US 3787999 A
Foot clips receive doll's feet for reciprocating them by a drive connected to the foot clips and including a wheel which is swivelled by a mounting ring grasped and pushed to move the device over a supporting surface.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ayton et a1.
COMBINATION FIGURE AND WALKING SIMULATOR WITH MEANS FOR SWIVELLING SAID FIGURE Inventors: Ian F. Ayton, Palos Verdes Estate;
. Donald C. Hal-fling, Huntington Beach; Joseph Kossoff, Hawthorne; Brian G. Osborne, Manhattan Beach, all of Calif.
Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
Filed: Jan. 7, 1972 Appl. No.: 216,086
us. c1. 46/110 Int. Cl. A6311 11/10 Field of Search 46/97, 102, 105, 110
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1883 Ritchel 46/110 Jan. 29, 1974 1,613.408 1/1927 Perew 46/102 2,797,528 7/1957 Graclwohl 3.101761 9/ 1 963 Gurdel 3,118,247 1/1964 Allen 3,492,759 2/1970 Lewis et a1 46/102 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 332,027 7/1930 Great Britain; 46/110 BKYQQIX e 55, 131 151 Shay r V e Attorney, Agent, or F irm- Max B. Shirk and Franklin D. Jankosky [5 7] ABSTRACT Foot clips receive'dolls feet for reciprocating them by a drive connected to the foot clips andincluding a wheel which is swivelled by a mounting ring grasped and pushed to move the device over a supporting surface.
'7 Ciaims, 5 Drawing Figures COMBINATION FIGURE AND WALKING SIMULATOR WITH MEANS FOR SWIVELLING SAID FIGURE 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 walking simulators for figure toys and more particularly to such a simulator which includes means causing the figure toy to face in the direction of travel of the simulator over a supporting surface.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART US. Pat. No. 2,797,528 is one example of a prior art disclosure of a walking simulator for figure toys.
US. Pat. No. 2,715,793 is a prior art example of a swivelly mounted wheeled figure toy.
The present invention exemplifies improvements over figure toys of the types disclosed in these two patents.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and useful walking simulator for figure toys.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a walking simulator of the type described which includes means causing the figure toy to automatically face in the direction of travel of the simulator when it is pushed over a supporting surface.
A further object of the present invention is to provide improved drive means for a walking simulator including a wheel and means connected to the wheel for swivelling the wheel about a substantially vertical axis.
According to the present invention, a walking simulator includes foot clips for receiving the feet of a figure toy. The foot clips are reciprocated by drive means including a drive wheel driving endless belts connected to the fool clips. The drive means is rotatably mounted in a push-ring for swivelling the wheel about a substantially vertical axis when the ring is grasped and pushed to move the simulator over a supporting surface.
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 a walking simulator of the present invention in combination with a figure toy;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, exploded perspective view of the drive mechanism used in the walking simulator of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a plan view showing somewhat schematically the different positions which the simulator of FIG. 1 may take when pushed over a supporting surface.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1, a walking simulator constituting a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, generally designated 10, is shown in combination with a figure toy l2 and includes a pair of leg clips 14, I6 receiving legs 18, 20, respectively, of figure toy 12 for reciprocating them.
Leg clips l4, 16 are reciprocated. by a drive means 22 including a wheel 24 (FIG. 2) mounted under a wheel housing 26. Drive means 22 is rotatably mounted in a ring 28 constituting a connecting means for swivelling drive wheel 24 about a substantially vertical axis, whereby figure toy 12 will face in the direction of travel of simulator 10 when it is pushed over a supporting surface by grasping ring 28, as indicated somewhat schematically in FIG. 5 by arrows 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38.
Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, drive means 22 includes a circular platform 40 provided with a pair of elongated slots 42, 44 in which leg clips 14, 16, respectively, are reciprocally mounted. Platform 40 may be molded from a suitable plastic material, such as polystyrene, and formed integrally therewith during the molding operation are a pair of arcuate lands 46, 48 extending along slots 42, 44, respectively, beneath the upper surface 50 of platform 40. Leg clips 14, 16 are slidably connected to lands 46, 48, respectively, by an associated upper set of followers 52 and a lower set of followers 54, 56 forcing leg clips 14, 16, to follow the radius-of-curvature for lands 46, 48, respectively. The preferred radius-of-curvature for lands 46, 48 is one which approximates the radius-of-curvature of the arcs which the free ends of legs 18, 20 will describe when swung about their hip pivots so that the leg pivot axis for each leg will remain co-axial during leg movements.
