Title:
Combat Toy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a soft combat toy representing a saber or a sword. Also disclosed is a soft combat toy representing a bo-staff. Such soft combat toys comprise a core tube, a hand grip, and one or two striking portions. The toys can further comprise any one or a combination of the elements selected from the group consisting of a soft plug attached to the free end(s) of the striking portion(s), a cap to the core tube, a cap to the hand grip, and an encasement of at least a part of at least one striking portion.



Inventors:
Bogner, James Alan (Walnut Creek, CA, US)
Bogner, Luke Alexander (Walnut Creek, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/414583
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/30/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/473
International Classes:
A63B69/00; F41B15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE LLP - San Francisco (505 MONTGOMERY STREET, SUITE 800, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 94111, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A combat toy comprising: a core tube having a first and a second end and a first axis; a hand grip mounted about the core tube along the first axis; and at least one striking portion mounted about an end of the core tube along the first axis, the striking portion having a proximal end adjacent the hand grip and a distal end at a distance from the hand grip.

2. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein the hand grip is mounted at the first end of the core tube, and the striking portion is mounted at the second end.

3. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein a first striking portion is mounted at the first end of the core tube, and a second striking portion is mounted at the second end of the core tube, and wherein the hand grip is mounted at a medial position along the axis, between the striking portions.

4. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein at least one of the hand grip, the core tube, and the striking portion comprises a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, rhomboid, trapezoidal, cross and asterisk.

5. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein any two of the core tube, the hand grip and the striking portion have different cross-sectional shapes.

6. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein the core tube, the hand grip, and the striking portion have the same cross-sectional shape.

7. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein at least one of the core tube and the hand grip comprise at least one material selected from the group consisting of a rubber, a thermoplastic and a thermosetting plastic.

8. The combat toy of claim 7, wherein the material comprises one selected from the group consisting of silicone rubber, vulcanized rubber, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride.

9. The combat toy of claim 7, wherein the core tube and the hand grip comprise different materials.

10. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein the striking portion comprises uniform cross sections along the first axis of the core tube.

11. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein the striking portion comprises variable cross sections along the first axis of the core tube.

12. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein the striking portion comprises cross sections of the same shape but variable size along the first axis of the core tube.

13. The combat toy of claim 1, wherein the striking portion comprises at least one material selected from the group consisting of polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam, foam rubber.

14. The combat toy of claim 1, further comprising at least one soft plug attached to the distal end of the at least one striking portion.

15. The combat toy of claim 1, further comprising an encasement of at least a part of the at least one striking portion.

16. The combat toy of claim 15, wherein the encasement comprises a removable sleeve.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/072,159 filed Mar. 28, 2008, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to combat toys, and more particularly, to foam covered sparring toys which are soft, safe and durable.

2. Description of Related Art

Sparring toys have been attractive to people of all ages. Children and adults use them for, for example, casual and simulated fighting games, self-defense (fencing) training, martial arts training, and the like. The design of sparring toys requires general considerations of toy design, which include, for example, non-toxic material, fire safety, visual attractiveness, comfortable usage, stimulating dynamic interaction, production cost, resistance to household cleansing detergents, etc. Moreover, the design of sparring toys requires special considerations because such toys are intended to be in full contact with the users and expected to be involved in aggressive play. Therefore, such toys must be soft and flexible enough not to cause physical harm when properly used to spar with fellow players. In addition, such toys are desired to be sturdy enough to last through prolonged use in aggressive play.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Some embodiments of the invention include a combat toy comprising a core tube, a hand grip mounted coaxially about the core tube, and at least one striking portion mounted coaxially about one end of the core tube.

Some embodiments of the invention include one striking portion mounted on one end of the core tube and the hand grip mounted on the other end. Other embodiments include two striking portions mounted on each end of the core tube and the hand grip mounted in a medial position on the core tube between the striking portions.

Some embodiments of the invention include at least one of the core tube, the hand grip, and the striking portion having a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, rhomboid, trapezoidal, cross and asterisk.

