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US20110028064A1 - Toy block, a toy block connecting element and a toy block element for producing a toy block - Google Patents

Toy block, a toy block connecting element and a toy block element for producing a toy block Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110028064A1
US20110028064A1 US12936031 US93603109A US20110028064A1 US 20110028064 A1 US20110028064 A1 US 20110028064A1 US 12936031 US12936031 US 12936031 US 93603109 A US93603109 A US 93603109A US 20110028064 A1 US20110028064 A1 US 20110028064A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
toy
block
catch
element
portion
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12936031
Inventor
Mads Sandahl Christensen
Lars Christensen
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3L PLENTYPLAY APS
Original Assignee
3L PLENTYPLAY APS
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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/04Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts
    • A63H33/10Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts to be assembled by means of additional non-adhesive elements
    • A63H33/101Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts to be assembled by means of additional non-adhesive elements with clip or snap mechanism

Abstract

Toy block (1) comprising a sidewall (2) with an inner surface and an outer surface (3) intended for abutment against a surface of a corresponding toy block, said sidewall (2) comprising a through hole (4) for receipt of a catch portion (7) of a connecting element (6) and a recess (5) in said outer surface (3) adjacent the through hole (4), and said toy block (1) comprising a catch for engaging and holding the catch portion (7) of a connecting element (6), said catch being situated in the interior of the toy block (1) in a distance from said inner surface, and at least one of said recess (5) and said through hole (4) is non-circular, toy block connecting element (6) for such a toy block (1) and toy block element (11) for producing such a toy block (1).

