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Publication numberUS3758982 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 18, 1973
Filing dateOct 13, 1972
Priority dateOct 13, 1972
Publication numberUS 3758982 A, US 3758982A, US-A-3758982, US3758982 A, US3758982A
InventorsLemelson J, Nutting W
Original AssigneeLemelson J, Nutting W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Activity doll
US 3758982 A
Abstract
A doll is provided having a hollow body with one or more pivotally mounted limbs arranged for movement from a normally retracted position at the side or in front of the body to an actuated position at a higher location or across the body by operating a manual actuator such as a depressible member which is accessible to the rear of the body. In another embodiment, a mechanism subassembly is constructed for selectively operating an arm and leg of a doll. The arm or leg of the doll is frictionally adjustable on its pivot mount permitting selective adjustment of the path through which movement is effected so as to permit the simulation of various human activities. In another embodiment, the limb is bendable on its mount so as to permit the simulation of still further human activities when the limb is actuated.
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United States Patent [191 Lemelson et al.

[4 1 Sept. 18, 1973 ACTIVITY DOLL [76] Inventors: Jerome II. Lemelson, 85 Rector St.,

Metuchen, NJ. 08840; William Nutting, 125 Beach 124 St., Rockaway Park, NY. 11694 [22] Filed: Oct. 13, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 297,451

[52] US. Cl. 46/119, 46/148 [51] Int. Cl A63h 13/04 [58] Field of Search 46/151, 148, 118, 46/119, 120

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,473,260 10/1969 Kripak et a1. 46/118 X 3,672,097 6/1972 Gardel 46/120 3,703,048 11/1972 Cooper... 46/148 3,106,800 10/1963 Fletcher 46/118 3,235,259 2/1966 Glass et al. 46/118 X 2,638,348 5/1953 Arenson et a1. 46/148 X 525,716 9/1894 McElroy 46/119 2,764,841 10/1956 Birnbaum 46/119 2,975,533 3/1961 Burns 46/120 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 672,206 10/1964 Italy 46/120 Primary ExaminerF. Barry Shay [57] ABSTRACT A doll is provided having a hollow body with one or more pivotally mounted limbs arranged for movement from a normally retracted position at the side or in front of the body to an actuated position at a higher location or across the body by operating a manual actuator such as a depressible member which is accessible to the rear of the body. In another embodiment, a mechanism subassembly is constructed for selectively operating an arm and leg of a doll. The arm or leg of the doll is frictionally adjustable on its pivot mount permitting selective adjustment of the path through which movement is effected so as to permit the simulation of various human activities. In another embodiment, the limb is bendable on its mount so as to permit the simulation of still further human activities when the limb is actuated.

18 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED SEPI 8l975 sum 1 BF 2 ACTIVITY DOLL SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to dolls in general and more particularly to constructions of manually actuated mechanisms for moving the limbs of dolls with a reciprocating motion. The prior art has provided a number of doll constructions having movable limbs. For the most part, most of these constructions involve the movement of the limb by direct manual operation or by means of a motor wherein the path of movement for a particular cycle is always predetermined thereby permitting the doll operation to simulate a single and particular activity. Mechanisms which have heretofore involved more complex operation than the single stroke movement ofa limb such as movement in a plurality of directions, are extremely complex both in structure and operation.

As will hereinafter be described in detail, the instant invention provides a rugged, compact, manually actuated mechanism for moving the limb of a doll to simulate not one but a variety of actions similar to those made by humans. Such actions as hand waving, kissthrowing, pointing, eating, drinking, brushing, object throwing, kicking, cleaning, ironing and dusting may all be simulated, using the mechanism of the instant invention by providing simple means for manually, frictionally pre-adjusting the limb on its mount so that when it is operated thereafter by the actuator, the path through which the limb is pivoted and swings may be varied from one extending from the downward vertical position of the limb or rearwardly thereof to a variety of locations upwardly therefrom and ending from a position below the horizontal to one in which the limb is directed vertically upwardly or to the rear of the torso of the doll. The limb is caused to pivot across the body, an angular adjustment is provided to simulate, for example, bending of the limb at the elbow prior to its pivotal movement by means of the actuator so that a variety of other human activities may be simulated thereby.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the instant invention to provide a novel and compact manually actauted mechanism for moving limbs of a doll relative to the body thereof.

