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Publication numberUS3879039 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 22, 1975
Filing dateFeb 22, 1974
Priority dateFeb 22, 1974
Publication numberUS 3879039 A, US 3879039A, US-A-3879039, US3879039 A, US3879039A
InventorsJohn E Holden
Original AssigneeJohn E Holden
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game comprising a plurality of pivotable track members
US 3879039 A
A game comprising a base on which there is mounted at least one track comprising at least two interconnected, relatively movable sections, said track defining a tortuous path for a marble or similar object, each of said sections being capable of being manually rotated about a pivot point in "see-saw" fashion, and a receptacle mounted on said base at one end of said track for the deposit of the marble after it has traversed the tortuous path. The game may include one or more barriers, in the path of movement of the marble, which require raising or lowering of the track sections, in order to allow passage of the marble past the barrier.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Holden [451 Apr. 22, 1975 Primary E.\'uminerRichard C r Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello [76] Inventor: John E. Holden, R.D. No. 1. Box I I 3041 Mount y Pa. 9552 IZZY-James A. Drobile. Esq.. [22] Filed: Feb. 22, 1974 A game comprising a base on which there is mounted {if 273/110 ig fg iz at least one track comprising at least two interconi l l 7 nected, relatively movable sections. said track defining 1 e 0 C a tortuous path for a marble or similar object. each of said sections being capable of being manually rotated about a pivot point in see-saw fashion, and a recep- [56] Reerences Cned tacle mounted on said base at one end of said track UNITED STATES PATENTS for the deposit of the marble after it has traversed the 2.655.Ho lU/l953 Gowland 273/86 C tortuous path. The game may include one or more 2.846.226 8/1958 Reynolds 273/110 barriers, in the path of movement of the marble. 2.853.3(ll 9/!958 Glass R X require raising o lowering of the truck secligng 2862.333 l2/l958 Gardiol i. 46/43 X in Order to n passage of the marb|e past h b 3.618.949 ll/l97l McLaln et al. 273/] I0 rier FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 426.776 4/1935 United Kingdom..i.............. 273/110 6 7 Dmwmg O '02 a l4 l0 2 92 B4 5+ /2 +3 50 m\ /T2 W g 1 g /r=m f I ll H I ii I I [I l l 2 22 k il"\ l *k ii T i ll )3] Hill-I |=cu I 1 HIH 4 is T4 T6 3 5Q 88 90 H?! m Fm GAME COMPRISING A PLURALITY OF PIVOTABLE TRACK MEMBERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention:

This invention relates to a childrens game utilizing a tortuous channel. including several obstacles. through which a marble or similar object is required to pass before it reaches a goal.

2. State of the Art:

Numerous marble games exist for children, including games where a marble or other spheriod is required to traverse a tortuous path before it reaches a designated object. However, the game of this invention is novel and distinct from the known prior art devices BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention comprises a base upon which there are mounted at least two fulcrums. Supported upon each fulcrum is a track member. two or more track members being so constructed that a marble or similar object can traverse a tortuous channel covering both track members. The track members are interconnected so as to be movable with respect to each other. whereby move ment of one member will provide movement of the other members. Tracks comprising more than two track members may be utilized. and a single game board may comprise one. two or more tracks. At the end of each track is a container, into which the marble or other spheroid is introduced for the completion of the game. The track member is rotatable about a transverse axis and is rotatably supported by a pair of support members. mounted on each side of the track. and supporting a fulcrum beam extending across the track. In the preferred embodiment. the game comprises two tracks. each formed of three sections. and each having a control member attached to the outer end of one section, at the end opposite the goal and having a barrier between the bucket and the track. whereby the marble is required to be flipped" over the barrier in order to enter the bucket. The preferred embodiment also includes two or more barriers which are mounted astraddle certain sections of the track, whereby the track members must be manipulated to be lowered. in order for the marble to pass from one member to the adjacent member.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is. therefore, an object of this invention to provide a novel game. involving the passage of a spheroid along a tortuous, maneuverable track toward a goal.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive, easy to assemble game, involving a marble and a track, which may be played by one or more persons.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the game of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 2-2 of FIG. I, and showing, in phantom, a second position of the track members;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view, taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side-elevational view, in the direction of the lines 4-4 of FIG. 3. illustrating the manner of rotation of a track member about its fulcrum;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view. taken along line 55 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6-6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5, and showing the interconnection between two track members; and

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view, taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Viewing FIG. I, the game I0 is seen to include a base 14. The base 14 is preferably molded of a single piece of thermoplastic material, such as polyethylene. and has depending sides and a flat upper surface. Formed in diagonally opposite corners of the base 14 are goals 16 which comprise indented receptacle sections 18, which may. if desired, be inclined (not shown) so that the marbles which repose therein will roll away from the inner side thereof to the outer side. Each goal 16 has a front barrier 20 which extends upwardly. approximately one and one half inches from the top of base I4, and extends across the entire width of the goal. Located at the rear end of the goal I6 is a rear barrier 22,

- which extends upwardly approximately two inches.

and. as illustrated. may extend only across the inner half of the rear end of the goal. If desired. the barriers 20 and 22 may be formed separately from the base 14, and may be formed with a suitable lip (not shown) which would seat in a suitable slit type aperture in the base 14.

