Title:
Thematic furniture covers with recreational sleep enhancing accessories
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Dual purpose plush, three dimensional images in bed coverings, such as blankets or comforters are used as both a sleep enhancer toy and bed cover. The combined plush bed covering may include one or more openable pouches with pop-up movable recreational images, such as landscape trees, buildings, dolls or puppets, inserted therein. The plush toy recreational members and storybooks help a young child fall asleep comfortably. The comforter or blanket is already stuffed with soft supportive material, or it may be a hollow cover case, to be stuffed by material for the conventional blanket or comforter.



Inventors:
Koenig, Eric (Huntington, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/812995
Publication Date:
02/21/2002
Filing Date:
03/20/2001
Assignee:
KOENIG ERIC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D15/00; A47G9/02; (IPC1-7): A47C20/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALFRED M. WALKER (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover used as both a sleep enhancer toy and bed cover comprising: a soft, substantially flat fabric member; said soft, substantially flat fabric member having at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory.

2. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 1 wherein said sleeping cover further comprises at least one openable pouch having said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory therein.

3. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory comprises at least one pop-up movable recreational image member inserted therein.

4. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory comprises at least one storybook inserted therein.

5. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 1 wherein said sleeping cover is a fabric blanket.

6. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 1 wherein said sleeping cover is a comforter stuffed with soft supportive material.

7. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 1 wherein said sleeping cover is a hollow cover case, stuffable with soft supportive material.

8. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 3 wherein said at least one pop-up movable recreational image member is pivotable to an upright position upon release of a holding tab, wherein further when said pop-up movable recreational image member is kept within said pouch in an unpivoted position of non-use, the profile of said plush bed covering is substantially flat.

9. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 1 wherein said bed cover is adorned with graphics of a game.

10. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said bed cover includes a landscape scene made of depressible foam.

11. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said bed cover includes an animal figurine made of depressible foam.

12. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 4 wherein said storybook is soft.

13. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 8 wherein said at least one pop-up recreational image member is a puppet stage set erected by spring action of release of said compressible foam material of said at least one pop-up recreational image member.

14. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory comprises a sleeve member having an open proximal end for insertion of an hand and a closed distal end provided with a puppet.

15. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory comprises a plush character toy pillow headrest.

16. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory comprises an auxiliary animated toy with a motor to move parts thereof.

17. The dual purpose plush, furniture sleeping cover as in claim 2 wherein said at least one interactive recreational sleep enhancing accessory comprises an audio component to play back recorded audio segments.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of pending application Ser. No. 09/252,547, filed Feb. 19, 1999, which application was based upon provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/075,136, filed Feb. 19, 1998.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to furniture covers, such as bed comforters or blankets with plush, toy three dimensional decorations and their use as a sleep enhancer and interactive toy with movable recreational members, such as story books, landscape images, game pieces or puppets, inserted therein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] It is desirable to use toy character dolls and storybooks to help a young child fall asleep comfortably. Bed coverings, such as blankets or comforters, are often covered with two dimensional graphic designs.

[0004] The background art does include plush toy characters, such as teddy bears, which sometimes also function as headrest pillows. For example, Oriental Trading Company of Omaha, Nebr., in its 1998 Easter Catalog #154A describes a product entitled BEDTIME BUDDIES which are hollow pillow cases with an animal character head and animal limbs attached at peripheral edges thereof. Conventional pillows are inserted within the pillow cases to fill out the hollow pillow cases and then simulate a three dimensional animal doll which also functions as a headrest pillow. Auxiliary puppets are removable attachable to an exterior portion of one of the limbs by VELCRO• or other attachments. However, the BEDTIME BUDDIES are pillowcases, not orthopedically correct headrests themselves, nor are they character dolls having pivotable members therein, such as pivotable headrest pillows and/or pivotable soft puppet theater showcases therein.

[0005] Among background art patents includes U.S. Pat. No. 5,509,157 of Story for a pillow case with animal or character appendages, such as similar to the above noted BEDTIME BUDDIES pillow case dolls.

