Because the web 84 is wider than table 80, the trigger member 72 is allowed some lateral movement, illustrated by arrows 88, before either one of the panels 86 strikes the adjacent side of the body 76. The lateral motion of the trigger member 72 is also limited by a tooth or projection 73 formed on the body member 70 which rides in a laterally elongated slot 75 formed in the web 84 of trigger 72. This lateral freedom permits the trigger member 72 to move in response to broadside impact upon either one of the target panels 86.
The retaining member 74 overlies the horizontal web 84 and is formed with front and rear depending tabs 90 and 92 respectively which snap into engagement with openings 94 and 96 respectively formed on the body 70, fore and aft of the platform 80. When the retaining member 74 is thus placed over the trigger 72 and snapped into engagement with the body 70, it serves to retain the trigger 72 in assembly with the body 70, without restricting its lateral movement.
The separable roof member 76 fits over the retaining member 74 and includes a depending latching and spring-retaining post 98 which, when the entire car is assembled, extends downwardly through a circular opening 100 formed in the retaining member 74, an oversized rectangular opening 102 formed in the horizontal web 84, and an opening 82 formed in platform 80. The roof member 76 is prevented from moving laterally relative to the body member 70 by the engagement of post 98 within the opening 82, and also by the engagement of the rear deck 77 of roof member 76 between a pair of longitudinal ribs 79 at the rear of the body member. The post 98 is surrounded by a coil spring 104 which is first compressed to store energy, and later expands to separate the roof member 76 from the remainder of the vehicle assembly 17, as indicated by arrow 106 in FIG. 8.
FIG. 8 also illustrates the fact that when two vehicles 17 collide at one of the intersections 60, only the vehicle 17.1 which is struck on one of its target panels 86 disintegrates by separation of its roof member 76 from the remainder of the vehicle. The other vehicle 17.2, which absorbs the impact on its front end 108, does not disintegrate. Vehicles of this nature are ideally suited for the competitive demolition game of this invention, by clearly revealing, in a psychologically satisfying manner, which player won and which player lost.
Arrow 88 in FIG. 8, or a comparison of the dashed line and solid line representations of trigger member 72 of vehicle 17.1 in that figure, reveal that the trigger member is moved to the leftward limit of its lateralmotion in response to the impact of vehicle 17.2. It isthis motion which permits the coil spring 104 to expand, thus dislodging the roof member 76. The manner in which this trigger motion releases the spring is seen in FIGS. 9 through 12, which will now be discussed.
The post 98 is a substantially cylindrical member, but is formed with a flat surface 98a on the rear side thereof (see also FIGS. 1 1 and 12), and with protuberances 98b at the upper end thereof (FIG. 9). Biasing spring 104 is generally conical in shape. It has a relatively small diameter at the upper end thereof, causing the uppermost coils to have a friction fit relationship with the protuberances 98b, for securing the spring to the post 98. The lower end of spring 98, on the other hand, has a sufficiently large diameter to allow it to be compressed and expanded without interference from the post 98.
In FIG. 9 it is seen that the post 93 extends downwardly from roof member 76 and through openings 100, 102 and 82 so that the lower end of the post 98 is below the bottom surface of the web 84 of trigger member 72. At the lower end of the post a latching tooth 1 10 projects rearwardly from the flat surface 98a. A cooperating latching tooth 112 (best seen in FIGS. 7, 11 and 12) projects from the trigger member web 84 into the opening 102. Because the tooth is below the web 84, tooth 112 is in position to overlie tooth 110 and engage vertically therewith as illustrated in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11. When these teeth engage in that manner, the roof member 76 and post 98 cannot be disengaged upwardly from the body member 70, because the upper tooth 112 of web 84 restrains upward motion of the lower tooth 110, and therefore of the post 98 and roof member as well.
When roof member 76 is assembled with the remainder of the vehicle 17 as illustrated in FIGS 9 through 11, the biasing spring 104 is compressed between the roof member 76 and the retaining member 74. It therefore exerts a continuous upward biasing force on the roof member, but the latching engagement of teeth 1 10 and 112 prevents the roof member from being dislodged. The restraining engagement between latching teeth 110 and 112, however, can only be achieved when the trigger member 72 is somewhat centrally located between its two lateral extremes of motion. The lateral dimensions of the teeth 110 and 112 are small enough so that they do not engage with each other if the trigger member 72 is moved a given distance to either side of its central position. If the trigger member 72 is displaced sufficiently far to either side, the lower latching tooth 110 is able to rise upwardly through the rectangular opening 102 formed in trigger web 84, on one side or the other of the upper latching tooth 112, depending upon the direction of lateral triggering motion of the member 72.
