US 3911613 A
An articulated figure toy in the shape and form of a toy dog, or the like, including a two-part movable body portion, a movable or tiltable head portion and a plurality of movable legs. The head portion also includes a movable lower jaw or mouth portion, and the body portion includes a pivotally mounted tail. The legs are pivotally mounted on the body by means of ball and socket type joints such that they may be moved relative to the body portion. The figure toy thus is capable of simulating a dog in a standing, walking, sitting, or lying position. The movable lower jaw is normally biased in a closed position and opens automatically to accept and hold accessory items when the head portion is manipulated from a straight ahead position toward either side of the body. An accessory vehicle is provided in which the figure toy can be positioned for traveling, a scuba diving outfit is provided in which the figure toy can be suited for underwater swimming, and an underwater propulsion unit is provided for aid in underwater swimming by the figure toy.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Morrison et al.
ARTICULATED FIGURE TOY AND ACCESSORIES Inventors: Howard J. Morrison, Deerfield;
Rouben T. Terzian, Chicago, both of I11.
Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates,
Filed: Feb. 15, 1974 Appl. No.: 442,785
 US. Cl. 46/116; 46/119; 46/123  Int. C1. A63H 11/00  Field of Search 46/116, 118, 119, 123, 46/161  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,201,941 10/1916 Criest 46/123 2,798,334 7/1957 Plachter 46/123 3,566,535 3/1971 Handler et al. 46/161 3,706,155 12/1972 Balza 46/161 Primary ExaminerLouis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-Robert F. Cutting Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Coffee & Sweeney [5 7] ABSTRACT An articulated figure toy in the shape and form of a toy dog, or the like, including a two-part movable body portion, a movable or tiltable head portion and a plurality of movable legs. The head portion also includes a movable lower jaw or mouth portion, and the body portion includes a pivotally mounted tail. The legs are pivotally mounted on the body by means of ball and socket type joints such that they may be moved relative to the body portion. The figure toy thus is capable of simulating a dog in a standing, walking, sitting, or lying position. The movable lower jaw is normally biased in a closed position and opens automatically to accept and hold accessory items when the head portion is manipulated from a straight ahead position toward either side of the body. An accessory vehicle is provided in which the figure toy can be positioned for traveling, a scuba diving outfit is provided in which the figure toy can be suited for underwater swimming, and an underwater propulsion unit is provided for aid in underwater swimming by the figure toy.
11 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 1 015 US Patent Oct. 14, 1975 shw 2 of 5 3,911,613
U.S. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 3 of5 3,911,613
US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 4 of5 3,911,613
US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 5 of5 3,911,613
ARTICULATED FIGURE TOY AND ACCESSORIES BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to figure toys and in particular to articulated figure toys including limb constructions which accurately simulate human or animal limb movement.
In the past, figure toys having movable appendages have been produced which oftentimes use a mating flange assembly or modified ball and socket-type assembly for connecting the appendages to the torso. However, most of the previous constructions have failed to withstand the wear and tear accompanied with use by children. Most often, the previous constructions would wear to the point that the frictional forces required to hold the appendages in various positions would be lost, and the arms, legs or the like simply would fall out of their sockets.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a figure toy including a limb construction in which the limb member connecting means serves both to hold the members together as well as maintain the members in a wide variety of angular dispositions It is another object of the present invention to provide a figure toy with limbs having the advantageous features mentioned above, which is simple and durable in construction, wherein normal wear of the limb members is automatically compensated for to afford long, continued and trouble free operation.
The best mode currently contemplated for carrying out the invention includes the provision of a figure toy in the shape ofa four legged animal having a body comprised of a two-part relatively movable torso, rotatable legs and a movable head. The movable head includes a movable lower jaw or mouth portion. The rotatable legs are mounted on the torso by a connecting means which includes ball portions on the legs disposed in sockets at the joints with the torso, and a friction ring within the torso forced between two adjacent ball portions of opposite legs for holding the legs in a variety of hand manipulatable positions. Thus, in this particular embodiment, the toy figure in the shape of a toy dog can simulate walking, sitting, standing and laying positions of its real life counterpart.
The torso portions are connected at a general ball and socket type joint held together by resilient means, as is the dogs head mounted on the front of the front torso portion.
