US20060135032A1 - Three-dimensional coloring product - Google Patents

Three-dimensional coloring product Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060135032A1
US20060135032A1 US11223739 US22373905A US2006135032A1 US 20060135032 A1 US20060135032 A1 US 20060135032A1 US 11223739 US11223739 US 11223739 US 22373905 A US22373905 A US 22373905A US 2006135032 A1 US2006135032 A1 US 2006135032A1
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Prior art keywords
panels
panel
front
product
rear
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Abandoned
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US11223739
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Roshan Wijerama
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PNC Bank National Association
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Horizon Group USA Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/16Models made by folding paper
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B11/00Teaching hand-writing, shorthand, drawing, or painting
    • G09B11/10Teaching painting
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/04Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts
    • A63H33/06Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts to be assembled without the use of additional elements
    • A63H33/08Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts to be assembled without the use of additional elements provided with complementary holes, grooves, or protuberances, e.g. dovetails
    • A63H33/084Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts to be assembled without the use of additional elements provided with complementary holes, grooves, or protuberances, e.g. dovetails with grooves

Abstract

Coloring product including a plurality of substantially planar panels, at least one of which is a flocked panel including a colorable substrate and a flocked material applied in a pattern to an outer face thereof to maintain areas of the outer face exposed and thus colorable. The panels are designed to be connectable to together to form a three-dimensional object. Thus, children can enjoy coloring the flocked panel and then assembling the colored flocked panel with other panels to form the three-dimensional object which can be played with.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/639,143 filed Dec. 22, 2004, the specification of which is incorporated by reference herein.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to coloring products for children and more specifically, to coloring products which allow children to both color pictures and form or assemble the pictures into three-dimensional objects that can be played with.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Children indisputably enjoy coloring. As such, various products have been developed to enhance their coloring experience above basic coloring books, from “color by numbers” coloring books (in which objects are partitioned into various shapes with each shape being numbered and each number assigned to a specific color) to fuzzy art.
  • Fuzzy art involves paper or a board which has a velvet-type material applied to a colorable substrate wherein the velvet material is die-cut to provide certain designs, i.e., exposed shapes are formed on the substrate between the velvet material which may be colored with markers and the like. Such paper or boards are also referred to as flocked paper or boards and are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,492,143 (Oberg) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,553,855 (Oberg). The Oberg patents describe a flocked sheet of material which defines one, two or three separate flocked pictures and can be cut to separate the individual pictures.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,788,501 (Hassall) describes another enhanced coloring product which is a substrate having a removable masking material on specific regions thereof and which define non-masked regions of the substrate. The non-masked regions provide a surface for receiving and retaining a coloring media, e.g., paint. The masked and non-masked regions can be precisely delineated to form intricate designs.
  • One drawback to the prior art coloring products is that once completed, the colored pictures cannot be played with but rather, are useable only for decorative purposes, e.g., hung on a wall or pasted into a scrapbook.
  • In addition to coloring, children enjoy creating three-dimensional objects from planar forms and then playing with the three-dimensional objects. Various products have been developed to allow children to create three-dimensional objects, such as animals, ships, planes and rockets, from planar sheets of material. Some products are sheets of material arranged to provide pieces having a specific shape, e.g., using perforation lines to define the borders of the pieces, which can be connected to one another in a specific manner to form a particular object (see, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 1,111,216 (Church), U.S. Pat. No. 1,181,421 (Apt), U.S. Pat. No. 2,035,353 (Torme), U.S. Pat. No. 2,189,550 (Higgins), U.S. Pat. No. 2,676,431 (Goldberg) and U.S. Pat. No. 4,643,349 (Sheffer)). Other products require the application of adhesive, such as glue, paste or tape, or stapling to connect pieces cut-out or pressed out from a sheet of material together in order to form a three-dimensional object (see, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,034,535 (Platt), U.S. Pat. No. 2,351,931 (Debs), U.S. Pat. No. 4,166,335 (LaBrode, Jr.) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,022,260 (Fritzel)).
  • None of the above-described products which enable the formation of three-dimensional objects intentionally provides children with an opportunity to color the sheets of material or pieces from which the three-dimensional object will be formed.
  • It would therefore be desirable to have a coloring product which allows a child to color one or more planar sheets of material and also form the sheet(s) of material into a three-dimensional object to further the use and enjoyment of the coloring product.
  • OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved coloring product for use by, e.g., children.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a new coloring product which includes planar panels or sheets which can be cut, folded, connected together and/or otherwise manipulated into a three-dimensional object so that the three-dimensional object can be played with.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a novel use of flocked paper and boards.
  • In order to achieve these objects and others, a coloring product in accordance with the invention includes a plurality of substantially planar panels, at least one of which is a flocked panel including a colorable substrate and a flocked material applied in a pattern to an outer face thereof to maintain areas of the outer face exposed and thus colorable. The panels are designed to be connectable together to form a three-dimensional object. Thus, children can enjoy coloring the flocked panel(s) and then assembling the colored flocked panel(s), possibly with other non-flocked panels, to form the three-dimensional object which can be played with.
  • The types of three-dimensional objects which can be formed from planar panels in accordance with the invention are numerous and include animals, vehicles such as cars, ships, planes, trains and trucks, lighthouses, dollhouses, make-up stands, castles, clocks, carousels, robots, vases and various types, shapes and sizes of boxes such as a box having the form of a radio or a jewelry box.
  • Connecting the panels together involves any number of different connection or assembly techniques. One connecting technique is to provide one or more slots in some panels and design other panels to slide through the slots. This technique is appropriate for forming a glider in which case, a central panel with a slot would have the design of a fuselage, a wing panel would be designed to slide through a large slot in the center of the fuselage panel and a tail panel would be designed to slide through a small slot in the rear of the fuselage panel.
  • Another connecting technique is used in particular to connect opposed panels together and involves the placement of one or more intermediate panels extending substantially perpendicular to the opposed panels and including tabs which fit into complementary slots in the opposed panels. The opposed panels may constitute front and rear panels of the three-dimensional object being formed, and the intermediate panel(s) can be flocked like the front and rear panels and/or include a design relating to a design on the front and rear panels, possibly to provide the object with a realistic three-dimensional appearance.
  • Yet another connection technique is the use of an external connector such as an adhesive or tape which is applied to part of one of the panels to be connected and to part of another panel, or to part of the same panel.
  • To reduce the need to connect panels together, it is possible to form a plurality of panels from a common sheet of material and provide fold lines in the sheet of material between the panels. As such, when the sheet of material is folded about the fold lines, the panels are formed. A connection mechanism might still be required to connect unattached ends of the panels together, e.g., an adhesive applied to an end of one panel to be pressed against an end of another panel. In one such embodiment, at least six panels are formed from a common sheet of material which has fold lines enabling it to be folded into the form of a box. The box may be provided with a design of a radio, e.g., as a boom box. To increase the resemblance of the box to a radio/boom box, a flocked tape-receiving and control panel and handle panel may be connected to the box, e.g., via tabs and complementary slots.
  • In another embodiment, three panels are formed from a common sheet of material which has fold lines enabling it to be folded into the form of a three-sided vase. The unattached, adjacent sides of the sheet of material are connected together by forming tabs along one unattached side and slots in the other unattached side. Separate flowers, each from a flocked sheet of material in the design of a flower, may be provided and placed into the vase by attaching pipe cleaners or the like to the flowers and sticking them into the interior of the vase.
