US 3883986 A
A toy doll adapted to simulate the motions of a child falling asleep has a head and a torso which includes upper and lower portions; the upper torso portion being formed of a flexible material and adapted to collapse relative to the lower torso portion. Fluent material is contained within the torso which is constructed to permit passage of this material between its upper and lower portions. When the fluent material is in the upper torso portion the doll is supported in an erect configuration and as the fluent material flows into the lower torso portion, the upper torso portion collapses, causing the doll to simulate the action of a child going to sleep. Simulated eye units are mounted in eye sockets formed in the doll's head and include rotatable eye members which are adapted to move between opened and closed positions. The eye members are separately controlled by means which selectively moves them towards their closed positions in response to collapse of the torso and by means which moves them towards their closed positions, independently of the collapse of the torso, when the doll is moved towards an inclined or generally horizontal position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Thorn [4 1 May 20, 1975 1 DOLL WITH EYE-CLOSING MEANS RESPONDING TO LATERAL TILTING AND SEPARATE EYE-CLOSING MEANS RESPONDING TO REARWARD TILTING  lnventor: Herbert Thorn, Jamaica, NY.
 Assignee: Ideal Toy Corporation, Hollis, NY.
 Filed: Nov. 14, 1973  App]. No.: 415,606
Related US. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 247,567, May 30. 1972, Pat. No.
 US. Cl 46/135 R  Int. Cl A63h 11/00  Field of Search 46/135 R, 169 R, 169 A, 46/169 B, 166,167, 168
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,273,836 2/1942 Dale 46/135 X 2,727,334 12/1955 Ostrander 46/120 2,733,546 2/1956 Ruiz 46/135 R 3,242,611 3/1966 Henry 46/135 R 3,250,037 5/1966 Katz et al.... 46/135 R 3,462,875 8/1969 May 46/135 X Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay Attorney, Agent, or FirmRichard M. Rabkin [5 7] ABSTRACT A toy doll adapted to simulate the motions of a child falling asleep has a head and a torso which includes upper and lower portions; the upper torso portion being formed of a flexible material and adapted to collapse relative to the lower torso portion. Fluent material is contained within the torso which is constructed to permit passage of this material between its upper and lower portions. When the fluent material is in the upper torso portion the doll is supported in an erect configuration and as the fluent material flows into the lower torso portion, the upper torso portion collapses, causing the doll to simulate the action of a child going to sleep. Simulated eye units are mounted in eye sockets formed in the dolls head and include rotatable eye members which are adapted to move between opened and closed positions. The eye members are separately controlled by means which selectively moves them towards their closed positions in response to collapse of the torso and by means which moves them towards their closed positions, independently of the collapse of the torso, when the doll is moved towards an inclined or generally horizontal position.
7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1 DOLL WITH EYE-CLOSING MEANS RESPONDING TO LATERAL TILTING AND SEPARATE EYE-CLOSING MEANS RESPONDING TO REARWARD TILTING This is a division, of application Ser. No. 257,567 filed May 30, 1972, now US. Pat. No. 3,789,544.
The present invention relates to toy dolls and more particularly to a toy doll which is adapted to simulate the movements of a child going to sleep.
A number of doll constructions have been previously proposed in which the doll is adapted to simulate the action of a child falling asleep. In general such dolls, such as for example, the dolls disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,193,947 to Trost, 1,555,979 to Hunter et al and 2,633,663 to Fuerst are primarily concerned with eye units in which only the dolls eyeballs, or eyelids are moved between open and closed positions to simulate a child going to sleep. A common construction of such dolls is that the eyes are opened or closed depending upon the position in which the doll is placed, e.g. when the doll is erect the eyes are open and when it is reclined or in a horizontal position, the eyes are closed.
While such dolls have had substantial popularity, they do not truly simulate the motions or actions of a child going to sleep since they do not provide for any body movements in conjunction with the closing of the dolls eyes. For example, with a drowsy human child, if the child is seated or standing and falling asleep, the child will slowly tilt or fall over as its eyes gradually close. There is not an immediate closing of the eyes as is simulated by previously proposed dolls.
