US 3811218 A
A toy vehicle of modular construction, commonly referred to as a together take-apart toy, having a chassis, and front and rear body subassemblies detachably mountable upon said chassis in tandem relationship. Each subassembly comprises a frame and a component supportable thereon; said frames being identical for interchangeability and said components being secured, by headed and threaded fasteners, to posts which extend up through the frames from the chassis. A figurine having a hexagonal socket in its base may be detachably mounted as the vehicle driver and also used as a wrench to turn the fasteners.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Salmon et al.
[ 1 May21, 1974 1 1 MODULAR TOY VEHICLE  Assignee: Buddy L Corporation, New York,
 Filed: Mar. 16, 1972 ] Appl. No.: 235,358
 US. Cl 46/17, 46/202, 46/223  Int. Cl A63h 33/10  Field of Search 46/17, 23, 16, 201, 202, 46/218, 223
 1 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,332,718 10/1943 Hickling 46/17 3,318,612 5/1967 Kuhn 46/17 X 3,176,429 4/1965 Brown et a1. 46/223 X 3,629,968 12/1971 Linstead 46/17 2,386,745 10/1945 Y arborough 46/201 8/1920 McLaren 46/17 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 27,647 3 1903 Great Britain 46/221 Primary Examiner-F.' Barry Shay Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ralph W. Kalish [5 7] ABSTRACT which extend up through the frames from the chassis.
A figurine having a hexagonal socket in its base may be detachably mounted as the vehicle driver and also used as a wrench to turn the fasteners.
9 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PMYENTED MAY 2 1 I974 SHEU 1 OF 3 PATENTEDHAY 2: m4 (3}81 1,218
SHEET 3 0F 3 ms. 5 FIG. 6
FIG.7' 47 I MODULAR TOY VEHICLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I play value, as well as educative value for the user.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle of the character stated comprising interchangeable components which are adapted for presentation inany selected motif so as to endow the vehicle with a distinct character simulative of wellknown vehicles.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a toy vehicle of the character stated having constituent parts which may be inte'rengaged for forming a stable vehicle and which may be easily disengaged without resort to usage of extrinsic tools so that the device is fully selfcontained.
It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle of the character stated which embodies demountable wheels whereby the young user may become familiar with the fundamentals of vehicle wheel construction.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a toy of the type ,above referred to which is uniquely constructed of disengageable components so that through playing with the same a child may learn of the utilization of common tools, such as wrenches; fasteners, such as, nuts and related threaded parts; as well as develop manual dexterity and puzzle solving skills.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a toy vehicle of the character stated which may be most economically produced in a high volume manner; which is capable of modification through substitution of modular elements without altering the basic construction of the device; and which is extremely durable and reliable in usage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a modular toy constructed in accordance 'with and embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the modular toy vehicle in fully assembled condition.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the assembled vehicle.
FIG. 4 is a front view of the assembled vehicle.
FIG. 5 is a rear end view of the assembled vehicle.
FIG. 6 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken on the line.66 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view.
FIG. 9 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken on the line 9-9 of FIG. 8.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now by reference numerals to the drawings which illustrate the preferred embodiment of the present invention, A generally designates a toy vehicle' comprised of a limited number of modules adapted for ready assembly into, and disassembly' from, integrated vehicle-forming relationship, and comprehending securing elements which obviate resort to the use of extrinsic tools. As will be developed hereinbelow, the components of vehicle A are peculiarly adapted to allow for interchangeability and substitution so that a marked variety of vehicle types may be obtained by the present invention.
The major modules of vehicle A are a chassis l and front and back body subassemblies 2, 3, which latter are detachably mountable upon chassis l in tandem re- Iationship.
As may best be seen in FIGS. 7, 8, and 9, chassis l is of unitary construction being preferably formed by injection molding from a high impact plastic, and generally contains a major base or platform-like section 4, which as illustrated, may be shaped for simulating an engine 5, transmission 6, propeller shaft 7, differential 8, front and rear axles 9, 10 for rendering a realistic air to vehicle A.