  • To enhance the child's playing experience with the three-dimensional objects, various interactive mechanisms can be arranged in connection with one or more of the panels forming the object or in an interior space of the object defined by the panels. For example, a sound generating mechanism can be arranged to generate sound relating to the object being formed or the design on the object. In one example, the design is in the form of a transformer-style robot and robotic-type sounds, words or phrases are generated when the sound generating mechanism is activated by pressing a button on the robot. This button can be arranged on one of the panels. In addition to or instead of sound generation, a light generating mechanism can be activated by the same or a different button to cause one or more LEDs to project light outward from the panel.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals identify like elements, and wherein:
  • FIGS. 1A-1H show various assembly techniques for assembling panels togther when forming three-dimensional coloring products in accordance with the invention;
  • FIG. 2A is a view of the components of a three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention in kit form;
  • FIG. 2B is a perspective view of the three-dimensional coloring product of FIG. 2A in an assembled form;
  • FIGS. 3A and 3B are perspective views of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a locomotive;
  • FIG. 3C is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 3B in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 4A is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a clock;
  • FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4B-4B of FIG. 4A;
  • FIG. 5A is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a clock;
  • FIG. 5B is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 5A in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a dinosaur;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a race car;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a robot;
  • FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;
  • FIGS. 10A and 10B are perspective views of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely gliders;
  • FIG. 10C is a view of components of modified versions of the coloring products shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIGS. 11A and 11B are perspective views of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a portable radio/media player;
  • FIG. 11C is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 11B in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in an assembled form, namely a vase with flowers;
  • FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention, namely a castle;
  • FIG. 14 is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 13 in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 15A is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention, namely a lighthouse;
  • FIG. 15B is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 15A in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention, namely a carousel;
  • FIG. 17 is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 16 in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 18A is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention, namely a make-up stand;
  • FIG. 18B is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 18A in kit form without the flocking pattern;
  • FIG. 19 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention, namely an off-road vehicle; and
  • FIG. 20 is a view of components of the coloring product shown in FIG. 19 in kit form without the flocking pattern.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • In the accompanying drawings, numerous three-dimensional coloring products in accordance with the invention are shown. All of these coloring products are constructed from a plurality of panels assembled together to provide their three-dimensional form using assembly techniques schematically presented in FIGS. 1A-1H. When describing the assembly of the three-dimensional coloring products below, although a particular assembly technique may be used, it should be understood that any of the disclosed assembly techniques could alternatively be used, to the extent possible.
  • A first assembly technique is referred to as the standard method and enables two panels to be attached together at an angle to one another, e.g., perpendicular to one another. To achieve this, as shown in FIG. 1A, one panel is provided with a male tab 2 and the other panel is provided with a female slot 4 having a length only slightly larger than the length of the male tab 4. This insures that the male tab 2 will not bend or break during its insertion into the female slot 4. The female slot 4 includes a single-blade cut in the middle, which creates sufficient tension to hold the male tab 2 in place when engaged therewith, and die-cut holes at each end of the single-blade cut which create sufficient space for the male tab 2 to easily break through the female slot 4.
  • Whenever a male tab is described herein, it is possible to use a male tongue to the extent a male tongue is structured differently than a male tab.
  • A second assembly technique is referred to as the sandwich method and enables three or more panels to be attached together at an angle to one another. The difference between the sandwich technique and the standard technique described above is that one or more panels are each formed with a slot 6 which is positioned between the panel with the male tab 2 and the panel with the female slot 4 (see FIG. 1B). Hence, the panel with the slot 6 is sandwiched between the panel with the male tab 2 and the panel with the female slot 4. Slot 6 is preferably a oval hole as shown since no tension or pressure is provided to the tab 2 thereby. The length of the male tab 2 may be increased to compensate for the thickness of the panel(s) with the slot 6.
  • The third assembly technique is referred to as the adhesive tape method and enables two panels or parts thereof to be attached together at an angle to one another. As shown in FIG. 1C, an adhesive strip 8 is applied to one panel or panel part and covered with a removable strip. When the strip 8 is removed to expose the adhesive, the other panel or panel part is pressed against the exposed adhesive to thereby join them together. Often, the adhesive strip 8 is one of a plurality of adhesive strips used to assemble a particular three-dimensional coloring product and is part of an adhesive sheet included in the kit for the coloring product.
  • The fourth assembly technique is referred to as the open slot method and is used when the standard method described above with respect to FIG. 1A cannot be used because the female slot is too close to an outer edge of the panel. As shown in FIG. 1D, the male tab 2 is provided with a small notch and the female slot 4 is a notch which is opened and tapers inward. The male tab 2 is placed such that its notch is situated at the bottom of the female slot 4 and is retained therein in view of the taper of the female slot 4.
  • The fifth assembly technique is referred to as the criss cross method and is used to link two panels together to create an X-shape, which may then be a self-standing construction. As shown in FIGS. 1E and 1F, a female slot 4 is provided on each panel connecting to an edge of each panel. In FIG. 1E, the female slot 4 includes a single-blade cut and a die-cut hole at the end of the single-blade cut. In FIG. 1F, one panel is doubled-over on itself to enable a double-sided image to be created and to compensate for the double layer of material, the width of the female slot 4 on the other panel is doubled or otherwise dimensioned to accommodate the doubled thickness of the first panel.
  • The sixth assembly technique is referred to as the tight edge method and is used when panels meet close to an edge and the standard method described above with respect to FIG. 1A cannot be used. As shown in FIG. 1G, a male tab 2 is provided on one panel and a U-shaped female slot 4 is provided on the other panel with the legs of the U-shape extending away from the edge of the panel. Using this method, the likelihood of tearing of the female slot 4, even though close to the edge of the panel, is reduced relative to the structure of the female slot 4 shown in FIG. 1A.
  • The seventh assembly technique is referred to as the parallel face method and is used for parallel panels in order to create a secure lock between them. As shown in FIG. 1H, one panel is provided with a pair of flip-out male tabs 2 which can be pushed in from the plane of the panel relative to a fold line and the other panel is provided with a pair of female slots 4 such as shown in FIG. 1A and described above. In use, the male tabs 2 are pushed outward and inserted through the female slots 4 to secure the panels against one another.
  • Referring now to exemplifying three-dimensional coloring products in accordance with the invention which use the assembly techniques described above, FIGS. 2A and 2B show a basic embodiment of a three-dimensional coloring product in accordance with the invention which is designated generally as 10. Coloring product 10 includes a front, substantially planar panel 12, a rear substantially planar panel 14 and an intermediate panel 16 connecting the front and rear panels 12, 14 together to form a three-dimensional object, in this case, a box.
  • As shown in FIG. 2A, the front and rear panels 12, 14 each include a planar substrate 18 and a velvet-type material 20 applied to portions of a colorable, outer face of the substrate 18. The velvet-type material may be nylon-based. The material 20 is die-cut to provide designs defining exposed areas of the outer face of the substrate 18 which may be colored with markers and the like. The designs formed on the front and rear panels 12, 14 may be the same, mirror images of one another, related to one another or entirely different. In addition, it is possible to form the intermediate panel 16 from a planar substrate and a velvet-type material applied to portions of a colorable, outer face thereof.
  • Various assembly and connection techniques may be used to connect the intermediate panel 16 to the front and rear panels 12, 14. Generally, the standard method described above with reference to FIG. 1A is used. Thus, intermediate panel 16 is formed with male tabs 22 and the front and rear panels 12, 14 with complementary female slots 24 along some or all of the peripheral edges thereof which are designed to accommodate the tabs 20. Other assembly techniques for connecting the front and rear panels 12, 14 to the intermediate panel 16 at an angle to one another are also envisioned to be within the scope and spirit of the invention (such as any of those described above with reference to FIGS. 1B-1H, to the extent applicable).
