US20030166374A1 - Toy figures having extremities comprised of springs and magnets - Google Patents

Toy figures having extremities comprised of springs and magnets Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030166374A1
US20030166374A1 US10/086,252 US8625202A US2003166374A1 US 20030166374 A1 US20030166374 A1 US 20030166374A1 US 8625202 A US8625202 A US 8625202A US 2003166374 A1 US2003166374 A1 US 2003166374A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
toy
torso
springs
spring
abdomen
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/086,252
Inventor
Webb Nelson
Mark Chernick
Original Assignee
Nelson Webb T.
Mark Chernick
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
Application filed by Nelson Webb T., Mark Chernick filed Critical Nelson Webb T.
Priority to US10/086,252 priority Critical patent/US20030166374A1/en
Publication of US20030166374A1 publication Critical patent/US20030166374A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H3/00Dolls
    • A63H3/04Dolls with deformable framework
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/26Magnetic or electric toys

Abstract

A toy figure having an upper torso section and a lower torso section. The upper torso section and the lower torso section are connected with a vertical spring. The vertical spring serves as the visible abdomen of the toy figure and enables the upper torso section and the lower torso section to move relative each other. The arms and legs of the figure are also made of springs. The arms terminate with magnetic hands and the legs terminate with magnetic feet. The springs used as the arms, legs and abdomen of the toy figure are all fully compressed coil springs that are made of ferromagnetic metal. As such, the magnetic hands and feet of the figure can be selectively attached to the arms, legs or abdomen of that figure or any other figure. This provides the toy figure with unique posing options.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • The present invention is related to toy figures having manually moveable limbs. More particularly, the present invention relates to toy figures that contain magnets and are thus capable of magnetically interconnecting with ferromagnetic surfaces and other similarly constructed figures. [0002]
  • 2. Prior Art Statement [0003]
  • The prior art is replete with different types of toy figures. Toy figures typically fall within one of three major categories. The first category of toy figures includes stuffed figures, such as rag dolls. The second category of toy figures includes plastic action figures, such as Barbie™ dolls. The third category of toy figures includes molded wire frame figures. [0004]
  • Springs and magnets have been used in all three categories of toy figures for different reasons. In stuffed toy figures, springs are sometimes used as skeletal element within a doll. For example, a spring might be used within the tail of a stuffed monkey to provide the tail with a positional memory. This would enable the tail of the toy monkey to return to a set configuration after having being stretched by a child. However, the spring is a hidden element buried deep under the fabric and stuffing of the toy figure. The spring itself is not a visible part of the stuffed doll's body. [0005]
  • Magnets are sometimes used in the hands of stuffed dolls to provide the stuffed dolls with the ability to join its hands together. For example, if magnets were placed in the hands of the previously exemplified stuffed toy monkey, the monkey would be able to join its hands around the neck or arm of a child. [0006]
  • Plastic molded figures, such as Barbie™ dolls and G.I. Joe™ action figures use internal springs to provide the figure with some type of predictable movement. For example, a toy action figure may contain a spring loaded arm that enables the figure to throw an object. The springs, however, are internal components and are not integral parts of the visible body of the molded plastic figure. Magnets may also be used in the hands of molded plastic figures. For example, a toy Spiderman™ may have magnets in its hands so that it can cling to the metal door of a refrigerator. [0007]
  • Molded wire frame figures are figures that have a wire frame. Elastomeric material is hot molded around the wire frame. The wire frame is used to add strength to the elastomeric material. In some instances, the wire frame may have a spring constant to enable the elastomeric figure to return to a set orientation after being manipulated by a child. However, the wire frame is disposed deep within the molded elastomeric material. As such, the wire frame is not a visible part of the figure. [0008]
  • Magnets are typically not used in molded wire frame figures because the high temperatures used during molding would de-magnetize many common types of magnets. [0009]
