US 3852911 A
A puppet is supported by a rigid, hollow member in which a puppet-manipulating rod is slideably and rotatably mounted for selectively moving different puppet limbs in accordance with the axial position of the rod and the direction of rotation thereof.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States atent Sapkus et a1.
[ MANUALLY-MANIPULATED ANIMATED FIGURE TOY  Inventors: Jurgis Sapkus, Manhattan Beach; J.
Lewis Lewis, Pacific Palisades; Stephen W. Piurkowsky, Torrance; Dale P. Cleveland, Inglewood, all of Calif.
 Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
 Filed: July 12, 1973  Appl. No.: 378,458
 US. Cl 46/126, 46/128, 46/140, 46/142, 46/148  Int. Cl A63h 7/00  Field of Search 46/119, 120, 126, 128, 46/134, 138,140, 142, 148
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,317,505 9/1919 Kessler 46/138 1,502,010 7/1924 Banks 1. 46/119 1,502,599 7/1924 Timmons 46/119 X [451 Dec. 10, 1974 1,580,993 4/1926 Beck 46/138 1,695,095 12/1928 Hall 46/138 2,725,671 12/1955 Morsch 46/138 X 3,410,024 11/1968 Stubbmann 46/119 X 3,492,759 2/1970 Lewis et a1 46/120 X 3,564,764 2/1971 Crosman et a1 46/126 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 73,453 11/1951 Denmark 46/126 821,310 4/1937 France 657,992 10/1951 Great Britain 46/126 Primary ExaminerL0uis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or FirmMax E. Shirk; Stephen L. King  ABSTRACT A puppet is supported by a rigid, hollow member in which a puppet-manipulating rod is slideably and r0- tatably mounted for selectively moving different puppet limbs in accordance with the axial position of the rod and the direction of rotation thereof.
4 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENIED an: 10 I974 31352.91 1
SHEH 1 (IF 6 TOY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The background of the invention will be set forth in two parts. I
1. Field of the Invention The present invention pertains generally to the field of manually-manipulated animated figure toys and more particularly to a puppet which is supported by a rigid, hollow member in which a puppet-manipulating rod is slideably and rotatably mounted.
2. Description of the Prior Art The prior art known to Applicant is listed by way of illustration, but not of limitation, in separate communication to the US. Patent Office.
Among this prior art are British patent No. 657,992 and US. Pat. Nos. 3,298,131 and 3,564,764. These patents disclose puppets having a rigid member extending from the body of the puppet for supporting the puppet while it is manipulated by means which either extend through the rigid member or are otherwise associated with it.
The present invention exemplifies improvements over puppets of this type.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
According to the present invention, two embodiments of-a manually-manipulated animated figure toy are disclosed. In each embodiment, a puppet is supported by a hollow, rigid tubular member in which an operating rod is rotatably and reciprocably mounted for manipulation by an operator.
The rod has a first end extending to a position inside the body of the puppet and a second, free end extending to a position beyond the free end of the hollow, rigid tubular member.
Each embodiment also includes means connecting the first end of the rod to the head, legs and arms so that the head may be rotated by moving the rod axially so that the legs and arms may be selectively moved, depending upon the axial position of the rod and the direction in which it is rotated. In a first embodiment, these connecting means comprise gears and gear sectors and in the second embodiment these means comprise swingable arms and strings or cords.
Each embodiment includes a fixed lower jaw and a swingable upper jaw. In the first embodiment, the upper jaw may be swung upwardly away from the lower jaw by operating a Bowden cable which extends through the rod. In the second embodiment, the upper jaw is connected to the rod by a string in such a manner that the jaw may be swung upwardly by rotating the rod in a predetermined direction.