The invention includes a plurality of accessory items which are to be used in combination with figure toys. The accessories include a vehicle in which the figure toy can be positioned for traveling, a scuba diving outfit for underwater swimming and an underwater propulsion unit for aid in underwater swimming.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the figure toy of the present invention in a standing position;
FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the figure toy of this invention in a lying position;
FIG. 3 is a vertical section, on an enlarged scale, taken generally along the line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal section taken generally along the line 55 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 66 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a vehicle accessory with the figure toy, shown in phantom, properly positioned for riding;
FIG. 8 is a horizontal sectional view of the vehicle showing the interior drive components;
FIG. 9 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 99 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a vertical section through the control stick showing the electrical contact means;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a scuba diving outfit accessory on the figure toy;
FIG. 12 is a front to rear vertical sectional view of the scuba diving outfit of FIG. 11 (shown in phantom);
FIG. 13 is a vertical section taken generally along the line l313 of FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an underwater propulsion unit accessory secured to the figure toy (shown in phantom);
FIG. 15 is a front to rear vertical section of the underwater propulsion unit of FIG. 14;
FIG. 16 is a generally front elevational view of the underwater propulsion unit and attachment bracket; and
FIG. 17 is a vertical section taken generally along the line l717 of FIG. 15.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The articulated figure toy of the present invention is shown in the form and shape of a dog, generally designated 10, which includes a head portion 12, a front torso portion 14, and a rear torso portion 16, all of which are substantially hollow and formed or molded of plastic or other suitable material. The front torso portion 14 is provided with a pair of ground supportable forelegs l8 and the rear torso portion 16 is provided with a second pair of ground supportable rear legs 20. Each leg 18 and 20 includes a foot or paw portion 22 for contact with the ground or other supporting surface. The head portion 12 also includes a pair of upwardly directed ears 24 and a spring biased lower movable jaw or mouth portion 26. A tail 28 is pivotally mounted on the back of the rear torso portion 16 by means of a horizontal pin 30 on an ear 32 formed on the rear torso portion 16. The head actually is a unitary head-neck portion as shown in FIGS. l-4.
The legs 18 and 20 are connected to the torso portions 14 and 16 by a plurality of ball and socket-type joints, generally designated 34. Particularly, each leg 18 and 20 has a ball portion 40 on the upper end thereof disposed in a socket forming aperture 42 in the respective torso portions. The diameter of the ball portion 40 is larger than the aperture opening 42, thus requiring the ball 40 to be forced or popped" into the aperture opening 42. Cushion-type friction means 44 in the form of a resilient O-ring type member is disposed between two adjacent ball portions 40 of each pair of front and rear legs in the inside of the respective torso portion to hold the legs 18, 20 in a variety of manually manipulated positions and to give universal movement thereto.
The head portion 12 and the rear body portion 16 are connected to the front torso portion 14 by similar type male-female joint structures. More particularly, the head portion 12 has a generally concave female sockettype portion formed at the base of the neck thereof. The front torso portion 14 has a generally convex male portion 52 formed on the top front area thereof. Resilient means 54 in the form of a rubberband interconnects the head portion 12 with the front torso portion 14 by means of a hook 56 on a central rib 58 inside the head portion 12, and a hook 58 formed on a rib 60 inside the front torso portion 14. The rubberband extends through an enlarged aperture 52 in the front torso portion 14.
Similar means is provided for attachment of the rear torso portion 16 to the front torso portion 14. More particularly, the front torso portion 14 has a socket forming aperture or female joint portion 66 formed in the rear thereof. The rear torso portion 16 has a convex or male portion 68 on the front thereof. Resilient means in the form of a rubberband 70 interconnects the front and rear torso portions by means of a notch 72 in the rib 60 inside the front torso portion 14 and a hook 74 which is formed on a transverse shaft 76 inside the rear torso portion 16. The rubberband 70 extends through an enlarged aperture 78 in the rear torso portion 16.
The head portion 12 includes the movable lower jaw portion 26. The lower jaw portion 26 is mounted by means of a pin 80 (FIG. 6) which is disposed at opposite ends thereof in apertures 82 inside the head portion 12. A spring 84 is coiled around the pin 80 and its ends extend into the lower jaw portion 26 and the head portion 12 biasing the lower jaw portion to a normally closed position (FIG. 3). A right angle arm or rod member 86 is formed integrally with the lower jaw portion 26 and extends through an aperture 87 into the inside of the head portion. The angle arm extends through the aperture 62 in the front torso portion, as best seen in FIG. 3. As the head portion 12 is manually rotated from a straight ahead position to one side or the other, or upwardly, the right angle arm 86 engages the sides of the aperture 62 and rotates generally in the direction of Arrow A (FIG. 3). The rotation of the arm 86 causes the lower jaw portion 26 to open and remain in that position until the head portion 12 is rotated back to its normal straight ahead position, the spring 84 biases the lower jaw portion to closed position.
A small vehicle accessory, generally designated 100, is provided for use with the figure toy 10. Turning to FIGS. 7 through 10, the vehicle (FIG. 7) includes a frame, generally designated 102, which is mounted on two spherical ground supportable front wheels 104 and a third spherical rear wheel 105. The frame 102 includes a pivotally mounted upper portion 108 which supports a set of rescue tools, generally designated 110 in FIG. 7. The rescue tools 110 include a hatchet 112, a first aid kit 114, a flashlight 116, a lifesaving ring 118, and a coil of rope 120. The upper portion of the frame 108 is supported on the frame 102 by two journals 122 on a shaft 124 secured to the rear of the frame 102.
