Title:
Table soccer game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel table soccer game which uses the regulation number of toy soccer player figures. Each team has 10 players and a goal keeper, with the figures painted with the colors of their team to distinguish players on one team from players on the opponent team. A small metal or plastic ball is used to simulate a real inflated soccer ball. Each figure has a movable leg, which is pivotally mounted for swinging motion, and is connected by a pull wire to a plunger key. The plunger key is finger-operated by a human game player who controls the kicking of the figure when the key is pulled and released. The objective is for the players on each team to kick the ball into the opponent's goal.



Inventors:
Mashkabov, Rakhmin (Rego Park, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/955907
Publication Date:
09/12/2002
Filing Date:
09/19/2001
Assignee:
MASHKABOV RAKHMIN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/108.53, 273/129W, 273/108.4
International Classes:
A63F7/06; A63F7/07; (IPC1-7): A63F7/07
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DICKSTEIN SHAPIRO MORIN & OSHINSKY LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A table soccer game, comprising: a plate having a top surface decorated to resemble a soccer playing field; twenty player figures fixedly mounted on the top surface; each of said player figures having a movable leg having a foot portion adapted to kick a miniature ball; a series of twenty finger-operable keys, each key operatively connected to the movable leg of one player figure to move said movable leg upon operation of the key.

2. A table soccer game as claimed in claim 1 wherein the player figures are made of sheet metal.

3. A table soccer game as in claim 1 wherein the player figures are made of die-cast metal.

4. A table soccer game as in claim 1 wherein the player figures are made of plastic.

5. A table soccer game as in claim 1 wherein each player figure has a body portion and the movable leg of each player figure is pivotally mounted on the body portion by a pin.

6. A table soccer game as in claim 1 wherein the plate has twenty slits and each movable leg has a bottom portion, which extends through one of the slits in the plate.

7. A table soccer game as in claim 1 wherein each key has a bottom portion, which extends through a hole in the plate.

8. A table soccer game as in claim 6 and wherein each key has a bottom portion which extends through a hole in the plate and wherein a wire connects the bottom portion of each key to the bottom portion of one movable leg.

9. A table soccer game as in claim 8 wherein a return spring having two ends has one end attached to the plate and the other end attached to the movable leg portion to return said bottom portion to a normal portion.

10. A table soccer game as in claim 1 and having two arms, each arm having two ends, each arm being pivotally mounted on the plate, a goalie figure mounted on one end of the arms and a knob mounted on the other end of each of the arms.

11. A table soccer game as in claim 10 wherein the plate has a bottom side and the arms are pivotally mounted on the bottom side of the plate.

12. A table soccer game as in claim 10 wherein the plate has two curved slots and each goalie figure extends through and moves within one of the curved slots.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the filing date of Provisional Patent Application No. 60/236332, filed on Sept. 29, 2000.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to toys and games and more particularly to a table soccer game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] There are many types of toys and games that mimic various sports. For example, a board game in which dice are rolled provides a simulation of horse racing. As another example, a game simulating baseball may be played on a computer, with the computer's monitor screen showing the baseball game.

[0004] Some of these games may involve a certain amount of physical dexterity, such as eye-hand coordination, in moving a computer mouse or operating a trigger.

[0005] One type of mechanical device simulates soccer and is called “table soccer”, or “Foosball.” It consists of a table, or table supported frame, in which a series of knobs are rotated. The knobs are mounted on shafts; and small figures representing soccer players, are also fixed to the shafts. When the knobs are turned the legs of the soccer player figures kick a small ball. The object of this game, as in soccer, is to kick the ball into the opponent's goal. This type of table soccer game attained some popularity some years ago, but now is mostly confined to the college and enthusiasts crowd.

[0006] Some of the prior United States patents which relate to mechanical games employing toy figures and to mechanical toy soccer games include: U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,423,737; 5,092,595; 3,870,303; 4,025,073; 5,071,137; 6,092,652; and 5,326,102.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In accordance with the present invention there is provided a novel form of table soccer game.

