GB2417003A - Flying spinning top - Google Patents

Flying spinning top Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2417003A
GB2417003A GB0417809A GB0417809A GB2417003A GB 2417003 A GB2417003 A GB 2417003A GB 0417809 A GB0417809 A GB 0417809A GB 0417809 A GB0417809 A GB 0417809A GB 2417003 A GB2417003 A GB 2417003A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
spinner
blades
spindle
central
disc
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.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB0417809A
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GB0417809D0 (en
Inventor
Nank Dekker
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.)
Megaprint Group Ltd
Original Assignee
Megaprint Group Ltd
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Megaprint Group Ltd filed Critical Megaprint Group Ltd
Priority to GB0417809A priority Critical patent/GB2417003A/en
Publication of GB0417809D0 publication Critical patent/GB0417809D0/en
Publication of GB2417003A publication Critical patent/GB2417003A/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H27/00Toy aircraft; Other flying toys ; Starting or launching devices therefor
    • A63H27/12Helicopters ; Flying tops

Abstract

A flying spinner comprising a central hub or disc portion (28), a cross cross-sectioned spindle (50), in use being arranged in the centre of and perpendicular to the central hub or disc portion (28), and a plurality of blades (22) extending radially outward from the central hub or disc portion (28). The spinner can be used to improve reflex, co-ordination and dexterity in a user. It can be gripped by the central spindle (50) between a thumb and an opposing finger and then rotated to cause the spinner to fly by virtue of the lift force generated by the blades (22), which form aerofoils.

Description

24 1 7003 Flying Novelty Pieces and Uses Therefore The present invention

relates to flying novelty pieces, or spinners, and uses therefore, such as exercises and game play. The spinners, additionally, are particularly for use and collection by children and may be for inclusion in cereal packets and the like as promotional items.

Flying discs and the like are well known in the art. For example, there are Frisbees (RTM) and Aerobees (RTM). There are also numerous examples already in the public domain of discs which rotate around a central spindle. Spinning tops (spinners) are examples of such items. Typically such devices are intended to rotate on a flat surface, such that lateral movement of the spinner is created by both the slope of surface and the spinning motion itself.

'I'he above toys generally are of a large size (in terms of either their thickness or their overall size). Correspondingly they are of a relative high cost to manufacture or are difficult to package within food packs or packets, such as cereal packets. The present invention, therefore, seeks to provide spinners for children that can be produced in very high volumes and yet be sufficiently inexpensive and small to be packaged as premium items or novelty pieces in food packs or packets, for example, cereal packets. Further, the present invention builds on the known devices to create a flying novelty piece having aerodynamic properties. In its various configurations, the present invention is intended to "fly" through the air when rapidly rotated between the fingers of the user and released.

The present invention, therefore, preferably has following characteristics: 1. It should be capable of being manufactured automatically in very large volumes; 2. It should be capable of being delivered flat, so that it can be inserted easily, for example, into packages for food products such as cereals or snack foods; 3. It should have waveability, i.e. it should be reuseable or reintroduceable in a series of phases or waves over time. Each wave of the product would be differentiated from other waves of the product by, for example, changing the shape, using more or fewer blades, using alternative materials, or using different printing techniques or artwork; f: 4. It should be designed to be safe, within the meaning of current Toy Safety legislation in Europe; and 5. It should be food safe, i.e. not likely to taint the colour, flavour or smell of food stuffs. Alternatively it may be packaged so as to be food safe.

The present invention, therefore, provides a spinner comprising a central hub or disc portion, a multi-arm cross-sectioned spindle, in use being arranged in the centre of and perpendicular to the central hub or disc portion, and a plurality of blades extending radially outward from the central hub or disc portion.

Preferably there are between two and six blades. More preferably there are between three and five blades.

Preferably the spindle has three or more arms. Most preferably it has a cross-shaped cross section, i.e. having four arms. The arms provide a grip means for the shaft of the spindle.

Prior art shafts on spinners typically have a circular cross section.

Preferably the blades are equally spaced about the central hub or disc portion.

Preferably the blades have a rotational symmetry.

I'here may be two central hubs or disc portions, each having, for example, two blades extending radially outward therefrom. Therefore, for a spinner with four blades, two blade components (each with a hub or disc portion, and two blades) can be stacked together with a spindle in the centre of, and perpendicular, to the central hubs or disc portions.

Preferably the two blades of each hub or disc portion extend diametrically. Then the two components can be arranged perpendicular to each other to form a spinner having four equally spaced blades.

Preferably the or each central hub or disc portion is square, circular or square with rounded or chamfered corners.

