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Title:
Magsnap
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
MagSnap is a miniature tethered projectile toy comprised of a cap and handle joined by an elongated cord. The cap and handle both contain magnets. The toy is approximately 7.5 millimeters in length. The player casts the cap upward and then attempts to align the handle with the cap so that the cap descends or ascends onto the handle and magnetism joins the cap and handle. Magnetism and the natural attraction to north can be used to accomplish a number of different maneuvers. The miniature size of the toy enables the player to attempt the different maneuvers or snaps.


Inventors:
Salinas, Rolando J. (Mercedes, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/303933
Publication Date:
05/27/2004
Filing Date:
11/26/2002
Assignee:
SALINAS ROLANDO J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/08; (IPC1-7): A63B67/12
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Attorney At, Law Michael Salinas R. (302A W. 3rd St., Mercedes, TX, 78570, US)
Claims:
1. A miniature tethered projectile game device, comprising a projectable cap, a handle, an elongated flexible tethering element, with cap and handle being capable of engagement at a wide variety of angles, such a wide range of applications made possible by miniaturization of the cap and handle, a magnet in the cap, a magnet in the handle, and magnetic attraction to north and south.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the side of the magnet in the cap attracted to north is the surface side of the cap and the side of the magnet in the handle attracted to south is the surface side of the handle.

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein the cap is made of plastic casing surrounding a hollow core, and the handle is also made of plastic casing surrounding a hollow core.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein the cap is approximately 1.8 mm in length and 1.5 mm in width and the handle is approximately 5.7 mm in length.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention is a miniature skill toy whose main parts include a cylindrical cap tethered by a cord to a handle. The player attempts to control the toss of the cap such that it ascends or descends and attaches, through magnetic attraction, to the handle. Magnetism and the placement of the magnets on the cap and handle are the key components of this invention. One of the magnets is placed in the cap with the side attracted to north facing outward as the magnetic surface side of the cap. The handle contains the other magnet, with the side attracted to south facing outward as the magnetic surface side of the handle. FIGS. 3-6 illustrate some of the maneuvers that can be accomplished. FIG. 7 illustrates the directions that a player should face to accomplish the different maneuvers.

[0002] Although similar toys in the past have utilized the principal of placing a cap or body onto a handle, none of them have utilized magnets and their natural attraction to north as an essential part of the invention. MagSnap is a game of skill in which the player can use magnetic north in such a way to increase his chance of accomplishing the different maneuvers.

[0003] Terrell, U.S. Pat. No. 2,485,788, an early version of a tethered projectile toy, has a body (the word “body” is used because the head has a significantly greater mass than the handle, unlike the MagSnap, the handle of which has greater mass than the cap) with one end recessed and with a borehole therein. After the body is cast, the player manipulates a handle with a pintle such that the borehole of the body falls onto the pintle. The body of the toy in Terrell is significantly larger than the cap of the MagSnap. The body is so large that it makes it difficult for a player to accomplish some of the difficult maneuvers of the MagSnap (FIGS. 3-6).

[0004] The MagSnap is a miniature tethered projectile, but it has two magnets, one at the end of the cap and the other on the end of the handle. The magnets and the small size of the MagSnap make it more versatile than the Terrell toy. The magnets make it possible to even accomplish an upside-down snap (FIG. 4), a maneuver that is virtually impossible with the Terrell toy.

[0005] Darcy, U.S. Pat. No. 3,173,690, utilizes magnetism, but the body appears to be the same size or bigger than the handle. Darcy also includes a game of chance, which, in one version, is a die that moves in a chamber of the body. The player must dock the tethered body on the handle before the game of chance is played. The drawings and the fact the body must be large enough to include a chamber where the die is placed indicate that the body is large when compared to the miniaturized cap of the MagSnap. As in Terrell, the large size of the body makes it difficult to accomplish the maneuvers that the MagSnap can do. Darcy states that the handle includes a hand grip, which also suggests that the toy is considerably larger than the MagSnap. In fact, in the modification of the Darcy toy, the hand grip must be large enough to hold dry cell batteries. In contrast, the miniaturized handle of the MagSnap may be held in a person's fingertips.

[0006] The Darcy invention focuses on the game of chance and does not focus on the skill aspect of the game. Darcy does not mention the toy can be used to accomplish different maneuvers. Most importantly, Darcy mentions nothing about the effect of magnetic attraction to north on placement of the magnetically attractable metal. With the MagSnap, proper placement of the magnets is key to enabling it to successfully accomplish the different maneuvers. The magnet in the cap must be placed with the side attracted to north facing outward as the magnetic surface side of the cap. If the magnet is placed with the side attracted to north facing inward into the cap, the cap will be difficult to manipulate because it will tend to turn or flip up toward north while the player is attempting a maneuver. Since the magnet in the cap must be placed with the side attracted to north facing outward as the magnetic surface side of the cap, the magnet in the handle must be placed with the side attracted to south facing outward as the magnetic surface side of the handle.

