US20070216095A1 - Foldable body with magnets and object collector - Google Patents

Foldable body with magnets and object collector Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070216095A1
US20070216095A1 US11/678,902 US67890207A US2007216095A1 US 20070216095 A1 US20070216095 A1 US 20070216095A1 US 67890207 A US67890207 A US 67890207A US 2007216095 A1 US2007216095 A1 US 2007216095A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
game
generally
surface
plurality
components
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Abandoned
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US11/678,902
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Robert Jacobs
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Robert Jacobs
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Priority to US78350606P priority Critical
Application filed by Robert Jacobs filed Critical Robert Jacobs
Priority to US11/678,902 priority patent/US20070216095A1/en
Publication of US20070216095A1 publication Critical patent/US20070216095A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/00214Three-dimensional game boards
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/0023Foldable, rollable, collapsible or segmented boards
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00694Magnetic board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/02Chess; Similar board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F11/00Game accessories of general use, e.g. score counters, boxes
    • A63F11/0002Dispensing or collecting devices for tokens or chips
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/0023Foldable, rollable, collapsible or segmented boards
    • A63F2003/00233Foldable, rollable, collapsible or segmented boards with one fold or hinge
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/0023Foldable, rollable, collapsible or segmented boards
    • A63F2003/00239Foldable, rollable, collapsible or segmented boards with two hinges or folds
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/00574Connections between board and playing pieces
    • A63F2003/0063Magnetic
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00895Accessories for board games
    • A63F2003/00899Instruments for handling a playing piece
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00895Accessories for board games
    • A63F2003/00943Box or container for board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/06Patience; Other games for self-amusement
    • A63F9/12Three-dimensional jig-saw puzzles
    • A63F2009/1236Three-dimensional jig-saw puzzles with a final configuration thereof, i.e. the solution, being packed in a box or container
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F11/00Game accessories of general use, e.g. score counters, boxes
    • A63F11/0025Tools
    • A63F2011/0037Devices for scraping

Abstract

A single piece body foldable along hinges between a three-dimensional generally closed configuration and a generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration. The body includes a plurality of components. The components are foldably interconnected through lateral and longitudinal hinges. A display face is provided on one side of body. A number of separate permanent magnets are embedded within the body Some of permanent magnets are positioned to magnetically interengage one another when the body is in the three-dimensional generally closed configuration. Some or all of the permanent magnets serve to retain objects in various predetermined locations on the display face when the body is in the generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration. An object collector is provided for collecting magnet containing playing pieces from the display face. The object collector is designed to be grasped by a user and dragged across the display face to magnetically collect the playing pieces. The so collected playing pieces may then be reused or stored.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/783,506, filed Mar. 16, 2006
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The invention relates in general to a single piece body foldable between a three-dimensional substantially closed configuration and an open generally two-dimensional configuration with a plurality of generally internal fastening elements at least some of which may function both to hold the body in the substantially closed configuration and to hold objects on the body in the open configuration, and to scrapers for removing the objects from the body, more particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to foldable game boards, puzzle boards, information display boards, or the like, with permanent magnets embedded at strategic locations within the body, and to scrapers for quickly picking up game pieces (or other objects) without risk of lost pieces and with pieces showing a blank side ready for reuse.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • Numerous expedients had been previously proposed where a game board serves both as a game playing surface and as a container for game pieces and accessories. Some such prior expedients have involved the use of magnets. See, for example, Lapham U.S. Pat. No. 509,316, Nov. 21, 1893 (a flexible checkerboard game board wound into a cylindrical roll and inserted between inner and outer casings, with the associated game pieces stored in the inner casing), Kleber U.S. Pat. No. 2,399,041, Apr. 23, 1946 (a game board for blind players that folds in half with a casing around the edges to form an enclosed space that holds the checkers when closed, where the board is a sheet of iron, each checker has a magnet in it, the checkers are centered on the playing squares by the presence of raised non-magnetic material in the non-playing squares of the board), Lanice U.S. Pat. No. 2,667,353, Jan. 26, 1954 (a pliable cloth or leather chess board that can be folded in half, snapped and zippered and folded again into a pouch, which pouch holds the chess pieces), Dupuis U.S. Pat. No. 4,371,168, Feb. 1, 1983 (a pocket-sized chess set with a rim around the edge and a fold across the middle of the board, where the board is made of a paramagnetic material, recesses are provided on the board to hold the chess pieces properly centered in the playing squares, the chess pieces contain permanent magnets, and the board is held in the folded configuration by magnetic attraction between the chessmen and the paramagnetic board), Samansky U.S. Pat. No. 4,527,800, Jul. 9, 1985 (a game board in which multiple panels are hinged together in a non-rectangular form so they can be folded into a tetrahedral shaped box to serve as the container for the playing pieces), Lyon et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,100,151, Mar. 31, 1992 (a foldable rectangular game board constructed from a single sheet of material and including panels that may be folded along hinge lines into a container for the game pieces with the board held in the folded configuration by a fastener), Bendit U.S. Pat. No. 5,244,212, Sep. 14, 1993 (a chess set game wherein the four edges of the game board are mechanically hinged to side members, and the side members fold over the playing surface of the board to form a closed container for the game pieces where there is a permanent magnet centered under each square on the board, a sheet of steel under the magnets, each chess piece includes a permanent magnet so the chess piece is attracted to the centers of the squares, and there are separate permanent magnets mounted on arms that project from the side members and engage special magnetic receptacles on the game board to secure the side members to the board in the closed form), Canner et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,478,085, Dec. 26, 1995 (a magnetic domino set wherein magnetized dominos are attracted to an iron playing surface, which when folded together with other case members serves as the bottom of a carrying case for the dominos), Vannozzi, Sr. U.S. Pat. No. 5,577,730, Nov. 26, 1996 (a flexible vinyl chess mat that folds in the middle and closes around the edges to form a carrying case for the chess pieces), and Neal U.S. Pat. No. D204,277, Apr. 5, 1966 (a game board that hinges in the middle and has a rim around the edges so that when folded closed it forms a hard carrying case that holds the game pieces inside).