Preferably the central spindle is formed from two generally arrow-shaped elements that are slotted together, perpendicular to each other, so as to form a cross section. Three such elements, however, could be used to form a six-armed spindle. Alternatively the central spindle may be injection molded with alternative cross sections.

Preferably the central spindle is formed as a separate component to the blades and central hub or disc portion. It can then be inserted through a corresponding aperture (or some other appropriately shaped aperture - a three armed spindle would fit in a six armed aperture, for example) in the centre of the or each hub or disc portion. However, the spinner may be formed as a one-piece device, for example by injection molding, the spindle therefore being integral with the blades and central hub or disc portion.

Preferably, the spinner is formed from a flat sheet of material, such as a card (e.g. cardboard) or a plastic sheet - a blank. The user is then required to press out the constituent parts of the device from the flat sheet of material. Most preferably the sheet is either a plastic sheet or an injection moulded material. It could be made from any one of a variety of materials such as polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), paper board or some other similar material. It may alternatively be injection molded in a frame, similar to the components of Airfix (RTM) models.

For a central spindle formed from two elements, preferably one element has a first slot and a second element has a second slot, half the length of the first slot. Preferably the first slot is approximately two thirds of the length of the first element. The two elements, when slotted together, perpendicular to each other via the two slots, form a cross cross-sectioned central spindle.

Preferably the spindle is approximately 25mm long. However, the length of the spindle may vary with the size of the blades. For example, in a giant spinner, the size of the spindle could be proportionately much larger.

Preferably the spindle and the blades have approximately similar lengths, or lengths of the same order of magnitude. More preferably, the lengths of the blades are no less than 50% of the length of the spindle.

The assembled spindle preferably has a secure connection between its constituent elements. This may involve the constituent elements being bonded together, for example by an adhesive or a weld. However, just the long and short slots provide a stronger construction than equal length slots - one of the elements will retain its full stiffness for a longer length of its length since the slot does not extend along it very far. The strength is useful because the central spindle, in use, will be subjected to significant torque forces by the fingers of the user. Therefore, increased strength will help to prevent it from being damaged by use.

Preferably, the central spindle is formed from a sheet of material having a thicker thickness than the sheet used to form the blades. Preferably the central spindle is formed from a material having a thickness of approximately 0.8mm. The blades and the central disc preferably then are formed from a material having a thickness of approximately 0.5mm, i.e. approximately 5/8 of the thickness. This allows the spinner to be lighter, without compromising the strength of the spindle, thereby improving the flight characteristics of the spinner. They may both be formed, however, from a sheet having a uniform thickness.

For premium items to go in snack food packs or packets, or the like, however, they will more usually be formed from one sheet of material having a common thickness.

Around the radially outermost tips of the blades, a circle of material may additionally be provided. This provides stiffness for the spinner, holding the blades in a more fixed relative position to each other. Further, it provides stability for the spinner, like a gyroscope.

Further, the circle of material surrounding the blades provides an element of safety for the device since the blades are then closed, and are therefore less likely to cause an injury to the user, or an observer, for example if the spinner was to hit someone in the eye.

Where the circle of material is provided, preferably the lengths of the blades are between and 80% of the lengths of the spindle, and most preferably about 60% or about 70%.

Preferably the blades and the central hub or disc portion are integrally formed. lit

Preferably the circle of material surrounding the blades is integrally formed with the blades.

Preferably the radial width of the circle of material is about 4mm. Alternatively, the radial width of the circle of material may be between 20% and 40% of the length of the spindle.

Most preferably the radial width is approximately 25% of the lengths of the blades.

Preferably the blades and the central disc are substantially separated from each other, but have a central non-separated portion by means of which the blades are attached to the central hub or disc portion. Preferably the substantial separation is formed by two nicks, leaving the central non-separated portion. The blades may be rotated about that portion by deforming the connection. The rotation forms aerofoils, i.e. propellers.

Preferably the circle of material surrounding the blades is attached to the tips of the blades by a similar "substantial separation". The two nicks for this connection, however, will be longer than for the other connection if the blade is wider at its tip than at its base, i.e. near the central hub or disc portion.

Preferably the nicks are formed by die-cutting.

The nicks are either straight or arcuate.

Preferably the nicks terminate at substantially circular apertures. Each circular aperture reduces stress concentrations at the end of its associated nick. This reduces the likelihood of a failure of the connection as the blades are rotated to form the aerofoils.

Preferably the blades have substantially straight edges. The edges may extend radially from the hub. However, they preferably extend outwardly, but non-radially. They may therefore provide a broader blade depth either near the hub or near the tip than radially extending edges would provide. Alternatively the blades may have either concave or convex edges. Different variants will offer different flight characteristics.

