Title:
Water throwing toy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A throwing toy is disclosed for skipping across the surface of a body of water. The toy is generally disk shaped having an upper surface and a lower surface with at least one of the upper surface and lower having a convex shape. The toy is constructed of generally soft material and floats in water.



Inventors:
Riebersal, Michael A. (Cecil, OH, US)
Augspurger, Gilbert R. (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Sanders, Roger W. (Antwerp, OH, US)
Nighswander, Anthony R. (Hicksville, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/591832
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
11/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YOUNG, SCOTT E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (Toledo, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A throwing toy comprising: a unitary disk shaped solid main body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral outer edge, one of the upper surface and the lower surface having a convex shape adapted to cause a skipping in a fluid, wherein the main body floats in the fluid.

2. The throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein a diameter of the main body is about 3.70 inches and a radius of the convex shape is about 14.32 inches.

3. The throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein the ratio between the diameter of the main body and the radius of the convex shape is about 0.258.

4. The throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein the main body has a Shore A durometer between about 35 to 80.

5. The throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein the main body is constructed of a plastic material having a specific gravity less than the specific gravity of water.

6. The throwing toy according to claim 3, wherein the plastic has a specific gravity between about 0.80 and 1.00.

7. The water throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein the main body is a circular shaped disc.

8. The throwing toy according to claim 1, wherein the main body is one of a circular shaped disc having scallops formed on the outer peripheral edge resulting in a substantially star shaped disk, a pentagonal shaped disc, and an oval shaped disc.

9. A throwing toy comprising: a unitary disk shaped solid main body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral outer edge, one of the upper surface and the lower surface having a convex shape adapted to cause a skipping in a fluid, wherein the main body has a Shore A durometer between about 35 to 80.

10. The throwing toy according to claim 9, wherein the main body is constructed of a plastic material.

11. The throwing toy according to claim 10, wherein the plastic material has a specific gravity less than the specific gravity of water.

12. The throwing toy according to claim 10, wherein the plastic has a specific gravity substantially equal to the specific gravity of water.

13. The throwing toy according to claim 10, wherein the plastic has a specific gravity greater than the specific gravity of water.

14. A throwing toy comprising: a unitary disk shaped solid main body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral outer edge, one of the upper surface and the lower surface having a convex shape adapted to cause a skipping in a fluid, wherein the ratio between a diameter of the main body and a radius of the convex shape is about 0.258.

15. The throwing toy according to claim 14, wherein the diameter of the main body is about 3.70 inches and the radius of the convex shape is about 14.32 inches.

16. The throwing toy according to claim 14, wherein the main body has a Shore A durometer between about 35 to 80.

17. The throwing toy according to claim 14, wherein the main body is constructed of a plastic material.

18. The throwing toy according to claim 17, wherein the plastic material has a specific gravity less than the specific gravity of water.

19. The throwing toy according to claim 17, wherein the plastic has a specific gravity substantially equal to the specific gravity of water.

20. The throwing toy according to claim 17, wherein the plastic has a specific gravity greater than the specific gravity of water.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/733,141 filed on Nov. 3, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a water throwing toy. More particularly, the invention is directed to a water throwing toy for skipping across the surface of a body of water.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Water throwing toys adapted for skipping across a body of water are well known in the prior art. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,383,052 and 4,463,954 are exemplary of throwing toys incorporating the features of the prior art.

The practice of skipping objects across a body of water has likely been enjoyed by humans since the dawn of time. The typical practice is to find a flat rock and throw the rock in such a manner that causes the rock to skip across the surface of the water rather than immediately sink below the surface.

To accomplish the skipping action, a person will typically grip the rock in one hand by placing the thumb on the upper surface of the rock, the forefinger against the outer edge of the rock, and the middle finger on the lower surface of the rock. The rock is then thrown using a side arm motion to orient the lower surface of the rock substantially parallel to the surface of the body of water. The throwing motion imparts a forward velocity to the rock and causes a rotation about the center axis of the rock. A rock successfully thrown in such a manner will skip across the surface of the body of water one or more times before sinking below the surface.