Formed at opposite ends of the base 14 are curvedbottom marble receptacles 24 which are adapted to contain a plurality of marbles 26 for use in the game.

As will be appreciated, the drawings illustrate two separate track units. goals, and marble containers. These units are identical to each other in every way, except that they are located to extend in reverse directions, for convenience, so that the two players of the game may be located at opposite ends of the board without interfering with each other. Therefore. for convenience, only the upper track unit will be described in detail, it being understood that the lower track unit corresponds exactly to the upper track unit.

Formed at spaced intervals in base 14 are fulcrum and spring-clip members which pivotally mount the track members. An opposing pair of fulcrum and spring-clip members is mounted to support each track member. Viewing FIG. 3, base 14 is seen to have integrally formed therewith a pair of opposing spring-clip members 30. Each spring-clip member 30 is resilient, to be movable away from the locking position shown in FIG. 3, by grasping the upper end of the spring-clip member proximate the lip section 34 and rotating it about its base. Each spring-clip member 30 has an inverted T-shaped side section 32 and a triangularshaped lip section 34.

The pivot beam 76, more fully described below, is adapted to be lockingly, but rotatingly, held in place by the spring-clip members 30, while it is rotatable with respect to the fulcrums 36. Fulcrums 36 are also formed to be integral with base member 14 and extend vertically therefrom. The vertical web 38 of each of the fulcrums 36 is of generally triangular outline. as best seen in FIG. 4, tapering from its base to its upper end. and is formed with a triangular notch 40 in the upper end thereof. The triangular notch 40 acts as a seat for the pivot beam 76 of the track member which is rotatable with respect to the fulcrums 36.

It may be desired. for strength purposes, to incorporate a reinforcing web at the base of vertical web 32 of spring-clip member 30, in which case the vertical web 5 would extend approximately half-way up side member 32 and preferably be perpendicular thereto. Such a web would strengthen the base of the spring-clip member while allowing the upper portion to be pivotal with respect thereto to perform its locking and releasing l0 function as described below.

As seen in FIG. 3, a rectangular aperture is formed between each spring-clip 30 and its proximate fulcrum member 36. This aperture is required in order to facilitate fabrication of the base number l4.

The base member i4 is also formed with slits 46 and 48 formed therein. as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 7, for the purpose of accommodating barriers 50 and 60, in the manner more fully described belowv Although the slits 46 and 48 are not illustrated in FIG. 1, a slit is necessarily located below each of the barriers illustrated in FIG. I, in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 7.

The barrier 50, as best seen in FIG. 7, is of inverted-V shape, and comprises a pair of opposing legs 52. Each leg 52 terminates proximate its bottom in an indent 54. The barrier 50 is formed of polyethylene or similar material and is sufficiently flexible so that the legs 52 can be snapped into the aperture 46, indent 54 being of such size as to seat in the adjacent edges of the upper surface of base 14.

Similarly, barrier 60 is formed of legs 62, each of which has an indent 64, adapted to seat in the aperture 48 in similar matter to barrier 50. Barrier 60 and aperture 48 are somewhat wider than barrier 50, and barrier 60 has a central depending tongue 66, which acts as an additional barrier to any spheroid located in a track.

Each of the tracks of the game is formed of three track members. a control end 80, a central member 82 and a discharge member 84. The track itself is, in the embodiment illustrated, formed of three parallel tracks or channels, respectively designated 86, 88 and 90. Track sections 86 and 88 are interconnected at one end by curved connecting channel 92 and track sections 88 and 90 are connected at one end by curved connecting channel 94. The individual channels or tracks are formed of base portions 96 and the inner faces of the channels are formed by upstanding walls 98. The outer faces of channels 86 and 90 are formed by upstanding 100 which are slightly higher than walls 98.

Viewing FIGS. 1 and 3, it will be seen that there is formed on the inner face 100 of track section 90 a projection or bumper 68, extending into the track. This projection 68 functions to provide an obstruction to the passage of a marble through track section 90, and to make the passage of the marble slightly more difficult.

Viewing FIG. 1, it will be appreciated that the beginning of track or channel 86 is closed by the front face of flipper 72 and the opposite end of channel 90 is closed by an end barrier, so that the marble must be flipped from track section 90 to get over barrier into goal 14.

