Title:
Multiple motion toy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multiple motion toy includes a stand and a body assembly overlying the stand. The body assembly includes a turning member connected to the stand. The turning member is rotatable relative to the stand about a substantially vertical rotation axis. A pivot member is connected to the turning member such that the pivot member is tiltable relative to the turning member about a pivot axis. The pivot axis extends transversely to the rotation axis. A neck member is connected to the pivot member such that the neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis. The bobbing axis extends transversely to the pivot axis. A drive system is operative to rotate the turning member about the rotation axis, tilt the pivot member about the pivot axis, and reciprocate the neck member linearly along the bobbing axis. The pivot axis is reoriented as the turning member rotates whereby the pivot and bobbing axes are varied relative to the stand. The bobbing axis is reoriented as the pivot member tilts whereby the bobbing axis is varied relative to the stand and the turning member.



Inventors:
Chou, Jin-long (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Kang, Chao-feng (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
09/852548
Publication Date:
12/20/2001
Filing Date:
05/10/2001
Assignee:
CHOU JIN-LONG
KANG CHAO-FENG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H13/00; (IPC1-7): A63H11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FRANCIS, FAYE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MYERS BIGEL, P.A. (RALEIGH, NC, US)
Claims:

That which is claimed is:



1. A multiple motion toy comprising: a) a stand; b) a body assembly overlying said stand, said body assembly including: 1) a turning member connected to said stand, said turning member being rotatable relative to said stand about a substantially vertical rotation axis; 2) a pivot member connected to said turning member such that said pivot member is tiltable relative to said turning member about a pivot axis, said pivot axis extending transversely to said rotation axis; and 3) a neck member connected to said pivot member such that said neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis, said bobbing axis extending transversely to said pivot axis; and c) a drive system operative to: rotate said turning member about said rotation axis; tilt said pivot member about said pivot axis; and reciprocate said neck member linearly along said bobbing axis; d) wherein said pivot axis is reoriented as said turning member rotates whereby said pivot and bobbing axes are varied relative to said stand; e) wherein said bobbing axis is reoriented as said pivot member tilts whereby said bobbing axis is varied relative to said stand and said turning member.

2. The toy of claim 1 including a leg member connected to said body assembly such that said leg member is pivotable relative to said body assembly and said stand about a leg axis, and wherein said drive system is operative to swing said leg member back and forth about said leg axis.

3. The toy of claim 2 wherein said leg axis is substantially horizontal.

4. The toy of claim 2 including a second leg member connected to said body assembly such that said second leg member is pivotable relative to said body assembly and said stand about a second leg axis, and wherein said drive system is operative to swing said second leg member back and forth about said second leg axis.

5. The toy of claim 1 wherein said drive system includes an electric motor.

6. The toy of claim 5 wherein said drive system further includes a plurality of gears operatively connected to said motor.

7. The toy of claim 1 wherein said drive system includes a common motor that rotates said turning member, tilts said pivot member and reciprocates said neck member.

8. A multiple motion toy comprising: a) a stand; b) a body assembly overlying said stand, said body assembly including: 1) a pivot member connected to said stand such that said pivot member is tiltable relative to said stand about a horizontal pivot axis; 2) a neck member connected to said pivot member such that said neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis, said bobbing axis extending transversely to said pivot axis; and c) a drive system operative to: tilt said pivot member about said pivot axis; and reciprocate said neck member linearly along said bobbing axis; d) wherein said bobbing axis is reoriented as said pivot member tilts whereby said bobbing axis is varied relative to said stand.

9. The toy of claim 8 including a leg member connected to said body assembly such that said leg member is pivotable relative to said body assembly and said stand about a leg axis, and wherein said drive system is operative to swing said leg member back and forth about said leg axis.

10. The toy of claim 8 wherein said drive system includes an electric motor.

11. The toy of claim 10 wherein said drive system further includes a plurality of gears operatively connected to said motor.

