Title:
Projectile launching toy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A projectile launching toy for launching one or more projectiles is disclosed herein. The projectile launching toy includes a plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers, a plurality of individual triggers each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers, and a master trigger. Each of the launchers is adapted to launch a projectile loaded in the launcher in response to actuation of the corresponding individual trigger. The plurality of launchers are further adapted to launch projectiles in response to actuation of the master trigger.



Inventors:
Sun, Steed (San Gabriel, CA, US)
Martinez, Ruben (Whittier, CA, US)
Fan, Peter (Torrance, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/591998
Publication Date:
06/28/2007
Filing Date:
11/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DAVID, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A projectile launching toy adapted to launch one or more projectiles, comprising: a plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers; a plurality of individual triggers, each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers; wherein each of the launchers is adapted to launch a projectile loaded in the launcher in response to actuation of the corresponding individual trigger; and a master trigger, wherein the plurality of launchers are adapted to launch projectiles in response to actuation of the master trigger.

2. The projectile launching toy of claim 1, wherein the plurality of launchers are adapted to simultaneously launch projectiles in response to actuation of the master trigger.

3. The projectile launching toy of claim 1, wherein: each of the plurality of launchers include: a housing that defines a first space adapted to receive a projectile, and a second space in fluid communication with the first space; and a compressor movable within the housing between a first position and a second position, wherein moving the compressor from the second position to the first position causes the compressor to compress air occupying the second space thereby pneumatically launching a projectile from the first space; and a biasing mechanism adapted to urge the compressor towards the first position; a retaining mechanism adapted to releasably secure the compressor in the second position; wherein actuation of each individual trigger releases the retaining mechanism of the corresponding launcher; and wherein actuation of the master trigger releases the retaining mechanisms of at least two of the launchers.

4. The projectile launching toy of claim 3, wherein actuation of the master trigger simultaneously releases the retaining mechanisms of at least two of the launchers.

5. The projectile launching toy of claim 3, further comprising the one or more projectiles, each projectile including a third space open externally, and wherein each launcher includes a nozzle separating the first space and second space of each launcher, and extending into the first space, the nozzle being adapted to extend into the third space when one of the projectiles is positioned in the one space.

6. The projectile launching toy of claim 3, wherein each housing includes a launch tube that defines the first space, and a cylinder that defines the second space.

7. The projectile launching toy of claim 6, wherein each compressor includes a piston adapted to reciprocate within the cylinder as the compressor is moved between the first position and the second position.

8. The projectile launching toy of claim 6, wherein each compressor includes a plunger having a first end disposed within the cylinder, and a second end disposed outside of the cylinder, the second end being user accessible for selectively manually moving the plunger between the first position and the second position.

9. The projectile launching toy of claim 8, further comprising a grasping tool adapted to be selectively secured to the second end and to provide a user with sufficient surface area to move manually the plunger between the first position and the second position.

10. The projectile launching toy of claim 3, wherein each compressor has a receiver, and wherein each retaining mechanism includes a retainer adapted to engage the receiver when the compressor is in the second position.

11. The projectile launching toy of claim 10, wherein each trigger includes a button, and wherein depressing the button causes the retainer of the corresponding launcher to disengage the receiver.

12. The projectile launching toy of claim 10, wherein actuation of the master trigger causes the retainers of the at least two launchers to disengage the receiver.

13. A projectile launching toy adapted to launch one or more projectiles, comprising: first, second and third triggers; a first pneumatic projectile launcher adapted to launch a projectile in response to actuation of the first trigger and not in response to actuation of the second trigger; and a second pneumatic projectile launcher adapted to launch a projectile in response to actuation of the second trigger and not in response to actuation of the first trigger; and wherein the first and second launchers are adapted to launch projectiles in response to actuation of the third trigger.

14. The projectile launching toy of claim 13, wherein the first and second launchers are adapted to simultaneously launch projectiles in response to actuation of the third trigger.

15. The projectile launching toy of claim 13, wherein: the first and second launchers each include: a housing that defines a first space adapted to receive a projectile, and a second space in fluid communication with the first space; and a compressor movable within the housing between a first position and a second position, wherein moving the compressor from the second position to the first position causes the compressor to compress air occupying the second space thereby pneumatically launching a projectile loaded in the first space; a biasing mechanism adapted to urge the compressor towards the first position; and a retaining mechanism adapted to releasably secure the compressor in the second position; wherein actuation of the first trigger releases the retaining mechanism of the first launcher, and actuation of the second trigger releases the retaining mechanism; of the second launcher; and wherein actuation of the third trigger releases the retaining mechanisms of both the first and second launchers.

