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Publication numberUS3928934 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 30, 1975
Filing dateNov 18, 1974
Priority dateNov 18, 1974
Also published asCA1031164A1, DE7532662U
Publication numberUS 3928934 A, US 3928934A, US-A-3928934, US3928934 A, US3928934A
InventorsLewis J Stephen, Sapkus Jurgis
Original AssigneeMattel Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Controller for a figure toy
US 3928934 A
Abstract
A control lever is swingably mounted in torso for controlling rotation and tilting of upper and lower torso members with respect to each other. When control lever is swung to a first position it imparts a frictional drag to the connector connecting the torso portions together. When the lever is swung to a second position the torso portions are freed for unobstructed rotation and the lever extends outwardly from the torso for manipulation by a user of the toy.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Lewis et al.

CONTROLLER FOR A FIGURE TOY Inventors: J. Stephen Lewis, Pacific Palisades;

Jurgis Sapkus, Manhattan Beach,

both of Calif.

Assignee: Mattel, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.

Filed: Nov. 18, 1974 Appl. No; 524,726

US. Cl. 46/119; 46/161; 46/173 Int. Cl. A6311 11/00 Field of Search 46/118, 119, 151, 161,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1956 Birnbaum 46/119 1 Dec. 30, 1975 Cohn 46/173 Lemelson.............................. 46/119 Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-Robert F. Cutting Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Max E. Shirk [57] ABSTRACT A control lever is swingably mounted in torso for controlling rotation and tilting of upper and lower torso members with respect to each other. When control lever is swung to a first position it imparts a frictional drag to the connector connecting the torso portions together. When the lever is swung to a second position the torso portions are freed for unobstructed rotation and the lever extends outwardly from the torso for manipulation by a user of the toy.

12 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 Sheet 1 0f2 3,928,934

US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 Shet 2 of2 3,928,934

CONTROLLER FOR A FIGURE TOY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The background of the invention will be set forth in two parts.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains generally to the field of figure toys and more particularly to a new and useful controller for controlling rotation and tilting of upper and lower torso members with respect to each other.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART The prior art known to applicant is listed by way of illustration, but not of limitation, in separate communications to the United States Patent Office.

The present invention exemplifies improvements over this prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A primary object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful controller for a figure toy.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a control lever for controlling rotation and tilting of an upper torso member with respect to a lower torso member in a figure toy.

According to the present invention, a figure toy construction is shown for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, in the form of a doll having an upper torso member, a lower torso member and ball-and-socket means connecting the torso members together so that the torso members may rotate with respect to each other and also tilt with respect to each other.

A torso-control means is movably mounted on the torso and includes finger means engageable with the ball-and-socket connector for imparting a frictional drag to the connector when the torso'control means is moved to a first position and for releasing the frictional drag when the torso-control means is moved to a second position. The torso-control means holds the torso members in predetermined rotated positions when the torso-control means is in its first position and releases the torso members for unobstructed rotation with respect to each other when the torso-control means is in its second position.

The torso-control means includes a manipulating member in the form of a lever which extends from one of the torso members when the torso-control means is in its second position so that the torso-control means may be readily grasped by a user of the toy when it is desired to rotate the torso members with respect to each other.

The torso-control means is shown for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, as comprising a lever swingably mounted in the upper torso member on suitable trunnions. One end of the lever comprises a pair of fingers which are positioned inside the figure toy adjacent the ball-and-socket connection so that the fingers will frictionally engage the ball portion of the connection when the portion of the lever which extends outside the figure toy is moved to a position wherein it is flush with the figure toy torso. This end of the lever may then be moved by a child-user of the toy to a position where it extends from the torso approximately normal thereto. This releases the fingers from engagement with the ball and provides a finger-engaging member which may be engaged by the thumb of the childuser for manipulating the upper torso portion with respect to the lower torso portion through simulated sports activities, such as swinging a tennis racket, a golf club, a baseball bat or the like. The lever may then be swung back to its flush position so that the fingers will again engage the ball for imparting a frictional drag so that the upper torso portion may be moved to different positions with respect to the lower torso portion and maintained in these positions by the fingers.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of use, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like elements in the several views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a figure toy constituting a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, side-elevational view, with parts broken away to show internal construction, of the figure toy of FIG. 15

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a partial side elevational view, with parts broken away to show internal construction, of a figure toy constituting a second embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a partial front elevational view, shown partially in cross section, of the figure toy of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a figure toy constituting a first embodiment of the present invention is shown herein for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, in the form of a doll and is generally designated 10. Doll 10 includes a torso 12 to which a plurality of appendages are rotatably connected. These appendages may comprise a head 14, a right arm 16, a left arm 18, a right leg 20 and a left leg 22. One or both arms l6, 18 may be adapted to hold a suitable sports implement, such as the tennis racket24 shown in FIG. 1.

Referring now more in particular to FIGS. 2 and 3, torso 12 includes an upper torso member 26 and a lower torso member 28. The upper torso member 26 includes a front housing half 30 and a rear housing half 32 connected together by pin-and-socket means 34 to form an encompassing side wall having an open bottom 36.

