Title:
Appendage Puppets
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A puppet for wearing about an appendage. There is a display member providing an anthropomorphizing characterization. The display member includes an ornamentation member having anthropomorphizing ornamentation thereon; a backing member coupled to the ornamentation member and providing prophylactic separation therefrom; and an appendage coupling member coupled to the backing member and circumferentially removably coupleable about an appendage. There is also a hat member coupled to the display member and removably coupleable to a top surface of an appendage. The ornamentation member includes a representation of clothing and a curved collar portion disposed near a top portion of the ornamentation member and defining a window through which a portion of an appendage may be seen when the puppet is in use. The backing member and appendage coupling member together include a flexible cylinder.



Inventors:
Preece, Calleen (Uintah, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/457677
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CEGIELNIK, URSZULA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schmeiser, Olsen & Watts LLP (Mesa, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A puppet for wearing about an appendage, comprising: a display member providing an anthropomorphizing characterization, including: an ornamentation member having anthropomorphizing ornamentation thereon; a backing member coupled to the ornamentation member and providing prophylactic separation therefrom; and an appendage coupling member coupled to the backing member and circumferentially removably coupleable about an appendage; a hat member coupled to the display member and removably coupleable to a top surface of an appendage.

2. The puppet of claim 1, wherein the ornamentation member includes a representation of clothing.

3. The puppet of claim 2, wherein the ornamentation member includes a curved collar portion disposed near a top portion of the ornamentation member and defining a window through which a portion of an appendage may be seen when the puppet is in use.

4. The puppet of claim 3, wherein the backing member comprises a first planar flexible textile member and the appendage coupling member comprises a second planar flexible textile member coupled to the first planar flexible textile member, thereby forming a flexible cylinder.

5. The puppet of claim 4, wherein the ornamentation member includes a substantially rigid planar member simulating clothing.

6. The puppet of claim 5, wherein the backing member is coupled to a rear surface of the ornamentation member.

7. The puppet of claim 6, wherein the backing member is coextensive with the appendage coupling member.

8. The puppet of claim 7, wherein the hat member is removably coupleable to the display member.

9. A puppet for wearing about an appendage, consisting essentially of: a display member providing an anthropomorphizing characterization, including: an ornamentation member having anthropomorphizing ornamentation thereon; a backing member coupled to the ornamentation member and providing prophylactic separation therefrom; and an appendage coupling member coupled to the backing member and circumferentially removably coupleable about an appendage; a hat member coupled to the display member and removably coupleable to a top surface of an appendage.

10. The puppet of claim 9, wherein the ornamentation member includes a representation of clothing.

11. The puppet of claim 10, wherein the ornamentation member includes a curved collar portion disposed near a top portion of the ornamentation member and defining a window through which a portion of an appendage may be seen when the puppet is in use.

12. The puppet of claim 11, wherein the backing member comprises a first planar flexible textile member and the appendage coupling member comprises a second planar flexible textile member coupled to the first planar flexible textile member, thereby forming a flexible cylinder.

13. The puppet of claim 12, wherein the ornamentation member includes a substantially rigid planar member simulating clothing.

14. The puppet of claim 13, wherein the backing member is coupled to a rear surface of the ornamentation member.

15. The puppet of claim 14, wherein the backing member is coextensive with the appendage coupling member.

16. The puppet of claim 15, wherein the hat member is removably coupleable to the display member.

17. The puppet of claim16, wherein the hat member includes a pair of elongated hat coupling members extending downward therefrom and each including a portion of hook and loop material.

18. The puppet of claim 17, wherein the pair of elongated hat coupling members include elastic textile.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This invention claims priority, under 35 U.S.C. §120, to the U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/700,019 to Calleen Preece filed on 14 Jul. 2005 which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to puppets, specifically to appendage puppets.

2. Description of the Related Art

Puppets have been used for centuries in play and story telling. However, puppets, particularly puppets configured to couple to an appendage of a person, such as but not limited to a finger, arm, toe, ear, leg, and/or nose may be difficult to attach, tend to fall off (particularly wherein an appendage may not be substantially articulate), obscure portions of an appendage that may advantageously be shown, be expensive, be difficult to manufacture, inappropriately display functional features such as portions of coupling devices, and/or may not be configured to advantageously display a figure larger than the appendage to which the figure is attached.

US Patent Application No. 2003/0186198 to Cubeta et al. describes a reading learning tool which uses finger puppets having letters thereon. The puppets could include pictures of objects corresponding to the sound of the letter. The finger puppets can be worn by a student and can be arranged to correspond to a word. The student can use the sounds of the objects corresponding to the letters to assist in sounding out a word. A teacher can interact with a student by using a corresponding set of finger puppets. The student's finger puppets can be made of paper and the teacher's finger puppets can be larger and made of a more durable and visible material. The finger puppets can include more than one letter to accommodate word families and sound blends such as digraphs and diphthongs.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,911,618 to Gerst describes a finger puppet worn on a single digit having animated facial expression responsive to flexure of the digit at its joints. The puppet, constructed of a hollow elastic diaphragm, preferably of latex rubber, defines interiorly thereof a main digit receiving concavity for receiving the length of the mounting digit at least past the first finger joint.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,281,472 to Hill describes a finger toy, which may be integrally formed and molded of plastic material, for mounting on a single digit and comprising a body portion having a front nose end with an attached pinwheel or propeller, and a rear end opening which provides access to an interior body cavity, sized for receiving a digit. The shape of the interior body cavity is designed so that it will be finger-gripping for secure but releasable attachment of the toy to a user's finger.