The tips of the blades may be substantially square, or may be substantially rounded to blend with the edges of the blades. If there is no circle of material surrounding the blades, however, then the blades preferably have rounded tips. They reduce the likelihood of an injury occurring should the spinner hit a user or observer in the eye.

Preferably the material used for forming the spinner can be printed upon or is coloured.

Preferably logos or advertising slogans are displayed on the spinners. The circle of material, for example, provides a very suitable surface for identifying promoters or advertising slogans - it extends continuously around the spinner's circumference. Such printed material may also include licensed items, such as television, film or brand characters, that are typically used in conjunction with certain words, slogans or trademarks as part of a promotional campaign.

Preferably the spinners are coloured or patterned to give special effects, such as the appearance of flashing, under normal artificial light (e.g. from a 50 or 60Hz AC electricity supply) when the device is rotated at the speeds achievable by finger driven rotation.

Special effect inks or colourings may also be used, such as glow in the dark ink or heat reveal inks, for further effects.

The present invention also provides a blank for forming a spinner comprising a sheet of material having formed therein substantially cutout shapes for forming the spinner defined above.

Preferably the sheet is a die cut and/or scored sheet.

Preferably the blank is about 52mm long and between 40 and 60mm wide.

The blades of the spinners typically will be between 20 and 30mm long. Preferably they are approximately 25mm long.

Preferably the thickness of the blank is between 0.3 and Imm. Most preferably its thickness is either or both 0.5mm and/or 0.8mm. The blank may be given multiple / thickness by pressing the blank before, during or after cutting the shapes of the elements and the blades therein. Alternatively the blank may be extruded, molded or rolled to form the multiple thicknesses. For example, 0.5mm is a desirable thickness for the portion comprising the blades and 0.8mm is a desirable thickness for the portion comprising the two elements for the central spindle.

Preferably the assembled blades of the spinner are dimensioned to fit within a square having the dimensions of 50mm by 50mm. This can be with or without the circle of material thereabout.

Preferably the spindle receiving aperture is die cut into the blank. However, it may be partially cut out, with a core being left therein for pushing out before assembly of the spinner.

Preferably the arms of the spindle-receiving aperture are oriented at a different angle to the orientation of the blades. This provides a maximum length of material, or a maximum average distance, between the ends of the arms of the aperture and the connection between the blades and the central hub or disc portion.

For a four bladed spinner and a cross-shaped aperture, the preferred angle of offset between the blades and the arms of the cross-shaped aperture is 45 .

Preferably no arm of the spindle receiving aperture points directly at a connection between a blade and the central hub or disc portion.

Preferably the material for the blades is chosen so as to be plastically deformable, i.e. pliable, to allow the blades to be manipulated by the user out of plane, to provide the aerofoils. This is because the product is usually delivered flat. Preferably the blades are repetitively deformable, i.e. the material is not susceptible to fatigue failure, so that a user can adjust the blades' orientation out of plane for optimising the aerofoil effect of the blades. For example, steeper aerofoils provide a greater lift, but result in more air resistance, thereby slowing the blades' rotation more quickly. However, lesser angles, although providing less lift, will allow the spinner to continue to spin for longer periods of

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time, and therefore potentially for further distances. It is nevertheless believed that an optimum angle is likely to be about 45 .

Preferably the spinner is formed from a food safe material, i.e. one that will not contaminate or taint the flavour, colour or smell of food products either maintained in the vicinity of or maintained in contact with the spinner.

For packaging in a cereal packet, for example, preferably the spinner, the blank or components for forming the spinner, are packaged within a food safe wrapper, such as a l O plastics, heat-sealed, wrap, as is known in the art of food packaging.

The present invention also provides a reflex and dexterity development device comprising a spinner as defined above, the spinner comprising a spindle sized for manipulation by a thumb and an opposing finger of a user.

Preferably two such spinners are provided, one for each hand of the user, thereby additionally enabling the development of co-ordination.

The present invention also provides a method of improving reflex, coordination and dexterity in a user comprising: providing a spinner as defined above, gripping the central spindle between a thumb and an opposing finger, causing by relative movement of the thumb and finger (or fingers), together with pressure against the spindle, the spinner to spin about the longitudinal axis of the central spindle, and then releasing the spinner.

Preferably two spinners are provided, one for each hand of the user, for improving the co- ordination and dexterity of two hands of the user. The method comprises the steps of spinning the two spinners at the same time, one by each hand of the user.

