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Publication numberUS3792858 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 19, 1974
Filing dateJul 1, 1971
Priority dateJul 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3792858 A, US 3792858A, US-A-3792858, US3792858 A, US3792858A
InventorsCross N, Sward M
Original AssigneeCross N, Sward M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sectional game device
US 3792858 A
Abstract
A sectional game device having a central portion and a plurality of relatively long arms releasably secured to the central portion. The arms have abutment surfaces which engage abutment surfaces on the central portion. The arms are held against rotation about any axis tangential to the abutment surfaces by releasable fasteners which may be of the ball and socket type or may be spring biased detents. Each player grips one of the arms and tries to manipulate the device in such a way that the central portion is retained on the arm held by him and the arm or arms held by the other player or players become detached from the central portion. In one form of the game, the device is formed to resemble a wishbone having two arms. The device may take other forms, such as that of an octopus, where it is desirable that the device be played simultaneously by more than two players.
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United States Patent [1 1 Cross, Jr. et al.

[ SECTIONAL GAME DEVICE [75] Inventors: Norton M. Cross, Jr., 2347 Golfview Court, White Bear Lake, Minn. 55110; Melvin L. Sward, St. Paul, Minn.

[73] Assignee:- Norton M. Cross, Jr. d/b/a Source Properties,Stillwater Minn. ,by said Sward [22] Filed: July 1, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 158,698

[52] US. Cl. 273/1 R, 46/173 [51] Int. Cl. A63f 9/00 [58] Field of Search. 273/1 R, 1 M; 46/22, 25, 173, 46/29 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,281,492 10/1918 Blamfield 46/22 3,018,583 1/1962 Novotney 46/22 X 171,533 12/1875 Schmetzer 46/22 3,365,198 l/1968 Hay 46/22 X 1,198,263 9/1916 Pajeau 46/29 2,649,803 8/1953 Andre 46/25 2,649,806 8/1953 Monaghan {16/173 Feb. 19, 1974 Primary Examiner Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Dorsey, Marquart, Windhorst, West & Halladay [5 7] ABSTRACT A sectional game device having a central portion and a plurality of relatively long arms releasably secured to the central portion. The arms have abutment surfaces which engage abutment surfaces on the central portion. The arms are held against rotation about any axis tangential to the abutment surfaces by releasable fasteners which may be of the ball andsocket type or may be spring biased detents. Each player grips one of the arms and tries to manipulate the device in such a way that the central portion is retained on the arm held by him and the arm or arms held by the other player or players become detached from the central portion. In one form of the game, the device is formed to resemble a wishbone having two arms. The device may take other forms, such as that of an octopus, where it is desirable that the device be played simultaneously by more than two players.

9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PAIENIEB E V 3.792.858

- INVENTORS Norton M. Cross, J'r: Melvin L.8ward 1 SECTIONAL GAME DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There are numerous games on the market which involve assembling a device from individual components.

These games appeal to the desire to construct some- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with a device consisting of a central portion and a number of arm portions secured thereto. The device is intended to be used in a game in which opposing players grasp the arm portions and tend to manipulate the device in such a way that the arm held by an opponent becomes detached from the central portion while the central portion remains engaged with the arm held by the player. The arms are preferably held to the central portion by an abruptly releasable means and the engaging surfaces and releasable means are of such character that forces can be transmitted through the arm, the connection between the arm and the central portion, and the central portion to the connection between the central portion and the arm held by a player. In this way, it is possible to manipulate the central portion in such a way as to detach it from the arm held by an opponent without separating the arm held by the player from the central portion.

The connection between each arm and the central portion involves a pair of abutment surfaces which engage over a substantial portion of their extent, one of the abutment surfaces being on the central portion and the other being on the arm. The releasable fastening means serves to hold the abutment surfaces in engagement to provide the means to manipulate the arm and central portion in themanner referred to above. It usually is desirable to employ two detachable fastening means for each arm. These detachable fastening means 'may take the form of spring fastened plungers carried by one of the members and engaging in mating recesses in the other member. They may take the form of ordinary snap fasteners or they may take the form of interengaging protubernaces and sockets in which two of the protuberances or sockets are formed of material which is resilient.