  • The attachment of playing pieces to game boards by means of placing magnets in the playing pieces and using a ferrous board had been proposed. See, in addition to those described above, Hlavac U.S. Pat. No. 2,665,913, Jan. 12, 1954 (chess), Ulan U.S. 5,040,800, Aug. 20, 1991 (chess in a vertically positioned board), and Morris U.S. Pat. No. 5,219,168, Jun. 15, 1993 (magnetic puzzle pieces on a metal sheet).
  • The centering of playing pieces by means of permanent magnets embedded below the surface of the game board and centrally positioned in each playing square, with permanent magnets in each game piece had been proposed by, for example, Goldsmith U.S. Pat. No. 2,511,774, Jun. 13, 1950, Lee U.S. Pat. No. 3,895,804, Jul. 22, 1975 (permanent magnets in game pieces separated from permanent magnets embedded in board by an iron piece), Miolo U.S. Pat. No. 4,299,389, Nov. 10, 1981, and Militello U.S. Pat. No. 6,361,047, Mar. 26, 2002 (polarization of the adhesion material, preferably hook and loop fasteners, on or in the game board relative to the polarization of adhesion material on the game pieces provides the desired orientation of the playing pieces).
  • The use of magnets for the purpose of latching various containers in a closed position had been proposed. See, for example, Peckar U.S. Pat. No. 3,749,301, Jul. 31, 1973, Peterson U.S. Pat. No. 4,033,013, Jul. 5, 1977, Lin U.S. Pat. No. 4,513,974, Apr. 30, 1985, Brennan U.S. Pat. No. 4,738,390, Apr. 19, 1988, and Metzler et al. U.S. Pat. No. 6,749,551 (flap on a single or multi-piece container releasably sealed closed by the presence of a magnetic gasket or magnetized paint around opening and mating flap).
  • Numerous one-piece folding boxes had been proposed. See, for example, Billing U.S. Pat. No. 3,175,683, Mar. 30, 1965, and Schultz U.S. Pat. No. 6,402,018, Jun. 11, 2002.
  • Tarbell US 2001/0050461, published Dec. 13, 2001, and now abandoned, appears at first reading to disclose a non-folding game board, for a game such as Scrabble®. The game includes a pattern of squares on the game board where a magnet is embedded under each square, there is a magnet within each game piece, and a wand with a magnet in a game piece sized face is used to collect game pieces one-by-one off of the game board. The drawings and the specification of Tarbell are unclear because they do not fully correspond.
  • The prior art devices and methods are not without their shortcomings. For example, a major shortcoming of typical prior art devices and methods is that the fasteners associated with maintaining the devices in a fully folded configuration generally serve only one purpose and tend to interfere with the functioning and appearance of the device when not in the folded closed configuration. Many board games, such as word games, involve the use of many game pieces or tiles. Such game pieces are easily lost, and when in play they are typically all oriented with a game face up. Performing the necessary orientation before during and after the playing of a game involves a great deal of handling of the pieces, which creates opportunities for losing them. Also, such game pieces are prone to being lost during handling and storage.
  • Those concerned with these problems recognize the need for improvements.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention has been developed in response to the current state of the art, and in particular, in response to these and other problems and needs that have not been fully or completely solved by currently available expedients. Thus, it is an overall object of the present invention to effectively resolve at least the problems and shortcomings identified herein. In particular, it is an object of the present invention to provide a body, particularly a one piece body, and more particularaly a game, puzzle, information presentation board, or the like, that is foldably transformable between a generally two dimensional open configuration and a substantially closed three-dimensional configuration. Associated fastening members, for example, strategically placed magnets, function both to hold the body in the closed configuration and to position playing pieces or other objects in the open configuration. It is also an object of one embodiment of the present invention to provide a tool for quickly, reliably, and easily removing and orienting tiles and the like from the surface of a game board. Embodiments of the present invention are particularly suitable for use as and with game boards.
  • A preferred embodiment of the single piece body according to the present invention comprises a foldable game board or the like with a display face area on one side and an opposed back face on the other side. A game board pattern, such as, for example, a checkerboard pattern or the like, is applied to at least the display face area. Various graphics, patterns, information, data, or the like, of any nature whatsoever, may be presented on the display face area. Preferably, anything on the display face is two-dimensional in nature, although three-dimensional, particularly pop-up three dimensional things may be so displayed.
  • Permanent magnets are embedded within the game board so that they do not significantly interfere with either the appearance or use of the board. The magnets are preferably embedded below the surface of the board so that they are substantially undetectable either visually or tactually. Permanent magnets are positioned in the game board at locations that are dictated by the game board pattern. For example, for a checkerboard pattern the magnets are preferably centrally located in each of the checker squares. The associated playing pieces are preferably provided with permanent magnets. The magnets in the board and playing pieces are preferably oriented so opposite poles may be positioned adjacent to and facing one another. The attraction between the opposite poles of the respective magnets causes the game pieces to be self-centering, for example, in the checker squares.
  • The lateral and longitudinal hinges and hinge regions through which the board folds generally extend within the display face area. Preferably, the presence of the hinges does not significantly interfere with the playing of a game on the game board pattern, and does not significantly mar the appearance of at least the display face area. The hinges are so arranged that when the game board is in a folded three-dimensional configuration, at least some of the permanent magnets in the game board are brought into registry with one another in a magnetically attracted relationship.
