Title:
Toy gun for launching self-propelled projectiles in water
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a toy gun for use by a person in water environment such as a swimming pool. In one embodiment, the toy gun comprises a first body portion having a first handle portion, a first trigger member, first front and back portions, and a first launching portion. The toy gun further comprises a second body portion having a second handle portion, a second trigger member, second front and back portions, and a second launching portion. The second body portion is removably engaged with the first body portion. The toy gun further comprises a first projectile removably engaged with the first launching portion and a second projectile removably engaged with the second launching portion. The first projectile comprises a first propulsion unit and the second projectile comprises a second propulsion unit. The first projectile is engaged with the first launching portion from a first or loaded position where the first projectile is substantially retained by the first launching portion to a second or firing position where the first projectile may be released or fired from the first launching portion upon activation of the first propulsion unit in the water. The second projectile is engaged with the second launching portion from a first or loaded position where the second projectile is substantially retained by the second launching portion to a second or firing position where the second projectile may be released or fired from the second launching portion upon activation of the second propulsion unit in the water.



Inventors:
Fireman, Andrew F. (Bethesda, MD, US)
Elliot, James David (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Hsu, Tony Tong-young (San Marino, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/223662
Publication Date:
02/19/2004
Filing Date:
08/19/2002
Assignee:
FIREMAN ANDREW F.
ELLIOT JAMES DAVID
HSU TONY TONG-YOUNG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
124/56, 446/153
International Classes:
A63H23/12; (IPC1-7): F41B7/08; A63H23/00; F41B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Steven N. Fox, ESQ. (CANTON, MA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A toy gun for use by a person in water comprising: (a) a first body portion comprising a first handle portion, a first trigger member, first front and back portions, and a first launching portion; (b) a second body portion comprising a second handle portion, a second trigger member, second front and back portions, and a second launching portion; said second body portion being engaged with said first body portion; (c) a first projectile comprising a first propulsion unit; said first projectile being engaged with said first launching portion from a first position where said first projectile is substantially retained by said first launching portion to a second position where said first projectile may be released from said first launching portion upon activation of said first propulsion unit in the water; and (d) a second projectile comprising a second propulsion unit; said second projectile being engaged with said second launching portion from a first position where said second projectile is substantially retained by said second launching portion to a second position where said second projectile may be released from said second launching portion upon activation of said second propulsion unit in the water.

2. The toy gun of claim 1, wherein said front portion of said first body portion is removably engaged with said back portion of said second body portion.

3. The toy gun of claim 2, wherein each of said first and second projectiles are self-propelled.

4. The toy gun of claim 3, wherein said first propulsion unit comprises a first battery, a first motor connected to said first battery, a first propeller engaged with said first motor, and a first switch operable from a first position where said first propulsion unit is inactive to a second position where said first propulsion unit is activated.

5. The toy gun of claim 4, wherein said second propulsion unit comprises a second battery, a second motor connected to said second battery, a second propeller engaged with said second motor, and a second switch operable from a first position where said second propulsion unit is inactive to a second position where said second propulsion unit is activated.

6. The toy gun of claim 5, wherein activation of said first and second trigger members of said first and second body portions, respectively, cause said first and second projectiles, respectively, to be in said second position of said first and second launching portions, respectively.

7. The toy gun of claim 6, wherein said activation of said first and second trigger members of said first and second body portions, respectively, cause activation of said first and second propulsion units, respectively.

8. The toy gun of claim 7, wherein said first and second launching portions each comprise a cover that may be opened to allow the person to insert said first and second projectiles into said first and second launching portions, respectively.

9. The toy gun of claim 8, wherein said second body portion further comprises a release pin that may be operated by the person to remove said first body portion from said second body portion.

10. The toy gun of claim 9, wherein said fist and second trigger members of said first and second body portions, respectively, are positioned in close proximity to said first and second handle portions of said first and second body portions, respectively, to allow the person to grasp said first and second handle portions and activate said first and second trigger members.

11. The toy gun of claim 3, wherein said first and second propulsion units each comprise compressed air to dispense said first and second projectiles, respectively.

12. The toy gun of claim 3, wherein said first and second propulsion units each comprise pressurized water to dispense said first and second projectiles, respectively.

