Title:
Water-spraying yo-yo
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wet play toy yo-yo that is adapted for absorbing water prior to use and for spraying that absorbed water out as the yo-yo spins during play. More specifically, a yo-yo having absorbent foam pads in each side of the yo-yo body which are immersed in or soaked with water prior to play, and which spray the water out in a radial stream as the yo-yo spins and causes centrifugal forces during play.



Inventors:
Wong, Veronica Pui Chung (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
11/266566
Publication Date:
05/10/2007
Filing Date:
11/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H1/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRANCIS EDWARD MARINO (MEREDITH, NH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A water-absorbing and water-dispersing yo-yo comprising: a frame comprising two generally circular and coaxial side portions having by a gap between, said two side portions being attached to each other by an axis rod coaxial therewith, a string having first and second terminal ends and attached to said axis rod at said first terminal end, wherein said side portions are adapted to receive and store water, and to centrifugally disperse said water when said frame rotates about said axis rod.

2. The yo-yo of claim 1 wherein said side portions comprise absorbent pads.

3. The yo-yo of claim 2 wherein said absorbent pads are soft and resilient.

4. The yo-yo of claim 3 wherein said pads comprise a sponge-like foam.

5. The yo-yo of claim 4 wherein said foam is an open-cell foam.

6. The yo-yo of claim 2 wherein said pads are covered by a fabric.

7. The yo-yo of claim 6 wherein said fabric is porous.

8. The yo-yo of claim 7 wherein said fabric comprises a decorative design.

9. The yo-yo of claim 1 wherein said string is elastic.

10. The yo-yo of claim 9 wherein said side portions comprise absorbent pads.

11. The yo-yo of claim 10 wherein said absorbent pads are soft and resilient.

12. The yo-yo of claim 11 wherein said pads comprise a sponge-like foam.

13. The yo-yo of claim 12 wherein said foam is an open-cell foam.

14. The yo-yo of claim 10 wherein said pads are covered by a fabric.

15. The yo-yo of claim 14 wherein said fabric is porous.

16. The yo-yo of claim 15 wherein said fabric comprises a decorative design.

17. A water-absorbing and water-dispersing yo-yo comprising: two generally circular sponge-like pads; a polymer frame comprising two generally circular and coaxial side portions, each adapted to receive one of said pads, said side portions having by a gap therebetween, and being attached to each other by an axis rod coaxial therewith; a string having first and second terminal ends, said string attached to said axis rod at said first terminal end and adapted to receive a player's finger at said second terminal end; wherein said sponge-like pads are adapted to receive and store water, and to centrifugally disperse said water when said frame and pads rotate about said axis rod.

18. The yo-yo of claim 17 wherein said pads are covered by a fabric.

19. The yo-yo of claim 18 wherein said fabric is porous.

20. The yo-yo of claim 19 wherein said string is elastic.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a toy yo-yo that is adapted for absorbing water prior to use and for spraying that absorbed water out as the toy is used. More specifically, it is a yo-yo having absorbent foam pads in each side of the yo-yo body which are immersed in or soaked with water prior to play, and which spray the water out in a radial stream as the yo-yo spins during use. Alternatively, the yo-yo can be used dry, with the foam pads rendering the yo-yo soft and safe in comparison to typical yo-yo's.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Typical toy yo-yo's are made of a body having two coaxial circular side portions connected by an axis rod, with a string attached to and wrapped spirally around the axis rod within a gap formed between the two side portions. The string typically has a finger loop at its opposite end from the axis rod. After wrapping the string almost fully around the axis rod, the player places one of his fingers through the finger loop, and flips the yo-yo downward or outward. As the yo-yo moves away from the hand, the unwrapping of the string causes the yo-yo body to spin rapidly about its axis. As it nears the furthest distance that the string will allow, its rotational momentum causes the body to continue to spin and to thereby start to rewrap the string in the opposite rotational direction around the axis rod. This causes the yo-yo body to move back towards the player's hand as the string is wrapped more and more around the rod. Numerous variations of play and games have been developed for yo-yo's over the years, as players have become more and more skilled with the use of the toy's rotational momentum and gyroscopic attributes.

All of the prior art yo-yo's known to the present inventor are adapted only for dry use, and all of the variations of play and yo-yo games known to the present inventor anticipate that the yo-yo is dry. In particular, although the yo-yo described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,652,345 comprises a “bubble container”, the bubble-making feature is for use apart from the typical yo-yo play.

Toys intended for use in or with water represent a rapidly growing product category, offering tremendous opportunities for sales to those companies that developing such toys. Such wet-play toys are used at or in swimming pools, at the beach, and in the yard, and combine the desire of children to recreate and have fun, and to get wet and stay cool during hot weather. Toys that wet the users and their competitors-in-play, or that require players to become wet, provide not only excitement and fun, but refreshment as well.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a toy that combines the enjoyment and skill that has come to be associated with yo-yo play together with the excitement and refreshment that is associated with wet-play toys.