  • Typically, the magnets are arranged so that opposite poles are facing one another in the folded three-dimensional configuration so they magnetically engage one another. Likewise, the magnets in the game pieces or other objects and the board are arranged so that opposite poles are facing one another. For example, if the permanent magnets are embedded in the folding board with the positive poles up, the magnets in the game pieces or other objects will have their negative poles on the sides of the game pieces that normally engage the surface of the game board. Thus, the magnets in the board magnetically engage various objects in the generally two-dimensional configuration and magnetically retain such objects at predetermined locations on the board, generally in relation to some pattern on the supporting surface of the board.
  • The embedded magnets are preferably located between the front and back sides of the board so as to be positioned completely within the thickness of the board. To this end, the board is preferably thicker than the magnets, although the magnets may be exposed on the back side, or even on the display face side, if desired. The thickness of the board is such that the poles of the embedded permanent magnets that face the same direction as the back side of the game board are magnetically available to magnetically interengage with the opposite poles of other embedded magnets that face in the direction of the display face. The game board is typically folded so that the display side and the back side overlap in certain areas to bring at least some of the magnets in the overlapped areas into registry with one another with opposite poles facing one another.
  • At least some of the embedded magnets are positioned to serve at least two purposes. They serve as fastening elements to releasably retain the board or other body in a folded substantially closed three-dimensional configuration. They also may serve as fastening elements to releasably attach various objects such as game pieces or the like to at least the display area of the single piece body. Since the body is all of one piece, there is no risk of losing a lid or some other part of the body. For long term storage, shipment, or rough handling, it may be desirable to use some additional retaining member such as a strap, a hook and loop fastener, or the like in addition to the embedded magnets. Such additional retaining members serve to augment the closed configuration retention action provided by the embedded magnets.
  • Each of the permanent magnets may comprise one or more magnets. Where, for example, a flexible organic polymeric body that contains many small magnetized particles is used, there are so many magnets present that any attempted orientation of the permanent magnets as to negative and positive poles is unnecessary. Magnets may be applied in a fluid state to a body or other object, and solidified in situ, if desired. Magnetic paints or inks typically do not have as much magnetic strength as magnets that are formed before being placed in a body or object.
  • A preferred embodiment of the present object scraper according to the present invention comprises a game piece scraper for collecting a plurality of game pieces from the face of a game board with one or a few passes of the scraper across the surface of the game board. The game piece scraper has a magnetically attractive face with an upstanding lip along one side and enough of a body to be grasped by the hand of a user. The face is large enough to hold several game pieces at one time. It is intended to be used with game pieces, particularly flat game pieces such as the tiles in word games, checkers, or the like, where opposed sides of the tiles have different functions in the play of a game.
  • Typically, during the play of a game the tiles or other objects are positioned on the board with a game face up. At the conclusion of the playing of a game, all of the game pieces on the board are typically game face up. At the start of a new game they are typically turned game face down so their value in the playing of the game is unknown. Often, there are a great many small game pieces, and it is easy to lose one of them. If only one piece is lost, the game can not be played. Turning the pieces game face down, and keeping track of all of them is time consuming and detracts from the playing of the game. The game piece scraper provides a simple and effective solution to these problems.
  • The game pieces and the game piece holding face of the scraper are magnetically attractive to one another. The game pieces may contain magnets while the game piece holding face may comprise a sheet of magnetically attractive metal such as, for example, iron. Alternatively, both the game pieces and the holding face may contain magnets, or the game pieces may contain a magnetically attractive metal while the holding face is composed of magnets.
  • The lip element of the scraper projects outwardly of the holding face for a height that is sufficient to physically engage the game pieces as the lip of the scraper is dragged across the surface of a game board upon which the pieces rest. Preferably, the height of the lip element above the holding face is greater than the thickness of at least one and preferably two of the pieces. Thus, when the outer edge of the lip element is engaged with and dragged across the surface of a game board in a direction such that the holding face projects ahead of the lip element, the pieces are trapped between the holder face and the lip element in stacks. The height of the stacks of game pieces is determined by the height of the lip element. For example, if the lip element is slightly higher than a stack of two game pieces, two such pieces will be in at least some of the stacks. The stacks will adhere to the holding face because of the mutual magnetic attraction between the pieces and the holding face.
  • Because the pieces are typically all game face up on the board at the end of a game, the pieces will all be oriented on the scraper with their back sides exposed. The game face sides will be toward the holding face. Turning the scraper over so that the holding face with the game pieces on it is upwards presents the game pieces in the proper position to start a new game. If playing of the game is to be discontinued, the scraper is simply placed in the container for the game with all of the pieces attached to it.
  • Where the container is formed by folding the game board and magnetically latching it according to the present invention, the scraper adds an additional measure of safety in that if rough handling of the folded board-container disengages the magnetic latches and opens the container, the game pieces will still be securely mounted to the scraper. Preferably, the holding face is of sufficient size to hold all of the game pieces associated with a particular game.
  • To acquaint persons skilled in the pertinent arts most closely related to the present invention, a preferred embodiment of a foldable game board and game piece scraper that illustrates a best mode now contemplated for putting the invention into practice is described herein by, and with reference to, the annexed drawings that form a part of the specification. The exemplary assembly is described in detail without attempting to show all of the various forms and modifications in which the invention might be embodied. As such, the embodiments shown and described herein are illustrative, and as will become apparent to those skilled in the arts, can be modified in numerous ways within the scope and spirit of the invention, the invention being measured by the appended claims and not by the details of the specification or drawings.
  • Other objects, advantages, and novel features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention provides its benefits across a broad spectrum of foldable game, puzzle, information presentation boards, or the like, and game piece and/or object scrapers. While the description which follows hereinafter is meant to be representative of a number of such applications, it is not exhaustive. As those skilled in the art will recognize, the basic apparatus taught herein can be readily adapted to many uses. This specification and the claims appended hereto should be accorded a breadth in keeping with the scope and spirit of the invention being disclosed despite what might appear to be limiting language imposed by the requirements of referring to the specific examples disclosed.
