US 3866350 A
A doll having a soft, resilient three-dimensional head mounted on support means for universal movement. The head is formed with a cavity that receives a mating bulb portion of the support means. The bulb portion is mounted at the upper end of a neck portion. The head comprises a resilient foam plastic base which is preformed to define the cavity and the external contour of the head including at least one depression. There is a relatively thin wall-section between the cavity and the depression. A stretchable and flexible casing is disposed over the base. A mechanical fastening means such as a stud enlarged at both ends passes through the wall section and the portion of the casing overlying the depression to hold the casing in a position drawn inwardly of the depression to thereby conform it generally to the contour of the depression. A pair of these studs may be provided to form the eyes for the doll face. The cavity has an entrance that may be made larger than the neck portion to facilitate the pivotal movement of the head, and the casing may be provided with a drawn string around the entrance to draw the flexible casing inwardly about the neck. The doll also has a body which may comprise a flexible body casing with a neck hole that receives the neck portion of the support means therein. An enlarged retainer portion at the lower end of the neck portion is held in position up against the underside of the casing adjacent the neck hole by filler material within the body casing.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Goldfarb et al.
[ 1 Feb. 18, 1975 SOFT DOLL CONSTRUCTION  Inventors: Adolph E. Goldfarb, Tarzana, Calif;
Erwin Benkoe, 17965 Medley Dr., Encino, Calif. 91316; Erin Libby, Hermosa Beach, Calif.
 Assignee: said Benkoe, by said Goldfarb 22 Filed: Feb. 21, 1973  Appl. NO.: 334,222
France 46/161 Primary ExaminerRobert Peshock Assistant ExaminerJ. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert M. Ashen  ABSTRACT A doll having a soft, resilient three-dimensional head mounted on support means for universal movement. The head is formed with a cavity that receives a mating bulb portion of the support means. The bulb portion is mounted at the upper end of a neck portion. The head comprises a resilient foam plastic base which is preformed to define the cavity and the external contour of the head including at least one depression. There is a relatively thin wall-section between the cavity and the depression. A stretchable and flexible casing is disposed over the base. A mechanical fastening means such as a stud enlarged at both ends passes through the wall section and the portion of the casing overlying the depression to hold the casing in a position drawn inwardly of the depression to thereby conform it generally to the contour of the depression. A pair of these studs may be provided to form the eyes for the doll face. The cavity has an entrance that may be made larger than the neck portion to facilitate the pivotal movement of the head, and the casing may be provided with a drawn string around the entrance to draw the flexible casing inwardly about the neck. The doll also has a body which may comprise a flexible body casing with a neck hole that receives the neck portion of the support means therein. An enlarged retainer portion at the lower end of the neck portion is held in position up against the underside of the casirig adjacent the neck hole by filler material within the body casing.
16 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures SOFT DOLL CONSTRUCTION The present invention relates to soft or rag-type dolls. Such soft dolls normally comprise an outer casing or cover of a cloth or fabric material surrounding an inner portion or base comprised of a foam plastic, such as vinyl or poluurethane, orstuffing, such as cotton batting or the like. Such a soft, readily compliant, somewhat resilient construction is particularly desirable for a doll to be held and cuddled and taken to bed with the child.
Heretofore, such soft or rag type dolls have had heads which were fixed in position relative to the remainder of the doll. Apart from a certain amount of flexibility or bending due to the soft construction of the entire doll, such heads were not movable or adjustable in any real sense to a variety of selectedpositions. On the other hand, dolls with heads that could swivel or pivot to various positions have normally utilized blowmolded semi-rigid plastic construction for the heads. Such heads do not provide the soft feel and texture of a soft or rag typed doll.
The heads of such soft dolls have tended to be generally flat and not truly three-dimensional, or to be generally bulbous and nondescript in contour and definition. Some efforts have been made to obtain a soft head which has some facial and head contours, however, the approach is relatively complicated and/or expensive. See for example, U.S. Letters Pat. No. 2,391,131 where a number of individual irregularly shaped cover sections are sewn together to achieve the desired contour and configuration.
The present invention contemplates a simple and economical construction of a soft doll having a threedimensional soft head which is movable relative to the body to a variety of positions. Construction of the doll is relatively simple and economical both in terms of the initial construction of the components and in the assembly thereof. The construction facilitates the provision of a soft doll head having'a contoured outer configuration. In particular, the face may be drawn inwardly or depressed in the areas of the eye sockets to thereby define not only the eye sockets but the forehead, nose bridge, and cheeks of the doll face. Studs may be used to so draw in the face, and also themselves serve as the eyes for the doll face.
