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Publication numberUS3894353 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1975
Filing dateJun 24, 1974
Priority dateJun 24, 1974
Publication numberUS 3894353 A, US 3894353A, US-A-3894353, US3894353 A, US3894353A
InventorsOguchi Shigeo
Original AssigneeTomy Kogyo Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy wherein movement of one element causes movement of another of a plurality of elements, in apparently random sequence
US 3894353 A
Abstract
A mechanical toy can be constructed so that when one element of the toy is moved from one position to another any of a series of other elements is selected in an apparently random manner and is moved to a position corresponding to the first position. Such a toy includes a plurality of elements located adjacent to and around the periphery of a rotor. Cooperating control means are located on the rotor and on each of the elements. Such control means are capable of holding all of the elements against movement from a second operative position to a first operative position and are constructed so as to permit movement of the elements as indicated in the preceding.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [111 3,894,353 Oguchi July 15, 1975 TOY WHEREIN MOVEMENT OF ONE 2,837,862 6/1958 Cleveland 46/] A ELEMENT C S MOVEMENT OF 3,479,035 11/1969 Glass 61 31.... 273/138 R 3,709,500 l/l973 Coby 273/138 R ANOTHER OF A PLURALITY OF ELEMENTS, IN APPARENTLY RANDOM SEQUENCE lnventor: Shigeo Oguchi, Tokyo, Japan Assignee: Tomy Kogyo C0., Inc., Tokyo,

Japan Filed: June 24, 1974 App]. No.: 482,440

US. Cl 46/1 R; 46/145; 46/244 D; 273/138 R; 46/1 A Int. Cl A63h 33/00 Field of Search 46/1 R, l A, 136, 145, 46/146; 273/138 R, 139

Glass 46/1 A X Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward D. OBrian [57] ABSTRACT A mechanical toy can be constructed so that when one element of the toy is moved from one position to another any of a series of other elements is selected in an apparently random manner and is moved to a position corresponding to the first position. Such a toy includes a plurality of elements located adjacent to and around the periphery of a rotor. Cooperating control means are located on the rotor and on each of the elements. Such control means are capable of holding all of the elements against movement from a second operative position to a first operative position and are constructed so as to permit movement of the elements as indicated in the preceding.

8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures mzfwz mm 5 ms 13,894,353

w 44 40 5a 24 24 42 46 13765 2 22 4a ZZmA.

TOY WHEREIN MOVEMENT OF ONE ELEMENT CAUSES MOVEMENT OF ANOTHER OF A PLURALITY OF ELEMENTS, IN APPARENTLY RANDOM SEQUENCE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention set forth in this specification pertains to mechanical toys in which movement of one element from a first operative position to a second operative position causes any one of a series of other elements selected in an apparently random manner to be moved from a corresponding second operative position to a corresponding first operative position. Because of the nature of the manner in which the element which is moved from second operative position to first operative position is selected, it can be considered that the toys of this invention are in the nature of chance actuated devices.

In the past, many different types of chance operated devices have, of course, been developed and used. It is well recognized that chance operated devices have significant play value. To be acceptable for use as toys, chance operated devices must be comparatively simple and inexpensive to construct, must provide a visual effect which is stimulating to play activities, and must be comparatively durable so as to be capable of withstanding the onslaught of destructive forces that usually accompany the use of any toy. It is considered that prior chance type toys are not completely acceptable or desirable for any one of a variety of reasons. Since an understanding of the invention does not require a detailed analysis of all toys which are related to the mechanical toys of this invention no effort is made in this specification to specifically delineate the disadvantages and limitations of all prior related toys. It is believed that the toys of the present invention are unique as compared to prior related toys in their simplicity and effectiveness as play items. These factors interrelate with cost advantages, durability, and the achievement of an effective attention gathering action. It is considered that these and variously related factors result from the toys of this invention not being made unnecessarily complex to achieve a true random mode of operation, but instead being constructed to utilize what is apparently a random action.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A broad objective of the present invention is to provide new and improved mechanical toys and more specifically mechanical toys which apparently are controlled by chance, but which in fact only involve an apparently random manner of operation. Further objectives of this invention are to provide mechanical toys as indicated which are comparatively inexpensive to construct, which provide a stimulating type of action during their use, and which are comparatively durable.

