United States Patent 3614106

A puzzle game of the type wherein balancing members are to be stacked in vertical tandem orientation from a base and include outwardly extending arms having weight-receiving trays at the ends thereof with weight members of different weights for deposit on the trays to balance the vertically oriented assembly of the members. The weight members are variously of different sizes and correspondingly different weights, and of the same size but of different weights.

Morrison, Howard J. (Highland Park, IL)
Glass, Marvin I. (Chicago, IL)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/449, 273/450, 446/325
International Classes:
A63F9/00; A63F9/26; A63H13/12; A63F7/00; A63F9/28; A63F9/32; (IPC1-7): A63H13/12; A63F9/06
Field of Search:
273/156,1R 46
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3402929Balancing game apparatus1968-09-24Glass et al.
2190800Advertising device or toy1940-02-20Murphy
1974737Advertising device1934-09-25Casteig

Primary Examiner:
Oechsle, Anton O.
We claim

1. A puzzle-type amusement device comprising: means defining a base; a plurality of balance members constructed and arranged for vertical tandem orientation relative to said base; a plurality of weight members; weight-holding means for each balance member including at least one link element having an inner end connected to said balance members and extending outwardly therefrom, and an outer end including means removably supporting at least one weight member thereon; said weight members being of different weights for deposit on said weight supporting means to hold said balance members in an upright orientation relative to said base.

2. The amusement device of claim 1 wherein the balance members have upper and lower ends with recessed portions in the upper ends thereof and a reduced tapered portion at the lower end thereof of a size and shape to be received in the recess of an adjacent balance member.

3. The amusement device of claim 2 wherein the base includes a pedestal portion having an upper end with a concave recess therein for receiving the reduced lower portion of a vertically superposed balance member.

4. The amusement device of claim 1 wherein the weight-holding means for each balance member includes two link elements connected to the balance member at opposite sides thereof and extending downwardly, as well as outwardly, therefrom with the outer ends each including said weight-supporting means.

5. The amusement device of claim 4 wherein the weight-supporting means are traylike members with recesses therein for receiving said weight members.

6. The amusement device of claim 5 wherein said link elements extend downwardly and outwardly from said balance members in the normal upright orientation of said balance members and, wherein said traylike members are generally horizontally disposed at the lower end of said links in said normal upright orientation of said balance members.

7. The amusement device of claim 1 wherein the weight members include first ball-like elements of different sizes and generally the same mass.

8. The amusement device of claim 6 wherein the weight members further include other ball-like elements of different mass but, of substantially the same size as some of the first ball-like elements.

9. The amusement device of claim 6 wherein the balance members terminate in a tapered lower end and have a concave recess in the upper end.

10. The amusement device of claim 9 wherein the balance members include link element receiving portions for releasably securing said link elements to said balance members and wherein said weight-holding panels and said links are provided with cooperatively engaging portions for releasably connecting the panels to the link elements.

11. The amusement device of claim 10 wherein the base includes a pedestal portion having an upper end with a concave recess therein for receiving the reduced lower portion of a vertically superposed balance member.

12. The amusement device of claim 11 wherein the base further includes a container having a hollow interior for receiving said puzzle elements and wherein the pedestal portion comprises the cover for said container.


1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to puzzle-type amusement devices.

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art

There are many well-known puzzle-type games or amusement devices which require the interfitting or arrangements of parts to complete a solution. Some such amusement or puzzle-type devices are those wherein elements of the structure are built one on top of the other, and in some cases, the elements must be balanced, one relative to the other. However, with such games, or amusement devices, following the solution or completion of the puzzle, there is little further reward for the participant, except to view the completed project or the like.

This invention is directed toward meeting a need and desire in the art to provide a puzzle-type amusement device which is capable of giving further reward to the participant than the mere solution or completion of the puzzle, such as by providing subsequent independent movement of the elements thereof.


This invention is directed, in brief, to the provision of an improved puzzle-type amusement device.

The best mode currently contemplated for carrying out the invention includes the provision of a plurality of balancing members having a pointed lower end and a concave recess in the upper end thereof. The balance members further have sockets at opposite sides thereof for removably receiving sticklike link elements which support normally horizontally disposed trays at the outer ends thereof. The trays have recesses for receiving weight members, preferably in the form of marbles or the like. The marbles are preferably of the same mass but of different size. A base is further provided including a pedestal portion, substantially frustoconical in configuration, and having a concave recess at the upper end for receiving the lowermost balance member of the set. In addition, the pedestal portion serves a dual function of being a cover for a container for storing the components.