  • The present invention is a toy figure that uses springs and magnets in a novel manner, thereby producing a figure where the springs and magnets are integral, visible parts of the body of the figure. The structure of the novel figure and its associated method of manufacture are described and claimed below. [0010]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is a toy figure having an upper torso section and a lower torso section. The upper torso section and the lower torso section are connected with a vertical spring. The vertical spring serves as the visible abdomen of the toy figure and enables the upper torso section and the lower torso section to move relative each other. The arms and legs of the figure are also made of springs. The arms terminate with magnetic hands and the legs terminate with magnetic feet. The springs used as the arms, legs and abdomen of the toy figure are all fully compressed coil springs that are made of ferromagnetic metal. As such, the magnetic hands and feet of the figure can be selectively attached to the arms, legs or abdomen of that figure or any other figure. This provides the toy figure with unique posing options.[0011]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following description of an exemplary embodiment thereof, considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: [0012]
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention toy figure; [0013]
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the toy figure shown in FIG. 1 with indicators showing range of motion; [0014]
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of the toy figure shown in FIG. 1 being bent at the abdomen spring; and [0015]
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the toy figure of FIG. 1 shown in conjunction with an alternate embodiment of a toy figure.[0016]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of the present invention toy FIG. 10 is shown. In this embodiment, the toy FIG. 10 is that of a person. However, it will be understood that the figure could be that of an alien, a monster, an animal or any other common toy figure configuration. [0017]
  • The toy FIG. 10 has an upper torso section [0018] 12 that is comprised of a chest 14 and a head 16. The chest 14 and head 16 can be molded as a single rigid piece. However, the head 16 may be jointed so that the head 16 can rotate or otherwise move in relation to the chest 14. The toy figure also has a lower torso section 18. The upper torso section 12 is joined to the lower torso section 18 by a first coil spring. It is this first coil spring that acts as the abdomen of the toy FIG. 10. For the sake of clarity, the first coil spring will herein be referred to as the abdomen spring 20.
  • The abdomen spring [0019] 20 is a coil spring made from ferromagnetic metal. The abdomen spring 20 has a predetermined exposed length L1 and spring constant, the importance of which will later be explained. When not manually stressed, the abdomen spring is fully compressed, wherein the turns of the coil spring abut and prevent the coil spring from being compressed into any smaller length. The top of the abdomen spring 20 is attached to the upper torso section 12 of the toy FIG. 10. The bottom of the abdomen spring 20 is attached to the lower torso section 18. As such, it will be understood that by manually manipulating the upper torso section 12 and/or the lower torso section 18 of the toy FIG. 10, the abdomen spring 20 can be selectively deformed out of its fully compressed condition. This enables the orientation of the upper torso section 12, relative the lower torso section 18, to be selectively altered during play. Once the manipulation force is removed from either the upper torso section 12 or the lower torso section 18, the abdomen spring 20 returns to its fully compressed linear configuration, thereby returning the orientation between the upper torso section 12 and the lower torso section 18 back to what is shown in FIG. 1.
  • A second and third coil spring extend horizontally from opposite ends of the upper torso section [0020] 12. The second and third coil springs serve as the arms of the toy FIG. 10. As such, the second and third coil springs will herein be referred to as arm springs 22. The arm springs 22 are coil springs made of a ferromagnetic metal. The arm springs 22 are also normally fully compressed. Each arm spring 22 has the same predetermined length L2 and spring constant, the importance of which will later be explained.
  • Hand elements [0021] 24 are disposed at the ends of the arm springs 22 opposite the upper torso section 12. Each hand element 24 is non-metallic. In each hand element 24 is a magnet 26. The non-metallic material of each hand element 24 isolates the magnet 26 from the arm spring 22. Consequently, the arm spring 22 itself does not become magnetically polarized by being in contact with the magnet 26. The magnets 26 used in the hand elements 24 are preferably rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets have very strong magnetic field-to-weight ratios. As such, strong lightweight magnets can be used. The combined weight of each hand element 24 and each magnet 26 is preferably not sufficient to deform the arm springs 22. Consequently, even though the arm springs 22 are supporting the combined weight of the hand elements 24 and magnets 26, the spring constant of the arm springs 22 is sufficient to maintain the arm springs 22 in a fully compressed horizontal orientation.
  • A fourth and fifth coil spring extend vertically below the lower torso section [0022] 18. The fourth and fifth coil springs serve as the legs of the toy FIG. 10. As such, the fourth and fifth coil springs will herein be referred to as leg springs 30. The leg springs 30 are coil springs made of a ferromagnetic metal. The leg springs 30 are also fully compressed. Each leg spring 30 has the same predetermined length L3 and spring constant, the importance of which will be later explained.