[0008] It uses the regulation number of toy soccer player figures. Each team has 10 players and a goal keeper (11 players per team). The figures are painted with the colors of their team, i.e., red shirts versus blue shirts, to distinguish players on one team from players on the opponent team.

[0009] A small metal or plastic ball is used to simulate a real inflated soccer ball. The objective is for the players on each team to kick the ball into the opponent's goal.

[0010] Each toy player figure is formed and painted to resemble a human soccer player. The table has a flat top surface (“table top”) to simulate the soccer player field, and four boundary walls to keep the ball on the table top.

[0011] The player figures are aligned in rows, or scattered, and are fixed in position on the table top. Each player has a pivotable leg and foot. The foot is used to kick the ball. The movable leg of each figure pivots. Each movable leg extends through a slit in the table top and is connected, beneath the table top, to a spring and a pull wire. The pull wire, when operated, pulls the bottom of the leg in a rearward direction (relative to the position of the figure).

[0012] The spring pulls the leg bottom (knee to foot) in the opposite direction, when the wire is released (returns to its normal position). The wire is attached to a plunger key (lever), which is also pivotally mounted. There is one plunger key for each of the twenty toy soccer figurers. The top (exposed) portion of the plunger key is finger-operated. The bottom (non-exposed) portion of the plunger key, below the table top, is connected to the wire.

[0013] A human player, with a finger, pulls on the top of the plunger key. The plunger key pivots and pulls the wire. The wire pulls the bottom of the player leg, causing the leg to rotate backwards and pulling the spring. When the person releases the plunger key, in one embodiment, the spring pulls back the bottom of the player key, causing the player foot to kick the ball.

[0014] Generally two persons will operate the table soccer game. Each of them is at opposite ends of the table and has a series of ten plunger keys aligned in a row behind the goal.

[0015] In addition, each person may operate a mechanical goal tender (goalie) to prevent the ball from going into his goal (goal net). The goalie is a toy figure, painted and formed to look like a real goalie. The goalie figure moves in a circular track controlled by a separate handle. The handle is connected to the goalie by figure by an arm hidden under the table top.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the table soccer game of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of an alternative embodiment of the table soccer game of FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 3 is a side plan view of one of the table soccer game figures representing a soccer player;

[0019] FIG. 4 is a side plan view; enlarged, of the movable leg of the figure of FIG. 3;

[0020] FIG. 5 is a side view of the arrangement of a typical pull wire and its return spring and the finger operated key; and

[0021] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the goalie figure and its control knob.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] As shown in FIG. 1, the table soccer game 1 of the present invention uses a flat rectangular plat 10 representing a soccer playing field. The plate 10 may be made of a suitable stiff or rigid material, preferably plywood, solid wood, or aluminum sheet metal.

[0023] The plate 10 has a table top 11, which is the top surface of plate 10 and is painted green, or covered with a green cloth or plastic sheet, to resemble a soccer playing field and may have boundary lines (boundary markings). Four raised side walls 13a-13d are positioned at the edges of the plate 10 to prevent a small metal or plastic ball 14 from rolling off the table top 11.

[0024] In FIG. 1 the ten player FIGS. 15, of one team, and the ten player FIGS. 16 of the opposite team, are fixed on the plate 10 and extend upwards from the table top 11. Preferably the FIGS. 15, 16 are made of sheet metal or die cast metal. They can also be formed of hard plastic. They are formed and painted to resemble human soccer players. For example, the players 15 of one team are painted with red uniforms and the players 16 of the opponent team are painted with blue uniforms.

[0025] In the embodiment of FIG. 1 the players 16, represented as small outline rectangles, and the players 15 of the opponent team, represented as solid rectangles, are aligned in rows, for ease of manufacture. However, as shown in FIG. 2, the player FIGS. 15, 16 may be scattered about the table top 11, representing the soccer players scattered on a soccer playing field.

