Title:
Tummy pal doll ensemble and storage system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A doll ensemble and storage system for enhancing one's imagination and developing fine motor skills is provided. The system comprises a doll having a head, a stomach, a pair of arms, a hand attached to each of the arms, a pair of legs, and a foot attached to each of the legs. The doll is shaped such that the stomach of the doll is proportionately larger than the rest of the components of the doll. At least one accessory associated with the doll is provided. A storage member in the form of a ball is provided for storing at least the doll and the at least one accessory. The doll ensemble and storage system of the invention is one of a series of dolls that may be collected by a child or a doll collector which all revolve around a central theme.



Inventors:
Lewis, Angela Davis (Homewood, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/410746
Publication Date:
10/26/2006
Filing Date:
04/25/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/268, 446/75
International Classes:
A63H3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES RAY & ASSOCIATES (2640 PITCAIRN ROAD, MONROEVILLE, PA, 15146, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A doll ensemble and storage system for enhancing one's imagination and developing fine motor skills, said system comprising: (a) a doll having a predetermined size and shape, said doll comprising a head, a stomach, a pair of arms, a hand attached to each of said arms, a pair of legs, and a foot attached to each of said legs; (b) at least one accessory associated with said doll; and (c) a storage member for storing at least said doll and said at least one accessory.

2. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said hands include a light source therein and are capable of lighting up when touched.

3. A system as recited in claim 2 including a power source for lighting said light source within said hands.

4. A system as recited in claim 3 wherein said power source comprises at least one battery.

5. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said hands are formed from a glow in the dark material.

6. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said stomach is capable of opening to form a storage area therein.

7. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said at least one accessory comprises removable clothing and shoes for said doll.

8. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said storage member comprises a ball.

9. A system as recited in claim 8 including a removable strap on said ball for carrying which may be removed for rolling of said ball.

10. A system as recited in claim 8 wherein said ball is formed from one of an opaque colored plastic material, a translucent colored plastic material and a glow in the dark plastic material.

11. A system as recited in claim 10 wherein one of said ball and doll are capable of acting as a nightlight.

12. A system as recited in claim 8 wherein said ball includes at least one storage compartment for storing keepsakes.

14. A system as recited in claim 8 wherein said pair of arms and said pair of legs are formed from a soft cloth material and said doll is capable of bending so as to be placed within said ball.

15. A system as recited in claim 8 wherein said ball includes a hinge in a back portion and a pull-up tab in a front portion to assist in opening and closing of said ball.

16. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said at least one accessory comprises one of a booklet about the history of said doll, a miniature bouncing ball, an adventure book related to said doll, and one or more keepsakes related to said doll.

17. A system as recited in claim 1 including a carrying bag with at least one strap for carrying said storage member.

18. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said doll ensemble and storage system is one in a series, which revolves about a central theme.

19. A system as recited in claim 18 including a carrying case for said series of doll ensemble and storage systems.

20. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein said predetermined size and shape of said doll is such that said stomach is proportionately larger that said head, said pair of arms, and said pair of feet.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/674,485 filed Apr. 25, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates, in general to a doll and a storage device for the doll and, more particularly, to a doll ensemble and storage system that includes a set of corresponding accessories and is part of a series of dolls that are capable of enhancing a child's imagination and developing the child's fine motor skills.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The toy industry is replete with different doll designs that range from dolls that talk to those that imitate babies who drink from bottles and “go potty”. Such dolls leave little to the imagination for the child playing with them. Nor do such dolls promote the development of a child's fine motor skills as they are not capable of doing anything other than their assigned task. Basically the child carries the doll around, feeds it a bottle and/or changes its diaper.

Storage devices for storing dolls so that the child may readily transport the dolls are also known, as shown for example by U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,439 to Dennis. Dennis teaches a storage device having a plurality of compartments with doors opening into each compartment for storing a plurality of different dolls. The art fails to teach a storage member which is unique to the particular doll being stored therein and is integral to the “history” of the doll.

