EP3513852A1 - Method for configuring a toy house and improved toy house for children - Google Patents

Method for configuring a toy house and improved toy house for children Download PDF

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Publication number
EP3513852A1
EP3513852A1 EP19152792.8A EP19152792A EP3513852A1 EP 3513852 A1 EP3513852 A1 EP 3513852A1 EP 19152792 A EP19152792 A EP 19152792A EP 3513852 A1 EP3513852 A1 EP 3513852A1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
decorative panels
toy house
means
decorative
user device
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
EP19152792.8A
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German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Alberto MINOTTI
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Tuco SRL
Original Assignee
Tuco SRL
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to IT201800001351 priority Critical
Priority to IT201800008929 priority
Application filed by Tuco SRL filed Critical Tuco SRL
Publication of EP3513852A1 publication Critical patent/EP3513852A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/008Playhouses, play-tents, big enough for playing inside

Abstract

A method for configuring a toy house (1) comprising a bearing structure (2) which defines a play space (S) and which can be connected to a plurality of decorative panels (4) through connection means, the method comprising the steps of:
- receiving (P1) first user information provided by means of a user device (11), said first user information representing at least one image and/or a writing to be printed on at least one of said decorative panels;
- generating (P3) a decorative design for decorative panels (4) based on the first user information provided by means of the user device (11);
- printing (P7) said generetad decorative design on said decorative panels (4);
- providing a bearing structure (2) defining a play space (S); and
- providing connection means configured so that the decorative panels (4) can be removably associated to said bearing structure (2), obtaining a reconfigurable system.

Description

    Field of the invention
  • The present invention refers to a toy house for children, for example a house of the type comprising four lateral walls and a double-pitched roof, and the description below is provided with reference to this field of application with the aim of simplifying the description thereof.
  • Prior art
  • As it is well-known, there are toy houses for children having various shapes and dimensions, such toy houses generally being provided with four lateral walls and a double-pitched roof which surmounts the four walls.
  • When choosing the most appropriate toy house, the decoration of the walls is a crucial factor, and the preferences vary depending on the sex, the age and the specific tastes of the child.
  • The toy houses available up to date are assembled by mutually joining - in a fixed manner - the main structural components, for example by means of screws, pins and the like, obtaining the most rigid structure possible.
  • The known toy houses are thus difficult to reconfigure due to their rigid and fixed structure after the initial assembly.
  • Furthermore, the known toy houses are mainly monochromatic, painted with flat and basic colours in the decorations and in the finishes: thus, the possibility for the user to customise the decoration of the walls is limited.
  • Thus, the demand for toy houses for children that are easily reconfigurable even during their use and with relatively high frequency, as a function of specific needs, remains unmet. This problem is particularly felt given that it is known that the tastes of a child change rapidly over time, just like it is known that the tastes of boys are very different from the tastes of girls, and thus it would be advantageous to configure a toy house without having to buy or assemble a new one.
  • The technical problem of the present invention lies in providing a toy house for children having the structural and functional characteristics such to allow overcoming the limitations and drawbacks that still affect the prior art solutions, in particular one that has high flexibility of use and one that can be easily reconfigured depending on the specific needs and functions which vary over time.
  • Furthermore, the configuration of a decorative design for a three-dimensional product such as a toy house is difficult for a user of a user device. Thus, a further technical problem of the invention lies in providing a method for configuring the toy house that is quick, effective and easy to use, though maintaining a satisfactory design level.
  • Summary of the invention
  • The solution idea on which the present invention is based is to provide a toy house for children provided with a bearing structure, which is fixed and rigid, and decorative panels bearing printed motifs and removably associated to the bearing structure, ensuring the required ease of reconfiguration. As a matter of fact, the bearing structure and the connection means of the toy house are suitably configured so as to allow an easy application/removal/replacement of the decorative panels.