12. The toy of claim 8 wherein said drive system includes a common motor that tilts said pivot member and reciprocates said neck member.

13. A multiple motion toy comprising: a) a stand; b) a body assembly overlying said stand, said body assembly including: 1) a turning member connected to said stand, said turning member being rotatable relative to said stand about a substantially vertical rotation axis; 2) a neck member connected to said turning member such that said neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis; and c) a drive system operative to: rotate said turning member about said rotation axis; and reciprocate said neck member linearly along said bobbing axis.

14. The toy of claim 13 including a leg member connected to said body assembly such that said leg member is pivotable relative to said body assembly and said stand about a leg axis, and wherein said drive system is operative to swing said leg member back and forth about said leg axis.

15. The toy of claim 13 wherein said drive system includes an electric motor.

16. The toy of claim 15 wherein said drive system further includes a plurality of gears operatively connected to said motor.

17. The toy of claim 13 wherein said drive system includes a common motor that rotates said turning member and reciprocates said neck member.

18. A multiple motion toy comprising: a) a stand; b) a body assembly overlying said stand, said body assembly including a turning member connected to said stand, said turning member being rotatable relative to said stand about a substantially vertical rotation axis; c) a leg member connected to said body assembly such that said leg member is pivotable relative to said body assembly and said stand about a leg axis; and d) a drive system operative to: rotate said turning member about said rotation axis; and swing said leg member back and forth about said leg axis.

19. The toy of claim 18 wherein said leg axis is substantially horizontal.

20. The toy of claim 18 including a second leg member connected to said body assembly such that said second leg member is pivotable relative to said body assembly and said stand about a second leg axis, and wherein said drive system is operative to swing said second leg member back and forth about said second leg axis.

21. The toy of claim 18 wherein: said body assembly further includes a pivot member connected to said turning member such that said pivot member is tiltable relative to said turning member about a pivot axis, said pivot axis extending transversely to said rotation axis; said drive system is operable to tilt said pivot member about said pivot axis; and said pivot axis is reoriented as said turning member rotates whereby said pivot axis is varied relative to said stand.

22. The toy of claim 18 wherein said drive system includes an electric motor.

23. The toy of claim 22 wherein said drive system further includes a plurality of gears operatively connected to said motor.

24. The toy of claim 18 wherein said drive system includes a common motor that rotates said turning member and swings said leg member.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present invention claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/215,949, filed Jul. 5, 2000, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The present application claims priority from Taiwanese Patent application Ser. No. 89209759, filed Jun. 8, 2000, and from Chinese Patent application Ser. No. 00243585.3, filed Jul. 13, 2000.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to toys and, more particularly, to motion toys.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Motion toys have been disclosed which use a motor to turn a transmission gear train, which in turn moves eccentric rods or cams so as to move one or more movable parts of the toy back and forth. An example of such a motion toy is shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 herein, which employs a fan-shaped gear to move the structure about six axes of motion to provide left and right oscillating motion of the body and legs of the toy. A similar motion toy is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,911,617 to Chou, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. However, there is a need for a motion toy which provides different and more entertaining movements and combination of movements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to embodiments of the present invention, a multiple motion toy includes a stand and a body assembly overlying the stand. The body assembly includes a turning member connected to the stand. The turning member is rotatable connected to the turning member such that the pivot member is tiltable relative to the turning member about a pivot axis. The pivot axis extends transversely to the rotation axis. A neck member is connected to the pivot member such that the neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis. The bobbing axis extends transversely to the pivot. A drive system is operative to rotate the turning member about the rotation axis, tilt the pivot member about the pivot axis, and reciprocate the neck member linearly along the bobbing axis. The pivot axis is reoriented as the turning member rotates whereby the pivot and bobbing axes are varied relative to the stand. The bobbing axis is reoriented as the pivot member tilts whereby the bobbing axis is varied relative to the stand and the turning member.