One known method of coordinating a simulated body movement and closing of the dolls eyes which has been previously proposed is disclosed in US. patent application Ser. No. 214,075, filed Dec. 30, 1971 by Howard J. Morrison, now Patent No. 3,757,460 As shown therein, a doll is provided which includes a generally rigid and hollow lower torso portion and a flexible hollow upper torso portion; the upper and lower torso portions being in communication by way of a two way valve arrangement. The valve provides a large valve opening when the doll is in an inverted position so that fluent material contained in the torso can readily flow from the lower torso portion into the upper torso portion. With this material in the flexible upper torso portion the dolls entire body is supported and maintained in a relatively upright configuration. The valve includes a small opening between the two chambers so that fluent material will be slowly metered from the upper torso portion to the lower torso portion when the doll is in the erect position so that the upper torso portion will slowly collapse.
In conjunction with this body arrangement, the Morrison doll includes a movable eyelid structure in the dolls head in which the eyelids are biased to an opened position but are controlled by the presence or absence of sand in the upper torso portion. As a result, when the upper torso portion is evacuated the eyelids are pulled to a closed position so as to simulate the closing of a childs eyes as the doll collapses, thereby more realistically simulating the action ofa child falling asleep.
While the Morrison doll arrangement is a substantial improvement over previously proposed dolls, it does not fully satisfy the requirements of a doll which is adapted to realistically simulate the actions of a child. In particular, the eyelids in the Morrison structure are solely controlled in response to the presence or absence of sand in the upper torso portion. Thus, the eyelids in Morrison are always biased towards the open position and are open when the doll is in a generally vertical position and the upper torso portion is full of sand. Also, when the doll is placed in the horizontal position, with the upper torso portion full of sand, the eyelids will remain open.
Typically, when a child is playing with a doll and lays the doll in a recumbent or horizontal position, it is desired that the eyelids close in order that the doll simulate a sleeping action. Therefore, the biased eye structure in Morrison is not entirely satisfactory since the eyes may remain open in this position and therefore do not satisfy all the requirements of a child playing with the toy doll.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to realistically simulate in a toy doll the movements and actions of a child going to sleep.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a doll which is adapted to realistically simulate the actions of a child falling asleep, which doll is relatively simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible doll construction in which the eye members in the doll are separately controlled for closing the eyes as the doll collapses and for independently closing the eyes when the doll is placed in a recumbent position.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention the toy doll includes a torso having a head supported thereon independently of the actuating mechanism contained within the doll. The torso has upper and lower portions respectively defining upper and lower fluent material receiving chambers, with the upper torso portion including a flexible section forming a portion of the upper chamber. The latter is thereby collapsible relative to the lower torso portion.
A fluent material is contained within the torso of the doll and means defining a passageway between the upper and lower chambers therein permits passage of fluent material from one chamber to the other. When the fluent material is within the upper chamber the flexible torso section is supported and the doll is maintained in an upright configuration, so as to simulate a seated child. The passage means permits the fluent material in the upper torso portion to be metered relatively slowly into the lower torso portion whereby the flexible torso section collapses to simulate the body motion of a child tilting over as it falls asleep.
The head of the doll has sockets formed therein with simulated eye units positioned in each of the sockets. These eye units each include eye members, e.g. eyeballs, mounted for movement between opened and closed positions and controlled by a gravity responsive device which selectively moves the eye members towards their closed positions in response to collapse of the upper torso portion. As a result, the eyes are slowly closed by the gravity responsive device as the dolls torso simultaneously collapses. In addition, the eyeballs are separately controlled by means for moving the eye members towards their closed positions, independently of the collapse of the upper chamber, when the doll is placed in a recumbent or generally horizontal position. Thus, the dolls eyes will close when it is placed in a horizontal or recumbent position, irrespective of whether the upper torso is filled or empty of the fluent material.
The above, and other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent in the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment thereof which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view of a toy doll constructed in accordance with the present invention, showing the doll in an upright configuration with fluent material in the upper torso portion being slowly metered into the lower torso portion;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, showing the upper torso portion of the doll in its partially collapsed configuration just prior to the doll tipping over on its side;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing the doll in an inverted configuration to illustrate the action of feeding fluent material from the lower torso portion to the upper torso portion;
FIG. 4 is'a side sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged side view, partly in section, of an eye unit adapted for use in conjunction with the doll of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a side sectional view similar to FIG. 6, showing the configuration of the eye unit as the dolls torso collapses; and
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 showing the configuration of the eye unit when the doll is placed in a recumbent position.
Referring now to the drawing in detail and initially to FIGS. 1 and 4 thereof, it is seen that a toy doll 10 embodying the present invention includes a head 12 having simulated facial features including a mouth 14, nose 16 and eye sockets 18. Eye units 20 are mounted in sockets 18 in any convenient manner and, as more fully described hereinafter, are constructed and controlled so as to move towards a closed position when the doll is placed in a recumbent or horizontal position and also to close as the dolls torso collapses.
