Title:
PROJECTILE FIRING TOY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toy for firing projectiles comprising or including a frame and an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position, wherein in use, a projectile equipped with or being an elastic member can be launched by the toy by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of transfer the stored energy in the elastic member, wherein the arm is able to move to the first position so as not to interfere with the trajectory of the launched projectile.



Inventors:
Mowbray, Mathew Peter (Cambridge, NZ)
Application Number:
13/183484
Publication Date:
01/17/2013
Filing Date:
07/15/2011
Assignee:
MOWBRAY MATHEW PETER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
124/35.1, 473/569
International Classes:
F41B7/02; A63B43/00; F41B7/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090159062Spirometer ToyJune, 2009Bohman et al.
20090293855Aiming Device and Method for Archery BowDecember, 2009Danielson et al.
20070175464Mechanism for feeding ball bullets from a bin to a holderAugust, 2007Cherepanov
20070215133Paintball gun having a pneumatic firing valveSeptember, 2007Jones
20020083602Fiber optic pin sights for bowJuly, 2002Slates
20060266341Paint ball simulation toyNovember, 2006Hambright et al.
20020023633Ball pitching apparatus - 2February, 2002Caldwell
20050268896Container apparatus for a barrel locking apparatus for a paintball gun thereforDecember, 2005Ho et al.
20090159061PAINTBALL GUN WITH PAINTBALL MONITORINGJune, 2009Newman et al.
20100018512Detachable drawlock and method of attachment to a bowJanuary, 2010Sandel
20060102160Device and method for containing projectilesMay, 2006Zambito et al.



Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DANN, DORFMAN, HERRELL & SKILLMAN (1601 MARKET STREET SUITE 2400, PHILADELPHIA, PA, 19103-2307, US)
Claims:
1. A toy for firing projectiles comprising or including: a frame, an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position, wherein in use, a projectile equipped with or being an elastic member can be launched by the toy by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of transferring the stored energy in the elastic member, wherein the arm is able to move to the first position so as not to interfere with the trajectory of the launched projectile.

2. The toy of claim 1 wherein the arm is restricted from pivoting past the second position by a stop.

3. The toy of claim 2 wherein the stop is formed integrally with the frame.

4. The toy of claim 1 wherein the arm is biased to the first position by a biasing means.

5. The toy of claim 4 wherein the biasing means is a spring.

6. The toy of claim 1 wherein the arm includes an engagement region at or near its distal end suitable for engaging the elastic member with the arm.

7. The toy of claim 6 wherein the engagement region is a notch or recess in the distal end of the arm.

8. The toy of claim 1 wherein the frame includes a user-grippable handle.

9. The toy of claim 1 wherein the frame includes a catching region suitable for catching the or a projectile.

10. The toy of claim 9 wherein the catching region comprises a net provided supported by the frame.

11. A toy set for firing projectiles comprising or including: a frame, an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position, at least one projectile equipped with or being an elastic member, wherein a said projectile can be launched by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of a transfer of the stored energy in the elastic member to the projectile, the arm being able to move to the first position so as not to interfere with the trajectory of the launched projectile.

12. The toy set of claim 11 wherein the arm is restricted from pivoting past the second position by a stop.

13. The toy set of claim 12 wherein the stop is formed integrally with the frame.

14. The toy set of claim 11 wherein the arm is biased to the first position by a biasing means.

15. The toy set of claim 14 wherein the biasing means is a torsion spring.

16. The toy set of claim 11 wherein the arm includes an engagement region at its distal end suitable for engaging the elastic member of a projectile with the arm.

17. The toy set of claim 16 wherein the engagement region is a notch or recess in the distal end of the arm.

18. The toy set of claim 11 wherein the frame includes a user-grippable handle.

19. The toy set of claim 11 wherein the frame includes a catching region suitable for catching a projectile.

20. The toy set of claim 19 wherein the catching region comprises an opening in the frame and a net provided around the opening so that a projectile may be caught in said net after passing through said opening.

21. A toy for firing projectiles comprising or including: a frame, an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position, wherein in use, a projectile equipped with or being an elastic member can be launched by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of the stored energy in the elastic member, the arm being caused to move from the second position to the first position by the launched projectile such movement being in a direction parallel to the trajectory of the projectile.