The lower torso member 28 includes a fromt housing half 38 and a rear housing half 40 which may also be connected together by suitable pin-and-socket means (not shown). The front housing half 38 carries the front portion 42 of a ball 44 and the rear housing half 40 carries the rear portion 46 thereof. Ball 44 is loosely received in open end 36 of the upper torso member 26 so that the torso members 26, 28 may be freely rotated and tilted with respect to each other. The upper torso member 26 includes suitable arm openings, such as the opening 48 for arm 16 and the lower torso member 28 includes suitable leg pins, like the pin 50 for left leg 22 (not shown in FIG. 2).

Doll 10 also includes a control lever 52 which functions as a torso-control means by imparting a frictional drag to the connecting means formed by ball 44 and opening 36 and for releasing the frictional drag when it is desired to freely rotate and tilt the torso members with respect to each other. Control lever 52 is swingably mounted in upper torso portion 26 by a pair of trunnions 54, 56 mounted in U-shaped journals 58, 60 and fixed to housing half 32 above opening 36 and adjacent ball 44. Trunnions 54, 56 are maintained in position in journals 58, 60 by gusset plates 62, 64, respectively, and fixed to front housing half 30. Control lever 52 includes a pair of fingers 66, 68, which are disposed inside upper torso member 26, and a fingerengaging member 70, which extends from trunnions 54, 56 to a position outside upper torso member 26. Finger-engaging member 70 may be swung to the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2 wherein fingerengaging member 70 lies approximately normal to the vertical axis of upper torso member 26 to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 2 wherein finger-engaging member 70 is flush with the wall forming rear housing half 32. In this broken-line position, fingers 66, 68 frictionally engage ball 44 to impart a drag between ball 44, opening 36 and fingers, 66, 68 so that upper torso member 26 and lower torso member 28 may be rotated and tilted to different positions with respect to each other and will maintain these positions until they are moved to different positions. When control lever 52 is in the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2, a detent 72 on finger 66 and a detent 74 on finger 68 engage grooves 76, 78, respectively, in member 62, 64 for resisting movement of control lever 52 from its solidline position during manipulation of upper torso portion 26 by the thumb 80 of a user (not shown) of toy l0. Finger-engaging member 70 may be provided with a thumb-engaging portion 82 having a recessed portion 84, if desired.

In use, control lever 52 may be moved to its brokenline position where fingers 66, 68 will push ball 44 against opening 36 creating sufficient frictional drag to permit maintaining upper torso member 26 and lower torso member 28 in any rotated or tilted position to which they may be moved by a child-user of toy 10.

Control lever 52 may then be swung to its solid-line position where pressure on ball 44 is released so that upper torso member 26 and lower torso member 28 have a loose-fit with respect to each other and may be freely rotated and tilted by control lever 52 so that a child-user may play a sports implement, like tennis racket 24, in position on arm 16 and manipulate figure toy in such a manner that it will bat a small ball (not shown). The detent means 72, 74, 76 and 78 maintains control lever 52 in its solid-line position even though thumb 80 may exert slightly upward pressure on thumb-engaging member 82.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, a figure toy or doll constituting a second embodiment of the present invention, generally designated 10A includes a torso 12A to which a plurality of appendages (not shown) may be rotatably connected. Torso 12A includes an upper torso member 26A and a lower torso member 28A. The upper torso member 26A includes an encompassing side wall A and an upwardly concave bottom wall 36A.

The lower torso member 28A includes a ball 44A which is seated in bottom wall 36A of the upper torso member 26A so that the torso members 26A, 28A may be rotated and tilted with respect to each other. A short post 31 extends upwardly from ball 44A at an angle of approximately 12 from the vertical center line of figure toy 10A and rides in a slot 33 in bottom wall 36A for guiding upper torso member 26A through a realistic path when upper torso member 26A is tilted forwardly and rearwardly. A spring 35 connects post 31 to upper torso member 26A for biasing upper torso member 26A to an upright position.

Doll 10A also includes a control lever 52A which functions as a torso-control means by imparting a frictional drag to the connecting means formed by ball 44A and wall 36A and for releasing the frictional drag when it is desired to freely rotate and tilt the torso members with respect to each other. Control lever 52A is swingably mounted in upper torso portion 26A by a pin 54A. Control lever 52A includes a finger 66A, which is disposed inside upper torso member 26A, and a finger-engaging member 70A, which extends from pin 54A to a position outside upper torso member 26A. Finger-engaging member 70A may be swung to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 4 where fingerengaging member 70A lies approximately normal to the vertical axis of upper torso member 26A to the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 4 where fingerengaging member 70A is flush with the wall 35A. In this solid-line position, finger 66A frictionally engages ball 44A to impart a drag between ball 44A, wall 36A and finger 66A so that upper torso member 26A and lower torso member 28A may be rotated and tilted to different positions with respect to each other and will maintain these positions until they are moved to different positions. When control lever 52A is in the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 4, a detent 72A on finger 66A engages a groove 76A in upper torso member 26A for resisting movement of control lever 52A from its broken-line position during manipulation of upper torso portion 26A by a child-user (not shown) of doll 10A.