Description

  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a toy block comprising a side-wall with an inner surface and an outer surface intended for abutment against a surface of a corresponding toy block said sidewall comprising a through hole for receipt of a catch portion of a connecting element and a recess in said outer surface adjacent the through hole, and said toy block comprising a catch for engaging and holding the catch portion of a connecting element. The present invention further relates to a toy block connecting element for interconnecting such toy blocks. The present invention further relates to a toy block element for producing such a toy block.
  • [0002]
    A toy block of the abovementioned type is known from U.S. Pat. No. 5,645,464. The known toy block is hollow and has a wall with a circular opening, a flange recessed within said opening, a central aperture and at least two holes adjacent to and in connection with said aperture. Each of the at least two holes further comprise semi-cylindrical resilient supports supporting two semicircular shaped knobs integrally connected with said flange for the purpose of interconnecting two toy blocks. Furthermore U.S. Pat. No. 5,645,464 discloses a switch lock for interconnecting said toy blocks by engagement with said retaining knob means. The switch lock comprises a rigid disc and two shafts attached to opposite sides of said disc. Each shaft comprises a head portion adapted to fit in said aperture and said holes of said opening in said toy block wall to be retained by said knobs. By engagement with said knob retaining means the head portion of said switch lock serves both the purpose of holding the blocks connected and prevent mutual rotation of block and connection element.
  • [0003]
    The prior known toy block is disadvantageous primarily in that the switch lock and the knob retaining means provide an unsatisfactory prevention of mutual rotation between block and connecting element during the engaging action.
  • [0004]
    Hence, the object of the present invention is to satisfactorily prevent mutual rotation between a toy block and a connection element for such a toy block when the connecting element is inserted in the toy block.
  • [0005]
    Another object of the invention is to provide a toy block element for producing such an improved toy block, which toy block element may be moulded in one piece and using one mould, hence being manufacturable in a simple and less costly process.
  • [0006]
    According to a first aspect of the invention these objects are achieved by a toy block of the abovementioned type, wherein said catch is situated in the interior of the toy block in a distance from said inner surface, and in that at least one of said recess and said through hole is non-circular. In a preferred embodiment said distance from said inner surface to said catch is at least 1 mm.
  • [0007]
    Thereby a toy block is provided in which prevention of mutual rotation between block and connecting element is provided by the non-circular recess and/or hole, and in which the catch portion serves to hold the blocks connected, hence separating these two actions spatially. Such a construction provides a considerable improvement of the prevention of mutual rotation between block and connecting element.
  • [0008]
    According to a second aspect of the invention the objects of the invention are achieved by a toy block connecting element for interconnecting toy blocks, comprising a central flat portion with two opposite surfaces and a circumference, a catch portion for engagement with a catch of the toy block rising from at least one of said surfaces, wherein at least one of the cross section of catch portion and the circumference of the flat portion is non-circular and wherein said catch portion comprises at least one catch leg, said catch leg comprising at least one engagement means on an outer section of the catch leg opposite said central flat portion.
  • [0009]
    Thereby a toy block connecting element is provided in which the at least one of the flat portion and the catch portion being non-circular upon insertion in a toy block may engage with that of the recess or through hole respectively likewise being noncircular of a toy block to lock the toy block connecting element with the toy block such that prevention of mutual rotation is considerably improved.
  • [0010]
    According to a third aspect of the invention the objects of the invention are achieved by a toy block element for producing a toy block according to the invention, wherein the toy block element comprises a circumferential wall comprising an outer surface, an inner surface and an open edge adapted to be joined with an open edge of a corresponding toy block element, said circumferential wall being cylindrical adjacent the open edge having a generator direction, said wall comprising adjacent its open edge in its outer surface at least one recess, said recess comprising a bottom, and a through hole in said bottom, said hole opening into the open edge, at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular, said toy block element further comprising at least one first leg portion extending parallel to the generator direction to a level in a vicinity of a level of the open edge to provide at least part of a catch of a toy block.
  • [0011]
    Thereby a toy block element is provided for producing a toy block according to the first aspect of the invention and as described above in a particularly simple and advantageous manner by joining the open edge of the toy block element with a corresponding toy block element such that the recesses of the respective toy block elements join to form a recess of the produced toy block, while the respective first leg portions form a catch of the toy block, hence providing the abovementioned advantages.
  • [0012]
    According to a particularly preferred embodiment the first leg element is resilient and flexible in a direction perpendicular to said generator direction, thereby providing a coupling between catch and catch portion and thereby block and connecting element making it easier, particularly for a child, to insert and remove said connecting element in and from said toy block.
  • [0013]
    According to a preferred embodiment the toy block element according to the invention further comprises at least one second leg portion extending parallel to the generator direction to a level in a vicinity of a peripheral point of the through hole opposite said open edge to provide part of a catch of a toy block. Thereby an improved and more stable hold of a connecting element according to the invention upon inserting such a connecting element in a through hole of a toy block produced by the use of such toy block elements is provided.
  • [0014]
    According to a particularly preferred embodiment at least one of said first leg portion and said second leg portion comprises a transversal portion extending over at least part of the distance between the inner surface of the circumferential wall and the respective leg portion. Thereby a further improved hold of a connecting element according to the invention, particularly in a transverse direction of said connecting element, upon inserting such a connecting element in a through hole of a toy block produced by the use of such toy block elements is provided.