  • To enable the intermediate panel 16 to connect to a plurality of or all the peripheral edge regions of the front and rear panels 12, 14, the intermediate panel 16 includes fold lines 26 which enable it to be easily folded from a substantially planar form (as shown in FIG. 2A) into a number of connecting sections 28 each arranged along a respective side of the front and rear panels 12, 14.
  • Instead of a single intermediate panel 16 providing all of the connecting sections 28, each connecting section 28 can be formed independent and separate from the other connecting sections in which case, a plurality of intermediate panels are provided each providing a single connecting section. In general, any number of intermediate panels can be provided, with each intermediate panel providing one or more connecting sections. Also, a connecting section is not required along all of the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 12, 14. Rather, for example, for the product 10 shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, it is conceivable to eliminate the connecting section on the lower edges of the front and rear panels 12, 14.
  • The product 10 is sold in a kit form including the front and rear panels 12, 14 and the intermediate panel 16. For space and packaging considerations, the intermediate panel 16 might be bent along one or more of the fold lines 26 to reduce its size when in kit form. After the kit is opened, a child can color the exposed areas of the flocked front and rear panels 12, 14 (or only one of these panels if only one is flocked) and/or the intermediate panel 16 if it is flocked as desired and then attach the intermediate panel 16 to the front panel 12 and then to the rear panel 14, or vice versa. The child then has a box to play with having decorated front and rear panels 12, 14.
  • In the basic embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the product 10 has a generally parallelepiped shape. However, the front and rear panels 12, 14 can have any shape with linear edges and/or curved edges to form objects with different shapes, some of which are described below.
  • For example, FIG. 3A shows a three-dimensional object 30 in accordance with the invention which includes a flocked front panel 32 in the approximate shape of a train locomotive and having a design of a locomotive with a conductor formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 34 to provide exposed areas of a colorable substrate 36. Rear panel 38 has a similar shape (but preferably mirror-image to the front panel 32) and design and a die-cut material with exposed areas. The lower edges of the front and rear panels 32, 38 are designed to enable the object 30 to be self-standing.
  • Since the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 32, 38 are not linear, an intermediate panel 40 which connects the front and rear panels 32, 38 together, or intermediate panels 40 if more than one is used, is preferably made of a flexible material so that it can have a planar form for packaging considerations yet can bend in correspondence with the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 32, 38. Alternatively, the intermediate panel 40 can be a planar panel provided with fold lines at appropriate locations. In view of number of curves and angular variations along the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 32, 38, in this case, it might be preferable to provide several intermediate panels 40, e.g., one for each side of the object 30 or one for each edge.
  • A kit to form object 30 would include the front panel 32, the rear panel 38 and any intermediate panels 40. Assembly of object 30 would involve coloring the exposed areas on the outer faces of the substrates 36 forming the front and rear panels 32, 38 and then attaching the intermediate panel(s) 40 to the front and rear panels 32, 38. Although not preferred, the outer faces of the substrates 36 could be colored after attachment of the intermediate panel(s) 40 to the front and rear panels 32, 38. Thereafter, children can play with the object 30, i.e., the train locomotive.
  • With reference to FIGS. 3B and 3C, instead of constructing the locomotive with planar front and rear panels 32, 38, it is possible to construct the locomotive from a plurality of different panels, namely, a wheel panel 32A, a boiler panel 33A, a control panel 34A, a smokestack panel 35A, a roof panel 36A and hydraulic side panels 37A (see FIG. 3C). The wheel panel 32A, boiler panel 33A, control panel 34A and roof panel 36A are formed with fold lines to enable them to be bent or folded to obtain the three-dimensional form of these structures shown in FIG. 3B.
  • Wheel panel 32A, boiler panel 33A, control panel 34A, smokestack panel 35A and roof panel 36A include one or more tabs to which adhesive is applied to connect adjacent parts of the panel together to enable the formation of the three-dimensional form of these structures shown in FIG. 3B. The central area of the wheel panel 32A includes female slots which receive male tabs formed on the boiler panel 33A, control panel 34A and hydraulic side panels 37A. The roof panel 36A also includes female slots through which male tabs on the control panel 34A are inserted. A circular hole is formed in the boiler panel 33A into which the smokestack panel 35A is inserted after it is rolled together and adhesive is applied to the tab thereon and pressed against an opposed part of the panel.
  • Assembly of the locomotive shown in FIG. 3B entails removing the strips of paper protecting the adhesive strips, placing them onto the tabs of the various panels (the areas designated A in FIG. 3C) and pressing the adhesive strips against the adjacent part of the panel. The male tab on boiler panel 33A, control panel 34A and hydraulic side panels 37A are then inserted through the respective female slots on the wheel panel 32A. The female slots on the roof panel 36A are then placed over the male tabs on the control panel 34A. The smokestack panel 35A is rolled together and then placed into the hole in the boiler panel 33A. The male tabs on the hydraulic side panels 37A are then placed into the female slots in the wheel panel 32A. Prior to assembly of the locomotive, the panels can be colored as desired.
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B show another three-dimensional object, namely a clock 42, in accordance with the invention which includes a flocked front panel 44 having a design of a clock formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 46 to provide exposed areas of a colorable substrate 48. Rear panel 50 has a similar shape and design as front panel 44 and a flocking material die-cut to expose areas of a colorable substrate. The lower edges of the front and rear panels 44, 50 are designed to enable the clock 42 to be self-standing.
  • Since the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 44, 50 are not linear, an intermediate panel 52 which connects the front and rear panels 44, 50 together, or intermediate panels 52 if more than one is used, is preferably made of a flexible material so that it can have a planar form for packaging considerations yet can bend in correspondence with the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 44, 50. In view of number of curves and angular variations along the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 44, 50, it might be preferable to provide several intermediate panels 52, e.g., one for each side or one for each edge.
  • Further, in this embodiment, the clock 42 may be provided with an actual timing mechanism, i.e., a large hand 54, a small hand 56 and a clock movement mechanism 58 connected to the large and small hands 54, 56 to rotate them. The hands 54, 56 and movement mechanism 58 can be fixed in connection with the front panel 44, or included separately in the kit and therefore require the purchaser to assemble the clock by inserting the movement mechanism 58 partially into a hole in the front panel 44 and attaching the hands 54, 56 securely thereto. Alternatively, if the clock 42 is used only to teach children how to tell time, the movement mechanism is eliminated 58 and the large and small hands 54, 56 are rotatably fixed to the front panel 44.
  • A kit to form the clock 42 would include the front panel 44, the rear panel 50, any intermediate panels 52, large and small hands 54, 56 and the clock movement mechanism 58. Assembly of clock 42 would typically involve first coloring the exposed areas of the substrate 48 forming the front and rear panels 44, 50. The hands 54, 56 and clock movement mechanism 58 are then mounted to the front panel 44, when not mounted in connection therewith. Thereafter, the intermediate panel(s) 52 are attached to the front and rear panels 44, 50 and the clock 42 is completed and can be played with and used.
  • FIG. 5A shows another clock 42A which includes a flocked front panel 44A having a design of a grandfather clock formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 46A to provide exposed areas of a colorable substrate 48A. Rear panel 50A has a similar shape and design as front panel 44A and is made of a flocking material die-cut to expose areas of a colorable substrate. The lower edges of the front and rear panels 44A, 50A are designed to enable the clock 42A to be self-standing. Four intermediate panels 52A, 53A connect the front and rear panels 44A, 50A together, and may be made of a flocking material die-cut to expose areas of a colorable substrate. Clock 42A is provided with a timing mechanism, i.e., a large hand 54A, a small hand 56A and a clock movement mechanism (not shown but housed between the front and rear panels 44A, 50A) connected to the large and small hands 54A, 56A to rotate them. The hands 54A, 56A and movement mechanism can be fixed in connection with the front panel 44A, or included separately in the kit and therefore require the purchaser to assemble the clock 42A by inserting the movement mechanism partially into a hole in the front panel 44A and attaching the hands 54A, 56A securely thereto.
