Title:
Inflatable water toy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An inflatable water toy that includes a base and a plurality of legs and that is shaped like a spider. In a first, upright position, the legs extend upward and outward so that the ends of the legs touch the water. The base for the inflatable water toy is positioned against the water, and one or more people may float on top of the base. In a second position, the inflatable water toy is turned upside down, and the tips of the legs extend upwards. Each of the legs thus forms a saddle in which a user may sit, and the base extends like a table top between the saddles provided by the legs.



Inventors:
Rockstad, Jordan G. (Andover, KS, US)
Marshall, Duane D. (Wichita, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/235999
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/27/2005
Assignee:
The Coleman Company, Inc. (Wichita, KS, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
441/129
International Classes:
B63C9/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
VASUDEVA, AJAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG, VOIT & MAYER, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A water toy, comprising: a buoyant base having a bottom, a top opposite the bottom, a first side, and a second side; a first plurality of buoyant legs attached to the base at the first side, each of the legs being C-shaped so that, when a bottom of the base is in contact with water, an open portion of the C for each leg faces the water; a second plurality of buoyant legs attached to the base at the second side, each of the legs being C-shaped so that, when a bottom of the base is in contact with water, an open portion of the C for each leg faces the water; and a single valve for inflating the first and second plurality of legs and the base.

2. (canceled)

3. The water toy of claim 1, wherein the number of legs is six.

4. The water toy of claim 1, wherein the base is oval shaped.

5. The water toy of claim 4, wherein, when the bottom of the base is in contact with the water, the portion of each of the legs attached to the base extends upward from the base in a direction away from the water.

6. The water toy of claim 5, wherein the legs are attached to the top of the base.

7. The water toy of claim 1, wherein, when the bottom of the base is in contact with the water, the portion of each of the legs attached to the base extends upward from the base in a direction away from the water.

8. The water toy of claim 1, wherein the legs are attached to the top of the base.

9. The water toy of claim 1, wherein the legs and the base are inflatable with a single valve.

10. The water toy of claim 1, wherein the legs are attached around a perimeter of the base.

11. The water toy of claim 1, wherein one half of the plurality of legs extends off one side of the base, and the other half extends off the other side of the base.

12. A water toy, comprising: a buoyant inflatable base having a bottom a top opposite the bottom a first side, and a second side; a first plurality of buoyant legs attached to the base at the first side, each of the legs being C-shaped so that when a bottom of the base is in contact with water, an open portion of the C for each leg faces the water; and a second plurality of buoyant legs attached to the base at the second side, each of the legs being C-shaped so that when a bottom of the base is in contact with water, an open portion of the C for each leg faces the water.

13. The water toy of claim 12, wherein the legs are inflatable.

14. A water toy, comprising: a buoyant base having a bottom a top opposite the bottom, a first side, and a second side; a first plurality of buoyant, inflatable legs attached to the base at the first side, each of the legs being C-shaped so that when a bottom of the base is in contact with water, an open portion of the C for each leg faces the water; and a second plurality of buoyant, inflatable legs attached to the base at the second side, each of the legs being C-shaped so that, when a bottom of the base is in contact with water, an open portion of the C for each leg faces the water.

15. 15-20. (canceled)

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related generally to inflatable products, and more specifically to inflatable water toys.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Swimming is a recreational activity that is enjoyed by children and adults, especially in the hot summer months. People flock to pools, lakes, and rivers to pass the time on a hot summer's day.

When at or in the water, people often enjoy a variety of different pool toys, including water games, dive toys, and inflatables, such as loungers and inflatable toys. These toys and floats provide entertainment and comfort while in the water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The following presents a simplified summary of some embodiments of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key/critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some embodiments of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

In accordance with an embodiment, an inflatable water toy is provided that includes a base and a plurality of legs. In an embodiment, the inflatable water toy is shaped like a spider, but may have a number of legs other than eight.

In an embodiment, the inflatable water toy includes a base to which legs attach. The legs extend upward from the base and curl in a C-shaped manner so that they extend initially upward from the base and then downward, almost directly opposite the initial direction of the legs.

The inflatable water toy may be used at least two different ways. In a first position, the bottom of the base for the inflatable water toy is positioned against the water, and the legs extend upward and curl downward so that the ends of the legs touch the water. One or more people may float on top of the base, or hang onto the legs. In a second position, the inflatable water toy is turned upside down so that the top of the base is in contact with the water, and the tips of the legs extend upwards. Each of the legs thus forms a saddle in which a lightweight user may sit, and the base extends like a table top between the saddles provided by the legs. The inflatable water toy may be used in a similar manner on land, with users situated between legs and the base serving as a table.

