US 3739521 A
A doll with a phonograph that plays each time the lip portion is depressed, the doll being constructed to enable large dimensional tolerances in the location of the switch that is operated by depressing the lips, and the phonograph being constructed to sequentially play different recordings. An electrical switch that turns on the phonograph when the lips are depressed includes a relaxation member extending from the lips to a switch contact, to push the contact against another when the lips are depressed. The relaxation member is constructed of material that soon relaxes under back pressure of the switch and allows the switch to open.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,739,521
Fox June 19, 1973 STARTING SWITCH FOR TOYS Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay  inventor. James H. Fox, Torrance, Calif. Anomey seymour A Scholnick  Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
 Filed: Nov. 30, 1971  ABSTRACT 21 Appl. No.: 203,239
A doll with a phonograph that plays each time the lip portion is depressed, the doll being constructed to enable large dimensional tolerances in the location of the switch that is operated by depressing the lips, and the phonograph being constructed to sequentially play different recordings. An electrical switch that turns on the phonograph when the lips are depressed includes a relaxation member extending from the lips to a switch contact, to push the contact against another when the lips are depressed. The relaxation member is constructed of material that soon relaxes under back pres sure of the switch and allows the switch to open.
7 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Pmmium 1 sum SIEIZNZ' STARTING SWITCH FOR TOYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toys.
One type of entertaining toyis a doll with a phonograph that plays a recording when a child kisses the lips of the doll. The doll head can be formed as a resilient shell, and a switch can be placed behind the lip portion so it is closed when the lips are depressed. However, it is often difficult to maintain close enough dimentional tolerances so that a small predetermined depression of the lip portion will close the switch, to thereby assure phonograph playing when even a light pressure is applied while preventing a constant closed-switch conditron.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a doll is provided that sequentially plays different recordings when its lips are depressed a small amount, and which can be mass produced at low cost. The doll includes a battery powered phonograph that plays a recording when a switch is closed, and an apparatus for closing the switch when the lips of the doll are lightly depressed. The switch includes a pair of contacts that are spring-biased apart and a stop that prevents more than a small separation of the contacts. The switch closing apparatus includes a long strip of plastic that extends to the inner lip walls of the head and is bent thereat to extend in a curve to one of the switch contacts. When the lip walls are depressed, the strip transmits the depressing force to the switch contacts to move them together. The plastic strip is of a relaxation material, that is, it is springy but relaxes into any position at which it is held for a short period. Thus, even if the lips are maintained depressed, the strip cannot continue to supply forces that keep the contacts closed and they will open to allow the phonograph to stop after playing a recording. The plastic strip allows wide dimensional tolerances in the mounting of it and of the switch in the doll head, while assuring closing of the switch when a small lip depression occurs.
The novel feature of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will be best understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawmgs.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view of a doll, showing the kiss operated switch mechanism and its location relative to the phonograph mechanism;
FIG. 1A is a.view taken on the line lA-lA of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2 is a view of the kiss operated switch mechanism of FIG. 1, shown prior to the installation of the doll head on the doll;
FIG. 3 is a view of the apparatus of FIG. 2 immediately after installation of the doll head;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 at a later time, after installation of the doll head.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a kissing doll which plays a recording when a child presses her lips against a lip portion 12 on the head 14 of the doll. The doll has a body I6 which contains a phonograph 18 that is powered by a battery 20. When the lip portion 12 is depressed, a relaxation member 22 closes a switch 24 to complete an electric circuit that energizes a motor 26 of the phonograph. After a recording is played, the phonograph stops, and it will start again only after a child has released the lip portion 12 of the doll and again depresses it, the phonograph then playing a different recording.
The switch 24 includes a first electrical contact 28 fixed to a frame 30, and a second electrical contact 32 that can move against and away from the first contact. The second contact 32 is constructed of resilient material and is held by the frame 30 so that it is resiliently biased away from the first contact 28. However, a stop 34 holds the second contact 32 a short distance from the first one so that only a small movement of the second contact closes the switch. The relaxation member 22 transmits depressing forces applied to the lip portion 12 of the doll, to the second switch contact 32 to move it against the first contact 28. The relaxation member 22 is constructed so that the switch 24 automatically opens a short time after it is closed, even if a child co'n tinues pressing on the l ip portion of the doll, and also to enable wide dimensional tolerances in the construction of the doll.
The switching apparatus is initially mounted in the manner shown in FIG. 2. The frame 30 is fixed to the body of the doll and the relaxation member 22 is mounted on the frame. The relaxation member has an inner end portion 36 fixed to the frame, an outer end portion 38 which is adjacent to the switch contact 32, and a center portion 40 which is bent at the lip portion 12. The relaxation member is mounted so that the center portion 40 juts past the position occupied by the lip portion of the doll head. A post 42 on the frame can abut an enlarged part 44 near the outer end of the relaxation member to maintain the outer portion 38 in extension towards the switch contact 32, to assure proper functioning when the doll head 14 is installed.
