Title:
Resilient coil toy and game, a kit and a method for playing a game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toy and a game are provided as well as a method for playing a game. The toy includes a resilient coil that has an attachment surface for picking up an article or target with a complementary attachment surface associated with the article or target. The toy and the article may be provided as a kit. One or more players may use the coil to pick-up one or more articles or targets. Points may be accumulated based on designated values that may be given to the articles or targets.



Inventors:
Campos, Amy (Libertyville, IL, US)
Duval, Earl W. (Lowell, MA, US)
Application Number:
09/764005
Publication Date:
07/18/2002
Filing Date:
01/17/2001
Assignee:
CAMPOS AMY
DUVAL EARL W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/447
International Classes:
A63F9/00; A63F9/30; A63H33/00; A63F9/02; (IPC1-7): A63H33/00; A63B67/00; A63F9/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MILLER, BENA B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patents+TMS (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A toy comprising: a resilient coil having a first end and a second end; and an attachment surface associated with the second end of the coil.

2. The toy of claim 1 wherein the resilient coil is formed from a helically-wound member that forms a plurality of loops.

3. The toy of claim 1 further comprising: a top loop at the first end of the coil; and a bottom loop at the second end of the coil.

4. The toy of claim 1 further comprising: a strap adapted to attach the coil to a hand of a user.

5. The toy of claim 1 further comprising: a strap extending at the first end of the coil wherein the strap has two free ends adapted to wrap around a hand of a user to secure the coil to a hand of the user.

6. The toy of claim 5 further comprising: means for securing one of the free ends of the strap to the other one of the free ends of the strap.

7. The toy of claim 5 wherein one of the free ends has one of a hook and loop fabric and the other one of the free ends has a hook and loop fabric.

8. The toy of claim 1 further comprising: one of a hook and loop fabric associated with the second end of the coil.

9. The toy of claim 1 further comprising: a tacky surface associated with the attachment surface.

10. The toy of claim 1 further comprising: an elastic member securing the first end of the coil to the second end of the coil.

11. The toy of claim 1 wherein the coil is expandable to a length of at least two feet between the first end and the second end of the coil.

12. A toy kit comprising: a resilient coil having a first and a second end; an attachment surface associated with the second end of the coil; and an article having an engaging surface adapted to be attachable to the attachment surface on the second end of the resilient coil.

13. The toy kit of claim 12 further comprising: a strap secured to the first end of the coil for securing the coil to a hand of a user.

14. The toy kit of claim 12 further comprising: a hook and loop fabric associated with the second end of the coil and a complementary hook and loop fabric associated with the article.

15. The toy kit of claim 12 further comprising: a tacky surface associated with the second end of the coil; and a surface associated with the article adapted to stick to the tacky surface on the second end of the coil.

16. The toy kit of claim 12 further comprising: a point designation associated with the article.

17. The toy kit of claim 12 further comprising: a second article having an engaging surface adapted to be attachable to the attachment surface on the second end of the resilient coil.

18. A method for playing a game, the method comprising the steps of: providing a resilient coil having a first end and a second end and having an attachment surface associated with the second end of the coil; and providing an article at a predetermined distance away from the first player wherein the article has an engagement surface adapted to be attachable to the attachment surface on the second end of the coil wherein a first player extends the coil outwards over the predetermined distance to pick up the article.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of: establishing a time frame to attempt to pick up the article.

20. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of: permitting one or more additional players to use the coil to retrieve the article.

21. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of: marking the article with a point designation.

22. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of: providing a second article at another predetermined distance away from the first player wherein the second article has an engagement surface adapted to be attachable to the attachment surface on the second end of the coil.

23. The method of claim 22 further comprising the step of: marking the second article with a point designation.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to toys and games. More particularly, the present invention relates to a resilient coil toy that is used to pick up articles for entertainment purposes or as part of a game or the like. Still further, the present invention relates to a method for playing a game using a resilient coil toy.