  • FIG. 5B shows the panels 44A, 50A, 52A, 53A in planar form. Intermediate panels 52A, 53A include tabs which are inserted into and through female slots in the front and rear panels 44A, 50A. Intermediate panels 53A also include tabs to which adhesive is applied to enable the intermediate panels 53A to be adhesively connected to adjacent parts of the intermediate panels 52A (the areas to which an adhesive strip is to be applied are designated A in FIG. 5B). This will provide greater stability for the clock 42A. An adhesive sheet 55A with the necessary adhesive strips is therefore provided in a kit to assemble clock 42A.
  • Thus, these embodiments show the possibility of providing a utilitarian aspect to a three-dimensional object formed from planar panels, at least one of which is a flocked board. A child can have fun coloring the flocked boards, e.g., panels 44 and 50 or panels 44A and 50A (and optionally panels 52 and 52A) and then assemble a three-dimensional object, i.e., the clock 42 or 42A, and use the clock to tell time or learn how to tell time.
  • FIG. 6 shows another three-dimensional object, namely a dinosaur 60, in accordance with the invention which includes a flocked front panel 62 in the general shape of a dinosaur and having a design thereof formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 64 to provide exposed areas of a colorable substrate 66. Rear panel 68 has a similar shape and design and a flocking material die-cut to expose areas of a colorable substrate. The lower edges of the front and rear panels 62, 68 are designed to enable the dinosaur 60 to be self-standing.
  • Since peripheral the edges of the front and rear panels 62, 68 are not linear, an intermediate panel 70 which connects the front and rear panels 62, 68 together, or intermediate panels 70 if more than one is used, is preferably made of a flexible material so that it can have a planar form for packaging considerations yet can bend in correspondence with the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 62, 68. In view of number of curves and angular variations along the peripheral edges of the front and rear panels 62, 68, it might be preferable to provide several intermediate panels 70, e.g., one for each side or one for each edge.
  • Each intermediate panel 70 can be provided with a design thereon formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 72 to expose areas of a colorable substrate 74. In the case of a dinosaur, the exposed areas of the substrate 74 can be in the form of feet, wings, other dinosaur body parts or other dinosaur related objects.
  • A kit to form dinosaur 60 would include the front panel 62, the rear panel 68 and any intermediate panels 70. Assembly of dinosaur 60 would typically involve first coloring the exposed areas on the outer faces of the substrates 66, 74 and then attaching the intermediate panel(s) 70 to the front and rear panels 62, 68. Thereafter, children can play with the dinosaur 60.
  • FIG. 7 shows another three-dimensional object, namely a race car 76, in accordance with the invention which includes a flocked front panel 78 in the general shape of a race car and having a design thereof formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 80 to provide exposed areas of a colorable substrate 82. Race car 76 also includes a flocked rear panel 84 having a similar shape as the front panel 78 (but mirror image thereof) and design formed by a flocking -material die-cut to expose areas of a colorable substrate. The lower edges of the front and rear panels 78, 84 are designed to enable the race car 76 to be self-standing.
  • One or more intermediate panels 86 connect the front and rear panels 78, 84 together, e.g., in the manner described above with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2. Each intermediate panel 86 can be provided with a design thereon formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 88 to expose areas of a colorable substrate 90.
  • In this embodiment, the intermediate panel(s) 86 are designed to provide the race car 76 with a realistic three-dimensional appearance (in comparison to the dinosaur shown in FIG. 6 in which the design on the intermediate panel(s) 70 consists of objects associated with the dinosaur).
  • A kit to form the race car 76 would include the front panel 78, the rear panel 84 and any intermediate panels 86. Assembly of race car 76 would typically involve first coloring the exposed areas on the outer faces of the substrates 82, 90 and then attaching the intermediate panel(s) 86 to the front and rear panels 78, 84. Thereafter, children can play with the race car 76.
  • FIG. 8 shows another three-dimensional object, namely a robot 92, in accordance with the invention which includes a flocked front panel 94, a flocked rear panel 96 and one or more intermediate panels 98 for connecting the front and rear panels 94, 96 together, e.g., in the manner described above with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2. Front panel 94 has a design of a transformer-style robot which is formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 100 to provide exposed areas of a colorable substrate 102. Rear panel 96 may include a similar design or a design of the “back” of a robot. The lower edges of the front and rear panels 94, 96 are designed to enable the robot 92 to be self-standing.
  • To enhance the child's play with the robot 92, the robot 92 is provided with a sound and light generating mechanism 104. Sound and light generating mechanism 104 comprises a sound generating housing 106 with a sound chip mounted to the front panel 94 alongside perforations 108 formed in the substrate 102, and an actuating button 110 which passes through an aperture 112 in the substrate 102 to project outward from the front face of the substrate 102 (see FIG. 9). Depression of button 110 activates the sound chip to generate sound. The sound chip can be programmed to generate the same sound whenever the button 110 is depressed, to cycle through a plurality of different sounds, or to randomly generate one of a plurality of different sounds.
  • Sound and light generating mechanism 104 also comprises one or more LEDs 114 arranged on the front panel 94. A wire 116 connects the sound generating housing 106 to the LEDs 114 so that whenever button 110 is depressed, the LEDs 114 are activated, along with the sound chip. An electronic circuit to provide for sound generation via the sound chip and light generation via the LED's 114 is housed in the housing 106.
  • Although a common sound and light generating mechanism 104 is shown, the different mechanisms can be separated. In this case, two or more buttons would be provided and depressing each one would cause either sound generation or light generation. Optionally, the rear panel 96 can be provided with sound and/or light generating mechanisms.
  • A kit to form the robot 92 would include the front panel 94, the rear panel 96, any intermediate panels 98 and the sound and light generating mechanism 104. One manner to assemble robot 92 would involve first coloring the exposed areas of the substrate 102 forming the front and rear panels 94, 96. The sound and light generating mechanism 104 is then mounted to the front panel 94 (although it might also be sold pre-mounted to the front panel 94). Thereafter, each intermediate panel 98 is attached to the front and rear panel 94, 96 and the robot 92 is complete and can be played with.
  • An alternative configuration of a robot in accordance with the invention may include a plurality of different robot sections, each preferably including a flocked panel, with the sections being connected together to allow relative movement therebetween. For example, the robot could include a torso portion with aperture at the sides and separate arm portions formed with projections designed to enter into the apertures in the sides of the torso portion and rotate relative to the torso portion. The torso portion could also include an aperture at the top and a separate head portion formed with a projection designed to enter into the aperture in the top of the torso portion and rotate relative thereto. The arm portions might include apertures into which projections formed on weapon portions are designed to pass. Each of the torso, arm and weapon portions would be formed from one or more sheets of planar material and folded about fold or score lines into a three-dimensional object, with the three-dimensional shape being maintained using adhesive or complementary tabs/tongues and slots.
  • FIG. 10A shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a glider 116, which includes a flocked fuselage panel 118, a flocked wing panel 120 and a tail panel 122. Fuselage panel 118 has a design of a glider which is formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 124 on both sides of a colorable substrate 126 to form exposed, colorable areas. Wing panel 120 has a design of airplane wings and is also formed by die-cutting flocking material 128 on one surface of a colorable substrate 130 to form exposed, colorable areas.
  • To connect the panels 118, 120, 122 together, the fuselage panel 118 includes slots 132 through which the wing panel 120 and tail panel 122 are passed until they are roughly centered relative to the fuselage panel 118.