  • Referring particularly to the drawings for the purposes of illustrating the invention and its presently understood best mode only and not limitation:
  • FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of the game face side of a preferred embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view taken along section 2-2 in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic exploded view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 showing the various components of the single piece body separated from one another.
  • FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in a partially folded configuration.
  • FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 2 showing an embodiment of the present invention at a fold, but in the unfolded configuration.
  • FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 2 showing an additional embodiment of the present invention at a fold, but in the unfolded configuration.
  • FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 5 showing the folded configuration.
  • FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 5 showing the folded configuration.
  • FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 showing a somewhat further advanced partially folded configuration.
  • FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic plan view of the game face side of a preferred embodiment of the invention similar to FIG. 1 showing the embodiment slightly exploded along certain hinge lines and cuts for ease of illustration.
  • FIG. 11 is a diagrammatic view of the embodiment of FIG. 10 in a partially folded configuration.
  • FIG. 12 is a diagrammatic view of the embodiment of FIG. 11 in a further but still partially folded configuration.
  • FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic isometric view of the embodiment of FIG. 12 in a fully folded three dimensional configuration.
  • FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic plan view of a further embodiment similar to FIG. 10 including additional extended components.
  • FIG. 15 is a diagrammatic plan view of an embodiment showing the placement of a variety of different permanent magnets in a game board.
  • FIG. 16 is a diagrammatic plan view of a further embodiment showing the invention as applied to a backgammon game board.
  • FIG. 17 is a diagrammatic plan view of the back of the embodiment of FIG. 16 with some of the components slightly exploded for purposes of illustration.
  • FIG. 18 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the obverse side of a game piece that is suitable for use in practicing the present invention.
  • FIG. 19 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the reverse side of the game piece of FIG. 18.
  • FIG. 20 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a game piece scraper according to the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views. It is to be understood that the drawings are diagrammatic and schematic representations of various embodiments of the invention, and are not to be construed as limiting the invention in any way. The use of words and phrases herein with reference to specific embodiments is not intended to limit the meanings of such words and phrases to those specific embodiments. Words and phrases herein are intended to have their ordinary meanings, unless a specific definition is set forth at length herein.
  • Referring particularly to the drawings, there is illustrated generally at 10 a foldable game board with a checkerboard pattern on a game pattern side 18, opposed side 16, and permanent magnets 12 embedded within the foldable game board centrally of each square in the pattern. In addition to magnets 12 foldable game board 10 includes a board core 14, an opposed side core cover 98, a game side core cover 94, first game pattern 96 (FIG. 1), and second game pattern 88 (FIGS. 5-8).
  • For purposes of facilitating description, but without limitation, lateral and longitudinal orientation will be assigned to foldable game board 10. A first longitudinal edge is indicated at 20. A second longitudinal axis is indicated at 22. A first lateral edge 26 is opposed and generally parallel to second lateral edge 24 and extends generally normal to the first and second longitudinal edges. The foldable game board 10 is generally symmetrical around a longitudinal axis (not shown), and a lateral axis (not shown). This lateral axis extends generally parallel to first lateral edge 26 along the juncture between the fourth and fifth rows of game squares (see FIG. 1), and the longitudinal axis extends generally parallel to first longitudinal edge 20 along the juncture of the fourth and fifth columns of game squares.
  • In order to permit folding, eight cuts are made in the peripheral region of foldable game board 10 between the components. In the embodiment chosen for illustration in FIGS. 1-15, the boundaries of the components correspond to the boundaries of the game pattern squares. This is not the case in the embodiments of FIGS. 16 and 17. The cuts extend from an edge inwardly to a depth of one or two game pattern squares and serve to form components that include, for example, various flaps, panels and walls. First closure flap cut 40 extends between first closure flap 62 and first longitudinal closure flap 70. Second closure flap cut 42 extends between first longitudinal flap 70 and second closure flap 56. Third closure flap cut 46 extends between third closure flap 60 and second longitudinal closure flap 78. Fourth closure flap cut 44 extends between second longitudinal closure flap 78 and fourth closure flap 58. Cuts 40, 42, 46, and 44 extend into the foldable game board from a longitudinal edge to a depth of one game square. First end panel cut 54 extends between first end panel 82 and first end wall 84. Second end panel cut 52 extends between first end panel 82 and second end wall 80. Third end panel cut 50 extends between fourth end wall 68 and second end panel 66. Fourth end panel cut 48 extends between second end panel 66 and third end wall 64. Cuts 48, 50, 52 and 54 extend into foldable game board 10 from a lateral edge to a depth of two game squares.
  • To facilitate describing the present invention lateral and longitudinal hinge lines have been identified. First longitudinal flap hinge line 34 extends parallel to second longitudinal edge 22 one game square inwardly from edge 22. Fourth closure flap 58, second longitudinal closure flap 78, and third closure flap 60 are hingedly attached to fourth end wall 68, second wall panel 76, and first end wall 84, respectively, along first longitudinal flap hinge line 34.
  • Second longitudinal flap hinge line 28 extends parallel to first longitudinal edge 20 one game square inwardly from edge 20. Second closure flap 56, first longitudinal closure flap 70, and first closure flap 62 are hingedly attached to third end wall 64, first wall panel 72, and second end wall 80, respectively along second longitudinal flap hinge line 28.
  • First longitudinal wall hinge line 32 extends parallel to first longitudinal edge 22 three game squares inwardly from edge 22. Second wall panel 76 is hingedly attached to bottom panel 74 along longitudinal wall hinge line 32.
  • Second longitudinal wall hinge line 30 extends parallel to second longitudinal edge 20 three game squares inwardly from edge 20. First wall panel 72 is hingedly attached to bottom panel 74 along longitudinal wall hinge line 30.
