Title:
Puzzle game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is an improved puzzle game where the puzzle game is composed of a plurality of removable pieces, each removable piece having at least one solution location, the improvement being means for retaining the removable pieces in the same general area of other removable pieces or the puzzle frame. The present invention provides a method of linking puzzle pieces to a frame and to other puzzle pieces, for ease of use and for storage.



Inventors:
Gelman, Robert D. (Livingston, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/331462
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
01/13/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/156
International Classes:
A63F9/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CURTIS MALLET-PREVOST COLT & MOSLE,LLP (101 PARK AVENUE, 35TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY, 10178, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A puzzle game comprising: a plurality of puzzle pieces, where each puzzle piece has one solution location relative to at least one other puzzle piece; and means for restricting the location of each puzzle piece relative to the at least one other puzzle piece.

2. The puzzle game of claim 1, where the means for restricting the location of the puzzle pieces comprises a plurality of elongated flexible members, where each elongated flexible member is attached at one end to a puzzle piece.

3. The puzzle game of claim 2, further comprising: a puzzle frame, and where the other end of the elongated flexible member is attached to the puzzle frame.

4. The puzzle game of claim 3, where the elongated flexible members are removably attached to the puzzle frame.

5. The puzzle game of claim 2, where the elongated flexible members are removably attached to the puzzle pieces.

6. The puzzle game of claim 1, where the means for restricting the location of each puzzle piece maintains the puzzle piece in an area relatively proximate to the at least one other puzzle piece.

7. The puzzle game of claim 1, where the means for restricting the location of each puzzle piece comprises an aperture in each puzzle piece and an elongated member capable of passing through the apertures.

8. The puzzle game of claim 7, where the elongated member is a loop with a closure.

9. A puzzle game comprising: a puzzle frame; a plurality of puzzle pieces, where each puzzle piece has at least one solution location relative to the puzzle frame; and means for restricting the location of each puzzle piece to an area relatively proximate to the puzzle frame.

10. The puzzle game of claim 9, where the means for restricting the location of the puzzle pieces comprises a plurality of elongated flexible members, where each elongated flexible member is attached at one end to a puzzle piece.

11. The puzzle game of claim 10, where the elongated flexible members are removably attached to the puzzle pieces.

12. An improved puzzle game, where the puzzle game is comprised of a plurality of puzzle pieces and a puzzle frame, the improvement comprising: means for flexibly attaching the puzzle pieces to the puzzle frame.

13. The puzzle game of claim 2, where the means for flexibly attaching the puzzle pieces are removably attachable to the puzzle pieces.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to children's puzzles, and more particularly to jigsaw puzzles and puzzles enclosed in frames, including peg puzzles and knob puzzles.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

Prior to the present invention, puzzles, particularly childrens' puzzles were manufactured to be used as follows; the puzzle pieces would be taken out of the box or frame and scattered. Then the pieces would be reassembled to complete the puzzle.

The problems with this type of puzzle are numerous.

Puzzle pieces are often lost. This creates frustration for the child and parent. The child often feels frustrated that the puzzle cannot be completed. For the younger child, there are also parent or guardian concerns that the puzzle pieces will be put in the child's mouth. For the less dexterous children, puzzle pieces are picked up and dropped before the child has the opportunity to place the pieces in the proper places.

The frustrations for the parents and guardians are numerous. Clean up and searching for missing pieces can be timely, and often missing pieces of the puzzles are never found, thus rendering the puzzle unusable, requiring replacement of the entire puzzle. Often times, families spend money on the same type of puzzles numerous times, especially for younger children.

Puzzles are often brought along on trips to entertain children on route. Prior to this invention, it has been difficult to use these puzzles in public places or in moving vehicles due to problems with the puzzle pieces falling out and pieces falling into hard to access places.

OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION

From the preceding discussions, it will be understood that among the various objectives of the present are included in the following:

The provision of a new and improved puzzle that will eliminate the losing of puzzle pieces;

The provision of a new and improved puzzle that will minimize frustration to the user;

The provision of a new and improved puzzle that will minimize frustration to the caregivers of child users;

The provision of a new and improved puzzle that will minimize frustration to the less dexterous user;

The provision of a new and improved puzzle that will minimize wasting of money for replacement of the puzzles due to missing pieces;

The provision of a new and improved puzzle that will make transportability easier;

The provision of attachment hardware between the puzzle pieces and puzzle frame so that the puzzle pieces will not be lost;

The provision of multiple attachment devices so that the amount of difficulty in placing puzzle pieces in proper place can be modified;

The provision of removable attachment devices so that attachment devices can be totally removed if desired;

The provision of color-coded attachment devices so that frames could be color coded to match attachment devices to make completion of puzzle more or less challenging.

The provision for a carrying device for keeping puzzle pieces together so they do not get lost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an improved puzzle game where the puzzle game comprises a plurality of removable pieces, each removable piece having at least one solution location, the improvement comprising means for retaining the removable pieces in the same general area of other removable pieces or a puzzle frame.

The present invention provides a method of linking puzzle pieces to a frame and to other puzzle pieces. The present invention also includes a storage device for non-linked puzzle pieces.

The foregoing as well as other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the present invention will be made clear from the following description, reference being made to the embodiments shown in the annexed drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are perspective plan views of different embodiment of puzzle frames, showing how the puzzle pieces would appear within the puzzle frame and how the puzzle pieces would appear when out of the puzzle frame. These figures also display various means of how the puzzle pieces could be attached to the puzzle frames.

FIG. 10A is a perspective plan view of a finished frameless puzzle with most of the puzzle pieces in their respective places and other puzzle pieces appearing that have not been placed in the puzzle.

FIG. 10B is a perspective plan view of the puzzle pieces of FIG. 10A shown with a storage means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIGS. 1 THROUGH 9 are perspective plan views for how the puzzle pieces could be attached to the puzzle frames.

FIG. 1 shows how the puzzle pieces 14 (shown individually as 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d and 14e, but referenced herein collectively as 14) would appear within puzzle frame 11 at locations 12 (shown individually as 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d and 12e, but referenced herein collectively as 12) as well as how the puzzle pieces would appear when out of the puzzle frame 11. This figure also displays one method of attaching the puzzle pieces 14 to the puzzle frame 11. In this example, each puzzle piece 14 would have a peg 16 attached to the puzzle piece, preferably on the top surface of the puzzle piece. The puzzle frame 11 would also have at least one peg 13 attached to it. A string or other flexible connecting means 15 would be attached at one end to peg 16 of each puzzle piece 14, preferably at the opening 17 of peg 16. The strings 15 from each puzzle piece 14 would then be attached to peg 13 on the puzzle frame 11, preferably at the opening 19 of peg 13.

FIG. 2 shows a variation of the embodiment of FIG. 1, where the puzzle frame 11 would have a plurality of pegs 13, one for each corresponding puzzle piece 14. A string 15 would be attached to the peg 16 of each puzzle piece 14. The string 15 from each puzzle piece 14 would then be attached to the corresponding peg 13 on the puzzle frame 11.

Where the strings 15 can be directly attached to pegs 13 and 16, the respective openings 19 and 17 can be omitted.

FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of how the puzzle pieces 14 can be attached to the puzzle frame 11. In this embodiment, each puzzle piece 14 would have a peg 16 attached to the puzzle piece 14. The puzzle frame 11 would have a slide pole 18, mounted to the puzzle frame 11 by support pegs 20. A plurality of rings 22 would be movably located on slide pole 18, each with a string 15 attached thereto. The other end of the strings 15 would be attached to the peg 16 of each puzzle piece 14.

FIG. 4 shows a variation of the embodiment of FIG. 2, where each string 15 would be attached at one end to a peg 16 on a puzzle piece 14, and at the other end to a ring 24. There would be a plurality of rings 24, each attached to a peg 26 on puzzle frame 11.