The present invention also provides a child's entertainment product comprising a spinner as defined above and a target for placement on a floor or some other surface. /

Use of the product may involve spinning the spinner with one hand, and releasing the spinner so as to aim to land the spinner on the target.

The present invention also provides a game comprising two or more spinners as defined above, the game involving the steps of at least one person spinning a spinner and realising it with their fingers, and at least one other persons attempting to hit the first person's spinner with their own spinner.

The attempt to hit the other spinner can be made during the flight of the other spinner.

Preferably, however, a first person first releases his or her spinner and the second person then attempts to hit that first spinner with his own spinner by landing upon it.

The present invention also comprises a kit of parts comprising two or more spinners as defined above and target. Preferably the target is a box for the spinners, the box comprising a surface thereon marked with the target.

The present invention therefore provides a novelty piece that is both fun to use and which has waveability. A multiplicity of changes to the appearance or shape of products may be implemented over time. Therefore, although any wave or release of a promotional premium may typically have a short life, which diminishes in terms of its attractiveness to consumers as the consumers become familiar with the item, the life of the present invention can be increased with waveability, i.e. by altering its shape, using more or fewer blades, using alternative materials, or using different printing techniques or artwork.

I hese and other aspects of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is a top plan view of a first embodiment of a spinner in accordance with the present invention; Figure 2 is a bottom plan view of the spinner of Figure 1; f: Figure 3 is a side elevation view of the spinner of Figure l; Figure 4 is a perspective view of the spinner of Figure 1.

Figure 5 is a bottom plan view of a second embodiment of spinner according to the present invention; Figure 6 is a perspective view of the spinner of Figure 5; lO Figure 7 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of spinner according to the present invention; Figure 8 shows a package comprising a blank with cut-out elements for forming the spinner of Figure 7; Figure 9 is a bottom plan view of a fourth embodiment of spinner according to the present invention; Figure l O is a perspective view of the spinner of Figure 9; Figure 11 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment of spinner according to the present invention; Figure 12 is a perspective view of a sixth embodiment of spinner in accordance with the present invention; Figure 13 is a perspective view of a seventh embodiment of spinner in accordance with the present invention; Figure 14 schematically shows a first game play for the present invention; Figure 15 schematically shows a second game play for the present invention; Figure 16 schematically shows a third game play for the present invention, and Figure 17 shows a kit of parts in accordance with another aspect of the present invention.

Referring to Figures I to 4, a first embodiment of spinner in accordance with the present invention is shown. The spinner comprises an outer circle of material 20 that circumscribes four blades 22. Each blade 22 has a pair of edges 24, 26, one of which can be referred to as a leading edge 24 and one of which can be referred to as a trailing edge 26.

Referring to Figure 4, each blade 22 is reoriented or rotated out of plane with the outer circle of material 20 to form an aerofoil. To make this rotation hold, the material is usually plastically deformed by the rotation.

The angle out of plane to which the blade is rotated can be chosen by the user by rotating it either more or less out of plane. However, as can be seen in Figure 3, this angle may be approximately 30 . A preferred range of angles, however, may be from 0 to 60 . Further, different blades may be rotated to different angles. A user may find optimum angles for any particular spinner by trial and error.

By changing the angle of rotation out of plane of the blades, different flight properties can be provided for the spinner. For example with a large angle, more lilt will be provided by the aerofoils. However, the downside is that more air resistance will be experienced, thereby slowing down the rotation of the spinner more quickly. Reducing the angle will reduce the air resistance, thereby allowing the spinner to keep rotating for longer, but there will then be a resultant drop in lift.

Reterring to the views of Figures l and 4, rotating the spinner anticlockwise will cause the aerofoils to provide the spinner with an uplift force. It is with such rotation that the leading edge of each blade is the blade marked with reference sign 24. The trailing edge, accordingly, is the edge marked with reference sign 26. /

The middle section of the spinner comprises a central hub or disc portion 28 (the central disc). This central disc 28 has a generally square shape. However, it has rounded corners.

Referring to Figure 5, however, which shows a second embodiment, the central disc 28 can alternatively have square-cut corners. Further, referring to Figure 9, which shows another embodiment, the central disc 28 can have a circular shape, rather than a square shape.

Other shapes are also possible. For example a pentagon may be used for a five bladed spinner or a triangle may be used for a three bladed spinner. Further, the points of such polygons may be rounded or squared-off. In another alternative configuration, the sides need not be straight.

The central disc 28, the blades 22 and the circle of material 20 are all integrally formed from a single sheet of material. This enables the items to be manufactured from sheet-stock very inexpensively, for example by die-cuting.