However, such puppets/toys may fail to properly obscure the appendage, fail to enable an anthropomorphic illusion, may be uncomfortable on the appendage, may be expensive, and/or may be difficult to manufacture.

Accordingly, there exists a need for a puppet that solves one or more of the problems herein described or that may come to the attention of one skilled in the art after becoming familiar with this specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available puppets. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide a puppet for wearing about an appendage.

In one embodiment, there is a display member that may be providing an anthropomorphizing characterization. The display member may include an ornamentation member that may have anthropomorphizing ornamentation thereon. The display member may include a backing member that may be coupled to the ornamentation member and/or providing prophylactic separation therefrom. The display member may include an appendage coupling member coupled to the backing member and/or circumferentially removably coupleable about an appendage. There may be a hat member coupled to the display member and removably coupleable to a top surface of an appendage.

The ornamentation member may include a representation of clothing. The ornamentation member may include a curved collar portion that may be disposed near a top portion of the ornamentation member and/or may define a window through which a portion of an appendage may be seen when the puppet is in use.

The backing member may include a first planar flexible textile member. The appendage coupling member may include a second planar flexible textile member that may be coupled to the first planar flexible textile member, thereby forming a flexible cylinder.

The ornamentation member may include a substantially rigid planar member simulating clothing. The backing member may be coupled to a rear surface of the ornamentation member. The backing member may be coextensive with the appendage coupling member. The hat member may be removably coupleable to the display member. The hat member may include a plurality of elongated hat coupling members extending downward from the hat member. An elongated hat coupling member may include a portion of hook and loop material.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order for the advantages of the invention to be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates front and back plan views of a puppet for an appendage according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a backing and coupling member according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a puppet hat according to one embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a front elevation view of a puppet in use according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings, and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

Looking to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a puppet 100 for an appendage according to one embodiment of the invention. There is illustrated a display member 110, a backing member 120 coupled to the display member, and an appendage coupling member 130 coupled to the backing member 120 and configured to couple to an appendage.

A display member 110 may be any configuration or design configured to communicate visually. For a non-limiting example, a display member 110 may imitate a football uniform. In another non-limiting example, a display member 110 may illustrate an animal. One skilled in the art would realize that the variety of display members 110, display member configurations, and display member designs are plethoric and innumerable and limited only by the combined imagination of all of humanity.

A display member 110 may be larger in size, particularly in a profile size, than an appendage. In a non-limiting example, a display member 110 may completely obscure an appendage from one or more points of view when in use. Also, a display member 110 may completely obscure all other portions of a puppet 100 from one or more points of view when in use. Thereby, a display member 110 may dominate a visual appearance of a puppet when in use.

There is shown a backing member 120 coupled to the display member 110, preferably at a rear face of the display member 110. A backing member 120 may shield an appendage from direct contact with a display member 110 when in use. As a non-limiting example, a backing member 120 may be of a softer and/or more comfortable material than a display member 110 and therefore may protect an appendage from undesired contact with a display member 110. This may be desired in cases such but not limited to wherein a display member 110 may sacrifice properties such as but not limited to tactile properties such as pliability, softness, etc. to gain visual advantages such as crispness, reliability of image configuration, etc. Therefore, a display member 110 may be less comfortable than desired and a backing member 120 disposed at an interface between the display member 110 and the appendage may be configured to satisfy property requirements such as those related to comfort, control, adaptability, etc.

There is also shown an appendage coupling member 130 that is coupled to the backing member 120 and thereby coupled indirectly to the display member 110. The appendage coupling member 130 illustrated includes a transverse member 132 coupled at each of two ends 122 and 124 to the backing member 120, thereby forming a loop 210 with the backing member 120. The backing member 120 and/or the appendage coupling member 130 may be of an elastic material, thereby enhancing the variety of appendages to which the puppet 100 may attach. The backing member 120 and appendage coupling member 130 may be coextensive and/or formed from a single piece of material. Additionally, wherein the transverse member 132 has a dimension in the longitudinal axis of the puppet 100 less than that of the backing member 120, a puppet 100 and/or backing member having a height greater than that of the appendage may be coupled thereto. Thereby, a puppet 100 and/or backing member 120 may be coupled to an appendage of a substantially smaller size.