[0007] Unlike Darcy or any other previous tethered projectile toys, the MagSnap utilizes magnetism and attraction to north as a force of nature to be compensated for when attempting the different maneuvers. FIG. 7 indicates the recommended directions for both left-handers and right-handers a player should face to accomplish the different types of maneuvers or “snaps.” For example, for the swing-over snap, a player should face south when attempting this snap because the cap's magnet's attraction to north needs to be compensated for. In the swing-over snap (see FIG. 5), the cap begins in a stationary position with the magnetic surface side facing the ground. The player, holding the handle, then casts the cap, it swings over approximately 180 degrees, and then the player holds the handle upright. When the cap comes close to the handle, magnetic attraction brings the two components together, resulting in the cap docking on the handle. If the player faces south, during the duration of the swing the magnetic surface of the cap, which is attracted to north, will turn towards the north when in free flight—no pull resistance from the attached string. This enables the cap to be naturally attracted to the northern direction of the swing, thus facilitating a smooth swing until the magnetic surface of the cap comes close to the magnet in the handle.

[0008] As an additional example, when trying to accomplish the upside-down snap (FIG. 4), it doesn't matter what direction the player is facing. The direction the player is facing is unimportant because play begins with the magnetic surface of the cap facing down at the ground. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the player holds the handle upside down, with the top of the handle facing down, and then moves the handle upward, causing the tethered cap to fly upward. The handle and cap both face down through most of play until the end of the pull resistance on the cap, at which point the magnetic surface of the cap will turn towards a north direction until it attaches to the magnetic surface of the handle. There is no attraction to north to compensate for since the initial pull on the cap is straight up. Therefore, there is no recommended direction for the player to face. The recommendation would be that the eyelet on the handle be on the south side during the pull on the cap.

[0009] Luchsinger Pat. No. 3,365,839 is another toy with two tethered members that may be joined by magnetism, but the members are relatively large, one being a hand-held, shallow, flared cup and the other being a sphere. The sphere must be light so as not to stress the elastic tether and to facilitate its attraction to the magnet in the cup. Operation of the toy requires a minimum of manual dexterity. Indeed, a toddler may pull on the sphere and by chance effect a join with the cup. In contrast to the Luchsinger toy, the MagSnap is a much smaller toy and requires a much higher level of fine and gross motor coordination. MagSnap is a much more versatile toy that can be used to accomplish a number of different types of maneuvers.

[0010] In summary, the MagSnap allows for greater versatility of application than the aforementioned tethered toys. The miniature size of the toy enables a player to use it to accomplish a number of different types of maneuvers or snaps. The main difference between the MagSnap and the aforementioned tethered toys is that the MagSnap has been invented with the purpose of using magnetism and the stronger attraction to north in the northern hemisphere as important components in a challenging game requiring much fine and gross motor coordination. It is important to note that in the southern hemisphere, the magnets would be inserted so that the magnetic surface side of the cap is the south side and the magnetic surface side of the handle is the north side.

[0011] None of the aforementioned tethered toys has combined miniaturization with magnetism and natural attraction to north in such a challenging game of skill.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the MagSnap, a miniature tethered projectile toy with a magnetic weight in the handle and the cap according to a typical embodiment of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a cross-section view of the FIG. 1 toy detailing the magnetic weights resting on plastic casings and the approximate dimensions of the weights, handle, cap, and cord.

[0014] FIGS. 3, 4, 5, and 6 illustrate several possible applications or maneuvers. FIG. 3 shows the usual upward cast or balance snap. FIG. 4 illustrates the upside-down snap. FIG. 5 shows the swing-over snap. FIG. 6 illustrates the clockwise side snap.

[0015] FIG. 7 illustrates the suggested directions a player should face for each particular maneuver or snap.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0016] In FIG. 2, the game device in accordance with the invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 1 and embodies in its construction a handle 2 and a substantially cylindrical cap 3 which is tethered by an elongated flexible element such as a cord 6 to the handle. The invention is miniature in size, preferably about 7.5 mm in length, the cap 3 being about 1.5 mm in width and 1.8 mm in length, the handle 2 being about 5.7 mm in length, and the tethering element 6 about 19 mm in length.

[0017] The invention is preferably formed of plastic. The cap's plastic casing 10 forms a hollow core 8 the sides of which form a platform 11 upon which rests a magnetic weight 5 approximately 1.2 mm in diameter. The side of the magnet attracted to north faces outward as the magnetic surface side of the cap. The top of the cap tapers to an eyelet 12 to which a cord 6 is attached. The opposite end of the cord 6 is attached to an eyelet 13 on the side near the top of the handle 2. The plastic casing 9 of the handle 2 flares 14 near the top to allow space for a magnetic weight 4. The side of the magnet attracted to south faces outward as the magnetic surface side 17, away from the handle 2. The sides of the casing's 9 hollow core 7 form a platform 15 upon which rests the magnetic weight 4 which has dimensions similar to the magnet 5 in the cap 3.

[0018] The invention 1 is operated by holding the handle 2 in either hand and casting the cap 3 into the air in a direction indicated in FIGS. 3-6 for the different types of maneuvers. Depending on the type of maneuver, the player then attempts to align the handle 2 under or over the cap 3 so that the magnets 4,5 attract each other, and the cap 3 attaches to the handle 2.

[0019] While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment has been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected.





 
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