The central disc 28 has a cross-shaped aperture (see Figure 8) pressed or cut out of its centre. The arms of the cross-shape aperture 30 are oriented at an angle of 45 relative to the orientation of the blades 22. This provides a maximum amount of material between the ends of the arms of the aperture and the connection between the blades and the central disc 28. This increases the strength of the spinner. With three or five blades, as shown in Figures 9 to 13, different orientations for the cross are provided. The angle, however, is not necessarily crucial to the operation of spinner. The angle just makes the embodiments stronger.

If required, the strength of the spinner can alternatively or additionally be increased by the choice of material used for forming the spinner plastics, for example, are often stronger than paper or card.

Different numbers of arms for the spindle will allow additional configurations to be used.

For example, five-armed spindles for a five-bladed spinner can be arranged at an offset of 36 . Three-armed spindles for a three-bladed spinner, however, can be arranged at an offset of 60 . - \

Referring again to Figure 1, the blades 22 are attached to the central disc 28 by connections 32, defined by nicks 36. Similar connections 34, defined by nicks 40, connect the blades 22 to the outer circle of material 20.

In preferred embodiments, the arms of the aperture are oriented relative to the blades such that an arm of the aperture does not directly point at a connection between the central disc and a blade 22. In this manner, a longer distance is provided between the arm of the aperture and the connection. This results in a stronger construction for the spinner. Figure 9 shows that an arm of the cross member can point directly at a connection. However, a sufficient length or distance of material is provided by the central disc between the end of the arm and the connection for the structure to have sufficient strength to survive repetitive use of the spinner.

The connections 32 between the blades 22 and the central disc 28 extend across a small fraction of the width of each blade. For each blade, two straight nicks 36, which are collinear to each other, extend from the connection 32 to the blade edge. The connections and nicks define the radially innermost boundary of the blades 22. Since there are four blades, the nicks define the straight sides of the square-shape of the central disc 28. The nicks could, however, be arcs instead of being straight, thereby perhaps defining a circle, as in Figure 9.

Referring to Figure 1, the nicks 36 all terminate near the connections 32 at circular apertures 38. The circular apertures, two on each end of each blade 22 - i.e. two at the central disc and two at the outer circle of material, reduce stress concentrations in the connections upon rotating the blades out of plane from the central disc and the outer circle of material.

After rotating the blades 22, the central disc 28 preferably remains in plane with the outer circle of material 20, as shown in Figure 3.

As mentioned above, connections 34, defined by nicks 40, connect the radially outer most part of the blades 22 to the outer circle of material. However, these nicks 40 additionally define the radially outermost boundary of the blades 22. They are formed as arcs, each defining a part of the same circle, which circle also defines the inner circular boundary 42 of the outer circle of material 20. The inner boundary 42 is concentric with an outer boundary 44 of the outer circle of material 20. Further, the rounded off corners of the square forming the central disc 28 all form arcs 46 of a circle that is also concentric with the inner and outer boundaries 42, 44 of the outer circle of material 20.

Between the blades 22, spaces 48 are provided for allowing airflow over the blades 22 during rotation of the spinner.

Referring now to Figures 4 and 8, the spinner additionally comprises a cross-sectioned spindle formed of two generally arrow-shaped elements 52, 54. The two arrow-shaped elements each comprise a shaft portion 56 and a head portion 58. The head portions 58 are generally triangular, whereas the shaft portions 56 are generally rectangular. However, the bases of the shaft portions 56 are rounded 60. Further, the triangular shapes of the head portions 58 are truncated 62 at each corner. These features remove sharp edges that might otherwise cause an injury in the event that, for example, the spinner should hit a user or bystander in the eye.

The first arrow shaped element 52 comprises a slot 64 extending from the base of the shaft 56 for approximately two thirds of the length of the arrow-shaped element 52. The second arrow-shaped element 54 has a slot 66 extending from the tip of the arrow-shaped element 54 for approximately one third of the length of the arrow-shaped element 54 towards the base of the arrow-shaped element 54. The slots have a width corresponding to the widths of the arrow shaped elements - both elements usually have the same width.

The slots allow the two elements 52, 54 to be fitted together by sliding them into each other. If required, the two elements may then be glued or welded together to form a more solid structure for the central spindle 50.

The assembled central spindle 50 is then pushed through the cross-shaped aperture 30 so that the rounded base 60 extends below the central disc 28. 'I'he shaft portion 56 therefore provides a rotatable spindle for the spinner so as to allow a user to spin the spinner with his fingers. The interaction of the two cross shapes (the section of the spindle and the shape of / the aperture) prevent any need for an adhesive or other permanent bond between the spindle and the blade portion - they key together.

