US 3796284 A
A simple toy with a phonograph which begins playing only when a child performs a predetermined operation such as pressing a certain location on the toy, the toy including a pullstring phonograph and a mechanism for preventing inward movement of the string until the predetermined operation is performed. One toy housing is in the form of a doll with a resilient mouth portion that moves inward when the child kisses the doll, to operate a string engaging member so it releases the pullstring. Another toy is in the form of a jack-in-the-box, and includes a string engaging member that releases the pullstring of the phonograph when a child pushes a button to allow the lid on the box to open.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Zeigner et al.
[ 1 Mar. 12, 1974 1 1 STARTING MECHANISM FOR TOY WITH PHONOGRAPH  Inventors: Willard L. Zeigner, Fountain Valley; Gordon J. Popitt,
Westminster; John E. Sargeant, Palos Verdes; Ronald J. Zawistowski, Redondo Beach, all of Calif.
 Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
 Filed: Mar. 10, 1972  Appl. No.: 233,466
[ 52] US. Cl 185/39, 24/115 G, 24/134 R, 24/136 R, 46/117, 46/146, 46/175 AR, 74/2, 188/651, 274/1 A  Int. Cl.... G05g 17/00, A63h 5/00, A63h 13/16  Field of Search 74/2; 46/118, 146, 175 AR, 46/117; 274/1 A; 185/39; 188/651; 24/115 G, 134 R, 134 E, 134 EA, 136 R, 263 SB  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 339,888 4/1886 Hinds ..-74/2' 1,554,105 9/1925 Riviere 185/39 2,353,440 7/1944 Bresee 74/2 X 2,393,312 1/1946 Davenport 74/2 X 2,694,875 11/1954 l-lolfmann 74/2 UX 2,934,283 4/1960 Astore 188/651 X 3,178,128 4/1965 Meletti.... 188/651 X 3,082,006 3/1963 Ryan 274/1 A 7 Primary Examiner-Allan D. Herrmann Attorney, Agent, or FirmMax E. Shirk  ABSTRACT A simple toy with a phonograph which begins playing only when a child performs a predetermined operation such as pressing a certain location on the toy, the toy including a pullstring phonograph and a mechanism for preventing inward movement of the string until the predetermined operation is performed. One toy housing is in the form 'of a doll with a resilient mouth portion that moves inward when the child kisses the doll,
to operate a string engaging member so it releases the pullstring. Another toy is in the form of a jack-in-thebox, and includes a string engaging member that releases the pullstring of the phonograph when a child pushes a button to allow the lid on the box to open.
3 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PAIENIEIJIM 2 4014 Saw 2 OF 4 SHEET 3 [If 4 STARTING MECHANISM FOR TOY WITH PI-IONOGRAPII BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toys which utilize phonographs.
Toy phonographs have been utilized in a wide variety of toys to increase their entertainment value. Among the various types of phonographs are those which have a battery-energized motor, those which utilize a keywound spring motor, and those which utilize a pullstring-wound spring motor. The pull-string type is generally the cheapest, but its use has been limited largely to those toys wherein no interaction is required between the photograph and other elements of the toy. The battery-energized type is generally the most expensive, but it has often been used where playing of the phonograph is to be controlled in connection with operation of other toy elements, as where it is desired to begin playing when a button is pressed, because of the ease of control of the motor by a simple electric switch. If simple devices were available for controlling operation of the pullstring type phonograph, then it could be utilized in a greater variety of toys to reduce the cost of the toy and eliminate the need for electric batteries.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, a toy is provided which utilizes a pullstring toy phonograph that begins playing only when a child manually operates a mechanism of the toy. One embodiment of the toy is in the form of a doll with a mouth portion that can be depressed when a child kisses the doll. The doll contains a pullstring phonograph which remains in a pulled out condition and does not begin playing, until the mouth of the doll is depressed. The door has a string engaging member about which the pullstring extends, and which can be moved between a restraining position wherein it prevents return of the pullstring into the phonograph and a release position wherein it permits return of the string. The pullstring changes direction in passing about the string engaging member, so that tension existing in the string when a child pulls it to wind up the phonograph causes the string engaging member to move to the restraining position to prevent return of the string. A catch holds the string engaging member in its restraining position. When the mouth of the doll is depressed, the catch is released to allow return of the string engaging member to a release position, thereby allowing the pullstring to be drawn into the phonograph, which permits the phonograph to immediately begin playing.