The device may take various shapes. In one preferred form of the invention, the device when assembled re sembles a wishbone in appearance. The game simply then becomes one resembling the familiar one in which people try to break a natural wishbone apart, each player trying to retain a larger piece. This form readily lends itself to a game in which there are two players or in which players are willing to take their turn. Where it is desired to have a number of players play simultaneously, the game device may take other forms. For example, the device may be made to resemble an octopus with eight arms resembling the eight tentacles of an octopus. With this type of device, any number of players, up to eight, can play.

Suitable markers may be employed to keep track of the game. These markers may conform in general appearance with the playing device itself, being on a smaller scale.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the wishbone form of our invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the same;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the device shown in FIG. 1 with portions broken away and showing in more detail the manner in which the arms are held to the central portion;

FIG. 4 is another fragmentary view similar to FIG. 3

but on a smaller scale and showing an alternative method of holding the arms in position;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing still another method of holding the arms in position;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a marker which may be employed with the device of FIGS. 1-5;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a further modification of the device in which the device resembles an octopus; and

FIG. Sis a front elevational view of the device of FIG. 7. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODI- MENT Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is the form of the invention which resembles a wishbone. It will be noted that there is a central portion 10, and two arm portions 11 and 12. The central portion 10 has a knob 13, a pair of ears 14a and 14b, a relatively narrow stem portion 15, and lower ears 16 and 19. The ears 14a and 14b have tapered upper walls and the lower surfaces of ears l6 and 19 and stem portion 15 are curved so that the central portion 10 tends to merge with the two opposed walls of each of arms 11 andv 12 to provide in the assembled condition an arrangement in which the walls of the arms 11 and 12 flow into the walls of the central portion 10. In this way, the unit when assembled, closely resembles a conventional wish-bone. Referring to the arms 11 and 12, these arms curve outwardly, downwardly and terminate in enlarged portions 17 and 18 to further simulate. the appearance of a wishbone.

As will be brought out further in connection with FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the arms 11 and 12 are detachably secured to the central portion 10 in such a manner as to enable torque to be transmitted from either arm 11 or 12 through the central portion 10 to the other arm. Each arm, as previously mentioned, is detachably connected in such a manner that by suitable manipulation of one of the arms, when each arm is held by a different person, it is possible to detach the arm held by one player and the central portion from the arm held by the other player. To accomplish-this, the arms 11 and 12 have abutment surfaces which engage over most of their extent with corresponding abutment surfaces of the central portion 10 along the stem portion 15. Furthermore, releasable fastening means is employed to hold these abutment surfaces in engagement with each other. By reason of the releasable fastening means and the extended engagement between the abutment surfaces, it is possible to transmit torque from one arm 11 through the central portion to the other arm 12.

Referring specifically to FIG. 3, the upper portions of I arms 11 and 12 and the centralportion 10 are shown on an enlarged scale, partly in section, to illustrate one manner in which the arms 11 and 12 are releasably held in engagement with the .central portions 10. Referring first to arm 11, it will be noted that this arm has an inner flat surface 20 which corresponds to a similar flat surface 21 on the stem 19 of the central portion 10.

3 The two surfaces and 21'constitute abutment surfaces and are normally held in engagement with each other. The arm 11 is shown in a position in which it is bieng separated from the central portion 10. The arm 11 has an inner upper wall 24 and a lower wall which, when the arm ll is-attached to the central portion 10, extend generally parallel to the lower wall of ear 14b and the upper wall of the ear 19, respectively. The spacing between walls 24 and 25 of arm 11 is slightly less than the spacing between the underside of ear 14b and the upper surface of collar 19. This is shown in connection with arm 12 in the same figure. The outer portion of the upper wall 24 is curved upwardly to provide a flange 26 which, when arm 11 is pulled out, tends to rock about the curved outer portion of ear 14b of the central portion 10. The abutment surfaces 20 and 21 are held in engagement with each other by a pair of snap fasteners in the form of spring pressed plungers 28 and 29, one extending out of the upper wall 24 and the other out of the lower wall 25. These spring pressed plungers have spherical heads and are adapted to fit into corresponding recesses 31 and 32 in the ears I41? and 19, respectively.

