US 3849930 A
A toy playhouse having a front side open to expose various "rooms" of a simulated multilevel residential apartment, separated by a central vertically disposed partition from a rear side open to expose several "departments" of a simulated multilevel department store. A roof deck covers both front and rear sections of the playhouse. The wall panels of a simulated swimming pool on the roof deck are pivotly attached to the structure and convert to a carrying handle for the toy. A manual operable elevator cab is disposed at one end of the structure for transporting, during play, proportionally sized miniature articles of simulated furniture, appliances and little people figures to and from the simulated rooms of the apartment, roof deck and departments of the store. The floor panels of the simulated rooms, departments and the roof deck are of magnetizable metal and cooperate with a permanent magnet in the base of each of the miniature articles and figures to detachably secure them in their placed positions on the metal floors.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Stubbmann 1 Nov. 26, 1974 TOY PLAYHOUSE AND ACCESSORIES I Albert Stubbmann, Franklin Lakes, NJ.
 Assignee: Kohner Br0s., Inc., East Paterson,
22 Filed: Nov. 16,1972
21 Appl. No.: 307,318
Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or Firm11oward J. Newby; Bruno P. Struzzi; C. Garman Hubbard  ABSTRACT A toy playhouse having a front side open to expose various rooms of a simulated multilevel residential apartment, separated by a central vertically disposed partition from a rear side open to expose several departments of a simulated multilevel department store. A roof deck covers both front and rear sections of the playhouse. The wall panels of a simulated swimming pool on the roof deck are pivotly attached to the structure and convert to a carrying handle for the toy. A manual operable elevator cab is disposed at one end of the structure for transporting, during play, proportionally sized miniature articles of simulated furniture, appliances and little people figures to and from the simulated rooms of the apartment, roof deck and departments of the store. The floor panels of the simulated rooms, departments and the roof deck are of magnetizable metal and cooperate with a permanent magnet in the base of each of the miniature articles and figures to detachably secure them in their placed positions on the metal floors.
14 Claims, 20 Drawing Figures PATENI :mvzsmu 3.849.930 sum 20F 4 W FIG 2.- 25 4/ mum m j? 1 1! lml ml! in Wk "NIH" WW; 1/, .W/" 512 W Z2 m1 '1 *1 w 3+ 22 a C] 5 20H l l 'i'l' mll mm I s mm NW" O I l 0 o r u I WW 1 $11 TOY PLAYHOUSE AND ACCESSORIES SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to toy constructions and, in particular, is directed to a compartmental toy playhouse. More specifically, the invention pertains to a multilevel toy playhouse constructed with a central vertical partition to effect a simulation of a residential apartment on one side thereof, and the simulation of a department store on the opposed side.
Children are usually interested in the shopping activi ties of their parents and show a strong inclination to imitate by playacting these important events of real life. They are generally fascinated by large department store displays of furniture and comprehend the importance of purchasing articles which will fit and which can be arranged to present a nice appearance when placed in the home. They also realize the care necessary in transporting the articles from store to home. Children are also attracted to elevators, cars and scooters and those children who do not live in apartments enjoy visiting those homes which are equipped with elevators.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a unitized, combination toy playhouse which simulates an apartment house and a department store and which can be used with miniature figures and articles to play out the activities of shopping for furniture, appliances and other home articles to furnish an apartment; then transporting the purchased articles to the apartment via a miniature car and elevator and furnishing each of the important rooms in a simulated apartment.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a toy in which the small accessary articles, which simulate littlepeople, household furniture, and appliances, have a small magnet embedded in their structure and are releasably secured in their placed positions by the magnetic attraction of the magnet to the metal floor and/or wall of the toy.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a toy of the above-described type wherein the toy includes a manually operable elevator for transporting the figures and appliances to and from store and home sections of the playhouse.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a toy which includes a unique handle to facilitate carrying the toy from one play area to another.
It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a toy playhouse of the character described which is simple in construction, which can be fabricated by mass-production techniques, and which is durable in i play so that the game is marketable to the parents of young children at a relatively low cost.
