Title:
DRIVING CIRCUIT FOR TOY CARS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A playing field for cars guided by hand. The playing field consists of a plurality of rectangular plates (1) on which drive tracks (2) recessed like grooves are delimited by areal sections (3) not intended for driving and in which the plates are designed for mating engagement at their sides for joining the individual plates (1) together to form a larger travel course. The plates (1) can also be arranged one over the top of another plant by means of spacing holders (7). Insertion holes (6) for additional toys are provided on the plate (1).



Inventors:
Epping, Astrid (WOHLTORF, DE)
Application Number:
09/274017
Publication Date:
12/06/2001
Filing Date:
03/22/1999
Assignee:
Weilacher, Robert
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/14; A63H18/02; A63H33/42; (IPC1-7): E01B23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JULES, FRANTZ F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH GAMBRELL & RUSSELL BEVERIDGE (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A playing field for cars guided by hand, comprising a plurality of plates, each of said plates can be joined to an adjacent plate in mating engagement, and on which plates there are recessed, groove-like drive tracks that are delimited by a plurality of areal sections not intended for driving and in which laterally arranged means for joining the individual plates together to a larger travel course are provided.

2. The playing field according to claim 1 wherein the plates are rectangular in their basic form.

3. The playing field according to claim 2 wherein the plates have curved contours.

4. The playing field according to claim 1 wherein the plates consist of solid wood, plywood or chip wood and the drive tracks are produced by removal of material.

5. The playing field according to claim 2 wherein the plates consist of solid wood, plywood or chip wood and the drive tracks are produced by removal of material.

6. The playing field according to claim 1 wherein the plates consist of plastic and the drive tracks are produced by casting or stamping technology.

7. The playing field according to claim 2 wherein the plates consist of plastic and the drive tracks are produced by casting or stamping technology.

8. The playing field according to claim 1 wherein the plates consist of wood or of plastic and are built up in two layers consisting of a base plate and a plurality of areal plate sections attached to it.

9. The playing field according to claim 2 wherein the plates consist of wood or of plastic and are built up in two layers consisting of a base plate and a plurality of areal plate sections attached to it.

10. The playing field according to claim 1, further comprising connection means are provided on the sides of the plates to provide for mating engagement of two adjacent plates.

11. The playing field according to claim 10, wherein the connection means formed on the sides of the plates in a one-piece manner are provided as an insertion connection with dovetailed projections and recesses.

12. The playing field according to claim 10, wherein the connection means formed on the sides of the plates in a one-piece manner are designed as irregular insertion connections having the shape of the projections and recesses known from puzzle games.

13. The playing field according to claim 10, wherein the connection means are designed as insertion connections having the shape of those known from wooden tracks.

14. The playing field according to claim 10, wherein bores for fixing pins are provided in the joint edges of the plates.

15. The playing field according to claim 1, wherein the areal sections comprise insertion holes for attachment of an accessory part selected from the groups consisting of barriers, trees, pedestrians, and houses.

16. The playing field according to claim 15, further comprising a plurality of vertical supports with which the plates can be arranged and held over each other at an interval in two or more planes.

17. The playing field according to claim 15, further comprising a ramp which can be placed or folded down as a transition between two levels of drive tracks, which ramp can be provided within a plate or on an outer edge of said plate.

18. The playing field according to claim 12, further comprising the drive tracks, the connection means and the supports are arranged in such a manner that the plates can be joined together in a grid in which the edge lengths of the plates form the grid.

19. The playing field according to claim 18, further comprising the drive tracks, the connection means and the supports are arranged in such a manner that the plates can also by joined to each other offset by half a grid.

Description:

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to a playing field for cars guided by hand.

[0002] Quite a large number of toy cars are offered for children which have an essentially similar size, e.g., a Matchbox or SIKU brand toy cars. The children drive around with these cars in an environment which is imaginary or marked by other toy parts while the cars are guided by hand along more or less given paths and are stopped or parked as desired.

[0003] An object of the invention is to make a playing field available for this purpose which is as versatile as possible in its use and which can, in particular, also be composed of and expanded with individual parts suitable in their size for children.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The above and other objects of the present invention can be achieved with a child's playing field which is characterized by a plurality of plates which can be joined together and on which recessed, groove-like drive tracks are delimited by areal sections or regions not intended for driving and in which laterally arranged means for joining the individual plates together to a larger travel course are provided in the form of a toy system.

[0005] The plates can have any outer contour which permits a joining together of a plurality of whether to form a larger surface area structure. Thus, for example, a hexagonal honeycomb structure is possible. However, it is desirable if the plates have a generally rectangular shape.