IN THE DRAWINGS:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa soft rag type doll that is a presently preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side sectional view of the upper portion of the doll of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the doll along 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 shows a stud used in the doll;
FIG. 5 shows an alternate form of fastener used in the doll. FIG. 6 shows another fastener.
The presently preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as rag doll 10. The doll 10 comprises generally a body 12, a head support means 14 mounted at the upper end of the body (FIG. 2), and a soft, resilient, three-dimensional head 16 pivotally mounted upon the support means. The head 16 has an internal cavity 18 in which a mating bulb portion 20 of the support means 14' is received. The illustrated head 16 is made up of a preformed, resilient, foam plastic base or inner section 22 covered by stretchable flexible fabric casing 24; The preformed base 22 has at least one depression 26 in its outer configuration. The portion of the casing 24 overlying the depression 26 is drawn inwardly of the depression and held in that position to generally conform to the contour of the depression. This is achieved in the illustrated doll by mechanical fastening means in the form of a pair of studs or eyelets 28. The eyelets 28 pass through a relatively thin walled-section 29 of the head defined between the depression 26 and the internal cavity 18. The illustrated eyelets 28 have a shaft 32 with enlarged sections 30, 31 at either end. The exterior enlarged end section 30 also provides the eyes of the doll head. The support means 14 also includes an upright neck portion 34 which depends from the bulb portion 20 and passes through an entrance 36 to the head cavity. The parts are dimensioned so that the bulb portion 20 of the support means will pass through the entrance 36 and into the cavity 18 by virtue of the resilient nature of the head. The illustrated entrance 36 is made larger than the neck portion 34 to afford desired pivotal movement of the head. Such movement is also facilitated by the resilient nature of the head itself. Suitable attachment means such as a draw string 38 may be provided in the casing around the cavity entrance 36. The draw string 38 draws the casing material-in and around the neck portion 34 of the support means to retain the head upon the support means, while at the same time not interfering with the universal movement of the head.
Now the doll 10 illustrated in FIGS. l2 may be considered in further detail. Referring to FIG. 2, the head 16 is constructed of the preformed resilient foam plastic base or inner portion 22 which may be of a vinyl or polyurethane foam. This base 22 may be conviently fabricated in half sections, which are either separate or pivotally hinged together. The half sections are then brought together and secured to one another along the mating line indicated at 40 as by means of a suitable adhesive. Alternately, the base 22 may be molded of a single piece. Thus, the base 22 is preformed with the internal' cavity 18 and the entrance 36. It will be noted that the maximum transverse dimension of the cavity 18 is substantially greater than the transverse dimension of the entrance 36. The base 22 is also formed with an external contour including a pair of eye socket depressions 26 and a semi-depressed nose bridged area 27 intermediate the two eye socket depressions. The head base 22 is covered with the stretchable fabric casing 24 made of a material such as jersey. The casing 24 may be made up of one or more sections forming a sack or body stocking stretched over the base 22. Broken line 42 in FIG. 2 illustrates the position of the portion of the casing overlying the depression 26 when the casing is initially assembled over the base. Thus, it will be noted that this portion of the casing which extends over the depression 26 does not conform to the depressed contour of the base. Rather, the casing extends over or spans from edge to edge of the depression. It will also be noted that the wall section 29 between the internal cavity 18 and the external depression 26 is relatively thin. In the illustrated construction, the fastening means in the form of the pair of eyelets 28 pass through the casing portion overlying the depression, and pass through the thin wall-section 29 of the base, to therby draw in that overlying casing portion into the depression and cause it to generally conform to the contour of the depression. Each of the illustrated fastening means is in the form of one of the eyelets 28 having the elongated pin or shank portion 32, the enlarged inner end 31, and'the enlarged outer end 30. The enlarged outer end 30 is generally button shaped, and as shown best in FIG. 1, each one serves to provide one of the eyes of the head. Thus, the two eyelet ends 30, spaced apart side-to-side, and each in one ofthe eye socket depressions 26, serve to provide the two eyes for the doll.