Briefly stated, these objects are attained in a multilevel toy playhouse having a central panel which divides the structure into a simulated apartment on one side and a simulated department store on the other side.
The toy is designed and constructed with the front side opened to exposed vertically displaced rooms of a simulated multilevel residential apartment. The rear side of the toy is also open to expose similar compartments representing vertically displaced floor or depart ments of a department store. The front and rear compartments are separated by a central vertical panel having on one side illustrative means for representing miniature elements of an apartment such, for example, as windows, drapes, pictures and cabinets; and on the opposed side illustrations of sales people, customers and various department store displays.
The top of the toy constitutes a simulated sun deck extending over the top compartments of both the simulated apartment and department store and includes a built-in swimming pool, the walls of which convert to a handle for carrying the toy.
Disposed at one end of the toy is an elevator cab which is manually operable to slidably move along a guideway which extends vertically the full height of the frame of the toy. The elevator cab is provided with suitable openings to admit entrance and exit of miniature articles of furniture and little people figures from any of the rooms of the apartment, the sun deck and the departments of the store. The elevator is divided into two sections by a central vertically disposed panel to simulate two back-to-back cabs. One section of the elevator cab serves the department store floors and the other section of the elevator cab serves the vertically disposed rooms of the apartment. Access to the sun deck can be gained from either section of the elevator cab.
A detent pawl mechanism on the elevator cab cooperates with studs located on the elevator guideway to align and secure the elevator cab at each of the floor levels. The panels constituting the floors of the apartment rooms and the department store are of magnetizable metal. Each of the miniature articles of furniture, appliances and little people figures, which are included as accessories to the toy construction, has a small permanent magnet embedded in its base which releasably secures the article and figure to the metal floors during play. The weight of the magnet also provides additional stability to the article or figure when it is positioned on a magnetizable or non-magnetic surface.
At the end of the toy construction opposite the elevator cab and the grooved guideway are disposed balconies which extend laterally from the end of the toy. Each of the balconies is accessable to the figures through a suitable opening in each of the walls of the apartment rooms.
A detachable structural member simulating an auto mobile ramp entrance to the bottom floor level of the department store side of the toy and a detachable mem ber simulating a sidewalk in front. of the bottom floor level of the apartment floor side, along with the above described accessories and additional accessories such as a miniature car and scooter complete the structural features of the invention.
The toy playhouse as well as the accessories may be formed from any conventional durable material and especially of the type which permits mass-production of said components. As stated hereinabove the floor panels are constructed of magnetizable metal and the accessories have a small permanent magnet embedded in their base. In an alternative embodiment of the inventive structure, the central vertical partition is fabricated from magnetizable metal and the accessories are equipped with the permanent magnet embedded in their rear surface. As a second alternative, both the central panel and the floor panels can be made of magnetizable metal and the accessories equipped with permanent magnets at their backs and bases. Other than the floor panels and/or the central vertical panel, the
structural elements of the toy playhouse and the accessories may, by way of example be formed by conventional injection molding of plastic.
The invention, accordingly, consist in the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the toy hereinafter described, and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of one of the various possible embodiments of the invention when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the accompanying drawing, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts in the several figures;
FIG. I is a front perspective view of a toy playhouse in accordance with the invention: The broken lines indicate the raised positions of the handle and elevator cab.
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view;
FIG. 3 is an end view in elevation;
FIG. 4 is a traverse section, as seen in the plane indicated by the line 44 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a vertical cross-section, as seen in the plane indicated by line 55 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-section, as seen in the plane indicated by line 6-6 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary, detailed view, partly in section, illustrating the means for securing the swimming pool walls to the structure;
FIG. 9 is a section taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged, fragmentary, detailed view of the elevator cab pawl and guideway mechanism;
FIG. 11 is a section taken along line 1I-ll of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a section taken along line 12l2 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 13 is a front view illustrating an accessary piece for simulating little people of a female gender to be utilized in conjunction with the playhouse construction.
FIG. 14 is a side view ofthe accessary piece of FIG. 13 partly in section to show the orientation of the permanent magnet.