  • First lateral end hinge line 38 extends parallel to first lateral edge 26 two squares inwardly from edge 26. Second end wall 80, first end panel 52, and first end wall 84 are hingedly attached to first wall panel 72, bottom panel 74, and second wall panel 76, respectively, along first lateral end hinge line 38.
  • Second lateral end hinge line 36 extends parallel to second lateral edge 24 two squares inwardly from edge 24. Third end wall 64, second end panel 66, and fourth end wall 68 are hingedly attached to first wall panel 72, bottom panel 74, and second wall panel 76, respectively, along second lateral end hinge line 36. For the sake of brevity and readability, the various components will generally be described hereinafter as “components”, and identified by reference number rather than by the full name of the component.
  • When folded along the respective hinge lines some of the components are required to fold over one or two other components depending on how close the components are to the outer edges of the foldable game board 10. Because the board has some thickness, the structure of the board needs to accommodate this overlapping. This accommodation is illustrated particularly in FIGS. 5-8, and 10-13.
  • Referring particularly to FIGS. 5 and 6, two different embodiments of a fold or hinge region are disclosed. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, hinge region 86 is formed in the foldable game board 10 by removing a section of board core 14 and forming the opposed side core cover 98 so that it folds into the resulting gap. For appearances sake, it is preferred that the opposed side core cover 18 be the cover that is conformed to this gap, although the covering on game patterns side 18 may be deformed into the gap, if desired. The surface 92 of opposed side 12 is generally not as significant, either for the sake of appearance or for the integrity of the game pattern as the surface of game pattern side 18. Also, the two side coverings may be deformed approximately equally into this gap. The game pattern side 18 is not disturbed in the as manufactured condition. After prolonged folding and unfolding some indication of the hinge region 86 may appear on the game pattern side 18. The adjacent components of foldable game board 10 may be folded either way around hinge region 86. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, a section of the board core 14 is removed to form hinge region 102, but the resulting gap is bridged by only one of the side coverings. In the illustrated embodiment, this gap between components is bridged by only the opposed side core cover 98, but, alternatively, it could be bridged by game side core cover 94. Also, hinge region 102 could be bridged by both core covers with neither one extending into the gap. As with the embodiment of FIG. 5, the components in the embodiment of FIG. 6 may be folded either way around hinge region 102.
  • The embodiments of FIGS. 5 and 6 are shown in one possible folded configuration in FIGS. 7 and 8. In both FIGS. 7 and 8 the components are shown folded over the game pattern side 18, but the components could be folded over opposed side 16, if desired. FIG. 7 is illustrative of a two component fold while FIG. 8 shows a three component fold.
  • FIGS. 4 and 9 are illustrative of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in different stages of being folded. Both FIGS. are illustrative of partially folded conditions.
  • FIG. 10 is a further view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 where the hinge regions have been exploded slightly to illustrate them. For purposes of avoiding confusion between the cuts and the hinge regions, the cuts are not shown. For example, components 82 and 74 simply fold to form a generally normal angular relationship without the necessity for overlapping any other components. For example, components 60 and 68 must each fold over another component. The necessary expanded hinge regions that permit this are indicated at 104 and 106, respectively (FIG. 10). Components 70 and 78 must each fold over two other components, as indicated by expanded hinge lines 100 and 108, respectively. FIGS. 11, 12, and 13 illustrate how the various hinge regions are involved in various stages of the folding process. Note, for example, in FIG. 13 how components 70, 60 and 62 are stacked together. Also, components 80 and 84 are shown stacked together. Additional hinge regions are identified in FIG. 14. This include hinge region 112 between components 61 and 84, 105 between components 61 and 84, 120 between components 80 and 72, 118 between components 80 and 62, 101 between components 71 and 72, 114 between components 64 and 72, 116 between components 56 and 64, and 110 between components 68 and 58.
  • In FIG. 13, for example, the components are folded together into a generally square prism configuration so that the game squares are generally in registry with one another. It is apparent from, for example, FIGS. 1 and 3 that bringing the game squares into substantial registration with one another causes the magnets that are substantially centered in the game squares to come into substantial registration with one another. That is, for example, the permanent magnets in components 70, 60, and 62 are all stacked along substantially a common axis so that together these magnets would generally define a cylinder. The provision of hinge regions such as 100 allows the components to adjust positions relative to one another so that these magnets tend to be aligned substantially along a common axis. Also, the provision of hinge regions of sufficient width to accommodate folding where two or more components are folded together avoids any significant tendency of the various components to resiliently return to their unfolded configurations. The force of the magnetic attraction does not have to overcome any significant unfolding bias in the folds. Preferably, there is no significant resilience in the folds.
  • The magnets are preferably embedded so that all of the poles are facing in one direction. That is, for example, all of the magnets may be embedded in a particular folding game board embodiment with their positive poles facing up. The nature of the folds are such that the magnets are generally brought together with the positive poles adjacent to negative poles. This assures that the magnets will attract one another to latch the folded unit together in the folded configuration.
  • When it is desired that some additional fastening elements, such as hook and loop or snap fasteners, be provided to prevent the folded container from opening under rough handling, extra structures may be appended to foldable game board 10 to support such fasteners. Examples of such extra structures are shown at 71 and 61 in FIG. 14. In the embodiment chosen for illustration such extra structures take the form of extensions to the outer peripheries of components 70 and 60. Other forms of structure may be employed, if desired. Also, the extra fasteners may be applied to the board 10 without adding extensions or other structures, so long as the fasteners do not interfere with the use of the board.