Drive means 22 also includes a base portion 58 (FIG. 3) which is connected to platform 40 by suitable fastening means, including a number of pins, like the pair shown at 60, 62 which engage cylindrical cavities 64, 66, respectively, provided in bosses 68, 70, respectively, depending from platform 40. Base 58 carries a pair of upstanding, longitudinal ribs 72, 74 aligned with depending ribs 76, 78, respectively, carried by platform 40.
Wheel 24 includes a rim portion and afixed axle 82 integrally formed from a suitable plastic material and carries an elastomeric tire 84. Axle 82 is provided with a pair of hubs 86, 88 for rotatably mounting wheel 24 in suitable notches (not shown) provided in ribs 72, 74, 76 and 78. Drive means 22 also includes a pair of drive wheels 90, 92 affixed to the outboard ends 94, 96, respectively, of axle 82 for rotation thereby. Endless belts 98, connect wheels 90, 92 to a set of driven wheels 102, 104, respectively, so that driven wheels 90, v
Y 3 bers 112, which may be formed on belts 98, 100 during a suitable molding operation and which engage suitable arcuate recesses 114 provided in wheels 90, 92, 102 andl04. Each belt 98, 100 also carries a cylindrical crank pin 116 engaged in crank slot 118 provided in leg clips 14, 16 for reciprocating them, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 4 for the leg clips 16.
Leg clips 14, 16 are preferably made from a fairly tough, somewhat flexible material, such as polypropylene, andare designed to be molded in one piece. The leg clips I4, 16 each includes an L-shaped legsupporting member 120 having a shortarm 122 forming a platform for a foot 1240f doll 12 (FIG. 1) and a long arm 126 carrying a leg-encompassing clip 128 having an open front 130 and a tapering side wall 132. Side wall 132 includes reversely-bent front edges 134, 136 against which one of the associated legs 18, 20 may be pressed to spring side wall 132 open for reception of one of the legs 18, 20. As best seen in FIG. 4, long arm 126 may be reinforced by a gusset plate 138 which may extend from short arm 122 to a point near the upper end of long arm 126 with gusset plate 138 tapering from a wide portion at its lower end 140 to a point near the upper ends of arm 126 where gusset plate 138 merges into arm 126.
Short arm 122 includes'an outboard edge 142 from which the member 52 depends. A wedge-shaped connector 144 depends from the member 52 and is connected thereto by the portion 146 of member 144 which carries the upper end 148 of crank slot 118. Followers 54, 56 are formed as an integral part of member 144 and, as best see in FIG. 3, they are molded with a slightly outwardly-flaring set so that they will assume a position beneath an associated one of the lands 46, 48 when member 144 is inserted into an associated one of the slots 42, 44'and is pushed downwardly therein until the follower 52 bottoms out on an associated one of the lands 46, 48. The resilient nature of the material from which the member 144 is molded permits followers 54, 56 to spring aside sufficiently to clear lands 42, 48 when member 144 is being installed. Crank slot 118 includes a wide, central portion 150 which facilitates engaging crank pin 116 in slot 118 after members 144 have been inserted into slots 42,44. If crank pins 116 lie in the path of member 144-as it is being installed, cranks 1 16, because of the flexible nature of belts 98, 100, and the absence of a backup plate behind the belts, will be displaced to one side. Then when toy is operated, crank pins 116 will exert enough friction to push members 144 along until they engage a depending lip 152 (FIG. 4) on lands 46, 48 at which time crank pins 116 will continue moving until they drop into crank slot 118.
Installation of leg clamp 14 in slot 42 and installation of leg clamp 16 in slot 44 is assured by a pair of guide or locator pins 154, 156 (FIG. 2) on leg clamp 14 at a predetermined location on member 144 and a similar pair, like the one shown at 158 in FIG. 3, for the leg clamp 16, but at a different predetermined location on member 144. Lands 46, 48 are then provided with a pair of slots, like the ones shown at 160, 162 for the land 48 FIG. 2, which are so spaced that they will only accommodate the locater pin for the correct leg clip 14, 16,
Outer ring or rim 2,8 may be molded in one piece from a suitable plastic material, such as a styrene monomer, and, as best seen in- FIG. 3, includes an up 4 standing side wall 164, which encompasses drive means 22, an open top 166 and an open bottom 168. An outwardly-flaring skirt 170 is formed integrally with side wall 164 and includes an open bottom 172 surrounded by an annular bead 174 adapted to be tipped into en gagement with a surface 176 over which toy 10 may be pushed by grasping ring 28. Skirt 170 may be reinforced by a plurality of gusset plates 178 which may be spaced about the inner periphery 180 of skirt 170 and extend into engagement with the other periphery 182 of side wall 164. Ring 28 is rotatably connected to drive means 22 by an inwardly-extending shelf 184 provided at open end 168 of ring 28 and having a bearing surface 186 which rides on top of an outwardly-flaring shelf 188 providedon the bottom of member 58. Lateral displacement of ring 28 is prevented by an annular shoulder 190 formed by spacing shelf 184 slightly above open bottom 168.