  • A kit to form the glider 116 would include the fuselage panel 118, the wing panel 120 and the tail panel 122. Assembly of glider 116 would typically involve first coloring the exposed areas on the substrate 126, 130 and then sliding the wing panel 120 and tail panel 122 through the respective slots 132 in the fuselage panel 118. Thereafter, children can play with the glider 116.
  • FIG. 10B shows another glider 116A in accordance with the invention which includes flocked fuselage sections 118A, a flocked wing panel 120A and a tail panel 122A (see also FIG. 10C). Fuselage sections 118A each have a design of a glider formed by die-cutting velvet or flocking material 124A on one side of a colorable fuselage panel 126A to form exposed, colorable areas and folding the panel 126A about a fold line to form the two fuselage sections 118A. Fuselage sections 118A can be connected together with adhesive, e.g., segments of double-sided adhesive, applied at the areas designated A in FIG. 10C.
  • Wing panel 120A has a design of airplane wings and is also formed by die-cutting flocking material 128A on one surface of a colorable substrate 130A to form exposed, colorable areas. Tail panel 122A has a design of airplane tail wings and is also formed by die-cutting flocking material on one surface of a colorable substrate to form exposed, colorable areas.
  • A weighted nose cone 133 is attached to the front of the fuselage sections 118A to cushion impacts of the glider 116A with the ground or other structures. Alternatively, the fuselage panel 126A may be weighted at the forward area, e.g., with a fraction of an ounce, and the nose cone 133 eliminated.
  • To connect the panels 120A, 122A and 126A together, the fuselage sections 118A formed from panels 126A include slots 132A through which the wing panel 120A and tail panel 122A are passed until they are roughly centered relative to the fuselage panel 126A. The slot 132A through which the wing panel 120A passes may be curved.
  • A kit to form the glider 116A would include the fuselage panel 126A, the wing panel 120A, the tail panel 122A and the nose cone 133, when a weight is not integrated into the fuselage panel 126A. A sheet of adhesive strips would also be provided 137 as shown in FIG. 10C. Assembly of glider 116A would typically involve first coloring the exposed areas on the panels 120A, 122A and 126A, folding the fuselage panel 126A to form the fuselage sections 118A and placing the adhesive strips between the fuselage sections 118A to keep them together (at designated areas A), and then sliding the wing panel 120A and tail panel 122A through the respective slots 132A in the fuselage sections 118A. Thereafter, children can play with the glider 116A.
  • The kit can also include two stand panels 129A and 131A shown in FIG. 10C. Stand panels 129A and 131A can also be made of flocked material and use the criss cross assembly method described above with reference to FIG. 1E. Adhesive is also applied to the area designated A on stand panel 131A to aid in maintaining stand panels 129A and 131A together in a three-dimensional form.
  • FIG. 11A shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a radio 134, which includes six substantially planar panels 136 connected together to form a box, a substantially planar “tape” panel 138 connected to the front panel, a substantially planar “handle” panel 140 connected to the top panel and an antenna 142 stuck into the top panel of the radio 134. Any or all of panels 136, 138 and 140 may include a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design of exposed and flocked areas.
  • Panels 136 may be formed from a single sheet of material provided with fold lines so that when folded along the fold lines, the sheet of material assumes the shape of the radio 134, i.e., the shape of a six-sided box. Any flaps or tabs necessary to enable the box to maintain its form are also formed in the sheet of material. Additional connecting means, such as tape, may also be used to maintain the box in its three-dimensional form.
  • The tape panel 138 is formed of a single sheet of material and includes fold lines to enable it to assume the form shown in FIG. 11A and tabs which enter into complementary slots in the front panel of the radio 134. The handle panel 140 also includes tabs which enter into complementary slots in the top panel of the radio 134.
  • A kit to form the radio 134 would include the sheets of material forming the panels 136, 138, 140 and antenna 142. The sheets of material forming the panel 136 and 138 would be colored and then folded along the fold lines and the tape panel 138 would be connected to the front panel 136. The handle panel 140 would be connected to the top panel 136 and the antenna 142 inserted through an aperture in the top panel. The radio 134 is thus completed and children can play with it.
  • FIG. 11B shows another radio 134A which includes a plurality of planar panels connected together to form a box, a substantially planar front and base panel 136A, a substantially planar rear panel 138A, two intermediate panels 140A, 141A connecting the front/base and rear panels 136A, 138A together, speaker panels 143A, a face panel 145A, a handle panel 147A, an antenna support panel 149A, a decorative antenna panel 151A and a cover panel 153A (see FIG. 11C). Any or all of these panels may include a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design of exposed and flocked areas.
  • Intermediate panels 140A, 141A may each be provided and formed from a sheet of material having fold lines so that when folded along the fold lines, tabs 144A on the intermediate panel 140A align with female slots 146A on the front/base and rear panels 136A, 138A (thereby using the stand assembly method described above with respect to FIG. 1A). Intermediate panels 140A, 141A each include a slot which receives a respective male tab formed on the handle panel 147A. Intermediate panel 140A also includes a slot which receives a male tab formed on the antenna support panel 149A. Antenna support panel 149A includes slots which cooperate with a slot formed on the antenna panel 151A and is assembled thereto using the criss cross assembly method described above with respect to FIG. 1F since the antenna support panel 149A is doubled over onto itself.
  • Front/base panel 136A includes a base portion which serves as the base of the radio 134A and a front portion. A fold line is provided to enable these portions to be bent or folded about the fold line to obtain the form shown in FIG. 11B. The front portion of the front/base panel 136A includes slots which receive male tabs formed on the speaker panels 143A and the face panel 145A.
  • Cover panel 153A is attached to the intermediate panel 141A using adhesive strips from a sheet of adhesive strips 155A. Intermediate panels 140A and 141A are attached to one another and to the front/base panel 136A using other adhesive strips. An adhesive strip is also used to attach the base portion of the front/base panel 136A to the rear panel 138A. Locations at which adhesive is applied are designated A in FIG. 11C.
  • Any flaps, tabs, tongues or slots necessary to enable the box to maintain its form may also formed in or on the sheet of material. Additional connecting means, such as tape, may also be used to maintain the radio 134A in its three-dimensional form.
  • A kit to form the radio 134A would include the sheets of material forming the panels described above and the adhesive strip sheet 155A. The sheets of material would be colored as desired and then, the front/base panel 136 a is folded along the fold line connected to the rear panel 138A. The intermediate panels 140A, 141A are connected to the front/base panel 136A and rear panel 138A. The speaker panels 143A and face panel 145A are connected to the front/base panel 136A. The handle panel 147A is connected to the intermediate panels 140A, 141A. The antenna support panel 149A is connected to the intermediate panel 140A. The antenna panel 151A is connected to the antenna support panel 149A. Cover panel 153A is attached to the intermediate panel 141A. The radio 134A is thus completed and children can play with it.
  • To provide actual functionality to radio 134A, a radio can be arranged inside the radio 134A and basic controls therefor placed through holes formed in the front/base panel 136A.
  • FIG. 12 shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a flower vase 142, which includes three substantially planar panels 144 connected together. A plurality of substantially planar “flower” panels 146 are attached to pipe cleaners and placed in the interior of the vase 142. Any or all of panels 144 and 146 may include a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design.
  • Panels 144 may be formed from a single sheet of material provided with fold lines so that when folded along the fold lines, the sheet of material assumes the shape of the three-sided vase 142. Any flaps, slots and/or tabs necessary to enable the vase 142 to maintain its form are also formed in the sheet of material. Additional connecting means, such as tape, may also be used to maintain the vase 142 in its three-dimensional form.
