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Publication numberUS3928932 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 30, 1975
Filing dateDec 11, 1974
Priority dateDec 11, 1974
Also published asCA1043567A1, DE7533759U
Publication numberUS 3928932 A, US 3928932A, US-A-3928932, US3928932 A, US3928932A
InventorsMaurer Donald John
Original AssigneeMattel Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Animated figure toy
US 3928932 A
Abstract
A toy figure representative of the various types of individuals that may be employed in any number of play situations. The toy figure is generally comprised of a movable upper torso and a stationary lower torso. In one embodiment, the upper torso is rotatably actuated by externally coupled means. In a second embodiment, the upper torso is rotatably attached to the lower torso, the upper torso includes an arm rotatably attached thereto, and the upper torso and such arm are both rotatably actuated by externally coupled means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Dec. 30, 1975 United States Patent [191 Maurer 3,751,849 8/1973 Goldfarb et 46/118 [54] ANIMATED FIGURE TOY [75] Inventor: Donald John Maurer, Torrance,

Calif Primary ExammerLouis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-Robert F. Cutting [73] Assrgnee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif. Attorney, A or Fi M E, Shirk [22] Filed: Dec. 11, 1974 i [57] ABSTRACT A toy figure representative of the various types of in- [21] Appl. No.: 531,837

dividuals that may be employed in any number of play situations. The toy figure is generally comprised of a movable upper torso and a stationary lower torso. In one embodiment, the upper torso is rotatably actuated [52] US. Cl. 46/118; 46/119; 273/87;

[51] Int.

A63H 3/28 46/3, 118, 119, 175 R;

[58] Field of Search.............. 273/87, 119 R by externally coupled means. In a second-embodiment, the upper torso is rotatably attached to the lower torso, the upper torso includes an arm rotatably [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS attached thereto, and the upper torso and such arm are both rotatably actuated by externally coupled means.

273/87.4 Meyer et 46/119 16 Claims, 13 Drawmg g s 2,279,603 4/1942 3,179,413 4/1965 Leclerc........... 3,452,472 7/1969 U.S. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 Sheet 10f3 3,928,932

US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,928,932

US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 shw 3 of3 3,928,932

ANIMATED FIGURE TOY UTILITY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toy figures, and more partic ularly to toy figures that are actuated by externally coupled means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Toy figures have been immensely popular with children for a number of years. For example, children and adults both have been fascinated by miniature toy soldiets. The last couple of generations have been brought up on the fantasy of little tin or lead soldiers that could be moved around on a make-believe battlefield.

However, the high price of tin and lead, and other metals, have made the cost of manufacture of such metal toy soldiers prohibitive. Furthermore, for the most part, tin and lead soldiers, particularly lead soldiers, were stationary figures that had to be moved by hand around the battlefield.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an inexpensive toy figure.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a toy figure that is fabricated from a plastic material, yet is very durable.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide an inexpensive, yet durable, toy figure that includes movable parts that may be externally actuated.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a miniature toy figure that is fabricated from plastic materials, yet an appearance of rich, relaistic clothing on the toy figure is obtained.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the objects set forth above, this invention provides a toy figure representative of the various types of individuals that may be employed in any number of play situations. The toy figure is generally comprised of a movable upper torso and a stationary lower torso. In one embodiment, the upper torso is rotatably attached to the lower torso and the upper torso is rotatably actuated by externally coupled means. In a second embodiment, the upper torso is rotatably attached to the lower torso, the upper torso includes an arm rotatably attached thereto, and the upper torso and such arm are both rotatably actuated by externally coupled means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Additional objects, advantages and characteristic features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a first toy figure and a portion of a base structure that retains the toy figure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial side elevational view, partially sectioned, of the toy figure and the base structure of FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a partial side elevational view of the toy figure of FIG. 1, that also illustrates an exploded view of the actuating mechanism of the toy figure, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a first actuating means for actuating the toy figure of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second actuating means for actuating the toy figure of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a partial top plan view of the second actuating means of FIG. 5 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a partial bottom plan view of the second actuating means of FIG. 6 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of a second toy figure and a base structure that retains the toy figure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a partial side elevational view of a portion of the actuating means for actuating the toy figure of FIG. 8 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of a lever of the actuating means of FIG. 8 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a partial bottom plan view of a third actuating means in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 11; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the actuating means of FIG. 11.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a front elevational view of a toy soldier 10 that is retained on a base structure 13 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. FIG. 1 is partially sectioned to expose various positions of the toy soldier 10 and the base structure 13. The toy soldier is generally comprised of an upper torso 11 and a lower torso 12. The upper torso 11 has a female coupling member 14. The female coupling member 14 includes a female cylindrical coupling means 14a and a snap ring 15, as illustrated.