The skipping of rocks typically results in a contest between individuals. The contests often include such objectives as to see who can skip the rock the farthest or who can achieve the greatest number of skips or who can hit a specified target after the rock has been skipped across the surface.

People desiring to skip rocks typically spend more time searching for appropriately shaped rocks to skip rather than actually skipping the rocks. A toy skipping object allows a person to spend more time actually trying to skip the object across the water than hunting for the elusive ideal skipping rock. The toy skipping object also reduces skipping contests to a test of the throwing skills of the participants and removes the “luck factor” involved with finding a suitably flat skipping rock.

There are some shortcomings to the current toy skipping objects. The prior art toy skipping objects are typically constructed of a hard material to resemble the traditional skipping rock described above. A skipping object constructed of a hard material can result in undesirable damage or injury. Use is therefore limited to areas where risk of damage or injury is minimized. Further, the toy skipping objects typically do not float. The skipping objects sink below the surface of the water once the skipping action ceases. The retrieval of the skipping object from the bottom of the body of water, when sinking is undesirable, reduces the time spent actually skipping the object.

It would be desirable to have a water throwing toy adapted to skip across the surface of a body of water wherein ease of retrieval of the toy is maximized and flexibility, durability, and usefulness are optimized.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Compatible and attuned with the present invention, a water throwing toy adapted to skip across the surface of a body of water wherein ease of retrieval of the toy is maximized and flexibility, durability, and usefulness are optimized has surprisingly been discovered.

In one embodiment, the throwing toy comprises a unitary disk shaped solid main body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral outer edge, one of the upper surface and the lower surface having a convex shape adapted to cause a skipping in a fluid, wherein the main body floats in the fluid.

In another embodiment, the throwing toy comprises a unitary disk shaped solid main body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral outer edge, one of the upper surface and the lower surface having a convex shape adapted to cause a skipping in a fluid, wherein the main body has a Shore A durometer between about 35 to 50.

In another embodiment, the throwing toy comprises a unitary disk shaped solid main body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral outer edge, one of the upper surface and the lower surface having a convex shape adapted to cause a skipping in a fluid, wherein the ratio between a diameter of the main body and a radius of the convex shape is about 0.258.

The water throwing toy of the present invention is particularly useful for skipping across the surface of a body of water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above as well as other advantages of the invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a water throwing toy according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a top view of an another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a top view of another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a top view of another alternative embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description and appended drawings describe and illustrate various exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description and drawings serve to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any manner.

FIG. 1 illustrates a water throwing toy 8 according to an embodiment of the invention. The water throwing toy 8 has a main body 10 that is disc shaped and includes an upper surface 12 and a lower surface 14. The main body 10 has a substantially rounded outer edge 16 extending from the upper surface 12 to the lower surface 14.

The main body 10 as shown in FIG. 1 has a main body 10 that is a circular shaped disk. However, the main body 10 can have different disk shapes. FIGS. 4 to 6 illustrate different disk shapes of the main body 10. Like structure repeated from FIG. 1 includes the same reference numeral and a prime symbol (′) in FIG. 4, a double prime symbol (″) in FIG. 5, and a triple prime symbol (′″) in FIG. 6.

FIG. 4 shows a main body 10′ having scallops 20 formed on the peripheral edge 16′ to result in a star shaped disk. FIG. 5 shows a main body 10″ having arcuate segments 22 and substantially flat segments 24 at the peripheral edge 16″ to form a pentagonal shaped disk. FIG. 6 shows a main body 10′″ that is an oval shaped disk. It is understood that other disk shapes could be used for the main body 10 beyond what is illustrated herein without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.