Series of dolls/stuffed animals having associated accessories are also known. These series include the Cabbage Patch Dolls, Care Bears, and the American Girl series. While the Cabbage Patch Dolls and Care Bears are marketed as a series of dolls/animals, these series do not include a coordinated set of accessories, which enhances the child's imagination. Also, neither doll/animal offer anything to develop the child's fine motor skills. Basically, these dolls/animals “look cute” but their use is limited to the child carrying the doll/animal about. The American Girl series does include a coordinated set of accessories from clothes to books and other keepsakes, however, this series is limited to girls in the 8-12 age range. Also, these dolls do not include devices that aid in the development of the child's fine motor skills nor are these dolls made of a size that promotes playing with and hugging them. These dolls are designed more as collector dolls that are to be placed on a shelf and admired.

There is a need in the art for one or a series of dolls having coordinated accessories that is developmentally appropriate for children in the 2-6 age range. There is a further need in the art for dolls that enhance a child's imagination, promote pretend play, develop the acquisition of language through the reading of associated storybooks, facilitate social interaction with other children and develop fine motor skills through manipulation of the doll, book and accessories. There is a further need in the art for an associated storage member for storing the doll and the accessories thereof that is unique to the doll itself and the “history” of the doll and which can be integrated into the play with the doll. There is also a need in the art for a doll that is shaped such that the child enjoys hugging it and feels comfortable playing with it.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a doll ensemble and storage system that promotes pretend play and enhances a child's imagination.

It is another object of the invention to provide a doll ensemble and storage system which is appropriate for play by children in the 2-6 age range.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a doll ensemble and storage system that develops the acquisition of language and enhances the child's reading skills through the reading of associated storybooks.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a doll ensemble and storage system that facilitates social interaction with other children.

It is another object of the invention to provide a doll ensemble and storage system that glows in the dark and acts as a nightlight to aid the child at bedtime.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a series of dolls with accompanying accessories and stories which forms a collector series and/or a “circle of friends” for the child.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a series of dolls having a wide range of races, ethnicity, and both sexes to appeal to all children.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a doll having a shape wherein the stomach is proportionately larger than the rest of the doll, hence the name “Tummy Pal”, so that the child may comfortably wrap his/her arms around the stomach and hug the doll.

In addition to the various objects and advantages of the invention which have been described in some specific detail above, it should be noted that various other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art from the following more detailed description, particularly, when such description is taken in conjunction with the attached drawing Figures and with the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, and in accordance with the forgoing objectives, the invention comprises a doll ensemble and storage system for enhancing one's imagination and developing fine motor skills. The system comprises a doll having a head, a stomach, a pair of arms, a hand attached to each of the arms, a pair of legs, and a foot attached to each of the legs. The doll is shaped such that the stomach of the doll is proportionately larger than the rest of the components of the doll. At least one accessory associated with the doll is provided. This accessory can be one or more of a history booklet about the dolls origin, a miniature bouncing ball, clothing, and/or an adventure book. A storage member in the form of a ball is provided for storing at least the doll and the at least one accessory. The hands of the doll can either light up or be formed from a glow in the dark material. The storage ball can also be formed from a glow in the dark material so that the doll and ball form a nightlight/companion for the child at bedtime. The doll ensemble and storage system of the invention is one of a series of dolls that may be collected by a child or a doll collector which all revolve around a central theme.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a front perspective view of the doll of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a front perspective view of the doll of the present invention according to another design.

FIGS. 3A-3C show the doll ensemble and storage system of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows the history booklet of the doll ensemble and storage system of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the carrying bag for carrying the doll and storage member of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a carrying case for carrying a series of the doll ensemble and storage systems of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding to a more detailed description of the invention, it should be noted that identical components having identical functions have been designated with identical reference numerals for the sake of clarity.

The Tummy Pal doll ensemble and storage system is a series of dolls, accessories and storage members that is developmentally appropriate for children in the age range of 2-6. This series revolves about a central theme, such as one wherein the storage members are in the form of colored balls that fall from a rainbow. These dolls have an adorable look and shape and have an idealistic quality that will appeal to children. This doll ensemble and storage system contains a variety of unique features that are discussed in detail below.

Now reference is made to the FIGS. 1-2 that show the Tummy Pal doll, generally illustrated as 10, of the invention. The doll has a predetermined size and shape and comprises a head 12, a stomach 14, a pair of arms 16, a hand 18 attached to each of the arms 16, a pair of legs 20, and a foot 22 attached to each of the legs 20. At least one coordinated accessory can be provided that is associated with the doll 10. A storage member, preferably in the shape of a ball 42 and referred to as a “rainball” in the history of the dolls, as shown in FIG. 3B, is provided for storing at least the doll and the at least one accessory.

