US 3867786 A
The present invention relates to a magnetically controlled animated toy; and more particularly relates to such apparatus that incorporates a magnetic control to enhance the enjoyment of such a toy. In this way, a child may control the antics of the animated toy; and may participate in the toy's activities - rather than remaining a passive onlooker.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Greenblatt 51 Feb. 25,- 1975 MAGNETICALLY-CONTROLLED ANIMATED TOY  Inventor: Abe Greenblatt, Dallas, Tex.
 Assignee: Peter Tseng, Monterey Park, Calif.
 Filed: Sept. 27, 1973 21 Appl, No.2 401,135
 US. Cl .L 46/236, 46/175, 46/247  Int. Cl A63h 29/22  Field of Search 46/236, 238, 247, 175
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,232,004 2/1966 7 Felsher n: 46/236 3,401,485 9/1968 Goodrum 46/238 l/l969 Bonnano et al 46/238 2/l97l Nozaki 46/247 Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-Robert F. Cutting Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Francis X. LoJacono, Sr.
 ABSTRACT The present invention relates to a magnetically controlled animated toy; and more particularly relates to such apparatus that incorporates a magnetic control to enhance the enjoyment of such a toy. In this way, a child may control the antics of the animated toy; and may participate in the toys activities rather than remaining a passive onlooker.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 i MAGNETICALLY-CONTROLLED ANIMATED TOY BACKGROUND It is well known that there are presently available a large'number of animated toys, these being adapted to be energized by apparatus such as inertial motors, spring motors, battery-operated motors, and the like.
The inertial motors are usually activated by rolling a plurality of wheels across a supporting surface such as a floor, in order to impart rotation to a weighted flywheel; whereupon, when the toy is released, the energy stored in the rotating flywheel causes the toy (usually in the form of a vehicle) to move across the floor. The inertial motor, while economical, has the disadvantage that the movement of the toy is of short duration.
An improved toy-motor utilizes a spring that is key wound before the toy is released. Since springs may be made in many different strengths, it is possible to make a spring motor that is stronger, and will provide a longer interval of action; and the toy may now take many other forms such as trains, moving animals, and the like.
The latest form of toy motors is one that is driven by electrical batteries, these being able to provide hours of movement. As a result, battery-driven toys will perform for longer intervals of time, may take many additional forms, and may use a plurality of different moving members such as arms, flags, sound-producing mechanisms, etc.
Unfortunately, most such toys tend to produce a type of movement that is relatively uninteresting'v e.g., a train rotates continuously around a circular track. When the-toy is designed for more complex types of movements, these movements tend to be repetitious. Moreover, these kinds of toys generally require that a .child watch passively as the toy goes through its cyclic movements. As a'result, since the child generally has a relatively short span of interest, he soon becomes bored with the toy.
It may, therefore, be realized that there is a need for a toy that is not only animated, but also utilizes the childs control and participation.
OBJECTIVES AND DRAWINGS It is, therefore, the principal objective of the present invention to provide an improved toy.
It is another objective of the present invention to provide-an improved animated toy.
It is still another objective of the present invention to provide an improved animated toy that is controlled by a child.
It is a further objective of the present invention to provide an improved animated toy of a type that requires a childs participation.
It is still further objective of the present invention to provide an improved animated toy to which a small child is attracted, and which he desires to control.
It is still another objective of the present invention to provide an improved animated toy that is a natural" for a small child to be attracted to, and to control.
The attainment of these objectives and others will be realized from a study of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 shows a'pictorial view of a dog-like toy;
FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional-view of the interior arrangement of the dog-like toy;
FIG. 3 shows a cut-awayview of a control magnet incorporated intoa bone-like article;
FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional view of a controllable eye;
FIG. 5 shows a front view of the controllable eye; and
FIG. 6 shows a pictorial view of a controllable ear.
SYNOPSIS INTRODUCTION As indicated above, there are many animated toys designed for children, these animated toys ranging from a simple vehicle that moves in a straight line to a complex animal that moves, stands up, moves its limbs, etc. In order to disclose the full potentialities of the present invention, its operation will be presented in terms of one of these complex toys specifically, in terms of a dogtoy that is capableof moving in any of several directions, is capable of rearing up on its hind legs, is adapted to way its tail, produces a barking sound, etc. In this way, the present explanation will show that the disclosed invention may be used with such a complex toy, or with a much simpler type.
The exemplary toy will be understood from FIG. 1, which shows a pictorial view of a controllable device 10 shaped like a dog-toy, said device having a hollow body 11 of material such as thin sheet plastic, and having two front paws I2 and two rear paws 13. The dog 10 also has a tail 15 adapted to roll and to move, and has ears 17 adapted to twitch. The face of dog 10 is given a very friendly appearance that would appeal to a child; and the entire dog body 11 is covered with a fuzzy, hair-like material that provides an attractive ap pearance anda favorable tactile impression. A dogbone 18 is also provided; and the function of the dogbone 18 will be discussed more fully later.