16. The projectile launching toy of claim 15, wherein actuation of the third trigger simultaneously releases the retaining mechanisms of both the first and second launchers.

17. The projectile launching toy of claim 15, further comprising the one or more projectiles including a third space open externally, and wherein each launcher includes a nozzle separating the first space and the second space, and extending into the first space, the nozzle being adapted to extend into the third space of one of the projectiles when the one projectile is loaded in the first space.

18. The projectile launching toy of claim 15, wherein each compressor includes a plunger having a first end disposed within the housing, and a second end disposed outside of the housing, the second end being user accessible for selectively manually moving the compressor between the first position and the second position.

19. The projectile launching toy of claim 15, wherein each compressor has a receiver, and wherein each retaining mechanism includes a retainer adapted to engage the receiver when the compressor is in the second position.

20. The projectile launching toy of claim 19, wherein each of the first and second triggers includes a button, and wherein depression of the button causes the retainer of the corresponding launcher to disengage the receiver.

21. The projectile launching toy of claim 19, wherein actuation of the third trigger causes the retainers of both the first and second launchers to disengage the receiver.

22. A projectile launching toy, comprising: a plurality of projectile launchers each adapted to be loaded with a projectile, wherein each launcher includes a launching mechanism selectively movable between a first position and a second position, and wherein moving the launcher from the second position to the first position causes the launcher pneumatically to launch a projectile loaded in the launcher; a plurality of individual triggers, each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers, and each adapted to cause only the launching mechanism of the corresponding launcher to move from the second position to the first position when actuated; and a master trigger adapted to cause the launching mechanisms of each of the launchers to move from the second position to the first position when actuated.

23. The projectile launching toy of claim 22, wherein the master trigger is adapted to simultaneously cause the launching mechanisms of each of the launchers to move from the second position to the first position when actuated.

24. The projectile launching toy of claim 22, wherein: each launcher further includes: a biasing mechanism adapted to urge the launching mechanism towards the first position; and a retaining mechanism adapted to releasably secure the launching mechanism in the second position; wherein actuation of each individual trigger releases the retaining mechanism of the corresponding launcher; and wherein actuation of the master trigger releases the retaining mechanisms of each of the plurality of launchers.

25. The projectile launching toy of claim 24, wherein actuation of the master trigger simultaneously releases the retaining mechanisms of each of the plurality of launchers.

26. The projectile launching toy of claim 24, wherein each retaining mechanism includes a retainer adapted to engage a receiving portion of the launching mechanism when the launching mechanism is in the second position.

27. The projectile launching toy of claim 26, wherein actuation of each individual trigger causes the retainer of the corresponding launcher to disengage the receiving portion.

28. The projectile launching toy of claim 26, wherein actuation of the master trigger simultaneously causes the retainers of each of the plurality of projectile launchers to disengage.

29. A projectile launching toy, comprising: a plurality of projectile launchers, each including: a housing including a launch tube adapted to receive a projectile; a launching mechanism selectively movable between a first position and a second position, and adapted to pneumatically launch a projectile loaded in the launch tube when moved from the second position to the first position; a biasing mechanism adapted to urge the piston towards the first position; and a retaining mechanism adapted to releasably secure the launching mechanism in the second position; a plurality of release mechanisms, each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers, and each adapted to selectively release only the retaining mechanism of the corresponding projectile launcher; and a master release mechanism adapted to simultaneously release the retaining mechanisms from all of the plurality of projectile launchers.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/733,055 entitled “Projectile Launching Toy,” filed Nov. 2, 2005, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/735,055 entitled “Projectile Launching Toy,” filed Nov. 8, 2005, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/765,474 entitled “Projectile Launching Toy,” filed Feb. 2, 2006, the complete disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Over the years, projectile launching toys have proven to be a very popular type of toy. Not surprisingly, practitioners in the art have provided a variety of such toys utilizing various apparatus for launching projectiles. Such launching apparatus have included the use of stored energy within a spring acting directly upon the projectile, and the use of pressurized air acting upon the projectile, which is either derived from a pressurized reservoir or from a spring-driven pump that pneumatically compresses air within a compression chamber. The common factor of such projectile launching toys is to impart sufficient energy to the projectile to achieve successful launch.