Other features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top side perspective view of an inflatable water toy in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top side perspective view of the inflatable water toy of FIG. 1, with the inflatable water toy shown in water, with a couple of users playing with the inflatable water toy;

FIG. 3 is a bottom side perspective view of the inflatable water toy of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a side view of the inflatable water toy of FIG. 1, shown upside down and in use in a swimming pool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, various embodiments of the present invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific configurations and details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. However, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. Furthermore, well-known features may be omitted or simplified to not obscure the embodiment being described.

Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numerals represent like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows an inflatable water toy 20 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In the embodiment shown, the inflatable water toy 20 has the appearance of a six-legged spider, but other configurations may be used. For example, an inflatable water toy in accordance with the invention may have more than or less than six legs, and the legs and/or rest of the inflatable water toy may be shaped differently than shown in FIG. 1.

The inflatable water toy 20 includes a base 22 having a top side 24 and a bottom side 26 (best shown in FIG. 3). In the embodiment shown, the base 22 is oval shaped, but the base may be shaped in a different manner, such as in a circle, a square, or another shape, whether symmetrical or not. The top side 24 includes a central upper indentation 28 (FIG. 1). Similarly, the bottom side 26 includes a central lower indentation 30 (FIG. 3). However, the base 22 may be otherwise configured and may include more than one indentation on either the top side 24 or the bottom side 26, or no indentations on either of these sides.

Six legs 32 are attached to the base 22. Each of the legs 32 includes a base 34 attached at the top side 24 of the base 22. In the embodiment shown, the legs 32 are attached at the outer perimeter of the base 22. Each of the legs is substantially C-shaped, with the open portion of the C facing downward in FIG. 1. That is, if a plane were to extend along the base (i.e., horizontally in FIG. 2), the open portion of the C would face the plane. Thus, tips 36 of the legs 32 point downward when the inflatable water toy 20 is in the upright position shown in FIG. 1. In this position, the legs 32 extend upward from and above the base 34, and then downward so that the tips 36 are positioned slightly below the bottom side 26 of the base 22. In alternate embodiments, the legs 32 may be attached at other positions on the base 22, or may be attached to one another.

In an embodiment, the inflatable water toy 20 is made of a suitable material for a floatation device. If inflatable, the material may be polyvinyl chloride (PVC), rubber, or another suitable material. The legs 32 may be welded onto the base 22 so that they share an internal chamber. In this manner, a single valve (not shown, but known) may be used for inflation of the inflatable water toy 20. In an alternate embodiment, each of the legs 32 may be closed off from the base 22 so that the legs are inflated separately from the base.

In an embodiment, the inflatable water toy 20 may be used in at least two different ways. In a first manner of utilizing the inflatable water toy 20, the inflatable water toy is placed right side up on water, such as is shown in FIG. 2. In this position, the bottom 26 of the base 22 rests against the top of the water, and the tips 36 of the legs 32 extend down to and are in contact with the top of the water. The buoyancy of the legs 32 may slightly push the tips 36 upward, depending upon the configuration of the legs relative to the base 22. As can be understood, because of the inflatable nature of the inflatable water toy 20, there will be some flexibility in the legs 32. In addition, gravity and/or buoyancy of the legs 32 may affect the positions of the legs.

In the position shown in FIG. 2, individuals may climb up onto and lay or sit on the top 26 of the base 22, as is shown by the user U in FIG. 2. In addition, users may hold onto the legs 32, or may lean on the base 22, as is shown by the user W in FIG. 2. The inflatable water toy 20 has the appearance of a spider floating on the water in this configuration.

If the inflatable water toy 20 is utilized in the position shown in FIG. 3, the tips 34 extend upward, and the bottom side 26 of the base 22 is exposed. The inflatable water toy 20 is shown in this configuration on the water in FIG. 4, with the top 26 of the base 22 of the inflatable water toy 20 in contact with the water. In this configuration, the legs 32 may have sufficient buoyancy so that the base 22 does not touch the water. In addition, each of the legs 32 forms a saddle in that the base 34 and tips 36 of the legs are positioned above the water or at high points in the water, and an intermediate portion of the legs is positioned below the tips and base. A lightweight user, such as the users Y and Z, may sit in the saddle formed by one of the legs, and then may utilize the base 22 as a table top or as a leaning surface. Typically, such a user would be a child, for example under 90 pounds.

The inflatable water toy 20 may also be used in the configuration of FIG. 3 while land, such as on a beach. In such an arrangement, users may rest in the saddle of the legs 32 or between the legs and the base 34 serves as a table. The C-shaped configuration of the legs 32 spaces the base 34 from the ground, providing an elevated table.

Other alternatives are available. As an example, the legs may be formed of a foam material, such as conventional float noodles, and/or the base may be formed as a different material. Other floatable materials may be used, instead of inflating the base 22 and/or the legs 32.

Other variations are within the spirit of the present invention. Thus, while the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, a certain illustrated embodiment thereof is shown in the drawings and has been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form or forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. The term “connected” is to be construed as partly or wholly contained within, attached to, or joined together, even if there is something intervening. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.