Head 12 includes a neck 22 which is mounted on an extension 24 of the dolls upper torso portion 26. Extension 24 includes an annular rib 28 which is received within an annular recess 30 in neck 22 so that head 12 is securely attached to the dolls torso.
In the preferred embodiment of doll 10, torso 26 is covered by appropriately sized dolls clothing (not shown) which may have stuffed arms and legs secured thereto in order to provide a pleasing and finished appearance.
Torso 26 includes a lower portion 32 formed of a substantially rigid plastic material, defining a hollow chamber 34 in the interior thereof for receiving a fluent material such as sand or salt 36. Lower torso section 32 is formed with a plurality of annular ribs 38 about the upper portion 40 thereof and includes an annular side wall 42 which is received in a base member 44. The latter is rigidly secured to annular wall 42 by an adhesive or the like in order to complete the enclosed chamber 34. Base member 44 has a substantially flat bottom 46 with one portion 48 thereof being tapered or inclined upwardly, towards one side of the doll, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, in order to assist in initiating the tilting motion of the doll, as more fully described hereinafter.
The top of lower torso portion 32 is closed by a valve support web 50 having a central opening 52 therein and a plurality of radially extending arms 54 which support a central collar 56. The latter slidably receives the cylindrical stem portion 58 of a valve member 60 having an enlarged head portion 62 which serves to close opening 52 when the doll is in a generally vertical configuration (see FIG. 5).
Stem 58 is provided with a central opening 64 extending therethrough to permit passage of the fluent material 36 through valve 60. In addition, the lower end of stem 58 is provided with a washer or pin 64 which prevents movement of valve 60 towards the head 12 of the doll through web 50.
Upper torso portion 26 of doll 10 includes an upper section 66 having a closed base or platform 67 and being formed of relatively rigid plastic material. Upper torso section 66 defines an enclosed chamber 68 in which a control mechanism 70 for eye units 20 is mounted, as more fully described hereinafter. In addition, torso portion 26 includes a lower section, or sleeve 72 formed of a flexible collapsible material, such as for example nylon cloth fabric which is air pervious to permit air to flow into and out of the dolls torso. Sleeve 72 is secured at one end about annular ribs 38 of lower torso portion 32 in any convenient manner, such as for example, by the use of elastic bands and/or adhesive. The upper portion 74 of sleeve 72 is similarly secured to the upper section 66 about a plurality of annular ribs 76 formed therein. In this manner, sleeve 72 defines an interior upper torso chamber 78 which is in communication with lower torso chamber 34 through opening 52 in web 50 and the passage 64 in valve stem 58.
Initially, the fluent material, i.e. the sand or salt 36, is located in lower chamber 34 and upper torso section 26 is unsupported because chamber 78, defined by sleeve 72, is empty. To begin play with the doll, the child inverts doll 10 into the position illustrated in FIG. 3 so that valve member 60 moves into the position shown, wherein washer 64 engages against the lower edge of collar 56 to free passage 52 for flow of fluent material therethrough into upper chamber 78. Because of the relatively large size of opening 52, the entire contents of chamber 34 is rapidly supplied to chamber 78.
Doll 10 is then inverted and placed upright and seated on its base 46. In this position valve section 62 closes opening 52 and fluent material 36 in chamber 78 serves to rigidify or support sleeve 72 and maintain doll 10 in its upright configuration. In this position the base 67 of upper torso section 66 is supported on top of the sand in chamber 78 so that the dolls head 12 is in an erect position.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, web 50 is provided with a plurality of apertures 80 located in the area of the web directly above the tapered or inclined portion 48 of the base. Thus, when upper torso chamber 78 is filled with fluent material 36, and the doll is placed in an upright position, the fluent material begins to flow through passage 64 in valve stem 58 and through apertures or vents 80 into lower chamber 34 at a relatively slow metered rate so that chamber 78 begins to empty and sleeve 72 begins'to collapse. Because of the location of apertures 80, additional fluent material is supplied to that portion of the lower torso member 42 which is directly above inclined portion 48 and more fluent material flows from the left side of the doll (as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2) than from the right side so that the doll begins to tilt in a predetermined direction. As the fluent material flows from the doll in this manner, head 12, which remains seated on the top surface of the fluent material, begins to tilt since the top surface of the material becomes inclined and increases its inclination as the fluent material flows into chamber 34. Eventually a sufficient amount of sand enters chamber 34 on the right side thereof so that, in conjunction with the biased collapsing motion of the doll, the center of gravity of the doll, because of the inclination of head 12, moves past the point of juncture 82 between base 46 and inclined portion 48 so that the doll suddenly falls over on its side, thereby providing a realistic simulation of the motions of a child going to sleep while sitting up.