  • A kit to form the vase 142 would include the sheets of material forming the panels 144 and 146 and preferably pipe cleaners 148 or similar elongated members to elevate the flower panels 146. The sheets of material forming panels 144, 146 would be colored and then the sheet of material forming the panels 144 would be folded along the fold lines and the panels 144 attached to one another, if necessary. The pipe cleaners are passed through the flower panels 146 and then the flowers thus-formed are placed into the interior of the vase 142 to provide the appearance of the vase 142 as shown in FIG. 12. The vase 142 is thus completed and children can play with it.
  • FIG. 13 shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a castle 150, which includes a substantially planar front panel 152 having fold lines, a substantially planar rear panel 154 having fold lines and various substantially planar floor panels 156 and balcony panels 158, all of which are connected together to form the three-dimensional castle 150 (see FIG. 14). Additional substantially planar panels are included in the kit to form the castle 150, namely, a pair of spire panels 160 having fold lines and a pair of spire flag panels 162 having a fold line. Any or all of panels 152, 154, 156, 158 160 and 162 may include a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design.
  • An adhesive sheet 164 is also provided having delineated adhesive strips which are used to assemble the castle 150. Specifically, the front panel 152 is attached to the rear panel 154 by placing adhesive strips along the flaps 166 of the front panel 152 and pressing them against corresponding portion of the rear panel 154. Prismatic spires 168 are formed from the spire-panels 160 by applying an adhesive strip to each flap 170 and pressing it against another, corresponding part of the respective spire panel 160. Spire flags 172 are also formed by applying an adhesive strip to the inner surface of the heart-shaped section 174 on each spire flag panel 162, and are designed to be inserted into slots 176 formed at the top of the spires 168.
  • Various tabs 178 are also provided on the front panel 152, floor panels 156, spire panels 160 and balcony panels 158 while corresponding receiving slots 180 are formed on the front panel 152, rear panel 154 and balcony panels 158. In addition, slots 182 are formed in the spire panels 160 to receive tabs 178 formed on the front panel 152 to thereby attach the spires 168 to the front panel 152. Additional flaps, tabs, tongues and/or flaps necessary to enable the castle 150 to maintain its form may also be formed on the panels 152, 154, 156, 158. Additional connecting means, such as tape, may also be used to maintain the castle 150 in its three-dimensional form.
  • As shown in FIG. 14, a kit to form the castle 150 would include the panels 152, 154, 156 and 158, either as one or more sheets of material requiring the purchaser to separate each panel or as pre-separated panels, and the adhesive sheet 164. Additionally, an electronic circuit may be provided including a battery compartment for housing a battery, a pair of lights 184 for placement on the front panel 154, a button 186 to activate the lights 184 (see FIG. 13) and wires for forming a circuit with the battery, lights 184 and button 186. The panels 152, 154, 156, 158 would be colored as desired, the adhesive strips would be attached to the appropriate sites, the panels 152, 154, 156, 158 would be folded along the fold lines and attached to one another to form the castle 150 and the battery compartment, lights 184 and button 186 are then placed at the appropriate sites. The castle 150 is thus complete and children can play with it.
  • FIG. 15A shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a lighthouse 190 which includes a base panel 192, a column panel 194, an upper platform panel 196, a turret panel 197 and a roof panel 198, each capable of including a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design. Each of the panels may be formed from a single, planar sheet of material having fold or score lines so that their three-dimensional form is obtained upon bending each sheet along the fold or score lines, and optionally bonding portions of each sheet together, e.g., using adhesive. The roof panel 198 may be formed from a single, planar sheet of material having an arcuate form so that by joining radial edges of the sheet together using adhesive applied at the area designated A in FIG. 15B, the three-dimensional form shown in FIG. 15A is obtained.
  • Base panel 192 includes tabs to which adhesive is applied (designated A in FIG. 15B) and slots which receive tabs formed on the column panel 194. Column panel 194 includes tabs to which adhesive is applied (designated area A) to enable the column panel 194 to be connected to itself to have a three-dimensional form. Platform panel 196 includes tabs to which adhesive is applied (designated A). Turret panel 197 include a tab to which adhesive is applied (designated A) and tabs which are inserted into and through slots formed on an upper section of the column panel 194. Roof panel 198 includes slots into and through which tabs formed on the turret panel 197 pass.
  • A kit to form the lighthouse 190 would include one or more sheets of material from which the base panel 192, column panel 194, upper platform panel 196, turret panel 197 and roof panel 198 can be formed by separating delineated panels from excess portions of the sheet(s), i.e., as cut-out panels, or as pre-separated panels having the desired form, a sheet of adhesive strips 199. The panels forming the base panel 192, column panel 194, upper platform panel 196, turret panel 197 and roof panel 198 would be colored, the adhesive strips would be attached to the appropriate sites, and then the panels would be folded along the fold or score lines and attached to one another to form the lighthouse 190. The lighthouse 190 is thus complete and children can play with it.
  • FIG. 16 shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a carousel 200 which includes a base 202 having a vertical support panel 204, a pair of horizontal support panels 206A, 206B, vertical pole panels 208, an upper crown 210 having a vertical panel 212 and a horizontal panel 214 and a vertical, interior support panel 216 (see also FIG. 17). Each vertical panel 204, 208, 212, 216 can include a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design, with the vertical pole panels 208 in particular containing the design of a horse or other animal on a pole. Vertical panels 204, 212, 216 may each be formed from a single, planar sheet of material having fold or score lines so that their three-dimensional form is obtained upon bending each sheet along the fold or score lines, and bonding portions of each sheet together, e.g., using adhesive (the areas to which adhesive is applied on these panels is designated A in FIG. 17).
  • Tabs 218 are provided on the edges of the horizontal panels 206A, 206B and 214 and are designed to pass through complementary slots 220 in the vertical panels 204, 212. Tabs 218 are also provided in the vertical edges of the pole panels 208 and vertical, interior support panel 216 and are designed to pass through complementary slots 220 in the horizontal panels 206A and 214.
  • A kit to form the carousel 200 would include one or more sheets of material from which the panels 204, 206A, 206B, 208, 212, 214, 216 can be formed by separating delineated panels from excess portions of the sheet(s), i.e., as cut-out panels, or as pre-separated panels having the desired form. A sheet of adhesive strips 217 would also be provided. The panels 204, 208, 212, 216 would be colored as desired, the adhesive strips attached to the appropriate sites, and then the panels would be folded along the fold or score lines and attached to the horizontal panels 206A, 206B and 214 to form the carousel 200. The base 202 and/or crown 210 can be formed as individual units and then attached to the remaining panels if so desired. The carousel 200 is thus complete and children can play with it.
  • In this embodiment, a sound activating mechanism may be provided to generate sound typical of a carousel. A button would be provided and arranged to project from, e.g., one of the vertical panels 204, 212, and connect with a battery housed, e.g., in the base 202, and cause sound to be produced by a sound generator housed, e.g., in the base 202.
  • FIG. 18A shows another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely a make-up stand 234 which includes a base panel 236, a double-sided rear wall panel 238, side panels 240, a handle panel 242 and a drawer panel 244 (see also FIG. 18B). Each of the panels 236, 238, 240, 242, 244 optionally includes a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design. Some of the panels can also be screen-printed black on an opposite side of the flocked material since they may be visible during use of the make-up stand 234.
  • Rear panel 238 may be formed from a single, planar sheet of material having a fold line or score line in its center (see FIG. 18B). The front facing side of rear panel 238 has a space for mounting a mirror and includes slots since the sandwich assembly method described above with respect to FIG. 1B is used to assemble the make-up stand 234. The rear facing side of the rear panel 238 has slots so that the front facing side of the rear panel 238 is sandwiched between the rear facing side of the rear panel 238 and the base and/or side panels 236, 240.
