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Publication numberUS3929336 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 30, 1975
Filing dateOct 9, 1973
Priority dateOct 9, 1973
Also published asCA997390A, CA997390A1
Publication numberUS 3929336 A, US 3929336A, US-A-3929336, US3929336 A, US3929336A
InventorsBreslow Jeffrey D
Original AssigneeMarvin Glass & Associates
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Surface pulling apparatus with obstacle signaling
US 3929336 A
Abstract
A game apparatus including a pair of spaced electrical conductive horizontal sheet members supported on a frame, the top sheet being surrounded by a peripheral wall defining a playing surface. A hand manipulatable vehicle, formed in the shape of a toy tugboat, is slidably supported on the playing surface and is used to push a second vehicle, formed in the shape of a toy barge, across the playing surface. The playing surface also is provided with a plurality of obstacles or hazards along a course between a starting position and an ending position. A circuit to an electrically actuated warning signal is completed through the conductive sheet members whenever the tugboat or barge abut one of the obstacles or hazards located on the playing surface. A timing device is provided in the form of a ball which rolls down an irregularly shaped inclined ramp to indicate the end of the allotted time period, during which a player must move the toy barge from the starting position to the ending position by pushing it with the tugboat, when the ball stops at the end or bottom of the inclined ramp.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Breslow Dec. 30, 1975 [75] Inventor: Jeffrey D. Breslow, Highland Park,

Ill.

[73] Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates,

. Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Oct. 9, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 404,286

52] U.S.Cl. 273/108; 273/128 R; 273/1 E; ZOO/61.1 51 Int.Cl. ..A63F 9/00 [58] Field of Search 273/108, 1 R, 1 E, 127 R, 273/118 A, 119 A, 120 A, 121 A, 122 A, 126 A, 128 R; ZOO/61.1, 61.l1

Primary Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro Assistant ExaminerMarvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Coffee & Sweeney [57] ABSTRACT A game apparatus including a pair of spaced electrical conductive horizontal sheet members supported on a frame, the top sheet being surrounded by a peripheral wall defining a playing surface. A hand manipulatable vehicle, formed in the shape of a toy tugboat, is slidably supported on the playing surface and is used to push a second vehicle, formed in the shape of a toy barge, across the playing surface. The playing surface also is provided with a plurality of obstacles or hazards along a course between a starting position and an ending position. A circuit to an electrically actuated warning signal is completed through the conductive sheet members whenever the tugboat or barge abut one of the obstacles or hazards located on the playing surface. A timing device is provided in the form of a ball which rolls down an irregularly shaped inclined ramp to indicate the end of the allotted time period, during which a player must move the toy barge from the starting position to the ending position by pushing it with the tugboat, when the ball stops at the end or bottom of the inclined ramp.

13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures Sheet 1 of 2 3,929,336

US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 US. Patent Dec.30, 1975 Sheet20f2 3,929,336

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relatesto 'games and in particular to a game of skill wherein a hand manipulatable playing piece is to be moved from a starting position across a hazardous course to an ending position within a given time period.

It is an object of this invention to provide a new and amusing game of skill wherein players attempt to move a playing piece across an obstacle course including signal warning means which indicates when contact has been made with an obstacle along the path of travel of the playing piece.

The game apparatus also includes a timing device which signals the end of a time period during which the player must move the playing piece from the starting to the ending position without contacting the obstacles on the playing surface.

Further features, objects and advantages will become apparent from the following specification and accompanying drawings.

A game of skill including an electrical conductive sheet member supported on a frame and surrounded by a peripheral wall defining a playing surface on top of the sheet member. A second electrical conductive sheet member is spaced on the underside of the first sheet member and includes a plurality of rigidly mounted, upwardly directed conductive pins or studs which emerge through clearance holes in the top sheet member. All electrical warning bell is provided and is caused to ring when one of the said pins is contacted by a conductive playing piece which is slidably supported on the top sheet member thereby completing an electrical circuit.

A hand manipulatable electrically conductive toy vehicle formed in the shape of a simulated tugboat is slidably supported on the playing surface and is used to push a second freely movable electrically conductive playing piece formed in the shape of a simulated barge from a starting position across the playing surface amongst the pins to an ending position, the pins thereby defining an obstacle or hazard course on the playing surface. If either of the playing pieces contacts an upwardly protruding pin, an electrical circuit will be completed through the sheet members thereby causing the warning bell to ring, signalling an unsuccessful attempt to reach the ending position by that player.