Some embodiments of the invention include any two of the core tube, the hand grip, and the striking portion having different cross-sectional shapes. Some embodiments include the core tube, the hand grip and the striking portion(s) having the same cross-sectional shapes.

Some embodiments of the invention include at least one of the core tube and the hand grip comprising at least one material selected from the group consisting of a rubber, a thermoplastic and a thermosetting plastic. Some embodiments of the invention include at least one of the core tube and the hand grip comprising at least one material selected from the group consisting of silicone rubber, vulcanized rubber, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride.

Some embodiments of the invention include a core tube and a hand grip comprising different materials.

Some embodiments of the invention include a striking portion comprising uniform cross sections along its axis. Some embodiments of the invention include a striking portion comprising variable cross sections along its axis. Some embodiments of the invention include a striking portion comprising cross sections of the same shape but variable size along its axis.

Some embodiments of the invention include at least one of the striking portion and the soft plug comprising at least one material selected from the group consisting of polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam, foam rubber.

Some embodiments of the invention include two striking portions which are of the same shape, size and material mounted on the same core tube. Some embodiments of the invention include two striking portions which are of different shapes, sizes or materials mounted on the same core tube.

Some embodiments of the invention include an encasement of at least a part of at least one striking portion. In some embodiments, the encasement comprises a removable sleeve.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an example of a saber. FIG. 1A is the side view; FIG. 1B is the bottom view with the hand grip; FIG. 1C is the top view showing the center hole and the soft plug.

FIG. 2 shows some parts of the saber in FIG. 1. FIG. 2A is the side view of the core tube; FIG. 2B shows the soft plug.

FIG. 3 further illustrates the saber of FIG. 1. FIG. 3A is the bottom view corresponding to FIG. 1B; FIG. 3B is the side view corresponding to FIG. 1A; FIG. 3C shows the parts which include the striking portion (labeled “1”), the core tube (labeled “2”), the hand grip (labeled “3”) and the soft plug (labeled “4”).

FIG. 4 shows an example of a bo-staff. FIG. 4A is the side view of the bo-staff;

FIG. 4B is the side view of the core tube; FIG. 4C is the top view of the bo-staff without the soft plug; FIG. 4D shows the soft plug; FIG. 4E is the bottom view with hand grip in the center.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As used herein, shape refers to the two-dimensional outer contour of a surface such as a cross section, or three-dimensional outer contour of an object. Shape does not include the size of the surface or the object. Therefore, the same two-dimensional or three-dimensional shapes can have different sizes.

As used herein, an open cross section refers to a cross section whose shape is cross, asterisk, and the like.

As used herein, a dimension of a cross section refers to the characteristic length of the cross section. As one example, the dimension of a cross section of circular shape can be its diameter. As another example, the dimension of a cross section of oval shape can be the length along its major axis. As a further example, the dimension of a cross section of a cross or an irregular shape can be the diameter of the smallest circle which encloses the entire cross or irregular shape.

As used herein, mechanical properties refer to physical properties of a material or an object, such as hardness or softness, flexibility, strength, density, etc., or the combination thereof.

As used herein, “mount” refers to having two surfaces or objects in close proximity to or in direct contact with each other by means of, for example, glue or tensile force, etc.

As used herein, light material refers to material with density smaller than the densities of conventional materials of which weapons like saber, sword or bo-staff are made. Some examples of such conventional materials include steel, iron, wood, etc.

In some embodiments of the invention, the soft combat toy comprises a core tube having two ends and an axis, a hand grip mounted coaxially about the core tube on one end of the core tube, and a striking portion mounted coaxially about the core tube on the other end, wherein the striking portion contacts the hand grip.

In some embodiments of the invention, the core tube comprises a material which is non-toxic, and has a particular density, strength, color, fire retardant, resistance to household cleansing detergents or other common chemicals, etc. In certain embodiments a light material is used for the core tube for at least the following reasons. Firstly, the hitting force subject to the people or the object that the combat toy is in direct contact with is linearly proportional to the mass of the toy. Secondly, a light toy is easy to maneuver, especially for young children. A certain strength is desirable so that the toy does not break easily even after prolonged periods of aggressive play. People in the relevant art recognize a wide variety of materials available to meet these requirements, such as, for example, rubber, thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic, or the combination thereof. More specifically, the material can be, for example, silicone rubber, vulcanized rubber, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride, etc., or the combination thereof.

