Title:
Confetti projectile
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A confetti projectile is provided for amusement purposes which includes a body having a plurality of spirally oriented individual and discrete members of confetti material. The members are preferably lightweight strips of material such as paper and arranged in a shingled fashion so that one of the ends of each strip is exposed relative to the adjacent strip in the body. The body is preferably encircled by a band which is releasably connected to itself by adhesive. Upon detaching the band from itself and throwing the body, the strips will fall away as the body encounters air resistance. The body travels through the air a much greater distance than would be possible in the case of the individual strips, but as the strips fall away and disperse, new strips are exposed to provide a greater area of distribution of the confetti.



Inventors:
Marietta, Michael S. (Pittsburg, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/357766
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KHATRI, PRASHANT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hovey Williams LLP (Kansas City, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A confetti projectile comprising: a plurality of members of confetti material arranged in a generally spiral orientation into a projectile body; a band positioned radially outboard of at least some of the members; and a retaining member for releasably holding said band in position to inhibit separation of the members of confetti material from the projectile body.

2. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 1, wherein said band substantially circumscribes said body.

3. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 2, wherein said body has a perimeter and said band is of a sufficient length to overlap itself and is of a distance greater than the perimeter of the body.

4. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 3, wherein said body is substantially disc shaped having a circular configuration in plan.

5. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 1, wherein said retaining member is adhesive.

6. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 5, wherein said adhesive is a thermoplastic adhesive.

7. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 1, wherein said band is operatively connected to a one of said members of confetti material.

8. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 7, including a bridge which adhesively connects said band to said one of said members of confetti material.

9. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 1, wherein said plurality of members of confetti material are thin, lightweight strips.

10. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 9, wherein at least some of said strips overlap others of said strip in a shingled arrangement.

11. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 1, wherein said plurality of confetti members include a first group of confetti members of a first color and a second group of confetti members of a different color, said second group of confetti members being positioned radially inward in said body relative to said first group of confetti members.

12. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 11, wherein said confetti members are made of paper.

13. A confetti projectile comprising: a disc-shaped body having a plurality of discrete elongated strips of a thin, lightweight confetti material which are spirally wrapped with at least a one of said strips oriented in a shingled arrangement relative to an adjacent strip; a band extending a distance greater than one circumference around said disc-shaped body, said band including an outer surface and an inner surface and having an exposed end and an interior end ; and a quantity of adhesive releasably connecting said inner surface to said outer surface.

14. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 13, wherein said band is connected to a first, radially outermost strip of said body.

15. A confetti projectile as set forth in claim 13, wherein said body includes first and second groups of said strips, wherein the strips comprising each group are of a common color but the color of the first group is different than the color of the second group, and wherein the first group is positioned radially outwardly on the body relative to the second group.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention concerns a projectile suitable for throwing which dispenses and distributes confetti as the projectile moves once a retaining band is loosened. More particularly, the invention concerns a projectile having a retaining band which is provided with a fixing element for initially surrounding and holding confetti strips. Upon detachment of the fixing element, the confetti strips are loosely positioned so that when the projectile is thrown or otherwise dispatched in flight, the confetti strips are dispensed and distributed.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Confetti is commonly used in celebration of a variety of events, and as used herein, confetti is understood to mean small bits or streamers primarily of paper. While it is intended that the confetti disperse, a problem is encountered in attempting to throw or otherwise project confetti any distance. Confetti is typically distributed in bags, where the user grabs a handful of confetti and throws the handful of confetti. Because of their low density, the bits or streamers of paper typically traverse only a short distance before the air resistance limits their travel and the confetti falls to earth. While throwing the entire bag holding the confetti is an option, the confetti usually fails to readily disperse and often a considerable amount of the confetti remains in the bag, and the bag itself is a distractive nuisance when thrown. Similar problems are encountered when confetti is dispensed by an explosive force, such as the well known “party poppers” where a small explosive charge is triggered and confetti streamers travel only a few (for example, 2 or 3) meters.

There has thus developed a need for an alternative method of dispensing confetti. There is also a need for a simple and cost effective confetti projectile which effectively holds confetti until the time of use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other objects have largely been met by the confetti projectile of the present invention. The confetti projectile presents a unique approach to retaining and distributing confetti, providing packaging which is attractive, inhibits premature dissemination of confetti, is inexpensive, fits conveniently in the hand, and is throwable in a manner which enables the confetti to be carried and distributed over longer distances than is usual. While designed for throwing by hand, the confetti projectile hereof could also be placed in a tube and driven by a propulsive charge.