While the particular controllers for 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 presently preferred 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. In a figure toy construction including a torso having an upper torso member and a lower torso member and means connecting said torso members together so that said torso members may rotate with respect to each other, the improvement which comprises:

a torso-control means movably mounted on said torso, said torso-control means including means for imparting a frictional drag to said connecting means when said torso-control means is moved to a first position and for releasing said frictional drag when said torso-control means is moved to a second position, whereby said torso-control means will hold said torso members in predetermined rotated positions when said torso-control means is in said first position and will release said torso members for unobstructed rotation with respect to each other when said torso-control means is in said second position.

2. An improvement as stated in claim 1 wherein said torso-control means includes a manipulating member which may be used to rotate said members with respect to each other when said torso-control means is in said second position.

3. An improvement as stated in claim 1 wherein said torso-control-means is a lever swingably mounted in said torso.

4. An improvement as stated in claim 3 wherein said lever is swingably mounted in said upper torso member.

5. An improvement as stated in claim 3 wherein said lever includes a first end inside said torso for imparting said frictional drag to said connecting means and a second end extending outside said torso for manipulation by a user of said toy.

6. An improvement as stated in claim 1 wherein said connecting means comprises a ball-and-socket connection and wherein said means for imparting a frictional drag to said connecting means includes finger means adapted to press the ball portion of said ball-and-socket connection into firm engagement with the socket portion thereof.

7. A figure toy, comprising:

an upper torso member having an open lower end;

a lower torso member having an upstanding ball seated in the open lower end of said upper torso member; and

control lever means swingably mounted in said torso, said control lever means including finger means engagable with said ball for firmly seating said ball in said opening when said control lever means is swung to a first position and for releasing said ball when said control lever means is swung to a second position approximately normal to said first position.

8. A figure toy as stated in claim 7 including detent means for maintaining said control lever means in said second position.

9. A figure toy as stated in claim 7 wherein said control lever means includes a thumb-engaging member engageable by the thumb of a child-user of said toy for manipulating said upper torso member with respect to said lower torso member.

10. A figure toy as stated in claim 7 wherein said open lower end is provided with an upwardly-concave bottom wall engaging said ball.

11. A figure toy as stated in claim 10 including a post on said ball and a slot in said bottom wall, said post being operatively engaged in said slot for guiding said upper torso member during forward and rearward movement thereof.

12. A figure toy as stated in claim 11 including spring means connecting said post to said upper torso member to a substantially upright position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2764841 *Sep 3, 1952Oct 2, 1956Alexander Doll Company IncActuating mechanism for a doll head
US2804721 *Jun 22, 1955Sep 3, 1957Model Plastic CorpJoint structure for a doll limb
US3758982 *Oct 13, 1972Sep 18, 1973Lemelson JActivity doll
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4135327 *Jul 1, 1977Jan 23, 1979Mattel, Inc.Doll construction with pivotable torso members
US4673374 *Jan 24, 1986Jun 16, 1987Mattel, Inc.Articulated limb assemby for figure toy
US4680019 *Jan 29, 1986Jul 14, 1987Kenner Parker Toys Inc.Toy figure with individually posable limbs
US4723932 *Jul 1, 1986Feb 9, 1988Mattel, Inc.Toy doll having articulated arms and a tiltable upper torso
US5060417 *Oct 25, 1989Oct 29, 1991Court Edward HFlower stem and head support apparatus
US6022263 *Mar 20, 1998Feb 8, 2000Lcd International, L.L.C.Mechanical toy figures
US6482068 *May 3, 2002Nov 19, 2002C.J. Associates, Ltd.Toy figure with articulating joints
US6830497Nov 24, 1999Dec 14, 2004C. J. Associates, Ltd.Toy figure with articulating joints
US6869331Oct 24, 2003Mar 22, 2005C. J. Associates, Ltd.Toy figure with articulating joints
US7318766Dec 20, 2004Jan 15, 2008Mattel, Inc.Doll with stand
US7854643Jun 12, 2007Dec 21, 2010Mattel, Inc.Doll pair and apparatus for cheerleading stunts
US8382553Mar 4, 2010Feb 26, 2013Mattel, Inc.Toy track set and relay segments
US8690632 *Apr 23, 2010Apr 8, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy track set and relay segments
US8747180Apr 23, 2010Jun 10, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy track set and relay segments
US8801492Oct 18, 2010Aug 12, 2014Mattel, Inc.Toy track set and relay segments
US20100273394 *Apr 23, 2010Oct 28, 2010O'connor Stacy LToy track set and relay segments
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/359, 446/378, 446/365
International ClassificationA63H3/00, A63H3/36, A63F7/00, A63F7/24, A63H13/12, A63H3/48, A63H13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/48
European ClassificationA63H3/48