Title:
Combined mixed media gift wrapping and decorative figure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combined three-dimensional mixed-media gift wrapping and decorative figure that includes a collapsible multi-faceted container and a plurality of attachments whose final form is a recognizable object that has, in its own right, decorative and play value. The container can be easily assembled to hold an arbitrary gift, decorated with a plurality of attachments, and presented to the gift receiver in the guise of a table centerpiece, toy, or decorative item. The final form is reusable, easily disassembled for storage or shipping, and readily reassembled as needed.



Inventors:
Mendoza, Marcel (Honolulu, HI, US)
Application Number:
10/305734
Publication Date:
06/19/2003
Filing Date:
11/26/2002
Assignee:
MENDOZA MARCEL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/73, 446/76
International Classes:
B65D5/42; B65D81/36; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060278561Blendable stick for coloration of wood and furnitureDecember, 2006Schierlmann
20080190793Container for a disc and the like, with means for disengageable retention of the discAugust, 2008Pozzoli
20090071855PACKAGING FOR AMORPHOUS STATINS AND COMPOSITIONS THEREOFMarch, 2009Bahuguna et al.
20060144753Packing box for packaging and displayJuly, 2006Tsai
20100064435TRAVEL BED SHEETSMarch, 2010Stuart
20070095681EPOXY COAT KITMay, 2007Jones
20090095750REMOVABLE TANK FOR LAUNDRY BULK DISPENSER SYSTEMApril, 2009Vitan et al.
20020153269Adhesive paper boxOctober, 2002Chen
20090188814THIN EYEGLASSES CASEJuly, 2009Huang
20080277309Police Vehicle Safety TrayNovember, 2008Balla
20050236287Method and device for assembling, storing and protecting puzzlesOctober, 2005Bretones et al.



Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TRI-VALLEY OFFICE,BEVER HOFFMAN & HARMS, LLP (1432 CONCANNON BLVD., BLDG. G, LIVERMORE, CA, 94550, US)
Claims:
1. A combined three-dimensional mixed-media gift-wrapping and decorative figure including: a container designed to hold an arbitrary, non-specific type of a gift and collapsible for one of reuse, storage, and shipping, the container including: a segmented bottom area; a multi-faceted cylinder-like lower area; a multi-faceted, bell-like upper area; and a top area; and multiple attachments to transform the container into the decorative figure that has, in its own right, decorative and play value; wherein the container, after assembly, is designed to provide support for the decorative figure, wherein attachments are attachable to at least one of the multi-faceted, cylinder-like lower area, and the multi-faceted bell-like upper area; wherein the segmented bottom area, when open, facilitates the placement and removal of gift items without affecting the attachments; wherein the segmented bottom area, when closed, forms structural support for the container.

2. The gift package of claim 1, wherein the decorative figure includes a doll, and the multiple attachments include: a torso of the doll attachable to the top area of the container; a skirt that wraps around and covers the container; a blouse attachable to the upper torso; and a head with doll-like features.

3. The gift package of claim 2, wherein: the torso of the doll is made of hard plastic and is attachable to the top area of the container using a plug that fits into the top area.

4. The gift package of claim 2, wherein: the torso of the doll is inflatable and is attachable to the top area of the container using a plug that fits into an opening in the top area.

5. The gift package of claim 1, wherein the decorative figure includes a rocket ship, and the multiple attachments include: a space capsule that is attachable to the top area of the container; and multiple rocket fins attachable to facets of the cylinder-like lower area.

6. The gift package of claim 5, wherein the space capsule is made of hard plastic and is attachable to the top area of the container using a plug that fits into an opening of the top area.

7. The gift package of claim 5, wherein: the space capsule is inflatable and is attachable to the top area of the container using a plug that fits into an opening of the top area.

8. The gift package of claim 1, wherein the decorative figure includes a tropical island, and the multiple attachments include: a decorative, cone shaped wrap that can be positioned on top of and covers the container; a placemat used to add scenery beyond the edges of the container and the wrap; and a palm tree insertable through the wrap and attachable to the top area of the container.

9. The gift package of claim 8, wherein: the palm tree is made of hard plastic and attachable to the top area of the container using a plug that fits into an opening of the top area.