A cross sectional view of the throwing toy 8 is shown in FIG. 2. The main body 10 has a solid interior 18. A corner radius 11 is provided at the junction of the outer edge 16 with the upper surface 12 and lower surface 14. It is understood that the outer edge 16 can be completely rounded or include a substantially flat segment between the respective corner radii 11. In the embodiment shown, the upper surface 12 of the main body 10 is substantially planar and the lower surface 14 of the main body 10 has a convex shape defined by a radius R. It is understood that the main body 10 can include a hollow portion (not shown) formed therein without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. It is understood that both the upper surface 12 and the lower surface 14 of the main body 10 can have a convex shape, as illustrated in FIG. 3.

The throwing toy 8 is soft or semi-soft and floats in water in the embodiment shown. This is accomplished by producing the throwing toy 8 with a soft plastic material that has a specific gravity that is less than water. In the illustrated embodiment, a Shore A hardness of the plastic material is between about 35 to 50 and the specific gravity of the material is between about 0.80 and 1.00. Two such materials which have shown to be effective for providing the desired softness and specific gravity are Santoprene™ and Vyram™, both of which are commercially available thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). It is understood that materials having a different Shore A hardness and a different specific gravity can be used as desired. A throwing toy 8 having a neutral buoyancy or which sinks can be used if the throwing toy 8 is desired to have these properties for use in a game, for example. Additionally, other materials can be used to obtain other desired characteristics for the throwing toy 8 such as, for example, translucent TPE or materials that glow in the dark.

The throwing toy 8 according to the present includes at least one upper surface 12 and lower surface 14 with the convex shape. The surface featuring the convex shape is typically the surface that contacts and facilitates a skipping across the surface of the water. However, the toy can be thrown to use the substantially planar surface, if provided, to contact and skip across the surface of the water.

In the embodiment shown, a diameter D of the main body 10 is 3.70 inches and the radius R of the convex shape is 14.32 inches. The ratio of the diameter and radius has proven to provide adequate skipability to the throwing toy 8. The overall diameter and radius can be modified while maintaining the ratio therebetween. Additionally, it is understood that other ratios between the overall diameter D of the main body 10 and the radius R of the convex shape can be employed to achieve a desired skipability of the throwing toy 8.

The throwing toy 8 can also be produced with an ornamental feature on at least one of the upper surface 12 or the lower surface 14. The ornamental feature can include a company logo, name, trademark, and the like making the throwing toy 8 a promotional item for marketing other goods or services. Such an ornamental feature provides a method of marketing for example.

In use, a person will typically grip the throwing toy 8 in one hand by placing the thumb against the upper surface 12, the forefinger against the peripheral edge 16, and the middle finger against the lower surface 14. The person throws the toy using a side arm motion to orient the lower surface 14 substantially parallel to the surface of the body of water. The throwing motion imparts a forward velocity to the throwing toy 8 and typically causes a rotation about a center axis of the throwing toy 8. It is understood that the throwing toy 8 can be gripped otherwise, as desired.

One or more people can engage in a variety of games and contests using the throwing toy 8. Additionally, the throwing toy 8 can be used to play fetch with a pet. The enjoyment and safety of such games is typically enhanced by using the present invention as compared to rocks or other skipping objects. The soft nature of the toy allows people to engage in various games while minimizing the risk of injury or damage to surrounding structures that the throwing toy 8 would impact. The softness of the main body 10 also enables a person to easily grip the toy while throwing and enhances the catchability of the throwing toy 8. In the illustrated embodiment, the buoyant nature militates against loosing the throwing toy 8 since it will remain visible on the surface of the water, whereas skipping objects that sink are easily lost at the bottom of a body of water.

The buoyant nature of the throwing toy 8 enables people to engage in some games that could not otherwise be played if using a skipping object that sinks. Any game that substantially requires the skipping object to remain at the surface can be played with the throwing toy 8. For example, a water polo like game could be played where the object is to skip the throwing toy into the goal of an opponent. Further, a horse shoe like game could be played where the object is to skip the throwing toy to come to rest at or near a floating target.

From the foregoing description, one ordinarily skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of the invention, and can make various changes and modifications to the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.