Examples of projectile launching toys may be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,818,264; 2,321,076; 2,708,430; 2,725,869; 3,774,586; 4,137,666; 4,732,136; 4,841,655; 4,848,307; 5,156,137; 5,186,156; 5,224,464; 5,284,274; 5,343,850; 5,373,832; 5,381,928; 5,415,151; 5,529,050; 5,553,598; 5,653,215; 5,711,285; 5,803,060; 5,901,693; 5,975,068; 6,055,910; 6,067,975; 6,076,513; 6,250,294; 6,698,414; and 6,904,901; U.S. Patent Application Nos. 2002/0193045; and 2005/0183708; and Foreign Application Nos. GB 1,452,806; and GB 2,148,137, the entire disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference for all purposes.

Brief Description of the Drawings

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a projectile launching toy.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the projectile launching toy of FIG. 1 launching a projectile.

FIG. 3 shows a sectional side view of a projectile launcher from the projectile launching toy of FIG. 1 with the plunger in an uncocked position.

FIG. 4 shows another sectional side view of a projectile launcher from the projectile launching toy of FIG. 1 with the plunger in a cocked position.

FIG. 5 shows a rear view of the projectile launching toy of FIG. 1 with the rear securing plate removed.

Detailed Description of the Invention

FIGS. 1 and 2 show an exemplary projectile launching toy 10. In this example, the projectile launching toy is adapted to selectively launch a plurality of projectiles, either independently or simultaneously, and is configured for use with an action FIG. 12.

The projectile launching toy 10 may include a plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers 14, a trigger assembly 16, and a handle portion 18. Each pneumatic projectile launcher 14 is attached to the handle portion 18, and is adapted to selectively launch a projectile 20. The trigger assembly 16 is operatively coupled to each of the plurality of projectile launchers, and is adapted to enable a user to selectively launch (a) each of the projectile launchers independently; or (b) more than one of the projectile launchers simultaneously. The handle portion is adapted to attach the projectile launching toy to the action FIG. 12.

FIGS. 3-5 show aspects of an exemplary pneumatic projectile launcher 14 for launching a projectile 20. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, each projectile launcher 14 may include a housing 22, a compressor 24, a biasing mechanism 25, and a retaining mechanism 26. Each projectile launcher's housing 22 may include an inner wall 28 having at least a first portion 28a and a second portion 28b. Each projectile launcher's first portion 28a may define a launch chamber, wherein the launch chamber is a space within the housing having a size and shape appropriate for receiving a correspondingly sized and shaped projectile 20 therewithin. For example, the first portion 28a may be a tube or pipe that defines a substantially cylindrical hollow inner space appropriate for receiving a substantially cylindrical projectile. Each projectile launcher's second portion 28b may define a compression chamber in fluid communication with the launch chamber, wherein the compression chamber is a space within the housing having a size and shape appropriate for receiving a correspondingly sized and shaped compressor 24 therewithin. For example, the second portion 28b may be a tube or pipe that defines a substantially cylindrical hollow inner space appropriate for receiving a substantially cylindrical portion of the compressor. As described in more detail below, each pneumatic projectile launcher 14 may be adapted so that the compressor 24 reciprocates between a first uncocked position (shown in FIG. 3) and a second cocked position (shown in FIG. 4) within the compression chamber. As the compressor moves from the second position to the first position, the compressor compresses the air within the compression chamber thereby forcing air into the launch chamber, whereby a projectile 20 loaded in the launch chamber is pneumatically launched from the projectile launcher 14. The launch chamber and the compression chamber may be disposed adjacent to one another, or may be disposed separately, or even remotely, from one another, provided they are in fluid communication with each other.

Each projectile launcher's housing 22 may further include a conduit 28c, such as a nozzle 29, that separates and defines the fluid channel between the launch chamber from the compression chamber. The conduit 28c may direct air being forced from the compression chamber by the compressor 24 into the launch chamber, and/or into projectile 20 itself. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 and discussed below, nozzle 29 may extend into a hollow portion 30 at the center of projectile 20, which may be a space for receiving the air compressed by the compressor as it passes through the conduit.