[0002] Resilient coil toys are well known in the art. In particular, the most famous resilient coil toy is sold under the registered trademark SLINKY® by James Industries, Inc. The SLINKY® resilient coil toy is made from a helically wound metal coil or plastic member or extrusion, and the coil can be expanded and contracted. The resilient coil, among other things, can “walk” down stairs as the toy extends from one stair to the other, collapses, and then falls over to the next stair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] An object of the present invention is to provide new and unique resilient coil toys and games that can be played using a resilient coil toy as well as a method for playing a game.

[0004] An important aspect of the present invention, therefore, lies in providing a new resilient coil toy that may be adapted to pick up articles and that may be used in a game for picking up articles, Such results may be achieved by providing a resilient coil with an attachment surface on one end and a handle mechanism on the other end of the resilient coil. The user may use the handle mechanism to secure the coil to their hand. Then, the user may extend the coil with a swinging motion outward so that the attachment surface may be used to pick up articles that are on the ground or on top of other objects.

[0005] The resilient coil toy of the present invention comprises a resilient helically-wound coil having a first end and a second end. The second end may include an attachment surface adapted to attach to and pick up articles. The attachment surface may comprise hook or loop fabric, a tacky or sticky surface made of adhesive, or other suitable mechanisms for attaching the second end of the coil to articles or targets.

[0006] A handle mechanism may be provided on the first end of the resilient coil. Preferably, the handle mechanism has a strap that may be secured to the top loop of the coil and may have two free ends that may be wrapped around the back of a user's hand. In use, the user may cup the top loop of the coil in his palm, and the straps may be secured around the back of the user's hand. The free ends of the straps preferably include a securing mechanism, such as hook and loop fabric, for securing the free ends together.

[0007] The resilient coil may be sold in a toy kit including a plurality of articles or targets that may be picked up using the coil. The articles or targets may come in a variety of different sizes and amusing shapes. Each of the articles or targets may include an engaging surface adapted to attach to the attachment surface associated with the resilient coil. The engaging surface may comprise hook and loop fabric to attach to corresponding hook and loop fabric associated with the coil, or may comprise a surface adapted to be attachable to a tacky or sticky surface on the attachment surface associated with the coil. The articles or targets may take the form of geometric shapes, animals, etc.

[0008] The articles or targets are preferably made of paper or cardboard that may support the engaging surface. However, it should be understood that other lightweight materials may be used to form the articles or targets depending upon the particular shape or effect that may be desired for the article or target.

[0009] The resilient coil and articles or targets are believed to be particularly advantageous for use as, for example, a party game, such as a party game that may be played at a child's birthday party. To play an embodiment of the game, the articles or targets may be positioned at a predetermined distance away from where a player may stand. The predetermined distance may be marked with tape or other similar materials on the ground. Each of the players may then be given a set time period to use the coil to attempt to retrieve, for example, as many articles or targets as possible across the predetermined distance.

[0010] For example, the first player may be given the coil. Within the allowed timeframe, the first player may swing the coil back and forth outwardly from the user's hand to pick up and retrieve as many articles as possible from across the predetermined distance.

[0011] Each of the articles or targets preferably includes a point designation. The point designation may be the same number of points or a different number of points associated with each of the articles or targets. After each player's turn, the points on the retrieved articles or targets may be tabulated to arrive at the user's score. At the end of the game, the player with the highest score wins the game. The toy and game kit of the present invention is particularly advantageous in that it is inexpensive, simple to learn and/or to play, entertaining, and allows any number of players to play the game, including large groups of players, such as is often desirable at, for example, a birthday party.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a resilient coil toy of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a top view of an embodiment of a plurality of articles or target\s used in a toy kit of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a schematic view of an embodiment of the present invention illustrating a player using a resilient coil toy to pick up articles.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a schematic view of an embodiment of the present invention illustrating a player using the resilient coil toy of the present invention to pick up articles.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a coil toy of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] Referring now to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts, FIG. 1 generally illustrates a resilient coil 10 in an embodiment of the present invention. The resilient coil 10 includes a first end 11 and a second end 12. The coil 10 may be made from a helically wound wire or member 13 that may be wound in a helix to form a cylindrically-shaped coil 10 extending between the first end 11 and the second end 12.