[0005] According to further embodiments of the present invention, a multiple motion toy includes a stand and a body assembly overlying the stand. The body assembly includes a pivot member connected to the stand such that the pivot member is tiltable relative to the stand about a horizontal pivot axis. A neck member is connected to the pivot member such that the neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis. The bobbing axis extends transversely to the pivot axis. A drive system is operative to tilt the pivot member about the pivot axis and reciprocate the neck member linearly along the bobbing axis. The bobbing axis is reoriented as the pivot member tilts whereby the bobbing axis is varied relative to the stand.

[0006] According to further embodiments of the present invention, a multiple motion toy includes a stand and a body assembly overlying the stand. The body assembly includes a turning member connected to the stand. The turning member is rotatable relative to the stand about a substantially vertical rotation axis. A neck member is connected to the turning member such that the neck member is linearly reciprocable along a bobbing axis. A drive system is operative to rotate the turning member about the rotation axis and reciprocate the neck member linearly along the bobbing axis.

[0007] According to further embodiments of the present invention, a multiple motion toy includes a stand and a body assembly overlying the stand. The body assembly includes a turning member connected to the stand. The turning member is rotatable relative to the stand about a substantially vertical rotation axis. A leg member is connected to the body assembly such that the leg member is pivotable relative to the body assembly and the stand about a leg axis. A drive system is operative to rotate the turning member about the rotation axis and swing the leg member back and forth about the leg axis.

[0008] Objects of the present invention will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art from a reading of the figures and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments which follow, such description being merely illustrative of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a motion toy according to the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the motion toy of FIG. 1;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a partial, enlarged, exploded view of portions of the motion toy of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view of a stand and a drive system of the motion toy of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a perspective, enlarged, fragmentary view of a neck member and an upper transmission assembly of the motion toy of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the motion toy of FIG. 1 including the drive system thereof;

[0015] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional, schematic view of the motion toy of FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 8 is a schematic view of the motion toy of FIG. 1 wherein the neck member is in a lower position;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a schematic view of the motion toy of FIG. 1 wherein an oscillating body subassembly thereof is in a rightward tilted position, a left leg member thereof is displaced leftwardly, and the neck member is in an upper position;

[0018] FIG. 10 is a schematic view of the motion toy of FIG. 1 wherein the oscillating body subassembly is in a leftward tilted position and a right leg member is displaced rightwardly;

[0019] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a motion toy according to the prior art; and

[0020] FIG. 12 is a front, cross-sectional view of the of the motion toy of FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.

[0022] With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a motion toy according to the present invention is shown therein and generally designated 10. The toy 10 includes generally a stand 1, a drive system 2 and a body assembly 3. The stand 1 provides a stationary support for the toy 10, and the drive system 2 moves the body assembly 3 relative to the stand 1 to provide entertaining motion. According to preferred embodiments, this motion includes simultaneous movements of various different components of the body assembly 3. Moreover, according to certain preferred embodiments, these several movements cooperate to simulate dancing.

[0023] Turning to the construction of the toy 10 in more detail, and as best seen in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7, the stand 1 includes a base 11 having a pair of upstanding posts or supports 111. The supports 111 are arranged and configured to cooperatively position a motor 21 and all of the gears of a lower transmission assembly 22 of the drive system 2 in the manner shown and described below. An upper cover 12 overlies and is secured to the base 11. The upper cover 12 has a hole 121 formed in an upper wall thereof.

[0024] The lower transmission assembly 22 includes a first gear 221, a second gear 222, a third gear 223, a fourth gear 224, a transmission gear 225 and a coupled driving gear 226. The gears 222, 223, 224, 225, 226 and the motor 21 are retained by an inner cover 23 which is secured to the base 11 by the supports 111. As best seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, the aforementioned gears and the inner cover 23 are enclosed between the base 11 and the upper cover 12.