In use, a participant may assemble the elements together and stack them in vertical orientation while depositing the weight members or marbles on the trays to maintain the desired balanced state, and when completed, the amusement device may be subject to movement such as by rotating portions thereof while retaining a state of balance.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an arrangement of the amusement device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged section view of a portion of the base and one of the balancing members of the amusement device of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section view taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged view of the weight holding tray and a portion of the supporting arm therefor of the amusement device of this invention.

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail a specific embodiment therefor, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated.


The amusement device 10 of this invention includes a generally cylindrical container 12 having a hollow interior 12a for receiving the components of the amusement device. A top 14 is provided for the container 12 and includes a generally circular cylindrical flange 16 including upper portion 16a and lower portion 16b which are disposed on opposite sides of a medial web 18. A generally frustoconical pedestal 20 extends outwardly from one side of medial web 18 and terminates in a concave recess 22 at the upper end thereof.

The amusement device further includes a plurality of balance members 24, preferably eight in number. Each balance member 24 preferably is provided with a simulated head portion 26 at the upper end, a simulated medial body portion 27, and simulated opposed arms 28 and 30. Furthermore, the lower end 32 terminates in a tapered point 34 and the upper end or head 26 has a concave recess 36 therein of a size and shape to receive the tapered portion 34 of the next vertically adjacent balance member 24. The arms terminate in sleeve portions 38 and 40 of a size and shape to snugly receive link members or rods or stick elements 42 which are preferably 16 in number. The sleeves 38 and 40 are angularly oriented relative to the body 27, so that when the balance members 24 are in their normal vertical orientation, as seen in the FIGS. 1 and 2, the links or rods 42 extend outwardly, as well as downwardly, relative thereto.

At the opposite or outer ends, each of the links 42 supports one of a traylike weight holding panels or pallets 44, each of which is also provided with an angularly oriented socket portion 44a for snugly receiving the links 42 so as to normally hold the trays or panels 44 in a generally horizontal disposition relative to the balance members 24 when the balance members are in a normal upright orientation. Each of the panels 44 preferably includes a plurality of recesses or apertures 46, preferably five in number, for receiving ball-like weight members or marbles, generally indicated 48.

In the preferred embodiment there are three sizes of weight members provided, such as four large weight members 50, 12 medium weight members 52, and six small weight members 54. Preferably, the weight members are of the same mass so that the different sizes afford weight members of different weight values. In addition, it is also desirable to provide a few, such as two, weight members 56, which may be the same size as any one of the weight members 50, 52 or 54 but, of a different mass so as to be of a different weight value than expected for that size.

In use, a participant initiates use of the amusement device by opening the container 12, and dispensing the balance members 24, links or sticks 42, pallets or trays 44 and weight members 48 therefrom. Assembly is then initiated by assembling the links 42 to the arms 28 and 30 of each of the balance members 24, by inserting the links 42 through the sleeves 38 and 40. In addition, the links 42 are also inserted into sockets 44a of the trays 44. The first balance member 24 is deposited with the tapered point 34 in a concave recess 22 of pedestal 20 and a suitable disposition of weight members is made on the tray 44 to maintain the first balance member 24 in a state of balance. The operation is repeated for the second vertically adjacent balance member and so on. However, during the course of vertical assembly of the amusement device it will become necessary, from time to time, to change the disposition of the balance members 50, 52 and 54 on the already-assembled and previously balanced members. Thus, once the participant or user has completed the assembly and balance of about three or four such members in vertical tandem, it may be necessary, for the successful assembly and balance of the next or fifth set, to rearrange or rebalance some of the lower assemblies. If the assembly is successful, the participant will ultimately wind up with eight vertically superposed sets of balance members, with the entire assembly in the state of equilibrium. In such a condition the entire assembly, or portions thereof, is capable of movement, such as responsive to a breeze or the like, which will create a slow serpentine type of reaction in the vertically oriented balance members. In addition, each one of the balance members may be independently rotated relative to the other, thereby affording additional amusement and entertainment value to the participant who has successfully assembled and completed the puzzle.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.