Title:
Information media holder assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An information media holder assembly includes an information media storage element supported on an information media storage element support. The information media storage element support has a storage element retention mechanism adapted to receive and retain the information media storage element, and a novelty mechanism unrelated to information media storage element retention.



Inventors:
Johnson, Richard (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/704479
Publication Date:
09/02/2004
Filing Date:
11/08/2003
Assignee:
JOHNSON RICHARD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
G9B/33.015, G9B/33.011
International Classes:
A23G3/00; A23G3/50; A23G3/56; B65D85/30; G09F7/18; G09F19/00; G11B33/04; (IPC1-7): B65D85/30
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Burkhart & Burkhart (Whitefish, MT, US)
Claims:
1. An information media holder assembly comprising the following: an information media storage element; and a information media storage element support including a storage element retention mechanism adapted to receive and retain the information media storage element, and a novelty mechanism unrelated to retention of the information media storage element.

2. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 1, wherein the information media storage element comprises a central aperture.

3. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 2, wherein the information media storage element comprises an annular media disc having a central aperture.

4. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 3, wherein the disc is of a type selected from a group consisting of compact discs, digital versatile discs, and game discs.

5. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 2, wherein the novelty mechanism of the information media storage element support is selected from a group consisting of toys, cosmetics, food products, clothing, jewelry, eating utensils, light sources, musical instruments, medical devices, storage devices, and writing instruments.

6. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 5, wherein the information media storage element support is generally cylindrical.

7. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 5, wherein the information media storage element support is a relatively flexible elongated object.

8. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 5, wherein the information media storage element support is selected from a group consisting of wire, chain, string, and rope.

9. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 2, wherein the storage element retention mechanism of the information media storage element support comprises a selectively actuatable storage element retainer.

10. An information media holder assembly in accordance with claim 9, wherein the selectively actuatable storage element retainer is selected from a group consisting of screw-threaded arrangements, clamps, snap assemblies, spring assemblies, fluid pressure arrangements, hook-and-loop fasteners, and adhesive engagements.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Application No. 10/663,499 filed 15 Sep. 2003, and provisional application No. 60/425,065 filed 9 Nov. 2002.

STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

[0002] None

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The invention relates generally to illuminated novelty items. In particular, the invention relates to illuminated novelty confections such as lollipops.

[0005] 2. Description of Related Art

[0006] In today's world, there is an ever-changing and ongoing trend to reshape, redesign and reformat toys and candy. With almost every trip to the store children experience new versions and packaging for candy and toys. It may seem as though children are now preprogrammed to look for anything different in the toy and candy aisles at the store.

[0007] Almost opposite to the ever-changing trends, has emerged a well tested and prevailing standard of information delivery, specifically CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, Minidiscs and variously shaped plastic digital discs categorized generally as “media discs.” The universal appeal of digital media discs' stem from their universal standardization and simplicity. In the hands of a child, a CD can play music, or a game. As younger consumers mature, media disc's provide software, show movies, launch web sites and create interactive experiences for an unlimited variety of media.

[0008] Certainly there is no argument as to the overall demand for candy, toys and digital media discs, and quite often they share similar themes but are mutually exclusive with regards to assembly and packaging. By enlarge, only breakfast cereals have cross marketed media discs with food and toys. Typically the media disc is packaged in “shrinkwrap” and placed inside a box with cereal. Recently the candy and toy industry has discovered the benefits of cross marketing and packaging sharing similar themes, such as action hero toys with a lollipop assembly. Extending well beyond “Pez Candy Dispensers,” the media has given the name “interactive candy” to candy products that offer some level of extra entertainment concurrent with or following the candy consumption.

[0009] Today's current known interactive candy and novelty devices fail to provide adequate media for extended interactivity. There is a limited degree of amusement value associated with current interactive candy products. The disclosed combination novelty assembly herein, utilizes a media disc holder built into a confection dispensing apparatus or toy, thus creating a nearly unlimited amount of interactivity. This combination product will provide an unlimited amount of interactive capability suitable for a very large world market.

[0010] Current novelty candy, toy devices and designs exclude a great deal of potential extended media, such as advertising, movie previews, music samples, and game previews which greatly affect the commercial versatility of these devices. It can be seen from the foregoing that the need exists for a truly interactive approach that overcomes the shortfalls of known arrangements in this technology.

SUMMARY

[0011] In accordance with the principles of the present invention, an information media holder assembly includes an information media storage element supported on an information media storage element support. The information media storage element support has a storage element retention mechanism adapted to receive and retain the information media storage element, and a novelty mechanism unrelated to disc retention.