In some embodiments of the invention, the core tube comprises a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, rhomboid, trapezoidal, cross and asterisk. Any shape of this group and other shapes can be used, depending on the considerations such as the desired shapes of the striking portion and the hand grip, the production cost, etc. In some embodiments, the core tube has uniform cross sections which are of the same shape and same size along its axis. In other embodiments, the core tube has variable cross sections which are of different shapes or different sizes along its axis. As one example, in some embodiments, the core tube has cross sections which are of the same shape but taper along its axis. The largest cross section can be at one end of the core tube, or somewhere in the middle. As another example, in some embodiments, the core tube has cross sections which are of circular shape and change gradually to an oval shape along its axis. In some embodiments, the core tube has solid cross sections. In other embodiments, the core tube has annular cross sections. The contour of the inner surface can be the same as the shape of the cross section. The contour of the inner surface can also be different from the shape of the cross section. In still other embodiments, the core tube has open cross sections of a shape such as cross and asterisk, etc. Any configuration as described and the combination thereof with desirable mechanical properties while saving material without substantially increasing the production cost is appropriate.

In some embodiments of the invention, the dimension of the cross sections of a core tube is chosen depending on the balance of several considerations. These considerations include, for example, the desired size of the toy, the size and thickness of the striking portion, the appropriate mechanical properties of the core tube, etc., which are well-known to a person of skill in the relevant art. In some embodiments, the dimension of a cross section of the core tube can be between 0.01 inch to 24 inches.

In some embodiments of the invention, the core tube has a length suitable for the target players. For example, the core tubes of such toys targeting young children are shorter than those of such toys targeting adults. The length of the core tubes can be, for example, between 1 inch to 100 inches. The length of the hand grips and the striking portions mounted coaxially about the core tubes can be scaled or non-scaled to the length of the core tube. However, the total length of the hand grip and striking portion should be essentially equal to or slightly greater than that of the core tube.

In some embodiments of the invention, one or both ends of the core tube comprise a cap which serves several functions. Firstly, it provides a surface for the soft plug or the hand grip to be glued to the core tube. Secondly, it keeps the sharp edge and/or hard end of the core tube from being exposed even if the striking portion or the hand grip is worn or accidently breaks. The cap can be exposed or covered by the striking portion or the hand grip under normal conditions. The cap can be designed based upon the balance of several considerations, including, for example, the desired shape of the toy, the shapes and sizes of the core tube and the hand grip, the shape and the thickness of the striking portion, the production cost, etc. The material of the cap can be the same as or different from that of the core tube, the hand grip, the striking portion, or the soft plug. The material can be, for example, rubber, thermoplastic, thermosetting plastic, a foam, or the combination thereof. More specifically, the material can be, for example, silicone rubber, vulcanized rubber, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam, foam rubber, etc., or the combination thereof.

In some embodiments of the invention, the hand grip can be a layer of material mounted coaxially about the core tube by means of, for example, glue, tensile force, and the like, or the combination thereof. In other embodiments, the hand grip can be casted following the steps of, for example, sanding a certain length of the core tube on one end, dipping the portion of sanded core tube in a solution, and letting the attached solution dry. The drying step can be by means of, for example, air dry, blow dry, or the like, without or within a cast or the like. In other embodiments, the hand grip is a separate part attached to the core tube by means of, for example, glue, a screw, tensile force, and the like, or the combination thereof. In some embodiments, the cross section of the hand grip in contact with the striking portion is larger than that of the core tube. Therefore, the hand grip can prevent the striking portion from slipping through the core tube on the end contacting the hand grip.