A timing device is provided in the form of a ball for rolling down an irregularly shaped inclined ramp. A predetermined time period thus is provided within which the barge must be pushed by the tugboat from the starting to the ending positions, in order to create a greater degree of difficulty in moving the playing pieces along the obstacle course.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the game apparatus of FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale, with parts broken away to further the illustration;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of the playing pieces and one of the obstacles shown relative to the spaced conductive sheets.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The game apparatus, generally designated in FIG. 1, includes a stiffly resilient, electrically conductive sheet member 12 which is mounted on a frame, generally designated 14, and surrounded by a generally rectangular retaining wall 16 which may be integrally molded with the frame 14, defining a playing surface on top of sheet 12. The frame 14 includes an octagonal tower 18 extending upwardly beyond the retaining wall 16 and includes a smaller cylindrical top portion 20 which supports a timing ball 22 when the game 10 is not in use.

Means providing for a timing mechanism include the timing ball 22 which rolls down an inclined ramp 24 which is formed integrally with the frame walls 26. The ramp circumscribes the playing surface 12 as best seen in FIG. 2. Frame walls 26 project upwardly along the outside of the inclined ramp 24 thus preventing escapement of the timing ball 22. In addition, a plurality of semicircular detents 28 are provided along the sides of the inclined ramp 24 such that a straight path down the inclined ramp 24 between the detents 28 is smaller than the diameter of the timing ball 22 thus causing the ball 22 to travel in a zig-zag pattern as it rebounds between the detents 28.

The playing pieces include a pusher member 30 in the form of a toy simulated tugboat and a pushed member 32 in the form of a toy simulated barge which is capable of carrying various cargo pieces 34. One or both of the playing pieces 30 and 32 are formed ofmetal or other similar electrically conductive material. At each of the opposite ends of the playing surface 12 there is located a nonconductive extension 36 of the conductive playing surface 12. This extended area may be molded integrally with the frame 14. These extensions can be determined by the players to be the starting and ending positions. Two pier or dock-like raised portions 38, as best seen in FIG. 2, are formed at each extended area 36. Each dock 38 has a circular portion 40 on the corners which simulate piling or the like. The circular portions 40 extend upwardly past the surface of the docks simulating means to which a vessel may be secured.

The obstacles on the playing surface 12 comprise a plurality of rigidly mounted pins or studs 44 each of which protrudes through a clearance hole 46 in the sheet member 12. The studs or pins 44 are secured at their base to a second electrically conductive, stiffly resilient sheet member 48 spaced from and beneath the first sheet member 12 such that the pins 44 do not contact the sheet member 12. The pins 44 also are elements of an electric circuit for a hazard warning device, generally designated 50, to be discussed in greater detail hereinafter. The object of the game is to hand manipulate the tugboat 30 and push the barge 32 across the playing surface provided by sheet member 12 from the starting position to the ending position amongst the pins 44 within the alloted time period without contacting any of the pins 44. With the pins 44 spaced laterally and longitudinally between the starting and ending position, as shown, an infinite number of alternate non-linear paths of travel are provided between the pins or obstacles.

The conductive upper sheet member 12 and the lower sheet member 48 are electrically connected in circuit with a pair of batteries 52 and an electric motor 54 by means of electrically conductive wires 55a, 55b and 550. The upper sheet 12 is connected to one end of a conductive battery bracket 53 by wire 55a. The lower sheet 48 is connected to motor 54 by wire 55b. The motor, in' turn, is connected to the other end of the battery bracket by wire 55c.

The electric motor 54 is mounted on the inside of wall 26 of the frame 14 with its rotating shaft 56 extending inwardly toward the center of the playing surface. Two loose fitting washers 58 are mounted on a cross bar 60 which rotates with the shaft 56. A bell 62 is mounted by means of a stud 64 to the inside of wall 26 of the frame in proximity to the motor 54 such that when the motor 54 is energized and the cross bar 60 is rotated, the washers will strike the bell 62 causing it to ring while the motor 54 remains energized. The motor 54 is energized when the tugboat 30 or the barge 32, should they both be electrically conductive, contacts one of the pins 44 allowing electrical current to travel from the pin 44, through the playing piece 30 or 32, to the upper sheet member 12 which completes the circuit through the motor and the batteries 52.