  • FIG. 15 is illustrative of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with the game pattern and game side core cover 94 removed to expose the surfaces of the permanent magnets. Various physical shapes of magnets are illustrated, for example, at 122 (square), 124 (plural magnets), 126 (ring), and 128 (disk). The disk form (permanent magnets 132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 146, 130, 142, and 144) is convenient to make and handle, and provides a good magnetic pattern for centering game pieces. Also, in the folded configuration permanent magnets such as 128 and 138 or 130 and 140, will overlap other magnets with opposite poles adjacent to one another. This will tend to bring the magnets in to close registry with one another, which tends to pull the folded game board into the desired folded configuration. As will be understood by those skilled in the art various other shapes are possible and may be used in practicing the present invention. Where no useful purpose is served by their presence, there may be areas of the board where there are no magnets. That is, the pattern of magnets on the board need not be regular or symmetrical. The functions of playing the game and latching the board together in a folded container configuration generally dictate the placement and number of magnets.
  • The magnets function to hold playing pieces for a game in the desired locations on the board. The playing pieces preferably contain permanent magnets close to their bottoms so that there is mutual magnetic attraction between the magnets in the board and those in the game pieces. The respective magnets should be oriented so that the magnets present opposite poles to one another. If, for example, the magnets in the board are oriented with the positive poles adjacent to the game pattern side of the board, the magnets in the game pieces should be oriented so that the negative poles are adjacent to the bottom surfaces of the game pieces. The magnets serve to center the game pieces over the magnets in the game board. Generally, the magnets in the game board are located at positions that are dictated by the game pattern on the game board. Where the game pattern is, for example, a checkerboard pattern, the magnets are preferably located centrally of the game squares in the pattern. Thus, the magnetic attraction between the two magnets tends to center and hold the game pieces in the game squares. This is of considerable significance in games such as, for example, chess where the centering of the chessmen is significant to the play of the game.
  • With particular reference to FIGS. 16 and 17, there is illustrated generally at 148 a foldable backgammon game board. Cuts are provided in the periphery of game board 148 for purposes of allowing the various components to fold as described at length hereinabove with reference to the embodiment of FIG. 1. Attention is invited to this previous description for an understanding of such cuts and their functions. These cuts are not illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, to avoid confusion with the eight expanded hinge regions that are illustrated here at 162, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174, and 176, respectively. These expanded hinge regions are provided for the same purposes and serve the same functions as those described previously with respect to the embodiment of FIG. 1, and these purposes and functions will not be further elaborated here. In the embodiment of FIGS. 16 and 17 the folded container, which results from folding the various components along longitudinal axes 150, 152, 154, and 156, respectively, and lateral axes 158, and 160, is formed as a square around bottom component 178.
  • With particular reference to FIGS. 18, 19 and 20, there is illustrated generally at 180 a scraper for quickly and accurately collecting game pieces off of the playing surface of a board game, particularly at the conclusion of play. In many games, for example, scrabble, the orientation of the game pieces on the game board surface has significance in the play of the game. For example, a game piece may have one value, an unknown value or no value when positioned on a reverse side, and a different value or a known value when turned over and laid on its obverse side. Typically, during the course of playing a game, the playing pieces are all turned over to expose their obverse sides. Often the value or lack thereof of a game piece is determined, for example, by some detectable indicia on the obverse side, and an absence of game playing significant indicia on the reverse side. Thus, by the end of the game their obverse sides with the detectable indicia thereon are exposed for visual or tactile detection. The game pieces may take different forms, and are often in the form, for example, of tiles. In order to restart the game the game pieces all need to be turned over so that their reverse sides are facing up.
  • Scraper 180 serves to quickly and accurately collect the game pieces and to reorient them with the reverse sides up. Scraper 180 also holds the pieces so that transportation and storage of the game pieces can be accomplished with minimal risk of losing one or more game pieces.
  • After play is concluded, if there are unused game pieces left obverse face down on, for example, a table or counter top that is supporting the game board, the scraper may be used to collect and orient them for reuse. If obverse side down game pieces are collected from a surface by scraping them off, the scraper may be inverted so that the collected game pieces are obverse side up. The game pieces are then swept off of the scraper (preferably by hand) onto a surface where they will rest obverse side up. The scraper may then be inverted and used to scrape the same just deposited game pieces off the surface. The unused game pieces then have the same orientation (obverse face hidden) as the game pieces that were scraped off of the game board at the conclusion of play.
  • In the embodiment chosen for illustration, scraper 180 includes a handle composed of a panel 195 with a lip element projecting outwardly therefrom. The lip element is in the form of a boss that includes a wall 193, an edge 194, and a face 196. A game piece holding face 200 is mounted on a surface of panel 195 that is adjacent to face 196. Panel 195 is preferably generally planar so as to accommodate the generally flat playing surfaces presented by typical game boards. In the embodiment chosen for illustration, the lip element is shown on one edge of the panel 195. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, other configurations are possible. For example, the lip element may be located intermediate the opposed edges of panel 195, if desired.
  • Game pieces that are particularly suited for use with scraper 180 typically include flat opposed sides of which obverse side 184 and reverse side 186 are typical. Such game pieces are sometimes described as “tiles”. Obverse side 184 generally includes some game significant detectable indicia of which the letter “A” indicated at 188 is typical. A permanent magnet of which 190 is typical may be embedded in game piece 182. Magnet 190 may be exposed on one or both of the sides of the game piece, or it may be partially or completely embedded between the opposed sides.
  • Wall 193 is of sufficient width to cause edge 194 to be spaced from the adjacent surface of game piece holding face 200 by a height that is equal to the thickness of at least one and preferably at least three game pieces. Typical game pieces are shown, for example, at 182 and 198. Wall 193 is also preferably of sufficient width to provide a convenient location for the finger tips of an operator of scraper 180 to engage the scraper. With the finger tips resting against wall 193 it is possible for the operator to drag the scraper across a game piece supporting surface in a direction that is roughly parallel to the direction indicated by the headed arrow that is associated with reference numeral 180. With a little practice an operator easily learns to drag the scraper across a supporting surface that is populated with game pieces with the edge 194 slidably engaged with that supporting surface. The game piece holding face 200 faces towards and is spaced from the game board surface by approximately the height of wall 193. The game pieces engage face 196 and are trapped there between face 196 and the adjacent surface 192 of game piece holding face 200. A few sweeps of the scraper 180 over the supporting surface is generally sufficient to collect all of the game pieces from the surface onto the scraper 180. In the embodiment chosen for purposes of illustration, the edge 194 is a surface with some significant area. Having a surface at 194 to rest the scraper on aids somewhat in manipulating and stabilizing the scraper 180 as it is dragged across a surface. As those skilled in the art will understand, edge 194 may be a relatively sharp edge without any significant area, if desired.
