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Publication numberUS3864873 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1975
Filing dateDec 26, 1973
Priority dateDec 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3864873 A, US 3864873A, US-A-3864873, US3864873 A, US3864873A
InventorsWatkins Jasper
Original AssigneeWatkins Jasper
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy with automatically actuated speaker box
US 3864873 A
Abstract
A toy, such as a helicopter or airplane is disclosed which is intended to be selectively raised and lowered with respect to a surface. The toy includes a body portion, sensing means moveably mounted with respect to the body portion between first and second positions in response to the body being raised and lowered with respect to the surface, and prerecorded message means for presenting a first preselected message in response to the sensing means moving to its first position when the body is raised with respect to the surface. In a second embodiment, the prerecorded message means is capable of presenting a second message when the body of the toy is lowered with respect to the surface and an "on-ground" manually operable switch is actuated. The first predetermined message which may be presented when the toy is elevated with respect to the surface can be selected by manually operating an "in-flight" switch. A single pole double throw circuit arrangement is provided responsive to the sensing means which detects whether the body of the toy is raised or lowered with respect to the surface and, thereby, readies a circuit including the in flight switch whenever the body is raised with respect to the surface while breaking the circuit, including the onground switch, at the same time. When the body of the toy is on the ground, however, the status of the single pole double throw switch is changed to ready the circuit, including the on-ground switch and break the circuit, including the in-flight switch.
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United States Patent 1 Watkins 1 Feb. 11, 1975 TOY WITH AUTOMATICALLY ACTUATED SPEAKER BOX [76] Inventor: Jasper Watkins, P.O. Box 94,

Clifton, NJ. 07015 221 Filed: Dec. 26, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 428,110

[52] US. Cl. 46/232, 46/75, 46/l75 AR [51] Int. Cl A63h 27/12 [58] Field of Search 46/75, 175 AR, 232

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,024,568 3/1962 Barnett 46/232 3,733,74l 5/1973 Pipa 46/175 AR Primary ExaminerLouis G. Mancene Assistant ExaminerRobert F. Cutting Attorney, Agent, or FirmLerner, David, Littenberg & Samuel [57] ABSTRACT A toy, such as a helicopter or airplane is disclosed which is intended to be selectively raised and lowered with respect to a surface. The toy includes a body portion, sensing means moveably mounted with respect to the body portion between first and second positions in response to the body being raised and lowered with respect to the surface, and prerecorded message means for presenting a first preselected message in respons'e to the sensing means moving to its first position when the body is raised with respect to the surface. In a second embodiment, the prerecorded message means is capable of presenting a second message when the body of the toy is lowered with respect to the surface and an on-ground manually operable switch is actuated. The first predetermined message which may be presented when the toy is elevated with respect to the surface can be selected by manually operating an in-flight switch. A single pole double throw circuit arrangement is provided responsive to the sensing means which detects whether the body of the toy is raised or lowered with respect to the surface and, thereby, readies a circuit including the in flight switch whenever the body is raised with respect to the surface while breaking the circuit, including the onground switch, at the same time. When the body of the toy is on the ground, however, the status of the single pole double throw switch is changed to ready the circuit, including the on-ground switch and break the circuit, including the in-flight switch.

5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures TOY WITH AUTOMATICALLY ACTUATED SPEAKER BOX FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toys such as toy helicopters, toy airplanes, toy balloons, etc., which are intended to be raised and lowered with respect to a given surface by a child during play. More particularly, the invention relates to such-toys which include prerecordedmessages in conjunction therewith, and even more particularly relates to'such toys employing prerecorded messages which include means for automatically controlling the activation of such prerecorded messages dependent upon the status of the toy with respect to'a given surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the toy industry, engineers and designers are constantly striving to develop action toys which simulate as closely as possible real life situations. Thus, it is known, for example, to produce model airplanes and model helicopters with which children can simulate endless adventures. In like fashion, on a more sophisticated level, it is known to provide model airplanes and helicopters having engine driven or battery driven propellers and rotors by which the toy can be flown either in a free flight fashion or a more limited fashion. In the latter case, the flight path is usually established by a connection between the craft and a control box which is held by the child, or, in some instances, the flight path is established by a connection established between the model and a pylon about which the model can circle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The instant invention relates to the type of toys discussed above, and is more particularly directed to improvements in such toys by the inclusion of means for providing preselected recorded messages which are presented to simulate actual flight conditions. In one embodiment of the invention, illustrated in the environment of a toy helicopter, the arrangement is such that as soon as the child lifts the body of the toy off the floor, a prerecorded message is presented, simulating in-flight communications between the crew and the tower. However, and in accordance with this aspect of the invention, as soon as the child lowers the helicopter to the ground, sensing means provided for this purpose deactivates the prerecorded message means.