Preferably, the dolls have a size that ranges from 8-10 inches tall. The dolls 10 have bendable, soft cloth arms 16 and legs 20 so as to allow the dolls to bend to fit within the ball 42. The dolls 10 also have a round stomach 14 that opens to form a storage unit 24 therein, as shown in FIGS. 1-2. The stomach 14 may be formed from a vinyl material or any other well-known material. The stomach 14 is proportionately larger that the other components of the doll. This shape allows the child to comfortably wrap their arms around the doll to give it a hug. The head 12 can be formed from any well-known material, such as vinyl. Hair 26 in any style, color, or length is provided on the head.

The hands 18 include a light source 28 therein and are capable of lighting up when touched and/or when pressure is applied thereto. A power source 30 is provided for lighting the light source 28 within the hands 18. This power source 30 can comprise at least one battery or any other well-known power source. Alternatively, or in addition to, the hands can be formed from a glow in the dark material. Thus, they may act as a nightlight for the child should he/she use the doll as a bedtime companion.

At least one coordinated accessory can be provided that is associated with the doll 10. This at least one accessory can comprise different sets of clothing 32 and shoes 34 which are removable from the doll 10. As shown in FIG. 4, the at least one accessory can also comprise a booklet or pamphlet 36 which recites the history of the doll 10, i.e. a “Raindrop Land booklet” wherein after many days of rain, a rainbow appeared and rainballs of different colors fell from the rainbow and as these rainballs split apart, little round children emerged. Another accessory can include a miniature-bouncing ball 38. This bouncing ball 38 can be played with the child to develop his/her fine motor skills. The bouncing ball 38 can be formed from a color that matches the color of the “rainball” 42. Additionally an adventure book 40 may be provided which is related to the doll 10. Reading of this adventure book by the child will help develop the acquisition of language skills. One or more keepsakes related to the doll can also be provided.

As stated above and shown in FIGS. 3A-3C, the storage member for storing at least the doll 10 and at least one accessory comprises a ball 42. The ball includes a hinge 44 in a back portion and a pull-up tab 46 in a front portion to assist in opening and closing of the ball 42. A removable strap 48 is provided on the ball 42 for carrying. This strap 48 may be removed for rolling of the ball 42. The ball 42 is formed from a colored plastic material. Preferably the ball 42 is formed from one of a translucent colored plastic material so the child may view the doll 10 therein and/or a glow in the dark plastic material so the ball 42 may be used as a nightlight. If the ball is formed from a translucent material, should the hands 18 be formed from a glow in the dark material, these hands can also act as a nightlight even while the doll 10 is stored within the ball 42.

A carrying bag 50, as shown in FIG. 5 may be provided for carrying the ball 42. This carrying bag 50 may be formed from any well-known material such as canvas, cloth, plastic, and the like. At least one strap 52 is provided on the bag 50 to aid in carrying the bag 50.

The doll ensemble and storage system of the invention can be one in a series, which revolves about a central theme. As discussed above, this central theme can be about a set of rainballs that fall from a rainbow and open to reveal dolls. Each of the dolls 10 are of a different design, come in a different colored ball 42, and contain an adventure book 40 related to that doll and other associated accessories. As shown in FIG. 6, a collectors carrying case 54, with a strap 56, may be provided for the series of doll ensemble and storage systems.

The doll ensemble and storage system of the present invention is developmentally appropriate for children in the 2-6 age range and is designed to enhance a child's imagination, promote pretend play, develop the acquisition of language, facilitate social interaction with other children and develop fine motor skills. The associated storage member for storing the doll and the accessories thereof that is unique to the doll itself and the “history” of the doll and can be integrated into the play with the doll.

The invention has been described in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms so as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use the same. It should be understood that variations, modifications, equivalents and substitutions for components of the specifically described embodiments of the invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. Persons who possess such skill will also recognize that the foregoing description is merely illustrative and not intended to limit any of the ensuing claims to any particular narrow interpretation.





 
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