In another embodiment of the invention, a jack-inthe-box toy is provided which includes a buttonoperated lever for releasing the lid on the box to allow a puppet to pop up. A pullstring phonograph is mounted in the housing, and a mechanism is provided which allows the phonograph to begin playing only when the lid is released to allow the puppet to pop up. The toy includes a string engaging member that is moved down to a restraining position to prevent return of the pullstring, when the lid of the box is closed. The member can move up to release position that allows the string to return into the phonograph and the phono graph to begin playing when the lid on the housing is opened.
The novel features 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 drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view of a toy doll constructed in accordance with the invention, shown in a latched condition to prevent playing of the phonograph thereof;
FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view of the doll of FIG. 1, shown in an unlatched condition that exists during playing of the phonograph;
FIG. 3 is a view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a portion of the doll in the latch condition of FIG. 1, showing the string restraining apparatus thereof;
FIG. 5 is a view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a view of the same region of the toy as FIG. 4, but showing it in an unlatched condition;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the invention which is a jack-in-the-box toy, showing it in a condition wherein the lid of the box is closed and the pullstring has not yet been pulled;
FIG. 8 is a partial view of the toy of FIG. 7, showing it after the string has been pulled but prior to opening of the lid;
FIG. 9 is a partial view of the toy of FIG. 7, showing it after the pulled string has been released, but prior to opening of the lid;
FIG. 10 is a partial view of the toy of FIG. 7, showing it after the lid has been opened to permit the pullstring to move inwardly; and
FIG. 11 is a view taken on the line lll1 of FIG. 10.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a talking doll which contains a toy phonograph that can be wound by pulling a ring 12 at the outer end of a pullstring 14. The doll housing includes a housing formed by a torso 16 and a head 18 mounted on the torso. The head is constructed of resilient material so that the mouth region 20 can be pressed inwardly a slight amount when a child kisses the doll or otherwise applies pressure to the mouth region. In order to cause the doll to produce a saying, a child first must pull out the pullstring 14 to wind a spring motor 22 of the phonograph. However, unlike the usual pullstring phonograph mechanism, which begins to play as soon as the pullstring is released, the phonograph does not begin playing until the mouth region 20 is depressed. The doll therefore can use a typical pullstring phonograph 10 to produce audible saylugs, and yet the commencement of playing is controlled by a manual operation (pressing of the mouth region 20) other than release of the pullstring. A relatively simple mechanism 24 connected to the mouth region 20 and the pullstring 14 allows such control by preventing return of the pullstring 14 after it has been pulled, until the mouthregion 20 has been pressed.
The phonograph 10 in the doll includes a turntable 26 with a disc record 28, a spring drum 30, and a string drum 32. When the string 14 is applied, it unwinds from the string drum 32, thereby causing the turntable to rotate in a predetermined reverse direction to cause the motor spring 22 to wind onto the spring drum 30. When the pullstring 14 is allowed to move back into the phonograph, the spring 22 unwinds from the spring drum 30, thereby turning the tumable 26 in a direction to rewind the pullstring onto the drum 32 and to rotate the record 28 in a forward direction. During rotation of the record in a forward direction, a stylus 34 engages the record to play it so that a sound recording is heard. This is a well-known type of phonograph which has been commonly used in toys. l
In accordance with the present invention, the mechanism 24 is provided to control movement of the pullstring 14 so that it is prevented from being pulled back into the phonograph until the mouth region 20 of the doll is pressed. When the mouth region is depressed, the phonograph immediately begins playing. The mechanism includes a string engager 36 which is slideably mounted in a frame 38 that is fixed to the doll housing. The string engager includes a plunger 54 and a wheel 40 that is rotatably mounted on the plunger. The pullstring 14 extends from the phonograph 10, partially around the wheel 40, through an opening 42 in the frame 38, and through an opening 44 in the doll housing. The path of the pullstring 14 near the wheel 40, is chosen so that tension in the pullstring urges the string engager 36 downwardly, as will be described below.