FIG. 15 is a front view illustrating an accessary piece for simulating a television console to be utilized in conjunction with the playhouse construction.
FIG. 16 is a side view of the accessary piece of FIG. 15, shown partly in section.
FIG. 17 is a front view illustrating an accessary piece for simulating an article of furniture to be utilized in conjunction with the playhouse construction.
FIG. 18 is a side view of the accessary piece of FIG. 17, shown partly in section to illustrate the placement of permanent magnets at the base and back of the piece.
FIG. 19 is a front view illustrating an accessary piece for simulating a wall cabinet to be utilized in conjunction with the playhouse construction.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawing, and more particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, the compartmental toy playhouse, in accordance with the invention is constituted generally by an open rectilinear frame (10) having horizontally and vertically disposed structural members. A central vertically disposed wall or partition (12) and horizontal panels (14) serve to divide the structure into a plurality of compartments or rooms (A, B, C, D, E, F) each having at least one side open to expose the interior thereof to full view. The central partition (12) is suitably decorated on both sides so as to represent a back wall of each of a vertical array of simulated residential apartment rooms exposed to view from the front side of the structure and similarly, a back wall of each of a vertical array of simulated departments of a department store exposed to view from the rear side of the toy. In essence, the center panel effects a simulation of separate and independent building structures on the front and rear sides of the playhouse toy.
The roof of the structure is comprised of a horizontal panel (16) extending the full width of the frame (10) and from the front to the back of the frame atop the center partition (12).
As shown (FIG. 1) the front side of the toy includes compartments A, B, and C simulating the different rooms of an apartment with room (compartment) A being at the ground level and room C just below the roof. In similar fashin (FIG.2), department (compartment) D of the simulated department store of the rear side of the structure is at ground level and department F is immediately below the common roof panel (16).-
A hand operable elevator cab (20) is vertically slidably mounted on one end of the framework (10a, 10b) and balconies (22) extend from the opposite end of the frame at the upper floor levels. A simulated porch (24) extends from the frame at ground level.
A vehicular ramp (18), which is detachable from the frame (10), extends from the rear side of the frame at base level and, when attached to the frame, is in alignment with the floor of department D of the simulated department store. In the particular embodiment of the invention shown in the drawing (FIG. 2), compartment D is a simulated garage for parking the miniature toy car accessary.
A detachable panel (38) representing a sidewalk projects from the front side of the frame (10) and extends the full width of the lowest apartment room (A) at a level coinciding with the floor level of the room (FIGS. 1, 4 and 7).
An open rectangularly shaped frame member (40) simulating the walls of a swimming pool is pivotly affixed to the frame (10) above the roof (16) level. The swimming pool wall member (40) rests on the roof panel (16) to form the four walls of a simulated pool. When pivoted to a vertical position as shown by the broken lines (FIG. 1) the rectangularly shaped frame serves as a convenient carrying handle for the toy.
The manner in which the rectangular frame (40), constituting the walls of the simulated swimming pool is attached to the frame is shown in detail in FIGS. 8 and 9. The frame is pivotally mounted on two of the horizontal structural members (10c, 10d). The pivot point in each instance is oriented such that, upon pivoting the frame to a vertical position, the edge of the frame bears against the flexible roof panel (16) and causes it to flex downwardly. Upon urging the frame into a full vertical position, the roof panel returns to a straight horizontal configuration and abuts against the flat surface portion (40a) of the frame and causes the frame to be releasably secured in a vertical position to function as a carrying handle for the toy.
A hand operable elevator cab (20) is slidably mounted on the two parallel vertical structural members (10a, 10b) at one end of the frame as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The frame members (10a, 10b) are each fashioned with a groove (28) which terminates proximate the ends of the frame member. A rib (30) as illustrated in FIG. 12, on the inner surface of each of the elevator cab flanges (20a, 20b) mates with an adjacent groove (28) to effect a slidable attachment of the cab to the frame. The upper and lower portion of each of the frame members (10a, 10b) are not grooved as stops to limit the travel of the elevator cab.