  • Based on such solution idea, the aforementioned technical problem is solved by a toy house for children comprising a bearing structure which defines a play space, such bearing structure being connectable to a plurality of decorative panels by means of connection means, characterised in that the connection means are configured so that the decorative panels are removably associated to the bearing structure, obtaining a reconfigurable system.
  • More in particular, the invention comprises the following supplementary characteristics, considered singularly or combined where necessary.
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, the bearing structure can be provided with bearing walls to which the decorative panels are associated, and the connection means may comprise a corner profile arranged at least each connection between a bearing wall and the adjacent bearing wall.
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, end portions of the decorative panels can be arranged between the bearing walls and the corner profiles.
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, the bearing walls may have a thickness of about 6 mm and the decorative panels may have a thickness of about 3 mm.
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, the toy house may comprise self-tapping screws suitable to be screwed into the angular profiles, into the decorative panels and into the bearing walls.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, the bearing structure may comprise a plurality of vertical bearing elements and a plurality of beams to form a support framework, such vertical bearing elements being arranged at least at the corners of the toy house.
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, the vertical bearing elements may comprise longitudinal grooves designated to house respective structural elements that project transversely from the vertical bearing elements, such structural elements defining, in the projection portion thereof, a surface to which the decorative panels are associated removably.
  • In this case, the decorative panels can have a thickness of about 15 mm.
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, the toy house may comprise four sides which define a rectangular or square-shaped base, and a double-pitched roof, wherein a decorative panel is associated to each side.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, the bearing structure may be made of wood and the decorative panels may be made of multilayer wood.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, at least one portion of the decorative panels may have printed motifs.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, the decorative panels may have printed motifs on both of their surfaces having greater extension.
  • According to yet another aspect of the present invention, the decorative panels can be printed using the direct flat printing method.
  • Lastly, the specific motif and/or theme of the decorative panels can be selected by the user by means of a programme which can be accessed by means of an application resident on a user device or by means of a determined internet website.
  • The present invention further refers to a method for configuring a toy house comprising a bearing structure which defines a play space and which can be connected to a plurality of decorative panels through connection means, the method comprising the steps of:
    • receiving first user information provided by means of a user device, said first user information representing at least one image and/or writing to be printed on at least one of said decorative panels;
    • generating a decorative design for decorative panels based on the first user information provided by means of the user device;
    • printing said generated decorative design on said decorative panels;
    • providing a bearing structure defining a play space; and
    • providing connection means configured so that the decorative panels can be removably associated to said bearing structure, obtaining a reconfigurable system.
  • The characteristics and advantages of the toy house according to the present invention will be apparent from the description, provided hereinafter, of an embodiment thereof provided by way of non-limiting example with reference to the attached drawings.
  • Brief description of the drawings
  • In such drawings:
    • figure 1 schematically shows a perspective view of a toy house for children according to the present invention;
    • figure 2 is an exploded perspective view of the toy house of figure 1;
    • figure 3 shows a detail of the toy house of figures 1 and 2;
    • figure 4 is an exploded perspective view of a toy house for children according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and
    • figures 5A and 5B respectively show a top view and a perspective view of a detail of the toy house for children of figure 4,
    • figure 6 shows a system suitable to implement a method for configuring the toy house;
    • figure 7 shows the steps of a method for configuring the toy house;
    • figure 8 shows a decorative design of the toy house set by means of the method for configuring the toy house.
    Detailed description
  • With reference to such figures, and in particular to figure 1, a toy house for children according to the present invention is indicated in its entirety and schematically with 1.
  • It should be observed that the figures represent schematic views and are not drawn to scale, but they are instead drawn so as to highlight the significant characteristics of the invention. Furthermore, in the figures, the various elements are represented schematically, their shape potentially varying depending on the desired use. Furthermore, it should be observed that in the figures, identical reference numbers refer to identical elements in terms of shape and function. Lastly, particular solutions described regarding an embodiment illustrated in a figure can be used also for other embodiments illustrated in the other figures.