Other graphics may be provided on the outside of the,
head casing, as for example, representation of a nose and a mouth, and eyebrows. A wig or other means may be provided to represent the hair of the doll. One form of eyelet 28 is shown in FIG. 4 prior to it being installed in the doll head. The inner end 50 of the eyelet is generally tubular, and adapted to be flared or extended outwardly to provide a flange forming the enlarged inner end 31 of the eyelet. This enlarging may be done incident to manufacture of the doll head, either manually or by suitable automatic equipment.
As shown in FIG. 2, the support means in the form of a sectioned block 14 is connected to the doll body 12 (as will be explained in detail below, and is pivotally connected to the doll head 16 for generally universal movement of the head. More particularly, the support means or block 14 includes the neck portion 34, the bulb portion 20, and an enlarged retainer portion 52 at the lower end of the neck portion. The bulb portion 20 is generally complimentary in size and shape to the interior cavity 18 of the head, and is adapted to be received in that cavity as shown in FIG. 2. In the illustrated doll the bulb portion and cavity are generally circular in horizontal section, but are vertically elongated. The support block 14 may be of any suitable material, such as rigid, molded plastic, wood, metal or the like. As noted above, the entrance 36 to the head cavity 18 is larger in dimension than the diameter of the neck portion 34 adjacent the bulb portion 20. This facilitates the universal pivoting of the head upon the support block. Thus for example, the front edge 54 of the cavity entrance 36 generally defines the limit to the forward pivotal movement of the head on the bulb portion 20. It will also be appreciated, however, as noted above, that the resilient nature of the head itself permits some additional pivotal movement, even after engagement by the entrance edge. Because of the resilient nature of the head itself, it may be readily assembled upon the bulb portion 20 by simple pressing it onto the bulb portion, so that the entrance 36 will expand sufficiently to permit the bulb portion to pass therethrough.
To prevent the head 16 from being to readily removed from the bulb portion 20, suitable attachment means may be provided. The illustrated head 16 has the draw string 38 arranged around the casing 24 surrounding the entrance 36 to the cavity 18. By tightening and tying this draw string 38 about the neck portion 34 of the support block 14, the child is prevented from readily pulling the head off of the bulb portion 20. As also noted above, since the head casing material is flexible and stretchable, even though it may be drawn tightly around the neck portion, it will offer no significant resistance or interference with the pivotal or rotational movement of the head on the bulb portion.
It desired, the neck portion 34 could be undercut or grooved as shown in broken line at 56, however, this tends to weaken the neck portion, and also provides a less pleasing esthetic appearance.
The enlarged retainer portion 52 is disposed within the body 12 of the doll, and serves to maintain the support means 14 in the desired position on the body.
The illustrated body 12 comprises a flexible outer casing or cover 58 of fabric of the like, stuffed or filled with material 60 such as shreaded or cut foam, cotton batting, or other conventional soft doll filler material. The doll body may be decorated and clothed as desired. The illustrated doll has a pair of arms and a pair of legs secured to the body.
The illustrated body casing 58 has a neck hole 62 at its upper end. A pair'of seams 64 which are shown in FIG. 3, extend outwardly from the neck hole 62 along the shoulders of the doll. In manufacturing the doll, the seams 64 may be open to permit the retainer portion 52 of the support block 14 to be placed within the body casing 58. The seams 64 may then be sewn together to capture the retainer portion 52 inside the body casing 58. When the body casing 58 is then filled or stuffed, the stuffing material 60 will press upwardly against the bottom of the retainer portion 52 to maintain it in the desired illustrated position immediately below the casing 58 adjacent the neck hole 62.
While the illustrated construction is the presently preferred form of the invention, various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, the particular size or configuration of the retainer portion 52 may be changed. As another example, the means for connecting the support block 14 to the body might comprise stitching a portion of the block to the body casing 58.
With regard to the fastening means 28, a two-part assembly 28a as shown in FIG. 5 may be provided. Fastener assembly 28a comprises a first part having an elongated shaft or pin portion 72 and an enlarged circular eye-forming button 74 on its outer end. The assembly 280 also comprises a second part 76 in the form of a resilient snap ring adapted to snap onto the inner end of the pin portion 72. The pin portion 72 may have an annular groove 78 for receiving the snap ring 76. As another example shown in FIG. 6, the fastening means 28b might comprise a pin 80 with fastening means such as threads 82 at either end, and two additional partssuch as discs 84 with threaded holes adapted to con- '24 and the thin wallsection 29, and then is manipulated from the outside to cause its inner end to expand outwardly to retain itself in position.