In both embodiments, the hollow, rigid tubular member is rotatably mounted at the upper end of a support post and means are provided to fix the tubular member in different rotated positions so that the puppet may be supported in erect, inverted or horizontal positions.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with the further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like elements in the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a manuallymanipulated animated figure toy constituting a first embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, side-elevational view, with parts removed to show internal construction, looking in at the right side of the figure toy of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, partial rear-elevational view with parts removed to show internal construction of the figure toy of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are enlarged, front-elevational views of the figure toy of FIG. 1 with the cover removed to show the internal parts in different operating positions;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a face plate used on the figure toy of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 9 and 10 are front-elevational views of the head of the figure toy of FIG. 1 showing the facial expression thereof in mouth-closed and mouth-open positions, respectively;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a manuallymanipulated animated figure toy constituting a second embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 12 is an enlarged, partial, front-elevational view of the figure toy of FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 11; and
FIG. 14 is an enlarged, partial perspective view of the actuator portion of the figure toy of FIG. 11.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring again to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-4, manually-manipulated animated figure toy constituting a first embodiment of the present invention, generally designated 10, includes a puppet assembly 12 carried by a hollow tubular member 14 rotatably mounted on a post 16 upstanding from a platform 18.
Puppet 12 includes a torso or housing assembly 20 comprising rear and front housing halves or torso portions 22, 24, respectively, which may be formed integrally with front and rear halves 26, 28, respectively, of tubular member 14 from a suitable polymeric material by injection molding techniques. Torso 20 is provided with a neck opening 30, a pair of upper limb openings 32, 34 and a pair of lower limb openings 36, 38 in which a head assembly 40, right and left arms 42, 44 and right and left legs 46, 48, respectively, are journaled.
Puppet 12 may be manipulated by a hollow operating rod 50 slideably and rotatably mounted in tubular member 14. Operating rod 50includes a first end 52 journaled in torso 20 on a fixed pin 54 having a rectangular head 56 trapped in an opening 58 provided in torso 20 and a second, free end 60 which carries an operating knob 62 adapted to be grasped by an operator for rotating and reciprocating operating rod 50.
Referring now to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, figure toy 10 also includes connecting means 64 which connect the first end 52 of operating rod 50 to the head and limbs of puppet 12 for manipulation thereof by rotating and reciprocating rod 50. Connecting means 64 includes a neck post 66 rotatably mounted in neck opening in torso 20 and having a lower end 68 journaled in a journal box 70 and carrying a crank pin 72 (FIG. 4) working in a crank slot 74 provided in a yoke 76 retained in position on end 52 of operating rod 50 by a pair of semi-circular cars 78, 80. Connecting means 64 also includes a pair of driving gear sectors 82, 84 keyed to end 52 of rod 50 on opposite sides of yoke 76. Each driving gear sector 82, 84 includes a large gear sector 86 and a small gear sector 88 each having a toothed portion 90 and a reduced-diameter, smooth portion 92 (FIG. 2). Ears 78, 80 of yoke 76 are trapped by small gear sections 88 in such a manner that rod 50 is free to rotate relative to yoke 76, but will move yoke 76 laterally when rod 50 is reciprocated.
Connecting means 64 also includes a pair of armswinging gears 94, 96 each carried by a journal 98 having a first end 100 rotatably received in journal box 70 and a second end 102 journaled in an associated one of the arm openings 32, 34. Each gear and journal assembly may be integrally formed from suitable polymeric materials by injection molding techniques and may be strengthened by a plurality of axially-extending flutes 104 having ends 106 engageable with torso 20 for minimizing axial movement of journals 98. A pair or idler gears 108, 110 drivingly engage the gears 94, 96, respectively, and are rotatably mounted between journal box 70 and journal brackets 112, 114, respectively.
Connecting means 64 also includes a pair of legswinging gears 116, 118 journaled in lower limb openings 36, 38, respectively, in laterally-offset positions with respect to the arm-swinging gears'94, 96. The legswinging gear 116 is operatively connected to an auxiliary gear 120 drivingly engaged by an idler gear 122 which, in turn, is adapted to be driven by the small gear sector 88 on driving gear sector 82 when operating rod 50 is moved axially to the position shown in FIG. 4. This position is established by seating a pair or protuberances 124, 126, which are mounted on end 60 of rod 50, in a first annular slot 128 (FIG. 1) provided in tubular member 14 (FIG. 4) and including shoulders (not shown) engageable by protuberances 124, 126 to limit the rotation of rod 50 to 180. The location of these shoulders is such that driving gear sectors 82, 84 will drive leg-swinging gears 116, 118, respectively, when knob 62 is rotated 90 counterclockwise (looking in from the right hand side of FIG. 4) from a predetermined neutral position and will drive the idler gear 108 and arm-swinging gear 94 when knob 62 is rotated 90 in a clockwise direction.