The rear wheel 105 is rotatably mounted on the frame 102 by means of a shaft 126. The shaft 126 extends through a pair of rear wheel support arms 128. The rear wheel support arms 128 extend forwardly and form two leg rests 130. The leg rests 130 support the rear legs 20 of the figure toy 10 when properly positioned as shown in phantom in FIG. 7. Two front leg rests 132 are provided on the front portion of the frame 102 for the front legs 18 of the figure toy 10.
The front wheels 104 are rotatably supported on the frame 102 by a drive shaft 134. A pinion gear 138, secured to the drive shaft 134, is connected through a gear train, generally designated to a pinion gear 144 on a drive shaft 145 ofa motor 146. A tubular control stick is pivotally mounted on the frame 102 by means ofa shaft 152. The control stick 150 extends upwardly and rearwardly through a slot 151 in the front portion of the frame 102 so as to be engageable by the lower jaw 26 of the figure toy when it is positioned on the vehicle 100 as seen in FIG. 7. The control stick 150 includes a normally open electrical switch including a fixed contact 153 and a flexible leaf spring type movable contact 154. The switch is closed by the spring biasing force of the lower jaw 26 of the figure toy 10 against the lesser biasing of the movable contact 154. A first electrically conductive wire 156 connects the movable contact 154 with the motor 146. A second electrically conductive wire 158 connects the fixed contact 153 with one end of a battery housing 160 within the frame 102. The other end of the battery housing 160 is connected to the motor 146 by a third electrically conductive wire 162. The battery housing 160 on the frame supports two batteries 163. Thus, as the lower jaw 26 of the figure toy l0 closes the contact 154, the motor 146 is energized and the front wheels 104 rotate to move the vehicle 100 about a suitable supporting surface.
A scuba diving outfit, generally designated 180, is provided for use with the figure toy 10, as shown in FIGS. 1 1-13. The scuba diving outfit comprises a simulated oxygen tank 182, a spherical transparent helmet 184 of plastic or other material, and a pair of flexible oxygen tubes 186. The oxygen tubes 186 are connected between a T-shaped outlet 188 on the simulated oxygen tank 182 and two flanged portholes 190 on the helmet 184. A flange 192 on the helmet is connected to a flexible accordian type sleeve 194. The sleeve 194 has a lower band portion 196 which forms a water-tight seal around the neck portion of the figure toy. The simulated oxygen tank 182 is mounted on a yoke-type saddle portion 198 (FIG. 13) which is attached on the back of the figure toy by means of an elastic strap 200. The elastic strap 200 is fixed at a looped end 201 in an aperture 202 of the saddle. A hook-type buckle 203 on the other end of the elastic strap 200 hooks into an aperture 204 on the saddle 198 for easy attachment and removal of the tank 182. Thus, when equipped with the scuba diving outfit 180, the figure toy is capable of simulating underwater swimming. Since the seal at the band 196 is water tight, buoyancy can be provided for the figure toy by means of the tank 182 and helmet 184.
An underwater propulsion unit, generally designated 210, is provided for simulated underwater swimming of the figure toy, as shown in phantom in FIG. 14. The underwater propulsion unit 210 is mounted on a saddle portion 212 similar to that used for the simulated oxygen tank 182. The saddle 212 includes a horizontal plate 214 with downwardly extending and slightly diverging flanges 216. A generally conical shaped section 218 extends upwardly from the horizontal plate 214 and terminates in a circular boss 220. The circular boss 220 is connected to a base 222 of the propulsion unit by a screw 224.
The propulsion unit 210 is formed generally in the shape of a torpedo, having a front section 230 and a rear section 232. The rear section is secured to the base 222. The front section 230 is rotatable relative to the rear section 232 by means of a water tight flange coupling or seal 234 between the front and rear portions. The front portion 230 forms a casing for a battery 236. The battery 236 is biased by a spring 238 so that the button 239 on top of the battery is in engagement with a contact tab 240. The tab 240 is part of and extends perpendicular to a first contact arm 242 which rotates with the front portion 230. The base of the spring 238 is electrically connected or in engagement with a second contact arm 244 which also rotates with the front portion 230. A motor 248 is mounted within the rear portion 232. A drive shaft 250 of the motor extends toward the rear through a water tight seal 252 in the housing and carries propeller means 254. Two tabs 256 extend rearwardly of the rear portion 232 and support a pivotally mounted directional fin or rudder 258.