A pawl mechanism (32) located on one of the elevator cab flanges (20a) cooperates with a plurality of studs (34) on the associate frame member adjacent the groove (28) and at intervals of height to secure the cab in alignment with the upper floor levels and the roof deck. The pawl (32) is fabricated from a resilent plastic and is configurated and fastened to the cab flange so as to have the function of a spring actuated pawl. As shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the small boss (44) on the pawl is received in an aperture in the elevator cab flange (20a) and thus positions the pawl with its upper horizontal surface (32a) abuting the horizontal shoulder (46) in the flange (20a). The pawl is thereby constrained from pivoting about the boss. The lower portion (32b) of the pawl member is free to move in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the stud (34) and in a direction away from the stud when the shank (32c) of the pawl is stressed as by urging the shank toward the flange (20a) to remove the detent. When the stress is removed, the pawl, by virtue of being made of a resilient plastic, reverts to its original shape. Essentially, the detent pawl assembly as shown and described is simple, and inexpensive. Importantly, it uniquely eliminates the need for a spring and yet has the positive function of a spring actuated detent pawl mechanism.
The elevator cab (20) is divided into two sections by a central vertically disposed panel (36). Each of the two sections of the cab has an opening or entryway in substantially the same plane as the front (and back) of the frame. In addition each of the sections of the cab has an opening which communicates with the openings in the side of the frame contiguous with the cab and thereby forms a passageway between the section of the cab and the adjacent room or the roof deck.
The uppermost position of the elevator cab, as shown by the broken lines in FIG. 1, places it opposite a superstructure (26) of the frame (10) above the roof level (16) and thereby permits the floor of the elevator cab to be aligned with the roof. Accordingly, access to the sun deck maybe gained from either section of the elevator cab.
The invention further contemplates the utilization of accessary pieces of miniature representations of fumiture and household appliances. These articles are substantially proportional in size to the size of the apartment house rooms and department of the department store in order that they can fit and be appropriately arranged according to a selected floor plan. Typical accessary articles of furniture etc. and little people figures are shown by broken lines in FIG. 1 as they would be placed throughout the playhouse during play.
Each of the miniature articles of furniture, etc, and miniature figures simulating little people has a small permanent magnet (42) embedded in its base flush with the bottom flat surface as shown in FIGS 13-18. When the article or figure is placed upright on the magnetizable metal floors of the playhouse, the figure is de tachably secured thereto by the resulting magnetic force of the permanent magnet. The attractive force between the metal floor panel and the magnet in the base of the figure, while permitting the figure to be slidably moved along the floor surface, prevents the figure from falling when the playhouse is carried by the handle from play area to play area even though the playhouse be tilted or accidentally bumped. The permanent magnet in the base of each of the accessary articles has an additional utility in that its weight provides excellent stability to the accessary when it is placed upright on a non-magnetic surface.
Both surfaces of the central vertical partition (12) are decorated with indicia to simulate various room de cors. The side of the central partition representing the rear wall surfaces of the apartment rooms A, B and C (FIG. 1) may have printed thereon pictures of windows, doors, wall pictures, cabinets, etc. Whereas the surface of the center partition constituting the surface of the rear walls of the department store levels of the playhouse can be similarly decorated to show pictures of department store sales personnel, furniture, appliances, cashiers counter, parked automobile, etc., to present a realistic effect as shown by solid lines in FIG. 2.
In an alternative embodiment of the inventive playhouse structure the center panel (12) can be fabricated of magnetizable metal and the accessary articles can have included a permanent magnet embedded therein which has a flat surface flush with the rear or side surface of the accessary article. This combination of constructions permits mounting the article on the center wall panel (such as a wall cabinet FIGS. 19 and 20) or securing the article to the wall while it is supported by the floor panel.
Also, having the center panel constructed of magnetizable metal and the accessary fitted with a permanent magnet in its rear or side surface, rather than its base is of particular advantage in those instances wherein the accessary has an elevated center of gravity. For example, it can be readily appreciated that an article simulating a miniature grand piano would best have the magnet at the side, rather than at the bottom of one of the legs, not only to have the article attain a more realistic appearance but also to provide the greatest stability to the elevated mass of the article when it is positioned adjacent the center wall panel.