Another object is to provide improvements in mechanisms for manually controlling the pivotal movement of a doll arm from a normally at-rest location in its pivotal movement across part of the doll body to its maximum degree of throw so as to permit the simulation of various activities wherein the mechanism is biased to return the limb to the at-rest location and further, wherein said at-rest location may be manually adjusted prior to operation of the doll mechanism so that the doll arm may be adjustably moved through a variety of paths to simulate a variety of human activities.

Yet another object is to provide an animated doll having a mechanism for causing a limb such as the arm thereof to pivotally swing through a particular arc and wherein the arm is either bendably adjustable along at least part of its length or frictionally adjustable about its elbow to permit a child to simulate a variety of different human activities which are accomplished by swinging movement of the human arm while the lower arm thereof is in a variety of different attitudes with respect to the upper arm.

A still further object is to provide a mechanism of this type in which the depressible member, when depressed,

positively drives the limb in a forward direction and upon reaching the end of its stroke, the member automatically releases the limb to permit a biasing means to return the limb to its normal position.

With the above and such other objects in view as may hereafter more fully appear, the invention consists of the novel constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts as will be more fully described and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, but it is to be understood that changes, variations and modifications may be resorted to which fall within the scope of the invention as claimed.

IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a rear elevation of a doll constructed in accordance with the teachings of the instant invention and having the rear body section removed to reveal the limb operating mechanism inside the doll body.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the doll of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 and 4 are cross-sections taken through lines 33 and 4-4 respectively, of FIG. 1 looking in the directions of the respective arrows 3-3 and 4-4.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the limb operating mechanism for the doll of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a perspective illustrating another embodiment of a limb operating mechanism constructed in accordance with the teachings of the instant invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross-section taken in a horizontal plane extending through the mechanism of FIG. 6 when mounted in a doll body.

FIG. 8 is a front elevation of an activity doll with its front body section removed to reveal another embodiment of a limb operating mechanism.

FIGS. 9A and 9B are side elevations looking in the direction of arrows 9-9 of FIG. 8 with the near wall of the body removed to reveal the operating mechanism. In FIG. 9A the mechanism operable arm and leg are shown in their normal positions while in FIG. 98 these limbs are each actuated to raised positions.

FIG. 10 is a perspective of the subassembly comprising the limb operating mechanism.

Now referring to the Figures and more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 5 showing animation doll 10 including hollow structure having body 11, legs l2, l3, arms l4, l5 and head 16. Arm l4, legs l2, l3 and body 11 are constructed of relatively rigid injection molded plastic such as cellulose acetate or rigid vinyl while arm 15 and head 16 are constructed of flexible vinyl. In a manner well known to the art, arm 14, legs l2, l3, and head 16 are each mounted to body 11 with a friction fit enabling these body appendages to remain in adjusted positions.

Arm 15 is provided with an internal longitudinally extending bendable stiffening wire 17 which permits arm 15 to be bent at the elbow and to remain in such bent position as illustrated in the phantom positions of FIG. 2. It is noted that the bent position of arm 15 in FIG. 3 differs from the positions of arm 15 in FIGS. 1 and 2. The upper end of arm 15 is frictionally fitted to disk 21, which lies in a vertical plane, so that arm 15 may also be adjusted angularly about the center of disk 21 as a pivot. Disk 21 is part of molded plastic member 20 which also includes extension 22, stub shaft 23 and spur gear segment 24 formed about shaft 23 as a center. Extension 22 is at right angles to shaft 23 with the longitudinal axis of extension 22 projecting through the center of disk 21 at right angles to the plane thereof.