  • [0015]
    According to a preferred embodiment the at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular is shaped substantially as a halved cross. Thereby a non-semicircular recess, or through hole, is provided which may be constructed such that it is symmetric about a centre axis, whereby all toy block elements having identically shaped circumferential walls may be moulded using one and the same mould, thus providing a particularly cost effective toy block element.
  • [0016]
    According to a particularly preferred embodiment the at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular comprises a first and a second leg parts extending substantially in parallel with said open edge and separated by a third leg part extending substantially perpendicular to said open edge. Thereby a particularly simple embodiment of the abovementioned halved cross shape is provided.
  • [0017]
    According to a further particularly preferred embodiment of a toy block element according to the invention the toy block element comprises a base wall being merged in at least one of a curve and an angle with the circumferential wall opposite said open edge, wherein said base wall comprises at least one non-circular recess, said recess comprising a bottom and a through hole in said bottom, at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-circular, at least one third leg portion rising from the base wall adjacent said through hole into an interior of the toy block to provide at least part of a catch of a toy block. Thereby a toy block element is provided by which toy blocks produced by the use of such elements as a consequence of the additional wall provided may assume a wider range of geometrical shapes and may by the use of toy block connecting elements be combined in a wider range of possibilities as compared to a toy block produced by the use of toy block elements with no such base wall, the prior mentioned advantages regarding the hold and rotation of a toy block connecting element also being maintained as regards a catch of the base wall.
  • [0018]
    According to a particularly preferred embodiment said third leg portion is resilient and flexible in a direction perpendicular to said generator direction, thereby providing a coupling between catch and catch portion and thereby block and connecting element making it easier, particularly for a child, to insert and remove said connecting element in and from said toy block.
  • [0019]
    According to a preferred embodiment the base wall further comprises at least one fourth leg portion rising from the base wall adjacent said through hole to provide part of a catch of a toy block. Thereby an improved hold of a connecting element according to the invention upon inserting such a connecting element in a through hole of a base wall of a toy block produced by the use of such toy block elements is provided.
  • [0020]
    According to a preferred embodiment the fourth leg portion further comprises a transversal portion. Thereby a further improved hold of a connecting element according to the invention, particularly in a trans-verse direction of said connecting element, upon inserting such a connecting element in a through hole of a base wall of a toy block produced by the use of such toy block elements is provided.
  • [0021]
    According to a preferred embodiment of a toy block element according to the invention the said first, second, third and/or fourth leg portion further comprises at least one adjacent element adapted to support the first, second, third and/or fourth leg portion, whereby a toy block having further improved catch regarding stability and durability may be provided using such toy block elements.
  • [0022]
    According to a preferred embodiment at least a part of said circumferential wall and/or of said base wall is curved, thereby expanding the possible range of shapes of block elements considerably.
  • [0023]
    According to a particularly preferred embodiment the toy block element is moulded in one piece. Thereby the toy block may be produced using a particularly simple and cost efficient production process.
  • [0024]
    According to a fourth aspect of the invention a toy block comprising two toy block elements according to the invention is provided, said toy block elements being joined together by their respective open edges. The joining together of said toy block elements is preferably accomplished by welding, preferably ultrasonic sealing. Hereby a toy block with the desired advantages and a particularly simple and efficient sealing may be achieved by the use of a particularly simple sealing process.
  • [0025]
    According to a fifth aspect of the invention a toy building set comprising a plurality of toy blocks according to the invention, said toy blocks having one or more different outer shapes, and a plurality of toy block connecting elements according to the invention is provided.
  • [0026]
    The invention will now be described in further detail based on a non-limiting exemplary embodiment, and with reference to the drawings. In the drawings,
  • [0027]
    FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a toy block according to the invention,
  • [0028]
    FIGS. 2 a and 2 b shows a side and a top view respectively of an embodiment of a toy block connecting element according to the invention,
  • [0029]
    FIGS. 3 a and 3 b shows a side and a top view respectively of a second embodiment of a toy block connecting element according to the invention,
  • [0030]
    FIGS. 4 a and 4 b shows a side and a top view respectively of a third embodiment of a toy block connecting element according to the invention,
  • [0031]
    FIGS. 5 a and 5 b shows a side and a top view respectively of a fourth embodiment of a toy block connecting element according to the invention,
  • [0032]
    FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a toy block element according to the invention,
  • [0033]
    FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of a toy block element according to FIG. 6 engaging two connecting elements according to FIG. 2 a,
  • [0034]
    FIG. 8 shows a toy block element according to FIG. 6 seen from above,
  • [0035]
    FIG. 9 shows the outside of a toy block element according to FIG. 6 seen from one side,
  • [0036]
    FIG. 10 shows the outside of a toy block element according to FIG. 6 seen from below, and
  • [0037]
    FIGS. 11-14 show four other embodiments of toy block elements according to the invention being shaped as a D, a quarter circle, a triangle and a U respectively.
  • [0038]
    With reference to FIG. 1 a toy block 1 according to the invention comprises a side wall 2 with an inner surface (not visible) facing the interior of the toy block 1 and an outer surface 3 intended for abutment with another toy block. The side wall 2 comprises one or more through holes 4 (a total of three are shown) and a recess 5 in the surface 3 adjacent each through hole 4. At least one of the recess 5 and the through hole 4 is non-circular. In the embodiment shown, both the recess 5 and the through hole 4 are shaped substantially as a cross, but any non-circular shape such as for instance rectangular or triangular may in principle be used and only one of the recess 5 and the through hole 4 need necessarily be non-circular. The through hole 4 is intended for receipt of a toy block connecting element, a preferred embodiment of such a toy block connecting element being shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B. In the embodiment of the toy block 1 shown in FIG. 1, the toy block consists of two toy block elements according to the invention being joined along a joint 24. The toy block element according to the invention and the joining together of such toy block elements will be described in detail below.