Integral with base 4 are coextensive side flanges ll, 12, which project above and below base 4 for strengthening and rigidifying the same. At its front and rear ends base 4 also integrally includes forward and transverse flange-like members l3, 14, respectively, which extend at their ends beyond the proximate sides of said base 4 and which are so formed as to be provided with a flat top surface l5, 16, respectively, for support purposes as will be presently disclosed. If desired, rear transverse member 14 may include tail-light simulative portions 17, 17'. Projecting upwardly from each top surface l5, 16 of transverse members 13, 14, respectively, is a pair of projections in the form of posts l8, l8; l9, 19'. respectively, the same being transversely spaced apart, substantially aligned with the proximate flanges ll, 12 of base 4. Each of said posts 18, 18'; l9, 19 is provided in its upper end with an aperture 20, the
openings of which apertures 20 are in a direction lengthwise of vehicle A.
Continuous with each end of front and rear axles 9, 10 for extension laterally of the proximate flange 1 l, 12 are extensions 21, 22, respectively, which are diametrically rediced spacedly from the proximate flange to develop a shoulder 23. At each of its outer ends, each axle extension 21, 22, spacedly outwardly of shoulder 23, is provided with external threads 24; and having a rounded end extremity 25 for accepting a cap nut 26, which latter at its inner end is provided with a circumferential flange 27 for cooperating with shoulder 23 to maintain a wheel 28, the hub portion 29 of which is disposed upon each axle extension 21, 22 against undesirable shiftable movement axially of the related axle 9, 10. However, as indicated in FIG. 9, the distance between shoulder 23 and cap nut flange 27 is slightly greater than the thickness of wheel hub 29 so as to allow for free rotation of each wheel 28 about its related axle extension 21, 22. It will thus be seen that wheels 28 may be easily mounted upon chassis l, or removed therefrom, by appropriate manipulation of cap nuts 26, each of which latter embodies a polygonally, central portions, which preferably is of hexagonal character, as indicated at 30.
As may best be seen in FIG. 1, 6, and 8, chassis base 4 incorporates short lateral projections 31, 32, substantially intermediate the length of flanges ll, 12, respectively, which projections 31, 32 are aligned with the end extensions of transverse members 13, 14; the upper surfaces of which projections assist in supporting body subassemblies 2, 3, as will be described hereinbelow.
The front body subassembly or module 2 is basically of two-part character comprising a frame 33 and a cabforming component 34. Frame 33 being formed of any relatively rigid material, but preferably metal, is quadrilateral in cross-section having planar parallel front and rear walls 35, 36, respectively, and side walls 37, 37
said frame being opened at its upper and lower ends.
Front wall 35 is of markedly lesser vertical extent than rear wall 36 being cut away in its upper portion to form one upper edge portion of frame 33, as at 38, and to provide an opening for purposes to be described. Each side wall 37, 37 is centrally cut away having the adjacent portion shaped to present a fender-simulative portion 39, 39 for disposition generally converingly of the inner portion of the adjacent wheel. At their upper ends side walls 37, 37 and rear wall 36 from another upper edge portion of frame 33, said edge portion being continuous with a coextensive, inturned, horizontal, and hence, generally U-shaped flange 40. Front and rear walls 35, 36 are cut away in their lower portions, as at 41, 42, respectively, for effecting the development at their ends with the adjacent sections of side walls 37, 37' of lower edge portions in the form of short front and rear corner legs 43, 43. Frame 33 is constructed and dimensioned for seated disposition upon the forward portion of. chassis l in which condition the lower edge of front wall 35 will rest upon top surface of front transverse member 13; the lower edge of rear wall 36 will extend substantially across the transverse centerline of chassis l and being seated upon projections 31, 32; and with side walls .37, 37 being so disposed that fender-like portions 39, 39' will be in superimposed relationship to front wheels 28. lt will be seen that front legs 43 will be presented endwise of the opposite ends of front transverse member 13 (see FIGS. 2, 4) and rear legs 43' being disposed immediately laterally outwardly of projections 31, 32. It is to be noted that frame 33 is of such width that the same will embrace posts 18, 80', but that front wall 35 is of such reduced height that apertures in said posts 18, 18 will be located thereabove. In view of the foregoing, it will be especially noted that frame 33 interfits with chassis -1 so that the same may be merely disposed restingly thereupon without necessity of positive securing means.