In certain embodiments, a light material is used for the hand grip due to considerations similar to those discussed regarding the core tube. The material of the hand grip can be, for example, rubber, thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic, or the combination thereof. More specifically, the material can be, for example, silicone rubber, vulcanized rubber, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride, etc, or the combination thereof. In some embodiments, the hand grip comprises the same material(s) as the core tube. In other embodiments, the hand grip comprises different material(s) compared to the core tube.

In some embodiments of the invention, the hand grip comprises a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, rhomboid, trapezoidal, cross and asterisk. Any shape of this group and other shapes can be used, depending on the considerations such as comfortable and sure grip, the desired shapes of the core tube and the striking portion, the production cost, etc. In some embodiments, the hand grip has uniform cross sections which are of the same shape and same size along its axis. In other embodiments, the hand grip has variable cross sections which are of different shapes or different sizes along its axis. As one example, in some embodiments, the hand grip has cross sections which are of the same shape but taper along its axis. The largest cross section can be at one end of the hand grip, or somewhere in the middle. As another example, in some embodiments, the hand grip has cross sections which are of circular shape and change gradually to an oval shape along its axis. As a further example, in some embodiments, the hand grip has cross sections which are changing gradually along its axis to create a shape that secures positioning of the hand(s) on the hand grip. In still other embodiments, the striking portion has open cross sections of a shape such as cross and asterisk, etc. In some embodiments, the hand grip comprises cross sections of the same shape as the core tube. In other embodiments, the hand grip comprises cross sections of different shapes compared to the core tube.

In some embodiments of the invention, the dimension of the cross sections of a hand grip is chosen depending on the balance of several considerations. These considerations include, for example, the comfortable and sure grip of the target users, the desired size of the toy, the size and thickness of the striking portion, the appropriate mechanical properties of the hand grip, etc., which are well-known to a person of skill in the relevant art. In some embodiments, the dimension of a cross section of the hand grip is between 0.01 inch to 24 inches.

In some embodiments of the invention, the hand grip has a length suitable for grasping with one hand. In other embodiments, the hand grip has a length suitable for accommodating two hands. The length of the hand grip can also be chosen based on the target users of different ages. In some embodiments, the length of the hand grip is between 5% and 150% of the length of the core tube; in other embodiments, the hand grip is between 10% and 125%, or between 20% and 100%, or between 30% and 90%, or between 40% and 80%, or between 50% and 70%. In some embodiments, the length of the hand grip can be between 1 inch and 36 inches.

In some embodiments of the invention, the hand grip can have a cap on its free end. The cap can keep the sharp edge and/or hard end of the hand grip from being exposed, in order to make sure, for example, eye safety of the players or the people in close proximity of the toy. The cap can be designed based upon the balance of several considerations, including, for example, the desired shape of the toy, the shape and size of the hand grip, the production cost, etc. The material of the cap can be the same as or different from that of the core tube, the hand grip, the striking portion, or the soft plug. The material can be, for example, rubber, thermoplastic, thermosetting plastic, a foam, or the combination thereof. More specifically, the material can be, for example, silicone rubber, vulcanized rubber, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam, foam rubber, etc., or the combination thereof. The cap on the hand grip can be substantially flat or can protrude from the hand grip. For example, the cap can have the form of a pommel on a sword-handle, or the like.

In some embodiments of the invention, the hand grip has a textured surface. The texture can be created to improve the ornamental quality, to demonstrate trademark information or the like, and to facilitate comfortable and sure grip, etc.

In some embodiments of the invention, the striking portion is mounted coaxially about the core tube by means of, for example, glue, tensile force, and the like, or the combination thereof. In some embodiments, the striking portion is in contact with the hand grip on one end.

In some embodiments of the invention, a light material is used for the striking portion due to considerations similar to those discussed regarding the core tube and the hand grip. Additional considerations include, for example, that the striking portion should be soft to absorb and dampen the hitting force subject to the people or the object that is in direct contact with the toy. The material of the striking portion can be, for example, a foam and the like. More specifically, the material can be, for example, polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam, foam rubber, etc., or the combination thereof.