When the string engager 36 is moved down, it achieves a resist position wherein it prevents movement of the pullstring in a direction to rewind into the phonograph 10. During downward movement of the plunger 54 of the string engager, a hook-shaped first catch or hook 46 moves under a second catch 48 formed on the frame 38, to prevent the string engager from moving up again. However, when the lip region 20 of the doll is pressed, an arm 50 that extends from the inside of the mouth region to the hook 46 moves the hook backward so that it is disengaged from the catch 48, to permit the string engager 36 to move up to a release position. A biasing spring 52 constantly urges the string engager 36 upwardly to cause it to move up. When the string engager moves up to the release position, the pullstring 14 is released so that it can be drawn back into the phonograph under the force of the motor spring 22 in the phonograph. The string engager 36 includes a thin catch arm 56 that is integral with the plunger 54. The plunger 54 and catch arm 56 are constructed of a material which is resilient enough to permit the catch arm 56 to deflect rearwardly, when pushed back by the arm 50, to permit the hook 46 to disengage from the catch FIG. 4 illustrates the portion of the mechanism which serves to restrain the pullstring 14 from returning into thephonograph when the plunger 54 is moved downwardly. The wheel 40 has several recesses 58in a spool 59 about which the string 14 extends. A pawl 60 which is pivotally mounted at 62 on the frame, has a tooth 64 which can press the string 14 into a recess of the wheel 40 when the string engager plunger is in its downward, restraining position. The pull string 14 then cannot return to the phonograph, because this causes the pawl 40 to pivot up to that it presses harder against the pullstring. Thus, when the string engager 36 is moved downwardly to its restraining position, the pullstring 14 cannot return into the phonograph, and the phonograph therefore cannot play.
When the mouth region 20 of the doll is pressed, so that the hook 46 on the string engager is released from the catch 48, the string engager plunger 54 moves up to the release position shown in FIGS. 2 and 6. At this position, the string-engaging spool 59 of the wheel 40 is spaced from the tooth 64 of the pawl, so that the wheel 40 can freely rotate. The pullstring 14 can then move around the wheel 40 in a direction to return to -the phonograph. As the pullstring 14 returns to the phonograph, the motor spring of the phonograph rotates the record so that the phonograph plays a recording. Thus, pressing of the mouth region 20 of the doll allows the string engager 36 to move to a release position and thereby permit the phonograph to immediately begin playing.
After the phonograph has been played, a child must pull the pullstring 14 out of the toy in order to rewind the motor spring of the phonograph so that the phonograph can play again the next time the mouth region of the doll is pressed. During such pulling of the pullstring 14, the string ehgager plunger 54 isv automatically moved down to the restraining position shown in FIG. 4. Such downward movement against the force of the biasing spring 52 is accomplished through the use of tension existing in the pullstring 14 to move down the plunger. In passing around the spool 59 of the wheel 40, the pullstring undergoes a change in direction. The string portion 140 that'lies between the wheel 40 and phonograph 10 extends ina downward direction from the wheel to the phonograph. As a result, tension in the pullstring 14 causes it to exert a force T on the wheel 40 tending to pull the wheel 40. The portion of the pullstring 14b extending from the wheel to the opening 42 in the frame extends nearly horizontally, although with the slight downward directional component from the wheel 40 to the hole 42 in the frame so that tension in the string portion 14 will also exert a downward force on the wheel 40 and string engager plunger 54.
The tension which a child applies to the pullstring 14 to wind the phonograph motor spring and to overcome friction of mechanisms in the phonograph, is great enough .so that the plunger 54 is pulled down with a force exceeding the upward force applied by the biasing spring 52. As a result, when the pullstring 14 is pulled out of the toy, the plunger of the string engager moves down and is latched in its restraining position. During such downward movement, the tooth 64 of the pawl 60 is deflected downwardly a slight amount. A pawl spring 68 urges the pawl to pivot up so that the tooth 64 tends to move upwardly into firm engagement with the spool 59 of the wheel. When the plunger 54 of the string engager is up, the pawl 60 pivots up until it abuts a wall 66 on the frame, so that the pawl is positioned to engage the wheel 40 when it moves down again.