[0026] As shown in FIG. 3, a typical player FIG. 20 (one of the FIGS. 15, 16) comprises a body portion 21, a head portion 22 and a fixed leg portion 23. The fixed leg portion is attached to the plate 10. For example, if the FIG. 20 is a sheet metal figure, the fixed leg portion 23 may extend through a slit in the plate 10. If the FIG. 20 is a die cast figure, the leg portion may have a screw-threaded shaft, which extends through the plate 10 and is held to the plate 10 by a nut on its underside.

[0027] Each FIG. 20 has a movable leg 25, which is pivotally mounted for swinging motion. The leg 25 has a portion 26 which is painted and formed to resemble a foot. The foot is adapted to kick the ball 14 when leg 25 is operated. The leg 25 is pivotally mounted on fixed FIG. 20 by a pin 24, such as a rivet or small metal shaft. The bottom portion 27 of leg 25 extends through a slit 29 in the plate 10 such that the leg may freely move within the slit 29. The bottom portion 27 has a hole 28, which attaches the bottom leg portion to a pull wire 29 and a return spring 31.

[0028] Each player FIG. 20 has a bottom leg portion 27, which is connected by a pull wire 29 to a plunger key 30, see FIG. 5. The plunger key 30 is finger-operated by a human game player who controls the kicking of the FIG. 20 when the key 30 is pulled and released. The game mechanism may operated in two ways. In the first way the operation of the key 30 directly pulls the leg portion 27 and the attached foot portion kicks the ball. In this way of operation the human player is positioned behind the goal of his opponent. In the second way, the key 30 is pulled and released. The kicking movement is caused by the return spring. In this second way, the human player is positioned behind his own goal.

[0029] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a row of ten keys 40a-40j is positioned behind the goal 41 and another row of ten keys 42a-42j is positioned behind the opposite goal 43. Each of the keys 40a-40j and 42a-42j are of the type of key 30.

[0030] As shown in FIG. 5, the plunger key 30 (picker) has flat top portion 45, adapted to be pulled by a finger, a body portion 46, a pivot hole 47, and a bottom portion 48. The body portion 46 extends above the table top 11, the bottom portion 48 extends below the table top 11, and the pivot hole 47 receives a pin to pivotally mount the key 30. The pin is mounted on the plate 10. The key 30 extends through a slot 49 in the plate 10. The body portion 46 is preferably formed of metal, which is twisted 90 to form the flat top portion 45. A hole 50 near the free end of the bottom its portion 48 holds the wire 29.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 5, one end of wire 29 is attached to hole 50 and its other end is attached to hole 28 in the bottom portion 27 of the player figure leg. A short wire 51 connects hole 28 to spring 30, whose opposite end is fixed in tab 32 connected on the bottom side of plate 10.

[0032] In operation, the human's player's finger pulls on top portion 45 in the direction of arrow A (FIG. 5) which pivots the bottom portion 48 of the plunger key 30 in the direction of arrow B (FIG. 5). That action pulls on wire 29, causing the bottom portion 27 of the figure leg to rotate in direction B. In one embodiment, this causes the foot to kick the ball. When the human player's finger is released, the spring 30 returns the bottom portion 27 to its normal position. In another embodiment, as explained above, this causes the foot to kick the ball.

[0033] In addition, as shown in FIG. 6, a goalie FIG. 60 representing a goalie is moved to block the ball from reaching the goal. The goalie FIG. 60 is mounted vertically at one end of a pivotable arm 61. The arm 61 pivots on pin 62 mounted on plate 10 and the arm 61 is beneath the plate. The goalie FIG. 60 extends upward from the arm 61 and through a curved slot 63 in the plate 10. A knob 64 is adapted to be held by the human player's fingers. The knob 64 is moved, in an arc left or right, which moves the goalie FIG. 60 in the opposite direction.