The stiffly resilient sheet members 12 and 48 are supported on the frame by a flange 68 around the circumference of the playing surface 12. The sheet members are spaced apart by a nonconductive spacer 70. A central rib 72 (FIG. 2) also is provided on the frame to give additional support to the resilient sheet members.

The barge member 32 can be loaded with various cargo pieces 34 in order to increase the difficulty of moving the barge across the obstacle course without contacting any of the pins 44.

The timing device, comprising the ball 22, ramp 24 and members 28, provides for an added challenge whereby a specific time period is allotted during which a player must move the tugboat 30 and barge 32 from the starting 'position to the ending position. Without such a timing device a playercould move the toy playing pieces so slowly that he would have a better chance that no contact with the obstacles or hazards provided by pins 44 would occur.

The degree of difficulty in pushing the barge 32 by the tugboat 30 will depend to some extent also on the engaging surfaces therebetween. As seen best in FIGS. 2 and 4, the barge is generally rectangularly shaped to provide generally straight side contacting surfaces. The tugboat is tapered generally to the bow thereof, but does not terminate in a point. An enlarged rib 80 having a finite thickness is formed at the bow and provides a flat engaging surface 80a (FIG. 4) of a given width determined by the thickness of the rib.

Although the invention has been described in connection with a specific device, it is to be understood that modifications are likely to occur to others working in this field. For example, instead of using rigid pins 44 which complete the circuit through the conductive playing pieces, pins could be used which deflect on contact with one of the playing pieces and the pins themselves, by contact with the upper sheet, would complete'the circuit, and such modifications could be made without departing from the principles involved.

I claim:

on the playing surface; means defining an obstacle course between said positions including a plurality of obstacles protruding upwardly from said playing surface between said positions defining plural alternate paths of travel between the obstacles; a hand manipulatable first playing piece having bottom surface means engageable with said playing surface during play, and said playing surface between the obstacles being generally flat and devoid of any guiding influencing structure for said playing piece and allowing for manual pushing by a player of the playing piece freely in any direction .on the playing surface over said obstacle course between said upwardly protruding obstacles; a freely movable second playing piece which is capable of being pushed over said playing surface by the first playing piece so as to move the second playing piece along said obstacle course between the upwardly protruding obstacles; and hazard warning means to signal when one of said playing pieces deviates from said obstacle course and engages one of said obstacles.

2. The device of claim 1 including timing means for designating a specific period of time in which a player must cause his playing pieces to traverse the obstacle course.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said first playing piece is in the form of a simulated toy tugboat having a tapered bow and said second playing piece is in the form of a generally rectangular simulated toy barge.

4. A game apparatus, comprising: a frame; a pair of vertically spaced conductive sheet members insulatably mounted on said frame with the uppermost sheet member being surrounded by wall means defining a playing surface on the top of the sheet member; means defining a starting position on the playing surface; means defining an ending position on the playing surface; means defining an obstacle course between said positions including obstacles protruding upwardly from said playing surface, said obstacles comprising conductive members connected to the lowermost of said sheet members; a hand manipulatable first playing piece for pushing by a player of the game along the playing surface over said obstacle course between said obstacles; a freely movable second playing piece which is capable of being pushed over said playing surface by the first playing piece so as to move the second playing piece along said obstacle course between said obstacles; at least one of said playing pieces being electrically conductive; and hazard warning means electrically connected to said sheet members for rendering a signal when an electrically conductive playing piece deviates from said obstacle course and engages one of said ohstacles and thereby electrically connects said sheet members. I

5. The game apparatus of claim 4 including timing means for designatiing a specific period of time in which a player must cause his playing pieces to traverse said obstacle course, said timing means including an inclined ramp on said frame substantially surrounding said playing surface, means defining an irregular path along said ramp, and including a ball rollably supported on the ramp whereby the ball must ricochet as it rolls.

l. A game apparatus, comprising: means defining a playing surface; means defining a starting position on the playing surface; means defining an ending position period is equal to the length of time necessary for the ball to roll from the top of the ramp to the bottom thereof.