In some embodiments of the invention, the striking portion comprises a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, rhomboid, trapezoidal, cross or asterisk. Any shape of this group and other shapes can be used, depending on the considerations such as the desired shapes of the core tube and the striking portion, the production cost, etc. In some embodiments, the striking portion has uniform cross sections which are of the same shape and same size along its axis. In other embodiments, the striking portion has variable cross sections which are of different shapes or different sizes along its axis. As one example, in some embodiments, the striking portion has cross sections which are of the same shape but taper along its axis. The largest cross section can be at one end of the striking portion or somewhere in the middle. As another example, in some embodiments, the striking portion has cross sections which are of circular shape and change gradually along its axis. In still other embodiments, the striking portion has open cross sections of a shape such as cross and asterisk, etc. In some embodiments, the striking portion comprises cross sections of the same shape as the core tube. In other embodiments, the striking portion comprises cross sections of different shapes compared to the core tube.

In some embodiments of the invention, the dimension of the cross sections of a striking portion is chosen depending on the balance of several considerations. These considerations include, for example, the desired size of the toy, the thickness of the striking portion, the appropriate mechanical properties of the striking portion, etc., which are well-known to a person of skill in the relevant art. In some embodiments, the dimension of a cross section of the striking portion is between 0.01 inch to 24 inches.

The thickness of the striking portion is chosen such that sufficient dampening of the hitting force is obtained to avoid physical harm under proper usage to the people or the object that is in contact with the toy. In some embodiments, the thickness of the striking portion is 5%-10000% that of the dimension of the core tube; in other embodiments, the thickness is between 10% and 5000%, or between 20% and 3000%, or between 30% and 2000%, or between 40% and 1000%, or between 50% and 500%, or between 60% and 300%, or between 70% and 200%, or between 80% and 150%, or between 90% and 125%, or around 100%. The thickness of the striking portion can be 0.01 inch to 24 inches.

In some embodiments of the invention, the length of the striking portion is between 5%-300% that of the core tube; in other embodiments, the length of the striking portion is between 10% and 250%, or between 25% and 200%, or between 50% and 150%, or between 75% and 125%, or between 90% and 110%, or about 100%. The length of the striking portion can be 1 inch to 100 inches, or more. The length of the striking portions can be chosen based on the target users of different ages. In some embodiments, the free end of the striking portion coincides with the free end of the core tube. In such embodiments, the free end of the core tube is not sharp, to avoid physical damage to the people or the object that is in direct contact with that end. In other embodiments, the free end of the striking portion extends beyond the free end of the core tube. In some embodiments, the length of the portion which extends beyond, and therefore, without support of the core tube is between 1% to 1000% that of the portion with support of the core tube; in other embodiments, the length is between 10% and 800%, or between 20% and 600%, or between 30% and 500%, or between 40% and 400%, or between 50% and 300%, or between 60% and 250%, or between 70% and 200%, or between 80% and 150%, or between 90% and 125%, or around 100%.

In some embodiments, the toy can further comprise a soft plug attached to the free end of the striking portion. The attachment can be established by gluing the soft plug to the free end of the striking portion, inserting the soft plug into the striking portion, and the like, or the combination thereof.

In some embodiments of the invention, the soft plug comprises a foam. More specifically, the material can be, for example, polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam, foam rubber, etc., or the combination thereof. The soft plug and the striking portion can comprise the same or different materials.

In some embodiments of the invention, the soft plug comprises a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, rhomboid, trapezoidal, cross, asterisk, and the like. The soft plug and the striking portion can comprise the same or different shapes.

In some embodiments of the invention, the soft combat toy comprises a core tube with an axis, a hand grip mounted coaxially about the core tube, and two striking portions mounted coaxially on each end of the core tube and separated by the hand grip, wherein each of the two striking portions has a free end. The design of the core tube is similar to what has been described above. The design of the hand grip is also similar to what has been described except that the hand grip is not at one end of the core tube. In some embodiments, the hand grip is at the center of the core tube along its axis. In other embodiments, the hand grip is closer to one end of the core tube than to the other end. The hand grip is in direct contact with each striking portion on one end of the hand grip which prevents both striking portions from slipping toward each other. The total length of the hand grip and the two striking portions are essentially equal to or slightly greater than that of the core tube. The design of each of the two striking portions and the soft plugs are similar to what has been described.