Referring also to FIG. 2, there is shown a partial side elevational view, partially sectioned, of the toy soldier 10 and the base structure 13 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Further illustrated is actuating means 16 which is housed within the base structure 13. Referring briefly to FIG. 4, there is shown a perspective view of actuating means 16 for actuating the toy soldier 10 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Actuating means 16 is generally comprised of a vertical post 17, a lever 18, and an actuating wheel 19.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a partial side elevational view of the toy soldier 10 of FIG. 1, that also illustrates an exploded view of the actuating means of the toy soldier 10 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The vertical post 17 of the actuating means 16 has a male cylindrical coupling means 17a as part of its distal end. Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 collectively, it may be appreciated that the lower torso 12 of the toy soldier 10 has an open channel 12b between the legs of the toy soldier 10. Furthermore, the lower torso 12 has a cylindrically-shaped recessed area 12a that is located in proximity of the upper end of the open channel 12b. Thus, the upper torso 11 may be rotatably attached to the lower torso 12 by means of placing the snap ring 15 within the cylindrically-shaped recessed area 12a of the lower torso 12. Therefore, by means of a somewhat loose 3 interference fit, the upper torso 11 may rotate relative to the lower torso 12.

Referring now once again to FIG. 4, the actuating means 16 is further comprised of a connecting rod 20, which couples the lever 18 to the actuating wheel 19, a hinge 23, that is formed by reducing the thickness of lever 18 and that is located in close proximity of the vertical post 17, a combination sprocket wheel and rod 21, and a flexible snapping member 22. For a number of years, hinges of the type illustrated in FIG. 4 have been constructed of plastic materials to provide durable hinge means. In the operation of the actuating means 16, when the actuating wheel is rotated in the direction of the arrow 19a, the lever 18 is pulled in the direction of the arrow 18a, and since the vertical post 17 is stationary except for rotational movement and further because of the utilization of the hinge 23, the vertical post rotates in the direction of the arrow 17b. Thus, an upper torso 11 of a toy soldier that is mounted onto the vertical post 17 will then rotate in the direction of rotation that is experienced by the vertical post 17. At the same time, the combination sprocket wheel and rod 21 will rotate in the direction of the arrow 21a, as illustrated, so as to move the flexible snapping member 22 to cause a noise that may simulate the rat-a-tat of a machine gun, not shown, that is being held by the toy soldier 10.

It is obvious from the foregoing that if the actuating wheel 19 is rotated in the direction opposite the direction illustrated by the arrow 19a that the upper torso 11 of the toy soldier 10 will rotate in a direction opposite from the direction which it rotated in the prior discussion. Referring briefly to FIG. 1, there is shown an opening 24 in the base structure 13 which allows the bottom portion of the actuating wheel 19 to be located outside of the base structure 13. Thus, the toy soldier 10 and the base structure 13 may be moved along, or back and forth on, a ground surface to actuate the actuating means 16, which in turn, rotates the upper torso 11 of the toy soldier 10. Referring once again to FIG. 3, the lower torso 12 of the toy soldier 10 is fabricated by means of a two-step process. First, the skeleton 25 is made up of polyethylene. Then, the sleleton 25 is installed in a mold and it is shot with vinyl to obtain the outer body 26. The skeleton 25 may be of any desired color, for example, black or brown, to obtain the proper colored shoes, and the outer body 26 may be of any desired color, for example, army green to give the properly colored uniform. As may be readily appreciated, the upper torso 11 may also include a skeleton body of polyethylene that is flesh colored to provide suitable arms, face, neck, etc., and such skeleton may then be shot with vinyl to provide the desired color of the helmet and accessories, etc. It is further noted at this time that the vinyl, which forms, for the most part, the outer clothing of the toy soldier 10, may be replaced by a heavy substance which gives the adult or child a feel of handling a lead soldier.