[0012] In an embodiment, the information media storage element is provided with a central aperture, such as an annular media disc having a central aperture. The disc is of a type that can include compact discs, digital versatile discs, and game discs.

[0013] The novelty mechanism of the information media storage element support can be provided as toys, cosmetics, food products, clothing, jewelry, eating utensils, light sources, musical instruments, medical devices, or writing instruments.

[0014] In an embodiment, the media storage element support can have a generally cylindrical configuration. Alternatively, the information media storage element support can be provided as a relatively flexible elongated object, such as wire, chain, string, or rope.

[0015] In an embodiment, the storage element retention mechanism of the information media storage element support is a selectively actuatable storage element retainer, such as screw-threaded arrangements, clamps, snap assemblies, spring assemblies, fluid pressure arrangements, hook-and-loop fasteners, and adhesive engagements.

[0016] The present invention is applicable to a wide variety of forms. For example, the assembly can include an edible confection, a media CD disc attached to the edible confection holder, and a themed toy or related device. The confection portion is adapted and positioned to draw attention to the media disc. After the confection has been consumed, the media disc and novelty device or toy remain for further enjoyment and greatly extended consumer interactivity, providing an almost unlimited variety for media experience. The confection portion may include candy, gum, powder, granular pieces, chocolate, dried fruits and the like, or any combination thereof.

[0017] In various embodiments, the novelty assembly can include a cylindrical tube, rod, flange or fitting. Presently, many information storage elements are provided as annular discs with a central aperture of approximately 15 mm. Thus, an information media storage element support provided as a tube or rod with a 15 mm outer dimension would facilitate a standard size media disc attachment. The novelty element of the information media storage element support can be part of the novelty toy or device such as a flashlight, pen, or wand The novelty portion can also be configured as a container for housing any item of interest, such as printed indicia, confections or collectibles.

[0018] The present invention is susceptible to a wide variety of potential designs, each with different themes and assemblies. One embodiment of the invention is designed to have a two piece tube or rod that holds the media disc snugly when snapped together which also serves as the holder or handle for the confection. Another embodiment calls for the placement of 4 well-fitted “CD-Disc” wheels, preferably Minidisks, for a novelty toy car with candy inside. The CD wheels can be removed from the car assembly axles, and then inserted into a CD ROM tray or suitable audio CD tray for an interactive or musical usage.

[0019] In another embodiment, the confection with the tube attached, slides over and secures a writing instrument with a CD media disc affixed to the tube as well. Another embodiment includes a removable themed toy that is mechanically affixed to the tube. In each embodiment there exists the potential for custom printed graphics directly screened, or affixed onto the surface of the CD media disc and other parts and fixtures of the assembly. This feature allows for additional customization creating extended marketability for brand recognition, as well as the capability to match corresponding graphics and artwork for the assembled combination novelty device as a whole.

[0020] Potential hazards or safety issues regarding the assembly are also addressed. The assembly can be provided with indicia such as messages or logos, and can take virtually any shape or color, or any possibility or combination of flavors. Frozen confections, even chocolate designs are contemplated. The confection does not necessarily have to be limited to candies, and could include virtually anything edible.

[0021] In addition to the entertainment value of the present invention, there are practical aspects as well. For example a child may have difficulties with a particular subject such as math or spelling, and the attached media disc could provide interactive software lessons to help teach specified subjects.

[0022] From a usage or demographic perspective, there are several if not an unlimited number of possibilities including children's, specialties, novelties, premiums, advertising, entertainment, contests, marketing, advertising, music—thus essentially any digitized information content or media.

[0023] The invention itself, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

[0024] The invention itself, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a novelty media information storage holder assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0026] FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a novelty media information storage holder assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0027] FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a novelty media information storage holder assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0028] FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a novelty media information storage holder assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0029] FIG. 5 is a schematic view of a novelty media information storage holder assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a novelty media information storage holder assembly in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0031] While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings, and will herein be described in detail, exemplary embodiments, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as illustrative of the principles of the invention and not intended to limit the invention to the exemplary embodiments shown and described.

[0032] FIG. 1 illustrates an information media holder assembly 10 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The information media holder assembly 10 includes an information media storage element 12 supported on an information media storage element support 14. The information media storage element support has a storage element retention mechanism 16 adapted to receive and retain the information media storage element 12, and a novelty mechanism 18 unrelated to retention of the information media storage element 12.

[0033] In the FIG. 1 embodiment, the information media storage element 12 is a generally annular disc provided with a central aperture 20, of a type that can include compact discs, digital versatile discs, and game discs.