[0025] A suitable microprocessor or the like may be provided to control the operation of the motor 21. The motor and other electronics may be provided with power by a battery and/or an electrical cord.

[0026] As best seen in FIGS. 4 and 6, the drive axle or shaft of the motor 21 is operatively coupled to the first gear 221 by a drive belt 21A which is retained by a peripheral groove in the first gear 221. The teeth 221A of the first gear 221 are meshed with the second gear 222, which is in turn meshed with the third gear 223. The third gear 223 and the fourth gear 224 are each meshed with the coupled driving gear 226. The fourth gear 224 is also meshed with the transmission gear 225 (see FIGS. 2 and 6).

[0027] The transmission gear 225 includes a stabilizing flange 2251, a lower toothed portion 225A (see FIG. 7), and an axle slot 2252. The outer diameter of the transmission gear 225 extending above the stabilizing flange 2251 is sized to pass through an axle hole 2261 of the coupled driving gear 226. The inner diameter of the axle hole 2261 and the outer diameter of the gear 225 define a holding slot 2262 therebetween. The holding slot 2262 is exposed through a hole 231 in the inner cap 23.

[0028] As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 5, the drive system 2 further comprises an upper transmission assembly 24 including a gear rod 241. The gear rod 241 has a stop flange 2412 adjacent the lower end thereof, a joint end or plug 2413 below the stop flange 2412, and a gear 2411 on the upper end of the gear rod 241. The joint end 2413 is sized and configured to key into the axle slot 2252 of the transmission gear 225 for rotation with the gear 225. The gear 2411 is meshed with a vertical gear portion 2421 of a variable gear 242.

[0029] The variable gear 242 rotates about a pin 242A and is meshed with and operative to drive a first eccentric gear 243 which in turn drives a second eccentric gear 244. The first eccentric gear 243 rotates about a pin 243A and has a cam rod 2431 extending forwardly therefrom. The second eccentric gear 244 has a cam rod 244A extending rearwardly therefrom and rotates about a pin 244B.

[0030] The drive system 2 further includes a spring 245 (see FIGS. 2 and 7) surrounding a fixed post 335 of a rear pivot member 33 as described in more detail below.

[0031] The body assembly 3 (FIGS. 1 and 2) includes generally a rear turning member 31, a pair of leg members 32, a rear pivot member 33, a neck member 34, a neck cap 35, a front pivot member 36, a front turning member 37 and a pair of body shells 38. The neck member 34 and the neck cap 35 combine to form a neck subassembly 3A. The leg members 32 include feet 323. A head member 39 (see FIG. 7) may be mounted on the neck member 34. Clothing or the like may also be mounted over the body assembly 3.

[0032] As best seen in FIG. 3, the rear turning member 31 includes a joint portion 311 on its lower end. A locating slot 3111 is positioned over the joint portion 311. A contoured slot 312 is formed in the rear turning member 31. A fixed pivot support 313 is positioned over the contoured slot 312 and extends forwardly from the rear turning member 31. A second fixed pivot support 315 is positioned between the slot 312 and the support 315 and extends forwardly from the rear turning member 31. A cam rod 314 extends rearwardly from the opposite side of the rear turning member 31. The cam rod 314 is adapted to be inserted into pivot holes 321 of the leg members 32.

[0033] The rear pivot member 33 includes a contoured slot 331, a forwardly extending hollow rod 332, a fixed part 333, a rearwardly extending fixed support 334, and an upper fixed projection 335. A vertical slot 3331 is formed in the fixed part 333. The rear pivot member 33 may include bores for receiving support projections 381 (or fasteners) extending from the interior surface of the adjacent body shell 38 (see FIG. 2).

[0034] The neck member 34 has a horizontal slot 341, a locating opening or slot 342, and an extended neck portion 343. A vertical slot 3431 is formed in the neck portion 343. The neck cap 35 is mounted over the neck portion 343 which, along with the spring 245, is received in a holding slot 351 of the neck cap 35 (see FIG. 2).