In another embodiment of the instant invention, two prerecorded messages arev provided, one simulating inflight communication, and one simulating on-ground communication between the crew and the tower. In the control box associated with such toy, two manually operable switches are provided, one which may be closed to initiate the in-flight message, while the other may be closed to initiate the on-ground message. In this embodiment of the invention, the sensing means which is responsive to the toy being on the ground or in the air is further employed to make the circuit which includes the on-ground switch whenever the toy is on the floor and make the circuit which includes the in-flight switch when the toy is in the air. In like fashion, when the toy is on the ground, the sensing means causes the make of the circuit including the on-ground switch while breaking the circuit which includes the in-flight switch. In this manner, the child operating the toy will necessarily initiate the proper prerecorded message for the two conditions which are possible.

Accordingly, it is an object of the instant invention to provide'a toy such as a helicopter 0r airplane which is intended to be lowered or raised with respect to a given surface.

Another object of the instant invention is to provide such a toy which includes prerecorded message means to simulate actual flight conditions.

Still another object of the instant invention is to provide such a toy which includes sensing means for controlling the presentation of prerecorded messages in accordance with the status of the toy with respect to the surface.

Yet another object of the instant invention is to provide such a toy which incudes a plurality of prerecorded messages which may be selectively presented dependent upon the status of the toy with respect to the surface and which further includes fool-proof circuit means which prevents inadvertent actuation of an improper prerecorded message.

These and other objects of the instant invention will become further apparent upon reading the following specification in light of the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1A is a view of a toy helicopter incorporating the present invention and depicted in an elevated condition with respect to a surface.

FIG. 1B is a view of the helicopter of FIG. 1A, but shown resting on a surface, such as a floor.

FIG. 2 is a view of a portion of the toy helicopter shown in FIG. 1B and illustrates the cooperation of the sensing means thereof and the circuit thereof shown in schematic form.

FIG. 3 is a partial view of the toy helicopter shown in FIG. 1A and further illustrating the cooperation of the sensing means thereof and the electrical circuit portion thereof when the toy helicopter is in its elevated position with respect to a given surface.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating another embodiment of the instant invention in which a toy airplane may fly about a pylon or land (shown in phantom) with respect to a given surface.

FIG, 5 is a view illustrating the cooperation of the sensing means provided on the toy airplane of FIG. 4 and and electrical circuit arrangement designed to voice activate predetermined messages in accordance with the condition of such toy airplane. FIG. 5 depicts the situation where the toy airplane has landed.

FIG. 6 is a partial view of the element shown in FIG. 5 but depicting the status of the elements thereof when the toy airplane has been raised with respect to the surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Turning to the FIGURES, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1A a toy helicopter 10 being held in the air by a childs hand. It will be understood that although a helicopter is shown for illustrative purposes, the invention is not to be deemed limited thereby, but may include any toy such as an airplane, helicopter, balloon, or the like, which is intended to be lifted or lowered with respect to a given surface designated 12 in FIG. 1B. The toy includes a body portion 14 on which conventional elements such as rotor blades 16 can be mounted.