In accordance with this invention these and various related objectives of it are achieved by providing a mechanical toy in which movement of one element from a first operative position to a second operative position causes any one of a series of other elements selected in an apparently random manner to be moved from a corresponding second operative position to a corresponding first operative position. The toy is: a rotor capable of being rotated about an axis; a plurality of elements located adjacent to and around the periphery of the rotor, each of these elements being capable of being moved between a first and a second operative position, one of these elements normally being in its first operative position while the remainder of the elements are in their second operative positions; and cooperating control means located on the rotor and on each of the elements for holding all of the elements against movement from their second operative positions to their first operative positions and for allowing one of the elements located in its second operative position to move to its first operative position when an element in its first operative position is moved to its second operative position, the element so moved from its second operative position to its first operative position being determined in an apparently random manner as a result of rotation of the control means on said rotor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Unfortunately a summary such as the preceding inherently cannot fully and completely indicate many important facets and features of an invention and/or a specific structure constructed in accordance with the invention. Further details relative to the present invention will be apparent from a detailed consideration of the remainder of this specification, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a presently preferred embodiment or form of a mechanical toy in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view thereof;

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

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view taken at line 44 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a partial diagrammatic view illustrating part of the operation of a control means as employed in the toy shown in the preceding figures.

This illustrated toy embodies certain essentially intangible concepts or principles of the invention as are set forth and defined in the appended claims. These concepts or principles can be easily adapted to be utilized in a wide variety of differently appearing and differently constructed toys through the use or exercise of routine engineering skill on the basis of the disclosure embodied in this specification and in the accompanying drawing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION In the drawing, there is shown a mechanical toy 10 in accordance with this invention which includes a housing 12. This housing 12 has a top 14, a bottom 16, and a continuous side wall 18 connecting the top 14 and the bottom 16. The top 14 is provided with six openings 20 which are spaced equidistant from one another around a centrally located axis shown by the center line A in FIG. 3. This top 14 also carries dependent cylinders 22 which are of the same diameter as the openings 20 and which are aligned with these openings 20. These cylinders 22 are provided with slots 24 extending along their lengths. These slots 24 are located apart around the axes of the cylinders 22. These slots 24 are also located in planes which extend radially from the axis A indicated in the preceding.

In each of the cylinders 22 there is located a sliding cylindrical body 26. In the toy 10 each of the bodies 26 carries a simulated head of an animal 28. These bodies 26 are normally biased towards what may be referred to as a first operative position as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 by a small coil spring 38 located beneath each body 26 in each of the cylinders 22. The springs 30 rest against the bottom 16 of the housing 12. When the bodies 26 are in what is referred to in the preceding as a first position, small projections 32 on the bodies 26 extend through the slots 24 in such a manner as to abut against the top 14. When the projections 32 abut against the top 14 they serve as stop elements or means limiting movement of the bodies 26.

The toy includes what may be referred to as a centrally located shaft 34 extending coaxily with the axis A. This shaft 34 extends downwardly from the top 14 and is locked against shifting or movement by reinforcing webs 36 which also extend downnwardly from the top 14. The lower part of this shaft 34 carries a rotor 38. The rotor 38 is held on the shaft 34 by means of contact with an annular upstanding rib 40 on the bottom 16. It will be noted that the rotor 38 is located so that top and bottom flanges 42 and 44, respectively, on it are located closely adjacent to the cylinders 22 and more specifically closely adjacent to the innermost of the slots 24 in the cylinders 22. The top flange 42 is provided with a series of openings 46 located in a pattern as hereinafter indicated. The flange 44 carries a propulsion surface beneath each of the openings 46. Such surfaces 48 may be referred to as inclined surfaces or cam surfaces. The flange 44 also carries an upstanding stop element 50 immediately adjacent to and spaced from the lower most end of each surface 48.

