US 3902739 A
A toy wheel vehicle designed to be propelled by a child riding the vehicle can be constructed so that the child propels the vehicle by turning its steering wheel. In a toy of this type the steering wheel is secured to a shaft which is coupled to two separate clutch structures by an appropriate means of transferring the rotation of the shaft to the clutches. The clutches are one way clutches designed to transfer either clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation of the steering wheel to an axle on the vehicle secured to at least one propulsion wheel for the vehicle so as to rotate this axle in a single direction.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Kimura 1 Sept. 2, 1975  Inventor:
 Assignee: Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc., Tokyo,
Japan 221 Filed: June 24, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 482,441
Primary Examiner-Leo Friaglia Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward D. OBrian 5 7 ABSTRACT A toy wheel vehicle designed to be propelled by a child riding the vehicle can be constructed so that the child propels the vehicle by turning its steering wheel. In a toy of this type the steering wheel is secured to a shaft which is coupled to two separate clutch structures by an appropriate means of transferring the rotation of the shaft to the clutches. The clutches are one way clutches designed to transfer either clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation of the steering wheel to an axle on the vehicle secured to at least one propulsion wheel for the vehicle so as to rotate this axle in a single direction.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures TOY VEHICLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention set forth in this specification pertains to toy wheeled vehicles which are adapted to be propelled by the children using these vehicles.
It will be recognized that many types of toy wheeled vehicles designed to be propelled by the users of such vehicles have been constructed and utilized. A detailed understanding of the present invention does not require an understanding of the various differenty types of vehicles capable of being propelled. Virtually, everyone is familiar with common toy vehicles of this type such as wagons, scooters, peddle cars and the like. Although all of such prior toy vehicles are considered to be utilitarian, it is considered that either they are unnecessarily complex and/or that they do not effectively simulate the action in an adult vehicle to the extent necessary for them to have a desired play value.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A broad objective of the present invention is to provide new and improved toy wheeled vehicles which are intended to be propelled by the users of such vehicles. Another objective of the present invention is to provide toy vehicles of this type which are comparatively simple and which effectively simulate the action of an adult vehicle to an extent necessary for them to have a desired play value. Further objectives of the invention are to provide toy vehicles as described which may be constructed at a comparatively nominal cost, which may be easily and conveniently used, and which are capable of giving prolonged, reliable performance.
In accordance with this invention these objectives are achieved in a toy wheeled vehicle having an axle, at least one wheel attached to the axle, and a propulsion means for rotating the axle in order to rotate the wheel so as to propel the vehicle by the improvement which comprises: the propulsion means including a shaft mounted on the vehicle, means for rotating the shaft secured to the shaft, two separate one way clutch means, each of which has two parts, a first part of each of said clutch means being secured to the axle and means for transferring rotation of the shaft to the second parts of the clutch means. In a structure as described, the clutch means are operative to transfer rotation of the shaft caused by manipulation of the means for rotating the shaft to the axle; one of the clutch means being operative to transfer such rotation when the shaft is rotated in one direction about its axis; the other of the clutch means being operative to transfer such rotation when the shaft is rotated in the other direction about its axis.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention is best more fully described with reference to the remainder of this specification, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a presently preferred embodiment or form of a toy wheeled vehicle in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken at line 33 of FIG. I.
The precise toy wheeled vehicle illustrated is only an embodiment of a toy wheeled vehicle constructed in accordance with principles or concepts of the invention as set forth and'defined in the appended claims. Those familiar with the construction of toys will realize that these principles or concepts can be embodied within a multitude of different toy Wheeled vehicles through the exercise of routine design skill in the toy industry.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The toy wheel vehicle 10 illustrated utilizes a one piece plastic body 12 which is formed so as to include a simulated seat 14 located at its top and extending foot rests 16 for the use of a child sitting upon the seat 14. From this it will be apparent that the body 12 is sufficiently rigid so as to be capable of supporting a child. The body 12 also includes rear fenders 18 located above rear wheels 20 carried by a conventional axle 22. The axle 22 is mounted upon the body 12 in a conventional manner. The body 12 also includes a vertically extending shaft mounting 24 serving as a bearing for a substantially vertical drive shaft 26. The upper end of this drive shaft 26 is secured to a simulated steering wheel 28 located in such a position as to be capable of being easily engaged by a child sitting on the seat 14. A fastener 29 is provided upon the simulated steering wheel 28 so as to hold it in place against the shaft mounting 24 as shown in the drawing.
The lower end of the shaft 26 is secured to a crown pin gear 30 which is in constant contact with two other pinion type crown pin gears, 32 and 34, respectively. It is noted that the crown pin gear 30 fits against the lower end of the shaft mounting 24. These crown gears 32 and 34 are secured to parts 36 and 38 of clutches 42 and 44. These clutches 42 and 44 also include other parts 46 and 48 which are secured to wheels 50. These wheels 50 are in turn secured to a front axle 52. Hence, it may be considered that the parts 46 and 48 of the clutches 42 and 44, respectively, are secured to this axle 52. The axle 52 is in turn supported by bearing openings 54 on the body 12. From the drawing it will be apparent that the only way that the axle 52 may be located in place is by temporary distention of the body 12 so as to permit the axle 52 to be fitted within the bearing openings 54. Preferably, washers 56 are located on the outer sides of the wheels 50 around the axle 52 so as to space each wheel 50 from the interior of the body 12.