Referring now to Figures 5 and 6, a second embodiment of spinner is shown. In this embodiment, no outer circle of material 20 is provided. Theblades, therefore, are open.

As before, the blades 22 have connecting portions 32 for connecting them to the central disc 28. Additionally, the central spindle 50 is cross cross-sectioned and formed from two elements. However, the radially outermost ends of the blades 22 are, in this second embodiment, rounded, rather than bounded by an outer circle of material. By being rounded, the blades are less likely to cause injury to a user or a bystander, for example if they were to be hit in the eye by the spinner, than if they were squared off. The blades are substantially square ended in the first embodiment, but there there is an outer circle of material to prevent injury.

Again nicks 36 are provided for allowing rotation of the blades 22 out of plane from the central disc 28. The nicks 36 further again terminate at circular apertures 38 to reduce stress concentrations upon rotation of the blades out of plane from the central disc 28. The remaining features are common with the first embodiment.

Referring now to Figures 7 and 8, a third embodiment is shown in which the blades are formed from two elements 68, 70. Each blade element 68, 70 is substantially identical, having two blades, substantially similar to the blades of the second embodiment. They extend diametrically from a central disc that is substantially similar to the central disc of the second embodiment. Also, a cross-shaped aperture is again provided, but this time in both central discs. They receive the central spindle.

The two blade elements and the two elements for the spindle are arranged in the blank so that they all extend with parallel longitudinal orientations. The advantage of this manufacturing configuration is that less waste material will be produced, as compared to an embodiment in which four blades extend from a single central disc, thereby reducing costs. Further, the blank for the spinners will therefore be smaller. As a result it will lend itself more to being packaged as a premium item for cereal packets, or as some other such promotional insert.

To assemble the spinner shown in Figure 7 from the components or elements shown in Figure 8, which elements are die-cut into a blank 72 of sheet material, and packaged in a food safe wrapping 74, the two blade elements 68, 70 and the two arrow-shaped elements 52, 54 are pressed from the blank 72. Then, the two arrow-shaped elements 52, 54 are interlocked via the slots to form the central spindle 50, as described above. Next a first blade element 68 is fitted over the central spindle 50 via the cross-shaped aperture 30 and pushed up against the head portion 58. Next the second blade element is pushed onto the spindle 50, at a right angle to the first blade element, so as to rest against the first blade element. This forms a four bladed spinner in which the blades are equally spaced around the central discs.

Once assembled, the angle of rotation out of plane for the blades 22 can be altered or set as required, as with the other embodiments.

Referring now to Figures 9 and 10, a fourth embodiment of spinner is shown. In this embodiment only three blades are provided. Further no outer circle of material is provided. The blades again have rounded tips. In this fourth embodiment, however, the central disc is circular, rather than square with rounded corners. Although a preferred feature, the central disc could instead be generally triangular or perhaps six sided. Corners of such shapes might still be rounded or truncated.

With the circular central disc, the nicks form arcs of that circle.

I'he other features are generally as already described above.

Figures 11, 12 and 13 show fifth, sixth and seventh embodiments of spinner. These, respectively, have three, five and five blades. Only the embodiments of Figures 11 and 12, however, have an outer circle of material 20.

The features of these additional embodiments are also otherwise as described above.

Accordingly a further discussion of them is unnecessary.

Depending on the size of the spinner, it is possible that six or more blades might be provided. However, additional blades add to the weight of the spinner, thereby reducing its efficiency in flight.

The spinners of the present invention will be useful in developing coordination, reflexes and dexterity in users, and especially children. Accordingly, a first use of the spinners would be for developing such coordination, reflex or dexterity of a user by allowing the users to spin one spinner. However, in a further use of the spinner, two spinners could be used by a user to help develop the co-ordination and dexterity of both hands of the user at the same time.

The spinners of the present invention, however, additionally can be used in game play.

Two game play suggestions: "Drop Zone" - uses a target on the ground; "Dogfight" - in-flight combat.

The game play objectives, generally, are to win spinners from your opponents.

How do you play both games? 1. Declare the airfield combat arena. It can be anywhere outside, or anywhere inside.

"Drop Zone" Game Play 2. Place the target (the Drop Zone) in the combat area. It may be a bulls- eye drawing on a piece of paper placed on the ground. Some other target, such as a chips packet, will

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3. Players are then allowed one practice attempt to hit the target. Both players fly spinners into the airfield combat area. Aim for the designated target. The player who lands closest to the target can choose to go either first or second.

