Title:
DOLL WITH DISPLAY DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A doll or soft toy (2) includes a rotatable display device (12) with a plurality of faces (27), each carrying either a picture or photograph (10) in a transparent pocket (28) or fabric (32) complementary in appearance to the surrounding surface of the doll. The display device (12) can be rotated to display in turn different pictures or photographs or to conceal the display device.



Inventors:
Lewis, Robert D. (WEST SUNSEX, GB)
Application Number:
09/254550
Publication Date:
06/21/2001
Filing Date:
03/10/1999
Assignee:
LEWIS ROBERT D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F13/08; A63H3/00; A63H3/36; A63H33/22; G09F19/08; G09F23/14; (IPC1-7): A63H3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CEGIELNIK, URSZULA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE (1100 NORTH GLEBE ROAD 8TH FLOOR, ARLINGTON, VA, 222014714, US)
Claims:
1. A doll having: a recess within the doll including an opening at the surface of the doll, and a rotatable member having at least two surface portions, and rotatably mounted in the recess such that different surface portions of the rotatable member are visible in turn in said opening as said member rotates; wherein at least one of said surface portions includes holding means for releasably holding an item so that it is visible in said opening.

2. A doll having: a recess within the doll including an opening at the surface of the doll, and a rotatable member having at least two surface portions and rotatably mounted in the recess such that different ones of said surface portions are visible in turn in said opening as said member rotates; wherein at least one of said surface portions is movable to allow access to a compartment within said rotatable member.

3. A doll having: a recess within the doll including an opening at the surface of the doll, and a rotatable member having at least two surface portions and rotatably mounted in the recess such that different ones of said surface portions are visible in turn in said opening as said member rotates; wherein at least one of said surface portions comprises fabric conforming in appearance with the surface of the doll surrounding the opening.

4. A doll as claimed in claim 2 or claim 3, wherein at least one of said surface portions includes holding means for releasably holding an item so that it is visible in said opening.

5. A doll according to claim 1 or 4, wherein said item has the form of a sheet.

6. A doll according to claim 5, wherein the holding means comprises a pocket having a transparent portion through which the sheet is visible.

7. A doll according to claim 1 or 2, or any one of claims 4 to 6 when dependent thereon, wherein at least one of the surface portions has a covering of similar appearance to that of the surface of the doll adjacent said opening.

8. A doll according to any preceding claim, wherein said member has substantially the form of a prism.

9. A doll according to any preceding claim, including engaging means for releasably engaging the rotatable member at positions thereof at which only one of said surface portions is visible in said opening.

10. A doll as claimed in any preceding claim, having a surface substantially composed of soft material.

11. A doll according to any preceding claim, wherein the rotatable member is directly accessible to allow manual rotation thereof.

12. A doll according to any preceding claim, wherein the rotatable member is mounted in a housing recessed within the doll, the interior shape of the housing substantially conforming to the volume of revolution of said rotatable member.

13. A doll according to any preceding claim, wherein at least one of said surface portions comprises a video display.

14. A doll having: a recess within the doll including an opening at the surface of the doll, and a member including holding means for releasably holding an item; the member being movable within said recess so as selectively to conceal or reveal said item in said opening.

15. A doll having: a recess within the doll including an opening at the surface of the doll, and a member carrying a video display; the member being movable within said recess so as selectively to conceal or reveal said video display in said opening.

16. A doll having: a recess within the doll including an opening at the surface of the doll, and a member having the form of a prism with at least three side faces, the member being rotatably mounted in the recess such that different ones of said side faces are visible in said opening as said member rotates.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to a doll incorporating a changeable display, and particularly, but not exclusively, to a doll which allows a selected one of a plurality of surfaces to be presented.

[0002] The term “doll” as used herein includes a toy animal or fictional character.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] Dolls in which alternative heads can be presented by rotating a member carrying those heads are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,568,304 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,417,606.

[0004] “Sleeping” dolls, in which the eyeballs rotate when the doll is laid on its back, so that the eyes appear to close, are also known.

[0005] Dolls which may be personalised by inserting a photograph or picture into a pocket so that it appears as part of the doll are well-known in the art, for example from U.S. Pat. No. 2,199,049, U.S. Pat. No. 4,020,586, U.S. Pat. No. 5,141,466, U.S. Pat. No. 5,403,224 and U.S. Des.348,293. Typically, the photograph or picture represents a face so that the facial appearance of the doll can be customised. However, the arrangement for changing the appearance of the doll is typically too complicated to allow a child to change the appearance unaided, and gives an unusual appearance to the doll.