In the particular toy illustrated in FIGS. l-3, a landing support element in the form of a ski 18 is provided beneath the body portion 14. The ski 18 is biased away from the body portion 14 by a spring 20, one end of which 22 is secured to the rearmost wall 24 of an inturned cavity 26, and the other end 28 of which is secured to and bears against a washer-like element 30 secured 'on a post 32 secured at the opposite end to the ski 18. (see FIG. 2) It will be appreciated that when the body portion 14 is lifted (designated by the upwardly directed arrow 34 in FIG. 3), the spring biases the ski l8 downwardly in the direction of arrow 36 in FIG. 3. On the other hand, when the toy is landed (suggested by the downwardly directed arrow 38 in FIG. 2) the spring 20 is compressed because of the weight of the body portion 14, thereby causing the ski 18 to come to rest closer to the body portion 14 as depicted by the upwardly directed arrow 40 in FIG. 2.

It will be appreciated that although a ski type landing support element 18 has been suggested in the FIGS. l-3, that other types of landing support elements, such as wheels, may function in like manner. Such will be illustrated in connection with the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 4-6.

In accordance with the invention, the toy is further provided with prerecorded message means for presenting a preselected message when the toy is lifted from the position shown in FIG. 2 to that shown inFIG. 3. Further, sensing means are provided to activate the prerecorded message means only when the toy is raised from the position of FIG. 2 to FIG. 3 and to deactivate same when the toy is lowered to the ground. This aspect of the invention is most clearly seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. Specifically, in the embodiment illustrated, the sensing means comprises a sensing post 42, one end 44 of which is secured to the ski 18, while the upper end 46 thereof passes through the body portion 14 into operative relationship with respect to a contact arm 48 situated in a circuit 50, including batteries 52 and a con ventional, commerciallyavailable speaker box 54, including a prerecorded message, for instance, on an endless magnetic tape, the reading head of which activates an electrical to audio transducer.

In operation, when the toy is on the ground, such as illustrated in FIGS. 1B and 2, the sensing post 42 is necessarily urged up into the body portion 14 to lift the contact arm 48 and break the circuit 50. However, when the child lifts the body portion 14, the spring 20 biases the ski l8 downwardly as depicted in FIG. 3 to permit the normally closed contact arm 48 to revert to its closed circuit condition and thereby complete the circuit 50 through the batteries 52 and the voice box 54. Thus, the child will hear the prerecorded message simulating the conversation of the crew and/or tower during a helicopter flight. As noted above, when the toy is landed" the circuit 50 will be broken, thereby deactivating the voice box 54.

It will be further appreciated that many variations of this basic mode of operation are possible within the scope and spirit of the concept presented. Thus, a spring such as biasing spring 20 could be provided in direct association with the sensing post 42 which could engage the surface 12 directly, rather than being activated by the landing support element such as ski l8. Numerous other switching arrangements are possible,

it being understood that the only requirement is that the sensing post or equivalent limit switch be switchable between two conditions dependent upon whether the toy is lifted or grounded with respect to the surface 12.

Turning to FIGS. 4-6, there is illustrated another embodiment of the instant invention in which a toy airplane 56 is permitted to fly" about a pylon 58 by means of a tether 60. A control box 62 is provided by which the child can control the flight of the airplane 56, the control box being in electrical communication with the airplane 56 through a multistrand cable 64. It should be noted that the overall arrangement including a model airplane 56 which can be flown about the pylon 58 in response to controls generated at the control box 62 is a well-known prior art arrangement commercially available in the marketplace.

In accordance with the instant invention, and in a fashion similar to the arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, the airplane 56 includes a sensing post 58 which in this case, constitutes a portion of the strut arrangement of the landing gear. As illustrated in FIG. 6, when the airplane 56 is in the air, spring 60 biases the sensing post 58 downwardly, whereas when the airplane 56 is on the ground, sensing post 58 is raised against the bias of spring 60. At its upper end, sensing post 58 carries a washer-like element 62 to which is secured the moveable contact 64 ofa single pole double throw switch 66.

Referring to FIG. 5, when the airplane 56 is on the ground, such that the sensing post 58 is raised and the contact 64 engages terminal post 68, a circuit is completed which includes line 70, and on-ground" manually operable switch 72, line 74, reading head 76, electrical to audio transducer 78, line 80, batteries 82 and common line 84 which returns to contact arm 64. Thus, with the airplane 56 on the ground, if the child closes the on-ground switch 72, the reading head 76 will pick up the message prerecorded on one channel of the endless tape 86 (now moving by separate motive means not shown for the sake of clarity) to broadcast through the transducer 78 a prerecorded message typical of tower to crew communications during the take-off phase of an airplane.