  • The toy house 1 according to the present invention is designated to be used by children of any sex and age, allowing high customisation of the decorations and a considerable possibility of reconfiguration.
  • In its most general embodiment, the toy house 1 comprises a bearing structure 2 which defines a play space S for children. The bearing structure 2 supports a roof 3 which encloses - at the top part - the play space S, such roof 3 being represented in the figures as a double-pitched roof.
  • As regards this, it should be observed that even though the figures illustrate a toy house which comprises four sides and a double-pitched roof, the present invention is not limited to this and other embodiments and configurations can be selected depending on the needs and/or circumstances without departing from the scope of protection of the present invention. Among the various possible configurations, the roof 3 may also be provided with a skylight with the aim of providing the toy house 1 with an appearance even more similar to an actual house, just like it can be provided with other specific solutions.
  • The toy house 1 is also provided with a base B which supports all its components.
  • Advantageously, according to the present invention, the bearing structure 2 can be connected to a plurality of decorative panels 4 by means of suitable connection means and, even more advantageously, such connection means are configured so that the decorative panels 4 are removably associated to the bearing structure 2, obtaining a reconfigurable system. As a matter of fact, this advantageous solution allows to obtain the desired reconfigurability of the toy house 1 in that the decorative panels 4, which are printed with decorative designs, can be replaced in a simple and quick manner, as it will be illustrated in detail hereinafter.
  • According to the embodiment illustrated in figures 1 and 2, the bearing structure 2 comprises a plurality of bearing walls, still indicated with the reference number 2, in particular four bearing walls.
  • In this embodiment, the bearing walls 2 are connected to each other rigidly, for example by means of screws or corner fittings, so as to form a rigid and safe bearing structure.
  • The removable decorative panels 4 are thus associated to the bearing walls 2. Specifically, suitably according to the present invention, the toy house 1 comprises corner profiles 5 arranged at the connection points between a bearing wall and the adjacent bearing wall, i.e. at the corners of the bearing structure. In this embodiment, the corner profiles 5 are thus comprised in the means which allow the connection of the decorative panels 4 to the bearing walls 2.
  • In particular, as illustrated further in detail in figure 3, the decorative panels 4 are housed, by means of end portions or peripheral portions thereof, in the spaces formed between the bearing walls 2 and the corner profiles 5, such spaces thus having an extension corresponding to the thickness of the decorative panels 4. Said in other words, the ends of the decorative panels 4 are arranged in a sandwich-like manner between the bearing walls 2 and the corner profiles 5.
  • Upon enclosing the ends of the decorative panels 4, the corner profiles 5 are joined to the bearing structure 2 by means of self-tapping screws. Possibly, further self-tapping screws can be used to join the decorative panels 4 to the bearing structure 2 at further connection points.
  • If one wishes to replace or exchange the decorative panels 4, one simply removes the self-tapping screws and the corner profiles 5, without modifying the bearing structure 2 in any manner whatsoever, i.e. without modifying the structural rigidity of the toy house 1, and then the new decorative panels are mounted using the same self-tapping screws.
  • In the embodiment of figures 1-3, the connection means between the bearing walls 2 and the decorative panels 4 are thus in form of the corner profiles 5 and suitable self-tapping screws which are easily screwed, such self-tapping screws potentially being variable in number depending on the needs and/or circumstances.
  • Furthermore, it should be observed that, in this embodiment, corner profiles 5 can be arranged even at the triangular pediment surmounted by the double-pitched roof 3, same case also applying to the other positions if this is deemed appropriate.
  • In this embodiment, the bearing walls 2 have a thickness of about 6 mm and the decorative panels 4 have a thickness of about 3 mm. However, it should be observed that such measurements are provided solely by way of non-limiting example of the scope of protection of the present invention. For example, the bearing walls could have a thickness of about 9 mm and the decorative panels a thickness of about 6 mm. Generally, the bearing walls could have a thickness comprised between 6 mm and 10 mm, while the decorative panels could have a thickness comprised between 3 mm and 6 mm.