The structure of plungers 28 and 29 and the manner in which they are secured in the arm is best shown in connection with arm 12 in the same figure. As will be noted, the portion of arm 12 appearing in FIG. 3 is shown in section. It will be noted that the arm is hollow. This is for the purpose of conserving material. The arms 11 and 12 may be formed of a durable plastic having sufficient strength to withstand the manipulations exerted upon the arms 11 and 12 in the course of playing the game. Formed below the upper wall 24 and above the lower wall 25 are a pair of cylindrical pockets 32 and 33. Spring pressed plungers 28 and 29 are located in these pockets. Eachof the plungers, as is evident from the drawing, has a flange 34 at an intermediate point thereof. A spring bears against each of the flanges 34 and serves to bias the plungers 28 and 29 outwardly into the position shown in FIG. 3 in connection with arm 12. The upper and lower walls of the pockets 32 and 33 may be initially open sufficiently to permit the insertion of the plungers 28 and 29'and the associated springs 35. After insertion of the spring pressed plungers, the material may bedeformed sufficiently to close the opening and to prevent the passage of flanges 34 through the opening.

It will be noted from FIG. 3 that when the plungers 28 and 29 extend into the sockets 31 and 32, the abutting surfaces of the arms and central portion 10 are held firmly in engagement with each other. The result of this is that the connection between arms 11 and 12 and the central portion is such that a reasonable amount of force can be applied to either arm Ill or 12 from any of various directions and still not result in separation of the arm from the central portion. As has been suggested above, the strategy of the game is to attempt to disengage an arm held by an opponent from the central portion while retaining the central portion 4 ing straight ahead and twisting. These moves can, in turn, be resisted by a skilled player.

In attempting to separate either arm from the central portion 10, the arm tends to turn about two fulcrum points. When the arm 11 is being tilted upwardly with respect to the central portion 10, as shown in FIG. 3, the upwardly curved portion 26 of the wall 24 tends to rock around the lower curved portion of the car 14!) of the central portion. It will also be noted that the upper left-hand corner of the arm 11 bounded by the abutment surface 20 and the upper wall 24 touches the central stem 15 and also acts as a fulcrum point. If the arm 11 were being pushed downwardly and outwardly, the lower curved continuation of the bottom wall 25 of arm 11 would engage the curved portion of the ear l9 and act as a fulcrum. Furthermore, the lower left-hand corner bounded by abutment surface 20 and the lower wall 25 would engage the stem 15 and act as a further fulcrum. Thus, regardless of whether the arm 11 is being pushed upwardly and outwardly or downwardly and outwardly, there are basically two fulcrum points. If the arm 11 is being twisted sideways to detach it from the portion 10, there is a line of engagement between one edge of the arm and the abutment surface 21.

It will be obvious that regardless of how the arm 11 is separated from the central portion 10, this will require the withdrawal of the spring pressed plungers 28 and 29 from the associated sockets 31 and 32. This involves the initial compression of the spring 35 associated with one or the other of the plungers to permit it to be compressed and move out of the associated socket. When this is done, it is obvious that the other plunger can readily be withdrawn. Where the arm is detached from the central portion by sideways twisting, both plungers 28 and 29 must be compressed inwardly to release the arm 11 from the central portion 10.

The action of separating the arm from the central portion has been described in connection with arm 11 since this arm is already shown as partly detached from the central portion 10. It is to be understood, however, that the arms I1 and 12 are mirror images of each other and that the same procedure and the same principles are used in connection with the separation of the arm 12 from the central portion as has been described in connection with the separation of the arm 11 from the central portion.

In FIG. 4, an altemative form of the invention of FIGS. 1 to 3 is shown. In this case, the arms 11 and 12 are held onto the central portion 10 by protuberances 41 and 42 having spherical heads which fit into sockets 43 and 44 which have matching spherical recesses. Since the entrances to sockets 43 and 44 are of smaller diameter than the maximum diameter of the protuberances 41 and 42, it is obviously necessary that either the material of member 10 or that of the arms 11 and 12 be resilient. By making the material of one of the cooperating members sufficiently resilient, it is possible to insert the protuberances 41 and 42 into the sockets 43 and 44 and to firmly retain the arm 1 I connected to the central portion 10. In this version of the device, there are no lower ears corresponding to ears l6 and 19 since there is no need for any portion to support a socket for receiving a spring pressed plunger movable generally parallel to the axis of the central portion 10. In this form of the invention, the lower end 45 of the stem 15 is curved so that it forms a continuation of the curvature of arms 11 and 12. Furthermore, it may be advantageous to have the walls of the stem taper outwardly slightly from top to bottom.