FIGS. 7-11 illustrate a jack-in-the-box toy which utilizes a pullstring phonograph 10 to play a saying when the box is opened and a puppet figure pops up. The toy includes a box housing 82 with a lid 84 that is pivoted about a hinge 86 so that it can move over and away from an opening 88 through which the toy figure 80 moves. A coil spring 90 under the figure moves it up through the opening whenever the lid is opened. A lever type catch 92 is pivotally mounted at 94 on the housing, and it includes a hook-like catch part 96 that can hold the lid in a closed position. The catch 92 is constructed of resilient material, so that an arm 98 thereof acts like a spring to urge the hook 96 towards a position of engagement with the lid 84. When a child presses a button 100 on the catch 92, he pivots it so that the hook 96 releases the lid to allow the toy figure 80 to pop up. This general type of mechanism is, of course, well known. However, the toy also includes apparatus which cooperates with the toy phonograph so that it does not begin playing until the lid 84 is opened. Accordingly, the phonograph can play sayings which appear to come from the toy figure 80 when it pops up, such as Surprise! Well hello there, my name is Jack, what is your name, or to create other noises which are most appropriately played at the time that the figure pops'up.
The phonograph 10, described earlier for the doll embodiment of the invention of FIG. 1, is mounted so that its pullstring 14 extends past a string restraining mechanism 102. The mechanism 102 allows the pullstring 14 to be pulled out at any time to wind the motor spring 22 in he phonograph 10, but it prevents rewinding of the pullstring 14 back into the phonograph until the lid 84 is opened. The mechanism includes a guide frame 104 mounted on the housing 82 and having a pair of apertures 106 through which the pullstring 14 extends. A string engager assembly 108 is provided which includes a lower member 110 slidably mounted on the guide frame 104, an upper member 112 can slide up and down with respect to the lower member 110, and a separating spring 114 that biases the lower and upper members 110, l 12 apart. The lower member 110 has a lower end 116 that can press the pullstring 14 against the walls of the guide frame holes 106 with a wedging action, to resist movement of the pullstring 14 through the holes 106. When the spring 114 pushes down the lower part 110 of the string engager with a larger force, the lower part 116 provides sufficient resistance to movement of the pullstring 14 through the guide frame, that the pullstring cannot be retracted into the phonograph and the phonograph cannot play.
The upper part 112 of the string engager can hold down the biasing spring 114 so that it can push down the lower part 110 of the string engager with a large force to prevent playing of the phonograph. The upper string engager part 112 has a button 118 at its upper end which lies under the lid 84 of the toy housing. When the lid 84 is closed, it holds down the upper string engager part 112, thereby pressing down on the spring 112 and the lower part 110 to prevent movement of the pullstring 14. However, when the lid 84 is released to open, the upper string engager part 112 moves up, and it no longer presses down on the spring 114. As a result, the lower string engager part 110 no longer presses down with a large force on the pullstring 14. Thus, if the phonograph motor spring has been wound by pulling out the pullstring 14, then when the lid 84 opens the pullstring 14 is released to being movmg m.
The use of a biasing spring 114 in the string engager 108 enables relatively close control of the downward force applied by the lower string engager part 110 to the pullstring 14. The biasing spring 1 14 is constructed so that when the lid is closed and the spring pushes the lower string engager part 110 with a maximum force against the pullstring 14, there is only a moderate level of frictional resistance to the movement of the string 14 through the holes 106 in the guide frame. The amount of frictional resistance is great enough to prevent the motor spring 22 in the phonograph from retracting the pullstring 14. However, the frictional resistance is low enough so that a child can readily apply enough force to the ring 12 at the outer end of the pullstring 14 to pull out the pullstring and wind the motor spring of the phonograph. This allows a child to pull the string 14 and wind the phonograph even if the lid 84 is closed on the toy housing. For example, the motor spring 22 may apply a tension such as one pound to the pullstring 14 when the motor spring is fully wound. However, the string engager 108 may provide a resistance to string movement that can be overcome only by a net tension in the pullstring 14 of two pounds. As a result, when a child applies three pounds of pulling force to the pullstring, he can overcome the frictional resistance and apply enough force to wind the motor spring. Also an outward pull tends to lift 1 10 and decrease interference and resultant frictional force. However, when the child release the pullstring, the motor spring 22 in the phonograph cannot supply enough tension to overcome the frictional resistance. The biasing spring 114 should be chosen so that a force of much less than ten pounds is required to pull the pullstring, inasmuch as it is difficult for children to apply a pulling force of more than this.