10. The gift package of claim 8, wherein: the palm tree capsule is inflatable and attachable to the top area of the container using a plug that fits into an opening of the top area.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a continuation-in-part of commonly owned co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/689,499 entitled “MIXED MEDIA GIFT PACKAGE” filed Oct. 11, 2000 by Marcel Mendoza.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to gift packaging, and in particular to a mixed media gift package.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] The prior art is replete with examples of storage containers that simulate a form, and have functionality in addition to their respective underlying amusing effect. In this regard, containers have often been developed that encompass several utilitarian functions into a single embodiment. Containers that simulate a form are known in the prior art, some of which are described hereinafter.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 2,144,751, which issued to Brown, discloses a Combined Figure Toy and Container comprising a hollow cylindrical container-like body having bottom and side walls and a removable closure. The container forms a part of a figure toy, for example the body of a simulated human figure. The container stands on two or four legs made of dowels that represent a human or animal figure, the arms are made of beads that are strung on a cord and a simulated head is provided. The container body may also be used to package candy, nuts and the like when the toy is not used as a construction toy. Unfortunately, this container is not collapsible, thereby requiring significant storage area for the pre-assembled toy. Moreover, both inserting gift items into and retrieving gift items from the toy can be difficult.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 2,096,872, which issued to Baker, teaches a Combined Toy and Advertising Device. The invention is comprised of a general-purpose collapsible holder that holds an arbitrary commodity container that together forms a display figure. While it is collapsible, the toy is not designed to facilitate insertion and removal of a gift item.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 2,433,540, which issued to Wright, discloses a Humpty Dumpty Breakup Toy. The toy is designed to be dropped with parts that simulate “breaking up”. The toy, which can be reassembled for repeated use, includes a box with a picture of a wall for holding the parts, a body with an open top, a head formed of a plurality of pieces, a hat, arms and legs, that when assembled sits on top of the box and that will teach and demonstrate story and action. While this toy has multiple attachments, it was not designed to hold an arbitrary, non-specific type of a gift that is easily inserted and removed from the container.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,458,521, which issued to Todd, discloses a Combination Storage Container and Educational Toy that comprises a die-cut rectangular shaped box. The box forms the container that includes removable components that may be assembled to and removed from the container to form different objects, such as vehicles, animals and the like, thereby making the container, itself an entertaining and educational toy. At least some of the components of the combination storage container and educational toy may be used interchangeably to make a plurality of different objects, thereby minimizing the number of pieces that must be manufactured to form a plurality of different objects. If desired, different graphics can be provide on appliques, which a child could apply to the basic container and accessories to convert the container into a toy chest having different themes. While the toy chest does include a container it is also not designed in such a way as to allow the easy insertion and removal of a gift item.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 4,784,382, which issued to Myers, teaches a Children's User-friendly Podium. The podium includes user-friendly facial features and arms with robot like hands that when extended may be adapted for holding objects. The podium is made of box like nesting structures wherein the depth to which adjacent boxes can be nested within one another allows for the height to be adjusted. Once again, the nesting structures are not designed to allow for the easy placement and removal of gift items.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 6,425,795 B1, which issued to Horsfall et al., teaches a Baby Doll Gift Set and Method of Manufacture thereof. The baby doll gift set is comprised of elastic sleeves and component gift items which, when assembled, are sized and shaped so as to resemble a human infant. Flexible, elongated, cylindrically shaped gift items form the appendages and are inserted into an elastic fabric sleeves that are transversely inserted through a centralized elastic fabric sleeve. Gift items, which are sized and shaped to resemble an infant torso and head, are inserted into the centralized elastic fabric sleeve. Unfortunately, the gifts must be of a fixed type with a specific size and shape. Moreover, once the gifts are removed, the form is no longer supported.

[0012] Therefore, a need arises for a gift package that, in its assembled form, has both decorative and play value. The gift package should be collapsible to minimize storage area for the pre-assembled gift package. Moreover, the gift package should be designed to facilitate easy insertion of an arbitrary gift into and retrieval of the gift from the assembled gift package.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] In accordance with the present invention, a combined 3-dimensional mixed media gift wrapping and decorative figure includes a collapsible, multifaceted container and plurality of attachments to the container for transforming the gift package into a final form that, in its own right, has decorative and play value. The assembled container includes a structural base that allows easy insertion and removal of a present without adversely affecting the final form. In one embodiment, the gift container includes a multifaceted cylinder-like lower area, a multifaceted bell-like upper area, and a small top area that can structurally support upper attachments. Attachments may be added to any of these areas. The width and height of each of these areas can vary depending on the shape that best fits the desired final form.