1 As indicated above, for the purposes of explanation, dog 10 is assumed to be one of the very active and complex types of toys; and its operation will be better understood from the cross-sectional view of FIG. 2. This shows the body 11 to contain one or more electric batteries 20 that are connected through an electric switch 21 to electric motor 22 (not clearly visible in FIG. 2)
that rotates a drive-gear 23 connected to suitable gearing that is not germane to the present discussion.
Motor 22 is geared to a rotatable platform 25 that carries two driving wheels 26 thereon, the platform 25 and the driving wheels 26 being so interconnected that they are adapted to move the dog in a relatively unpredictable manner and direction. A pair of spaced-apart trailing wheels 27 provides stability to the moving toy 10. A transversely positioned, continuously rotating rear wheel 28 ordinarily clears the floor; and its function will be discussed later.
In normal operation of the toy 10, the platform 25 and its driving wheels 26 move the toy around in a rather unpredictable manner that is intriguing to the child observer. At given intervals, linkage 30-31 pivots the rear paws 13; so that the dog 10 rears up on its hind feet at which time, the driving wheels 26 are raised from the support surface, and the transversely rotating rear wheel 28 comes into contact with the floor, to spin the toy into another direction. When the linkage 30-31 again permits the dog to assume its normal position, the rear wheel 28 becomes ineffectual; and the drive wheels 26 again go into operation. In this way, the toy l performs a series of intricate, unpredictable movements that entrance a child.
' Meanwhile,asuitable lever 32 causes the tail to wag vigorously; and a squawk box 33 is periodically compressed by a suitable arm 34, so that a horn 35 produces a continual barking sound.
However, as described above, the toy 10 requires a child to sit passively by as the toy performs its various gyrations; and the child soon tires of the toy.
The present invention widens the childs interest in the toy, and provides additional pleasure by permitting the child to partake of the toys activity.
It was pointed out above that an electric switch 21, usually positioned beneath the toy, requires an adult to close the switch in order to energize the toy thus further contributing to the childs passivity. The present invention incorporates a primary control (specifically a switch 40) into the nose area 41 or the mouth area 42 of the dog 10. The switch 40 preferably takes the form known as a reed switch, comprising a reed of magnetic material that changes its position and/or its curvature when it is exposed to a magnetic field. When the reed assumes its new configuration, it is used to close an electrical circuit; and in the present invention the new electrical circuit is used to turn on the electric motor 22. The new reed-and-circuit may be connected in parallel with the original switch 21; so that the toy 10 may be energized in either way.
The present invention also provides a secondary control (specifically, a magnetic field) that is positioned into close proximity to the primary control. In this way, the magnetic field that is external of the device may be used to activate the magnetic switch.
In the present case, the secondary control (the magnetic field) is produced by a control element comprising a permanent magnet 43 that is incorporated into the dog bone" 18 (See FIGS. 1 and 3.); and, when a child feedsYthe dog by bringing the dog bone 18 to the nose/mouth area of. the dog 10, the magnet 43 in the bone activates the control reed switch 40 to close and to thus turn on the motor 22. Therefore, the dog-toy 22 immediately goes into operation now being energized by the participation of the child feeding the dog. As long as the child continues to feed the toy, the toy continues to perform stopping its action only when its food is removed.
Additionally, it has been found that, when a child tries to feed the dog, the slight feeding pressure tends to raise the dog's head; so that the toy 10 tends to rear up slightly, and to whirl to a different direction under the influence of the transversely-rotating rear wheel 28 thus, producing the effect ofa dog refusing his food, and running away fromthe child. All of this tends to be matically causes the dog to remain at its latest position.
Alternatively, for younger children that may not be able to hold the food" to the dogs mouth during the dogs activities, the control switch 40 may be made of the type that has a limited amount of magnetic retentiv-' ity, and thus remains closed for a short interval of time after the control magnet 43 is removed. This latter arrangement permits the child to again approach the toy, and to again feed it, for resumed activity.
In order to satisfy the needs of still younger children, the toy may be of the type that moves more slowly, moves mostly in straight lines, etc.
The Eyes The present invention also comprises movable eyes for the dog-toy 10. As indicated in FIG. 4, the eye preferably comprisesan eyeball 45 having a pupil 46 therein or thereon, and having a small magnet 47 positioned at the bottom of the eyeball; so that, when the eye-magnet 47 is in its lowermost position, the pupil 46 looks straight ahead out of the dog-toy 10.
As shown in FIG. 5, eyeball 45 is preferably positioned in a spherical eye socket 48 of slightly larger size, the space between the eyeball 45 and the eye socket 48 being filled with a support liquid that supports the eyeball 45 in a somewhat floating relationship and permits the eyeball 45 to rotate freely within the eye socket 48. Any suitable support liquid may be used, water or mineral oil having been found quite satisfactory.