In FIG. 5, I have shown still another modification of the wishbone type of game device. In this form, the central piece 10 is shaped in the same manner as in FIG. 4. In other words, it does not have a lower flange and the opposing sides taper outwardly slightly from top to bottom. In this case, instead of using spherically headed protuberances which fit into spherical sockets, the arms and central portion 10 are provided with cooperating snap fastener elements having male portions 49 and 50 secured to the arms and cooperating with female snap fastener portions 51 and 52 secured in recesses in the central portion 10. While it would be possible to have the male portions of the snap fasteners in the central portion 10 and have the female portions in the arm 11, this would have the drawback that it would require the upper portions of the arms 11 and 12 to be sufficiently thick to enable recesses for the female members to be formed therein without undulyweakening the arms. The operation of FIG. 5 is very much the same as FIGS. 3 and 4. It is possible for either player to attempt to manipulate the central piece with respect to the arm held by the other player so as to detach the central portion from the arm of the opponent without separating the arm held by the player from the central portion. Since the little finger of the player touches the bottom of the arm, the portion gripped is the portion above the bottom and this portion is both laterally and longitudinally displaced from the abutment surface of the arm to facilitate manipulation of the central portion.

FIG. 6 shows a marker which may be employed in playing the game. This marker is nothing more than a miniature wishbone. Obviously, any other type of marking device could be employed, if desired.

In playing the game, the counters are divided up and an equal number are given each player. The first player is chosen by lot and he holds the arm of the wishbone so that his little finger touches the bottom of the arm of the wishbone held by him. He then extends the wishbone with the empty arm towards the second player.

The instant the second player grasps the arm, both players may begin pulling, pushing or twisting in the manner described above. The person whose wishbone arm is detached from the central portion is the loser and he pays one counter to the winner who still has his wishbone attached to the central portion. If both arms come off from the central portion, it is a tie. If the first player jerks the wishbone before the second player grasps it causing it thus to break, the second player wins and is paid a counter. After one person or the other wins, the loser reassembles the wishbone and holds the winning arm, that is the arm that won the preceding round. He then extends the wishbone to the other player. In each round, the loser of the preceding round holds the wishbone by the arm that won the preceding round. In this way, if there is any difference in the extent to which the arms are held to the central portion by the releasable holding means, this is compensated for by taking turns as to which player holds which arm. If there is a tie, the player who holds the arm, holds the same arm in the next round. The game proceeds in the manner described above until one player accumulates all of the counters. He is then declared the winner of the game.

While the game as described above is ideally suited for two players, it may be desirable in some instances to have a game in which more than two players at a time can play. Such a device is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. In this case, the device is made to resemble an octopus instead of a wishbone in appearance. Referring to FIG. 7, it will be noted that there is a central portion 60 and eight arm portions 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 and 68. Each of these arm portions as shown in FIG. 8 may be curved to resemble to some extent the curvature of the tentacles of an octopus and at the same time to provide the correct curvature for holding the arms in such a manner that they can be manipulated so as to tend to detach the arm held by an opponent from the central portion 60. As best shown in FIG. 8, central portion 60 comprises a head flange portion 70 on which may be pained eyes and a nose to simulate those of an octopus. Extending below the upper flange portion 70 is an octagonal stem portion having eight flat abutment surfaces 73 forming the sides of an octagon. Secured to the stem portion 72 is a lower flange portion 74 which likewise may be octagonal in shape but of greater over all transverse width than the stem portion. The arms 61 through 68 are provided with flat end walls which are of the same height as the flat surfaces 73 of the octagonal stem 72. Suitable abruptly releasable means is pro vided to hold the arms 6168 in engagement with the central portion 60 with the ends of these arms in abutting engagement with the walls 73. The sanp means employed to hold the arms in position may assume any of the forms shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 in connection with the wishbone form of the game.

It will be appreciated that the devices of FIGS. 7 and 8 may be employed in a manner'similar to that employed in connection with the modification of FIGS. 1-3. In this case, the counters may be in the form of miniature octopuses. In any event, each player is given a predetermined number of markers and losers must give markers to the other players. The game may either be played until one arm is detached from the central portion or until all but one arm is detached from the central portion.

It will be seen that the game, either in the form of the octopus or any of the other forms which it may take enables the players to have the fun of destroying a device without creating any permanent damage. The game, in the wishbone form, has the advantage of simulating the well known game in which people try to get the larger piece of a natural wishbone. In either version, the game appeals to the desire of theplayer not only to cause destruction of an assembled piece of apparatus but also to retain the larger piece for himself. Because of the nature of the joints between the arms and the central portion, considerable skill is involved not only in trying to manipulate the center portion so that it becomes detached from the arm held by an opponent but also in manipulations by the opponent in avoiding such manipulations by the first player. In other words, while certain types of manipulations of an arm tends to result in the central portion becoming separated from the arm held by the opponent, the opponent has available certain moves tending to counteract such actions by the first player. Thus, the game does involve considerable skill. Furthermore, because the action takes place rather quickly, the game is a very fast-moving game.