Referring to FIG. 5, there is shown a perspective view of a second actuating means 27 for actuating the toy soldier 10 of FIG. 1 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Except for the fact that the second actuating means includes a pair of living hinges 28 and 29, basically the second actuating means 27 is similar to the actuating means 16 that was discussed earlier. Of course, an additional difference is the fact that the second actuating means 27 would have to be housed within a base structure somewhat different than 4 the base structure that was discussed earlier, because of several reasons, one being that the actuating wheel 30 of FIG. 5 is horizontally disposed.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a partially top plan view of the second actuating means 27 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Briefly, the second actuating means 27 is shown in its normal position. Upon rotation of the actuating wheel 30 in the clockwise direction as defined by the arrow 31, the lever 32 moves into the position defined by the dashed lines designated by the letter A, and the vertical post 33 rotates in the counterclockwise direction. Of course, upon rotation of the actuating wheel in the counterclockwise direction as defined by the arrow 34, the lever 32 moves in the position as defined by the dashed lines that are designated by the letter B, and in turn, the vertical post 33 moves in the clockwise direction. The actuating wheel 30 includes a serrated periphery which facilitates actuation of the second actuating means by merely rotating it with ones finger.

Briefly referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown a partial bottom plan view of the second actuating means 27, more specifically, the underside of the actuating wheel 30 of FIG. 5. The underside of the actuating wheel 30 has a slot 35 which represents an opening in the base structure that would house the actuating wheel 30. Further, it includes a friction pad 36 which may be attached to the underside of the actuating wheel 30. It is obvious that if the toy soldier 10 and the base structure 13 is moved along, or back and forth on, a ground surface, the friction pad 36 would grip the ground surface in such a fashion to actuate the second actuating means 27 so as to move the upper torso 11 of the toy soldier 10. The friction pad 36, which may be of any suitable thickness so as to ensure contact with the ground surface, may be fabricated from rubber if so desired. It is further noted that the actuating means 16 and the second actuating means 27 may be fabricated of any suitable plastic material which would ensure the necessary strength and durability, for example, polypropylene. Of course, the second actuating means 27 may include a noise maker of the type illustrated in FIG. 4.

Referring now to FIG. 8, there is shown an exploded perspective view of a toy policeman 37, or toy soldier, and a base structure 38 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The toy policeman 37 and the base structure 38 may be made of any suitable plastic material, for example, polystrene. As illustrated, the toy policeman 37 is comprised of a front upper torso 39, a rear upper torso 40, a front lower torso 41, a rear lower torso 42, a rotatable arm 43, a retaining rod 44, an arm actuator 45, a vertical post 46, a lever 47, a striker 48, a cam 4Q, a cam follower 50, guide means 51, a retaining member 52, and a pair of wall members 53 (FIG. 10).

In assembling the toy policeman 37, the front upper torso 39 and the rear upper torso 40 may be affixed together by suitable adhesive means so as to trap the rotatable arm 43, and its integral members, and also to retain the cam follower 50 within the guide means 51. The aforementioned parts and their respective associated posts may then be placed within the front lower torso 41, and then the rear lower torso 42 may be affixed to the front lower torso by suitable adhesive means, for example, glue.

Referring now to FIG. 9, there is shown a partial side elevational view of the cam follower 50 actuating the rotatable arm 43. Referring also to FIG. 10, there is shown a top plan view of the lever 47 being moved to actuate the noise maker of the toy policeman 37. The

noise maker is located in proximity of a front wall 38a of the base structure 38, and it includes the retaining member 52 and the pair of wall members 53.

In the operation of the toy policeman 37, the lever 47 may be rotated back and forth to rotate the combined upper torso 39-40 by means of the vertical post 46 that is part of the rear upper torso 40. At the same time, the cam follower 50 rides back and forth in the cam 49, which is sloped from a low level in the rear lower torso 42 to a higher level in the front lower torso 41. In turn, the cam follower 50 travels up and down within the guide means 51 to actuate the arm actuator 45, so as to rotate the rotatable arm 43 approximately 90 as illustrated in FIG. 9. As may be readily appreciated, at the same time the striker 48 hits one of the pair of wall members 53 to provide a desired sound effect.