[0014] The container is easily assembled to hold an arbitrary gift, decorated with a plurality of attachments, and presented to the gift receiver in the guise of a table centerpiece, toy, or decorative item. The final form is reusable, easily disassembled for storage or shipping, and readily reassembled as needed. In one embodiment, the container is made of die-cut cardboard that is readily assembled and disassembled. The overall shape of the container allows for flexibility in the design of new final forms while supporting a strong upper attachment point and a base designed for easy insertion and extraction of a gift without disrupting the final form.

[0015] In one embodiment, a plurality of attachments including a doll torso and appropriate dress items transform the gift container into a doll. In another embodiment, a plurality of attachments including a space capsule and rocket fins transform the gift container into a rocket ship. In yet another embodiment, a plurality of attachments including trees and a cone shaped wrapper transforms the gift container into a tropical island. Other forms, such a turtle, a ladybug or a circus tents, can also be created in accordance with the present invention.

[0016] Modifications to various compartments and attachments, as well as other embodiments of mixed media gift packages, will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, in other embodiments, at least one attachment is inflatable. In some embodiments, the container is hidden by the attachments and must be “found” by the recipient. In other embodiments, the container is incorporated into the design of the form. The dimensions of the container are designed to best achieve the desired form.

[0017] The present invention provides the advantage of providing an entertaining gift package while at the same time eliminating the frustration of dealing with materials requiring significant expertise and/or time to assemble. Moreover, the gift package itself is transformed into a form that supersedes the mere functionality of the container. Specifically, the combined mixed media gift wrapping and decorative figure becomes a gift in itself.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0018] FIGS. 1A-1F illustrate features of a doll gift package in accordance with the present invention.

[0019] FIGS. 2A-2B illustrate features of a rocket ship gift package in accordance with the present invention.

[0020] FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate features of a tropical island gift package in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0021] FIG. 1A is a perspective view of an assembled gift package 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. Gift package 100 in this view appears to be a doll, which in itself can provide pleasure to the recipient when given as a gift. However, in addition to this initial impression, doll gift package 100 furthers includes a hidden compartment for providing yet another present to the recipient. Specifically, in this embodiment, package 100 includes a compartment 101 comprising a die-cut multi-faceted box with a bell shaped upper portion and a cylinder shaped lower portion (explained in further detail in reference to FIGS. 1B-1E). Package 100 further includes a plurality of attachments 102 comprising a doll torso (including head and arms) 102A and various clothing items 102B.

[0022] FIG. 1B is an exploded view of a portion of gift package 100. In this embodiment, torso 102A includes a plug 103 attached to the bottom of torso 102A. Note that plug 103 can be attached to torso 102A in any suitable manner. For example, plug can be provided integrally with torso 102A, can be fixedly attached to torso 102A, or can be pivotally attached to torso 102A. Torso 102A can be attached to compartment 101 by fitting plug 103 into a slot 104 provided in compartment 101.

[0023] After torso 102A is attached to compartment 101, attachments 102 are used to hide compartment 101 and decorate the gift package. For example, in FIG. 1B, a long skirt 102B with Velcro tabs 102B(1) can be used effectively to hide compartment 101 as well as provide a pleasing appearance to the gift package. FIG. 1A illustrates another attachment, blouse 102C that can be placed on torso 102A to complete the wardrobe of the doll. Blouse 102C can be placed on torso 102A using standard fasteners, such as snaps, Velcro, or glue.

[0024] FIG. 1C illustrates compartment 101 in its folded out view. In this embodiment, compartment 101 includes a plurality of joined or integrally formed sections 101A. Each section 101A includes a flap 107 forming the bottom of compartment 101 (explained in detail below), a lower sub-section 113 forming a lower cylinder shaped portion of compartment 101, and an upper bell shaped subsection 112 forming the upper portion of compartment 101. The dashed lines in FIG. 1C indicate areas to be folded to form compartment 101.

[0025] Flaps 107 can be folded substantially perpendicular to their corresponding lower subsections 113, thereby providing a bottom to compartment 101. Upper bell shaped subsections 112 can be folded inward, thereby allowing tabs 105 of upper subsections 101A to be fitted into slots 106 of adjacent upper subsections 101A. In this manner, the upper portion of compartment 101 can be formed and secured. After sections 101A are folded, a tab 110 in one end section 101A is placed in a slot 111 provided in the other end section 101A, thereby forming and securing the lower portion of compartment 101.

[0026] A top portion 101B, attached to the upper subsection 112 of an end section 101A, forms the top of compartment 101. Specifically, top portion 101B includes a plurality of tabs 108 that can be fitted into in a plurality of respective slots 109 provided in upper subsections 112. Top portion 101B further includes slot 104, which receives plug 103 (FIG. 1B). Note that one or more slots and tabs can be further secured after folding of compartment 101 by gluing or taping the slots.