  • Furthermore, the bearing walls 2 and the decorative panels 4 are preferably made of multilayer wood, just like the corner profiles 5 are also made of wood.
  • Furthermore, it should be observed that the bearing structure of the toy house 1 can be reinforced by means of a small structural reinforcement beam 6 arranged at the connections between the bearing walls 2, as illustrated in figure 3. The small structural reinforcement beam 6 is then arranged at the corners of the bearing structure and it has two surfaces at contact with respective surfaces of two bearing walls 2 facing towards the play space S, i.e. towards the internal of the toy house 1. Even the small structural reinforcement beam 6 can be made of wood and it can be joined to the bearing walls 2 by means of self-tapping screws.
  • According to an alternative embodiment of the present invention, illustrated in figure 4, the bearing structure 2 is not provided with bearing walls but it comprises a plurality of vertical bearing elements 2', which act as small pillars or corner bases, and a plurality of beams 2" to form a support framework, still indicated with the reference number 2 in the present document. The vertical bearing elements 2' are arranged at least at the corners of the toy house 1, conferring the desired structural stability thereto. In the embodiment of figure 4, the upper part of the support framework 2 is also shaped so as to form the triangular pediment of the toy house 1, which is covered by the double-pitched roof 3.
  • Now, with reference to figures 5A and 5B, in this alternative embodiment the vertical bearing elements 2' comprise suitable longitudinal grooves designated to house respective structural elements 7, which project transversely from such vertical bearing elements 2'. The grooves extend along the longitudinal axis of the vertical bearing elements 2' and penetrate thereinto by about 10 mm. The structural elements 7 extend transversely (i.e. orthogonally with respect to the longitudinal axis of the bases) by a distance greater than the depth of the grooves so as to project with respect to the surface of the vertical bearing elements 2'.
  • In this manner, the structural elements 7 define, in the projecting portion thereof, a surface S1 to which the decorative panels 4 (in particular the end portions thereof) are associated removably. The structural elements 7 are thus ribs projecting from the vertical bearing elements 2' and the decorative panels 4 are removably associated to these ribs 7 by means of fixing screws, for example Allen bolts.
  • Said in other words, in this embodiment, the connection means between the decorative panels 4 and the bearing structure 2 are represented by the structural elements 7 and by the screws, and thus the bearing structure is configured so as to confer the desired reconfigurability to the toy house 1.
  • The decorative panels 4 are preferably made of multilayer wood and they have a thickness of about 15 mm. Also the bearing structure 2, same case applying to the structural elements 7, are preferably made of wood.
  • In this embodiment, with the aim of replacing a decorative panel 4, it is sufficient to remove the screws that join such panels to the structural elements 7 and associate a new panel to such structural elements 7.
  • It is thus clear that the toy house 1 according to both embodiments of the present invention is easily and continuously reconfigurable, in that the decorative panels 4 are associated to the bearing structure 2 in a non-constrained and removable manner, such decorative panels 4 not having any bearing function. The advantage of the embodiment of figures 1-3 lies in the fact that the decorative panels 4 can have a low thickness, while the advantage of the embodiment of figures 4-5, though more complex from a mechanical point of view, lies in the fact that the bearing structure is much lighter in that it is not provided with bearing walls and the decorative panels represent the walls.
  • As observed previously, in a preferred embodiment, the bearing structure 2 of the toy house 1 is such to define four sides, thus defining a house with rectangular or square-shaped base, in which a decorative panel is associated to each side of the house.
  • Preferably, the decorative panels 4 have a profile that follows and reproduces the profile of the bearing structure 2 so as to cover such structure uniformly. In case of a toy house 1 with a rectangular base and a double-pitched roof 3, the decorative panels 4 at the lateral walls with greater extension are also rectangular-shaped, just like the decorative panels 4 at the facade and at the rear have a shape that reproduces that of the bearing structure, with the upper part being triangular-shaped due to the shape of the double-pitched roof.