  • Accordingly, base panel 236 includes tabs which extend through slots in the front facing side of the rear panel 238 and into engagement with aligning slots in the rear facing side of the rear panel 238. Base panel 236 includes an aperture in a front face which receives the drawer formed from drawer panel 244.
  • Side panels 240 include tabs which extend through slots in the front facing side of the rear panel 238 and into engagement with aligning slots in the rear facing side of the rear panel 238. Side panels 240 also include slots through which tabs on the base panel 236 extend.
  • Handle panel 242 includes tabs which extend through slots on the drawer panel 244. Drawer panel 244 includes tabs on one portion which extend through slots formed on another portion.
  • A kit to form the make-up stand 234 would include one or more sheets of material from which the panels 236, 238, 240, 242, 244 can be formed by separating delineated panels from excess portions of the sheet(s), i.e., as cut-out panels, or as pre-separated panels having the desired form. The panels 236, 238, 240, 242, 244 would be colored to the extent possible and desired, the adhesive strips if present would be attached to the appropriate sites, and then the panels would be folded along the fold or score lines. The tabs on the base panel 236, side panels 240, handle panel 242 and drawer panel 244 would be passed through the slots in the respective panel. The drawer formed from drawer panel 244 is inserted through the aperture in the base panel 236. The make-up stand 234 is thus complete and children can play with it.
  • A sheet of stickers 245 can be provided to decorate the make-up stand 234. Similarly, a sheet of adhesive stickers can be provided for any of the other three-dimensional coloring products described herein.
  • Lights 246, i.e., LEDs, can be provided on the rear panel 238 around the mirror and connected to a battery in a battery compartment formed on the make-up stand 234. An actuating button 248 is arranged on the base panel 236 and depression of button 248 activates the lights 246. The kit would therefore additionally include the lights 246, the button 248, means to attach a battery to the make-up stand 234 and appropriate wires to connect the battery to the lights 246 and button 248.
  • FIGS. 19 and 20 show another three-dimensional object in accordance with the invention, namely an off-road vehicle 254 which includes a chassis panel 256, wheel panels 258, exhaust panels 260, a top panel 262, side panels 264, lamp panels 266A, 266B, tread panels 268 and spoiler panels 270A, 270B. Each of the panels 256-270 preferably includes a substrate and flocked material applied in a pattern to the substrate to form a design. Wheel panels 258 which can be used to form the inner side of the wheels do not have to made of flocked material and preferably are not.
  • Chassis panel 256 and exhaust panels 260 include adhesion areas (designated A) to which adhesive strips are applied during assembly of the vehicle 254. The adhesive strips may be arranged on a common sheet of material 302 and designated with numbers, with the location at which each adhesive strips is to be placed having a corresponding reference character. Exhaust panels 260 also include a fold or score line to allow the panels to bend and the bent parts are attached together with one of the adhesive strips.
  • The various panels 256-270 may be formed from several sheets of material, e.g., four as shown in FIG. 20, with each sheet containing multiple panels. The periphery of each panel is scored or perforated to allow for easy separation of the panels from the remaining parts of the sheets.
  • The chassis panel 256, top panel 262 and tread panels 268 may each be formed from a single, planar sheet of material having fold or score lines. Chassis panel 256 also includes flaps 272 to which adhesive strips are applied to enable different folded portions of the chassis panel 256 to be connected together to provide the chassis panel 256 with a three-dimensional form. Tread panels 268 also include tabs 274 designed to fit into notches 276 formed on the wheel panels 258. Since the notches must be formed close to the edge of the wheel panels 258, the open slot assembly method described above with respect to FIG. 1D is used.
  • Top panel 262 includes tabs 278 designed to fit into complementary slots 280 formed on the side panels 264. The position of some of the slots 280 is too close to the edge of the side panels 264 to enable the open slot assembly method to be used and therefore the tight edge assembly method described above with respect to FIG. 1G is used. As such, these slots 280 have a U-shape.
  • Lamp panel 266A includes tabs 282 designed to fit into slots 284 formed on the top panel 262. Lamp panel 266B includes tabs 286 designed to fit into slots 288 formed on the top panel 262 and the lamp panel 266A to support the lamp panel 266A above the top panel 262. Spoiler panels 270A each include a tab or tongue 290 designed to fit into slots 292 formed on the top panel 262. Spoiler panels 270B each include tabs 294 designed to fit into slots 296 formed on the spoiler panels 270A.
  • A kit to form the vehicle 254 would include one or more sheets of material from which the various panels 256-270 can be formed by separating delineated panels from excess portions of the sheet(s), i.e., as cut-out panels, or pre-separated panels having the desired form, and adhesive sheet 302. The panels 256-270 would be colored, the adhesive strips would be attached to the appropriate sites, and then the panels having fold or score lines would be folded along the same. More specifically, each tread panel 268 would be folded along the fold or score lines and the tabs 274 thereof would be pressed into the notches 276 on a respective wheel panel 258 (using the open slot method described above with reference to FIG. 1D). Wheel panels 258 are attached to the chassis panel 256 by extending tabs on the chassis panel 256 outward and through slots in the wheel panels 258 using the parallel face assembly method described above with respect to FIG. 1H.
  • The chassis panel 256 would be folded along the fold or score lines and the adhesive strips applied to flaps 272 and adhered to adjoining parts of the chassis panel 256. The spoiler panels 270A, 270B would be attached to one another via the complementary tabs 294 and slots 296. The top panel 262 would be attached to the side panels 264 via the complementary tabs 278 and slots 280. Lamp panel 266B is attached to lamp panel 266A and the combined lamp panels are then attached to the top panel 262 via the complementary tabs 282, 286 and slots 284, 288. Exhaust panels 260 are formed and attached to the side panels 264. The top panel 262 is then placed over the chassis panel 256 and the vehicle 254 is complete and children can play with it.
  • An electronics package can be provided, including lights 298 which pass through apertures punched out of the top panel 262. Lights 298, e.g., LEDs, are connected to a battery in a battery compartment formed on the chassis panel 256 via wires. An actuating button 300 is arranged on the side of the chassis panel 256 and depression of the button 300 activates the lights 298. The lights 298 are placed into the apertures when the top panel 262 is placed over the chassis panel 256.
  • The various coloring products described above all enable the formation of three-dimensional objects from one or more two-dimensional sheets of material, of which at least one is flocked. Three-dimensional objects capable of being formed from two-dimensional sheets of material are virtually unlimited. To design a kit to enable the formation of each three-dimensional object, the object would be reduced to a number of planar sides or panels and the panels would either be formed each from an individual sheet of material or a sheet of material would be provided with fold lines to enable the formation of a plurality of panels when the sheet is folded about the fold lines. A suitable connection mechanism or technique to connect the panels together is provided, e.g., the use of intermediate panels, the complementary tabs/slots arrangement described above, and/or adhesive such as glue or tape (either single or double-sided). It is also foreseen that magnets can be utilized to hold the panels together. Once the panels are connected together, the three-dimensional object can be played with to the children's delight.
  • While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A coloring product, comprising:
    a plurality of substantially planar panels, at least one of said panels being a flocked panel including a colorable substrate and a flocked material applied in a pattern to an outer face of said substrate to maintain areas of said outer face of said substrate exposed and thus colorable; and
    connecting means for connecting said panels together to form a three-dimensional object.
  2. 2. The product of claim 1, wherein said panels include front and rear panels having substantially the same size and shape and at least one intermediate panel for connecting said front and rear panels together.
  3. 3. The product of claim 2, wherein said at least one intermediate panel is a single intermediate panel including fold lines to enable said intermediate panel to bend to conform to a periphery of said front and rear panels.