The teeth of gear 24 are in mesh with the teeth of spur gear segment 26 forming part of another molded plastic member 25. Member 25 also includes stub shaft 27, extension 28 and crank pin 29. Gear 26 is formed about shaft 27 as a center. Shaft 27 and pin 29 are offset from one another with their respective longitudinal axes extending parallel to the longitudinal axis of shaft 23. Crank pin 29 extends into slot 31 in the horizontal section 32 of depressible operator member 30. Member 30 includes manually engageable extension 33 and guideportion 34 slideably mounted in guide slot 36 of member 35. Coil spring 37 is wound about the portion of shaft 27 just below gear 26 with one end of spring 37 extending into gear aperture 26a and the other end of spring 37 abutting the inner surface of the front body portion 11a so as to bias gear 26 in a counterclockwise direction with respect to FIG. 3.

Extension 33 projects through aperture 38 in rear section 11b of body 11. Body sections 11a, 11b are bonded together along vertical seams 41, 42, in a manner well known to the art, and each is provided with cooperating internal formations 43, 44, which, as seen in FIG. 1, provide bearing supports for shafts 23 and 27. Body 11 also includes elongated aperture 51 which provides clearance for the movement of extension 22. Spring 37 biases the operating elements 20, 25 and 30 to the solid line position of FIG. 3.

By manually engaging and depressing operator extension 33, that is moving extension 33 toward front body portion 11a, slot 31 moves forward causing crank pin 29 to rotate clockwise with respect to FIG. 3 thereby rotating shaft 27 and gear 26 carried thereby in a clockwise direction. The teeth of gear 26 being in engagement with the teeth of gear 24 cause gear 24 to move counterclockwise with respect to FIG. 3 to pivot extension 22 counterclockwise. This motion of gear 24 moves disk 21 about the generally vertical axis of shaft 23 from the rear toward the front of body 11, carrying arm bodily through a generally horizontal plane toward the front of body 11 from the solid line position of FIG. 3 to the phantom position thereof. When extension 33 is released, spring 37 returns operating elements 20, 25, 30 and arm 15 to their positions of FIG. 3.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate anothe embodiment of the instant invention wherein a single forward stroke of the manual operator member 51 causes arm 55 to move through a complete front to rear cycle without the necessity of releasing member 51. More particularly the upper end of arm 55 is pivotally mounted to fixed pin 56 and is provided with stiff wire extension 57 projecting into the space formed at the bifurcated upper end section of lever 58. Lever 58 is part of operating mechanism 50 which includes mounting member 59 fixedly secured to the interior surface at the front of doll body 52 (FIG. 7). Member 59 includes spaced parallel guide walls 61, 62 on opposite sides of level 58. Pin 63 is force fitted into aligned apertures of wall 61, 62 and passes through a relatively loose fitting aperture at a point intermediate the ends of lever 58 to pivotally mount lever 58. Torsion spring 64 having the mid portion thereof wound about the portion of pin 63 to the right of wall 62 in FIG. 6 and is retained by block 63a on pin 63. End 640 is held in fixed position by extending through an aperture in mounting member 59. The other end 64b of spring 64 extends through aperture 58a of lever 58 with spring 64 being loaded to exert a forwardly directed force on the upper portion of lever 58.

Mounting member 59 also includes rearwardly extending guide channel 65 within which operating member 51 is slideably mounted. Wire Spring 66 extending through aperture 65a of channel 65 and aperture 51a of member 51 biases the latter rearward and to the right with respect to FIG. 6 (to the left with respect to FIG. 7) toward the lower portion of lever 58. Normally, extension 71 of member 51 projects outside of body 52 through rear aperture 52a being biased to this position by spring 66. In this normal position for member 51 step 72a thereof is positioned behind rear surface 58b of lever 58.

As member 51 is moved forward, step surface 720 in engagement with lever surface 58b forces the lower end of lever 58 forward so that the upper end of lever 58 pivots rearward thereby operating arm 55 in a counterclockwise direction about its pivot 56. During this forward movement of member 51 inclined surface 72b thereof is in engagement with guide wall 61. By the time member 51 has just about reached the limit of its forward movement the cooperation of inclined surface 72b and wall 61 cams step 72a sideways with respect to lever 58 to a position where lever 58 is no longer engaged by member 51. Under these conditions, spring 64 operates the upper end of lever 68 forward thereby pivoting arm 55 in a counterclockwise direction about its pivot 56.

Upon release of member 511, spring 66 moves member 51 rearward and when the latter is just about at its most rearward position, spring 66 is also effective to move step 72a behind lever surface 58b so that upon the next forward actuation of operator member 51, lever 58 will be operated. It is noted that forward movement of the upper end of lever 58 is limited by engagement with formation 73 of mounting member 59.

Activity doll of FIGS. 8 through 10 includes hollow body 101, head 102, arms 103, 104, and legs 105, 106. Operating mechanism subassembly mounted within body 101 is connected to arm 104 and leg 106 for positive operation of these limbs by depressible operators 114, 116, respectively. The former operator 114 extends through aperture 113 in the rear of body 101 and the latter operator 116 extends through aperture in the front of body 101. Arm operator 114 extends through tube 112 projecting rearwardly from body 101. Tube 112 is provided for conveniently holding and walking doll 100.

Mechanism subassembly 110 includes frame 121 and C-shaped retainer 122 having out-tumed ears 123, 124. Bars 123, 124 extend through slots in frame 121 and are outwardly bent to mount retainer 122 to frame 121.

Meshing Spur gears 125, 126 disposed in the space between retainer 122 and frame 121 are keyed to shafts 127, 128, respectively, with both shafts 127, 128 extending through retainer 122 and frame 121 and being pivotally supported thereon. Arm 104 is keyed to the outboard end of shaft 127 while leg 106 is keyed at its upper or shoulder end to the outboard end of sub-shaft 131 also pivotally mounted frame 121. The outboard end of shaft 128 is keyed to gear while the inboard end of shaft 128 is keyed to crank 138. Pin 139 extends from crank 138 on the side thereof opposite gear 125 and is parallel to shaft 128. Wire spring 133 bears against the inner front surface of body 101 and also bears against pin 139 thereby biasing crank 138 in a clockwise direction as seen in FIGS. 9A and 9B.

Operator 114 extends at right angles to pin 139 and is provided with an aperture which receives pin 139 to provide a driving connection between operator 114 and pin 139. Thus, as operator 114 is depressed from the position of FIG. 9A to the position of FIG. 9B, crank 138 is pivoted in a counterclockwise direction against the force of spring 133 causing pivotal movement of the larger gear 125 about its axis 128. Rotation of larger gear 125 in mesh with smaller gear 126 causes multiplied angular motion of the latter so that appreciable pivotal movement of arm 104 takes place as gear 125 pivots. When operator 114 is released spring 133 acts on pin 139 to pivot crank 138 clockwise thereby lowering arm 104.

The inboard end of shaft 131 is keyed to crank 141. Pin 142 projects from the side of crank 141 opposite leg 106 and in a direction parallel to pin 131. Operator 116 is a tubular member having a cutaway portion at its inboard end and an aperture which receives pin 142. Thus, when operator 116 is depressed by being moved toward the rear of doll 100, pin 142 moves to the rear causing crank 141 to pivot clockwise about pin 131 as a center, thereby raising leg 106 to the position shown in the solid line in FIG. 98. Upon release of operator 116 gravity bias returns leg 106 to its normal lowered position of FIGS. 8 and 9A.

Thus, it is seen that the instant invention provides simple yet rugged and compact operating mechanisms for operating the limb ofa doll in a manner to simulate natural action. In one embodiment of this invention the limb pivots forward and rearward in response to front and rear movements, respectively, of a manually depressible memberwhile in another embodiment of this invention the limb moves forward and then rearward by the time the depressible member has completed a forward stroke. While arm movement has been shown as being effectuated by a rearward extending operator, by suitable modifications arm movement may be effectuated by a depressible forwardly extending actuator.

Although there has been described a preferred embodiment of this novel invention, many variations and modifications will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, this invention is to be limited, not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appending claims.

As above set forth, the doll constructions shown in the drawings and described in the Specification permit a child playing therewith to make a variety of adjustments in both the attitude of the doll's arm or leg prior to actuating the same and the actual path through which the arm or leg will swing when the actuator is operated. As set forth, frictional adjustment of the articulated arm or leg on its pivot may be effected by hand moving the arm or leg beyond its at-rest position or the maximum throw thereof so as to frictionally move same to a new location and thereby permit variable adjustment of the point at which the swing of the limb is initiated as the actuator is operated and the furthermost point of swing of the limb derived by complete operation of the actuator. In other words, the arm of the doll of FIGS. 1 and 2 may be frictionally adjusted on its pivot so that it normally hangs substantially vertically downwardly alongside the doll body and will thereafter swing about an arc, say 90 to a horizontal position to simulate such actions as picking up an object, rolling a ball, punching, raising the hand for simulated hand shake, etc. The arm 15 may also be frictionally adjusted so that it is in a substantially horizontally position at its starting point when the actuator is unactuated so that it will swing upwardly from said horizontal position to a location opposite or immediately in front of the face. This action may be utilized to simulate such human activities as moving an object to the face or mouth, combing the hair, eating, etc. If the arm is adjusted such that its starting is somewhat above the horiziontal, it may be made to swing upwardly to simulate such activities, when the actuator is operated, as waving, putting on a hat, etc.

Bendably adjusting the arm about the elbow and properly adjusting the path of swing thereof when the actuator 33 is operated, may also permit the arm to simulate a variety of other human activities such as throwing a ball, reaching for an object which is above waist level, dusting or cleaning, etc.

We claim:

1. An articulated figure toy comprising:

a body including a torso with a head simulating the human head connected thereto,

a simulated arm supported on said torso and pivotable relative thereto,

actuating means mounted on said toy for causing the swinging movement of said arm through a substantially predetermined arc defined by an initiating point in the swing of the arm and a terminal point, and

adjustable means associated with said arm permitting its attitude to be manually varied prior to the operation of said actuating means whereby the path of movement of the end of said arm may be variably changed such that the initiating and terminal points of the arm movement may be respectively varied in location so as to permit the simulation of a number of human activities when the actuating means is operated.

2. A figure toy in accordance with claim 1 wherein said adjustable means comprises means for variably adjusting the attitude of the lower portion of the arm with respect to the upper portion thereof and maintaining the adjustment thereof during the operation of said actuating means.

3. A figure toy in accordance with claim 1 wherein said adjustable means comprises frictional means joining said arm at its pivot and permitting said initiating point in the swing of the arm to be varied in location so that the operation thereafter of said actuating means may cause the arm to initiate and end its pivoting movement at a variety of different locations to thereby permit the simulation of different human activities.

4. A figure toy in accordance with claim 2 wherein said adjustable means comprises a bendable wire located within the doll arm and wherein the doll arm is made of a flexible material permitting it to be adjustably bent to different configurations and to substantially retain said configurations.

5. An articulated figure toy in accordance with claim 1 wherein said actuating means is operable to cause swinging movement of said arm through an are which is substantially horizontal when said torso is disposed substantially vertical.

6. An articulated figure toy in accordance with claim 1 wherein said actuating means is operable to cause swinging movement of said arm through an are which extends substantially vertical when said torso is disposed substantially vertical.

7. An animation figure including a body portion, a limb supported by said body portion for movement relative to said body portion with a pivot-like motion, an operator mounted on said body portion and having a first section extending into said body portion and a second section projecting externally of said body portion and accessible for operation of said operator from a first to a second position, an operating mechanism disposed within said body portion and connected to said limb, said mechanism when actuated pivoting said limb from a first position to a second position, means for adjusting said limb relative to said body when at said first position to vary the attitude of said limb and the path the end of said limb describes during said movement,

biasing means urging said operator to its first position and said limb to its first position, said operator first section being in operative engagement with said mechanism to actuate the latter upon operation of said operator from its first towards its second position, said mechanism providing a driving connection between said limb and said operator as the latter moves from its first toward its second position whereby energy for moving said operator toward its second position is transmitted through said mechanism to operate said limb toward its second position.

8. A figure as set forth in claim 7 in which the driving connection remains intact for all positions of said limb and said operator whereby positions of said limb are related to positions of said operator for all positions of the latter.