[0034] The novelty mechanism 18 of the information media storage element support 14 can be provided as a toy (e.g., a wand), cosmetic (e.g., a lipstick), food products (e.g., a lollipop), clothing (e.g., a bandana), jewelry (e.g., a pendant), eating utensils (e.g., a fork), light sources (e.g., a glow stick), musical instruments (e.g., a drum stick), medical devices (e.g., lip balm), or writing instruments (e.g., a gel pen).

[0035] In the FIG. 1 embodiment, the media storage element support 14 has a generally cylindrical configuration. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the information media storage element support 14A can be provided as a relatively flexible elongated object, such as wire, chain, string, or rope, or, as shown in FIG. 3, as a combination of flexible and solid elements 14B.

[0036] The storage element retention mechanism 16 of the information media storage element support 14 is a selectively actuatable storage element retainer, such as screw-threaded arrangements, clamps, snap assemblies, spring assemblies, fluid pressure arrangements, hook-and-loop fasteners, and adhesive engagements. The details and mechanical operation of such assemblies are known per se.

[0037] A combination novelty media disc holder assembly 20 in accordance with the principles of the present invention is illustrated generally in FIG. 4. A confection 22 is affixed to a tube or rod element 24, here provided as a tubular member. The connection element element 24 is affixed by a “snap-in” assembly to base grip holder 30. The CD media disc source 28, is illustrated as a standard 80 mm Minidisc. In this configuration, the outer dimension of the tube snap connection is 14.5 mm. This size will provide a snug fit for the CD media disc inner hole ID of 15 mm to be affixed in a similar fashion as a washer fastened between a screw and thread nut fastener means. It is also considered that the confection holder tube 24 and base tube 30 could be fastened via threaded screw assembly counterparts, the base 30 providing the male part, and confection tube 24 providing the female thread means.

[0038] This illustrated embodiment allows users to hold the novelty assembly via tube/grip holder 30. As desired, tube part part 24. and tube part 30 unsnap or unscrew, freeing the CD media disc source 28. Conversely, media disc source 28. can be repositioned between confection tube 24 and the tube/grip holder 30 as desired. There also exists the utility of “disc swapping” for consumers interested in exchanging media discs between various novelty media disc holder assemblies.

[0039] As shown in FIG. 5, an assembly 40 includes a writing instrument mechanism at the base of the tube handle 35. The CD media disc source 38 also serves as part of the handle for the assembly 40. It is contemplated that the printable surface of the CD media disc source 38. would incorporate art and graphical designs suitable to match the theme of the assembled novelty. Other mechanical and utility configurations could be utilized in combination with or built into the tube base 35 assembly such as; children's crayons, measuring instruments, a light source, storage for printed materials, storage for other confections, a themed toy base (molded plastic cartoon figurine), and a nearly endless variety of other suitable toy or device means capable of matching the interactive or music theme of the CD media disc.

[0040] FIG. 6 illustrates an assembly 50 configured as a novelty toy car, optionally with candy inside. A set of well-fitted “CD-Disc” wheels 52, preferably Minidisks, are provided. The CD wheels 52 can be removed from the car assembly axles 54, and then inserted into a CD ROM tray or suitable audio CD tray for an interactive or musical usage.

[0041] The specific dimensions of the assemblies can be varied in accordance with the size of the confection desired or as relates to the theme of the base. It is contemplated that a suitable overall size for the assembly would be in a range from 4-9 inches, with a spherical confection having a diameter of approximately 1.5 inches. Based upon the design of the edible top, where applicable, variations within reason could be utilized such as alternate shapes like, animals, faces, fruit, logos virtually any shape or form that could be secured onto the top of the tube section.

[0042] The CD media disc 28 and writing instrument 38 means represent two potential “byproducts” after the consumption of the confection. The removal of the mid section tube will free the CD media disc so it can be played in specified playing device, such as a computer, DVD, or audio CD drive.

[0043] While details of the invention are discussed herein with reference to some specific examples to which the principles of the present invention can be applied, the applicability of the invention to other devices and equivalent components thereof will become readily apparent to those of skill in the art.

[0044] Accordingly, it is intended that all such alternatives, modifications, permutations, and variations to the exemplary embodiments can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as set forth.

[0045] While details of the invention are discussed herein with reference to some specific examples to which the principles of the present invention can be applied, the applicability of the invention to other devices and equivalent components thereof will become readily apparent to those of skill in the art.

[0046] Accordingly, it is intended that all such alternatives, modifications, permutations, and variations to the exemplary embodiments can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as set forth in the appended claims.