13. The toy gun of claim 3, wherein said first and second propulsion units each comprise a spring to dispense said first and second projectiles, respectively.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to toys for use by a person in a water environment such as a swimming pool.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Many types of toys have been developed for use by a person in a water environment such as a swimming pool. Conventional toys do not allow a person to launch self-propelled projectiles in such water environments.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention is a toy gun for use by a person in water environment such as a swimming pool. In one embodiment, the toy gun comprises a first body portion having a first handle portion, a first trigger member, first front and back portions, and a first launching portion. The toy gun further comprises a second body portion having a second handle portion, a second trigger member, second front and back portions, and a second launching portion. The second body portion is removably engaged with the first body portion. The toy gun further comprises a first projectile removably engaged with the first launching portion and a second projectile removably engaged with the second launching portion. The first projectile comprises a first propulsion unit and the second projectile comprises a second propulsion unit. The first projectile is engaged with the first launching portion from a first or loaded position where the first projectile is substantially retained by the first launching portion to a second or firing position where the first projectile may be released or fired from the first launching portion upon activation of the first propulsion unit in the water. The second projectile is engaged with the second launching portion from a first or loaded position where the second projectile is substantially retained by the second launching portion to a second or firing position where the second projectile may be released or fired from the second launching portion upon activation of the second propulsion unit in the water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] The following detailed description of the invention will be more fully understood with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0005] FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a first embodiment of the toy gun of the present invention;

[0006] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the first embodiment of the toy gun of the present invention;

[0007] FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the first embodiment of the toy gun of the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 4 is a rear elevation view of the first embodiment of the toy gun of the present invention;

[0009] FIG. 5 is a cut-away view of the first embodiment of the toy gun of the present invention showing engagement of the first body portion with the second body portion; and

[0010] FIG. 6 is a block diagram of the first and second propulsion units of the first and second projectiles, respectively.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0011] Referring to FIGS. 1-5, wherein a first embodiment of the toy gun 10 of the present invention is shown. The toy gun 10 comprises a first body portion 12 removably engaged with a second body portion 36. The first body portion 12 comprises a front portion 14, a back portion 16, a top portion 18, a handle portion 20, a trigger member 22, and a first launching portion 24. The second body portion 36 comprises a front portion 38, a back portion 40, a top portion 42, a handle portion 44, a trigger member 46, and a second launching portion 48. The first and second launching portions 24 and 48 are generally adapted to receive and release the first and second self-propelled projectiles 62 and 74 (to be described), respectively. The front portion 14 of the first body portion 12 is removably engaged within the back portion 40 of the second body portion 36. The front portion 14 of the first body portion 12 comprises a recessed annular channel 15. The back portion 40 of the second body portion 36 comprises an opening or cavity 41 and a spring loaded snap pin 43 extending normally therein. When front portion 14 of the first body portion 12 is fully inserted within the opening 41 of the back portion 40 of the second body portion 36, the pin 43 extends into the channel 15 and the first body portion 12 cannot be removed from the second body portion 36. The person may retract the pin 43 to remove the first body portion 12 from the second body portion 36.

[0012] The first launching portion 24 comprises a concave shaped cavity portion 26, and a spiral shaped cover portion 28. The cover portion 28 is connected by a hinge member 30 to the cavity portion 26. The cover portion 28 may be opened by person to insert or load the first projectile 62 into the first launching portion 24 and closed by the person to retain the first projectile 62 within the first launching portion 24. The first launching portion 24 is positioned above the top portion 18 of the first body portion 12. The first launching portion 24 further comprises a stop member 32 removably positioned within the cavity portion 26. The stop member 32 may be moved inward and outward of the cavity portion 26 to restrain and release the first projectile 62 from the first launching portion 24. Movement of the stop member 32 may be caused by activation or depression of the first trigger member 22. In a first or loaded position, the stop member 32 prevents the first projectile 62 from moving outward from the first launching portion 24. Activation or depression of the first trigger member 22 causes the first projectile 62 to be in a second or firing position wherein the stop member 32 is retracted and does not prevent the first projectile 62 from moving outward from the first launching portion 24. The first trigger member 22 is positioned in close proximity or adjacent to the first handle portion 20 so that the person may grip the first body portion 12 and activate the first trigger member 22 with a single hand and finger. The body portion 12 may further comprise a cross hair guide 34 mounted on the cover portion 28 of the first launching portion 24. The cross hair guide 34 is designed to assist the person in aiming the first projectile 62 at a target (not shown).

[0013] The second launching portion 48 comprises a concave shaped cavity portion 50 and a spiral shaped cover portion 52. The cover portion 52 is connected by a hinge member 54 to the cavity portion 50. The cover portion 52 may be opened by person to insert or load the second projectile 74 into the second launching portion 48 and closed by the person to retain the second projectile 74 within the second launching portion 48. The second launching portion 48 is positioned at the front portion 38. The second launching portion 48 is substantially aligned with the first launching portion 24. The second launching portion 48 further comprises a stop member 56 removably positioned within the cavity portion 50. The stop member 56 may be moved inward and outward of the cavity portion 50 to restrain and release the second projectile 74 from the second launching portion 48. Movement of the stop member 56 may be caused by activation or depression of the second trigger member 46. In a first or loaded position, the stop member 56 prevents the second projectile 74 from moving outward from the second launching portion 48. Activation or depression of the second trigger member 46 causes the second projectile 74 to be in a second or firing position wherein the stop member 56 is retracted and does not prevent the second projectile 74 from moving outward from the second launching portion 48. The second trigger member 46 is positioned in close proximity or adjacent to the second handle portion 44 so that the person may grip the second body portion 36 and activate the second trigger member 46 with a single hand and finger.