Referring now to FIGS. 11-13, a third actuating means of the present invention, generally designated 60, includes a unitary post 62, actuating lever 64 and flexible striker 66, all of which may be molded from a suitable polymeric material.

Post 62 includes an upper end 68 provided with a male coupling means 70 engageable in female coupling member 14 (FIG. 1) on figure toy 10. Post 62 also includes an intermediate portion 72 provided with a frusto-conical undercut 74 forming a shoulder 76 en gageable with a mating shoulder 78 'on a base structure 80 to prevent downward withdrawal of post 62 from base structure 80. Upward withdrawal is prevented by the engagement of an annular collar 82 with the lower end 84 of a cylincrical journal 86 on base structure 80.

Base structure 80 is provided with a plurality of serrations 88 forming an arc in the path-of-travel of striker 66. Thus, when actuating lever 64 is manipulated to rotate or oscillate post 62, striker 66 will coact with serrations 88 to produce a suitable sound.

While the particular animated figure toys herein shown and described in detail are fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that they are merely illustrative of the presentlypreferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims which form a part of this disclosure.

Whenever the term means is employed in these claims, this term is to be interpreted as defining the corresponding structure illustrated and described in this specification or the equivalent of the same.

What is claimed is:

1. A toy figure comprising:

A. a lower torso having at least two legs and having a vertically-disposed open channel between said legs;

B. an upper torso rotatably coupled to said lower torso;

C. a base structure supporting said lower torso in a relatively stationary position, said base structure including a journal communicating with said vertically-disposed open channel; and

D. actuating means for rotating said upper torso,

comprising:

1. a post rotatably mounted in said journal and said vertically-disposed open channel, said post in- 6 cluding an upper end coupled to said upper torso for oscillating said upper torso when said post is oscillated; and 2. an actuating lever on said post, said actuating lever extending to the exterior of said base structure, whereby said actuating lever may be swung back-and-forth to oscillate said upper torso.

2. A toy figure as recited in claim 1 wherein said post also includes an intermediate portion provided with a frusto-conical undercut forming. a shoulder engaged with a mating shoulder provided on said base structure to prevent downward withdrawal of said post from said journal and wherein said post is provided with an annular collar engaging the lower end of said journal to prevent upward withdrawal of said post from said journal.

3. A toy figure as recited in claim 1 wherein said actuating means includes means for producing sounds simulating gun shots.

4. A toy figure as recited in claim 3 wherein said means for producing sounds comprises a flexible striker carried by said post and a plurality of serrations forming an arc in said base structure in the path-of-travel of said flexible striker.

5. A toy figure comprising:

a lower torso having at least two legs and having a vertically-disposed open channel between said legs, said lower torso including a cylindrically-shaped recessed area within said vertically-disposed open channel;

an upper torso rotatably coupled to said lower torso, said upper torso including a female cylindrical coupling means at its lower end, said female cylindrical coupling means including a snap ring that is loosely retained within said cylindrically-shaped recessed area of said vertically-disposed open channel of said lower torso to allow rotation of said upper torso relative .to said lower torso; and

actuating means for rotating said upper torso, said actuating means primarily located between said at least two legs and below said upper torso, a portion of said actuating means being within said verticallydisposed open channel, said actuating means including a vertically-disposed post with a male cylindrical coupling means at its upper end for coupling said male cylindrical coupling means to said female cylindrical coupling means of said upper torso.

6. A toy figure as recited in claim 5 wherein said actuating means further includes:

an actuation member;

a lever for connecting said actuating member to said vertically-disposed post, whereby upon actuation of said actuating member, said upper torso rotates relative to said lower torso.

7. A toy figure as recited in claim 6 wherein said actuating member is a rotatable wheel having a serrated periphery surface.

8. A toy figure as recited in claim 6 wherein said actuating member is a rotatable wheel having a frictional periphery surface.