Component 34, being preferably of molded construction incorporates a body 44 which is uniquely formed for fitted disposition upon frame 33 having front and rear end walls-45, 46, respectively, and side walls 47, 47'. Integral with said walls is a generally top wall 48 contoured to provide a seat-simulative well 49, there being a hexagonally shaped boss 50 at the base of said well and there may be a steering wheel-simulative member 51 provided at the forward end of said well. Thus, component 34 is substantially opened to its bottorn. If desired, a companion boss could be provided adjacent boss 50.
Component 34 has a width corresponding to the transverse extent of the cut away portion 38 at the forward end of frame 33 so as to be received between side walls 37 37 thereof with the bottom edge of the component front wall 45 disposed upon the upper surface of wall of frame 33; and with said component 34 being supported upon the portion of frame flange by frame 33 through its normally open upper end, which latter is closed by said component 34. Front wall 45 of component 34 projects upwardly above the top wall 48 thereof for suitable contouring to represent a windshield S3.
With reference now being made to FIG. 7 it will be seen that componentw34 will be disposed coveringly of posts 18, 18 thus obscuring the same from exterior view. Apertures 20 in said'posts 18, 18' are in registra tion with apertures 54 provided in front wall'45 of component 34 for extension rearwardly therethrough of the externally threaded end portion 55 of bolts 56; said external threads 55 being engaged by internal threads 57 formed in apertures 20. The forwardly presented ends of said bolts 56 are of like shape externally as cap nuts 26 hereinabove described, having a hexagonal sided section, as indicated at 30'. With reference to F IGS. 2 and 4, it will be seen that the heads or exposed ends of bolts 56 serve to imitate headlights.
By means of bolts 56, component 34 is secured directly to chassis I through posts 18, l8'and by such engagement serve to sandwich, as it were, frame 33 between said component 34 and chassis 1 thereby integrating chassis 1 and front body subassembly into a stable entity. Conversely by merely unthreading bolts 56, component 34 and hence frame 33 are freed for facile removal from each other as well as from chassis 1.
A stylized driver-simulative figurine 58 is provided; being of generally tubular form and opening toward its lower end, as at 59, which latter is complementarily formed for removable gripping disposition upon boss 50. Thus, the lower end 59 of the figurine 58, in effect, constitutes a socket wrench of hexagonal form and is dimensioned for engaging the hexagonal sided portions 30, 30 of end caps 25 and bolts 56 for tightening and untightening purposes. Figurine 58 serves as an appropriate tool for conducing to ease of assembly and disassembly of vehicle A as well as for enhancing the ornamental appearance of vehicle A as disposed upon boss 1 The module constituted by back body subassembly 3. is also of two-partcharacter comprising a frame 33 and a rear deck-forming component 60. Frame. member 33' is structurally identical to frame 33 above described so that like reference numerals will indicate corresponding parts. However, it is to be especially noted that frame 33' will be disposed in back-to-back relationship to frame 33 so that the walls 36 thereof will be in confronting planar parallel relationship in immediately spaced-apart-condition substantially contiguous with the transverse centerline of chassis 1. Accordingly, wall 35 of frame 33' will be presented at the rearward end of vehicle A and resting upon top surface 16 of member 14. The fender-like portion 39, 39 of side walls 37, 37 respectively, of frame 33' relate to the rear wheels of vehicle A in the same manner as do the corresponding portions of frame 33 with respect to the front wheels. Thus, frame 33 is disposed seatedly upon rearward portion of chassis l in the same manner as frame 33 rests upon the normally front portion of the chassis 1.
By reason of the identity of frames 33, 33' and their respective relationship to chassis l, the overall fundamental symmetry of vehicle A becomes most apparent. Said frames 33, 33' are entirely interchangeable from a structural standpoint so that one could be easily substituted for the other and thus each comprehends onehalf of chassis l in an identical manner.