1. A soft-head doll comprising:
a head suppot means comprising an upright neck portion and a bulb portion at the upper end of said neck portion, said bulb portion having a transverse dimension larger that that of said neck portion,
a three-dimensional soft doll head mounted upon said support means, said head being of soft and resilient construction,
said 'head having interior means defining a cavityin said head which has substantially the same size and shape as said bulb portion so as to be essentially fully occupied by said bulb portion, said interior means defining an entrance into said cavity with a transverse dimension smaller than a transverse dimension of said cavity,
said transverse dimension of said bulb portion being larger than said transverse dimension of said cavity entrance.
2. A soft-head doll comprising:
a head support means comprising an upright neck portion and a bulb portion at the upper end of said neck portion, said bulb portion having a transverse dimension larger than that of said neck portion,
a three-dimensional soft doll head mounted upon said support means, said head being of soft and resilient construction, said head comprising a soft resilient base portion of flexible material, and a flexible casing disposed around said base portion,
said head having means defining a cavity in said head conforming generally to the size and shape of said bulb portion and defining an entrance into said cavity with a transverse dimension smaller than a transverse dimension of said cavity,
said transverse dimension of said bulb portion being larger than said transverse dimension of said cavity entrance.
3. The doll of claim 2 wherein said head casing includes a draw string around said cavity entrance for drawing said head casing inwardly to said neck portion of said head support means.
4. The doll of claim 1 wherein said head support means has an enlarged retainer portion at the lower end of said neck portion for maintaining said support means in a doll body.
5. The doll of claim 4 further comprising a doll body having a flexible body casing with a neck hole at its upper end, said neck portion of said head support extending into said hole and said enlarged retainer portion being disposed beneath said hole, said enlarged retainer portion being larger in transverse dimension than said hole, and filler material within and filling said body casing to maintain said enlarged retainer portion immediately below the body casing surrounding said neck hole.
6. The doll of claim 1 wherein said bulb portion has a smooth surface and is generally symmetrical with reference to a vertical axis passing through its center.
7. The doll of claim 6 wherein said neck portion is generally symmetrical with reference to said axis.
8. The doll of claim 2 wherein said base portion is preformed with a depression in its outer surface and said head casing is stretchable material, said soft head including fastening means which extends through the wall of said base portion between said depression and said head cavity and engages said head casing outwardly of said depression to hold said casing in position drawn inwardly of said depression to thereby conform it generally to the contour of said depression.
9. The doll of claim 8 wherein said fastening means has a shank with an enlarged head at either end.
10. The doll of claim 9 wherein said depression is in the area of the eyes for the doll head and there are two of said fastening means, one spaced to either side of center of said doll head so that the outwardly disposed enlarged heads of said fastening means provide the eyes for said doll head.
11. The doll of claim 10 wherein said preformed base also comprises a nose bridge projection in the center measured side-to-side of said depressions.
12. The doll of claim 1 wherein said head comprises a soft resilient base portion of flexible material, and a flexible casing disposed around said base portion.
13. A contoured, three-dimensional, soft doll head comprising:
a soft resilient base portion having a preformed contour including an internal cavity and at least one exterior depression;
a casing of stretchable material disposed over said base portion,
fastener means connected to said casing outwardly of said depression and extending through said base portion into said cavity to hold said casing in a position drawn inwardly of said depression, to thereby conform it generally to the contour of said depression.
14. The doll head of claim 13 wherein a wall-section is defined between said depression and said cavity, said fastening means comprising an intermediate portion which passes through said wall-section and enlarged portions at either end of said intermediate portion 15. A method for forming a soft contoured dolls head made of a resilient base and an overlying stretchable casing, comprising the steps of:
a. providing a preformed resilient base having at least one external depression and an interior cavity opening to the outside of the base, there being a relatively thin wall-section between the depression and the cavity,
b. disposing a stretchable casing over the outside of the base,
c. depressing the portion of the casing which overlies the external depression back into the depression to thereby generally conform to the contour of the depression,
d. passing a fastening pin through said depression overlying casing portion and through said wallsection of the base, e. causing causing said fastening pin to retain said overlying casing portion in said depressed position.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein said fastening pin is a stud having an enlarged manufactured head at one end and a formable portion at the other end, including the step of forming said formable portion into