22. A projectile for use with the toy of claim 1, the projectile comprising: a main body, and an elastic member extending from the main body.

23. A projectile for use with the toy of claim 21, the projectile comprising: a main body, and an elastic member extending from the main body.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a toy that can fire projectiles.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

A common slingshot is small hand-powered device for firing projectiles. Commonly the slingshot consists of a Y-shaped frame with a rubber band attached to each upright. The rubber bands lead to a pocket that can hold the projectile. Drawing back the pocket will extend the rubber bands which, upon release, can transfer energy to the projectile to fire the projectile some distance. People have also used rubber bands to fire these from for example one of their fingers or pencil to send the rubber band flying. The rubber band is spanned between the finger or pencil and a hand of the user. The hand can then let go of the rubber band to send the rubber band flying. However, when fired in this manner the rubber band may impinge on the finger or pencil as the rubber band flies past. This can slow the rubber band down or put it off course. There is hence a need to provide a solution to this problem to ensure that the trajectory of the rubber band is not interfered with upon release.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved toy for firing projectiles or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect the present invention consists in a toy for firing projectiles comprising or including:

a frame,

an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position,

wherein in use, a projectile equipped with or being an elastic member can be launched by the toy by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of transfer the stored energy in the elastic member, wherein the arm is able to move to the first position so as not to interfere with the trajectory of the launched projectile.

Preferably the arm is restricted from pivoting past the second position by a stop.

Preferably the stop is formed integrally with the frame.

Preferably the arm is biased to the first position by a biasing means.

Preferably the biasing means is a spring.

Preferably the arm includes an engagement region at or near its distal end suitable for engaging the elastic member with the arm.

Preferably the engagement region is a notch or recess in the distal end of the arm.

Preferably the frame includes a user-grippable handle.

Preferably the frame includes a catching region suitable for catching the or a projectile.

Preferably the catching region comprises a net provided supported by the frame.

Preferably the arm's axis of pivotal mounting is perpendicular to the trajectory of the projectile.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a toy set for firing projectiles comprising or including:

a frame,

an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position,

at least one projectile equipped with or being an elastic member, wherein a said projectile can be launched by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of a transfer of the stored energy in the elastic member to the projectile, the arm being able to move to the first position so as not to interfere with the trajectory of the launched projectile.

Preferably the arm is restricted from pivoting past the second position by a stop.

Preferably the stop is formed integrally with the frame.

Preferably the arm is biased to the first position by a biasing means.

Preferably the biasing means is a torsion spring.

Preferably the arm includes an engagement region at its distal end suitable for engaging the elastic member of a projectile with the arm.

Preferably the engagement region is a notch or recess in the distal end of the arm.

Preferably the frame includes a user-grippable handle.

Preferably the frame includes a catching region suitable for catching a projectile.

Preferably the catching region comprises an opening in the frame and a net provided around the opening so that a projectile may be caught in said net after passing through said opening.

Preferably the arm's axis of pivotal mounting is perpendicular to the trajectory of the projectile.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a toy for firing projectiles comprising or including:

a frame,

an arm pivotally mounted to the frame and able to move between a first position and a second position,

wherein in use, a projectile equipped with or being an elastic member can be launched by engaging the elastic member with the arm and moving the projectile relative to the arm such that the elastic member is extended and the arm is in the second position, and subsequently releasing the projectile to cause the projectile to be launched by virtue of the stored energy in the elastic member, the arm being caused to move from the second position to the first position by the launched projectile such movement being in a direction parallel to the trajectory of the projectile.

Preferably the arm's axis of pivotal mounting is perpendicular to the trajectory of the projectile.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a projectile for use with the toy or toy set as aforesaid mentioned, the projectile comprising:

a main body, and

an elastic member extending from the main body.

Other aspects of the invention may become apparent from the following description which is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

As used herein the term “and/or” means “and” or “or”, or both.

As used herein “(s)” following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

The term “comprising” as used in this specification and claims means “consisting at least in part of”. When interpreting statements in this specification and claims which include that term, the features, prefaced by that term in each statement, all need to be present but other features can also be present. Related terms such as “comprise” and “comprised” are to be interpreted in the same manner.

The entire disclosures of all applications, patents and publications, cited above and below, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference.