FIG. 8 shows the toy in a condition wherein the lid 84 is closed and the upper part 112 of the string engager presses down on the biasing spring 1 14, which in turn presses the lower part 110 against the pullstring 14. However, a child can apply enough tension to pull out the pullstring l4 and wind up the phonograph. Of course, a child can even more easily pull out the pullstring 14 when the lid 84 is opened, but he would then have to close the lid before releasing the string to keep the phonograph ready to play. FIG. 9 illustrates the situation wherein the pullstring 14 has been pulled out to a maximum extent. The lower part 1 10 of the string engager 108 then bears down hard enough on the pullstring 14 to prevent its retraction into the phonograph by the motor spring of the phonograph.
FIG..10 shows how the phonograph is allowed to start playing when the jack-in-the-box is opened. When a child presses the button 100 on the latch 92, the hook 96 releases the lid so that the toy figure can pop up. This allows the upper part 112 of the string engager to move up. As a result, the only downward force applied by the bottom part 1 16 of the string engager to the pullstring 14 is the weight of the two string engager parts 110, 112 and the biasing spring 114 thereof. The weight of these parts is very small so that there is only a small amount of frictional resistance on the pullstring l4 and it can be readily rewound into the phongraph, thereby permitting the phonograph to play.
Thus, the invention provides toys of the type which utilize a simple pullstring phonograph, wherein the toys utilize simple restraining mechanisms to prevent playing of the phonograph until a child performs a certain manual operation. The restraining mechanism prevents the pullstring from moving into the phonograph until the predetermined manual operation is performed, but when the operation is performed the pullstring is re leased and the phonograph begins playing. In the doll toy described above, tension which exists in the pullstring when a child is pulling it, is utilized to cock the restraining mechanism so that it thereafter prevents return of the pullstring until a certain part of the doll is pressed. In the jack-in-the-box toy described above,
movement of the restraining mechanism between restraining and release positions is controlled by an independently moved lid. In that embodiment, a resistance to movement of the pullstring in either direction is applied prior to the child performing the operation that releases the pullstring. However, resistance to string movement is low enough to allow the pullstring to be pulled out and yet is large enough to prevent the motor have 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 phonograph toy including motor means and means for energizing said motor means, said motor energizing means comprising a drawstring, the improvement comprising:
restraining means connectable to said motor energizing means for restraining said motor energizing means, said restraining means including a string engaging member;
means releasably connecting said string engaging member to said drawstring for restraining said motor energizing means;
trigger means for rapidly releasing said releasable connecting means; and
means for retaining said releasable connecting means in a released position until said trigger means is reset.
2. An improvement as stated in claim 1 wherein said releasable connecting means includes means for automatically latching said string engaging member in a motor restraining position when said trigger means is reset.
3. Amy comprising:
a toy housing with an opening;
a phonograph disposed in said housing, said phonograph having a motor spring for driving it, and a pullstring coupled to said motor spring so that the pullstring winds the motor spring when the pullstring is pulled out and so that the motor spring pulls the pullstring back into the phonograph when the motor spring drives the phonograph, said pullstring extcnding out of said toy housingthrough said opening;
string restraining means in said housing for resisting movement of said string at least in a direction wherein it moves into said phonograph, said string restraining means being operable to release said pullstring so it can move into said phonograph, said string restraining means including a string-engaging member moveably mounted on said housing for movement between a resist position wherein it resists movement of said string at least in a direction to enter said phonograph and a release position wherein it releases said string, and a biasing spring coupled to said string-engaging member to urge it towards said release position, said pullstring extending at least partially about said string-engaging member so that the string changes direction to cause string tension to produce a net force on said string-engaging member, said string-engaging member positioned so that the force'on it arising from tension in-the string urges it towards said resist position; and
manually operable release means for operating said restraining means to release said pullstring, said release means including means for automatically latching said string-engaging member in said resist position when said member is moved thereto.