  4. 4. The product of claim 2, wherein said front and rear panels have lower edges designed to enable the object to be self-standing.
  5. 5. The product of claim 2, wherein said at least one intermediate panel is a plurality of intermediate panels, each of said intermediate panels connecting opposed peripheral edges of said front and rear panels together.
  6. 6. The product of claim 1, wherein said connecting means comprise tabs formed in a first one of said panels and complementary slots formed in the same panel or in an adjoining second one of said panels.
  7. 7. The product of claim 6, wherein a third one of said panels includes a slot through which one of said tabs passes without engaging therewith, said third panel being sandwiched between said first and second panels and connecting thereto by virtue of the passage of said tab through said slot in said third panel and into engagement with said slot or notch in said second panel.
  8. 8. The product of claim 6, wherein said slots have a U-shaped structure and are formed close to an edge.
  9. 9. The product of claim 1, wherein said connecting means comprise adhesive strips applied to a flap portion of one of said panels and which contacts a portion of the same or another one of said panels.
  10. 10. The product of claim 1, wherein said connecting means comprise tabs formed in a first one of said panels and notches formed in the same panel or in an adjoining second one of said panels and extending inward from an edge thereof.
  11. 11. The product of claim 1, wherein said connecting means comprise a slot extending inward from an edge of a first one of said panels and a slot extending inward from an edge of a second one of said panels such that said first panel is positionable in said slot in said second panel and said second panel is simultaneously positionable in said slot in said first panel to thereby form an X-shape structure by means of said first and second panels.
  12. 12. The product of claim 1, wherein said connecting means comprise a pair of tabs formed on a first one of said panels and a pair of aligning slots form on a second one of said panels, said tabs extending through said sots to thereby cause said first and second panels to be parallel to one another.
  13. 13. The product of claim 1, wherein said panels include front and rear panels having substantially the same size and shape and at least one intermediate panel for connecting said front and rear panels together, said front panel being flocked to define a clock face on the outer face, further comprising a timing mechanism including a large hand and a small hand movable over the outer face of said substrate and a clock movement mechanism for rotating said large and small hands.
  14. 14. The product of claim 1, wherein said panels include front and rear panels having substantially the same size and shape and at least one intermediate panel for connecting said front and rear panels together, said front, rear and at least one intermediate panels being flocked panels, said at least one intermediate panels being flocked with a design relating to a design on said front and rear panels to provide the object with a realistic three-dimensional appearance.
  15. 15. The product of claim 1, further comprising a sound generating mechanism arranged in connection with one of said panels, said sound generating mechanism including a sound chip for generating sound and a button projecting outward from said one of said panels for activating said sound chip.
  16. 16. The product of claim 1, further comprising a light generating mechanism arranged in connection with one of said panels, said light generating mechanism including at least one LED arranged to project light outward from said one of said panels and a button projecting in front of said one of said panels for activating said at least one LED.
  17. 17. The product of claim 1, further comprising a sound and light generating mechanism arranged in connection with one of said panels, said sound and light generating mechanism including a sound chip for generating sound, at least one LED arranged to project light outward from said one of said panels and a button projecting outward from said one of said panels for activating said sound chip and said at least one LED.
  18. 18. The product of claim 1, wherein said connecting means comprise a slot formed on a first one of said panels through which a second one of said panels is arranged to pass, said second panel being retained in said slot, said first panel being a fuselage panel having a design of a fuselage of a plane and said second panel being a wing panel having a design of wings of an airplane.
  19. 19. The product of claim 1, wherein at least one of said panels includes fold or score lines, further comprising connecting means for connecting parts of said at least one panel together to enable said at least one panel to have a three-dimensional form, said at least one panel having the three-dimensional form being connectable to another one of said panels.
  20. 20. The product of claim 19, further comprising connecting means for connecting said at least one panel having the three-dimensional form to another one of said panels, said connecting means comprising adhesive applied to a portion of said at least one panel or to said another panel and arranged to contact part of the other panel or tabs and complementary slots formed on said at least one panel and said another panel.
US11223739 2004-12-22 2005-09-09 Three-dimensional coloring product Abandoned US20060135032A1 (en)

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WO2008051045A1 (en) * 2006-10-26 2008-05-02 Boung Jae Lee Assembly toy playing house
WO2008070376A2 (en) * 2006-11-06 2008-06-12 Cardtivity Llc Interlocking panels used for creating structures
US20080289992A1 (en) * 2007-05-24 2008-11-27 Gingerhaus, Llc Kit for Making Decorative Structures and Method Relating Thereto
WO2010109370A1 (en) 2009-03-27 2010-09-30 Magic Production Group S.A. Kit with amusement article, and corresponding process
US20110266846A1 (en) * 2010-04-29 2011-11-03 Dixon William Morgan Furniture convertible to play space
US20120033897A1 (en) * 2010-08-03 2012-02-09 Lahr Yoder Suzanne M Interactive gift bag
US20140256210A1 (en) * 2013-03-08 2014-09-11 Michael Scott Johnson Connectable panel toy with erasable surfaces
US20140265117A1 (en) * 2013-03-13 2014-09-18 Stat Ventures, Inc. Assembly Kit for Three Dimensional Works
US20150231521A1 (en) * 2014-02-14 2015-08-20 Build & Imagine, Llc Magnetic Construction Toy
US20160145852A1 (en) * 2013-09-13 2016-05-26 Daiki Co., Ltd. Ready-to-assemble house
US20160168845A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2016-06-16 Daiki Co., Ltd. Ready-to-assemble house

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WO2008051045A1 (en) * 2006-10-26 2008-05-02 Boung Jae Lee Assembly toy playing house
KR100846916B1 (en) * 2006-10-26 2008-07-17 이경석 Assembly toy playing house
WO2008070376A2 (en) * 2006-11-06 2008-06-12 Cardtivity Llc Interlocking panels used for creating structures
WO2008070376A3 (en) * 2006-11-06 2008-08-14 Cardtivity Llc Interlocking panels used for creating structures
US20080289992A1 (en) * 2007-05-24 2008-11-27 Gingerhaus, Llc Kit for Making Decorative Structures and Method Relating Thereto
WO2010109370A1 (en) 2009-03-27 2010-09-30 Magic Production Group S.A. Kit with amusement article, and corresponding process
CN102365118A (en) * 2009-03-27 2012-02-29 魔法生产集团股份有限公司 Kit with amusement article, and corresponding process
US20110266846A1 (en) * 2010-04-29 2011-11-03 Dixon William Morgan Furniture convertible to play space
US8777304B2 (en) * 2010-04-29 2014-07-15 William MORGAN DIXON Furniture convertible to play space
US20120033897A1 (en) * 2010-08-03 2012-02-09 Lahr Yoder Suzanne M Interactive gift bag
US20140256210A1 (en) * 2013-03-08 2014-09-11 Michael Scott Johnson Connectable panel toy with erasable surfaces
US20140265117A1 (en) * 2013-03-13 2014-09-18 Stat Ventures, Inc. Assembly Kit for Three Dimensional Works
US9498703B2 (en) * 2013-03-13 2016-11-22 Stat Ventures, Inc. Assembly kit for three dimensional works
US20160145852A1 (en) * 2013-09-13 2016-05-26 Daiki Co., Ltd. Ready-to-assemble house
US20160168845A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2016-06-16 Daiki Co., Ltd. Ready-to-assemble house
US20150231521A1 (en) * 2014-02-14 2015-08-20 Build & Imagine, Llc Magnetic Construction Toy
US9713777B2 (en) 2014-02-14 2017-07-25 Build & Imagine, Llc Magnetic construction toy

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