9. A toy figure as recited in claim 6 wherein said lever includes at least one living hinge.

10. A toy figure as recited in claim 6 wherein said lever includes two living hinges that move in relative opposite directions.

11. A toy figure as recited in claim 6 wherein in said actuating means includes sound effect means for emitting noise upon actuation of said actuating member.

12. A toy figure as recited in claim 11 wherein said sound effect means is a sprocket wheel located on said actuating member and a flexible snapping member periodically abutting said sprocket wheel.

and a second level which is higher than the first level; an upper torso that is rotatably connected to said lower torso, said upper torso including a rotatably 13 A toy figure Comprising; mounted arm having an arm actuator connected a lower torso having at least two legs and having a thereto;

vertically-disposed open channel between said legs; a P w? molwted pp torso m f an upper torso rotatably coupled to said lower torso; assoclatlo arm actuator and Sam actuating means for rotating said upper torso, said cam;

actuating means primarily located between said at a j Structure said kfwer end of sad lowefr torso least two legs and below said upper torso, a portion bemg f sald g f Sald 3 of said actuating means being within said verticallysmliztilre mc "3 a i wa i a a disposed Open channel; and retaining ngem er out: mne; su fatile1 an atpaiir o abase structure, said base structure adapted to retain l5 wa mem ers on er e o e pro mg member; and said lower torso m a relatively stationary position,

actuator means for rotating said upper torso in a said base structure further adapted to house a subhorizontal plane so that said cam follower rides stantial portion of said actuating means, and said base structure havin an o in on 1 said cam so as to contact said arm actuator and face to a w E f R s ower rotate said rotatably mounted arm in a vertical come in i a; 0 T i i g 0 plane, said actuator means includingavertical post andex ema ocate ace that is connected to said upper torso and extends 14 A t 2; r111: as fe cii t e d in claim 13 wherein said down through said lowfir Said vertical] post bein reater in len tht ant elen th of said ower part of said actuating means is a rotatable wheel having torsog i having aglower end extgnding into said a frictional periphery surface that contacts said exterbase structure below Said lower torso, a horizontal lg' x f ly-disposed lever at the lower end of said vertical part of s2 aic tiifiiz E1223: i s a il i' i zd ta ii d 0 post L mtatmg Sald d g l l i 6W: havlgng 3" P 6 astri er member at its en w ic isa apte toa ut rotatable wheel having a friction pad on its bottom side i protruding retaining member so that, upon to ensure contact with an externally-located surface. actuation f id l th upper t so rotat s, th 16. A toy figure comprising: arm rotates, and the striker member hits one of the a stationary lower torso having a lower end and an said pair of wall members to produce a sound efupper end, said upper end having an approximately fect. horizontally-disposed cam that includes a first level

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2279603 *Apr 30, 1941Apr 14, 1942Wallis Enloe PManual mechanical image
US3179413 *Oct 16, 1962Apr 20, 1965Raymond W LeciercToy golf game
US3452472 *Oct 31, 1966Jul 1, 1969Marvin Glass & AssociatesMovable joint for use in figure toys
US3751849 *Feb 25, 1971Aug 14, 1973FernandezStacking toy
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4279419 *Jul 21, 1980Jul 21, 1981Victory Games, Inc.Table top golfing figure with spring driving rotatable upper torso
US5073140 *Oct 22, 1990Dec 17, 1991Steven LebensfeldToy action figures and speech and sound effects accessory therefor
US5092810 *Nov 15, 1990Mar 3, 1992Harvey GoldbergToy audio device
US5147237 *Dec 11, 1991Sep 15, 1992Toymax Inc.Toy audio device
US5393058 *May 5, 1993Feb 28, 1995Rowland; BruceRobot golf game
US6569030 *Jun 6, 2002May 27, 2003David Paul HamiltonGolf stroke demonstration robot
US7871304 *Jul 10, 2008Jan 18, 2011Lovato Anthony RDevice for enhancing sporting event on television
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/303, 273/119.00R, 446/359
International ClassificationA63H3/00, A63H13/08, A63H3/20, A63H7/00, A63H13/00, A63H3/28, A63H3/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/20, A63H3/28
European ClassificationA63H3/20, A63H3/28