Rod 50 may then be shifted axially in the direction of arrow 130 (FIG. 4) for moving the protuberances 124, 126 to the position shown in FIG. 5 where they may be worked in a second annular slot 132 (FIG. 1). This moves driving gear sectors 82, 84 into alignment with both the leg-swinging gears 116, 118 and the idler gears 108, 110, whereby both arms 42, 44 will be swung by clockwise rotation of knob 62 (looking in at knob 62 from the right in FIG. 5) and both legs 46, 48 will be swung when knob 62 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction. Rod 50 may then be slid axially in the direction of arrow 134 (FIG. 5) until protuberances 124, 126 seat in a third annular slot 136 (F IG. 1) where driving gear sectors 82, 84 will be moved to the positions shown in FIG. 6 wherein gear sector 82 will engage legswinging gear 116 to swing right leg 46 when knob 62 gear 110 for swinging left arm 44 when knob 62 is rotated clockwise but will not engage leg swinging gear 118 when knob 62 is rotated counterclockwise. Moving rod 50 axially rotates head 40 through yoke 70, crankpin 72 and neck post 66.
Referring now to FIGS. 1-4 and 8-10, figure toy 10 also includes a face plate 138 swingably mounted on head 40 by fixed pins, like the one shown at 140 in FIG. 1, for swinging movement from the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 9 to the position shown in FIG. 10 when a button 142 on knob 62 is depressed. Face plate 138 then automatically returns to the position shown in FIG. 9 when button 142 is released. Button 142 is carried by a stem 144 (FIG. 4) which is biased to the right (as viewed in FIG. 4) by a compression spring 146 having a first end 148 seated against a fixed wall 150 in knob 62 and a second end 152 seated against button 142. Stem 144 is connected to a filament 154 reciprocably mounted in a sheath 156 mounted inside hollow rod 50 and extending through torso 20 and neck post 66 to a position adjacent a fixed bracket 158 carried by face plate 138. Filament 154 is connected to bracket 158 for swinging face plate 138 to the position shown in FIG. 10 when button 142 is depressed.
Puppet 12 may be rotated from the upright position shown in FIG. 1 to. suitable horizontal and inverted positions by releasing a detent mechanismll60 (FIG. 4) from engagement with an associated one of the cylindrical bores 162 carried by tubular member 14. Detent mechanism includes a gripper plate 164, which is slideably mounted in post 16, and which includes a finger 166 biased into engagement with bore 162 by a compression spring 168 encompassing a post 170 carried by plate 164. Post 16 includes a lower end 172 (FIGS. 1 and 7) encompassed by a collar 174 above which a horizontal partition 176 is mounted. Partition 176 is provided with an aperture 178 through which an upstanding post 180, which is provided on platform 18, passes when collar 174-is engaged with resilient fingers, like the ones shown at 182, 184, to lock post 16 in position on platform 18. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that post 16 may be readily removed from platform 18 when it is desired to use puppet 12 apart from its platform.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 4, the arms 42, 44 each includes a unitary arm portion 186 having a lower end 188, which carries a splined pin 190 and a horizontal shelf 192, and an upper end 194, which carries a splined pin 196 and which is provided with a living hinge 198 formed therein by reducing the cross section thereof. Pin 196 frictionally engages end 102 of journal 98 for non-rotatably connecting arm member 186 thereto and pin 190 is engaged by an aperture 200 provided in a hand member 202 for swingably connecting it to arm member 186. Hand 202 includes a shank portion 204 having an end 206 which engages shelf 192 to prevent hand member 202 from being swung in one direction and which clears shelf 192 when hand member 202 is swung in the other, opposite direction. The legs 46, 48 each includes an upper unitary leg member 208 having an upper end 210, which carries a pin 212 engageable with an associated one of the gears 116, 118 and a living hinge 214, and a lower end 216, which carries a horizontal shelf 218 and a splined pin 220.