It is more particularly an object of the invention to provide a yo-yo that disperses water on and around the user, and/or at the user's competitors-in-play.

It is a further object to provide such a yo-yo that is inexpensive and easy to manufacture.

It is a further object to provide such a yo-yo that is soft and safe.

It is a further object to provide a yo-yo whose construction allows for various ornamental designs with the change of only one component,

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention shall become apparent in view of the following description and drawings of the preferred embodiment thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view of a player using a yo-yo in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein the yo-yo is in the most downward portion of its travel;

FIG. 2 is a view of a player using a yo-yo in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein the yo-yo is near to the most upward portion of its travel;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the yo-yo of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of the Yo-Yo of FIGS. 1 through 3 taken at line 4-4; and

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of one of the body halves of the yo-yo of FIGS. 1 through 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 through 5 depict a water-play yo-yo in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.

As best seen in FIG. 3, yo-yo 100 has equal and opposite left and right frame side portions 104 separated by gap 102 and rigidly connected together across the gap by axis rod 106 to form yo-yo frame 108. The frame side portions and axis rod are preferably molded of a polymer such as ABS, although virtually any other comparable material will suffice. String 112 is tied around axis rod 106 at the string's first terminal end 114. The string is tied to rigid finger ring 116 at the string's opposite terminal end 118. String 112 is preferably made of a stretchable elastic material, as opposed to the non-stretchable string used in typical yo-yo, for reasons to be later explained, but non-stretchable string, wire, or any other suitable linear material could also be used while remaining within the scope of the invention.

Turning next to FIG. 5, the construction of water-absorbent pad assemblies 122 is shown. Semi-spherical sponge rubber pad 124 and plastic disk 126 are covered by and encapsulated within fabric stocking 128. The preferred type of sponge rubber used for the pads is open-cell foam, chosen for its low cost and superior water absorbing/releasing qualities. The stocking is preferably made of a polyester pique knit or jersey knit fabric, although any porous fabric could be used, or the stocking could alternatively be replaced by a plastic skin having holes suitable to allow water to pass into and out from the foam pads.

Decorative images may be printed on or woven into the fabric to improve the ornamental appeal of the yo-yo, and it can be appreciated that the mere replacement of only the stocking can thereby provide a dramatically different ornamental design.

As seen in FIG. 4, pad assemblies 122 are affixed to both left and right frame side portions 104 by glue, preferably a contact cement. The firmness of plastic disks 126 improves support to the pad assemblies 122 for gluing and thereby improves the bond between the pad assemblies 122 and the frame 108.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show yo-yo 100 being used by a player 150. With string 112 fully wrapped around axis rod 106 within gap 102, ring 116 is placed over one of the player's fingers 152. The yo-yo is then submersed in water (not shown), where pads 124 quickly absorb water through porous stockings 128, until the pads are saturated. The yo-yo 100 is then used just like a typical yo-yo, by casting it forward or downward as depicted. As the yo-yo 100 moves away from the hand 154, the unwrapping of string 112 causes the yo-yo frame 108 and pad assemblies 122 to spin rapidly about the axis rod 106. This spinning creates centrifugal forces that cause the water 160 to spray in a radial pattern from the pads 122, as shown in FIG. 1. By casting the yo-yo 100 towards a playmate, the player 150 is able to soak the playmate with a fine mist that is both refreshing and invigorating. The softness of pads 124 reduces the chance of injury or pain if the yo-yo accidentally strikes the playmate. As the yo-yo frame nears the furthest distance that the string will allow, its rotational momentum causes it to continue to spin, expelling all of the water it has absorbed, and to start to rewrap the string in the opposite rotational direction around the axis rod. This causes the yo-yo frame to move back towards the player's hand as the string is wrapped more and more around the rod within the gap. The yo-yo is then ready for refilling by dunking it again into water.

It should be appreciated that the soft and absorbent sponge rubber pads not only hold and disperse the water, but additionally provide protection to the players from injury. A less preferred embodiment that is anticipated by the inventor but not shown in the drawings has hollow blow-molded frame side portions capable of holding a supply of water, with holes around the peripheral edge to take in and disperse the water. The blow-molded frame could be made of a soft or rubber-like material for safety or could be molded with very thin walls to provide softness. In another less preferred embodiment, the stockings are made of a non-porous fabric, having holes around the peripheral edge to take in and disperse the water.

While the above describes a specific embodiment of the invention, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying invention and that the same is not limited to these particular embodiments except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.