[0035] A front opening 361 and side openings 36C are formed in the front pivot member 36. Hollow projections or bores 362 and 36B extend from the front surface of the front pivot member 36. The opening 361 allows a support projection 37A to extend therethrough to engage the axle pin 244B of the gear 244. The bores 362 receive inwardly extending support projections (or fasteners) from the interior of the adjacent front body shell 38. The bore 36B pivotably holds a pivot rod 372 which extends rearwardly from the front turning member 37. A joint portion 371 is located on the lower end of the front turning member 37.

[0036] The construction of the toy 10 may be better appreciated from the description of a method of assembling the toy 10 that follows. The motor 21 and the transmission assembly 22 are assembled on the base 11, and the inner cap 23 is secured thereover by the supports 111. The coupled driving gear 226 extends upwardly through the hole 231 in the inner cover 23. The cover 12 is placed over the base 11 such that the hole 121 is aligned with the coupled driving gear 226.

[0037] The pivot rod 313 is inserted through the hollow support rod 332. The outer diameter of the pivot rod 313 and the inner diameter of the hollow support rod 332 are selected such that the pivot rod 313 may rotate freely within the support rod 332. The locating support 315 of the rear turning member 31 is inserted through the contoured slot 331 of the rear pivot member 33. The locating support 334 is received in the contoured slot 312. The rear cam rod 314 of the rear turning member 31 is then inserted through the pivot holes 321 of the leg members 32. The locating support 334 is inserted into the gap between the two leg members 32.

[0038] The gear rod 241 of the upper transmission assembly 24 is inserted into the rear turning member 31. The stop flange 2412 is received in the locating slot 3111 so that vertical displacement of the gear rod 241 is limited. The pin 242A is inserted through the variable gear 242 and into the locating support 315 to locate the gear 242. The vertical gear portion 2421 meshes with the gear 2411 of the gear rod 241. The first eccentric gear 243 is then located on the pivot rod 313 of the rear turning member 31 by the pin 243A which is inserted through the gear 243 and into the pivot rod 313. The gear 243 is meshed with the variable gear 242.

[0039] The spring 245 is placed about the outer diameter of the fixed post 335 such that it is supported by the upper shoulder 33A of the rear pivot member 33. The neck member 34 is mated with the rear pivot member 33 such that the cam rod 2431 of the first eccentric gear 243 is received in the horizontal slot 341 of the neck member 34 (see FIG. 5). The cap 35 and the neck portion 343 are joined together such that the spring 245 is then located inside the holding slot 351 of the cap 35 and compressed between the shoulder 33A and an upper wall 352 of the cap 35. The second eccentric gear 244 is meshed with the first eccentric gear 243, and the rod 244A of the second eccentric gear 244 is inserted into the vertical slot 3331.

[0040] The front pivot member 36 is then mated with the rear pivot member 33. The axle pin 244B of the second eccentric gear 244 is inserted into the inwardly projecting support 37A of the front turning member 37. The support 37A extends through the openings 361 and 342. A guide rod 36A secured to and extending rearwardly from the front pivot member 36 is inserted through the vertical slot 3431 of the neck portion 343.

[0041] The front turning member 37 is then mated with the rear turning member 31 about the front and rear pivot members 33, 36. The pivot rod 372 is inserted into the bore 36B. The support 37A may be replaced with a recess in the inner surface of the front turning member 37 and a pin fitted between and within each of the recess and the bore 36B.

[0042] The body shells 38 are placed about the turning members 31, 37 and the pivot members 33, 36 such that these components are received in the interior cavities of the body shells 38. The supports 381 extending inwardly from the front shell 38 are inserted into the bores 362 on the front side of the front pivot member 36. The front pivot member 36 is secured to the rear pivot member 33. The body shells 38 are secured to one another, whereby the rear body shell 38 is coupled to the front pivot member 36. Preferably, the rear body shell 38 is also secured to the rear turning member 31 by engagement between the supports 381 and bores on the rear face of the turning member 31 corresponding to the bores 362.