It should be noted that the batteries 82 are also employed to energize the propeller drive motor 86 situated in the airplane 56 through a circuit which includes a potentiometer 88 line 90, the motor 86 and line 92 to the other side-of the battery 82.

Once the airplane is airborne, spring 60 biases the contact 64 from the position illustrated in FIG. 5 to its lowermost position illustrated in FIG. 6 in which the contact 64 engages stationary contact 94. This action breaks" the aforedescribed circuit, including the onground switch 72 and makes another circuit, including line 96, reading head 98, electrical-audio transducer 78, and manually operable in-flight switch to the negative side of the aforedescribed batteries 82. It will be appreciated that with the airplane airborne, the child may depress the in-flight switch 100 (depicted in FIG. 6) in which case the reading head 98 will pick up the message prerecorded on the endless tape 86 (now moving as previously described) to play a second prerecorded message through the transducer 78. Of course, the second message would preferably include tower to crew communications typifying conventional flight operations.

Thus, it will be appreciated that the single pole double throw circuit arrangement, including switch 66, guarantees that the child properly activates the appropriate preselected message in accordance with whether the plane 56 is in its elevated or grounded position with respect to the surface.

Although this invention has been described with respect to its preferred embodiments, it should be understood that many variations and modifications will now be obvious to those skilled in the art, and it is preferred, therefore, that the scope of the invention be limited, not by the specific disclosure herein, only by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A toy adapted for simulated airborne flight and intended to be selectively raised and lowered with respect to a surface; said toy comprising:

a body;

sensing means movably mounted with respect to said body between first and second positions in response to said body being raised from and lowered onto said surface, respectively;

prerecorded message means for presenting a first preselected message in response to said sensing means moving to its said first position;

biasing means for biasing said sensing means toward its said first position, said biasing means including a landing-support element secured to said body and normally biased away therefrom, one end of said sensing means being secured to said landingsupport element; and

normally closed circuit means to energize said message means, the other end of said sensing means maintaining said circuit means in an open condition when said body lands on said surface and said landing-support element is urged toward said body.

2. The toy of claim 1 wherein said prerecorded message means is mounted in said body;

3. The toy of claim 1 wherein said normally closed circuit means is connected through selectively operable in-flight switch means for selectively energizing said prerecorded message means to present a first preselected message when said sensing means is in its first position raised from said surface; said normally closed circuit means being moved to an open circuit condition when said sensing means is moved to its second position in response to lowering of said body onto said surface.

4. The toy of claim 3 and further including normally open circuit means connected through a selectively operable on-ground" switch means for selectively energizing said prerecorded message means to present a second preselected message when said sensing means is moved to its second position to close said normally open circuit means.

5. The toy of claim 4 wherein said normally closed circuit means and said normally open circuit means are controlled by a single contact element responsive to the movement of said sensing means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3024568 *Mar 9, 1960Mar 13, 1962Barnett Harry EToy stethoscope with electronically simulated heartbeat
US3733741 *Apr 30, 1971May 22, 1973Dicker IntChild's musical toy
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4249339 *Feb 16, 1979Feb 10, 1981Mattel, Inc.Space toy
US5547412 *Jan 25, 1995Aug 20, 1996Stap And A Half ToysChildren's stepstool with automatic electronic message mechanism
US6659839 *May 7, 2002Dec 9, 2003Tokyo Marui Co., Ltd.Model aircraft capable of reproducing flight attitude
US6764559Nov 15, 2002Jul 20, 2004Commonwealth Industries, Inc.Aluminum automotive frame members
US20030121721 *Jul 6, 2001Jul 3, 2003Dudkin Valery ValentinovitchAudio label
WO1997028873A1 *Feb 5, 1997Aug 14, 1997Andrew HillA toy or educational device
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/30, 446/484, 446/404, 446/230
International ClassificationA63H27/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H27/00
European ClassificationA63H27/00