As indicated above, each projectile launcher's compressor 24 is adapted to reciprocate within the compression chamber, thereby compressing the air occupying the compression chamber, and pneumatically launching projectile 20 from the launch chamber. The compressor 24, which may include a plunger or any other suitable structure, includes a first end 24a positioned within the compression chamber, and a second end 24b positioned outside of the compression chamber. The first end 24a may engage the housing's second inner portion 28b so as to form a substantially air-tight seal. For example, the first end may include a piston 31 having an o-ring 32 that provides a substantially air-tight seal with inner portion 28b, such that moving the compressor: (a) from the uncocked position (FIG. 3) to the cocked position (FIG. 4) along arrow X causes the piston 31 to draw air from outside the housing 28 through either the launch chamber, or through a one-way valve disposed in the center of the compressor (not shown), and into the compression chamber; and (b) from the cocked position (FIG. 4) to the uncocked position (FIG. 3) along arrow Y causes the piston 31 to compress the air occupying the compression chamber, and to force the compressed air through the conduit 28c into the launch chamber and/or into the projectile 20 itself. FIG. 4 shows arrows representing the air as it is being compressed within the compression chamber and forced through the conduit into a projectile. After the air has been forced through the conduit into the launch chamber and/or into the projectile, the projectile 20 is pneumatically launched from the launch chamber, as shown in FIG. 2.

The compressor's second end 24b is positioned outside of the compression chamber, and thus may be user accessible for selectively moving the compressor between the cocked position and the uncocked position. For example, as can be seen in FIG. 2, the second end 24b may protrude slightly from the back end of the pneumatic projectile launcher 10 so that a user can engage the second end. In some embodiments, the second end 24b may have sufficient surface area outside of the cylinder to enable a user to manually grasp and move the compressor with their fingers. In other embodiments, the second end 24b may lack sufficient surface area outside of the cylinder to enable a user to grasp and move the compressor with their fingers when the compressor is in the uncocked position. In these other embodiments, the second end may include one or more engagement members 34 (shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) for lockingly, or opposably engaging the corresponding engagement members 36 of a grasping tool 38, as shown in FIG. 2. The grasping tool 36 may thus function to provide a user with sufficient surface area to manually engage and move the plunger with their fingers when the plunger is in the uncocked position.

Each projectile launcher's compressor 24 may further include a receiver 40 for receiving a retaining mechanism 26, whereby the compressor is retained by the retaining mechanism in the cocked position. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the receiver 40 may be a notch on the compressor, or any other suitable structure, that is moved into position for engagement with the retaining mechanism 26, as described in more detail below.

Each projectile launcher's biasing mechanism 25 is adapted to urge the compressor towards the uncocked position. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the biasing mechanism may include a compression spring. However, any biasing mechanism may be used. The biasing mechanism may be disposed within or without the housing. The biasing mechanism may apply sufficient force so as: (a) to allow users of varying strengths to manually move the compressor against the biasing force (i.e. along arrow X); and (b) to cause the compressor to move from the cocked position to the uncocked position (i.e. along arrow Y) with sufficient speed to pneumatically launch a projectile from the launch chamber.

Each projectile launcher's retaining mechanism 26 is adapted to releasably secure the compressor in the cocked position. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3-5, the retaining mechanism may include a retainer 42, such as a latch or any other suitable mechanism, for engaging the receiver 40 on compressor 24. Each projectile launcher's retainer 42 may be positioned along a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the reciprocating axis of the projectile launcher's compressor 24. When the compressor is in the cocked position, the retainer 42 may reciprocate as shown by arrow Z between a non-retaining position (as shown in FIG. 3 and the two lower-most retaining mechanisms 26 in FIG. 5) and a retaining position (as shown in FIG. 4 and the upper-most retaining mechanism 26 in FIG. 5). The retainer may thus be moved into the retaining position, whereby the retainer engages the projectile launcher's receiver 40, and prevents the projectile launcher's biasing mechanism 25 from moving the compressor 24 from the cocked to the uncocked position. The retainer may thereafter be selectively released by the trigger assembly 16, as described in detail below.

Each projectile launcher's retaining mechanism 26 may include one or more guides for restricting the relative motion of the retainer 42. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, each retaining mechanism may include one or more lateral guides 46 for restricting the lateral motion of the retainer 42 relative to the retainer's reciprocating axis. Each retaining mechanism may also include one or more guide pegs 48 that matingly engage a slot or recess 50 on the retainer 42, thereby restricting both lateral and transverse motion of the retainer relative to the retainer's reciprocating axis.

Each projectile launcher's retaining mechanism 26 may be adapted to automatically engage the projectile launcher's receiver 40 when the compressor 24 is in the cocked position. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3-5, the retaining mechanism 26 may include a biasing mechanism 44 that urges the retainer 42 along arrow Z towards the retaining position when a particular projectile launcher's compressor 24 is in the cocked position (FIG. 4). The biasing mechanism may thereby automatically “cock” the projectile launcher 14 for selective actuation, as described below.