  • Obviously, the decorative panels 4 are shaped so as to be able to also include the entrance door of the toy house 1, same case applying possible windows.
  • Advantageously, as mentioned previously, at least one portion of the decorative panels 4 is printed with decorative designs. These decorations can thus regard the entire surface of the decorative panels 4, or specific portions thereof only.
  • In an embodiment, the decorative panels 4 have printed motifs on both of their surfaces with greater extension, so as to be able to confer a different appearance to the toy house 1 by simply rotating them.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the decorative panels 4 are printed using a direct flat printing method. This allows to represent - on the surface of the decorative panels 4 - images that are blended and in colour scale. Preferably, the direct flat printing method used is a UV (ultraviolet) printing method. In UV printing, after being applied to the decorative panel, special UV inks are dried using UV rays almost instantaneously. Such inks contain "photoioniser" components which are responsible for the effectiveness and perfection of the UV printing.
  • Lastly, according to an advantageous aspect of the present invention, the specific motif and/or theme indicated on the decorative panels 4 is selected by the user by means of a specific programme which can accessed by means of an application installed on a user device or by means of a determined internet website.
  • This considerably simplifies and improves the customisation of the toy house 1, in that - by means of a graphic interface of the aforementioned application - it is possible to define the motif of the decorative panels 4, and thus it is possible to define the preferred decoration of the toy house 1.
  • Specifically, the decorations of the decorative panels 4 can be drawings, photographs (for example photographs of the children who will use the toy house 1) or illustrations provided by the user, for example sent by means of the aforementioned application, conferring uniqueness and exclusiveness characteristics to the toy house 1. In particular, it is worth observing the possibility of uploading, by means of the aforementioned application, the photograph and/or the name of the child/children, thus making the design of the toy house 1 of the present invention unique.
  • Purely by way of example, the decoration of the decorative panels 4 may comprise a specific communication theme corresponding to historical period or to an imaginary scene, just like the decoration may comprise both pre-set fixed motifs and motifs selected by the user.
  • Furthermore, by means of aforementioned application, the user can also select the type of roof 3, obtaining a complete customisation of the toy house 1, conferring it further characteristics of uniqueness and exclusivity.
  • In particular, with reference to figure 6, the configuration of the toy house may occur through a system which includes a user device 11, a server 13 and a printing apparatus 15. For example, the user device 11 can be a PC, but it could also be a tablet, a smartphone or the like. The user device 11 may communicate with the server 13 through a network 12, for example an Internet IP network. Furthermore, the server 13 is advantageously configured to send printing instructions to the printing apparatus 15 by means of a suitable connection.
  • Advantageously, the server 13 can be associated to a database 14, in which a plurality of basic configurations is stored; the database 14 can be obtained inside the server 13 or outside the server. Each basic configuration may comprise:
    • a first set of images designated to be printed on the decorative panels according to an arrangement that cannot be modified by means of the user device (11) and
    • a second set of images, that can be selected by means of the user device (11), to be printed on the decorative panels.
  • For example, each basic configuration may correspond to a given theme of an overall design to be applied to a specific toy house.
  • A method for configuring a toy house using the system of figure 6 is described with reference to figure 7.
  • The configuration method comprises the following steps:
    • Step P1: the first user information is provided by means of the user device 1 land is received at the server 13; said first user information represents at least one image and/or writing to be printed on at least one of said decorative panels; for example, the image of a child for whom the toy house is meant, could be transmitted alongside the name of the child. The first user information is supplied in response to an input entered by a user of the user device.
    • Step P2: the second user information is provided by means of the user device 11 and is received at the server 13; the second user information identifies a basic configuration, wherein said basic configuration can be selected, by means of the user device, from among a plurality of basic configurations pre-set and recorded in the database 14 of the basic configurations; in an alternative embodiment, this step could also be absent, and the user device could send the first user information only.