The clutches 42 and 44 are one way clutches which are intended to transfer rotation to the axle 52 and the wheels 50 so as to propel the vehicle 10 in a forward direction when the steering wheel 28 is turned in either direction about the axis of the drive shaft 26. In order to achieve this result the parts 36 and 46 of the clutch 42 and the parts 38 and 48 of the clutch 44 are formed so as to have mating surfaces 58 shaped as crown ratchet wheels which permit the clutches 42 and 44 to be engaged or disengaged depending upon the direction of rotation of the gear 30. The parts 36 and 38 are normally biased away from one another towards the parts 46 and 48, respectively, by means of a small coil spring 60 located about the axle 52.
With this type of structure, when the steering wheel 28 is rotated in one direction such rotation will be transferred through the gears 30, 32, and 34 to the parts 36 and 38. This will of course cause appropriate rotation of these parts 36 and 38. Such rotation will promote engagement of the two parts of either the clutch 42 or the clutch 44 and will promote disengagement of the two parts of the other of these two clutches. As a result of such engagement the axle 52 and the wheels 50 will rotate so as to propel the vehicle forward. When the steering wheel 28 is rotated in the other direction through an action as indicated the other of the clutches 42 and 44 will be engaged so as to continue the movement of the vehicle 10 in a forward direction.
It will be realized from this that the toy vehicle 10 involves a unique method of operationmore specifically, a method as described in which rotation of the steering wheel 28 either clockwise or counterclockwise about the axis of the shaft 26 is converted into rotation serving to propel the vehicle 10 in a forward direction. This mode of operation is considered to be particularly desirable because children in playing with toy vehicles frequently desire to simulate adult action by rotating toy steering wheels. This method of propulsion, of course, eliminates the use of the steering wheel 28 to accomplish a normal steering function. With the toy 10 a child may easily achieve a steering type action by physically turning the toy vehicle 10 in any desired direction. This is not considered disadvantageous when the toy 10 is used by comparatively young children.
It will be recognized, however, that the mode of oper ation achieved can be utilized with a separate, independent steering action. Thus, for example, it is possible to construct a toy such as the toy 10 with a hollow tubular drive shaft such as the drive shaft 26 located around a vertically extending shaft capable of being turned to accomplish a steering function. When an expedient of this type is employed separate means are, of course, used to rotate the two concentric shafts.
I claim: 1. A toy wheeled vehicle which includes: a hollow, plastic vehicle body formed so as to include a simulated seat capable of being occupied by a child and so as to include a vertically extending shaft mounting serving as a bearing, said body being sufficiently rigid so as to be capable of supporting a child and being temporarily distended, said body including aligned holes for receiving and holding a front axle, parallel front and rear horizontal wheel axles spaced from one another and mounted on said body adjacent to the bottom thereof, said front axle being mounted on said body by being supported within said aligned holes by temporarily distending said body,
a vertically extending shaft extending through said shaft mounting and extending transverse to and above said front axle,
a horizontally disposed steering wheel detachably secured to said shaft above said body in engagement with said body at the top of said shaft mounting,
said shaft and said steering wheel being in front of said seat on said body,
a crown pin gear means located on the lower end of said shaft for transmitting rotation, said gear being spaced from said front axle with the pins thereon extending downwardly and bearing against the lower end of said shaft mounting,
two front wheels secured to said front axle so as to rotate therewith, said front wheels being located on opposite sides of said shaft and said crown gear means,
rear wheel means for supporting the rear of said body located on said rear axle,
a one way clutch means for transferring rotation in one direction about an axis associated with each of said front wheels,
each of said clutch means including first and second crown ratchet wheels, said crown ratchet wheels of both of said clutch means being located concentrically about said front axle,
each of said clutch means corresponding to one of said front wheels, the first ratchet wheel of each of said clutch means being secured to the front wheel with which it is associated so as to rotate therewith, the second of said ratchet wheels of each of said clutch means being movable along front axle away from its corresponding first ratchet wheel,
said clutch means being located on the sides of said front wheels closest adjacent to said crown gear means,
other pin gear means located on each of said second ratchet wheels for transmitting rotation,
the pins on both of said other gear means being continuously in contact with the pins on said crown gear means in order to cause rotation of said second ratchet wheels when said crown gear means is rotated,
a coil spring located around said front axle and bearing against both of said second ratchet wheels so as to tend to bias said second ratchet wheels in engagement with said first ratchet wheels,
said one way clutch means being oriented with respect to said front axle so as to permit said front axle to only turn in one direction as said steering wheel is turned in either direction about the axis of said shaft.