Of course, both center panel (12) and floor panels (16) can be made of magnetizable metal and the accessary figures and/or articles can be constructed to optionally include magnets mounted in the rear, and in the base for additional stability in both rear and base surfaces depending upon their configuration and where they are intended to be fittedv and arranged in the appropriate room or department of the playhouse. FIGS. 17 and 18 shows an accessary having a permanent magnet embedded flush with the back of the article and a second permanent magnet flush with the base of the article.
It thus will be seen that a toy playhouse has been provided which achieves the several objects of the invention and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible additional embodiments might be made of the invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiments set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompanying drawing is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A toy playhouse comprising:
a. a rectilinear frame including vertically and horizontally disposed structural members,
b. a partition, centrally and vertically disposed throughout the height of the frame dividing the frame into two separate sections,
c. panels disposed horizontally in the same plane as the horizontal structural members of the frame and secured and supported by the horizontal structural members, said horizontal panels dividing each section of the frame into vertically oriented subsections, said frame, partition, and panels decorated, oriented and assembled to effect a simulation of two separate and diverse buildings constructed back-to-back and each building exposing to view a'vertical array of rooms,
d. a horizontally disposed roof panel covering both sections of the playhouse, and
e. an elevator cab and elevator guideway, said elevator cab and elevator guideway disposed at one end of the playhouse with said elevator cab divided into two separate sections by a central vertically disposed panel, each of said sections oriented to serve the vertical array of rooms of one of the simulated buildings.
2. The playhouse construction of claim 1 further comprises balconies extended from one end of the construction opposite the elevator cab and elevator guideway.
3. The playhouse of claim 1 further comprising a structural member removably attachable to the frame, said member shaped and decorated to simulate a ramp for driving a vehicle thereon.
4. The playhouse of claim 1 further comprising a structural member removably attachable to the frame, said member shaped and decorated to simulate a sidewalk.
5. The elevator cab and elevator guideway of claim 1 further including a pawl resiliently affixed to the elevator cab and studs located on the guideway, said pawl mechanism cooperating with the studs to releasably secure the elevator cab at selected elevations along the guideway in alignment with each of the plurality of floor levels of simulated apartment rooms and simulated departments of a store.
6. The playhouse construction of claim 1 further comprising a rectangular frame constructed to simulate the walls of a swimming pool, said rectangular frame pivotly attached to the playhouse and convertable to a carrying handle for same.
7. The toy playhouse of claim 1 wherein the partition is constructed of magnetizable material.
8. The toy playhouse of claim 1 wherein the horizontally disposed panels, including the roof panel are constructed of magnetizable material.
9. The toy playhouse of claim 1 wherein the centrally and vertically disposed partition and the horizontally disposed panels, including the roof panel are constructed of magnetizable material.
10. The toy playhouse of claim 7 further including accessary pieces simulating various miniature pieces of furniture, appliances and little people proportioned in size to be placed and arranged within the playhouse, said accessary pieces each having a permanent magnet embedded in its structure flush with the rear surface of the piece whereby the attractive force between magnet and partition releasably secures the accessary piece in its oriented positions in the playhouse.
11. The toy playhouse of claim 8 further comprising accessary pieces simulating various miniature pieces of furniture, appliances and little people proportioned in size to be placed and arranged within the playhouse, said accessary pieces each having a permanent magnet embedded in its base flush with the bottom surface of the piece whereby the attractive force between magnet and panel releasably secures the accessary piece in its oriented position. in the playhouse.
12. The toy playhouse construction of claim 1 wherein said frame, partition, and decorated panels are oriented and assembled to effect a simulation of an apartment building constructed back-to-back with a department store.
13. The toy playhouse of claim 12 further including accessary pieces simulating various miniature pieces of furniture, appliances and little people proportioned in size for placement and arrangement within the playhouse.
14. The toy playhouse construction of claim 1 further including accessory pieces for placement in either of both simulated diverse buildings, wherein said accessory pieces, constructed and proportioned to simulate little people and articles of manufacture, are compatible with and add realism to either of both simulated buildings.