Located in the center of each of the track members 80, 82 and 84 is a pivot beam, best seen in FIG. 3. The pivot beam is of generally T-shape, having slightly narrower outer arm section 78. The pivot beam 76 is integrally formed with the track sections 86, 88 and 90 of each track member, so that the track member can rotate about the base of the pivot beam. As is seen in FIG. 3, the beams 76 are slightly wider than the track sections, by approximately one-quarter inch.

Each track member is formed with connecting webs at its opposing outer ends, the connecting webs at the rounded ends, which extend across the entire track section being designated 74, and the connecting webs at the rounded ends which extend across only approximately one-half of the track member being designated by numeral 70.

The track member 80 is formed at its end most distant from the goal 18 with a flipper extension member 72, best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, which may be grasped by the player to manipulate the three track members in sinusoidal fashion in the manner discussed below. The two outer members 80 and 84 are formed at their inner ends with two sets of fingers 102, 104 for the purpose of engaging the opposite ends of the track member 82. Two fingers 102 are formed at the opposite inner edges of base 96 of the respective track members 86 and 90, and are integral with the track members 80 and 84, and are of sufficient length so that they will extend into the opposing channel section, respectively 86 and 90, of center track member 82. The lengths of the track members are such that, when the unit is assembled, in the manner shown in FIG. 1, a space of approximately onequarter to one-half inch exists between the adjacent ends of the proximate track members. The fingers 102 extend into the adjacent tracks of central track member 82. The track members 80 and 84 are also provided, spaced below the track members and between each pair of fingers 102, with a fixed finger 104 which is adapted to extend below the adjacent track section of central track member 82. Each finger 104 is flat at its upper face, whereas fingers 102 are of right triangular cross section, with the hypotenuses facing each other to form a ramp for the passage of a marble or other spheroid.

All of the portions of the game 10 are desirably formed of polyethylene or other easily formed inexpensive material, it being understood that barriers 50 and 60 and latch members 30 are required to have some degree of resilience in order to perform their intended functions.

It is preferable for the game to be shipped disassembled, because the length of the base will desirably be approximately twenty-eight inches, although it will be appreciated that the dimensions can be varied without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the base will desirably be formed in two or more pieces, and shipped packaged in a box, the board being capable of being disassembled and then reassembled when it is desired to play the game.

in the embodiment shown, the individual tracks will each have an inner width of approximately one-half inch, to be able to accommodate a conventional size of marble. The track members 80, 82 and 84 will desirably be approximately two-and-one-half inches wide and approximately eight-and-one-half inches long, not counting the flipper 72 and the fingers 102 and 104.

In operation, the individual track members are placed on the base 14 by slipping one end 78 of each fulcrum 76 of each track member under one of the latch fingers 34 of a latching number 30, and then manually spreading the corresponding latching member 30 by displacing it outwardly to allow the end of the fulcrum which it will overlie to extend thereunder.

As the track members are inserted, care is taken to insure that the fingers 102 engage the proximate upper faces of the central track member 82 and that the fingers 104 lie under the proximate lower faces of central track member 82. The barriers 50 and 60 may then be snapped into their respective slots 46 and 48 in the game base 14, and the game is ready to begin. If one player is playing the game, only one track unit need be inserted on the board, and if two players are playing two track units will be inserted.

It will be appreciated that the game can be formed with a single track unit, to be played by a single player. or more than two track units can be incorporated on a single board. Alternatively. if desired, a separate board can be used for each individual track unit, and a multiplicity of such units can be purchased as separate entities. One or more marbles 26 are taken from the receptacle 24 and placed in the proximal end of track section 86 of section member 80, proximate the flipper 72.

By manipulating the flipper 72, the track member 80 can be moved up and down in see-saw fashion about the fulcrum 36. Because of the loose connection between adjacent track members by the engagement by fingers 102 and 104 of the track member 80, any movement of track member 80 is translated into a corresponding movement of track member 82, in sinusoidal fashion, and any movement of track member 82 is translated into a corresponding movement of track member 84 as the track members move from the solid line position of FIG. 2 to the position shown in phantom. Thus, by manipulating flipper 72 and raising and lowering member 80, the marble or marbles placed in track section 86 can be propelled from track section 86 across the bridge between track members 80 and 82 formed by pins 102 into the section of track 86 in track member 82, across the pins 102 into the section of track 86 in track member 84 and around the curved section 92 into second straight track section 88.

When the track member 84 is in the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2 the tongue 66 of barrier 60 extends across track section 86 and prevents any marble from rolling from member 82 to member 84. Accordingly, it is necessary to manipulate flipper 72 so that when a marble is in track member 82, track member 82 is lowered into the position shown in phantom in H6. 2 so that the marble will be aligned with the empty space at the base of the barrier 60 and can traverse from track member 82 to track member 84.