Normally when the toy 10 is used one of the bodies 26 will be in what was referred to in the preceding as a first operative position in which the simulated head 28 carried by this body 26 extends upwardly from the top 14. Normally when the toy 10 is used the remainder of the bodies 26 will be held in what may be referred to as a second operative position in which a projection 32 on each of the bodies 26 is held against the undersurface of the flange 42 by a spring 30. In such second operative positions the simulated heads 28 carried by the bodies 26 in this position are normally generally beneath the top 14 within the cylinders 22.

When the toy 10 is to be utilized for play purposes a simulated head 28 in a first operative position will be pushed downwardly against its associated spring 30. During such movement the associated projection 32 closest adjacent to the rotor 38 will pass through one of the openings 46 in the flange 42. As the movement is continued this projection 32 will engage the surface 48 directly beneath this opening 46. As this particular simulated head 28 is pushed downwardly contact with the surface 48 will result in a limited amount of rotation of the rotor 38. The amount of such rotation will be limited by the particular projection 32 which engages the surface 48 abutting against the stop element 50.

As such rotation occurs the rotor 38 will be turned so as to place another of the openings 46 immediately above a projection 32 on another of the bodies 26 in a position where the force of the spring 30 associated with this body 26 will cause the simulated head 28 associated with it to pop up from the top 14. The amount of such movement will, of course, be limited by the projections 32 of the body 26 so moved hitting against the top 14. As a simulated head 28 pops up in this manner normally the simulated head 28 which was pushed down to cause this motion will be released. As a consequence of this the spring 30 associated with the released simulated head 28 and the body 26 carrying it will move this body 26 upwardly to what is referred to in the preceding as a second operative position. In this position the projection 32 on the body 26 which was released will fit against the flange 42.

This mode of operation normally will be repeated innumerable times by an individual playing with the toy 10; such an individual pushing downwardly whatever simlated head 28 is exposed at the top 14 so as to cause another simulated head 28 to pop up. An individual playing with the toy 10 may attempt to predict which head 28 will come up next by turning a small pointer 52 rotatably mounted on the top 14 by a screw 54 towards such a head 28. A critical feature of the present invention is the manner in which various different simulated heads 28 are caused to pop up in what appears to be a random manner.

This is related to the placement of the openings 46, the surfaces 48, and the stop element 50 on the rotor 38. A presently preferred spacing is indicated in FIG. 4 of the drawing. This spacing may be regarded as a non-uniform spacing permitting release of only a single projection at a time when all of the projections 32 are located beneath the flange 42. The spacing of the openings 46 and the other parts permits an apparently random release in a sequence which is constantly changing as the toy 10 is used in the sense that the pattern of parts on the rotor 38 is continuously rotated as the toy 10 is employed.

Because of this mode of operation it can be regarded that the flange 42, the openings 46, the surfaces 48, and the stop elements 50 on the rotor 38 serve as parts of a control means located on this rotor 38. Such control means on the rotor 38 co-act with the projections 32 on the bodies 26 in such a manner that the co-acting projections 32 on these bodies 26 can be regarded as control means. Such control means on the rotor 38 and on the bodies 26 cooperate with one another to permit the mode of operation indicated in the preceding.

It is believed that it will be apparent from a careful consideration of the foregoing that the toy 10 is a simple, comparatively inexpensive to construct toy. This toy 10 has significant play value in that it provides a stimulating type of action as it is used. When this toy 10 is constructed as indicated, it is capable of significant use without requiring maintenance or repair.

I claim:

1. A mechanical toy in which movement of one element from a first position to a second position causes any one of a series of other elements selected in an apparently random manner to be moved from a corresponding second position to a corresponding first position, said toy including:

a housing;

a rotor, means rotatably mounting said rotor in said housing for rotation relative thereto about an axis;

a plurality of elements, means mounting said elements in said housing adjacent to and around the periphery of said rotor, whereby each of said elements is capable of being moved between a first and a second position relative to said housing and rotor, one of said elements normally being in its first position while the remainder of said elements are in their second positions, means for moving each said element toward its first position, cooperating control means located on said rotor and on each of said elements for holding all but one of said elements against movement from said second positions to said first positions while allowing the remaining one of said elements to move from said second position to said first position, said control means operating to release one of said held elements for movement to its second position and to hold all remaining said elements in said second position in response to an element in a first position being moved to its second position,

the element moved from a second position to said first position in response to movement of an element from said first position to said second position being determined by said control means so that the element which is so moved from said second position to said first position is apparently chosen at random.

2. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 1 including:

said housing having a plurality of openings located therein, each of said openings being associated with one of said elements,

each of said elements extending out through its associated opening when it is in its first position, each of said elements being located generally within said housing when it is in its second position.

3. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 1 including:

said means for moving comprising spring means independently biasing each of said elements away from its second position towards its first position,

said control means serving to hold all of said elements which are in their second positions against movement to their first positions until one of said elements is moved from its first position to its second position.

4. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 1 wherein:

said cooperating control means on said elements comprise projections extending away from each of said elements and said control means on said rotor include a flange located on said rotor so as to extend therefrom, said flange being engaged by all of said projections on said elements which are in their second positions,

said flange having a plurality of openings located therein, said openings being spaced from one another at non-uniform intervals so as to permit release of only a single projection at a time when said rotor is rotated,

said control means on said rotor also including a cam surface on said rotor associated with each of said openings in said flange,

said rotor being capable of being rotated when one of said elements is moved from its first position past its second position so as to bring the projection on it into engagement with one of said cam surfaces on said rotor so as to impart rotation to said rotor as a consequence of the movement of said element.

5. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 4 including:

stop means for limiting rotation of said rotor in response to movement of one of said elements from its first position past its second position so as to bring the projection on it into engagement with one of said cam surfaces on said rotor.

6. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 5 wherein:

said stop means comprising a plurality of stop members on said rotor, each of said stop members being associated with one of said cam surfaces,

said stop members being located so as to be engaged by said projections on said elements after rotation of said rotor caused by contact of said projections with said cam surfaces.

7. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 1 wherein:

said cooperating control means on said elements comprise projections extending away from each of said elements and said control means on said rotor include a flange located on said rotor so as to extend therefrom, said flange being engaged by all of said projections on said elements which are in their second positions,

said flange having a plurality of openings located therein, said openings being spaced from one another at non-uniform intervals so as to permit release of only a single projection at a time when said rotor is rotated,

said control means on said rotor also including a cam surface on said rotor associated with each of said openings in said flange,

said rotor being capable of being rotated when one of said elements is moved from its first position past its second position so as to bring the projection on it into engagement with one of said cam surfaces on said rotor so as to impart rotation to said rotor as a consequence of the movement of said element, and including stop means for limiting rotation of said rotor in response to movement of one of said elements from its first position past its second position so as to bring the projection on it into engagement with one of said cam surfaces on said rotor,

said stop means comprising a plurality of stop members on said rotor, each of said stop members being associated with one of said cam surfaces,

said stop members being located so as to be engaged by said projections on said elements after rotation of said rotor caused by contact of said projections with said cam surfaces.

8. A mechanical toy as claimed in claim 1 including:

said housing having a plurality of openings located therein, each of said openings being associated with one of said elements,

each of said elements extending out through its associated opening when it is in its first position, each of said elements being located generally within said housing when it is in its second position,

said means for moving including spring means independently biasing each of said elements away from its second position towards its first position,

said control means serving to hold all of said elements which are in their second positions against movement to their first positions until one of said elements is moved from its first position to its second position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2646646 *Jul 16, 1951Jul 28, 1953Glass Marvin IHammer toy
US2837862 *Jul 5, 1956Jun 10, 1958Cleveland George BPounding toy
US3479035 *Feb 24, 1966Nov 18, 1969Marvin Glass & AssociatesPlayer actuated chance game device
US3709500 *Jul 26, 1971Jan 9, 1973Raymond Lee Organization IncChance operated peg element projecting device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4236346 *Mar 5, 1979Dec 2, 1980Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Toy having a seemingly random movement
US4398719 *Mar 20, 1981Aug 16, 1983Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Random action toy
US6726522 *Aug 9, 2001Apr 27, 2004Namco, Ltd.Object display method and apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/486, 273/138.1, 446/310
International ClassificationA63H13/00, A63H13/20
Cooperative ClassificationA63H13/20
European ClassificationA63H13/20