It will be realized (See FIG. 5.) that, when the eyeball 48 is freely suspended in the eye socket 48, the weight of the eye-magnet 47 will cause the eye-magnet 47 to sink to its lowermost position, thus rotating the eyeball 45 until the pupil 46 thereof looks straight ahead out of the eye opening of the dog-toy. When a control magnet, such as the magnet 43 in the aforementioned bone 18, is brought near the eye 16, the eye-magnet 47 will respond to the magnetic field established by the external bone-magnet; and the eyeball 45 will, therefore, rotate in such a manner that the'pupil thereof follows the movement of the dog bone.
If desired, each eyeball 45 may have two diametrically oppositely positioned pupils; so that a pupil will follow the control magnet, regardless of which magnetic pole is presented to the eye.
Thus, as the bone is offered to the dog, both eyes will converge and follow its movement.
The Ears The present invention also comprises movable ears for the dog-toy 10. As indicated in FIG. 6, the ear 17 has a small ear-magnet 49 at the bottom thereof. Therefore, when a control magnet is brought near the ear 17, the end of theear will rise. This effect may be enhanced by incorporating a bell or a whistle into the article containing the control magnet; so that the ear seems to respond to a tinkling or a whistling sound.
Modifications The disclosed invention may be used as a game for an older age group, by means of the following adaptation. The toy or device may be made in the form of a racing vehicle; and the disclosed magnetic swtich is incorporated into the front end of such vehicle. A control magnet is affixed to the end of a stick. In using this embodiment, each player maneuvers the magnet end of his stick to remain at the front of his vehicle whereupon the vehicles motor maintains a racing pace. In this way, each player leads his racing vehicle over an assigned track.
If the player advances his control magnet too far ahead of the vehicle, the vehicles motor goes off thus stopping that vehicle, and placing it at a disadvantage relative to the other racers.
Alternatively, a normally-closed magnetic switch may be positioned at the top of the vehicle; so that it serves as a target for a bombing control magnet, or the like a hit causing the control magnet to open the magnetic switch, and to thus indicate a hit by stopping the vehicle in its tracks.
SUMMARY The present invention has a number of important advantages. First of all, it increases the enjoyment of an animated toy. Second, it increases the childs span of interest. Third, it eliminates the childs passivity in respect to the activities of the animated toy. Fourth, it permits the child to participate in the toys antics. Fifth, it provides a natural relationship between the child and the toy. Sixth, the toy responds in a natural manner to the advances of the child. Seventh, it is adapted for toys for older and younger children. Eighth, it may be adapted for different types of toys and devices. Ninth, it permits the toy to be used in its normal manner, if so desired. And, finally, it is relatively economical to be incorporated into presently used toys.
1. In combination with an animated dog-toy adapted to be energized by an electric battery-operated motor through an electrical circuit, the invention comprising:
a magnetic reed switch, incorporated into the nose/- mouth area of said dog-toy, for controlling the energization of said dog-toy by said motor coupled to ground engaging wheels;
a permanent magnet incorporated into a dog bone,
for activating said magnetic switch when said dog bone is manually placed in close proximity with said nose/mouth area of said dog-toy;
means for causing the magnetic field of said permanent magnet in said bone to close said magnetic switch in said dog-toy, to complete an electrical circuit to said battery/motor, to permit energization of said dog-toy by said motor;
a pair of spherical eye sockets fixedly mounted within said dog-toy;
an eyeball having a pupil thereon, said eyeball being freely disposed within said spherical eye socket, 'said eye socket having an inner diameter larger than the outer diameter of said eyeball, whereby space therebetween is provided;
said eyeball having at least one pupil secured thereto;
a permanent magnet positioned within said eyeball;
a support liquid disposed in said space between said eyeball and said eye socket, whereby said eyeball is allowed to freely rotate within said spherical eye socket in a floating relationship thereto.
2. The invention as recited in claim 1, wherein said magnet disposed in said eyeball is positioned at the bottom, lowermost position thereof, whereby said pupil looks straight ahead when in a non-activated mode.
3. The invention as recited in claim 2, wherein said dog-toy further comprises a pair of flapable ears, each containing a permanent magnet therein, whereby said ears can be flapped by a movable magnet.
4. The invention as recited in claim 2, wherein said eyeball is provided with two diametrically, oppositely positioned pupils, whereby said pupils will follow the control of a movable magnet, regardless of which magnetic pole is presented to said eyeball.
5. The invention as recited in claim 4, wherein said support liquid disposed between said eyeball and said eye socket is water.
6. The invention as recited in claim 4, wherein said support liquid disposed between said eyeball and said eye socket is a mineral oil.