The projectile launching toy's trigger assembly 16 is operatively coupled to each of the plurality of projectile launchers, and is adapted to enable a user to selectively launch (a) each of the projectile launchers independently; or (b) more than one of the projectile launchers simultaneously. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, the trigger assembly 16 may include a housing 52, a plurality of individual triggers 54 and a master trigger 56.

Each of the plurality of individual triggers 54 may correspond to one of the plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers 14, and may be adapted to enable a user to selectively launch a projectile from the corresponding pneumatic projectile launcher independently of the other pneumatic projectile launchers. For example, each individual trigger 54 may be adapted to release the retaining mechanism 26 of the corresponding pneumatic projectile launcher 14. As shown in FIG. 5, each individual trigger 54 may be a button that protrudes from the housing 52 when the retainer 42 is in the retaining position (see the upper most retaining mechanism 26 in FIG. 5). The individual trigger 54 may be integral with the retainer 42, or may be a separate component of the projectile launching toy 10. Actuating the trigger 54 (e.g. depressing the button) manually moves the corresponding pneumatic projectile launcher's retainer 42 from the retaining to the non-retaining position, thereby causing the retainer to disengage the compressor's receiver 40. The corresponding pneumatic projectile launcher's biasing mechanism 25 may thereafter move the compressor 24 from the cocked to the uncocked position, thereby pneumatically launching a projectile from the launch chamber, as described above.

The master trigger 56 may be adapted to enable a user to selectively launch a projectile from more than one of the pneumatic projectile launchers 14 simultaneously. For example, the master trigger 56 may be adapted to simultaneously release the retaining mechanisms 26 of each the plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers 14, such that any projectile launcher that is “cocked” launches a projectile from its launch chamber. As shown in FIG. 5, the master trigger 56 may be an actuator that is rotatably mounted behind the plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers along rotational axis R. The master trigger 56 may have: (a) a first portion 56a positioned within the housing 52 adjacent to each of the pneumatic projectile launcher's retaining mechanisms 26; and (b) a second portion 56b that protrudes from the housing 52. A user may selectively rotate the first portion 56a between a first rotational position (shown in FIG. 5) and a second rotational position (not shown) by moving the second portion 56b through path P. The master trigger 56 may also include one or more engagement members for selectively engaging engagement members on each of the pneumatic projectile launcher's retainers 42. Engagement members on the master trigger 56 and the retainers 42 may include spokes, slots, recesses, holes, bumps, nubs, cams, walls, gears, or any other suitable structure. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, the first portion 56a may be a wheel having spokes 58, and the retainers 42 may include cams 60 that are positioned within the recesses between the spokes. Each retainer 42 may be adapted so that the master trigger's spokes 58 can only engage the retainer's cams 60 when the retainer is in the retaining position (i.e. when the particular pneumatic projectile launcher 14 is “cocked”). Actuating the master trigger 56 (i.e. using the second portion 56b to rotate the first portion 56a from the first rotational position to the second rotational position) causes the spokes 58 to engage the cam 60 of any retainer 42 that is in the retaining position, whereby these retainers are moved to the non-retaining position and are disengaged from the corresponding compressor's receiver 40. The master trigger thus releases the retaining mechanism 26 of every “cocked” pneumatic projectile launcher 14, thereby simultaneously launching projectiles 20 from each of their launch chambers.

The projectile launching toy's handle portion 18 is adapted to attach the projectile launching toy to the action FIG. 12. As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the handle portion may include a rear handle 62, and a front handle 64. The rear handle 62 may be adapted to engage the action figure's shoulder when the action figure is holding the projectile launching toy in either a horizontal upright position, or a vertical lowered position. The front handle 64 may have a size and shape that corresponds to the size and shape of the action figure's hand, such that the hand may grip the front handle, as shown. The front handle 64 may also be slidably adjustable relative to the rear handle so as to enable attachment of the projectile launching toy to various action figures having differently sized bodies and/or arms.

Each pneumatic projectile launcher's projectile 20 may have a size and shape that complements the size and shape of its corresponding launch chamber. Each projectile may therefore be inserted into the launch chamber in a relatively snug manner, so as to enable pneumatic launching of the projectile. The projectiles 20 may be made of foam, rubber or any other suitable material. As shown in FIGS. 3-4, the projectile 20 may include a hollow portion 30 for receiving a nozzle 29. Air forced from the compression chamber through the nozzle by the compressor 24 enters the hollow portion of the projectile, thus causing the projectile to be pneumatically launched from the launch chamber. The projectile 20 may further include a plug 66 that fits into the hollow portion and creates a substantially air-tight seal. The plug 66 may or may not be integral with, or made of the same material as, the remainder of the projectile.