[0014] Referring to FIG. 6, the first projectile 62 comprises a first propulsion unit 64. The first projectile 62 is engaged with the first launching portion 24 from a first position or state where the first projectile 62 is substantially retained by the first launching portion 24 to a second position or state where the first projectile 48 is unrestrained by the first launching portion 24 (by activation of the first trigger member 22) and is launched upon activation of the first propulsion unit 64 in the water. The first propulsion unit 64 may be activated prior to activation of the first trigger member 22. The second projectile 74 comprises a second propulsion unit 76. The second projectile 74 is engaged with the second launching portion 48 from a first position or state where the second projectile 74 is substantially retained by the second launching portion 48 to a second position where the second projectile 74 is unrestrained by the first launching portion 48 (by activation of the second trigger member 46) and is launched by activation of activation of the second propulsion unit 76 in the water. The second propulsion unit 76 may be activated prior to activation of the second trigger member 46. The first and second projectiles 62 and 74 are self-propelled and similar in design to the self-propelled projectile shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,093,076 which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety into this specification. The first propulsion unit 64 comprises a first battery 66, a first motor 68 connected to the first battery 66, a first propeller 70 engaged by a first shaft 71 to the first motor 68, and a first switch 72 operable from a first position where the first propulsion unit 64 is off or inactive to a second position where the first propulsion unit 64 is on or activated. Similarly, the second propulsion unit 76 comprises a second battery 78, a second motor 80 connected to the second battery 78, a second propeller 82 engaged by a second shaft 83 to the second motor 80, and a second switch 84 operable from a first position where the second propulsion unit 76 is off or inactive to a second position where the second propulsion unit 76 is on or activated.

[0015] In operation, the person may connect the first body portion 12 to the second body portion 36 and load the first and second projectiles 62 and 74 into the first and second launching portions 24 and 48, respectively, by opening cover portions 28 and 52 and inserting the first and second projectiles 62 and 74 therein. The cover portions 28 and 52 may be closed wherein the stop members 32 and 56 restrain the first and second projectiles 62 and 74 within the first and second launching portions 24 and 48, respectively. The person may turn one or both of the first and second projectiles 48 and 62 by manual activation or depression of the switches 72 and 84, respectively. The person may launch one or both of the first and second projectiles 62 and 74 by manual activation or depression of the first and second trigger members 22 and 46, respectively, which allows the first and second projectiles 62 and 74 to launch or move outward from the first and second launching portions 24 and 48. The person may remove the first body portion 12 from the second body portion 36 upon launching of the first or second projectile 62 and 74 by retracting the retention pin 43.

[0016] The toy gun 10 may designed in a variety of different ways. By way of example only, activation or depression of the first and second trigger members 22 and 46 may also cause activation of the first and second propulsion units 64 and 76, respectively, thereby eliminating the need for manual activation or depression of the switches 72 and 84. Further, the first propulsion unit 64 may further comprises a third propeller (not shown) and the second propulsion unit 76 may further comprise a fourth propeller (not shown). The third propeller (not shown) of the first propulsion unit 64 is connected to the first motor 68. The fourth propeller (not shown) of the second propulsion unit 76 is connected to the second motor 80. The use of two (2) propellers on each shaft may tend to achieve enhanced directional control and/or power. Alternatively, the first propulsion unit 64 may further comprise a third shaft (not shown) and a third motor (not shown) and the second propulsion unit 76 may comprise a fourth shaft (not shown) and a fourth motor (not shown). The first propeller 70 and the third propeller (not shown) of the first propulsion unit 64 are connected and driven by the first motor 66 and the third motor (not shown), respectively. Similarly, the second propeller 80 and the fourth propeller (not shown) of the second propulsion unit 64 are connected and driven by the second motor 80 and the fourth motor (not shown), respectively. A single or multiple battery sources may be used.

[0017] In the embodiment shown, the first and second propulsion units 64 and 76 use a propeller to cause movement of the projectile. Alternatively, the first and second propulsion units 64 and 76 may each comprise a compressed air system (not shown) to dispense the first and second projectiles 62 and 74, respectively. The first and second propulsion units 64 and 76 may each comprise a pressurized water system to dispense the first and second projectiles 62 and 74, respectively. The first and second propulsion units 64 and 76 may comprise a spring to dispense the first and second projectiles 62 and 74, respectively. The first and second launching portions 24 and 48 may each comprise a spring or an elastic band engaged with and adapted to dispense the first and second projectiles 62 and 74, respectively.

[0018] The foregoing description is intended primarily for purposes of illustration. This invention may be embodied in other forms or carried out in other ways without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Modifications and variations still falling within the spirit or the scope of the invention will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art.