[0006] In addition, U.S. Pat. No. 5,208,934 of Bachnick describes a bed spread with an attached animal head in one corner thereof. U.S. Pat. No. 5,115,528 of Lamle discloses a head rest pillow with an integral outer cover which turns inside out to reveal padding in animal shaped paddings. When in use as a headrest pillow, the animal shaped paddings are folded inside the integral outer cover.

[0007] Another transformable pillow is noted in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,763,369 and 4,670,924, both of Spector, which each includes a conventional pillow having the head and body of an animal character superimposed thereon, wherein removable drawstrings are provided to constrict the pillow below the head portion to simulate a neck thereat, and below a waist portion to simulate a hip portion thereat.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,027,457 of Sweet describes a pillow having semi-circular limbs extending therefrom, which, together with a character face superimposed upon the pillow itself, form a character doll against which a user, such as a child, may rest.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 4,719,656 of Godinet describes a bed and mattress formed of a plurality of puzzle like intersecting pillows portions in the shape of animals, wherein the animals can be separately removed to act as plaything toys.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,127,117 of Bridges discloses a pillow with a loose pouch for partial insertion of the head of a user therein to reduce light to the eyes and to increase warmth to the sinus area, for therapeutic enhancement of sleep.

[0011] U.S. design Pat. No. D256,414 of Rich describes an ornamental stuffed pillow with a horse head attached thereto and U.S. design Pat. No. D341,979 of Peters describes a combined blanket with attached pillow portion and pouch attached thereto.

[0012] Other related patents include U.S. Pat. No. 5,522,507 of Cruz for a tooth fairy kit which includes a pillowcase with a sewn-in pouch for insertion of a tooth and reward therein, U.S. Pat. No. 4,054,204 of Keeton for a method of making a compressed foam article, such as a character doll or pillow, U.S. Pat. No. 4,788,916 of Saxton for a food tray for a bed ridden person wherein the tray is supported beneath by a pillow, U.S. design Pat. No. D329,566 of Davidson for a grid shaped pillow, and U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,537,703 and D364,986 both of Launder for an orthopedically correct pillow with a depressed head support portion and a plurality of compressible fins underneath.

[0013] Furthermore, some storybooks for young children are made of fabric, so that they will be cuddly and soft when held by a young child. However, these fabric based storybooks are not provided as part of a bed covering, such as a blanket or comforter, as part of a plush toy, nor do they have hidden toys within pouches, so that a young child can interactively bring hidden images up from the bed covering, in three dimensional images, and then interactively used with bedtime stories at an appropriate time.

[0014] However, none of the background art publications or patents describe a bed covering with soft anthropomorphic or landscape objects which pop up from the blanket or comforter.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0015] It is an object of the present invention to use soft landscape and fanciful images and storybooks with a blanket or comforter to help a young child fall asleep comfortably.

[0016] It is also an object of the present invention to provide blankets or comforters with plush toy characters or landscape images such as castles or trees.

[0017] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a soft game surface upon a bed covering.

[0018] It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a storybook for young children which are cuddly and soft when held by a young child, and which can be stored within pockets in a bed covering.

[0019] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a storybook or puppet theater hidden within a pouch of a bed covering, so that a young child can learn that important objects can be temporarily stored and put away after use, and then retrieved at a later appropriate time.

[0020] It is yet another embodiment to improve over the disadvantages of the background art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0021] In keeping with these objects and others which may become apparent, the present invention relates to dual purpose plush, three dimensional images in bed coverings, such as blankets or comforters which are used as both a sleep enhancer toy and bed cover. Preferably, the combined plush bed covering includes one or more openable pouches with pop-up movable recreational images, such as landscape trees, buildings, dolls or puppets, inserted therein. The plush toy recreational members and storybooks help a young child fall asleep comfortably.

[0022] The comforter or blanket is already stuffed with soft supportive material, or it may be a hollow cover case, to be stuffed by material for the conventional blanket or comforter.

[0023] In one optional embodiment, the plush pop-up images member can be pivoted to an upright position upon release of a holding tab so that when the image member is kept within the pouch in an unpivoted position of non-use, the posture of the plush bed covering is substantially flat for a reclining child, or for a child in a prone position.

[0024] The bed covering may be adorned with the graphics of a game, such as checkers or another board game.