Deck-forming component 60, as will be shown, may have any of a multiplicity of preselected motifs for the purpose of endowing vehicle A with a particular character. In the present instance, for illustration only, deck-forming component 60 is designed to give vehicle A the appearance of a tow truck by virtue of certain elements representing a lifting mechansim, as indicated generally at 61. However, it is the basic construction of deck-forming component 60 which is of critically in the present invention, as the same lends itself for adaption of any of a multiplicity of various appearances. Thus, component 60 is of basically like construction as component 34 of front body subassembly 2 in that the same incorporates a body 62 of molded construction which is fitted for disposition upon frame 33', having opposite end walls 63, 64, respectively, and parallel side walls 65, 65; there being a top wall 66 suitably contoured or adapted for particular vehicle type purpose; and with said body being opened downwardly. Body 62 of component 60 is dimensionally related to frame 33 in the same manner as component 34 is to frame 33 so as to be received between side walls 37, 37' thereof and with the bottom edge of component end wall 63 disposed upon the upper surface of wall 35 of frame 33; and with a shoulder 67 provided upwardly of the lower end of end wall 64 of disposition upon frame flange 40 of frame 33. Wall 64 being relatively higher than end wall 63 will be presented forwardly in planar parallel spaced relationship to wall 46 of component 34; and with end wall 63 being presented at the rearward end of vehicle A. The fundamental structural portions of deckforming component 60 are so related to the corresponding portions of component 34 as to be in generally back-to-back relationship therewith. End wall 63 is provided with a pair of openings 68 for alignment with apertures 20 in the adjacent posts 19, 19' which apertures are threaded for engagement with the external threads of bolts 56 for securing deck-forming component 60 to said posts l9, l9 and hence to chassis 1.
In view of the foregoing it will be seen that vehicle A may be easily dismantled by a mere unthreading of the four bolts 56 whereby frames 33, 33' and related components 34, 60 are freed. Complete disassembly may be further efiected by unthreading of cap nuts 26 so that the user may remove each of the wheels 28. Correspondingly vehicle A may be as easily assembled by a reverse procedure. It will be seen that the tool-forming figurine 58 facilitates the bolt and nut loosening and tightening operations so that vehicle A is a complete self-contained toy. However, the said bolts 56 and cap nuts 26 are of such character that in the event of inadvertent displacement of the figurine 58 a child could manipulate the same without resort to a tool.
As indicated above, details of the lifting mechanism 61 have not been described since the same merely serves as an example of one manner in which deckforming component 60 could be modified. There are innumerable variations which could be easily accomplished for altering the ornamental nature of deckforming component 60, such as, for instance, by providing bosses or sockets in the top surface thereof for removable engagement with the lower ends of figurines or ornamental elements having complementary formed bases; or by providing an enclosure upon said top wall, etc. Similarly, the figurine 58 could be easily modified to suggest any type of individual, be it a truck driver, military individual, farmer, etc. for purpose of providing variety. Manifestly, the figurine could be a reproduction of an animal, a comic character, etc.
Thus, the critical aspect of the present invention is the novel modular character thereof wherein essentially five simply constructed components are requisite, namely chassis 1, frames 33, 33'and components 34, 60. As stated, frames 33, 33' are identical and, hence, fully interchangeable, while components 34 and 60 are of basically identical construction for effecting like structural relationships to the related frames and chassis, but which are not ornamentally interchangeable. Thus, vehicle A, by reason of its novel modular character, is adapted for modification into a myriad of types of vehicles in a most economical manner, and which accords a child marked educational and play value through the facility with which the modules may be assembled and disassembled and by substitution of different components 34 and 60 for altering, at will, the fundamental nature of vehicle A.
It is apparent that, if desired, instead of boss 50 and figurine 58 being of respective male and female character for interengagement, the same could be reversed so that boss 50 will be replaced by polygonal walled recess into which the lower end of figurine 58 would fit.
- Manifestly, posts l8, 18, 19, 19 could be formed independently of chassis l and suitably secured thereto, if such were found desirable for facilitating production, withoutdeparting from the spirit of this invention.