In use, a child-user may position legs 18, 20 of doll 12 in leg clamps 14, 16, respectively, and push toy 10 over surface 176 by grasping ring 28. Since wheel 24 maintains ring 28 and drives means 22 slightly above surface 176, and since wheel 24 is off-center on platform 40 slightly behind doll 12, drive means 22 will rotate within ring 28 until doll 12 faces in the direction of travel of toy 10 regardless of the peripheral position on ring 28 in the hand of the child-user.
Rotation of wheel 24 rotates axle 82 which, in turn, rotates wheel 90, 92 causing arcuate recesses 114 to transmit a driving force to members 112 on belt 98, 100 advancing them in the direction of arrows 192, 194 (FIG. 2) causing crank pins 116 to move their associated leg clamps 14, 16 to opposite ends of their associated slots 42, 44 at which time crank pins 116 will move down their crank slots 118 to the bottom thereof and then start moving their leg clamps 14, 16 in a reverse direction. Since crank pins 116 are located 180 out of phase with each other, legs 18, 20 will be reciprocated in simulation of a walking doll, Realism is imparted to the simulated walking action by providing the arcuate lands 46, 48 forcing leg clamps 14, 16 to follow approximately the path of the arcs which the free ends of legs 18, 20 describe when swung about their hip pivots (not shown).
While the particular walking simulator 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 limitationsare intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims, which form a part of this disclosure.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with a figure toy having at least one pair of legs, a walking simulator comprising:
leg clamp means receiving said legs;
drive means connected to said. leg clamp means for reciprocating them, said'drive means including a platform having a pair of parallel slots provided therein and an arcuate land adjacent each slot, said leg clamp means including a leg clamp for each leg of said pair, each said clamp having joined thereto a member extending through one of said slots and riding on an associated one of said arcuate lands for guiding said legs through an arc during reciprocation thereof bysaid drive means, said drive means including a wheel rotatably mounted on said platform for engaging a surface over which the simulator is to be moved; and means mounting said wheel and platform for swivelling said wheel and platform with respect to said mounting means about a substantially vertical axis passing through said platform at a point offset from the vertical plane occupied by said wheel, whereby said figure toy always faces in the direction of travel of said simulator when it is pushed over a supporting surface.
2. In combination with a figure toy having a pair of legs, a walking simulator comprising:
a circulator platform having a pair of elongated slots provided therein;
an arcuate land extending along each slot, each of said lands having a radius-of-curvature approximating the radius-of-curvature of the arcs which the free ends of said legs will describe when swung about their pivots;
a leg clip slidably connected to each land, each leg clip including a portion engaging an associated one of said legs above said platform and a portion extending through an associated one of said slots to a position below said platform; 7
a ground-engaging wheel rotatably mounted on said platform at a position below said platform and offset from the center thereof;
drive means connecting said wheel to said extending portions of said clips for reciprocating said legs; and
6 a grip ring, said grip ring including shelf means rotatably receiving said platform, whereby said grip ring may be grasped to push said platform over a supporting surface with said wheel in engagement therewith.
3. A combination as stated in claim 2 wherein said drive means comprises:
an axle carried by said wheel for rotation thereby,
said wheel being mounted on an intermediate portion of said axle leaving its ends free;
an endless belt connected to each of said free ends of said axle for rotation thereby; and
means connecting each of said belts to an associated one of said leg clips.
4. A combination as stated in claim 3 wherein said leg clips are provided with crank slots and said means connecting each of said belts to an associated one of said leg clips comprises a crank pin for each crank slot.
5. A combination as stated in claim 4 wherein each leg clip comprises an L-shaped member having a short arm forming a platform for a doll foot and a long arm carrying a leg-encompassing clip having an open front and a tapering side well.
6. A combination as stated in claim 5 wherein said leg clips are made from a tough, flexible polypropylene material.
7. A combination as stated in claim 6 wherein said short arm of each leg clip includes an outboard edge from which an associated one of said extending portions depends.