Similarly, when a marble is in track section 88 and is about to traverse from track member 82 to track member 80, it will encounter barrier 50. When the track member 82 is in the position shown in phantom in FIG. 7, the marble will not be able to traverse the barrier, unless the track member is flipped so that the marble jumps the barrier. When the marble or marbles reach obstruction 68 in track section 90, care must be taken to insure that they are not moving too fast, by manipulating the track members, so that the marbles are not flipped off the track. When each marble reaches the end of the track section 90 proximate barrier 20, it must be discharged into goal 18. The only way in which this can be done is by abruptly flipping flipper 72 from the solid line position of FIG. 2 to the phantom position of FIG. 2 to try to flip the marble over barrier and into goal 18.

Although the number of marbles required to be gotten into the goal can vary. in a preferred embodiment of the invention, three marbles are sought to be introduced into the goal 16. Also, if desired, more than one marble can be located in a track unit at a time, to make the game more challenging.

If desired, one track unit and the corresponding barriers can be formed of a first color, such as red. and the other set can be formed of a different color.

lt will be appreciated that a substantial number of changes and departures from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, more than three track members can be utilized per track unit, if desired, and more than three tracks can also be utilized. More barriers can be inserted on the base 14, and different types of barriers can be created. Moreover, the specific dimensions of the disclosed embodiment can be varied without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A game comprising:

a. A base;

b. A plurality of elongated, longitudinally aligned track members, each track member having a transverse axis and defining a plurality of channels, each channel being aligned with a corresponding channel on the next adjacent track member;

c. Means interconnecting all of said channels to form a single tortuous path for a spheroid;

d. Means on said base rotatably mounting each of said track members to pivot about its transverse axis; a

e. Means interconnecting each adjacent pair of track members comprising at least two fingers mounted in a channel on a first track member and extending into the aligned channel on the adjacent track member and at least one finger mounted to and underlying said first track member and extending under the adjacent track member, whereby movement of one of said track members about its transverse axis results in movement of each of the other track members about its transverse axis; and

f. A receptacle mounted on said base to receive a spheroid discharged from said track members.

2. A game as set forth in claim 1, wherein said transverse axis is located equidistant between the opposing ends of each track member.

3. A game as set forth in claim l, wherein the unconnected end of the track member farthest from said receptacle has integrally formed therewith a manually graspable extension, to facilitate manipulation of said track members.

4. A game as set forth in claim 1, including a plurality of barriers mounted on said base between at least two of said track members and aligned with at least one of said channels, whereby a spheroid will not traverse said channels from one track member to an adjacent track member when the track members are in a first position with respect to their transverse axes but will traverse when the track members are in a second such position.

5. A game as set forth in claim 1, including an elevated barrier extending along the front of said receptacle above said pivot means.

6. A game as set forth in claim 1, wherein said means mounting said track members are releasable whereby said game may be disassembled and reassembled.

e s e

Patent Citations
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US2655116 *Jun 2, 1949Oct 13, 1953Gowland John PinkneyTilting track amusement apparatus
US2846226 *Jul 25, 1955Aug 5, 1958Reynolds SchuylerTiltable chute competitive game apparatus
US2853301 *Mar 1, 1955Sep 23, 1958Glass Marvin IToy racing game
US2862333 *Dec 29, 1954Dec 2, 1958Franco GardiolDeformable toy track
US3618949 *Feb 27, 1970Nov 9, 1971Kusan IncGame apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4008894 *Jul 21, 1975Feb 22, 1977Renner David LRailroad teeter switch game
US4055341 *Aug 13, 1976Oct 25, 1977Gilbert Sacks Enterprises, Inc.Tilting maze race game
US4183535 *Feb 10, 1978Jan 15, 1980Benkoe ErwinGame with inclined surfaces and interceptors
US4290605 *Dec 26, 1979Sep 22, 1981Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Game having pathway traversing a plurality of independent object transfer mechanisms
US4646559 *Jan 22, 1985Mar 3, 1987Jack W. HaydenApparatus and method to test a single connection between a pipe coupling and a single pipe end connected therewith
US4673182 *Mar 25, 1986Jun 16, 1987Bowen Robert LPivoted track and slot car amusement device or game
US5435555 *Oct 25, 1994Jul 25, 1995Fuhrer; David A.Gravity defying game of skill and speed
US5749575 *Mar 6, 1997May 12, 1998German; NealDual maze
US6059699 *May 12, 1998May 9, 2000Ramsey; AnthonyMedicine ball torso rack
US7543818 *Feb 16, 2006Jun 9, 2009Chris Alan BorgTilting projectile game
US7798493 *Oct 24, 2007Sep 21, 2010Moore Adrian RBoard game
US20070187887 *Feb 16, 2006Aug 16, 2007Borg Chris ATilting projectile game
U.S. Classification273/110, 446/487, 446/170, 463/69
International ClassificationA63F7/00, A63F7/38
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/0017, A63F7/386
European ClassificationA63F7/38R, A63F7/00C