  • [0039]
    With reference to FIGS. 2A and 2B a preferred embodiment of a toy block connecting element 6 according to the invention comprises a central flat portion 9 with two opposite surfaces 10 a, 10 b, the flat portion 9 having a circumference 8. The shape of the circumference 8 is such that it fits in a recess of a toy block. In the embodiment shown, the circumference 8 is shaped substantially as a cross to fit in the cross shaped recess 5 of the toy block 1 according to FIG. 1, but any shape of circumference may in principle be used, as long as the shape of the circumference matches at least a part of that of a recess of a toy block. Rising from either surface 10 a, 10 b is a catch portion 7. In the embodiment shown each of the catch portions 7 comprise four separate catch legs 30. Each catch leg 30 is preferably resilient and comprises an inner catch leg section 30 a and an outer catch leg section 30 b. The inner catch leg section 30 a comprises an outward facing surface 33. The outer catch leg section 30 b comprises an outward facing surface having two surface sections 31 and 32. In the preferred embodiment as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B the surface section 31 raises gradually from the level of the outward facing surface 33 of the inner catch leg section 30 a to a highest point 36 situated between the ends of the outer catch leg section 30 b. The surface sections 31 and 32 adjoin at said highest point 36 from which the surface section 32 gradually falls to reach its lowest level at its end opposite surface section 31. Thus the surface sections 31, 32 in combination provide an engagement means in the form of a projection on the outer catch leg section 30 b. In principle the engagement means could also be an indentation in the outer catch leg section 30 b. The length of the inner catch leg 30 a substantially equals a distance between the inner surface and the corresponding leg portion of the catch of a toy block 1, such that the outer catch leg portion 30 b with its projection may in a snap locking manner engage with a catch of a toy block 1, the catch portion 7 thus providing an engagement with a catch of a toy block 1 upon insertion in the toy block 1. Such a catch of a toy block 1 will be described in detail below.
  • [0040]
    FIGS. 3A and 3B shows an alternative embodiment of a toy block connecting element according to the invention. The toy block connecting element 6 of FIGS. 3A and 3B is identical with that of FIGS. 2A and 2B except for the embodiment of the outer catch leg section 30 b. In this particular embodiment the surface section 31 of the outer catch leg section 30 b rises substantially perpendicular to the outward facing surface 33 of the inner catch leg section 30 a to a highest point 36 from which the surface section 32 falls gradually to reach its lowest level at its end opposite surface section 31. This embodiment provides for a tighter engagement with a catch of a toy block as compared to the preferred embodiment of FIGS. 2A and 2B, the latter being somewhat easier to release in order to separate toy block and connecting element. Thus a steeper raising angle of the surface section 31 provides a tighter engagement with a catch of a toy block. The gradual raise of the surface section 32 serves to provide an easier insertion of the catch portion 7 into a through hole of a toy block.
  • [0041]
    In further embodiments of a toy block connecting element according to the invention the catch legs 30 may be resilient or rigid, and fewer or more catch legs 30 may be provided i.a. depending on the shape of the central portion 9 and/or the shape of the catch of the toy block. For instance a central intermediate portion rising from the central flat portion 9 and extending between at least two of the catch legs 30 may be provided joining two or more of the catch legs 30. In a not shown embodiment the presence of such a central intermediate portion may result in a catch portion having a cross sectional shape of for instance a plus or a circle. Furthermore, as shown on the figs., the tip 34 of each of the outer catch leg sections 30 b of each catch leg 30 is preferably rounded such as to prevent sharp ends, that may inflict damage upon blocks and/or users when connecting toy blocks 1. Of crucial importance is solely the configuration of the outwards facing surface sections corresponding to 31, 32 of FIG. 2A, that the shape of the flat central section 9 and the recess 5 match and that the cross sectional shape of the catch portion 7 is such that it at least may be inserted in the hole 4 and preferably matches the shape of the hole 4.
  • [0042]
    Shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B is another embodiment of a connecting element 6 according to the invention. This embodiment differs from that of FIGS. 2A and 2B in two regards. Firstly, the circumference 8 of the flat portion 9 is provided with a number of notches 37 situated on the part of the circumference 8 intermediate between a catch leg 30 of each of the catch portions 7. This embodiment provides for added flexibility of the catch legs 30 as compared to the embodiment of FIGS. 2A and 2B. Secondly, the part of the circumference 8 intended to abut the recess 5 of a toy block 1 as described further below is limited to constitute the sections between each two catch legs 30.
  • [0043]
    When inserting such a toy block connecting element according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B in a toy block according to the invention, a catch portion 7 is pushed through the through hole 4 to be received by a catch of a toy block 1, the catch being situated in the inside of the toy block, thus not being visible in FIG. 1. The catch portion 7 is pushed into the toy block 1 until the circumference 8 of the flat portion 9 abuts the recess 5 of the toy block 1. In this way the engagement between the catch of the toy block and the catch portion 7 of the connecting element prevents longitudinal movement of the connecting element 6, while the engagement between those of flat portion 9 and recess 5 or through hole 4 and catch portion 7 having at least partially matching non-circular circumferences prevent radial movement of the connecting element 6. The other catch portion 7 of the connecting element 6 may then be inserted in a through hole 4 and catch of another toy block 1, thus connecting the two toy blocks. In this way the engagement holding the toy blocks together and the engagement preventing rotation of the blocks both with respect to each other and with respect to the connecting element are separated. Furthermore, to ensure that the outer surfaces 3 of the two toy blocks 1 abut each other upon connection with a connecting element 6, the thickness of the central flat portion 9 of the connecting element 6 preferably substantially equals or is slightly smaller than the combined depth of the recesses 5 in the respective surfaces 3.
  • [0044]
    Notwithstanding the above it may, however, when building structures by connecting toy blocks according to the invention be desirable to be able to rotate one of two toy blocks 1 held together by a connecting element 6 relative to the other block without compromising the engagement holding the blocks together. To achieve this the central flat portion 9 of a connecting element according to the invention may, in another embodiment shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, be provided in two parts coupled together using a frictional coupling. Such a frictional coupling may provide for continuous or graduated rotation. In this way the two catch portions 7 may be rotated relative to each other about their longitudinal axis.
  • [0045]
    Referring now to FIG. 6 showing a perspective view and FIG. 8 showing a top view of a toy block element 11 according to the invention, such a toy block element 11 comprises in the embodiment shown a circumferential wall 12 and a base wall 21. The circumferential wall 12 comprises an outer surface 13, an inner surface 14 and an open edge 15. Adjacent the open edge 15 the circumferential wall 12 is cylindrical with an axial direction being parallel with a generator direction defined by an arrow 16 shown in FIG. 6. The circumferential wall 12 furthermore comprises adjacent its open edge 15 a recess 5 a. As it is seen more clearly in FIG. 9, the recess 5 a comprises a bottom 18 and a through hole 4 a in the bottom 18. The through hole 4 a opens into the open edge 15 such that the adjacent recess 5 a forms a transition 15 a with the open edge 15 at either side of the through hole 4 a. Upon joining the open edge 15 with the open edge of a corresponding toy block element the transitions 15 a of the toy block element 11 are intended to coincide with the corresponding transitions between the open edge and the recess of the corresponding toy block element. According to the invention at least one of the recess 5 a and the through hole 4 is non-semicircular.
  • [0046]
    In the embodiment shown both the through hole 4 a and the recess 5 a are shaped substantially as a halved cross. In a particularly preferred embodiment of such a halved cross, that is shown in detail in the side view of FIG. 9, the recess 5 a and the hole 4 a comprise two recess legs 17 a, 17 b extending substantially in parallel with the open edge 15 and separated by a recess leg 17 c extending substantially perpendicular to the open edge 15. However any non-semicircular shape may in principle be used and only one of the recess 5 a and the through hole 4 a need be non-semicircular in shape.
  • [0047]
    Referring again to FIG. 6, in the embodiment shown the circumferential wall 12 comprises four equally sized sides, thus forming a block element 11 with a quadratic shape. A circumferential wall of a toy block element according to the invention however merely need have at least one side, and may in principle have any number of sides equal to or larger than one, and each side may be straight, partially curved or curved as desired, thus providing for a large variety of shapes of toy block elements.
  • [0048]
    The toy block element 11 further comprises at least one first leg portion 19. The first leg portion 19 extends in a direction parallel to a generator direction denoted on FIG. 6 by an arrow 16 to a level in a vicinity of a level of the open edge 15 and is situated inside the circumferential wall 12 at a distance from the inner surface 14, the distance preferably in any case being at least 1 mm. In the preferred embodiment of a toy block according to the invention, this distance is preferably approximately 4 mm. This distance, however, obviously depends on the overall size of the toy block such that the larger the toy block is, the larger the preferred distance will be, the mentioned approximately 4 mm being intended used in a toy block having a size in the order of 3×3×3 cm in the cubic version shown in FIG. 1. The first leg portion 19 thus provides at least part of a catch of a toy block 1 according to the invention. The first leg portion 19 may be resilient in a direction perpendicular to said generator direction 16. The first leg portion 19 may furthermore comprise a transverse portion 19 a extending over at least part of the distance between inner surface 14 and first leg portion 19. In the embodiment shown the transverse portion 19 a covers the entire said distance, thus connecting the first leg portion 19 and the inner surface 14. At the inner surface 14 the transverse portion 19 a is preferably shaped such as to be substantially flush with the adjacent section of the circumference of the through hole 4 a, substantially without covering any of the open area of the through hole 4 a.
  • [0049]
    The toy block element 11 may further comprise at least one second leg portion 20. The second leg portion 20 extends in a direction parallel to the generator direction 16 to a level in a vicinity of peripheral point of the through hole 4 a opposite the open edge 15 and is situated inside the circumferential wall 12 at a distance from the inner surface 14, the distance preferably being between 3 mm and 10 mm. The second leg portion 20 thus provides part of a catch of a toy block 1 according to the invention. The second leg portion 20 is preferably of a rigid structure. The second leg portion 20 may furthermore comprise a transverse portion 20 a extending over at least part of the distance between inner surface 14 and second leg portion 20. In the embodiment shown the transverse portion 20 a covers the entire said distance, thus connecting the second leg portion 20 and the inner surface 14. At the inner surface 14 the transverse portion 20 a is preferably shaped such as to be substantially flush with the adjacent section of the circumference of the through hole 4 a, substantially without covering any of the open area of the through hole 4 a.
  • [0050]
    The transverse portions 19 a, 20 a extend in the generator direction 16 and may furthermore serve to support the catch portion 7 of a connecting element 6 upon insertion such that the outward facing surface 33 and surface sections 31, 32 of a catch leg 30 may slide along a surface of a transverse portion 19 a or 20 a, thus facilitating the insertion (and later removal) of a connecting element 6 in a toy block 1. In this embodiment the transverse portions 19 a, 20 a extend to a level flush with the level to which the corresponding leg portion 19, 20 respectively extends. The thickness of the transverse portions 19 a and in particular 20 a should preferably be sufficient to serve their supportive purpose, but is otherwise of lesser importance.
  • [0051]
    In the embodiment shown both the first 19 and the second 20 leg portion furthermore extend in a plane parallel to the circumferential wall 12 such that they meet each other. This provides for a simple and particularly durable structure of the catch. The presence of transverse portions 19 a and 20 a would improve durability of the catch of the toy block even further.
  • [0052]
    In other embodiments the first 19 and/or the second 20 leg portion may comprise one or more further adjacent elements (not shown) to further support and stabilize the leg portions 19, 20.
  • [0053]
    In the embodiment shown a complete catch of a toy block assembled of two toy block elements 11 would thus comprise two first leg portions 19 and two second leg portions 20. However it is in principle possible in the simplest form to omit (or indeed substitute them for further first leg portions 19) the second leg portions 20, thus letting the catch comprise two leg portions 19 only.
  • [0054]
    In the embodiment shown the toy block element 11 further comprises a base wall 21. The base wall 21 is shown as merged in a right angle with the circumferential wall 12, but may also in other embodiments be merged in another angle or in a curve with the circumferential wall 12, thus increasing the number of possible shapes of toy block elements according to the invention even further. In a further embodiment it is even possible to omit the base wall 21, thus providing for toy block elements being shaped as for instance a halved circular or elliptical sphere.
  • [0055]
    In the embodiment shown, and as further illustrated in FIG. 10, the base wall 21 further comprises a recess 5 with a bottom 18 and a through hole 4 in the bottom 18. As shown in FIG. 6 two third leg portions 22 extend from the base wall 21 and into the interior of the toy block element, the third leg portions 22 being situated adjacent said through hole 4. The third leg portion 22 provides at least part of a catch of a toy block according to the invention. The third leg portion 22 may be resilient and flexible in a direction perpendicular to the generator direction 16.
  • [0056]
    Furthermore two fourth leg portions 23 are shown to and may extend from the base wall 21 and into the interior of the toy block element, the fourth leg portions 23 also being situated adjacent said through hole 4. In the embodiment shown the fourth leg portions 23 and the third leg portions 22 are identically shaped. The fourth leg portions 23 are preferably rigid in structure and provide part of a catch of a toy block according to the invention.
  • [0057]
    On the figures the one recess 5 in the base wall 21 is shown situated in a central position on the base wall 21. However any desired position may in principle be used, and furthermore more than one recess 5 with related hole 4 and catch may be provided in the base wall 21.
  • [0058]
    In the embodiment shown a complete catch of a base wall 21 of a toy block element 11 would thus comprise two third leg portions 22 and two fourth leg portions 23. However it is in principle possible in the simplest form to omit (or indeed substitute them for further third leg portions 22) the fourth leg portions 23, thus letting the catch comprise two leg portions 22 only.
  • [0059]
    FIG. 7 shows a toy block element 11 identical to that of FIG. 6 in which the engagement between a catch of a toy block, i.e. the first 19 and second 20 leg portions of a circumferential wall 12 or the third 22 and fourth 23 leg portions of a base wall 21, and a catch portion 7 of a connecting element 6 (in FIG. 7 a connecting element 6 of the type shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B) is illustrated. It can be seen that the projection provided by the outward facing surface sections 31, 32 of the outer catch leg section 30 b engage behind the respective leg portion 19, 20, 22 or 23, such that the surface section 31 of the outer catch leg section 30 b abuts against the surface 25 of the respective leg portion facing the interior of the toy block element, to provide a hold in the longitudinal direction of the connecting element 6.
  • [0060]
    Considering the embodiment of a connecting element 6 shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, in which the surface section 31 as described previously rises gradually, only a part of the surface section 31 of the outer catch leg section 30 b adjacent the surface section 33 of the inner catch leg section 30 a would abut against a surface 25, thus providing a less tight longitudinal hold, the connecting element consequently being easier to release, particularly for a child.
  • [0061]
    A toy block element according to the invention may be produced entirely in the same relatively hard and durable plastic material by injection moulding. A preferred such material is ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). To produce a toy block element constructed according to the invention in principle only one mould is needed for each shape of toy block element, and only one moulding step is required to form each element.
  • [0062]
    A toy block connecting element according to the invention may be produced of the same plastic material as the toy block elements and likewise by injection moulding. Preferably, however, the toy block connecting elements are made of polycarbonate.
  • [0063]
    As mentioned previously one or more of the catch portion of the connecting element and the first and third leg portions of the catch of the toy block (and in principle, but less preferred, also the second and fourth leg portions of the catch) may be made resilient and flexible. Such flexibility and resilience is preferably achieved by constructing the mould used to provide the elements in question with suitable structural dimensions, for instance by making them sufficiently thin to be resilient. However another but less preferred possibility is to use a more resilient plastic material for moulding the elements resilient and flexible elements. To produce a toy block according to the invention two toy block elements according to the invention are joined by bringing their respective open edges 15 to abut against each other and subsequently seal the open edges 15 to each other by for instance welding, preferably ultrasonic sealing. Alternatively the joining may be accomplished by the use of an adhesive agent, a frictional coupling or by providing each two toy block elements with corresponding locking elements at their respective open edges 15.
  • [0064]
    When each two toy block elements are provided with corresponding locking elements, an alternative way of coupling connection elements and toy blocks together is to join the toy block elements together around one or more toy block connecting elements by placing the connecting elements in one of the toy block elements as the toy block connecting element 6 is placed in the toy block element 11 in FIG. 7.
  • [0065]
    To aid in the process of bringing the respective open edges to abut correctly along the whole circumference of the circumferential wall 12 a plurality of plate shaped projections 35 may furthermore be provided along the open edge 15 of a toy block element 11. An example of such projections 35 is shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0066]
    Depending on the shape of the toy block elements a wide range of differently shaped toy blocks according to the invention may be achieved. Examples of different shapes of toy blocks are shown in FIGS. 11-14, of which FIG. 11 shows toy block with a D-shaped side wall, FIG. 12 shows a toy block with a side wall shaped as a quarter circle, FIG. 13 shows a toy block with a triangular side wall, and FIG. 14 shows a toy block with a U-shaped side wall.
  • [0067]
    It should be noted that the above description of preferred embodiments is merely an example, and that the skilled person would know that numerous variations are possible without departing from the scope of the claims.

Claims (23)

  1. 1.-21. (canceled)
  2. 22. Toy block comprising
    a sidewall with an inner surface and an outer surface intended for abutment against a surface of a corresponding toy block, said sidewall comprising
    a through hole for receipt of a catch portion of a connecting element and
    a recess in said outer surface adjacent the through hole and
    said toy block comprising a catch for engaging and holding the catch portion of a connecting element
    wherein said catch is situated in the interior of the toy block in a distance from said inner surface, and
    at least one of said recess and said through hole is non-circular.
  3. 23. Toy block according to claim 22, wherein said distance from said inner surface to said catch is at least 1 mm.
  4. 24. Toy block connecting element for interconnecting toy blocks, comprising
    a central flat portion with two opposite surfaces and a circumference,
    a catch portion for engagement with a catch of the toy block rising from at least one of said surfaces,
    wherein at least one of the cross section of catch portion and the circumference of the flat portion is non-circular and
    said catch portion comprises at least one catch leg, said catch leg comprising at least one engagement means on an outer section of the catch leg opposite said central flat portion.
  5. 25. Toy block connecting element according to claim 24, wherein said catch portion comprises at least two catch legs, at least one of said catch legs comprising at least one projection on an outer section of the catch leg opposite said central flat portion.
  6. 26. Toy block element for producing a toy block according to claim 22 wherein it comprises a circumferential wall comprising an outer surface, an inner surface and an open edge adapted to be joined with an open edge of a corresponding toy block element, said circumferential wall being cylindrical adjacent the open edge having a generator direction, said wall comprising adjacent its open edge in its outer surface at least one recess, said recess comprising a bottom, and a through hole in said bottom, said hole opening into the open edge, at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular, said toy block element further comprising at least one first leg portion extending parallel to the generator direction to a level in a vicinity of a level of the open edge to provide at least part of a catch of a toy block.
  7. 27. Toy block element according to claim 26, wherein said first leg element is resilient and flexible in a direction perpendicular to said generator direction.
  8. 28. Toy block element according to claim 26 further comprising at least one second leg portion extending parallel to the generator direction to a level in a vicinity of a peripheral point of the through hole opposite said open edge to provide part of a catch of a toy block.
  9. 29. Toy block element according to claim 28, wherein at least one of said first leg portion and said second leg portion comprises a transversal portion extending over at least part of the distance between the inner surface of the circumferential wall and the respective leg portion.
  10. 30. Toy block element according to claim 26, wherein the at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular is shaped substantially as a halved cross.
  11. 31. Toy block element according to claim 26, wherein the at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular comprises a first and a second recess leg extending substantially in parallel with said open edge and separated by a third recess leg extending substantially perpendicular to said open edge.
  12. 32. Toy block element according to claim 26, further comprising a base wall, said base wall being merged in at least one of a curve and an angle with the circumferential wall opposite said open edge, wherein said base wall comprises at least one recess, said recess comprising a bottom and a through hole in said bottom, at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-circular, at least one third leg portion rising from the base wall adjacent said through hole into an interior of the toy block to provide at least part of a catch of a toy block.
  13. 33. Toy block element according to claim 32, wherein said third leg is being resilient and flexible in a direction perpendicular to said generator direction.
  14. 34. Toy block element according to claim 32, wherein said base wall further comprises at least one fourth leg portion rising from the base wall adjacent said through hole to provide part of a catch of a toy block.
  15. 35. Toy block element according to claim 34, wherein said fourth leg portion further comprises a transversal portion.
  16. 36. Toy block element according to claim 32, wherein the at least one of said recess and said through hole in said base wall being non-circular is shaped substantially as a cross.
  17. 37. Toy block element according to claim 34, wherein said first, second, third and/or fourth leg portion further comprises at least one adjacent element adapted to support said first, second, third and/or fourth leg portion.
  18. 38. Toy block element according to claim 26, wherein at least a part of said circumferential wall and/or of said base wall is curved.
  19. 39. Toy block element according to claim 26, wherein the toy block element is moulded in one piece.
  20. 40. Toy block comprising two toy block elements according to claim 26, said toy block elements being joined together by their respective open edges.
  21. 41. Toy block according to claim 40, wherein said joining together of said toy block elements is accomplished by welding, preferably ultrasonic sealing.
  22. 42. Toy building set comprising
    a plurality of toy blocks, said toy blocks having one or more different outer shapes, and
    a plurality of toy block connecting elements,
    wherein each toy block comprises a sidewall with an inner surface and an outer surface intended for abutment against a surface of a corresponding toy block, said sidewall comprising
    a through hole for receipt of a catch portion of a connecting element and a recess in said outer surface adjacent the through hole and said each toy block further comprising a catch for engaging and holding the catch portion of a connecting element
    wherein said catch is situated in the interior of the toy block in a distance from said inner surface, and
    at least one of said recess and said through hole is non-circular; and
    wherein the toy block connecting elements each comprise a central flat portion with two opposite surfaces and a circumference, and a catch portion for engagement with a catch of the toy block rising from at least one of said surfaces,
    wherein at least one of the cross section of catch portion and the circumference of the flat portion is non-circular and said catch portion comprises at least one catch leg, said catch leg comprising at least one engagement means on an outer section of the catch leg opposite said central flat portion.
  23. 43. Toy building set comprising
    a plurality of toy blocks wherein each toy block comprises two toy block elements for producing a toy block comprising a sidewall with an inner surface and an outer surface intended for abutment against a surface of a corresponding toy block, said sidewall comprising
    a through hole for receipt of a catch portion of a connecting element and a recess in said outer surface adjacent the through hole and said each toy block further comprising a catch for engaging and holding the catch portion of a connecting element
    wherein said catch is situated in the interior of the toy block in a distance from said inner surface, and
    at least one of said recess and said through hole is non-circular;
    wherein the toy block elements each comprise a circumferential wall comprising an outer surface, an inner surface and an open edge adapted to be joined with an open edge of a corresponding toy block element, said circumferential wall being cylindrical adjacent the open edge having a generator direction, said wall comprising adjacent its open edge in its outer surface at least one recess, said recess comprising a bottom, and a through hole in said bottom, said hole opening into the open edge, at least one of said recess and said through hole being non-semicircular, said toy block element further comprising at least one first leg portion extending parallel to the generator direction to a level in a vicinity of a level of the open edge to provide at least part of a catch of a toy block and wherein the toy block elements are joined together by their respective open edges, said toy blocks having one or more different outer shapes; and
    a plurality of toy block connecting elements,
    wherein the toy block connecting elements each comprise a central flat portion with two opposite surfaces and a circumference, and a catch portion for engagement with a catch of the toy block rising from at least one of said surfaces,
    wherein at least one of the cross section of catch portion and the circumference of the flat portion is non-circular and said catch portion comprises at least one catch leg, said catch leg comprising at least one engagement means on an outer section of the catch leg opposite said central flat portion.
US12936031 2008-04-03 2009-03-24 Toy block, a toy block connecting element and a toy block element for producing a toy block Abandoned US20110028064A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

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DKPA200800485 2008-04-03
DKPA200800485 2008-04-03
PCT/DK2009/050067 WO2009121369A1 (en) 2008-04-03 2009-03-24 A toy block, a toy block connecting element and a toy block element for producing a toy block

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US20110028064A1 true true US20110028064A1 (en) 2011-02-03

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US (1) US20110028064A1 (en)
EP (1) EP2259853B1 (en)
JP (1) JP5226858B2 (en)
KR (1) KR101563294B1 (en)
CN (1) CN101983095B (en)
CA (1) CA2719455A1 (en)
DK (1) DK2259853T3 (en)
RU (1) RU2446851C1 (en)
WO (1) WO2009121369A1 (en)

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US20150251104A1 (en) * 2012-09-03 2015-09-10 Kinematics Gmbh Connection structure between building blocks and building blocks connected therewith

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CN103394201B (en) * 2013-08-16 2015-09-16 魏正鹏 An electronic building blocks
KR101631836B1 (en) 2015-02-26 2016-07-01 임강혁 Assembly toy block building set
CN104971507B (en) * 2015-07-10 2017-06-30 武汉亿童文教股份有限公司 For outdoor building blocks in a square universal

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US20150251104A1 (en) * 2012-09-03 2015-09-10 Kinematics Gmbh Connection structure between building blocks and building blocks connected therewith

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
EP2259853A1 (en) 2010-12-15 application
EP2259853B1 (en) 2012-12-05 grant
WO2009121369A1 (en) 2009-10-08 application
JP2011516125A (en) 2011-05-26 application
CA2719455A1 (en) 2009-10-08 application
JP5226858B2 (en) 2013-07-03 grant
CN101983095B (en) 2013-10-09 grant
RU2446851C1 (en) 2012-04-10 grant
KR20100136535A (en) 2010-12-28 application
CN101983095A (en) 2011-03-02 application
KR101563294B1 (en) 2015-10-26 grant
DK2259853T3 (en) 2013-02-25 grant

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