6. The game apparatus of claim 4 wherein said obstacles comprise pin-like members mounted to the lower of said conductive sheet members and protruding through an opening in the top sheet member and spaced from the edge of said opening whereby an electrical circuit is established for actuating the hazard warning means whenever an electrically conductive playing piece engages a pin.

7. A game apparatus, comprising: means defining a playing surface; means defining a starting position on the playing surface; means defining an ending position on the playing surface; means defining an obstacle course between said positions including obstacles protruding upwardly from said playing surface; a hand manipulatable first playing piece for pushing by a player along the playing surface over said obstacle course; a freely movable second playing piece which is capable of being pushed over said playing surface by the first playing piece so as to move the second playing piece along said obstacle course; hazard warning means to signal when one 'of said playing pieces deviates from said obstacle course and engages one of said obstacles; a pair of vertically spaced conductive sheet members the top one of which defines said playing surface; and a contact member for electrically connecting said sheet members to establish an electrical circuit therethrough for actuating the hazard warning means whenever one of said playing pieces engages an obstacle.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein said obstacles each comprise one of said contact members.

9. A game apparatus, comprising: means defining a playing surface; means defining a starting position on the playing surface; means defining an ending position on the playing surface; means defining an obstacle course between said positions including obstacles protruding upwardly from said playing surface; a hand manipulatable first playing piece for pushing by a player along the playing surface over said obstacle course; a freely movable second playing piece which is capable of being pushed over said playing surface by the first playing piece so as to move the second playing piece along said obstacle course; haxard warning means to signal when one of said playing pieces deviates from said obstacle course and engages at least one of said obstacles; one of said playing pieces being electrically conductive; a pair of vertically spaced conductive sheet members the top one of which defines said playing surface; and a contact member for electrically connecting said sheet members to establish an electrical circuit therethrough for actuating the hazard warning means whenever one of said playing pieces engages an obstacle.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein said obstacles each comprise one of said contact members.

11. The device of claim 10 wherein said contact member is a pin mounted to the lower of said conductive sheet members.

12. The device of claim 11 wherein said pin protrudes through an opening in said top sheet member and is disposed in a spaced relationship from the edge of said opening whereby an electrical circuit is established for actuating the hazard warning means whenever one of said conductive playing pieces engages the pin.

13. A game apparatus, comprising: means defining a playing surface; means defining a starting position on the playing surface; means defining an ending position on the playing surface; means defining an obstacle course between said positions including a pluralityof obstacles protruding upwardly from said playing surface between said positions, said obstacles being spaced longitudinally as well as laterally between said positions defining infinite alternate non-linear paths of travel between the obstacles; a hand manipulatable first playing piece having bottom surface means engageable with said playing surface during play for manual pushing by a player of the playing piece freely in any direction on the playing surface along any of said paths of travel over said obstacle course between said upwardly protruding obstacles; a freely movable second playing piece which is capable of being pushed over said playing surface by the first playing piece so as to move the second playing piece along said obstacle course between the upwardly protruding obstacles; and hazard warning means to signal when one of said playing pieces deviates from said obstacle course and engages one of said obstacles.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2319786 *Jul 15, 1940May 25, 1943J H Keeney & Co IncBumper switch unit for ball rolling games
US2330771 *Oct 25, 1941Sep 28, 1943Lyndon A DurantContact switch for ball rolling games
US2797922 *Apr 16, 1953Jul 2, 1957Chesworth John WToy vehicle and platform instruction apparatus
US2806323 *May 24, 1954Sep 17, 1957Oback Nels EMagnetically controlled game device
US3588111 *Mar 3, 1969Jun 28, 1971Revell IncSlot car game
US3589724 *Dec 5, 1968Jun 29, 1971Marvin Glass & AssociatesGame with tower and crane
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5553865 *Nov 22, 1994Sep 10, 1996Stephen P. ShoemakerRotary push arcade game
US20060228981 *Mar 9, 2006Oct 12, 2006Melissa BrantleyInteractive action figure and ostacle course
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/108, 200/61.1, 273/442, 273/454
International ClassificationA63F9/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/14
European ClassificationA63F9/14