[0006] An alternative arrangement disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,811,220 allows a child to change the appearance of a doll within a set of different facial expressions, but is only suitable for an essentially two-dimensional doll and does not allow the appearance to be customised beyond the set of expressions.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

[0007] According to the present invention, there is provided a toy doll having an opening in the surface thereof and a member rotatably mounted within the doll and having a plurality of surface portions thereon, the member being rotatable so as to display different surface portions in said opening.

[0008] An advantage of embodiments of the present invention is that a child can easily change the appearance of the doll, by rotating the rotatable member to select the desired surface portion to appear in the opening.

[0009] In one aspect of the present invention, the rotatable member has a compartment comprising a recess or hollow interior closed by one of the surface portions, which can be moved to provide access to the compartment. This allows objects to be hidden in the doll, the opening to the compartment only becoming apparent when the rotatable member is rotated so that the surface portion which closes the compartment is visible.

[0010] In another aspect of the present invention, one of said surface portions comprises fabric having an appearance conforming with the surface of the doll surrounding the opening, so that the doll may have the appearance of a conventional doll, such as a soft toy.

[0011] In another aspect of the present invention, one of said surface portions includes means for releasably holding an item so that it can be displayed in said opening or concealed within the body of the doll as the rotatable member is rotated.

[0012] Preferably, the item is a flat item, such as a picture or photograph.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] Specific embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a doll according to an embodiment of the present invention, displaying a picture;

[0015] FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a display device which is incorporated in the body of the doll of FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 3 shows part of a vertical cross-section through the doll of FIG. 1 and through a display device incorporated in the doll;

[0017] FIG. 4 shows part of the cross-section of FIG. 3, with the rotatable member rotated to display another surface thereof;

[0018] FIG. 5 shows a detail of one of the surfaces of the rotatable member, which is adapted to hold a picture or photograph; and

[0019] FIG. 6 shows a vertical cross-section through a display device in an alternative embodiment.

MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0020] As shown in FIG. 1, a soft toy doll 2 has a facial portion 4, representing facial features, and a body portion 6. Within an opening 8 of the body portion 6, there is displayed a picture 10. The doll 2 is particularly attractive to a child, because it has the overall familiar appearance and facial features of a doll, and also displays the picture 10, which may be a photograph of a relative or friend. As explained below in detail, the picture 10 is substantially flush with the surface of the doll and is not surrounded by any hard or sharp edges and so can be safely carried around by the child.

[0021] FIGS. 2 to 4 illustrate a device which allows the child to change or conceal the picture 10 and enhances the play value of the doll. The picture 10 is mounted on a member 12 having the shape of an equilateral triangular prism, as shown in FIG. 2. At the centre of each end face 13a, 13b of the member 12 are provided respective recesses 16a, 16b which engage corresponding projections 18a, 18b on the inner end faces 20a, 20b of a housing 22 which has the form of a truncated hollow cylinder, with the plane of truncation being parallel to the axis of rotation R of the member 12 to form the rectangular opening 8.

[0022] A fringe portion 24 extends outwards from the periphery of the opening 8. The doll 2 is assembled by adhering fabric 26, from which the casing of the doll 2 is made, to the fringe portion 24, as shown in FIG. 3. The fabric 26 may be, for example, synthetic fur. The doll is then finished by stuffing the casing with a suitable stuffing 29, such as foam rubber pieces or kapok, and the casing is then sewn up to form the doll 2 with the housing 22 fixed within the body portion 6.

[0023] On each of two side faces 27a, 27b of the member 12, there is provided a rectangular pocket 28 of transparent material, which is open at one side 30 to allow the picture 10 to be inserted in the pocket 28.

[0024] Advantageously, the pockets 28 are arranged so that the pictures 10 can be easily inserted or removed, by rotating the member 12 so that one of the open sides 30 faces outwards from the doll 2, but the open sides 30 are not accessible when one of the side faces 27 is flush with the opening 8. In that position, the edges of the side faces 27 are concealed behind the fringe portion 24.

[0025] A third side face 27c of the member 12 is covered by a layer 32 of fabric of the same appearance as the fabric 26. Between the fabric 32 and the side face 27c of the member 12, stuffing 34 is provided so that the contour of the fabric layer 32 generally matches the contours of the portion of the doll 2 surrounding the opening 8. Thus, when the member 12 is rotated to the position shown in FIG. 4, the fabric layer 32 is displayed in the opening 8, conforming in appearance to the surrounding fabric 26 of the doll 2, and the pictures 10a, 10b are concealed.