[0006] The present invention is based on the consideration of offering a playing field for children which they can join together in a self-acting and independent fashion and whose individual plates can replace each other so that new playing fields with other street layouts can be created over and over again. The playing field can be in the general overall shape of a board or panel made up of sections that fit together. The drive tracks formed to be recessed in the plates serve to guide the toy cars and the area sections acting as boundaries to the drive tracks as their edges can be viewed as curbstone edges in as far as they imitate a reality able to be experienced by children. The area sections are raised with respect to the driving path or roadways.

[0007] The plates can preferably consist of wood, that is, solid wood, plywood or chip wood, in which case the drive tracts are produced by material removal, e.g. by milling. Plates consisting of plywood or laminated wood are especially attractive optically as their structure appears in an optically advantageous manner at the curbstone edges, which are preferably obliquely milled. However, the plates can also consist of plastic, in which case the travel tracks can be produced by casting or stamping technology. In addition, it is possible to produce the plates of wood or plastic in two layers, in which case the areal sections or raised portions of the board delimiting the travel tracks are to be placed as plate sections on a continuous base plate.

[0008] The plates preferably have such a strength and resistance that a playing field composed of a plurality of plates can be directly stepped on and walked on by children without significant damage to the toy or harm to the child.

[0009] Further details are explained in detail with reference made to the exemplary embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a rectangular plate for a playing field; and

[0011] FIG. 2 shows an exemplary embodiment suitable for children.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

[0012] Particular emphasis was placed in the view according to FIG. 1 on the working out of the functional relationships. Plate 1 is provided with two drive tracks 2, 2′ running parallel to the outer edges of plate 1, which tracks are recessed relative to areal sections 3, 3′, 3″, etc. not intended for being driven on. These regions, 3, 3′, 3″, etc. are raised above the plane of the driving paths 2, 2′. Sections 3, 3′, 3″, etc. can function as a lateral guide for the cars to keep the cars in the drive tracks. Recessed drive tracks 2 can either be formed from a thick plate by removal of material or, if the plate consists of plastic, be produced by casting or stamping technology. Moreover, it is possible to produce plate 1 from a continuous base plate 1a and separately produced areal sections 3a which are placed onto base plate 1a and connected to it, preferably by adhering or other means of fastening.

[0013] Plate 1 is provided on its edges with connection means 4 consisting in the exemplary embodiment shown of a plurality of projections 4a and recesses 4b which are dovetailed in their cross section. It is readily apparent that in this manner any desired number of plates can be joined together with each other in mating engagement and the playing field can assume any desired size. Insertion plug holes 6 for accessory parts are provided in the raised sections 3.

[0014] Street configurations which are not strictly orthogonal or rectangular, or at right angles, are provided in the embodiment according to FIG. 2. The entire travel course can be made more varied by means of rounded-off parts and drive tracks running in curves. However, this embodiment does not involve the possibilities of production for plates 1 cited in the explanation of FIG. 1. The grid of insertion holes 6 provided in the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 1 must naturally agree with how areal sections 3 are shaped. In other words, insertion holes 6 can only be realized where areal sections 3 are present. Accessory toys in the form of barriers 9, trees 10, pedestrians 11 or houses 12 can be arranged in insertion holes 6. A very varied shaping of the playing field is also possible here by re-insertion or re-positioning of the accessories. It is furthermore indicated that two plates can be superimposed one over the other, in which instance their vertical spaced apart interval is fixed by insertable supports 7, 7′ which hold plates 1 and 1a together and assure, optionally with other connection means, that a stable playing filed with two or more stories or levels is created. The transition from one driving level to the other can be established by foldable or binged ramp 8.

[0015] Connection means 5 attached to the edges of plates 1, 1a, are designed here like projections 5a and recesses 5b known from puzzle games and enable interlocking connection.

[0016] Of course, other connection means suitable for children can be also provided for joining plates 1 together, e.g. ones like those known from wooden rails. Moreover, for the case in which no flat bearing area is available for the playing field means for the reciprocal fixing in height of plates 1, e.g., in the form of fixing pins and bores arranged in the joining edges of plates 1 can be provided in accordance with the type of connection means. Such insertion connections can also be the connection means themselves at the same time.

[0017] Finally, it is self-evident that a certain grid dimension must be maintained for the arrangement of recessed drive tracks 2, connection means 4,5 located on the sides and of supports 7 in order that drive tracks 2, 2′, etc. fit each other at the transition point from one plate to the other. The edge lengths of plates 1 can serve thereby as the base grid. A further modification results from the fact that the arrangement of drive tracks 2, 2′, etc. connection means 4,5 and supports 7, 7′ is selected in such a manner that the plates can also be arranged to be offset by half an edge length to each other.

[0018] Further variations and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing and are intended to be encompassed by the claims appended hereto.

[0019] German priority application 298 05 208.3 is relied on and incorporated herein by reference.