[0043] The joint portions 311, 371 are inserted through the holes 121, 231 and into the holding slot 2262 of the coupled driving gear 226. The joint portions 311, 371 may be held in place in the holding slot 2262 by a friction fit or by a suitable fastener or adhesive. The joint end 2413 is inserted into the axle slot 2252 of the transmission gear 225.

[0044] The toy 10 may be formed of any suitable materials. For example, with exception of the motor 21, the components of the toy 10 may be formed of a polymeric material. For clarity, certain fasteners or other securing means (e.g., adhesives) are not shown in the drawings. The appropriate locations for placement of such fasteners and suitable types of fasteners will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the description herein.

[0045] The components described above cooperate to provide several distinct movements to the body assembly 3 relative to the base 1. These movements include clockwise and counterclockwise rotation and side-to-side tilting or oscillating of the body, side-to-side swinging or oscillating of the leg members 32, and up-and-down bobbing movement of the neck subassembly 3A.

[0046] When actuated, the motor 21 drives the first gear 221 via the belt 21A. The first gear 221 in turn causes the second and third gears 222, 223 to turn. The third gear 223 drives the coupled driving gear 226. The rear and front turning members 31, 37 are fixedly coupled to the coupled driving gear 226 by the joint portions 311, 371 so that the turning members 31, 37 are thereby rotated clockwise (i.e., as indicated by the directional arrow R1 in FIG. 1) or counterclockwise (i.e., as indicated by the directional arrow R2 in FIG. 1) about a vertical rotation axis A-A (see FIG. 9) extending through the center of the coupled driving gear 226. Because the remainder of the body assembly 3 is directly or indirectly supported by the turning members 31, 37, the entirety of the shell assembly 3 is rotated. The drive direction of the motor 21 may be alternatingly reversed to turn the body assembly 3 alternatingly in the clockwise and counterclockwise directions.

[0047] Additionally, the coupled driving gear 226 drives the fourth gear 224 by engagement with the fourth gear's inner (upper) teeth 224A. The fourth gear 224 in turn drives the transmission gear 225, the lower toothed portion 225A of which meshes with the fourth gear's outer (lower) teeth 224B. Because the joint end 2413 is keyed into the axle slot 2252 of the transmission gear 225, the gear rod 241 (and, hence, the gear 2411) rotates with the transmission gear 225. Alternatively, the lower teeth 223A or a further set of teeth on the third gear 223 may engage the lower toothed portion 225A to rotate the transmission gear 225, in which case the fourth gear 224 may be omitted.

[0048] The gear 2411 in turn drives the variable gear 242, which drives the first eccentric gear 243. The cam rod 2431 of the first eccentric gear 243 is captured in the horizontal slot 341. The cam rod 2431 may slide freely left and right relative to the neck member 34 as the first eccentric gear 243 rotates. However, as the first eccentric gear 243 rotates, the “vertical” aspect of the movement of the cam rod 2431 parallel to a bobbing axis B-B (see FIG. 9) causes the cam rod 2431 to lift and lower the neck subassembly 3A (i.e., the neck member 34 and the neck cap 35) relative to the remainder of the body assembly 3 (including the body shells 38), the transmission assembly 2, and the stand 1 along the bobbing axis B-B. The movement of the neck member 34 is guided by the rod 36A which slides freely along the vertical slot 3431. The spring 245 biases the neck subassembly 3A upward to ensure smooth operation.

[0049] In this manner, the neck subassembly 3A and any attachments to the upper end thereof are provided with a reciprocating, linear motion which gives the appearance of bobbing. More particularly, the neck subassembly 3A moves alternatingly in an upward direction U to an upper, extended position as shown in FIG. 9 and in a downward direction D to a lower, retracted position as shown in FIG. 8 along or substantially parallel to the bobbing axis B-B. Notably, as a result of the tilting movement discussed below, the bobbing axis B-B may differ from the rotation axis A-A at times.