  • Foot elements [0023] 32 are disposed at the ends of the leg springs 30 opposite the lower torso section 18. Each foot element 32 is non-metallic. In each foot element 32 is a magnet 34. The non-metallic material of each foot element 32 isolates the magnets 34 from the leg springs 30. Consequently, the leg springs 30 themselves do not become magnetically polarized by being in contact with the magnets 34. The magnets 34 used in the foot elements are also preferably rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets have very strong magnetic field-to-weight ratio, which is a desirable feature in the toy FIG. 10.
  • Since magnets [0024] 34 are placed in the foot elements 32 of the toy FIG. 10, the foot elements 32 of the toy figure will magnetically adhere to any ferromagnetic surface. When free standing, the weight of the toy FIG. 10 is supported by the leg springs 30. The spring constant of the leg springs 30 is preferably sufficient to maintain the fully compressed condition of the leg springs 30 and support the weight of the toy FIG. 10 without bending or buckling.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, it will be understood that once the foot elements [0025] 32 of the toy FIG. 10 are attached to a metallic surface, the spring components of the toy figure's body enable the toy figure to move in a variety of ways. The abdomen spring 20 in the center of the toy FIG. 10 enables the upper torso section 12 of the toy FIG. 10 to rock back and forth in the directions of arrow 40 and arrow 42. The abdomen spring 20 also enables the upper torso section 12 to be twisted in the directions of arrow 44. The leg springs 30 enable both the upper torso section 12 and the lower torso section 18 to rock back and forth in the direction of arrow 42. As such, if the toy FIG. 10 is placed on a moving or vibrating surface, such as a washing machine or a car dashboard, the toy FIG. 10 will randomly move through a wide range of movements.
  • Returning to FIG. 1, it will be understood that since magnets are disposed within the hand elements [0026] 24 and the foot elements 32 of the toy FIG. 10, the hand elements 24 and foot elements 32 of the toy FIG. 10 can be selectively attached to any ferromagnetic surface, such as a refrigerator, metal lunchbox or the like. However, the arm springs 22, leg springs 30 and abdomen spring 20 of the toy FIG. 10 are visible, exposed parts of the toy FIG. 10. All the springs used are made of ferromagnetic metal. Accordingly, the magnets 26, 34 in the hand elements 24 and foot elements 32 can be used to attach the hand elements 24 and/or foot elements 32 to the legs springs 30, arm springs 22 or abdomen spring 20 of the toy FIG. 10. The toy FIG. 10 is therefore able to be posed in a plurality of different poses. It will therefore be understood that each hand element 24 can be magnetically connected to the opposite hand element, the opposite arm spring 22, the abdomen spring 20, either leg spring 30 or either foot element 32. Likewise, each foot element 32 can be attached to the opposite foot element, the opposite leg spring 30, either arm spring 22 or either hand element 24. The springs in the toy FIG. 10 are normally isolated from the magnets. As such, the springs do not have a magnetic polarity that might repel any particular hand magnet 26 or foot magnet 34.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, it can be seen that the hand elements [0027] 24 of the toy FIG. 10 can be oriented to magnetically attach to the foot elements 32 on that same figure. The length and spring constant of the abdomen spring 20 is specifically designed to enable the toy FIG. 10 to bend over this far. Furthermore, the length of the arm springs 22 is coordinated with the length of the abdomen spring 20 to enable the hand elements 24 to be able to reach the foot elements 32 in such a manner.
  • The combination of metallic springs and magnetic extremities not only enables a single toy figure to be posed in a variety of positions, these same configurations enable one toy figure to interconnect with other toy figures of the same construction. The magnet in the hand element of one toy figure will attach to the hands, feet, arms, legs and/or abdomen of any other toy figure that shares the same construction. [0028]
  • Referring to FIG. 4, two toy figures are shown. The first toy FIG. 10 is the same as that previously shown and described. However, the second FIG. 50 is formed as an animal. Like the first toy FIG. 10, the animal toy FIG. 50 has an upper torso section [0029] 52, a lower torso section 54, arm springs 56, leg springs 58, an abdomen spring 60, hand elements 62 and foot elements 64. However, in the shown embodiment, the arm springs 56 serve as the front legs and the hand elements 62 serve as the front paws.
  • From FIG. 4, it can also be understood that the hand elements and foot elements of any one toy figure can connect to the exposed springs on any other similar toy figure. Furthermore, the hand elements and foot elements from any two figures can also magnetically interconnect. [0030]
  • It will be understood that the present invention toy figures described and illustrated are merely an exemplary embodiment and that a person skilled in the art can make many variations to the shown design. For example, the appearance and character motif of the toy figure can be changed as desired to mimic the appearance of any real or fictional creature. All such modifications and alternate embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention as described and claimed below. [0031]

