- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This is a continuation in part application to the original application Ser. No. 11/252,117 filed Oct. 17, 2005.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to the field of Action Figures. More specifically, this invention provides an improved way to display the action figures sold at stores today.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Magnets have been used to support dolls or figurines in various forms for many years. The major difference between prior art patents and the current invention is that the prior art patents that use magnets have had the magnets permanently installed into the foot or hand of the dolls or figurines. The present invention allows the consumer to purchase a figurine stand that is fully useable for the existing and prior lines of action figures. None of the inventions previously patented allow this amount of flexibility in its use.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,887,121 by Whitehead discloses a toy that has magnets permanently mounted into the feet and/or hands of the doll. The doll is mounted on magnetic areas of a magnetic toy. The distinct difference between this patent and the present invention is that the magnets are permanently installed into the doll, The action figures that have been made to date, which are over 25 years old do not have magnets installed. The addition of magnets into the action figures would have increased the overall cost of the product and would have made the purchase of the product undesirable by the consumer. The present invention is versatile enough to allow action figures that were made in the 1970's such as Star Trek® and Star Wars® action figures to easily be used.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,179,685 by Toft discloses a toy that uses a stand that attaches to the heel of a toy with shoes. This patent discloses a method of attaching that uses complementary coupling means that are attached to the soles of the shoes, and the stand. The use of this coupling means locks the shoe onto the stand using a friction fit. This patent does not disclose the use of magnets, nor does the patent disclose the use of the invention on existing action figures. In fact, this patent is specific for a certain construction of toy, specifically one that uses a friction fit of the shoe of the doll within the stand. The Toft patent uses a totally different method of attachment of the stand to the doll that is not adaptable to the prior or existing action figures.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,759,082 by Kujawski et al. discloses a Cartwheel Tumbling Doll. This invention contains a series of components that are assembled with a mounting plate. The mounting plate allows the arms and legs to pivot in a realistic fashion. The torso and head are held fixed, while the arms and legs of the doll are pinned, which allows then to rotate about the pin. A spring is used to maintain the legs in a normal extended position, and also provide rotational inertia to keep the doll “tumbling”. The arms have weights that are attached to the hands, and have moveable components that force the doll to complete the tumble. This invention is distinctively different from the current invention in that the weights are assemblies that have moveable components within, that are required in order for the toy to function correctly. Additionally, the doll's hands contain the magnets that are used in order to provide the fixity of the weight within the weight assembly, while the weight is in the upright orientation. When the doll is tumbling, the mass of the weight is overcome by the motion of the doll, and maintains the rotation of the doll. The weight assembly is designed to release after the doll's hand has contacted a planar surface, and has continued the rotation. The current invention is not made to fall or release easily from the figurine, but is designed with a friction fit that requires the owner to consciously remove the stand from the figurine. Additionally the magnet that is contained in the stand, is not moveable, but is permanently fixed within the stand.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
U.S. Pat. No. 5,024,611 by Eckerle et al. discloses a Poseable Doll Magnetically Secured to its Stand. This patent uses magnets that have been permanently installed within the doll's foot, or in the form of a magnetic shoe.
In 1977, “Star Wars” was released, and as part of the release, merchandise became available to the consumer. The merchandise included space ships and action figures. Until that time, dolls were the medium of choice for the collector of figures of movies. Typically Barbie® and Ken® were used. The merchandise that “Star Wars” developed to a fine art was action figures. The problem with the action figure is that it is small, and as a result of its size, is prone to instability due to its small footprint. Collectors became aware of the intrinsic value of the action figures, and this resulted in the consumer collector's desire to display all the action figures of a particular movie. There would generally be over 20 action figures, depending upon the movie genre. The collector did not have an acceptable way of displaying his collection, since the action figures would easily tip.
The present invention is described as having a display stand, where the display stand is generally planar in design and may be fabricated from magnetic materials. Presented with the display stand are action figure supports. The action figure supports may contain magnets, or other means to attach to the display stand, such as Velcro®, or adhesives. The action figure supports have bosses that are circular in shape, and would be inserted into the action figure's feet, which all have complimentary recesses in the feet. The action figure with the action figure supports would then be mounted on the display stand, and the figure will be more stable than just standing alone.