[0050] The toy 10 also provides for a side-to-side tilting motion relative to the stand 1 about a horizontal pivot axis C-C (see FIG. 1). More particularly and as described in greater detail below, the neck member 34, the front and rear pivot members 33, 36, the cap 35 and the spring 245 are rotated clockwise and counterclockwise about the pivot rod 372 and the support rod 313.

[0051] The first eccentric gear 243 drives the second eccentric gear 244. The cam rod 244A is captured in the vertical slot 3331 so that the cam rod 244A may slide freely up and down as the second eccentric gear 244 rotates. However, the horizontal aspect of the movement of the cam rod 244A as the gear 244 rotates causes the rear pivot member 33, the front pivot member 36 (which is affixed to the rear pivot member 33), the neck member 34, the cap 35, the body shells 38 and the spring 245 (collectively, an oscillating body subassembly 3B) to pivot as a unit about the rod 372 at the pivot bore 36B and about the pivot rod 313 at the hollow support rod 332. The contoured slots 312 and 331 allow the oscillating body subassembly 3B to pivot without interference between the rod 334 and the rear turning member 31 or between the rod 315 and the rear pivot member 33.

[0052] In this manner, the oscillating body subassembly 3B is alternatingly pivoted in a clockwise or rightward direction T1 to a rightwardly tilted position as shown in FIG. 9 and in a counterclockwise or leftward direction T2 to a leftwardly tilted position as shown in FIG. 10 such that the oscillating body subassembly 3B tilts away from the vertical rotation axis A-A about the horizontal pivot axis C-C of the pivot rod 372 or the pivot rod 313. Because the oscillating body subassembly 3B may be rotated about the vertical rotation axis A-A with the remainder of the body assembly 3 in the manner described above, the actual directions of tilting may vary. Notably, the bobbing axis B-B, which is defined by the positions of the pivot members 33, 36, is reoriented relative to the vertical rotation axis A-A as the oscillating body subassembly tilts in the directions T1 and T2. Accordingly, the bobbing axis B-B and the directions U, D of upward and downward movement are continuously varied as the oscillating body subassembly 3B tilts about the pivot axis C-C and rotates about the rotation axis A-A.

[0053] In addition to the tilting of the pivot members 33, 36 and the other components noted above, the leg members 32 are pivoted upwardly and downwardly in the following manner. As the pivot members 33, 36 tilt in the direction T1, the rod 334 swings leftward in the contoured slot 312, abuts the inside surface 322 of the left leg member 32, and pivots the left leg member 32 upwardly about the rod 314 in a leftward direction L1 to a leftward, raised position as shown in FIG. 9. Similarly, when the pivot members 33, 36 tilt in the direction T2, the rod 334 swings rightward, abuts the inside surface 322 of the right leg member 32, and pivots the right leg member 32 upwardly about the rod 314 in a rightward direction L2 to a rightward, raised position as shown in FIG. 10. Preferably, the right leg member 32 and the left leg member 32 pivot independently of one another.

[0054] The foregoing body rotating, body tilting, neck reciprocating and leg swinging motions are preferably executed simultaneously. The frequencies and distances of these movements may be selected to simulate dancing or the like. Moreover, the movements may be choreographed to music, for example, music from a suitable device which is actuated upon actuation of the motor 21. The frequencies of the respective motions may be different from one another.

[0055] The foregoing is illustrative of the present invention and is not to be construed as limiting thereof. Although a few exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the claims. Therefore, it is to be understood that the foregoing is illustrative of the present invention and is not to be construed as limited to the specific embodiments disclosed, and that modifications to the disclosed embodiments, as well as other embodiments, are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. The invention is defined by the following claims, with equivalents of the claims to be included therein.





 
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