Consequently, an impact delivered against a target panel 86 of the trigger member of a vehicle 17 is effective to dislodge the trigger member 72, and thus release the roof member 76 thereof so that it pops abruptly upwardly in response to the biasing spring 104, as shown by arrow 106. The triggering impact can be delivered against the target panel 86 on either side of the vehicle, but no other location is capable of triggering vehicle disintegration. In particular, impact against the front end 108 of each vehicle is not capable of dislodging member 72 to trigger such disintegration. In any collision of the kind illustrated in FIGS. 8, 10 and 12, therefore, one car 17.1 will disintegrate after broadside impact, while the other 17.2 will survive by absorbing the impact on its front end 108.
Accordingly, this game tests the relative abilities of the opposing players to sense when their vehicles are on a collision course, and which player will be favored by the timing of the collision. When one player detects a collision course favoring the other player, the game then tests his ability to react quickly, and to use his brake to stop his car or his steering mechanism to divert his car from the particular intersection 60 at which this unfavorable collision is about to take place. If the player senses that a collision course is favorable to him, on the other hand, he allows his vehicle to proceed without any steering or brakingcorrection, in the hope that his opponent will not realize what is happening or will not react in time to change the situation.
In reassembling a vehicle 17 after collision, the player merely slides the trigger member 72 thereof to one extreme lateral position or the other, allowing clearance alongside the upper latching tooth 112 for the lower latching tooth 110 to pass by as the post 98 is inserted into the openings 100, 102 and 82. Then the player moves the trigger member 72 back into the central position illustrated in FIGS. 9 through 11, so that the teeth 1 10 and 112 are again engaged in latching relationship, holding the entire car 17 in assembly until the next time there is an impact upon one of the target panels 86.
It will now be appreciated that this invention provides a unique competitive game in which a pair of toy cars race around mutually intersecting paths, the timing of their entry into the intersections being controlled by the players. If one of the cars rams its front end against a side target area of the other, the latter car will pop apart, indicating that the player controlling that car has lost the game. The other car, however, will remain in its assembled condition, indicating in a way that is both clear and psychologically satisfying to the competitive instinct, that the player controlling that car has won the game.
The foregoing description and drawings are merely illustrative of various alternative structures in which the invention may be embodied. As an example of one such variation, the member which is displaced in response to a preferential collision direction need not be part of the body of the vehicle itself; it may instead be a collision indicator of some other type which is incorporated within the vehicle but does not simulate a roof or any other body member, Accordingly, the scope of protection of the invention has been more broadly stated in the following claims; and these should be liberally interpreted so as to obtain the benefit of all equivalents to which the invention is fairly entitled.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
l. A game apparatus comprising a vehicular roadway including at least two separate and independent vehicle tracks and at least one grade intersection between said tracks at which said tracks cross each other, at least two toy vehicles respectively associated with said tracks for movement only along their respective tracks and through said intersection, said intersection being formed to permit only broadside collisions between vehicles on the respective tracks as the vehicles pass through said intersection, means for controlling the time of entry of at least one of said vehicles into said intersection, and at least a first one of said vehicles including trigger means for actuation in response to a broadside impact by a second one of said vehicles passing through said intersection along its associated track and normally inoperative indicator means to generate an indication of said broadside collision, said trigger means including at least one target member located on the side of said first vehicle in position to be struck by one end of said second vehicle during a broadside collision at said intersection, whereby an indication of the broadside collision is thus generated by the indicating means of said first vehicle when it is struck on its side by said second vehicle. I
2. Game apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said first vehicle comprises a plurality of discrete parts, said indicator means includes assembly means for releasably securing said parts together to form said first vehicle and operable in response to said trigger means to permit said parts to disengage whereby to simulate disintegration of said first vehicle, and said trigger means is responsive to impact on said target member to permit said first vehicle parts to disengage whereby said collision results in disintegration of said first vehicle.
3. A game apparatus as in claim 2 wherein each one of said vehicles comprises a plurality of discreet parts, trigger means located on at least one side thereof, assembly means for releasably securing said parts together to form said vehicles and operable in response to said trigger means to permit said parts to disengage whereby to simulate disintegration of said vehicle, said trigger means including at least one target member and being responsive to impact on said target member to permit said vehicle parts to disengage, and said target members being disposed on the exterior of said vehicles in position to be struck by the other of said vehicles in a broadside collision at said intersection, resulting in disintegration of the struck vehicle.
4. Game apparatus as in claim 3 wherein each of said vehicles has a front and sides, and the respective target members of said vehicles are disposed so as to respond only to impact upon a side of the respective vehicles in a broadside collision, whereby when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another, only the vehicle struck on its side disintegrates.