[0027] FIG. 1D is a perspective view of component 101A of compartment 101 in a half-folded state. As shown, lower subsections 113 fold in a cylinder-like manner. Tabs 110 are fitted into slots 111 to secure the folded box in its desired cylinder like shape. As shown in FIG. 1D, flaps 107 can be folded inward to an angle substantially perpendicular to their corresponding lower subsections 113. In this manner, folded flaps 107 function as the bottom to gift package 100. In this embodiment, opening compartment 101 can be performed by pressing inward to folded flaps 107, thereby collapsing flaps 107 to the inner sides of compartment 101.

[0028] FIG. 1E is a perspective view of section 101A in its folded state and section 101B poised to close the top of compartment 101. As mentioned above, section 101B includes a plurality of tabs 108 formed to fit into a corresponding plurality of slots 109 provided in upper subsections 112. In other embodiments, section 101B could be a separate component attached to component 101A by any standard method, for example by using tabs, glue, or Velcro. Note that component 101B includes slot 104, which can be used for attaching torso 102A (using plug 103) to compartment 101 (see FIG. 1B). Another alternative shown in FIG. 1F is an inflatable torso 115. Inflatable parts are collapsible and further enhance the collapsible features of the invention. Inflation is through the hard attachment point with air stop 114.

[0029] In accordance with the present invention, compartment 101 and attachments 102 can be easily assembled. A typical sequence of assembly could include: assembling compartment 101, attaching torso 102A to compartment 101, and putting on other attachments 102B (such as clothing items 102B) to hide compartment 101 and decorate gift package 100. Thus, in this gift package, the compartment itself is not seen by the recipient and must be “found”, thereby further enhancing the gift-receiving process.

[0030] In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2A is an exploded view of a rocket ship package 200 with its capsule 202 still unattached. The container 203 is substantially the same as compartment 101 in FIG. 1C. As shown in FIG. 2B, container 203 is die-cut to have a longer multi-faceted cylinder lower area than compartment 101. To better secure this cylinder lower area, container 203 can include tabs 204. Tabs 204 can be inserted in slots that are substantially similar to slots 111 shown in FIG. 1C. In one embodiment, container 203 can include slots 205 formed in multiple facets of the cylindrical area to receive rocket fin attachments 201A. Note that the method of assembly for container 203 can be substantially identical to compartment 101. Once container 203 is formed, the four rocket fin attachments 201A are attached to container 203 by inserting tabs 201B into corresponding slots 205. The final step is to attach capsule 202 into a slot 203B with the tab connected to capsule 202 (FIG. 2A). The section including slot 203B could be similar to section 101B (FIG. 1C) or could be a separate component attached to container 203 by any standard method, for example by using tabs, glue, or Velcro.

[0031] FIG. 3A is a perspective view of an unassembled tropical island gift package in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The sections of container 300 can be substantially identical to compartment 101 (FIGS. 1A-1F) and can be constructed in the same fashion. In one embodiment, the tropical island embodiment can include a cardboard place mat 302 with colorful ocean and beach scenery that can be positioned under container 300.

[0032] A wrapper 301 shown in FIG. 3B (which includes FIG. 3B(1), 3B(2), and 3B(3)) can be placed over container 300, thereby completely hiding container 300. In one embodiment, the printed wrapper 301 can portray a colorful scene of a tropical island. On one embodiment, wrapper 301 can be adhered or connected at an edge 305. A palm tree 304C, shown in FIG. 3C, can be inserted into an opening 304A (shown in both FIG. 3C and FIG. 3B(1)) in the top of wrapper 301 and inserted into slot 304B (shown both in FIG. 3A and FIG. 3C). As in the other embodiments described above, the actual method of attachment is shown as an illustration and could attach to compartment 301 by any standard method, for example by using tabs, glue, or Velcro. A message area 303 can be reserved for witty messages that could be included in the form of stickers or hand written by the gift giver.

[0033] The above-described embodiments are meant to be illustrative and not limiting. Other forms, including various attachments and final forms, would be apparent in light of the invention. For example, other mixed media gift package embodiments in accordance with the present invention could be a turtle, a ladybug or a circus tent that utilized a squat version of the container with a plurality of attachments. Modifications to various compartments and attachments, as well as other embodiments of mixed media gift packages, will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the present invention is only limited by the appended claims.