When the doll head 14 is installed, the relaxation member 22 moves from the position shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3 to the position shown in solid lines therein. It can be seen that the center portion 40 of the relaxation member is deflected inwardly by a considerable amount, and the outer end portion 38 is bent and presses hard enough against the switch contact 32 to close the switch. However, a short time after the head 14 is installed, the relaxation member 22 assumes the configuration shown in FIG. 4, wherein the outer end 38 bends even further under the force of the resilient contact 32, to allow the contact 32 to move away from the other contact 28 so that the switch opens. However, if the lip portion 12 of the doll is depressed, the relaxation member will move the switch contact 32 against the other contact 28 and again close the switch.
The relaxation member 22 is constructed of a material that is resilient, but which partially sets or relaxes to a position to which it is deflected. There is, however, always a partial recovery of the material when the dcflection force is released. This permits the relaxation member 22 to recover to the position in FIG. 4 when lip pressure is released. Many common plastics have this property, and a material such as polyethylene can be utilized. The switch contact 32 is constructed of a resilient material such as brass which does not readily set or relax when subjected to small deflections. Thus, when the contact 32 is deflected, it continually applies forces to the relaxation member, and the relaxation member slowly yields until the contact 32 abuts the stop 34. The stop 34 holds the switch contacts close together so that only a small depression of the doll lips can again close the switch. Even though wide tolerances are utilized in the mounting of the relaxation member, it automatically adjusts itself to a condition wherein its outer end 38 abuts the switch contact 32 when the switch is open, so that a small lip depression will close the switch. The relaxation member also protects the phonograph from being kept constantly on if the doll is stored with an object pressing against the lips, because even if the lips are depressed the relaxation member will allow the switch to open after a short time.
Thus, the invention provides a doll and phonograph apparatus which assures reliable operation in spite of only moderate part tolerances. The doll has an electrical switch that operates when the lips are depressed a small amount, and utilizes an elongated member of relaxation material to couple the inner walls of the head at the lip to the switch. The relaxation member enables wide variations in mounting while assuring switch closing when a small but definite lip depression is applied, and also prevents a constant closed-switch condition that would drain the batteries.
Although a particular embodiment of the invention has been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art and, consequently, it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. In a toy which includes an electrically energizable device and means for supplying current to energize it, the improvement comprising:
an electrical switch located within said toy, said switch including first and second electrical contacts spring biased apart and stop means for limiting the separation of said electrical contacts; means electrically coupling said electrical contacts to said device and to said means for supplying current, so that current can flow to said device when said electrical contacts touch one another; and operating means mounted on said toy for moving said electrical contacts of said switch together against the spring force biasing them apart, said operating means including force receiving means and relaxation means constructed of a relaxable resilient material and extending in a curve between said force receiving means and said switch to press against and transfer forces to said switch which urge said electrical contacts together, said relaxable resilient material being capable of yielding when held in said pressing condition against the rcactive force of said biased apart contacts, to allow said contacts to separate.
2. The improvement described in claim 1 wherein said toy includes a hollow shell constructed of resilient material, so that forces applied by a child against a portion thereof deflects that portion inwardly; and
said operating means includes a frame fixed to said shell and a strip of said relaxable resilient material said strip having a first end portion mounted on said frame, a middle portion forming said force receiving means disposed against the inner surface of said hollow shell at a predetermined location thereon, and an outer end lying closely adjacent a movable portion of said switch, so that inward deflection of said shell at said predetermined location moves said middle portion of said strip in a direction to press said outer end portion against said switch portion to move said electrical contacts together.
3. The improvement described in claim 2 wherein:
said strip is bent at said middle portion, so that the strip extends away from said predetermined shell location between said middle and outer end portions, whereby said strip acts largely like a collapsing column in transmitting forces.
4. A doll comprising:
a doll body;
a hollow head mounted on said body, said head being flexible at least at the mouth portion thereof to enable inward depression thereat;
a frame mounted in said doll having at least a portion disposed in said head;
an electrical switch mounted on said frame, and including a pair of switch contacts biased away from each other and a stop for limiting their separation;
switch operating means including an elongated relaxation member having an inner end portion mounted on said frame, said member extending to the inner surface of said mouth portion and bent thereat to extend to said switch so that inward deflection of said mouth portion of said head to inwardly deflect said bent portion of said relaxation member urges said switch contacts to touch, said relaxation member constructed of material which is resilient but which relaxes when held against said switch under the reactive force of said biased contacts a time after it is deflected to allow said contacts to separate; and
electrical output means coupled to said switch contacts.