[0025] Optionally, the plush bed covering may also be provided with an entire landscape scene, such as with animals, trees and building made of depressible foam to be used as a visual set conforming to a story in one of the books used with the bed covering. The animal may optionally function as visual image to concentrate looking at, for the child in its habits of falling asleep comfortably.

[0026] The plush bed coverings of the present invention, such are designed wherein the pivotable image members or landscape scenes are provided within one surface portions of the plush bed covering, so that when pivoted outward and down they remain substantially parallel to and flush with the soft outer surface of the bed covering. These soft landscape or animal image members can be grasped by the hands of a child, at bed time for comfort and security.

[0027] The pop-up images and storybooks for young children are preferably cuddly and soft when held by a young child.

[0028] The pop-up images may be provided within hollow pockets along an outer surface of the bed covering, so that after the pocket is opened, a three dimensional image member, such as a stage set with a pop up type landscape or fantasy scene is erected by spring action of release of the compressible foam material of the three dimensional member. Optionally, the child can insert his or her hand within an open proximal end of an attached sleeve portion, wherein at a distal end thereof there are provided a puppet portion. Optionally, the puppet stage may be removable from the bed covering.

[0029] The plush bed covering is preferably made of a soft cuddly fabric, with a soft interior such as quilt stuffing, down or foam. On its outside the exterior of the animal may include a soft artificial fur or felt type fabric exterior, with optional exaggerated anthropomorphic features, such as faces, eyes or a smiling mouth.

[0030] Optionally, the dual purpose plush character toy pillow headrest may be attached to an auxiliary animated toy with a motor to move parts thereof, or to an audio component to play back recorded audio segments, such as portions of an appropriate story.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0031] The present invention can best be understood in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0032] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the elements of the sleep enhancement system, shown in a child's bedroom;

[0033] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the elements of the sleep enhancement system shown in kit form, shown adjacent a storage/retail container;

[0034] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the top surface of the comforter of FIG. 1, wherein a topographical print and interactive flaps and pocket are shown;

[0035] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the reverse surface of the comforter of FIG. 3, wherein a game card is shown adjacent a fabric frame;

[0036] FIG. 5a is a perspective view of a first embodiment comforter flap in a closed position;

[0037] FIG. 5b is a perspective view of the flap in FIG. 5a, shown in the open position and supporting a softly padded fabric toy;

[0038] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment flap in the open position, shown with a plush, stuffed toy;

[0039] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a plush puppet, shown permanently attached to the top surface of the comforter;

[0040] FIG. 8a is a perspective view of the comforter of FIG. 1, shown during insertion into a modifying sleeve;

[0041] FIG. 8b is a perspective view of a plurality of modifying sleeves, shown in kit form adjacent a storage/retail container;

[0042] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the comforter of FIG. 1 with a child lying thereon, illustrating an alternate interactive use for said comforter;

[0043] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the comforter of FIG. 1, wherein an alternate topographical print element and interactive puzzle toy are shown;

[0044] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the toy of FIG. 10, wherein the foam puzzle pieces forming the toy are exploded apart;

[0045] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an alternate toy, wherein the stuffed puzzle pieces forming the toy are exploded apart;

[0046] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a sleeve embodiment shown adjacent a pillow, wherein the graphic element of the sleeve includes provision for attachment of a padded toy; and,

[0047] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of two sleeve embodiments of FIG. 13, shown in an interactive setting on a child's comforter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0048] This sleep enhancement system includes several interrelated components, and some of these are shown in FIG. 1. For example, child 1 is shown playing with small toy 2 which is to be stored in a compartment of special comforter 3 which is filled with conventional soft stuffing material. An adult 4 is shown reading a soft fabric book 5 which is to be stored in another compartment of comforter 3. A night table lamp 6 in the form of a three dimensional character statue casts a beam of light toward the ceiling which reflects soft illumination on the bedtime scene.

[0049] FIG. 2 shows a storage/retail container 10 with bold illustrations on its outer surface. It has several form-fitting compartments within to contain the various sleep enhancement components. Comforter 3 when folded and rolled fits in the largest compartment of container 10. Another compartment holds a box 12 which contains lamp 6; the “double box” feature protects this fragile element. Box 16 fits into another compartment of storage container 10; it is used for a variety of miscellaneous accessories. Three resealable plastic bags, 13, 14 and 15, contain landscape accessories 17, small toy FIGS. 2, and game pieces 19 respectively; these fit into yet another compartment of container 10. Game cards 11 fit into a narrow compartment adjacent to an outer edge of storage container 10.