Claims (18)

What is claimed is:
1. A toy figure, comprising:
an upper torso section;
a lower torso section;
an abdomen coil spring interconnecting said upper torso section to said lower torso section, wherein said abdomen coil spring forms an abdomen section for said toy figure;
hand elements, wherein each said hand element contains at least one magnet;
foot elements, wherein each said foot element contains at least one magnet;
arm coil springs interconnecting said hand elements to said upper torso section, wherein said arm coil springs form arms for said toy figure;
leg coil springs interconnecting said foot elements to said lower torso section, wherein said leg coil springs form legs for said toy figure.
2. The device according to claim 1, wherein said upper torso section includes a chest and a head.
3. The device according to claim 1, wherein said arm coil springs, said leg coil springs and said abdomen spring are comprised of a ferromagnetic metal.
4. The device according to claim 1, wherein said abdomen spring has a length sufficient to enable said abdomen spring to bend at least 90 degrees between said upper torso section and said lower torso section.
5. The device according to claim 1, wherein said arm springs extend horizontally from said upper torso section.
6. The device according to claim 1, wherein said foot elements have flat soles that enable said toy figure to be self standing upon said foot elements.
7. The device according to claim 1, wherein said arm coil springs are fully compressed springs.
8. The device according to claim 7, wherein said leg coil springs are fully compressed springs.
9. The device according to claim 8, wherein said abdomen coil spring is a fully compressed spring.
10. The device according to claim 1, wherein said abdomen coil spring and said arm coil springs have a combined length sufficient to enable said hand elements to be manipulated into contact with said foot elements.
11. A toy figure, comprising:
a body;
hand elements, wherein each of said hand elements contains a spring;
foot elements, wherein each of said foot elements contains a spring;
coil springs interconnecting said hand elements and said foot elements to said body, wherein each of said springs contains ferromagnetic metal.
12. The toy figure according to claim 11, wherein said coil springs are fully compressed.
13. The toy figure according to claim 11, wherein said body contains an upper torso section and a lower torso section.
14. The toy figure according to claim 13, wherein a coil spring interconnects said upper torso section to said lower torso section.
15. A toy figure, comprising:
a body;
at least four extremities extending from said body, wherein each of said extremities contains a magnetic element that is supported away from said body by a coil spring.
16. The toy figure according to claim 15, wherein each said magnetic element in each said extremity is isolated from said coil spring in that extremity by non-metallic material.
17. The toy figure according to claim 15, wherein each said coil spring is a fully compressed spring.
18. The toy figure according to claim 15, wherein said body contains an upper torso section and a lower torso section connected by at least one coil spring.
US10/086,252 2002-03-01 2002-03-01 Toy figures having extremities comprised of springs and magnets Abandoned US20030166374A1 (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/086,252 US20030166374A1 (en) 2002-03-01 2002-03-01 Toy figures having extremities comprised of springs and magnets

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US10/086,252 US20030166374A1 (en) 2002-03-01 2002-03-01 Toy figures having extremities comprised of springs and magnets

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US20030166374A1 true US20030166374A1 (en) 2003-09-04

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Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040005838A1 (en) * 2002-05-18 2004-01-08 Mark Buckley Toy
US20040248498A1 (en) * 2003-06-09 2004-12-09 Margaret Weiser Spring novelty with rotating appendage and removable securing portion
US6837769B1 (en) * 2003-04-28 2005-01-04 Interlego Ag Toy figure and a game comprising such toy figure
US6840838B1 (en) * 2003-12-08 2005-01-11 Shelton L. Reid Doll assembly
US20070264904A1 (en) * 2006-05-12 2007-11-15 David Sheltman Toy motorcycle
US20080108275A1 (en) * 2006-05-01 2008-05-08 Cas Holman Organic Magnetic Construction Module
US20080150662A1 (en) * 2006-12-22 2008-06-26 Clifton Broumand Magnetic restraining system
US20080182479A1 (en) * 2007-01-26 2008-07-31 Ellihay Corp. Items With Stretchable Members And/Or Magnetic Action
GB2449492A (en) * 2007-05-25 2008-11-26 Joel Erith An extendable toy figure
GB2466323A (en) * 2008-12-22 2010-06-23 Umbra Inc Picture / photo frame with magnetic attachment means
US20100330870A1 (en) * 2009-06-29 2010-12-30 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Simulated pupil assembly and simulated eye using same
US20120112922A1 (en) * 2010-11-04 2012-05-10 Hillis W Daniel Systems, structures and processes with embedded resistance device
GB2487217A (en) * 2011-01-13 2012-07-18 Hasbro Inc Toy power source
US20120329363A1 (en) * 2011-06-21 2012-12-27 Mark Barthold Toy Figure with Articulating Limb
US20130154189A1 (en) * 2011-12-20 2013-06-20 Peter Alan Fish Toy figure, board game involving the use of a toy figure, and method of playing a board game involving the use of a toy figure
US20140263112A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Product merchandiser
US20150209682A1 (en) * 2014-01-27 2015-07-30 Kevin E. Capra Peacekin
US9919231B1 (en) * 2017-07-10 2018-03-20 Peter Chin Cuboid or spherical head figurine