    • Step P3: a decorative design for decorative panels 4 is generated by the server 13 based on the first and second user information provided by means of the user device; should step P2 be absent, the decorative design would be generated only based on the first user information provided in step P1; the generated decorative design comprises an overall design of the toy house to be applied to a plurality of decorative panels, preferably to a plurality of decorative panels which decorate a plurality of walls of the toy house; advantageously, the generated decorative design comprises a design to be printed at least on one front wall and on two lateral walls adjacent to the front wall when the toy house is assembled.
    • Step P4: in this step, the server 13 transmits the generated decorative design, in form of a preview, to the user device 11.
    • Step P5: in this step the user device 11 sends an approval of the generated design to the server 13, said approval including a generated design printing instruction. The approval of the design is supplied in response to an input entered by the user of the user device. In response to the sending of the generated design in step P4, the user could also react with modifications by means of the user device before approving the design.
    • Step P6: in this step, the server 13 sends a printing instruction to the printing apparatus 15; said printing instruction includes the decorative design approved by means of the user device 11.
    • Step P7: in this step, the decorative design is printed on said decorative panels 4; advantageously, the printing is carried out by means of a UV planar printing process applied directly on the panels, advantageously wooden panels, as described previously.
  • Subsequently to step P7, the bearing structure 2 which defines a play space (S) and the connection means configured for connecting the decorative panels 4 to said bearing structure 2 are provided as described previously. The decorative panels 4, the bearing structure 2, and the connection means constitute an assembly kit which can be provided to the end user for assembly in loco.
  • In a preferred embodiment, in step P2, the server 13 provides the user of the user device 11 with a plurality of basic configurations pre-set and recorded in the database 14 of the basic configurations for selection. The user of the user device 11 may thus select a basic configuration from among said plurality of basic configurations stored in the database 14.
  • As mentioned above, in a preferred embodiment, each basic configuration may comprise a first set of invariable images and a second set of images that can be selected by means of the user device 11. In such preferred embodiment, with reference to figure 8, step P3 comprises: (i) configuring the printing of the lateral walls 21, 22 of the toy house using the images of the first set of images of the basic configuration selected by the user, and (ii) configuring the printing of a front wall 20 of the toy house using one or more images selected by means of the user device from among the images belonging to the second set of images of the basic configuration selected by the user. Advantageously, the lateral walls 21, 22 are adjacent to the front wall 20 when the house is in the assembled state. In this manner, it is possible to rapidly configure the design of a three-dimensional object such as the toy house by applying customised elements on the front wall and invariably pre-set elements on the lateral walls depending on the pre-selected basic configuration. This allows a quick and easy customisation of the three-dimensional product by the user of the user device 11, though maintaining a generally satisfactory design level.
  • Still with reference to figure 8, according to a further preferred embodiment, in the processing step P3 the printing of the front wall 20 of the toy house is configured using:
    • one or more images (or selectable elements) 23, 24 selected, by means of the user device, from among the images belonging to the second set of images of the basic configuration, and
    • said first user information representing an image and/or writing supplied by the user device 11 (customised elements 25, 26).
  • In the example of figure 8, the selectable elements 23 and 24 on the front wall 20 can be selected by the user of the user device 11 from among a collection (or "palette") of images belonging to the second set of images associated to the basic configuration selected in step P2. The second set of images of the basic configuration includes a collection of selectable images associated to the first set of invariable images of the same basic configuration, for example images correlated to the same decorative theme. The elements 25 ("Name") and 26 ("Photograph") on the front wall 20 are instead supplied, by means of the user device 11, in form of the first user information, i.e. the customised information including a photograph and/or writing, for example the photo and the name of a child for whom the toy house is meant. In this manner, the front wall 20 can be customised in a quick and easy manner including not only the personal information of the user, but also the images correlated to the pre-selected basic configuration. This allows a quick, pleasant and effective configuration of the decorative design of the three-dimensional product.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the position on the front wall 20 of the selectable elements 23, 24 and of the customised elements 25, 26 is pre-set; in any case, the user could also vary the position after selecting the photos and the images to be applied.