Legs 46, 48 each also includes a lower unitary leg member 222 having an upper end 224 swingably connected to pin 220 and engageable with shelf 218 to prevent swinging of leg member 222 in one direction while permitting swinging thereof in the other, opposite direction and a lower end 225 (FIG. 1) which carries a foot 226.
Referring now to FIGS. 11-14, a manually manipulated animated figure toy constituting a second embodiment of the present invention, generally designated A, includes a puppet assembly 12A carried by a hollow tubular member 14A rotatably mounted on a post 16A and maintained in predetermined rotated positions thereon by a set screw 160A.
Puppet assembly 12A includes a torso or frame assembly 28A having a rear frame half 22A and a front frame half 24A. The rear frame half 22A includes a pair of forwardly extending brackets 230, 232 to which the front frame half 24A is secured by suitable screws, like the one shown at 234. The front frame half 24A includes an upwardly extending portion 236 having an upper end 238 extending rearwardly to the upper end 240 of rear frame half 22A and forming a support for rotatably receiving a neck post 66A. Puppet assembly 12A also includes a head assembly 40A having a hollow neck portion 242 frictionally engaged on the upper end 244 of neck post 66A. I-Iead assembly 40A includes a lower portion 246 including a fixed jaw member 248 and an upper portion 250, which is swingably connected to the lower portion by suitable pins 252, 254, and which includes a swingable jaw portion 256 biased to a closed position on fixed jaw portion 248 by a spring 258 having a first end 260 affixed to upper head portion 250 and a lower end 262 affixed to lower head portion 246.
Puppet assembly 12A also includes right and left arms 42A, 44A and legs 46A, 48A each swingably and rotatably connected to frame assembly A by a hinge member 264 engaged in a cylindrical member 266 which, in turn, is rotatably connected to frame assembly 28A by a bushing 268. Rotation of each cylindrical member 266 for arms 42A, 44A is limited by a stop screw 270 carried thereby and engageable with front frame half 24A in two positions of rotation 180 apart.
Puppet 12A may be manipulated by a rod 50A slideably and rotatably mounted in hollow tubular member 14A and having a first end 52A positioned within frame assembly 20A and a second end 60A extending to the outside of hollow tubular member 14A and carrying an operating knob 62A adapted to be grasped by an operator for rotating and reciprocating operating rod 50A. The head and limbs of puppet 12A are connected to end 52A of rod 50A by suitable connecting means 64A including a crank finger 72A having an upper end 272 affixed to the lower end 68A of neck post 66A and a lower end 274 working in a crank slot 74A provided in a rigid finger 76A affixed to rod 50A so that finger 72A will rotate head assembly 40A when rod 50A is reciprocated. Finger 76A is provided with an aperture 276 through which a head-operating cord or string 154A passes. String 154A includes a knot 2'78 engageable by finger 76A for tensioning cord 154A to pull upper head portion 250 about pivot pins 252, 254 in a counterclockwise direction (as viewed in FIG. 13) to move upper jaw 256 to an open position. Connecting means 64A also includes limb actuators 280, 282, 284 and 286 connected to leg 46A, arm 42A, arm 44A and leg 48A, respectively, by suitable cords, like the one shown at 288 in FIG. 13 for actuator 284 and arm 44A. Each actuator is swingably mounted on rod 50A as shown in FIG. 13 for actuator 284 and may be operatively connected thereto by a key 290 affixed to rod 50A and engageable by an arcuate detent 292 slideably mounted in an arcuate slot 294 provided in the hub portion 296 of actuator 284. An arcuate leaf spring 298 presses the arcuate detent 292 into releasable engagement with key 290 so that reciprocation of rod 50A to the position shown in FIG. 11 will cause the hub portion 296 of leg actuator 280 to bottomout against bracket 230 releasing key 290 from detent 292 so that leg actuator 280 will be disconnected from rod 50A while arm actu ator 282 remains in engagement therewith. Additionally, arm actuator 284 and leg actuator 286 will bottom out against a fixed stop 300 so that the key for actuator 284 and 286 will be released from actuator 286 when rod 50A moves to the position shown in FIG. 11. When rod 50A is then moved to the right, as viewed in FIG. 11, to its extreme right hand position, as shown in FIG. 12, actuator 280 and 282 will bottom out against stop 300 and actuators 284 and 286 will bottom out against bracket 232 for releasing actuator 284 and 280. It will, of course, be apparent to those skilled in the art that intermediate positions of rod 50A will connect all of the actuators 280, 282, 284 and 286 to an associated one of the keys 290.