Cited By (29)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040005838A1 (en) * 2002-05-18 2004-01-08 Mark Buckley Toy
US6837769B1 (en) * 2003-04-28 2005-01-04 Interlego Ag Toy figure and a game comprising such toy figure
US7033240B2 (en) 2003-06-09 2006-04-25 Exhart Environmental Systems, Inc. Spring novelty with rotating appendage and removable securing portion
US6843702B2 (en) * 2003-06-09 2005-01-18 Exhart Environmental Systems, Inc. Spring novelty with rotating appendage and removable securing portion
US20050054261A1 (en) * 2003-06-09 2005-03-10 Margaret Weiser Spring novelty with rotating appendage and removable securing portion
US20040248498A1 (en) * 2003-06-09 2004-12-09 Margaret Weiser Spring novelty with rotating appendage and removable securing portion
US6840838B1 (en) * 2003-12-08 2005-01-11 Shelton L. Reid Doll assembly
US7641534B2 (en) * 2006-05-01 2010-01-05 Cas Holman Organic magnetic construction module
US20080108275A1 (en) * 2006-05-01 2008-05-08 Cas Holman Organic Magnetic Construction Module
US20070264904A1 (en) * 2006-05-12 2007-11-15 David Sheltman Toy motorcycle
US20080150662A1 (en) * 2006-12-22 2008-06-26 Clifton Broumand Magnetic restraining system
US20080182479A1 (en) * 2007-01-26 2008-07-31 Ellihay Corp. Items With Stretchable Members And/Or Magnetic Action
GB2449492A (en) * 2007-05-25 2008-11-26 Joel Erith An extendable toy figure
GB2466323A (en) * 2008-12-22 2010-06-23 Umbra Inc Picture / photo frame with magnetic attachment means
US20100154266A1 (en) * 2008-12-22 2010-06-24 Umbra Llc Magnetic photo display assembly
US20100330870A1 (en) * 2009-06-29 2010-12-30 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Simulated pupil assembly and simulated eye using same
US9339116B2 (en) * 2010-11-04 2016-05-17 Applied Invention, Llc Systems, structures and processes with embedded resistance device
US20120112922A1 (en) * 2010-11-04 2012-05-10 Hillis W Daniel Systems, structures and processes with embedded resistance device
GB2487217A (en) * 2011-01-13 2012-07-18 Hasbro Inc Toy power source
AU2012206444B2 (en) * 2011-01-13 2016-06-16 Hasbro, Inc Toy power source
WO2012095675A1 (en) * 2011-01-13 2012-07-19 Hasbro, Inc Toy power source
US20120329363A1 (en) * 2011-06-21 2012-12-27 Mark Barthold Toy Figure with Articulating Limb
US20130154189A1 (en) * 2011-12-20 2013-06-20 Peter Alan Fish Toy figure, board game involving the use of a toy figure, and method of playing a board game involving the use of a toy figure
US9132340B2 (en) * 2011-12-20 2015-09-15 Kma Concepts Limited Toy figure, board game involving the use of a toy figure, and method of playing a board game involving the use of a toy figure
US9433305B2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2016-09-06 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Product merchandiser
US20140263112A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Product merchandiser
US20150209682A1 (en) * 2014-01-27 2015-07-30 Kevin E. Capra Peacekin
US9393498B2 (en) * 2014-01-27 2016-07-19 Kevin E. Capra PeaceKin
US9919231B1 (en) * 2017-07-10 2018-03-20 Peter Chin Cuboid or spherical head figurine

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