[0050] Comforter 3 has two active surfaces. FIG. 3 shows one of the two surfaces facing up which has a topographical print and interactive flaps 25. The underside 26 of one flap is shown revealing a patch of loop material 27 that is part of a hook and loop fastening system such as VELCRO®. In addition, pockets are formed in the edge to store items such as fabric book 5.

[0051] FIG. 4 shows the reverse side of comforter 3 showing fabric frame 28 sewn into the surface which accepts game cards 11 as slid in through the open end. Game pieces 19 are used with game card 11.

[0052] As shown in FIGS. 5a and 5b, in a first embodiment of a flap site on comforter 3, a flap 25 conceals a softly padded generally flat fabric toy. This arrangement is shown in the closed position in FIG. 5a with hidden fabric toy 31 shown in phantom view. FIG. 5b shows flap 25 of FIG. 5a open. The underside 32 of this flap 25 is shown with hook material 34 at its outer edge which mates with loop material 35 attached to comforter 3 when closed. When opened by rotating at hinge edge 36, flap 25 pulls fabric toy 31 into an upright position as it rotates on it own hinge edge 37 by the urging of flexible line 33 which is attached to the underside 32 of flap 25.

[0053] FIG. 6 is a detail of an open flap site similar to that shown in FIG. 3; this is an alternate embodiment of the flap sites. Here, the underside 26 of flap 25 shows a patch of hook material which mates with loop material patch 27 when closed. A plush stuffed toy 40 with a hook material patch (not shown) on its underside can be attached to comforter 3 by mating in a removable fashion with loop material patch 27.

[0054] In yet another embodiment of a plush toy, FIG. 7 shows a detail of a plush collapsible hollow hand puppet 45 permanently attached to the surface of comforter 3. The forearm 46 of a child operating the puppet is shown in phantom view under comforter 3. This site on the comforter surface may also be covered with a flap 25.

[0055] As shown in FIGS. 8a and 8b, an accessory to the basic sleep enhancement system, modifying sleeves of different designs, can be separately purchased. These provide a surface of different artistic design and/or interactive features. By slipping the basic comforter within, the warming aspect need not be a feature of the sleeves, hence each can be less expensive to manufacture than a basic comforter. This system is illustrated in FIGS. 8a and 8b. A set of four modifying sleeves 50, 51, 52 and 53 is shown with comforter 3 being inserted in sleeve 50. A storage/retail container 54 along with sleeves 50-53 constitutes a modifying sleeve kit.

[0056] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a child 1 kneeling on top of comforter 3 and interacting with the various features of the sleep enhancement system.

[0057] FIG. 10 shows a comforter 3 with an alternate topographical print being used in a typical setting. Child 1 is shown playing with foam puzzle 60 which is also part of the sleep enhancement system of this invention.

[0058] FIG. 11 is an exploded view of puzzle 60 showing how the various parts, mast 61, back 62, middle 63 and front 64, interlock mechanically to form a toy boat by using mating cutouts, extensions and holes. Obviously other toys such as trucks and cars can also be designed to interlock in a similar fashion when formed of foam pieces.

[0059] In an alternate design of a soft puzzle toy, FIG. 12 shows a stuffed puzzle 70 wherein the pieces such as 71, 72, 73 and 74 are held together in a removable sense by mating patches of hook and loop material attached to the various pieces. Two such loop material patches 75 are shown.

[0060] A special pillow sleeve 81 is shown in FIG. 13 next to pillow 80. Besides graphics compatible with the rest of the sleep enhancement system motif, sleeve 81 also has a strip of loop material 83 to facilitate removable attachment of padded toys 82 having mating hook material (not shown) on their bottom surface.

[0061] Sleeve 81 can serve as a pillow case when not in use, but the interactive use by child 1 is illustrated in FIG. 14. Here two such sleeves 81 are shown on comforter 3 with two different castles 85 and 86 as padded toys attached to the respective sleeves 81.

[0062] It is further noted that other modifications may be made to the present invention, without departing from the scope of the invention, as noted in the appended Claims.