Operation of figure toy 18A will be readily understood. An operator may grasp post 16A and press the suction cup 302, which is provided on the lower end 172A thereof, into engagement with a suitable surface to steady post 16A. With his other hand, the operator may grasp knob 62A and reciprocate it for causing finger 76A to swing head assembly 40A from side-to-side. If knob 62A is rotated clockwise (looking in from the right in FIG. 11) leg actuators 280, 286 will swing upwardly tensioning cords 288 and swinging legs 46A, 48A. Counterclockwise rotation of knob 62A causes finger 76A to tension cord 154A and swing movable jaw 256 to an open position while simultaneously swinging arm actuators 282, 284 downwardly to tension cords 288 and swing arms 42A, 44A. Pushing rod 50A to the left, as viewed in FIG. 1.1, until knob 62A bottoms out against tubular member 14A causes actuators 280, 282 to bottom out against bracket 230 and causes actuators 284, 286 to bottom out against stop 300 releasing key 290 from the arcuate detents 292 for actuators 282 and 286 so that arm 42A and leg 48A will not be operated when knob 62A is rotated.
Conversely, moving knob 62A to its extreme right hand position, causes actuators 280, 282 to bottom out against stop 300 while actuators 284, 286 bottom out against bracket 232 so that keys 290 will be released from actuators 280 and 284, whereby leg 46A and arm 44A will not be swung when knob 62A is rotated.
While the particular figure toys herein shown and described in detail are fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that they are merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims which form a part of this disclosure. Whenever the term means is employed in these claims, this term is to be interpreted as defining the corresponding structure illustrated and described in this specification or the equivalent of the same.
What is claimed is: l. A manually-manipulated, animated figure toy comprising:
a puppet assembly including a body, head and limbs; a hollow, rigid tubular member having a first end secured to said puppet and a second, free end; an operating rod rotatably and reciprocably mounted in said tubular member, said operating rod having a first end extending to a position inside said puppet and a second, free end extending to a position beyond said free end of said tubular member for manipulation by a puppet manipulator; and means connecting said first end of said rod to said head, legs and arms for manipulation by rotating and reciprocating said rod, said head including a fixed lower jaw and a swingable upper jaw, said connecting means including means connected to said upper jaw for swinging said upper jaw away from said fixed jaw when said rod is manipulated.
2. A manually-manipulated, animated figure toy comprising:
a puppet assembly including abody, head and limbs;
a hollow, rigid tubular member having a first end secured to said puppet and a second, free end;
an operating rod rotatably and reciprocably mounted in said tubular member, said operating rod having a first end extending to a position inside said puppet and a second, free end extending to a position beyond said free end of said tubular member for manipulation by a puppet manipulator; and means connecting said first end of said rod tosaid head, legs and arms for manipulation by rotating and reciprocating said rod, said connector including actuators having arcuate hubs rotatably mounted on said rod, arcuate detend means releasably connecting said hubs to said rods and cords connecting said actuators to said arms and legs. 3. A figure toy as stated in claim 1 wherein said upper jaw connecting means includes a filament reciprocably mounted in a sheath extending through said tubular member and including an actuating button connected to said filament.
4. A figure toy as stated in claim 1 wherein said upper jaw connecting means includes a cord having one end connected to said upper jaw and another end connected to a finger extending from said operating rod at right angles thereto.