Having described our invention, what we claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent is:
l. A modular toy vehicle comprising a chassis, said chassis having upwardly presented flat top surfaces, a body subassembly comprising a frame and a superstructural component carried on said frame, said frame having lower edge portions restingly supported upon said chassis flat top surfaces, each frame being open at its upper end and having upper edge portions disposed about said open upper end, said super-structural com- .ponent extending into said frame through the open end thereof, said super-structural component having wall portions for supported disposition upon the upper edge portions of said frame, posts provided on said chassis and extending upwardly within said frame for extension above the adjacent portion thereof, said posts having openings in their portions above the adjacent portion of said frame, said super-structuralcomponent having apertures for registration with the openings in said posts, and fasteners engageable within said registering openings and apertures for maintaining said frame and super-structural component upon said chassis.
2. A modular toy vehicle as defined in claim 1 and further characterized by said chassis having a platformlike base section, axle members projecting laterally from opposite sides of said chassis, a wheel having a hub portion received upon each axle member, each axle member being externally threaded outwardly of the related wheel, and a cap-forming nut detachably engageable upon each axle threaded portion.
3. A modular toy vehicle as defined in claim 1 and further characterized by wheels detachably provided upon said chassis.
4. A modular toy vehicle as defined in claim I and further characterized by said fasteners being bolts having head portions, a boss-like projection provided on said superstructural component, means functioning as a tool for removing said bolts comprising a substantially tubular figurine-shaped member, said member i being open at its lower end, said last mentioned lower end being internally contoured complementarily to the head portions of the said bolts, and said figurine-shaped member being normally detachably disposed upon said boss-like projection.
5. A modular toy vehicle comprising a chassis having a front end and a rearward end, said chassis having upwardly presented flat top surfaces, a front body subassembly, a rear body subassembly, each of said subassemblies comprising a frame and a superstructural component carried on said frame, each frame having lower edge portions restingly supported upon said chassis flat top surfaces, each frame being open at its upper end and having upper edge portions disposed about said open upper end, each superstructural component extending into the related frame through the open upper end thereof, each superstructural component having wall portions for supported disposition upon the upper edge portions of the related frame, posts provided at the front and rearward ends of said chassis and extending upwardly, respectively, within the frames of said front and rear body subassemblies for extension above the adjacent portion thereof, said posts having openings in their portions above the adjacent portion of the related frame, each superstructural component having apertures for registration with the openings in the'related posts, and fasteners engageable within said registering openings and apertures whereby said posts as the rearward end of said chassis are engaged to said rear body subassembly and the posts at the forward end of said chassis are engaged to said front body subassembly thereby maintaining said frames and the associated superstructural component upon said chassis.
6. A modular toy vehicle as defined in claim 5 and further characterized by said frames being quadrilateral in cross section and being opened at their top and at their bottoms, said frames being presented in axially aligned relationship upon said chassis and with their confronting surfaces proximate to, and planarwise aligned with, the transverse center line of said chassis.
7. A modular toy vehicle as defined in claim 5 and further characterized by the frames of said front and rear body subassemblies being identical, the superstructural component of said front body subassembly being simulative of a vehicle driver compartment, said super-structural component of said body subassembly providing a rear deck.
8. A modular toy vehicle as defined in claim 5 and further characterized by said posts provided at the front and rear end of said chassis being respective pairs of transversely spaced-apart posts.
9. A modular toy vehicle comprising a chassis, a body subassembly comprising a frame and a superstructural component carried on said frame, projections provided on said chassis and extending upwardly therefrom and being received within the frame of said subassembly, said projections'and said superstructural component having registering openings, bolts engaged within said registering openings, said bolts having head portions, a boss-like projection provided on said superstructural component, means functioning as a tool for removing said bolts comprising a substantially tubular figurineshaped member, said member being open at its lower end, said lower end being internally contoured complementarily to the head portions of said bolts, and said figurine-shaped member being normally detachably disposed upon said boss-like projection.
mg I UNITED STATES PATENT. OFFICE 1 CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. Datd May 21 1974 Inventor) Robert W. Salmon and Barry S. Herstein It is certified that error appears in theabove- -identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby Corrected as shown below:
F- Col. 7, Claim 5, line 35, change "as" to --at--.
Signed and sealed this 1st day of Octobeir 771974;
MCCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents