US20120264347A1 - Reconfigurable Play Set - Google Patents

Reconfigurable Play Set Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120264347A1
US20120264347A1 US13/446,079 US201213446079A US2012264347A1 US 20120264347 A1 US20120264347 A1 US 20120264347A1 US 201213446079 A US201213446079 A US 201213446079A US 2012264347 A1 US2012264347 A1 US 2012264347A1
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Prior art keywords
play
foldable base
configuration
reconfigurable
base
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Abandoned
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US13/446,079
Inventor
Mark Barthold
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Mattel Inc
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Mattel Inc
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Priority to US201161476030P priority Critical
Application filed by Mattel Inc filed Critical Mattel Inc
Priority to US13/446,079 priority patent/US20120264347A1/en
Assigned to MATTEL, INC. reassignment MATTEL, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BARTHOLD, MARK
Publication of US20120264347A1 publication Critical patent/US20120264347A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/30Imitations of miscellaneous apparatus not otherwise provided for, e.g. telephones, weighing-machines, cash-registers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/42Toy models or toy scenery not otherwise covered
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H17/00Toy vehicles, e.g. with self-drive; ; Cranes, winches or the like; Accessories therefor
    • A63H17/05Trucks; Lorries

Abstract

A toy vehicle play set having a foldable base with first and second configurations. In one embodiment, the foldable base contains two portions that are movable relative to each other. Furthermore, the two portions of the foldable base are configured to face each other when the foldable base is in the stored configuration. The foldable base resembles a trailer in the first configuration and a wrestling ring in the second configuration. In another embodiment, the toy vehicle play set contains at least four posts and at least one resilient cord attached to the four posts. In another embodiment, the toy vehicle play set may be attached to a toy vehicle.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority to and is based on U.S. Patent Application No. 61/476,030, filed Apr. 15, 2011, entitled “Reconfigurable Play Set,” the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates generally to a reconfigurable toy ring stage play set. The play set is configured to selectively transition between a stowed configuration and a deployed configuration. In the stowed configuration the play set may be folded one or more times about an axis of the play set, for easy storage and transportation of the play set. In the deployed configuration the play set is opened and is substantially parallel to the support surface with the play set ring ropes taut.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Wrestling and boxing have long been staples in providing hours of fun and entertainment for children and adults. Toy wrestling and boxing action figures and toy ring stages have allowed wrestling and boxing fans to reenact and create matches that resemble real-life wrestling and/or fighting activities. As wrestling continues to increase in popularity, so does the desire to have more play opportunities and apparatus that truly mimic the wrestling or boxing ring stage. Folding play sets are well known in the art and have provided end users an easy alternative for storing play sets as well transporting a play set (see U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,753,753; 7,618,301; and D555,210). The appeal of a folding play set has also resonated with parents, who often times need to transport or store the cumbersome play set. Although compacting or folding play sets presently exist, the time and effort necessary to set-up and break-down a folding play set often leads to frustrated children and parents, and reduces play time with the play set. Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a compactable play set apparatus capable of easy set-up and break-down upon reconfiguration of the play set from a usable configuration to a stored or transportable configuration. It is also desirable to provide a play set configured to house play pieces, corresponding with the play set, in the stowed configuration, allowing for an all-in-one package. It is further desirable to provide a compactable play set apparatus that may be reconfigured for additional play patterns. For instance, the play set may be reconfigured into a vehicle or a figure, providing a variety of play configurations for end uses, thus increasing an end user's interaction with the reconfigurable play set.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one embodiment of the invention, a play set is provided and configured to transition from a deployed configuration to a stowed configuration. In the deployed configuration, the play set comprises a rectangular base surface having four posts, each mounted substantially perpendicular to the base surface, and one or more resilient cords attached about each of the four posts to create the match ring stage. The resilient cord may be taut to exemplify a full-scale match ring stage. The rectangular base comprises at least two shells pivotally attached to one another, and configured to transition between a stowed configuration, in which the shell members are facing each other, and a deployed configuration, in which the shell members abut one another and are parallel to a support surface.
  • In an embodiment of the invention, the play set is configured to be selectively transitioned between these aforementioned configurations by an end user. Alternatively, the play set may be configured to transition from the stowed configuration to the deployed configuration, or vice versa, using a mechanical actuator, such as a spring.
  • In another embodiment, the play set may further include one or more accessories to enhance play. Accessories may include a figure, a garbage can, a ladder, a collapsible table, a chair, a launcher, a vehicle and other wrestling related elements. Each play set may include any number of wrestling specific accessories that further the theme of the play set.
  • In yet another embodiment, the play set may be configured to accommodate a launcher. A launcher may be mounted to a post of the play set, or accessory element associated with the play set.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the play set base may further incorporate a third shell pivotally attached to the first and second shells, providing an alternative form for reconfiguring the play set.
  • Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be understood more readily after consideration of the Detailed Description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 provides a side perspective view of a compactable ring stage play set in a deployed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 provides a top perspective view of the compactable ring stage play set of FIG. 1 in a stowed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 provides a top perspective view of the compactable ring stage play set of FIG. 1 in a transition configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 provides a rear perspective view of the compactable ring stage play set of FIG. 1 in a stowed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 provides a side perspective view of the reconfigured ring stage play set of FIG. 1 in a stowed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 provides a side perspective view of the reconfigured ring stage play set of FIG. 1 in a stowed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 provides a side perspective view of a compactable ring stage play set 10 in a deployed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The play set 10 features a rectangular base 12 situated substantially parallel to a support surface, and comprising four ring posts 14 vertically attached at various peripheries of the base 12 to encompass the ring stage 32. The play set 10 further comprises at least one resilient cord 16 attached about each of the four posts 14 to create the toy match ring stage 32. Each of the at least one resilient cords 16 form a closed loop when attached to the four posts 14. Each resilient cord 16 is substantially parallel to the base 12, in the deployed configuration, and mounted to the posts 14 at increased distances from the base 12. The resilient cord 16 may be fixedly or loosely attached to the post 14 by various fastening means known to someone of skill in the art, including hooks, eyebolts, turnbuckles, and the like. FIG. 1 further provides a raised ring stage play set 10 to better exemplify the ‘stage’ aspect of the play set 10. The raised play set 10 also includes a ring skirt 18 attached to the base 12, and configured to descend downwardly from the base 12 to hide and/or cover the means for raising the base 12. In one embodiment, the skirt 18 may be pivotally attached to the base 12.
  • As depicted in FIG. 1, the base 12 is comprised of a first shell 22, a second shell 24, and a third shell 26. The first shell 22 is pivotally attached to the second shell 24, and the second shell 24 is pivotally attached to the third shell 26. In the deployed configuration, the three shells 22, 24, and 26, are configured to abut one another and rest substantially parallel to the support surface, creating the base 12. The play set 10 may further comprise a slidable clip 20 for securing at least two shells 22, 24 and 26, in the deployed configuration. The clip 20 is slidably attached to a shell and may be situated to restrict a pivot point between shells 22, 24, and 26, and to align one shell with an abutting second shell. As depicted in FIG. 1, the clip 20 restricts the first shell 22 to second shell 24 pivot point, thus securing the base 12 in the deployed configuration. As the resilient cord 16 is configured to provide tension once the play set 10 is in the deployed configuration, the clip 20 functions to secure the abutting shells together to secure the base 12, and ensure the resilient cord 16 remains taut. The taut characteristic of the ring stage play set 10 is created almost instantly after the play set 10 is transitioned to its deployed configuration, allowing for immediate utilization of the play set.
  • FIG. 2 provides a top perspective view of a compactable ring stage play set 10 in a stowed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The play set 10 features a base 12 (not shown) comprising a first shell 22, a second shell 24, and a third shell 26, with the first shell 22 pivotally attached to the second shell 24, and the second shell 24 pivotally attached to the third shell 26. In the stowed configuration, the first shell 22 and third shell 26 are configured substantially parallel to one another (and substantially perpendicular with respect to the support surface) and positioned a distance apart from one another, such that there is a gap 30 between the first shell 22 and third shell 26. The play set 10 may include a latch (not shown) for securing the play set 10 in the stowed configuration. The latch may be configured to secure the first shell 22 to the third shell 26. Alternatively, the latch may be configured to link the play set 10 to a second play set in the deployed configuration. The posts 14 remain fixedly attached to the base 12 and are configured to fit within the boundaries of the gap 30, when the play set 10 is in the stowed configuration. In one embodiment, the posts 14 may be slightly offset from one another to fit within the boundaries of the gap 30. The gap 30 may also be utilized to store elements associated with the play set 10, including figures and accessories, for convenient transportation of the play set 10 and associated elements. FIG. 2 also provides two skirts 18 pivotally attached to the base 12, and oriented substantially parallel to the abutting shells, 22 and 26.
  • The first shell 22 and third shell 26 are spaced closer to one another in the stowed configuration than in the deployed configuration, allowing the resilient cord 16 to become slack. FIG. 2 further depicts a cover 34, pivotally attached to the base 12. The cover 34 comprises three parts: a face 36, a roof 38, and a stern 40, wherein the face 36 is pivotally mounted to the base 12, the roof 38 is pivotally mounted to the face 36, and the stern 40 is pivotally mounted to the roof 38. The various elements of the cover 34 are configured to border the gap 30 created by the first shell 22 and third shell 26 in the stowed configuration, and encapsulating the play set 10 for superior transport and storing value. In various embodiments, the cover 34 may incorporate one or more latches 28 to secure the cover 34.
  • FIG. 3 provides a rear perspective view of a compactable ring stage play set in a transition configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. As FIG. 3 depicts a transition point between the stowed configuration and deployed configuration, the first shell 22 and third shell 26 are configured substantially perpendicular to one another and further illustrate the slack nature of the resilient cord 16. FIG. 3 also depicts the slidable clip 20 situated to allow pivoting between shells 22, 24, and 26. The arrow shown on the clip 20 illustrates the direction of travel for the slidable clip 20. As in FIG. 2, the skirts 18 are pivotally attached to the base 12, and configured substantially parallel to the abutting shells, 22 and 26, for transition to the stowed configuration. As illustrated in FIG. 3, two sets of cords 16 between posts 14 are taught and the other two sets of cords 16 have slack.
  • FIG. 4 provides a rear perspective view of a ring stage play set 10 in a stowed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The base 12 has been transitioned into the stowed configuration with the first shell 22, second shell 24, and third shell 26 oriented such that the first shell 22 and third shell 26 are substantially parallel to one another and positioned a distance apart from one another, creating a gap 30 (see FIG. 2). The cover 34 has been partially attached to the base 12 to create an enclosure. The face 36 and roof 38 of the cover have been attached to the base 12, and the stern 40 remains open, and pivotally attached to the roof 38, to allow for insertion of elements associated with the play set 10 into the compartment for storage and/or transport. FIG. 4 also provides an illustration of the slack nature of the resilient cords 16 in the stowed configuration.
  • FIG. 5 provides a side perspective view of a reconfigured ring stage play set in a stowed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 provides one example of a transformation of the play set 10. The play set 10 is in the stowed configuration with the cover 34 fully attached to the base 12, and further comprises two wheels 42 coupled to the play set 10 to emulate a toy trailer 44 assembly. The trailer 44 is constructed from the base 12 and cover 36, with the first shell 22 in combination with a skirt 18, forming one wall of the trailer, and the third shell 26 (not shown) in combination with a second skirt 18 (not shown), forming the adjacent second wall of the trailer 44 (not shown.) The second shell 24 becomes the chassis of the trailer 44, and the wheels 42 attach to the chassis. In the toy ring 10 configuration, the wheels 42 provide support for the raised ring stage 32, emulating the ‘stage’ aspect. The cover 34 encapsulates the base 12 to complete the trailer 44. Although a vehicle trailer 44 has been depicted in FIG. 5, the common rectangular shape of the reconfigured play set 10 lends itself to a variety of toys, including figures, vehicles, and the like.
  • FIG. 6 provides a side perspective view of a reconfigured ring stage play set in a stowed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The reconfigured trailer 44 is further accompanied by a tractor 46 coupled to the trailer 44 depicting an additional play pattern.
  • The resilient cord 16 may be fabricated from any suitable material, or combinations of materials, such as supple natural or synthetic materials including, but not limited to, cotton, elastomers, polyester, plastic filament, derivatives thereof, and combinations thereof. The base 12, posts 14, and clip 20 may be fabricated from any suitable material, or combination of materials, such as plastic, foamed plastic, wood, cardboard, pressed paper, metal, derivatives thereof, and combinations thereof. Finally, the ring skirt 18 may be fabricated from any suitable material, or combinations of materials, such as plastic, foamed plastic, wood, cardboard, pressed paper, metal, supple natural or synthetic materials including, but not limited to, cotton, elastomers, polyester, plastic filament, derivatives thereof, and combinations thereof. Suitable plastics may include high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), or the like. Suitable foamed plastics may include expanded or extruded polystyrene, expanded or extruded polypropylene, EVA foam, derivatives thereof, and combinations thereof.
  • Alternative means to describe the present invention include the following. In one embodiment, a reconfigurable play set comprising a foldable base; four posts attached about the base; and at least one resilient cord attached to the four posts, wherein the resilient cord is configured to be taut in one configuration and slack in the second configuration.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein the foldable base comprises at least two portions.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein two portions of the folding base are configured to face each other in a first configuration.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein at least two portions of the folding base are configured to abut one other in a second configuration.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein the play set is configured to be selectively transitioned between a first and second configuration by an end user.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein the play set is configured to be selectively transitioned between a first and second configuration by a mechanical actuator.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein at least two posts are configured to face each other in a first configuration.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, further comprising a toy accessory, selected from a group consisting of a figure, a garbage can, a ladder, a collapsible table, a chair, a vehicle and other wrestling related elements.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, further comprising a figure launcher.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, further comprising a pair of wheels attached to the ring stage.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein the folding base comprises a first portion, a second portion, and a third portion, with the first portion pivotally attached to the second portion, and the second portion pivotally attached to the third portion.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set immediately above, wherein the first portion and third portion of the folding base are configured to face each other and the second portion is configured substantially perpendicular to the first portion and third portion, in a first configuration.
  • In another embodiment, a reconfigurable vehicle comprises a tractor; and a semi-trailer detachably connected to the tractor, wherein, the semi-trailer is reconfigurable to a wrestling ring play set.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the play set above, wherein the wrestling ring play set further comprises wrestling ring ropes configured to be taut when reconfiguring the semi-trailer to the wrestling ring play set.
  • It is believed that the disclosure set forth above encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been disclosed in a preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the inventions includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. Similarly, where any description recites “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such disclosure should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.
  • While the invention has been described in detail and with references to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. For example, the majority of the elements can be formed of molded plastic. However, in alternative embodiments, the elements can be formed of a material other than plastic provided that the material has sufficient strength for the component's intended function.

Claims (20)

1. A reconfigurable play set, comprising:
a foldable base having a deployed configuration and a stored configuration;
four posts attached to the base; and
at least one resilient cord attached to the four posts, wherein the resilient cord is configured to be taut in the deployed configuration and slack in the stored configuration.
2. The reconfigurable play set of claim 1, wherein the foldable base comprises two portions that are movable relative to each other.
3. The reconfigurable play set of claim 2, wherein the two portions of the foldable base are configured to face each other in the stored configuration.
4. The reconfigurable play set of claim 2, wherein the two portions of the foldable base are configured to abut each other in the deployed configuration.
5. The reconfigurable play set of claim 1, wherein the play set is configured to be selectively transitioned between the deployed and stored configurations by an end user.
6. The reconfigurable play set of claim 1, wherein the play set is configured to be selectively transitioned between the deployed and stored configurations by a mechanical actuator.
7. The reconfigurable play set of claim 1, wherein at least two posts are configured to face each other in the stored configuration.
8. The reconfigurable play set of claim 1, further comprising:
a pair of wheels attached to the foldable base.
9. The reconfigurable play set of claim 1, wherein the foldable base comprises a first portion, a second portion, and a third portion, and the first portion and the third portion are pivotally attached to the second portion.
10. The reconfigurable play set of claim 9, wherein, when the foldable base is in the stored configuration, the first portion and third portion of the foldable base are configured to face each other and the second portion is configured to be substantially perpendicular to the first portion and third portion.
11. A reconfigurable vehicle, comprising:
a vehicle body; and
a reconfigurable trailer detachably connected with the vehicle body, the trailer having a foldable base with a deployed configuration and a stored configuration; and
four posts attached to the trailer, wherein when the trailer is in the deployed configuration, the base resembles a wrestling ring.
12. The vehicle of claim 11, further comprising:
at least one resilient cord attached to the four posts and configured to be taut when the trailer is in the deployed configuration and slack when the trailer is in the stored configuration.
13. The vehicle of claim 11, wherein the trailer comprises a first portion, a second portion, and a third portion, with the first portion and the third portion pivotally attached to the second portion.
14. The vehicle of claim 13, wherein, when the trailer is in the stored configuration, the first portion and third portion of the foldable base are configured to face each other and the second portion is configured to be substantially perpendicular to the first portion and third portion.
15. The vehicle of claim 13, wherein, when the trailer is in the deployed configuration, the first portion is configured to abut the second portion, and the second portion is configured to abut the third portion.
16. A reconfigurable play set, comprising:
a toy vehicle; and
a foldable base detachably connected with to the toy vehicle, the foldable base having a deployed configuration and a stored configuration;
a pair of wheels attached to the foldable base;
four posts attached to the base; and
at least one resilient cord attached to the four posts, wherein, the resilient cord is configured to be taut in the deployed configuration and slack in the stored configuration, and when the foldable base is in the stored configuration, the foldable base and the pair of wheels resembles a trailer.
17. The play set of claim 16, wherein the foldable base comprises a first portion, a second portion, and a third portion, with the first portion and the third portion pivotally attached to the second portion.
18. The play set of claim 17, wherein, when the foldable base is in the stored configuration, the first portion and third portion of the foldable base are configured to face each other and the second portion is configured to be substantially perpendicular to the first portion and third portion.
19. The play set of claim 17, wherein, when the foldable base is in the deployed configuration, the first portion is configured to abut the second portion, and the second portion is configured to abut the third portion.
20. The play set of claim 16, wherein the play set is configured to be selectively transitioned between the deployed configuration and the stored configuration by an end user.
US13/446,079 2011-04-15 2012-04-13 Reconfigurable Play Set Abandoned US20120264347A1 (en)

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US201161476030P true 2011-04-15 2011-04-15
US13/446,079 US20120264347A1 (en) 2011-04-15 2012-04-13 Reconfigurable Play Set

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140194029A1 (en) * 2013-01-04 2014-07-10 Mattel, Inc. Toy Play Set with Multiple Modes and a Housing for a Portable Electronic Device
US20150140892A1 (en) * 2013-11-21 2015-05-21 Michael A. Kadile Play set for launching an action figurine
US20150140891A1 (en) * 2013-11-21 2015-05-21 Michael A. Kadile Play set for launching an action figurine

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0528725A1 (en) * 1991-08-16 1993-02-24 Serge Germain Verseron Mobile boxing ring

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0528725A1 (en) * 1991-08-16 1993-02-24 Serge Germain Verseron Mobile boxing ring

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
Machine Translation of EP528725A1. Pages 1-7. <http://translationportal.epo.org/emtp/translate/?ACTION=description-retrieval&COUNTRY=EP&ENGINE=google&FORMAT=docdb&KIND=A1&LOCALE=en_EP&NUMBER=0528725&OPS=ops.epo.org&SRCLANG=fr&TRGLANG=en> *

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140194029A1 (en) * 2013-01-04 2014-07-10 Mattel, Inc. Toy Play Set with Multiple Modes and a Housing for a Portable Electronic Device
US20150140892A1 (en) * 2013-11-21 2015-05-21 Michael A. Kadile Play set for launching an action figurine
US20150140891A1 (en) * 2013-11-21 2015-05-21 Michael A. Kadile Play set for launching an action figurine
US9339721B2 (en) * 2013-11-21 2016-05-17 Mattel, Inc. Play set for launching an action figurine
US9604126B2 (en) * 2013-11-21 2017-03-28 Mattel, Inc. Play set for launching an action figurine

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Owner name: MATTEL, INC., CALIFORNIA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BARTHOLD, MARK;REEL/FRAME:028332/0861

Effective date: 20120604

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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