4. Take Off! Player 1 flies out his spinner aiming to get as close to the target as possible.

5. Player 2 waits until Player l's spinner has landed. He then launches to try to land closer to the target.

6. Players continue to launch spinners taking turns. At the end of the game, the closest to the target wins the game - this is called a Bullseye.

If a player's spinner lands on top of an opponent's spinner, it's a "ground strike" and the player wins the spinner.

Inbound spinners may knock a landed spinner off the target area. A spinner is not won in this manner. Contact must be maintained in order to win the spinner.

An alternative game play: "Drop Zone EXTREME!" In this alternative game, the target is hidden behind something, for example, a door, a tree, or some other obstacle. Therefore, blind flying skills are required.

Pilots are allowed one RECCE (a reconnaissance) before game play starts. The game then proceeds as described above for "drop zone".

"Extreme" acrobatic skill is required to fly spinners around the corner or obstacle in order to land on target.

Only the spinners of the present invention, due to their ability to fly, rather than just drop, allow this curved flying motion. This technical advantage over other games pieces, therefore, provides a technical characteristic distinguishing them over other games pieces. //

"Dogfight" Game Play 2. To decide who starts, each player launches a "long haul" spinner. i.e. tries to fire a spinner for as long a distance as possible. The two spinners, one by each player, are launched simultaneously, and the player who lands furthest away is the first attacking player.

3. Player 1 (the long haul loser) launches a spinner.

4. Player 2 launches while player 1's spinner is still airborne.

The aim of the game is to hit your opponent's spinner in mid air - an "intercept". If successful, player 2 wins player l's spinner. However, player 1 then has a chance to win back his spinner by taking the next turn to attack.

The game continues either for an agreed number of attack missions or until an agreed time limit is reached.

The spinners of the present invention also offer the following new characteristics for enhancing play possibilities due to their ability to fly.

1. Aerobatics - curve and boomerang flight 2. They help improve coordination since skill is required to throw/launch/aim them accurately.

3. In-flight intercepts, tune your spinners for optimum performance - it is possible to alter the duration or range of flight.

4. Avoid intercepts by adjusting aerofoils for high speed, long distance, or rapid climb, high altitude flights.

In summary, proposed game play has the following rules: "Drop Zone"

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- Closest to target is winner - Players are allowed to knock each other's spinners off the target area during landing.

- If your spinner lands on top of an opponent's spinner it's a ground strike and you win their spinner.

"Dogfight" - If you intercept an opponent's spinner at any time while it's still airborne, you win their spinner.

- If you miss your opponent's spinner in mid air, they attack your spinner in the next turn.

An alternative rule - whenever you win an attack, you have the right to attack again in the next turn.

It is also possible to play squadron battles - two players fly out two spinners and two attackers attempt to shoot them down with their own spinners.

For all games, players usually declare before the game starts how many spinners will be involved (or agree a time duration for the game, e.g. 10 minutes).

Rares/Specials - Waveability The product can be varied over time. Such variations may include, but are not limited to: The size and the number of the aerofoil blades, and their angle of attack, to enhance or add options to game play.

Glow in the dark plastics, heat reveal materials, and sticker effects. These changes also can be used to make one or more collectable series.

Additional Stand-Alone Game Play Boomerang. Fly out and try to catch the spinner as it curves back towards you. This is good for developing coordination and reflexes.

Synchro Spin - Fly two spinners at the same time and coordinate their aerobatics - this requires coordination and ambidexterity so is good for developing coordination and dexterity.

Blade Bounce - spin a spinner towards a wall and try to catch it on the way back. This is good for developing reflexes.

Long Haul Flights - how far can you go? This is good for developing coordination and dexterity.

Collector's add-on elements It is also possible to supply the spinners with a box with markings thereon, for example runways, hangers, landing pads and a bullseye target, as shown in figure 17.

The present invention has been described above purely by way of example. Modifications in detail may be made within the scope of the invention as defined by the claims appending hereto. - 22

Claims (31)