  • The game pieces are conveniently removed from the scraper 180 by sweeping them off by hand. Preferably, handle 195 is relatively thin so that when game pieces are swept of off of the face 200, they drop only a short distance to some other supporting surface such as a game board. Preferably, the distance they drop is so short relative to the width of the game pieces that the game pieces do not have the opportunity to turn over. Preferably the scraper should be no thicker than approximately three quarters, and preferably no more than approximately one half the width of the game pieces with which it is intended to be used. If desired, the edge of scraper 180 that is opposed to the lip element on the side that is opposed to face 200 may be rounded as shown in FIG. 19. The handle 180 is rolled over this rounded edge so as to bring the face 200 closer to the surface that is to receive the game pieces. This minimizes the risk that the game pieces will be turned over as they are removed from scraper 180 and permits the use of a somewhat thicker handle, if desired.
  • The game pieces, of which 182 and 198 are typical, and the game piece holding face 200 enjoy a magnetic attraction for one another. At least one of them is or includes a permanent magnet. The other, if not itself permanently magnetized, is composed of or includes a metallic material that is capable of being magnetically attracted. In the embodiment chosen for illustration, the game pieces include an embedded permanent magnet, of which 190 is typical. The game piece holding face 200 comprises a plate of metallic material of such a nature that while being magnetically attractive, generally does not form a permanent magnet. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, many different variations are possible, including game pieces that are composed entirely or substantially of one or more permanent magnets or magnetically attractive materials, and/or game piece holding faces that are comprised of one or more permanent magnets, or magnetically attractive materials, or the like. The game piece scraper is particularly suited for use with substantially planar tiles or game pieces.
  • More generally the present invention provides an object collector for collecting a plurality of separate three-dimensional objects from a surface. The objects preferably include permanent magnets. The object collector has an object holding face and a lip element generally adjacent to and projecting generally outwardly from the object collector for a height. The object collector is adapted to being grasped by a user and dragged across a surface with the object holding face towards the surface, and the lip element slidably engaged with the surface. The object holding face is generally spaced from the surface by approximately the height. Objects positioned on the surface are scraped off of the surface by the lip and held by the object holding face. The object holding face preferably includes magnetically attractive metal, and the objects that are scraped off preferably comprise permanent magnets. The objects that are scraped off of the surface are thus generally magnetically attached to the object holding face.
  • What have been described are preferred embodiments in which modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the accompanying claims. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

Claims (25)

1. A single piece body foldable along hinges between a three-dimensional configuration that is substantially closed, and a generally two-dimensional configuration, said single piece body comprising:
a plurality of components, said components being foldably interconnected through a plurality of lateral and longitudinal hinges;
a display face area on a front side of said plurality of components;
a plurality of fastening elements situated substantially within said single piece body, said fastening elements being spaced from one another and located substantially within said display face area, at least some of said fastening elements being positioned to magnetically interengage one another in said three-dimensional configuration, whereby said single piece body is maintained in said three-dimensional configuration by said magnetic interengagement.
2. A single piece body of claim 1 including a board game pattern in said display face area and said fastening elements being located substantially within said board game pattern at locations substantially determined by said board game pattern.
3. A single piece body of claim 1 wherein said fastening elements are permanent magnets.
4. A single piece body of claim 1 wherein said fastening elements are substantially undetectable by touching said display face area.
5. A single piece body of claim 1 including a board game pattern in said display face area, and at least some of said fastening elements being positioned to magnetically engage various objects in said generally two-dimensional configuration whereby said objects are magnetically retained at predetermined locations on said board game pattern.
6. A single piece body of claim 5 wherein at least some of said fastening elements are positioned to magnetically engage various objects in said generally two-dimensional configuration and to magnetically engage one another in said three-dimensional configuration.
7. A single piece body of claim 1 wherein at least some of said hinges are wide enough to bridge at least two thicknesses of said single piece body.
8. A single piece body of claim 1 wherein said single piece body in said generally two-dimensional configuration has a longitudinal axis and a lateral axis and is generally symmetrical around each of said axes.
9. A single piece body of claim 1 wherein said plurality of components are foldable toward said display face when folded from said generally two-dimensional configuration into said three-dimensional configuration.
10. A single piece body foldable along hinges between a three-dimensional configuration that is substantially closed, and a generally two-dimensional configuration, said single piece body comprising:
a plurality of components, said components being foldably interconnected through a plurality of lateral and longitudinal hinges;
a display face area including a game pattern on a front side of said plurality of components;
a plurality of magnetic fastening elements situated substantially within said single piece body, said magnetic fastening elements being spaced from one another and located substantially within said display face area at locations that are substantially dictated by said game pattern, at least some of said magnetic fastening elements being positioned to magnetically interengage one another in said three-dimensional configuration, whereby said single piece body is maintained in said three-dimensional configuration by said magnetic interengagement
11. A single piece body foldable along hinges between a three-dimensional generally square prism configuration and a generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration, said single piece body comprising:
a plurality of components, said components being foldably interconnected through a plurality of lateral and longitudinal hinges, said plurality of components including a bottom panel, first and second wall panels opposed to one another and hingedly associated with said bottom panel along first and second longitudinal hinges, respectively, first and second longitudinal closure flaps hingedly associated with said first and second wall panels, respectively, along third and fourth longitudinal hinges, respectively, first and second end panels opposed to one another and hingedly associated with said bottom panel along first and second lateral hinges, respectively, each of said wall panels being hingedly associated along said first and second lateral hinges, respectively, with opposed first and second end walls, and each of said end walls having an end closure flap hingedly associated therewith along said third and fourth longitudinal hinges, whereby in said three-dimensional generally square prism configuration both of said first end walls substantially overlap with said first end panel, both of said second end walls substantially overlap with said second end panel, and said first longitudinal closure flap and two of said end closure flaps partially overlap, and said second longitudinal closure flap and another two of said end closure flaps partially overlap;
a game pattern on one side of said plurality of components;
a plurality of fastening elements located substantially within said game pattern, at least some of said fastening elements being positioned to holdingly interengage one another in said three-dimensional generally square prism configuration, and at least some of said fastening elements being positioned to retain objects in predetermined locations on said game pattern in said generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration.