The motor 248 is connected to two contacts 262 and 264 disposed longitudinally in the housing. The contacts 262 and 264 are angularly displaced about the base of the motor such that upon rotation of the front member 230, the contact arm 242 from the battery will engage the contact 262 and the other contact arm 244 will engage the contact 264, see the rotational arrow C in FIG. 17, and energize the motor. The respective pairs of contacts will abut when moved as such and prevent further rotation in the direction of arrow C. However, due to the wide spacing between the contacts 244 and 262 (as seen at the right in FIG. 17) reverse rotation will only cause the contact 242 to engage contact 264. This arrangement permits engagement of the respective contacts only in the manner as described above and prevents an inverse type engagement, so that the motor 284 will rotate in only one direction.
The flanges 216 of the saddle 212 each have a bar 270. An elastic strap 272 is secured to one of the bars 270 by a loop 273 at one end thereof, and a hook 275 is secured to the other end of the elastic strap and hooks over the other bar 270. The hook 275 allows for easy mounting and removal of the propulsion unit 210 on and off the back of the figure toy 10. Thus, the propulsion unit 210 can be secured on the back of the figure toy l and the combination can be submerged to simulate underwater travel of the figure toy.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom as some modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.
We claim: I
l. A figure toy, comprising:
a generally hollow torso portion;
a pair of limbs movably mounted on opposite sides of the torso portion by joint means including a ball portion on each limb member and mating socket forming apertures on the torso portion, said apertures being of smaller diameters than the respective ball portions whereby the ball portions are disposed substantially within the torso portion; and
resilient cushion-type means disposed in the torso portion between the ball portions for exerting opposing biasing forces thereagainst to maintain said ball portions in contact with said socket forming apertures to create frictional forces therebetween for selectively positioning the limbs relative to the torso portion.
2. The figure toy of claim 1 wherein said cushion means is formed by a resilient O-ring for mating with the curvature of said ball portions.
3. A figure toy, comprising:
a torso portion;
a head portion tion;
a mouth portion movably mounted on the head portion; and means operatively interconnecting the mouth portion and torso portion to move the mouth portion relative to the head portion in response to movement of the head portion relative to the torso portion.
4. The figure toy of claim 3 wherein said mouth portion comprises a lower jaw movable to a mouth open position in response to the head portion being moved away from a generally straight-ahead facing position.
5. The figure toy of claim 4 including spring means for biasing the jaw toward a mouth closed position.
6. The figure toy of claim 5, wherein said spring means includes a rodmember secured to said jaw and extending through an enlarged aperture in the torso portion whereby when the head portion is moved relative to the body portion said rod memberengages the sides of said aperture and opens said jaw in response to continued movement of said head portion.
7. A figure toy, comprising:
a torso portion;
a head portion movably mounted on the torso portion;
a mouth portion in the form of a lower jaw mounted on the head portion in a normally closed disposition; and
means operatively interconnecting the lower jaw and the torso portion to move the lower jaw to an open disposition relative to the head portion in response to movement of the head portion relative to the torso portion.
8. The figure toy of claim 7 including means for biasing the lower jaw toward said mouth closed disposition.
9. The figure toy of claim 7 wherein said last means includes a rod member secured to said lower jaw and engageable with an abutment surface in the torso portion whereby when the head portion is moved relative to the body portion said rod engages said abutment surface and opens said lower jaw in response to continued movement of said head portion.
10. A figure toy in the form of a four legged animal, comprising:
a two part horizontally elongated torso portion having a male-female joint between relatively movable front and rear torso parts, including a female joint portion on the rearward end of the front torso part engageable with a complementary male joint portion on the forward end of the rear torso part, and means interconnected between the torso parts to hold the same together and to provide for universal movement at said joint; I
a unitary head and neck portion movably mounted on said front torso part at a male-female joint therebetween, including a male joint portion on the front of the front torso part engageable with a complementary female joint portion at the base of said neck, and means interconnected between the front torso part and the unitary head and neck portion to hold the same together and provide universal movement at the joint therebetween;
movably mounted on the torso pora pair of front legs movably mounted on said torso tions of the figure toy can be effected by indepenp at joints permitting m n of the g in dent movement between the unitary head and neck gencrfllly Planes about a generally horizon portion and the front torso part, the front and rear talaxls extending through the shoulder area of the torso parts the from and rear legs relative to the animal; and
. front and rear torso arts, res ectivel as ermita pair of rear legs movably mounted on said rear p p y p torso part at joints permitting movement of the rear ted by Sald Jomt Structure?" legs in generally vertical planes about a generally The figure toy of clalm I mcludmg tall h i l i extending through the hip area f mounted on the rear end of said rear torso part for the animal, 10 movement relative thereto.
whereby a wide variety of animal-like articulated mo-