1. A spinner comprising a central hub or disc portion, a multi-arm crosssectioned spindle, in use being arranged in the centre of and perpendicular to the central hub or disc portion, and a plurality of blades extending radially outward from the central hub or disc portion.
2. A spinner according to claim I comprising between two and six blades.
3. A spinner according to claim I or 2 wherein the spindle has a crossshaped cross section with four arms.
4. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising two central hubs or disc portions, each having two blades extending radially outward therefrom.
5. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the or each central hub or disc portion is square, circular or square with rounded or chamfered corners.
6. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the central spindle is formed from two generally arrow-shaped elements that are slotted together, perpendicular to each other, so as to form a cross section.
7. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the spinner is formed from a flat sheet of material and is for assembly by pressing out the constituent parts of the device from the flat sheet of material.
8. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the central spindle is formed from two elements, one element having a first slot and a second element having a second slot, half the length of the first slot.
9. A spinner according to claim 8, wherein the first slot is approximately two thirds of the length of the first element.
10. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the central spindle is formed from a sheet of material having a thicker thickness than the sheet used to form the blades.
11. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blades and the central hub or disc portion are integrally formed.
12. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blades and the central disc are substantially separated from each other, but have a central non-separated portion by means of which the blades are attached to the central hub or disc portion, the substantial separation formed by two nicks, leaving the central non-separated portion.
13. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein, around the radially outermost tips of the blades, a circle of material is additionally provided.
14. A spinner according to claim 13, wherein the circle of material surrounding the blades is integrally formed with the blades.
15. A spinner according to claim 13 or claim 14, wherein the circle of material surrounding the blades is attached to the tips of the blades by a connection defined by two nicks and a connection.
16. A spinner according to claim 12 or claim 15, wherein the nicks terminate at substantially circular apertures.
17. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tips of the blades are substantially rounded to blend with the edges of the blades.
18. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the surface of the spinner has been printed upon, or is coloured, with logos or advertising slogans.
19. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the surface of the spinner has been printed upon, or is coloured or patterned to give a special effect of the appearance of flashing under normal artificial light when the device is rotated at the speeds achievable by finger driven rotation.
20. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blades and/or the spindle is/are about 25mm long.
21. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blades are no shorter than 50% of the length of the spindle.
22. A spinner according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein no arm of a spindle receiving aperture in the central hub or disc portion points directly at a connection between a blade and the central hub or disc portion.
23. A blank, die cut or formed with elements for forming the spinner of any one of the preceding claims.
24. The blank of claim 23, wherein the blank is about 52mm long and between 40 and 60mm wide.
25. The blank of claim 23 or claim 24, packaged within a food safe wrapper.
26. A reflex and dexterity development device comprising a spinner according to any one of claims 1 to 22, the spinner comprising a spindle sized for manipulation by a thumb and an opposing finger of a user.
27. A reflex and dexterity development device according to claim 26, comprising two spinners according to any one of claims 1 to 22, one for each hand of the user.
28. A method of improving reflex, co-ordination and dexterity in a user comprising: providing a spinner according to any one of claims 1 to 22, gripping the central spindle between a thumb and an opposing finger,
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causing by relative movement of the thumb and finger (or fingers), together with pressure against the spindle, the spinner to spin about the longitudinal axis of the central spindle, and then releasing the spinner.
29. T he method of claim 28, wherein two spinners are provided, one for each hand of the user, for improving the co-ordination and dexterity of two hands of the user, the method comprising the steps of spinning the two spinners at the same time, one by each hand of the user.
30. A spinner substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
31. A method of improving reflex, co-ordination and dexterity in a user substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB0417809A 2004-08-10 2004-08-10 Flying spinning top Withdrawn GB2417003A (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
IT201600105890A1 (en) * 2016-10-20 2018-04-20 Suk S R L A game as a spinning top

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6604979B1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2003-08-12 Liu Kuo-Ching Built-up spinning top
WO2003084627A1 (en) * 2002-04-11 2003-10-16 Guillermo Mujica Vilar Revolving promotional toy that can be assembled from a plastic embossed card
EP1369154A1 (en) * 2002-06-07 2003-12-10 Kuo-Ching Liu Spinning top
EP1384499A1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-28 Kuo-Ching Liu Built-up spinning top
EP1400268A1 (en) * 2002-08-14 2004-03-24 Kuo-Ching Liu Flying top
WO2004058369A1 (en) * 2003-08-13 2004-07-15 Promocafe Worldwide Llc Innovative toy and games therefor

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2003084627A1 (en) * 2002-04-11 2003-10-16 Guillermo Mujica Vilar Revolving promotional toy that can be assembled from a plastic embossed card
EP1369154A1 (en) * 2002-06-07 2003-12-10 Kuo-Ching Liu Spinning top
US6604979B1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2003-08-12 Liu Kuo-Ching Built-up spinning top
EP1384499A1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-28 Kuo-Ching Liu Built-up spinning top
EP1400268A1 (en) * 2002-08-14 2004-03-24 Kuo-Ching Liu Flying top
WO2004058369A1 (en) * 2003-08-13 2004-07-15 Promocafe Worldwide Llc Innovative toy and games therefor

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
IT201600105890A1 (en) * 2016-10-20 2018-04-20 Suk S R L A game as a spinning top

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