To make the puzzle more challenging for play, the strings 15 may be removably attached to the puzzle pieces and/or the puzzle frame. The embodiment shown in FIG. 4 lends itself to this arrangement, in that the rings 24 may include an opening that would allow for the removal of ring 24 from peg 26. After play is finished, the strings 15 could be reattached for storing the puzzle 300 so the puzzle pieces 14 do not get lost. The strings 15 could also be reattached to make the puzzle 300 less challenging again. As a variation, rings 24 could also be attached to pegs 16 on puzzle pieces 14 to allow strings 15 to be removed from the puzzle during use, but reattached for storage.

FIG. 5 shows the invention in the form of a jigsaw puzzle 400. This view shows how the puzzle pieces 402 would appear in their solved state and how the puzzle pieces 402 would appear when out of the puzzle frame 401. In this embodiment, each puzzle piece 402 would have a peg 404 attached to the puzzle piece 402. There would be one fixed puzzle piece 408 attached to the puzzle frame 401. This fixed piece 408 would also have a peg 410 attached thereto. Strings 406 would be attached to each peg 404 of puzzle pieces 402. The strings 406 from each puzzle piece 402 would then be attached to the peg 410 of the fixed puzzle piece 408. As mentioned above with regard to other embodiments, pegs 404 may have an aperture 405 and peg 410 may have an aperture 411 to aid in the attachment of strings 406.

FIG. 6 shows an alternate embodiment of the puzzle game shown in FIG. 5. Ring 412 is attached to the puzzle frame 401. Each puzzle piece 402 would be attached to the ring 412 by a string 406 connecting at peg 404. Ring 412 may be removably attached to puzzle frame 401. The strings 406 may be removably attached to either ring 412 and/or pegs 404 for varying the difficulty of the puzzle.

FIG. 7 shows yet another embodiment of the puzzle game shown in FIG. 5, where one or more pegs 414 are attached to the puzzle frame 401. Strings 406 would be attached to at least one of the pegs 414 attached to the puzzle frame 401, and also attached to at least one peg 404 on each puzzle piece 402. The strings 406 may be removably attached to either pegs 414 or pegs 404 for varying the difficulty of the puzzle.

FIG. 8 shows a further embodiment of the puzzle game shown in FIG. 5. The puzzle frame 401 would have multiple slide poles 422 attached thereto, possibly by supports 424. Strings 406 would connect rings 24 on one of the slide poles 422 to pegs 404 on the puzzle pieces 402.

FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of the puzzle game shown in FIG. 8, showing only one slide pole 422. As a variation, detachable rings 24 could also be attached to pegs 404 on puzzle pieces 402 to allow the strings 406 to be removed from the puzzle during use.

FIGS. 10A and 10B show an embodiment of a way to prevent puzzle pieces from being lost when not in use. This invention would be a particularly beneficial improvement to large puzzle piece floor puzzles. Each puzzle piece 902 would have a hole or aperture 426. FIG. 10A is a perspective plan view for how the puzzle 900 would appear noting the hole 426 in each puzzle piece 902. This view contains examples of how the puzzle pieces 902 would appear in a solved position and how the puzzle pieces 902 would appear in an unsolved position. FIG. 10B is a perspective plan view of the storage ring 428 and individual puzzle pieces 902, with some of the puzzle pieces 902 loaded onto storage ring 428 through hole 426. After all puzzle pieces 902 are placed on the storage ring 428, the storage ring 428 can be closed so that puzzle pieces 902 would not fall off and the puzzle game would be ready for storage. In FIG. 10B, storage ring 428 includes interlocking ends 430 and 432.

As noted above, the various attachment means can be constructed to be removable when desired.

Attachment strings could be made of various materials including twine, string, plastic, chain, shoelaces, and other materials, and may be elastic or inelastic. The strings could also be color coded to match the background of the puzzle pieces for younger children to aid in the proper placement of puzzle pieces within the puzzle frame.

From the foregoing, it will be understood that the applicant has provided a new and improved puzzle so that puzzle pieces of a puzzle game will not be lost. Since certain changes in the above-described construction will occur to those skilled in the art, without departure from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter set forth in the above description or shown in the various views of the appended drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.