[0026] To obtain positive location of the member 12 in the housing 22 with one of the three side faces 27 displayed full on in the opening 8, side edges 36a, 36b, 36c of the member 12 are rounded and shaped to conform with grooves 38a, 38b, 38c, which extend parallel to the axis of rotation of the member 12 and meet the corners of the equilateral triangular end faces 13 of the member 12. The housing 12 is made of resilient plastics material, so that each of the edges 36 resiliently engages in a corresponding one of the grooves 38, but the member 12 can be rotated to another position by applying only light pressure. This action may easily be performed by a child and additionally provides a play activity which helps to develop manual dexterity.

[0027] Preferably, as shown in FIG. 5, the pockets 28 each have a semi-circular cut-out 40 along the open edge 30, which allows a finger to be inserted to open the pocket 28 and to allow a picture 10 to be easily inserted or removed.

[0028] An alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 6, which shows a cross-section similar to that of FIG. 3. To avoid unnecessary repetition, like parts are designated by the same reference numerals.

[0029] In this alternative embodiment, the rotatable member 12 is a cuboid and is square in cross-section. The first side face 27a comprises a panel 41 which is removable so that the hollow interior of the rotatable member is accessible through the opening 8 when the first side face 27a is located therein. This arrangement provides a secret compartment for storing objects such as small toys or sweets (candy), thereby enhancing the play value of the doll.

[0030] The panel is resiliently engaged with the side edges 36a and 36b of the rotatable member 12, so that it may be easily removed and replaced by means of a handle 42.

[0031] The second and third side faces 27b and 27c carry transparent pockets 28b and 28c for displaying pictures 10, while the fourth side face is covered with a layer 32 of fabric with stuffing 34, as in FIG. 3.

[0032] In an alternative embodiment the panel 41 may be attached to the rotatable member 12 along one of its edges by a hinge, to avoid loss of the panel 41. Alternatively, the panel 41 may be a sliding cover over an aperture in the first side face 27a. The rotatable member 12 need not be completely hollow, but may include a recess behind the panel 41. The recess may be shaped so that a specific object such as a toy fits closely within it.

[0033] The present invention is not limited to specific features of the above described embodiments, but many variants are envisaged which fall in the scope of the appended claims.

[0034] For example, it is not essential that the member 12 should be a triangular or square prism, but may instead have a greater number of side faces 27 allowing more surfaces to be displayed. Alternatively, the member 12 may be substantially flat, with only two faces. However, it is particularly advantageous that part of the member 12 should abut the housing 22 approximately opposite the face being displayed, so that the device cannot easily be broken by pushing on the middle of the displayed surface. The surfaces which are adapted to hold pictures do not need to be flat, but may be curved, preferably while still allowing pictures or other items to be removably attached to them.

[0035] Although preferred, it is not essential that one or more of the displayed surfaces of the rotatable member 12 should be able releasably to hold a picture. Instead, permanent pictures or other surface decorations may be attached to each surface.

[0036] The axis of rotation of the rotatable member may be orientated horizontally, vertically, or at any other angle, preferably in a plane approximately parallel to the plane of the opening 8.

[0037] Any suitable means may be used for mounting the rotatable member 12 rotatably in the housing 22, as will be appreciated by the skilled person. Likewise, any suitable means may be used for attaching the picture 10 to a display surface.

[0038] Instead of a picture 10, various other items may be mounted on or in one of the display surfaces, such as an electronic game or other video display which can be concealed or displayed for operation.

[0039] One portion of a display surface may be covered with a material matching the appearance of the surrounding portions of the doll while another portion is arranged to hold the picture, so that the picture may have a different shape or size smaller than the display surface.

[0040] The rotatable member is preferably rotatable in either direction under direct manual operation by the user. Alternatively, the rotatable member may be driven by drive means, such as a clockwork or electric motor, in response to actuation of a release mechanism or a switch, or indirectly manually rotated, for example by means of a handle mechanically connected to the rotatable member.

[0041] Preferably, the rotatable member may be rotated through a complete revolution so that all of the faces of the rotatable member may be displayed in turn in the opening. Alternatively, the rotation may be limited so that only some of the faces can be displayed.

[0042] Numerous other applications may be envisaged for embodiments of the present invention. For example, instead of a picture 10, a sheet showing details of the owner of the doll 2 may be used to assist in identifying children in airports or hospitals or returning the doll if lost.

[0043] The display device may be mounted in the facial portion 4 of the doll 2, and the display surfaces may each represent a different face or facial expression.

[0044] While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that various modifications may be made to the embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims. It is intended that all such modifications fall within the scope of the appended claims.