While we have shown certain specific embodiments of our invention for the purposes of illustration, it is to be understood that the scope of the invention is limited soiely by the appended claims.

We claim as our invention:

1. A sectional game device having a relatively small central member and at least one pair of relatively long arms secured to said central member, said central member having at least one pair of opposed abutment surfaces, one for each arm, each arm having. a corresponding abutment surface generally corresponding to one of the abutment surfaces of said central member, and each arm having a length much greater than the maximum dimension of said central member and having a portion to be gripped which is laterally and longitudinally displaced with respect to the abutment surface of the arm, and a plurality of releasable fastening means to hold said arms releasably but rigidly secured to said central member with the abutment surface of each arm in engagement with the corresponding abutment surface of said central member, there being two spaced releasable fastening means for each arm so disposed with respect to the abutment surface of said arm and the cooperating abutment surface of said central member that said arm is held against turning movement about any axis tangential to such abutment surfaces, so that when said arms are held by different players, any one player may by manipulation tend to detach the central member and the armheld by him from the arm held by an opposing player.

2. The game device of claim 1 in which the engaging abutment surfaces of the arms and central member are flat over a substantial portion of their extent.

3. The game device of claim 1 in which the engaging abutment surfaces of the arms and central member are flat over a substantial portion of their extent and are curved at one end, the flat abutment surfaces of the central member being recessed with respect to the maximum transverse dimension of said central member.

4. The game device of claim 1 in which the releasable fastener means are spring pressed detents disposed adjacent opposite ends of the abutment surfaces.

5. The game device of claim 4 in which the spring pressed detents comprise cooperating male and female rounded portions in said arms and central member, at least one of which portions is yieldably biased toward the other to enable the insertion into and the removal from of the male portion with respect to the female portion in a direction substantially perpendicular to the direction in which the yieldable portion is biased.

6. The game device of claim 1 in which each releasable fastening means consists of a pair of interlocking portions in the form of a spherical protuberance and a matching spherical socket, one of said interlocking portions being formed as part of said central portion and the other as part of one of said arms and at least one of said portions being formed of resilient material to enable the spherical protuberance to be inserted into and removed from the socket.

7. The game device of claim I in which each releasable fastening means comprises a pair of snap fasteners, each having one part secured to the central portion and the other part secured to one of said arms.

8. The game device of claim 1 in which there are two curved diverging arms and in which the device simulates a wishbone in appearance.

9. The game device of claim 1 in which there are eight curved diverging arms resembling octopus tentacles and in which the device in its entirety simulates an octopus in appearance.

Patent Citations
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US1281492 *Jul 15, 1918Oct 15, 1918Charles BlamfieldToy.
US2649803 *Jun 24, 1952Aug 25, 1953Internat Molded Plastics IncSnap-fastener toy blocks
US2649806 *Jul 19, 1949Aug 25, 1953Monaghan Frank PDoll or manikin joint
US3018583 *Sep 4, 1957Jan 30, 1962Novotney Frank AToy
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4274629 *Oct 9, 1979Jun 23, 1981Marvin Glass & AssociatesCombative game apparatus
US5803787 *Mar 12, 1997Sep 8, 1998Kulchyski; EmilyApparatus and method for securing a wing to a torso of a doll
US6739935 *Jan 25, 2001May 25, 2004Breakey B.V.Toy article
US7575496Oct 24, 2005Aug 18, 2009Mattel, Inc.Toy with spring-loaded, pop-off appendage assemblies
EP1120146A1 *Jan 22, 2001Aug 1, 2001Breakey V.O.F.Toy article with a handle and coupling piece for connection with a second toy article
EP1386647A2 *Nov 22, 2001Feb 4, 2004Breakey B.V.Toy article with a handle and coupling piece for connection with a second toy article
WO2003008062A1 *Jul 19, 2001Jan 30, 2003Breakey B VToy article with handle and coupling piece for connection with a second toy article
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/440, 446/101, 273/445, 446/121
International ClassificationA63F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/00
European ClassificationA63F9/00