To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the descriptions herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1: shows a projectile and a mechanism for firing such a projectile,

FIG. 2: shows the mechanism of FIG. 1 with the elastic band of the projectile engaged with the pivoting arm of the mechanism,

FIG. 3: shows the projectile being pulled back to a loaded or firing position, extending the elastic band,

FIG. 4: shows the projectile after it has been released and is firing away, the spring/and or ball has returned the pivot arm back to its normal position ready to be reused again,

FIG. 5: shows a toy having a projectile firing mechanism as well as a frame which defines a handle and a catching region.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIG. 1 there is shown a mechanism 1 that may be or form part of a toy for firing a projectile. The mechanism 1 includes an arm 2 that is pivotally attached to a base or frame 3 (only partially shown on FIGS. 1-4). The arm 2 can pivot about pivot 7 between a first position as shown in FIG. 1 and a second position as shown in FIG. 2.

The mechanism 1 may include a biasing means, such as a spring, to bias the arm 2 to the first position as shown in FIG. 1. A biasing means may however not be present and movement of the arm may instead be effected under the influence of gravity.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention the biasing means is a torsion spring 4, however it should be appreciated that alternative biasing means may be used such as a rubber band, leaf spring, coil spring or other.

FIG. 1 also shows a projectile 6 which may be fired by engaging it with the mechanism 1 of the toy gun. The projectile includes an elastic 5. The elastic may be an elastic band. It may be formed as a loop extending from the projectile 6 or present a loop that can engage with the arm 2. The operation of the toy will now be explaining with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4.

The loop of the elastic 5 of the projectile 6 can be hooked onto the arm 2. In the preferred embodiment the arm 2 includes a notch or recess 9 to provide a location for engagement of the elastic 5. By hooking the elastic 5 onto the recess 9 and pulling the projectile 6 back the arm can pivot from its first position (as shown in FIG. 1) against the bias of the torsion spring 4 to its second position (as shown in FIG. 2). A stop 12 may be provided integrally with the frame 3 to limit the pivoting action of the arm 2. In the preferred embodiment the stop 12 is positioned so that the arm cannot pivot more than approximately 90 degrees from its first position to the second position. Ideally the stop 12 allows the arm 2 to pivot to a point in which the arm is substantially perpendicular to the general direction of intended travel of the projectile and is held there whilst the elastic is spanned. The arm may naturally be in the second position where for example no biasing means is used. It may in that case be put into the second position by the user and naturally remain there.

By puffing the projectile back further (as shown in FIG. 3), the elastic 5 is extended due to its engagement with and being held by the arm 2. Extension of the elastic 5 causes elastic potential energy to be stored in the elastic 5. When the elastic/projectile is released by the user (as shown in FIG. 4), the stored elastic potential energy is converted into kinetic energy and the projectile is “fired” in a direction substantially opposite to the direction that the projectile was pulled relative to the arm.

When the projectile is released, the torsion spring 4 may cause the arm 2 to pivot back to its first position, thereby moving out of the path of the projectile 6. Alternatively, the projectile 6 may push the arm back to its first position after it is “fired”.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention the projectile 6 is a ball or similar round object. However it should be appreciated that the projectile may take other forms, such as an elongate form. Or may merely be the elastic.

With reference to FIG. 5, the mechanism 1 is shown along with the frame 3 to which it is attached. The frame 3 may have a handle 10 extending therefrom. It is envisaged that a user of the toy may grip the handle 10 with one hand and use their other hand to engage the elastic 5 with the arm 2 and then pull back on the projectile before releasing the projectile to “fire” it.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the frame 3 has an associated net (not shown) which may act as a catching region for catching a projectile 6. It is envisaged that a game could be played between two or more people each wielding the toy of the present invention by “firing” projectiles at one another and attempting to catch the projectiles in the catching region of the frame. The projectile may pass through an opening 11 and into the net. Alternatively the net may instead be some other element that the projective can engage with. The projectile and element may have complementary hook and loop fasteners that allow the projectile and the element to become engaged together.

Where in the foregoing description reference has been made to elements or integers having known equivalents, then such equivalents are included as if they were individually set forth.

Although the invention has been described by way of example and with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and/or improvements may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.