[0018] Generally, the coil 10 and the helically-wound member 13 may be fabricated using conventional means which are used to make current resilient coil toys on the market, such as those sold under the registered trademark SLINKY® by James Industries, Inc. The helically-wound member 13 may be formed of a helically-wound metal wire, such as traditional coil toys, or may be made of extruded plastic, such as more modern coil toys.

[0019] The present invention lies in adapting the resilient coil 10 so that the same may be used to pick up articles or targets on, for example, the ground or other like surface. To accomplish this objective, the second end 12 of the resilient coil 10 may include an attachment surface 14. The attachment surface 14 may be adapted to grab or stick to articles on the ground so that the articles may be picked up using the resilient coil 10. By holding the first end 11 of the resilient coil 10, a user may extend the remainder of the coil 10 resiliently outward a distance from the user's hand. Typically, the resilient coil 10 may be designed to extend a few feet from the user's hand; of course, however, the resilient coil 10 may be designed and/or constructed such that other lengths or distances may be achievable. The attachment surface 14 associated with the coil 10 may grab or pick up articles or targets on, for example, the ground or other surface on which the articles or targets may be placed. The resiliency of the coil 10 then returns and retracts the coil 10 in a direction towards the user's hand. As a result, the article or target may be returned in close proximity to the user's hand.

[0020] In a preferred embodiment, the attachment surface 14 has one of either a hook or loop fabric and a complementary one of either a hook or loop fabric may be employed on the articles or targets that are to be picked up using the resilient coil 10. The coil 10 may be constructed of a plurality of individual loops 15. To secure the attachment surface 14 to the coil 10, a strip of hook or loop fabric may be wrapped around an end of one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the second end 12 of the coil 10. Preferably, an adhesive or other mechanism may be used to ensure a secure attachment between the attachment surface 14 and the second end 12 of the coil 10.

[0021] In an alternate embodiment, the attachment surface 14 comprises a sticky or tacky surface. For example, the attachment surface 14 may include an adhesive material that is tacky or sticky and adapted for picking up articles. Other suitable attachment mechanisms may be employed for the attachment surface 14 as generally known to those skilled in the art.

[0022] The coil 10 may be used by gripping and holding one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the first end 11 of the resilient coil 10. To this end, the user may, for example, grip one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the first end 11 and may extend the coil 10 outward to attempt to make contact between the attachment surface 14 and a designated article or target. As a result, the article or target may be picked up by the attachment surface 14 associated with the resilient coil 10. The user may grip one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the first end 11 in a variety of manners. In an embodiment, one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the first end 11 may be cupped in the user's palm.

[0023] In a preferred embodiment, the resilient coil 10 may include a handle mechanism for securing the first end 11 of the coil 10 to the hand of the user. In a preferred embodiment, the handle mechanism comprises a strap 16. The strap 16 may be a conventional fabric strap and may extend under, for example, one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the first end 11 of the coil 10. The strap 16 may preferably be secured to the underside of one or more of the plurality of loops 15 at the first end 11 with, for example, adhesive and may have two free ends 17 and 18. The free ends 17 and 18 may be adapted to be circled around, for example, the back of the user's hand. In use, the user may cup the top loop of the first end 11 of the coil 10 in his palm. The free ends 17 and 18 may then be secured over the top of the user's hand using a securing mechanism that may preferably take the form of patches of hook and loop fabric 19 and 20. After the free ends 17 and 18 are secured about the user's hand, the user may swing his arm and extend the coil 10 without fear of releasing the coil 10.