It is the object of this invention to overcome the limitations inherent within the existing and future groups of action figures.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Another object of this invention is to permit the orientation of the action figures that use a magnetic display stand in a more aesthetically pleasing orientation.
FIG. 1 shows an action figure using one magnetized action figure support on a display stand
FIG. 2 shows a more conventional action figure using one magnetized action figure support attached to each leg on a display stand.
FIG. 3 shows an top view of the magnetized action figure support on the display stand.
FIG. 4 shows a close-up view of the action figure with the magnetized action figure support on a display stand in side view.
FIG. 5 shows the magnetized action figure support in isometric view.
FIG. 6 shows a bottom exploded view of the components of the magnetized action figure support.
FIG. 7 shows a cross sectional view of the action figure, the magnetized action figure support and the display stand.
FIG. 9 shows a rectangular action figure support.
FIG. 10 shows an rectangular action figure support with rounded ends.
FIG. 11 shows an oval action figure support.
FIG. 12 shows an enlarged hexagonal action figure support
FIG. 13 shows a hexagonal action figure support.
FIG. 14 shows an octagonal action figure support.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION
FIG. 15 shows a generically shaped (closed spline) action figure support.
With respect to figure one, an action figure (1) is shown placed upon an action figure support assembly (2). The action figure support assembly (2) is shown mounted onto a horizontal display stand (4). The display stand (4) is fabricated from a ferro-magnetic material.
Figure two shows an action figure (1 a) that is more conventional in design as it makes use of two magnetized action figure support assemblies (2), where each action figure support assembly (2) is attached to a leg (6), (8) of the action figure.
In the instant case, the magnetic action figure support assembly (2) shown in figures five and six has a top side (10) and a bottom side (12). The magnetic action figure support assembly (2) shown has a shape, and has a thickness (14). Although the shape disclosed within the drawings shows a circular shape, the shape of the action figure support assembly (2) may be more broad and include any geometric shape but not be limited to a triangle, square, rectangular, rhoboidal, trapazoidal, oval, elliptical, circular, and even shapes that would be considered “closed spines”, or any combination of the disclosed geometric shapes. The top side (10) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2) has a vertical boss (16) projecting upwards. The vertical boss (16) is shown centrally located on the top side (10) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2), but may be located anywhere on the top surface (10). The vertical boss (16) is designed to have a friction fit in a corresponding recess (18) in each leg (6, 8) of the action figure (1), (1 a).
The bottom side (12) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2) has a recess (20) therein defined. The recess (20) has a diameter (22) smaller than the overall diameter (24) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2). Permanently impressed into the recess (20) is a magnet (26). The magnet (26) would preferably use an adhesive to affix the magnet into the recess (20) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2).
Figure seven shows the magnetic action figure support assembly (2) in use. The magnet (26) is shown in the recess (20) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2). The magnet (26) is shown in this embodiment as protruding below the bottom side (12) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2). This is considered to be the preferred embodiment, as the magnet (26) comes into intimate contact with a ferro magnetic display stand (28). This would provide the greatest stability for the action figure (1), (1 a), as it prevents the magnet (26) from being inserted into the recess (20) of the bottom side (12) at too great a depth, minimizing the magnetic attraction of the magnetic action figure support assembly (20). The vertical boss (16) on the top surface (10) of the magnetic action figure support assembly (2) is shown inserted into the corresponding recess (18) in each leg (6, 8) of the action figure (1), (1 a).
The magnetic action figure support assemblies (2) may be sold in bulk packages containing large numbers of magnetic action figure support assemblies (2), or in smaller packages containing a ferromagnetic display stand (28). The ferromagnetic display stand (28) may be a flat plate that has an ornamental design around the edges, or it may be in the form of a bleacher (multiple levels), which would allow a larger number of action figures to be displayed in a smaller footprint on a table or other such surface.
Figures nine through fifteen shows a general list of existing shapes for the magnetic action figure support assemblies (2). The shapes can be from any type of quadrilateral or multi sided geometric shape i.e from 4 sided through circular as well as a generic splinal shape.
Although the foregoing includes a description of the best mode contemplated for carrying out the invention, various modifications are contemplated as depicted in figures nine through fifteen.
As various modifications could be made in the constructions herein described and illustrated without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the foregoing description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative rather than limiting.