The projectile launching toy may have a plurality of differently sized and shaped pneumatic projectile launchers 14, each having projectiles 20 with a corresponding shape and size. Thus, the projectile launching toy may be analogous to a “gear pod” having different weapons, missiles, tools, or other projectiles launched from each projectile launcher. For example, a first projectile launcher may be adapted to fire a missile, a second projectile launcher may be adapted to fire a grappling hook, a third projectile launcher may be adapted to fire a cannonball, and a fourth projectile launcher may be adapted to fire a bola. Any number of projectile launchers may be used.

Some projectile launching toys may include one or more non-pneumatic projectile launchers instead of or in addition to the pneumatic projectile launchers. For example, some projectile launching toys may include: (a) one or more mechanical projectile launchers adapted to selectively fire projectiles with a spring, a rubber band, or some other type of mechanical device; (b) one or more cap actuated projectile launchers; and/or (c) one or more water guns. The master trigger for these projectile launching toys may be adapted to selectively actuate some or all of the non-pneumatic and/or pneumatic projectile launchers simultaneously.

The projectile launching toys disclosed herein may be fabricated from any suitable material, or combination of materials, such as plastic, foamed plastic, wood, cardboard, pressed paper, metal, or the like. A suitable material may be selected to provide a desirable combination of weight, strength, durability, cost, manufacturability, appearance, safety, and the like. Suitable plastics may include high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), or the like. Suitable foamed plastics may include expanded or extruded polystyrene, expanded or extruded polypropylene, EVA foam, or the like.

An exemplary projectile launching toy adapted to launch one or more projectiles includes: (A) a plurality of pneumatic projectile launchers; (B) a plurality of individual triggers, each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers, wherein each of the launchers is adapted to launch a projectile loaded in the launcher in response to actuation of the corresponding individual trigger; and (C) a master trigger, wherein the plurality of launchers are adapted to launch projectiles in response to actuation of the master trigger.

Another exemplary projectile launching toy adapted to launch one or more projectiles includes: (A) first, second and third triggers; (B) a first pneumatic projectile launcher adapted to launch a projectile in response to actuation of the first trigger and not in response to actuation of the second trigger; and (C) a second pneumatic projectile launcher adapted to launch a projectile in response to actuation of the second trigger and not in response to actuation of the first trigger; wherein the first and second launchers are adapted to launch projectiles in response to actuation of the third trigger.

Another exemplary projectile launching toy adapted to launch one or more projectiles includes: (A) a plurality of projectile launchers each adapted to be loaded with a projectile, wherein each launcher includes a launching mechanism selectively movable between a first position and a second position, and wherein moving the launcher from the second position to the first position causes the launcher pneumatically to launch a projectile loaded in the launcher; (B) a plurality of individual triggers, each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers, and each adapted to cause only the launching mechanism of the corresponding launcher to move from the second position to the first position when actuated; and (C) a master trigger adapted to cause the launching mechanisms of each of the launchers to move from the second position to the first position when actuated.

Another exemplary projectile launching toy adapted to launch one or more projectiles includes: (A) a plurality of projectile launchers, each including (i) a housing including a launch tube adapted to receive a projectile, (ii) a launching mechanism selectively movable between a first position and a second position, and adapted to pneumatically launch a projectile loaded in the launch tube when moved from the second position to the first position, (iii) a biasing mechanism adapted to urge the piston towards the first position, and (iv) a retaining mechanism adapted to releasably secure the launching mechanism in the second position; (B) a plurality of release mechanisms, each corresponding to one of the plurality of launchers, and each adapted to selectively release only the retaining mechanism of the corresponding projectile launcher; and (C) a master release mechanism adapted to simultaneously release the retaining mechanisms from all of the plurality of projectile launchers.

It is believed that this disclosure encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been described in its best mode, numerous variations are contemplated. All novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the described and/or illustrated elements, features, functions, and properties should be recognized as being included within the scope of this disclosure. Applicant reserves the right to claim one or more of the inventions in any application related to this disclosure. Where the disclosure or claims recite “a,” “a first,” or “another” element, or the equivalent thereof, they should be interpreted to include one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.