To further enhance the simulation of a child falling asleep, the doll of the present invention is provided with the eye unit control mechanism 70 which causes the eye units to slowly move towards their closed configuration as the torso of the doll collapses. Referring more specifically to FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawing, eye units 20 are formed as a two-piece casing having an inner shell 84 and an outer shell 86 received therein. These shells are each formed with opposed hollow extensions 88 on opposite sides thereof which cooperate to define a bearing mounting for a central eyeball member 90. The latter is formed of a generally hemispherical member having a simulated pupil and iris 92 formed therein and a simulated eyelid and eyelash section 94, formed in a conventional member. In addition, eyeball 90 includes a pair of oppositely directed trunions 96 which are received in the opposed bearing supports 88 formed in casings 84, 86, so that the eyeball is pivotally mounted within the casing and is exposed to the exterior of the doll through an opening 97 in shell 86. It is also contemplated that other movable eye units can be utilized in conjunction with the present invention, for example, eye units wherein the eyeball is rigid and only an eyelid section is movable or in which the eyeball is otherwise supported.
Referring again to FIG. 6, an elongated stem or rod 98 is formed integrally with or operatively connected to eyeball 90 in the lower portion thereof and extends rearwardly with respect to trunions 96. Each of the stems 98 of the two eye units 20 utilized in the doll are respectively connected to flexible connection members or strings 100. These strings are trained over a rigid guide stud 102 (FIGS. 1 and 2) located in upper torso portion 26 and their free ends 104 are operatively connected to a pendulum 106 which is pivotally mounted in extension 24 of torso 26 on an axis 108. Strings 100 can be secured to pendulum 106 in any convenient manner. For example, in the illustrative embodiment of the invention the free ends of the strings are positioned within an opening 110 formed in the pendulum and secured there by wedge-shaped or conical pin 109.
Pendulum 106 includes a weighted element 112 secured to the free end thereof. As a result, the pnedulum is gravity responsive and when doll begins to tilt, in the manner illustrated in FIG. 2, as a result of the discharge of fluent material from chamber 78 into chamber 34, the pendulum tends to maintain a vertical position by pivoting about its pivotal mounting 108. Thus, the point of connection of strings 100 to pendulum 106 moves away from guide member 102, thereby increasing the effective distance between this point of connection, along the strings, and the eye units. The strings thus become taut as tension is applied to them by the weighted pendulum and therefore they pull eyeball stems 98 causing pivotal movement of eyeball about is pivotal mounting, as illustrated in FIG. 7. Of course, it is to be understood that the actuation of eyeballs 90 by pendulum 106 is independent of the presence or absence of fluent material in chamber 78 or collapse of the torso. Thus, for example, a child playing with the doll may tilt the doll towards its left side, e.g. when cradling the doll in its arms, so as to cause pendulum 106 to close eyeballs 90, even without collapse of the torso.
Due to the relatively slow collapse of sleeve 72, because of the discharge of fluent material therefrom, the pivoting motion of eyeballs 90 is relatively slow so that the doll realistically simulates the motions of a drowsy child slowly falling asleep and eventually falling over when finally asleep. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the length of strings and the dimensions of pendulum 106 are selected so that eyeballs 90 are pivoted to their fully closed position when the torso of the doll has tilted 15 from the vertical.
It is noted that in order to enhance the action of pendulum 106, the axis 108 upon which it is pivotally mounted extends generally transversely of the inclined portion 48 of base member 44. In addition, axis 108 is offset to the left of the vertical axis of the doll, as seen most clearly in FIG. 4, so that sufficient room remains in extension 24 of the torso to permit the pivotal motion of the pendulum without engagement of the pendulum with the inner surfaces of the extension which would result in interference with the operation of the eye closing mechanism. Accordingly, it is seen that the doll is constructed so that it is biased to tilt or collapse in a predetermined direction and pendulum 106 is mounted and located within the doll to take advantage of this predetermined tilt direction for operation of the eye units.