12. A single piece body foldable along hinges between a three-dimensional generally square prism configuration that is substantially closed, and a generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration, said single piece body comprising:
a plurality of components, said components being foldably interconnected through a plurality of lateral and longitudinal hinges;
a display face on one side of said plurality of components;
a plurality of magnetically active fastening elements, at least some of said magnetically active fastening elements being positioned to magnetically interengage one another in said three-dimensional generally square prism configuration whereby said single piece body is maintained in said three-dimensional generally square prism configuration by said magnetic interengagement, and at least some of said magnetically active fastening elements being positioned to magnetically retain objects in predetermined locations on said display face in said generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration.
13. A game piece scraper for collecting a plurality of game pieces from a surface such as a surface of a game board, said game pieces having a thickness, said game piece scraper comprising:
a game piece holding face on said game piece scraper, said game piece scraper including a lip element generally adjacent to and projecting generally outwardly from said game piece holding face for a height;
a game pattern displayed on said surface;
said plurality of game pieces adapted to being positioned on said surface at locations determined at least in part by said game pattern, said game piece scraper being adapted to being grasped by a user and dragged across said surface with said game piece holding face towards said surface and said lip element slidably engaged with said surface, whereby said game piece holding face is generally spaced from said surface by approximately said height and game pieces positioned on said surface are scraped off of said surface, and said game pieces and said game piece holding face adapted to being magnetically attractive to one another, whereby said game pieces that are scraped off of said surface are generally magnetically attached to said game piece holding face.
14. A game piece scraper of claim 13 including permanent magnetic material in said game pieces.
15. A game piece scraper of claim 13 including permanent magnetic material in said game piece holding face.
16. A game piece scraper of claim 13 wherein said game piece holding face comprises a magnetically attractive metallic plate.
17. A game piece scraper of claim 13 wherein said game pieces have thickness and said height is greater than said thickness.
18. A game piece scraper of claim 13 wherein said game pieces have thickness and said height is greater than about twice said thickness.
19. A game piece scraper of claim 13 wherein said game pieces have thickness, and each of said game pieces has about the same thickness.
20. A game piece scraper of claim 13 wherein said game pieces have thickness, and the thickness of at least some of said game pieces is substantially constant throughout the entire game piece.
21. A method of collecting game pieces from a surface of a game board comprising:
selecting a said game board having a surface with a game pattern displayed thereon;
positioning a plurality of said game pieces on said surface at locations determined at least in part by said game pattern;
selecting a game piece scraper that includes a game piece holding face, a lip element generally adjacent to and projecting generally outwardly from said game piece holding face for a height;
dragging said game piece scraper across said surface with said game piece holding face towards said surface and said lip element generally slidably engaged with said surface, whereby said game pieces are scraped off of said surface;
providing magnetic attraction between said game pieces and said game piece holding face, whereby said game pieces that are scraped off of said surface are generally magnetically attached to said game piece holding face.
22. A method of collecting game pieces of claim 21 including selecting game pieces comprising tiles having generally opposed obverse and reverse sides, said obverse side having detectable indicia that are associated with said game, said reverse side not having said detectable indicia, said positioning including positioning said tiles with said detectable indicia exposed, whereby said detectable indicia are not exposed when said tiles are magnetically attached to said game piece holding face during said dragging.
23. A method of collecting game pieces of claim 21 including selecting a game piece scraper that includes a generally planar game piece holding face.
24. A single piece body foldable along hinges between a three-dimensional generally closed configuration and a generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration, said single piece body comprising:
a plurality of components, said components being foldably interconnected through a plurality of lateral and longitudinal hinges;
a display face on one side of said plurality of components;
a plurality of separate magnetic elements embedded within said single piece body, at least some of said magnetic elements being positioned to magnetically interengage one another in said three-dimensional generally closed configuration and retain objects in predetermined locations on said display face in said generally rectangular two-dimensional configuration.
25. An object collector for collecting a plurality of separate objects from a surface, said objects having a thickness and including permanent magnets, said object collector comprising:
an object holding face on said object collector, said object collector including a lip element generally adjacent to and projecting generally outwardly from said object collector for a height, said object collector being adapted to being grasped by a user and dragged across said surface with said object holding face towards said surface and said lip element slidably engaged with said surface, whereby said object holding face is generally spaced from said surface by approximately said height and objects positioned on said surface are scraped off of said surface, and said object holding face including magnetically attractive metal, whereby said objects that are scraped off of said surface are generally magnetically attached to said object holding face.
US11/678,902 2006-03-16 2007-02-26 Foldable body with magnets and object collector Abandoned US20070216095A1 (en)

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JP2013521010A (en) * 2009-11-04 2013-06-10 グリノルド,イツァク Story plaything
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
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US20130249789A1 (en) * 2012-03-26 2013-09-26 Lenovo (Beijing) Co., Ltd. Electronic Device And Control Method
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