In some embodiments of the invention, the two striking portions mounted on the same core tube comprise the same material(s). In other embodiments, the two striking portions comprise different materials.

In some embodiments of the invention, the two striking portions mounted on the same core tube have the same shape. In other embodiments, the two striking portions have different shapes.

In some embodiments of the invention, the two striking portions mounted on the same core tube have the same size. In other embodiments, the two striking portions have different sizes.

In some embodiments, each of the two striking portions mounted on the same core tube has a length between 5% and 300% that of the core tube; in other embodiments, each of the striking portions is between 10% and 250%, or between 25% and 200%, or between 50% and 150%, or between 75% and 125%, or between 90% and 110%, or about 100%. In some embodiments, each of the two striking portions mounted on the same core tube has a length between 1 inch and 100 inches, or more. The length of the striking portions can be chosen based on the target users of different ages. In some embodiments, both free ends of the two striking portions coincide with the free end of the core tube. In such embodiments, the free end of the core tube is not sharp, to avoid physical damage to the people or the object that is in direct contact with that end. In other embodiments, one or both of the two free ends extend beyond the free end of the core tube. The length of the portion which extends beyond, and therefore, without support of the core tube is between 1% to 1000% that of the portion with support of the core tube; in other embodiments, the thickness is between 10% and 800%, or between 20% and 600%, or between 30% and 500%, or between 40% and 400%, or between 50% and 300%, or between 60% and 250%, or between 70% and 200%, or between 80% and 150%, or between 90% and 125%, or around 100%.

In some embodiments, the toy can further comprise at least one soft plug attached to at least one free end of the striking portions. The attachment can be established by gluing a soft plug to a free end of the striking portions, inserting a soft plug into a striking portion, and the like, or the combination thereof.

In some embodiments of the invention, soft plugs which are of the same size, shape and material are attached to the striking portions mounted on the same core tube. In other embodiments, the soft plugs which are of different size, shape or materials are attached to the striking portions.

In some embodiments of the invention, all or any of the parts including the core tube, the hand grip, the striking portions, the soft plugs, the cap(s) of the core tube, and the cap of the hand grip have bright colors, such as, for example, blue, red, pink, purple, black, green, and the like, or the combination thereof. Different parts can have the same or different colors.

In some embodiments of the invention, all or any of the parts including the core tube, the hand grip, the striking portions, the soft plugs, the cap(s) of the core tube, and the cap of the hand grip can have prints on the surface. The prints can be created to improve the ornamental quality, to demonstrate the trademark information or the like, etc. Different parts can have the same or different prints.

In some embodiments of the invention, any of the parts including the core tube, the hand grip, the striking portions, the soft plugs, the cap(s) of the core tube, and the cap of the hand grip have no exposed sharp edges to avoid physical damage to the people or the object that is in contact with the toy.

In some embodiments of the invention, two or more soft combat toys as described can be connected together by means of glue, a screw, and the like, or the combination thereof. For example, two or more combat toys can be connected by interlocking hand grips using screws. The connected combat toys can be mobile or immobile relative to each other.

In preferred embodiments of the invention, the toy also includes a sleeve or other structure encasing the striking portion. The sleeve can be a fabric, such as, for example, nylon, or it can be a mesh material, or any other suitable encasing material. The sleeve can be removable or it can be permanently affixed to the striking portion. The sleeve can be machine washable. The sleeve can also be cleaned using common household cleansing detergents such as, for example, fabric spray or anti-bacterial spray. The sleeve can be useful for prolonging the life of the toy and protecting the striking portion from cuts or other damage.

In some embodiments, sleeves of different colors or designs can be provided to indicate different teams in a combat game. In some embodiments, the sleeve can be disposable and can, for example, be made of a degradable material whose degradation during play can be used as an indicator of multiple strikes against an opponent.