As previously mentioned, the doll of the present invention is adapted to more realistically simulate the actions of a child and to provide a greater variation in play for a child using the doll since eye units 20 are adapted to close not only when the doll collapses, or is tilted towards its left side as previously described, but also when the doll is placed in a recumbent or horizontal position. This is accomplished by the provision of weighted elements 114 secured in any convenient manner to stems 98 of eyeballs 90. As a result of the location of stems 98, and weights 114 thereon, when the doll is placed in a recumbent position, weights 114 tend to rotate eyeballs 90 about their pivotal mountings, as seen in FIG. 8, so that the eyelid 94 is positioned to cover opening 97 in outer shell 86. Thus, the eye is closed. This motion is independent of the location of the pendulum 106 at the time the doll is placed in its recumbent position and therefore is totally independent of whether or not the chamber 78 and sleeve 72 are collapsed or filled.
It should also be clear that because of the location of stem 98 and weight 114 with respect to the pivotal mounting of eyeball 90, the eyeball is biased towards an open position by weight 114 when the doll is placed in a generally vertical position.
Accordingly, it is seen that the doll of the present invention is capable of simulating the act of a young child falling asleep while sitting up. The eyes 90 of the doll automatically close as the doll begins to tilt over with the eyes becoming closed to a greater extent as the degree of collapse of sleeve 72 increases. Ultimately the eyes become fully closed and as the center of gravity of the doll passes the point of juncture 82, the doll suddenly collapses or falls over on its side to complete the simulated action of a child falling asleep. This is accomplished without the need for any motors, springs, or other sources of power. In addition, the doll is capable of simulating a sleeping child when it is placed in a recumbent position independently of the presence or absence of fluent material in either of the torso chambers. Thus, the doll of the present invention provides numerous variations and possible types of play actions permitted to the child using the doll and, the doll is reliable in operation over an extended period of time as a result of its relatively simple and rugged construction.
Although an illustrative embodiment of the present invention has been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to that precise embodiment and that various changes and modifications may be ef fected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of this invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A toy doll including a body and head, said head having simulated facial features including eye sockets, and a pair of simulated eye units mounted in said sockets, said units having eye members mounted for movement between open and closed positions, means contained entirely within said head and body for automatically moving said eye members towards said closed position merely in response to lateral tilting of said dolls body and head, said tilting being in at least one lateral direction, and separate means for moving said eye members towards said closed position, independently of said lateral tilting of said doll, when said doll is tilted in a direction generally transverse to the direction of said lateral tilting rearwardly towards a generally horizontal recumbent position.
2. A toy doll including a body and head, said head having simulated facial features including eye sockets and a pair of simulated eye units mounted in said sockets, said units having eye members mounted for movement between open and closed positions, means for moving said eye members towards said closed position in response to tilting of said doll in at least one lateral direction and separate means for moving said eye members towards said closed position, independently of said lateral tilting of said doll, when said doll is tilted in a direction generally transverse to the direction of said lateral tilting rearwardly towards a generally horizontal recumbent position, said means for moving said eye members towards said closed position in response to lateral tilting of said doll comprises gravity responsive means pivotally mounted in said doll for maintaining a generally vertical position as said doll is tilted laterally and flexible connecting members secured at opposed ends to said eye members and said gravity responsive means.
3. The toy doll as defined in claim 2 wherein said first recited means includes a fixed guide member secured in said doll, said flexible connecting members being trained over said guide member between the points of connection of their ends with said eye members and said gravity responsive means, whereby the effective distance between said points of connection along said connecting members is increased as said doll is tilted in said at least one lateral direction to cause said connecting members to bias said eye members about their pivoted mounting towards said closed position.
4. The toy doll as defined in claim 2 wherein said means for moving said eye members towards said closed position, independently of lateral tilting motion of said doll comprises a weight secured to each of said eye members to effect rotation thereof to said closed position when said doll is moved rewardly towards a generally horizontal recumbent position and to bias said eye members to their open position when said doll is in a generally vertical position, said gravity responsive means overcoming the bias of said weights when the doll is in a generally vertical position to move said eye members to said closed positionas said doll is tilted in said at least one direction.
5. The toy as defined in claim 4 wherein said eye units each comprise a casing and each said eye member comprises a simulated eyeball pivotally mounted therein, said casing having an aperture therein at said socket to expose said eyeball; said eyeball having an elongated stem extending from a lower portion thereof below the pivotal mounting of the eyeball towards the rear of said casing and said weight being mounted on said stem, rearwardly of the pivotal mounting of said eyeball in said casing.
6. The toy doll as defined in claim 5 wherein said flexible connecting members are respectively secured to said stems.
7. The toy doll as defined in claim 4 wherein said gravity responsive means comprises a weighted pendulum mounted in said doll.