5. Game apparatus as in claim 4 further comprising means mounting said trigger for movement in both lateral directions relative to said vehicle, said assembly means being responsive to movement of said trigger in either of said lateral directions to permit disengagement of said vehicle parts, and said target members being disposed on opposite sides of said vehicle whereby to be effective to trigger said vehicle disintegration in response to a broadside impact from either side.
6. Game apparatus as in claim 2 wherein said assembly means comprises biasing means urging said vehicle parts apart, and latch means for retaining said vehicle parts in assembly in opposition to said biasing means, said latch means being releasable in response to movement of said trigger means whereby said biasing means then abruptly disperses said vehicle parts.
7. Game apparatus as in claim 6 wherein said first vehicle parts include a roof member and a body which are assemblable and disassemblable with each other, said latch means comprises a post projecting downwardly from said roof member toward said body, said biasing means comprises a spring coiled about said post and compressed to bias said roof member upwardly out of assembly with said body, said latch means further comprises means on said post and on said trigger means vertically interengaging to prevent said upward motion of said roof member when said interengaging means are in vertical alignment, and disengaging upon lateral displacement of said trigger means during a broadside collision.
8. Game apparatus as in claim 7 wherein said trigger means comprises a central web extending transversely through said vehicle between said roof member and said body, said target member comprises at least one panel depending from said web at the side of said vehicle, an opening being formed in said web to receive said post, said interengaging means comprising a tooth formed on said post and a trigger tooth projecting from the boundary of said web opening to engage said post tooth, said web opening being large enough in the lateral direction to permit sufficient movement of said trigger means in at least one lateral direction relative to said post to dislodge said trigger means tooth from said post tooth, and said trigger being movable in at least one lateral direction relative to said roof member in response to lateral impact upon said target panel whereby to dislodge said trigger tooth laterally.
9. Game apparatus as in claim 8 wherein there are two of said target panels depending from said web at opposite sides of said vehicle, said web opening being large enough in both lateral directions to permit sufficient movement of said trigger means in either lateral direction relative to said post to dislodge said trigger tooth from said post tooth, and said trigger means being movable in either lateral direction relative to said roof member in response to impact upon respective ones of said target panels whereby to dislodge said trigger tooth laterally.
10. Game apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said means to control entry into said intersection comprises means under the control of said player for steering said at least one of the vehicles toward or away from said intersection along a portion of its associated track.
11. Game apparatus as in claim 10 wherein said steering means comprises switching means in said roadway for selecting a path of travel along said one vehicles associated track, steerable means on at least said one vehicle, and means on said one vehicle responsive to said switching means to steer said wheels.
12. Game apparatus as in claim 11 wherein each of said tracks respectively comprises at least one circuit with a configuration topologically equivalent to a figure 8 and an additional path bridging between the opposite loops of said figure 8, and said switching means comprise a switch controllable by said player at each intersection of said bridging path with each of said figure 8 loops.
13. Game apparatus as in claim 12 wherein each of said switches comprises a triangular member having three vehicle-diverting vertices effective (a) to determine whether said one vehicle, when approaching said switch in either direction from said figure 8 will continue along said figure 8 or be diverted to said bridg- 10 ing path, and (b) to determine in which direction said one vehicle will traverse said figure 8" when approaching said switch from said bridging path.
14. A simulated toy vehicle having a front and sides comprising, a plurality of releasably assemblable body elements including a lower body element and a roof element, latch means normally restraining separation of said lower body element and said roof element and being releasable in response to a broadside impact, said latch means including,
trigger means having a central web extending transversely through said vehicle between said assemblable elements, and a pair of target panels depending from said web along opposite sides of said vehicle, said web being wider than said lower body element whereby said target panels are normally spaced from the sides thereof, said lower body element being formed to define a guide platform in which said web is slidably received for lateral movement in response to a broadside impact on either one of said target panels,
a web retaining plate secured to said lower body element and extending across said guide platform above said web to retain said web on said platform at all times, said web and said retaining plate having centrally located apertures formed therein generally located in vertical alignment with each other,
a post formed on said roof element and extending towards said lower body element, said post having a free end extending through said openings in said web and said web retaining plate in the assembled configuration of said vehicle; and biasing spring encircling said post and being compressed between said roof element and said web retaining plate in the assembled configuration of said vehicle;
said post having a first tooth formed on the free end thereof and said web having a second tooth projecting inwardly from the boundary of said web opening and located to engage said first tooth, thereby to prevent disassembly of said elements, said web opening being large enough in both lateral directions to permit sufficient movement of said trigger means in either lateral direction relative to said post to dislodge said first tooth from said second tooth upon lateral movement of said web in either direction in response to a broadside impact on one of said target panels.
15. A toy vehicle as defined in claim 14 wherein said web and lower body element have cooperating slot and stop elements formed therein for limiting lateral movement of said web.