Likewise, in some embodiments, the sleeve can be composed of, or carry, a material that leaves a mark on an opponent who has been struck by the toy. For example, a textile sleeve can be impregnated with a chalk material or a paint material, such that an opponent who has been struck will bear a mark from the chalk or paint. In some embodiments, the sleeve can be a “fuzzy” or mop-like material capable of absorbing and delivering a marking material during a combat game.

In some embodiments, the dimensions of the sleeve correspond closely to the dimensions of the striking portion, such that the sleeve has a substantially tight fit on the striking portion. In other embodiments, the sleeve has a looser fit on the striking portion, facilitating easy removal and replacement.

In other embodiments, the sleeve is adapted to adhere only to a portion of the striking portion, and in some cases, multiple sleeves may occupy different segments of the striking portion, permitting differential “scoring” for contact achieved by different segments of the striking portion. For example, an end sleeve can occupy the distal three inches of the striking portion and can carry a red paint, suggesting a stab wound when an opponent is struck with the end of the toy; while another sleeve can cover a medial segment of the striking portion and can carry a purple paint, suggesting a bruise when an opponent is struck with a blunt blow by the toy. These examples are non-limiting and are merely representative of a multiplicity of possible uses and combinations of sleeves, markings, and the like that can be used in accordance with the invention.

The simple design of the combat toys in the claimed invention make it feasible for both mass manufacture and customized production. In preferred embodiments, the hand grip material is made from a molded silicone. Among the useful properties of silicone for hand grips are: thermal stability, the ability of repel water and form watertight seals (though it is non-lipophilic), excellent resistance to oxidation, ozone, and sunlight, flexibility, good electrical insulation, nonstick properties, low chemical reactivity, and low toxicity. The hand grip is molded to have a textured surface to improve the grip and, in some embodiments, to include a trademark and/or other ornamental features.

In preferred embodiments, the core tube is made of an extruded material such as, for example, polycarbonate. Any material that permits proper flexibility and strength and compatibility with adhesives permitting attachment to both the handgrip and the striking portion is suitable.

In preferred embodiments, the striking portion is a material such as, for example polyethylene foam, that can include various additives such as, for example, additives enhancing resistance to ultraviolet light, additives conferring fire-retardant properties, and additives that strengthen the material of the striking portion. In preferred embodiments, the striking portion is a foam or a low-density solid material.

In preferred embodiments, an epoxy-type adhesive is used to fuse the parts of the toy together. An exemplary epoxy adhesive is epoxy/potting material 104A/B as supplied by EcoPro.

EXAMPLES

Example 1

Saber Illustration

FIGS. 1-3 demonstrate one embodiment of the invention, a saber. FIG. 1A illustrates the side view of the saber; FIG. 1B illustrates the bottom view showing hand grip; FIG. 1C illustrates the top view showing a soft plug inserted into the center hole of the striking portion. The sizes of the parts are shown in the figure.

FIG. 2 illustrates the core tube and the soft plug of the saber shown in FIG. 1. The sizes of the parts are shown in the figures.

FIG. 3A illustrates the bottom view of the saber corresponding to FIG. 1B; FIG. 3B illustrates the side view corresponding to FIG. 1A; and FIG. 3C illustrates the parts of the saber shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3A and 3B. The parts include the striking portion (labeled “1”), the core tube (labeled “2”), the hand grip (labeled “3”) and the soft plug (labeled

Example 2

Bo-Staff Illustration

FIG. 4 demonstrates an embodiment of the invention, a bo-staff. In the embodiment, the bo-staff is symmetric with respect to the cross section passing through the center point of the axis of the core tube. FIG. 4A illustrates the side view of the bo-staff; FIG. 4B illustrates the side view of the core tube; FIG. 4C illustrates the top view without the soft plug; FIG. 4D illustrates the soft plug; and FIG. 4E illustrates the bottom view with hand grip in the center. The sizes of the parts are shown in the figure.

One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the teachings of the invention. This description, and particularly the specific details of the exemplary embodiments disclosed, is provided primarily for clearness of understanding and no unnecessary limitations are to be understood therefrom, for modifications and other embodiments will become evident to those skilled in the art upon reading this disclosure and can be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the claimed invention.