[0024] FIG. 2 illustrates a plurality of articles or targets 21 that may be picked up using the resilient coil 10. The articles or targets 21 may each include one or more engagement surfaces 22 for engaging the attachment surface 14 associated with the coil 10. In a preferred embodiment, the engagement surface 22 may comprise either hook or loop fabric to correspond to the hook or loop fabric of the attachment surface 14. In embodiments where the attachment surface 14 may be an adhesive, the engagement surface 22 may be a surface adapted to be easily adhered to such adhesive, sticky or tacky surface. The articles or targets 21 may preferably be made of paper or cardboard, but other suitable lightweight materials may be used. Further, the articles or targets 21 may be designed to be any size or shape including, but not limited to, animal shapes, geometric shapes, other objects and shapes, such as insects, toys, people, or any other known or random shape or representation.

[0025] The articles or targets 21 may also preferably include a point designation, such as indicated by the numeral 23. In a game, the point designation 23 may be used so that a user may acquire points for picking up different articles or targets 21 that may have, for example, varying difficulty levels.

[0026] The resilient coil 10 and the plurality of articles or targets 21 may preferably be sold in kit form. The kit may include at least one of the resilient coils 10 and one or more of a plurality of the articles or targets 21. This kit may advantageously be used for a party game, such as, for example, at a child's birthday party.

[0027] In one embodiment of a game that may be played using the coil 10, a number of the articles or targets 21 may be placed a predetermined distance “d” away from the player 24. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the predetermined distance “d” may be marked, for example, by using strips of tape on the floor. The predetermined distance “d” may preferably be at least two feet; however, of course, the distance “d” may vary depending on the length of the coil 10 and/or the degree of difficulty that may be desired for the users of the game and/or the age and/or height and/or size of the players.

[0028] A first player 24 may then be given the coil 10. A time limit may be set in which the first player 24 may use the resilient coil 10 to pick up as many of the articles or targets 21. To do so, the first player 24 may extend his or her arm outwardly and may permit the resilient coil 10 to extend as shown in FIG. 3 until the attachment surface 14 makes contact with one of the articles or targets 21. The coil 10 may preferably extend for a distance of at least two feet. Upon a successful hit and mating of the attachment surface 14 to the engagement surface 22 on the article or target 21, that article or target 21 may be picked up and returned to the first player 24 when the resilient coil 10 springs back as generally shown in FIG. 4. The player 24 may then remove the target 21 from the resilient coil 10 and may continue to repeat the process until the first player 24 has picked up as many of the articles or targets 21 within the time limit.

[0029] After the first player 24 is allowed to play, then subsequent players may be permitted the same time limit in which to retrieve as many articles as they can from across the predetermined distance “d”. After each player plays, all of the articles or targets 21 may be returned to the target area beyond the predetermined distance “d”. The game kit of the present invention may be particularly advantageous because the kit is inexpensive, simple to learn and to play, has few parts, and any number of players may play the game, including large numbers of players, such as at an event, such as, for example, a birthday party. After all of the players have been allowed their time, the points on the articles or targets 21 retrieved by each player may be tabulated to determine the winner. Of course, points may be tabulated at any time including, after the time a player has completed his or her turn. The winner may be the player that has the highest number of points. Alternatively, the winner may be the player who retrieves the greatest number of articles or targets. Of course, other means for determining the winner may also be implemented.

[0030] In an alternate embodiment of the present invention as generally shown in FIG. 5, the resilient coil 10 additionally may include a limiting member 25 that may extend between the first end 11 and the second end 12 of the coil 10 for limiting the length that the coil 10 may be extended. In the embodiment shown in the FIG. 5, the limiting member 25 may take the form of, for example, a loop of resilient fabric or rubber that may encircle the resilient coil 10 at one position about its 360° radius. The limiting member 25 may be pre-designed to permit only a certain amount of extension of the coil 10. In preferred embodiments, the resilient coil 10 may be permitted to be extended at least two feet, although other dimensions may, of course, be implemented depending upon a particular use for which the coil 10 may be intended.

[0031] It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages. It is, therefore, intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.