  • According to a further embodiment, each from among the user device 11 and the server 13 could be obtained using a device provided with a processor, a memory and an I/O interface. The memory is configured to store a computer programme which, when run by the respective device processor, causes the processor to execute the steps of the configuration method described above for the user device 11 or for the server 13, respectively. Furthermore, it should be observed that the server 13 must not necessarily be realized by a single device, but it could also be realized in a distributed manner using several physical devices cooperating with each other. In particular, part of the functions of the server 13 described above could also be carried out at the user device 11 should the user device 11 have installed a special application software that allows the execution thereof.
  • In conclusion, the present invention provides a toy house for children provided with a bearing structure, which is fixed and rigid, and decorative panels having printed motifs and removably associated to the bearing structure, ensuring the desired ease of reconfiguration. As a matter of fact, the bearing structure and the connection means of the toy house are suitably configured so as to allow an easy application/removal/replacement of the decorative panels.
  • Advantageously, according to the present invention, the described toy house is extremely versatile and flexible, in that the decorative panels can be easily removed, exchanged, turned and/or replaced, conferring a new appearance to the house each time in a considerably easy manner, with least effort and minimum costs. Said in other words, the toy house for children according to the present invention has a structure that can be reconfigured over time depending on the needs at that particular moment due to the presence of panels fixed in a non-permanent manner, thus overcoming the technical problem of the present invention.
  • Obviously, the aforementioned reconfiguration capacity is obtained by simultaneously guaranteeing maximum safety for the child, in that the bearing structure of the toy house maintains the appropriate rigidity and solidity with the aim of complying with all safety standards, the decorative panels then being associated to such bearing structure using the means configured according to the present invention.
  • Furthermore, the present invention allows a high customisation of the toy house given that the motifs printed on the decorative panels can be directly selected by the user, who may compose the desired motif through a special application previously given thereto and installed on a specially configured user device. Obviously, a hybrid solution in which part of the decoration is fixed and part of the decoration is defined by the user is also possible.
  • Thus, the proposed solution combines a high customisation of the toy house with the high flexibility of use, even with the possibility of mutually combining components with different motifs and finishes.
  • Obviously, with the aim of meeting contingent and specific needs, the toy house described above may be subjected, by a man skilled in the art, to numerous modifications and variants, all comprised within the scope of protection of the invention as defined by the claims that follow.

Claims (15)

  1. Method for configuring a toy house (1) comprising a bearing structure (2) which defines a play space (S) and which can be connected to a plurality of decorative panels (4) through connection means, the method comprising the steps of:
    - receiving (P1) first user information provided by means of a user device (11), said first user information representing at least one image and/or a writing to be printed on at least one of said decorative panels;
    - generating (P3) a decorative design for decorative panels (4) based on the first user information provided by means of the user device (11),
    - printing (P7) said generated decorative design on said decorative panels (4);
    - providing a bearing structure (2) defining a play space (S); and
    - providing connection means configured so that the decorative panels (4) can be removably associated to said bearing structure (2), obtaining a reconfigurable system.
  2. The method according to claim 1, further comprising the step (P2) of receiving second user information provided by means of said user device (11), wherein said second user information identifies a basic configuration that can be selected by means of the user device (11) from among a plurality of basic configurations that are pre-set and recorded in a database (14) of the basic configurations,
    wherein, in said step (P3) of generating a decorative design for decorative panels (4), the decorative design is generated based jointly on said first and second user information.
  3. The method according to claim 2, wherein each basic configuration comprises:
    - a first set of images designated to be printed on the decorative panels according to an arrangement that cannot be modified by means of the user device (11) and
    - a second set of images, that can be selected by means of the user device (11), to be printed on the decorative panels.