9. A figure as set forth in claim 7 in which there is a means for breaking said driving connection when said operator reaches its second position whereby said biasing means operates said limb to its first position while said operator is held in its second position.

10. A figure as set forth in claim 7 in which said mechanism includes pivoted meshing first and second gear means, and means guiding said operator for linear movement.

11. A figure as set forth in claim 10 in which first and second pivots are provided for the respective first and second gear means, said first section of said operator operatively engaging said first gear means, a projection extending radially from said second pivot and mounting said limb thereon whereby said second pivot constitutes a center about which said limb moves.

12. A figure as set forth in claim 11 in which there is a crank secured to said first pivot, said operator having a slot extending generally perpendicular to the direction of movement of said operator, a pin extending from said crank into said slot and positioned parallel to said first pivot, said pin and said slot providing a connection between said operator and said first gear means.

13. A figure as set forth in claim 7 in which there is a first pivot to which said limb is mounted, said mechanism including a lever, a second pivot mounting said lever at a point intermediate its ends, the axes of said pivots being perpendicular to each other, an extension from said limb engaging one end of said lever, said operator engaging said lever at its other end.

14. A figure as set forth in claim 13 in which said mechanism includes a fixed formation, said first section engaging said formation as said operator moves toward its second position whereby said first section moves sideways away from said lever as said operator moves toward its second position and upon reaching its second position is disengaged from said lever.

15. A figure as set forth in claim 7 in which said mechanism comprises a subassembly including a frame, meshing gears pivotally mounted to said frame, a crank keyed to a first of said gears and pivotally connected to said operator, a second of said gears keyed to said limb whereby said limb pivots as said second gear pivots.

16. A figure as set forth in claim 15 in which said first gear is of larger diameter than said second gear to multiply motion transmitted from said operator to said limb.

17. A figure as set forth in claim 15 in which said subassembly includes another crank pivotally mounted to said frame, said figure including another limb keyed to said another crank to pivot therewith, another operator mounted to said body for reciprocating motion, said end of said another operator extending externally of said body and accessible to be manually depressed, the other end of said another operator being pivotally connected to said another crank to pivot the latter when said another operator is depressed.

18. A figure as set forth in claim 7 in which there is a hand holdable tube connected to said body and extending externally thereof, said operator extending through said tube to a position external thereof and external of said body.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3862513 *Feb 15, 1974Jan 28, 1975Marvin Glass & AssociatesArticulated figure toy
US3888023 *Aug 21, 1974Jun 10, 1975Jardine Ind IncPhysical training robot
US3906661 *Sep 23, 1974Sep 23, 1975Durham Ind IncAnimated toy doll
US3928934 *Nov 18, 1974Dec 30, 1975Mattel IncController for a figure toy
US3955311 *Sep 23, 1974May 11, 1976Lesney Products & Co., Ltd.Mechanism for moving an upper appendage of a toy figure
US4003158 *Aug 1, 1975Jan 18, 1977Mego CorporationFighting doll
US4085540 *Jun 14, 1976Apr 25, 1978Hans Ebbe Ingevar JernstromMechanical toy athlete
US5785575 *Dec 20, 1996Jul 28, 1998Innovacion S.A.Doll with simultaneous raising of the arms and legs and opening of the eyes
US6171169Jan 29, 1999Jan 9, 2001Mattel, Inc.Articulated toy figure simulating basketball play
US6224456Aug 3, 2000May 1, 2001Mattel, Inc.Doll having an arm movement mechanism using a rear-facing lever
US7475881Nov 2, 2006Jan 13, 2009Mattel, Inc.Fighting figure game
US7854643Jun 12, 2007Dec 21, 2010Mattel, Inc.Doll pair and apparatus for cheerleading stunts
US8137151Aug 25, 2009Mar 20, 2012Mattel, Inc.Action toy
US8784154Nov 23, 2010Jul 22, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy figure with reciprocally movable limb
WO2002011842A1 *Jul 12, 2001Feb 14, 2002Mattel IncDoll having an arm movement mechanism using a rear-facing lever
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/365
International ClassificationA63H13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H13/00
European ClassificationA63H13/00