The backing member 120 and the appendage coupling member 130 may be a combined member 200 from a single unit of fabric formed into a cylinder-like structure having a seam 220 running along a long axis of the combined member 200. Preferably stitching is internal the combined member 200 and the seam 220 is disposed at a substantially rearward portion of the combined member 200, as illustrated.

FIG. 3 illustrates a puppet hat 300 according to one embodiment of the invention. There is shown a hat display 310 having a pair of coupling members 320 attached thereto. The hat display 310 may be configured to fit over and/or around a top of an appendage, thereby resting the puppet hat 300 on the appendage.

In operation, the hat display 310 rests on the appendage and the pair of coupling members 320 extend down a side of the puppet 100 (see FIG. 1), preferably along a side of a backing member 120 (see FIG. 1) or appendage coupling member 130 (see FIG. 1). The pair of coupling members 320 may include one or more extension members 322 and/or one or more coupling tabs 324, wherein an extension member 322 may enable a coupling tab 324 to extend sufficiently to couple to a puppet 100 at a display member 110, a backing member 120, and/or an appendage coupling member 130. The pair of coupling members 320 couple to the puppet 100, preferably using hook and loop coupling wherein the coupling members include hook portions configured to couple to the backing member 120 and/or the appendage coupling member 130, thereby attaching the puppet hat 300 to the puppet 100, preferably such that the puppet hat 300 appears as a congruous part of the visual display provided by the puppet 100, while a majority of the pair of coupling members 320 are concealed behind the display member 110 (see FIG. 1). A hat display 310 and/or puppet hat 300 may include decorative members such as but not limited to hair coupled about a bottom of a hat display 310 and/or puppet hat 300. Such a decorative member may lend an appearance to an appendage to which the puppet hat 300 may be attached, for example making it appear as though the appendage were a person wearing a hat. The hat member may also include a plurality of hairs visible when in use to give a semblance of hair on the head of a person.

Looking now to FIG. 4, there is a front elevation view of a puppet in use according to one embodiment of the invention. In particular, there is shown an appendage 504 having a puppet coupled thereto such that the ornamentation member of the display member 110 is displayed. The ornamentation member also includes a curved collar portion 502 disposed near a top portion of the ornamentation member and defining a window through which a portion of an appendage may be seen when the puppet is in use. There is also a hat member 300 removably coupled over a top portion of the appendage 504, thereby obscuring the top portion of the appendage 504.

Advantageously, the puppet alters the appearance of an appendage in a safe and comfortable way. Further, the appendage, so adorned, appears as a small person, especially wherein the hat further obscures the top portion of the appendage. This is particularly useful wherein outer boundary shape is a very important factor in image recognition, with top outer boundaries perhaps being the most important. Accordingly, wherein the top outer boundary of the appendage is obscured and replaced with an anthropomorphizing ornamentation, it is easier for a viewer to exercise the imagination in viewing the appendage as a football player, fireman, soldier, etc.

To further the illusion, any hat coupling members may be offset about the circumference of the hat member to the rear, such that the appendage itself obscures the hat coupling members. Also, the ornamentation member 110 may be sized such that it has a larger width than the intended appendage such that when in use the appendage and the appendage coupling member are obscured by the ornamentation member. Accordingly, coupling members of the puppet are not displayed when the puppet is in use.

It is understood that the above-described preferred embodiments are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiment is to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claim rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

For example, although the figures illustrate a single transverse member, it is envisioned that there may be a plurality of transverse members. Further, a transverse member is not restricted to substantially orthogonal orientation (as shown in the illustrations) with respect to the longitudinal axis of a backing member or a display member. Also, while a transverse member may be an extended portion of a backing member and/or may be a portion of a tube including a backing member, a transverse member may also be a separate and/or distinct member that may be coupled to the backing member and/or the display member in any way known in the art, including but not limited to buttons, snaps, hook and loop, interlocking members, pressure adhesive, glue, weld, stitching, and hooks.

Additionally, although the figures illustrate a backing member that is a substantially rectangular flexible member, the backing member may be substantially rigid and/or may be of any shape and/or size. As a non-limiting example, a backing member may be a circular sheet of substantially rigid felt having multiple layers (including one or more layers of non-felt material) and coupled to a display member. Typically a backing member is coupled to a display member by a glue, but may be coupled thereto by any means known in the art, including but not limited to buttons, snaps, hook and loop, interlocking members, pressure adhesive, glue, weld, stitching, and hooks.

Further, it is envisioned that a puppet may be configured to couple and/or couple to objects other than appendages, including but not limited to objects configured to resemble and/or simulate appendages.

It is expected that there could be numerous variations of the design of this invention. An example is that the display member may depict an animal, a person, a set of clothing (including occupation specific clothing such as uniforms and/or associated gear), art replicas, etc.

Finally, it is envisioned that the components of the device may be constructed of a variety of materials, including but not limited to fabric, cloth, elastic materials, rubber, plastic, resin, composite, metal (including metal foils), and/or fibers (natural and/or synthetic).

Thus, while the present invention has been fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made, without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention as set forth in the claims.