  4. The method according to claim 3, wherein said step (P3) for generating the decorative design comprises:
    - configuring the printing of the lateral walls (21, 22) of the toy house using the images of the first set of images of the basic configuration identified by the second user information,
    - configuring the printing of a front wall (20) of the toy house using one or more images selected by means of the user device (11) from among the images of the second set of images of the basic configuration identified by the second user information.
  5. The method according to claim 3 or 4, wherein the step (P3) of generating the decorative design comprises configuring the printing of a front wall of the toy house using:
    - one or more images, selected by means of the user device, from among the images belonging to the second set of images of the basic configuration identified by the second user information, and
    - said first user information provided by means of the user device (11).
  6. The method according to one of claims 1 to 5, wherein said generated decorative design is designated to be printed on a plurality of decorative panels (4) which, when the toy house is assembled, form a plurality of walls of the toy house.
  7. Toy house (1) for children comprising a bearing structure (2) which defines a play space (S), said bearing structure (2) being connectable to a plurality of decorative panels (4) by means of connection means, characterised in that said connection means are configured so that the decorative panels (4) are removably associated to said bearing structure (2), obtaining a reconfigurable system.
  8. Toy house (1) according to claim 7, wherein said bearing structure is provided with bearing walls (2) to which said decorative panels (4) are associated, and wherein said connection means comprise a corner profile (5) arranged at least at each connection between a bearing wall and the adjacent bearing wall.
  9. Toy house (1) according to claim 8, wherein said bearing walls (2) have a thickness of about 6-10 mm and wherein said decorative panels (4) have a thickness of about 3-6 mm.
  10. Toy house (1) according to any one of claims 8 to 9, comprising self-tapping screws suitable to be screwed into said corner profiles (5), into said decorative panels (4) and into said bearing walls (2).
  11. Toy house (1) according to any one of claims 7 to 10, comprising four sides which define a rectangular or square-shaped base, and a double-pitched roof (3), wherein a decorative panel is associated to each side.
  12. Toy house (1) according to any one of claims 7 to 11, wherein said bearing structure (2) is made of wood and said decorative panels (4) are made of multilayer wood.
  13. Toy house (1) according to any one of claims 7 to 12, wherein at least one portion of said decorative panels (4) has printed motifs.
  14. Toy house (1) according to claim 13, wherein said decorative panels (4) have printed motifs on both of their surfaces with greater extension.
  15. Toy house (1) according to claim 13 or 14, wherein said decorative panels (4) are printed using a direct flat printing method.
EP19152792.8A 2018-01-22 2019-01-21 Method for configuring a toy house and improved toy house for children Pending EP3513852A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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IT201800001351 2018-01-22
IT201800008929 2018-09-26

Publications (1)

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EP (1) EP3513852A1 (en)

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0711585A2 (en) * 1994-10-11 1996-05-15 Larry David Hunts Construction system and method for connecting rigid sheet-like panels together into doll houses, play houses, utility sheds and other structures
US8371895B1 (en) * 2002-04-08 2013-02-12 People Innovate For Economy Foundation, Inc. Toy play set
US8827763B2 (en) * 2012-11-30 2014-09-09 Christopher DeBlanco My own garage—a functional solution for the imagination of all ages
WO2015071821A1 (en) * 2013-11-13 2015-05-21 Aime Enrico Modular prefabricated panel for buildings, in particular for houses

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0711585A2 (en) * 1994-10-11 1996-05-15 Larry David Hunts Construction system and method for connecting rigid sheet-like panels together into doll houses, play houses, utility sheds and other structures
US8371895B1 (en) * 2002-04-08 2013-02-12 People Innovate For Economy Foundation, Inc. Toy play set
US8827763B2 (en) * 2012-11-30 2014-09-09 Christopher DeBlanco My own garage—a functional solution for the imagination of all ages
WO2015071821A1 (en) * 2013-11-13 2015-05-21 Aime Enrico Modular prefabricated panel for buildings, in particular for houses

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None

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