Broadly speaking, the confetti projectile hereof includes a retaining band having a fixing element and a multiplicity of strips circumscribed and nominally held in place by the retaining band. The retaining band is preferably a paper or lightweight synthetic resin member which circumscribes the strips and the fixing element is most preferably adhesive which is placed proximate one end of the retaining band. The strips are preferably generally spirally oriented and may be of the same or different strip lengths. The winding of the strips is arranged so that the winding is of a decreasing radius, and may be overlaid, butted or most preferably shingled relative to one another. The strips, may be made of any lightweight confetti material such as tissue paper, metal foil or synthetic resin film, can move through the air a significant distance when wrapped, but as the strips separate from the projectile into individual strips, the air resistance rapidly slows their travel and they then are carried by any breeze until they fall to the ground. The confetti projectile is especially configured for throwing by hand, but the projectile may also be placed in a launcher where compressed air or the like can be used to launch the projectile. The confetti projectile hereof is simple to use and inexpensive, presenting an elegant solution to the challenge of obtaining significant projection distance and disbursing a quantity of confetti strips.

These and other advantages will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art with reference to the drawings and description of the preferred embodiment which follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the confetti projectile hereof in an initial constrained condition for transportation and storage;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the confetti projectile similar to FIG. 1, showing the exposed end of the retaining band partially pealed back to show the attachment of the retaining band by adhesive;

FIG. 3 is perspective view of the confetti projectile similar to FIG. 1, showing the outer surface of retaining band in a detached condition prior to separation of the projectile into individual confetti strips;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the confetti projectile from the opposite view of FIG. 3, showing the interior surface of the retaining band in a detached condition; and

FIG. 5 is pictorial view illustrating the separation of the individual confetti strips as the projectile moves through the air in the direction indicated by the arrow.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Referring now to the drawing, the confetti projectile 10 hereof is initially provided as a body 12 of a plurality of thin confetti strips 14, a circumscribing band 16, and a releasable retaining member 18 for initially holding the confetti projectile 10 in a unitary package. The body 12 constructed in a generally spiral manner and preferably has a generally disc-shaped appearance which is a product of the spiral construction of layers of thin, flat confetti strips 14.

In greater detail, the projectile 10 is preferably sized to fit comfortably in the hand of a thrower, with the width of the strips 14 and band 16 determining the thickness of the projectile 10. A preferable size of the body would be, for example, about ½″ to about 1″ in thickness and about 2″ to 4″ in diameter. The thin strips 14 may be provided of any typical confetti material, for example, of paper, synthetic resin film, metal foil or similar material which is lightweight and easily detached from the body 12 and dispersed as the projectile moves through the air. The strips 14 most advantageously are individual strips which are separate and discrete from one another, i.e. not interconnected to one another. Rather, the individual strips are preferably butted, overlaid or most preferably shingled so that one strip at least partially overlies another in the body 12. It is preferable if strips 14 of different colors are used in the body 12 so that when the body is viewed as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, a variety of different colors are seen. The strips 14 are wound onto one another, and most preferably a plurality of strips of the same color are arranged in circumferential adjacency (again, either butted, overlaid or shingled) to present plural groupings 20, 22, 24 and 26 of different colors in a bulls-eye arrangement. That is, one group 20 may be positioned at the radial center of the body, with groups 22, 24, 26 and so forth being located radially outwardly from the one group 20.

The circumscribing band 16 serves to retain the strips 14 until the projectile 10 is ready to be thrown. Because the strips 14 are lightweight and unattached to one another, the band 16 is beneficial to retain the strips 14 as a body. The band 16 thus surrounds and holds the strips 14 together as body 12 until just prior to or during flight. The band 16 may be of paper, foil or more preferably of a synthetic resin material which is more resistant to breakage or abrasion than tissue paper. The band 16 is preferably of the same or closely similar width to the width of the strips 14, and of a length sufficient to extend at least one and preferably greater than one circumference of the body 12. The band 16 thus preferably has an exposed end 28 with an edge 30 which lies on the outside of the body 12 in an initial, unwrapped condition as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, and an interior end 32 which is preferably not exposed in the initial, unwrapped condition. The band 16 has an outer surface 34 which may be imprinted with indicia or otherwise decorated and an inside surface 36. The retaining member 18 may be a quantity of adhesive 38 which serves as a lightweight, inexpensive and easily releasable attachment to hold the band 16 in its initial, wrapped configuration as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Preferably, the adhesive is a thermoplastic adhesive, such as a conventional hot-melt glue, which is positioned between the inside surface 36 adjacent the exposed end 28 and the portion of the body 12 radially inward from the exposed end 28. The use of an adhesive which is not tacky or sticky after the exposed end 28 is detached helps to avoid having the strips 14 cling to the exposed end 12. It may now be appreciated that the use of a band 16 having a length greater than one circumference of the body 12 in its initial condition shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 helps to ensure good retention of the strips 14 in the body 12.

The band 16 also preferably includes a connecting bridge 38 at the interior end 32 which preferably includes an adhesive 40, illustrated by slanted lines and lying between the bridge and the band 16 and the strip 14 as shown in FIG. 4. The adhesive 40 may be any conventional adhesive such as a pressure sensitive or other adhesive used to connect the band 16 to the first strip 14A. This connection by the connecting bridge 38 not only helps to hold the band 16 against circumferential movement relative to the remainder of the body 12 but also aids in initiating dispersal of the strips 14 when the confetti projectile 10 is launched. Also as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the strips are wrapped most preferably in a shingled condition, with strip 14A overlapping only a portion of strip 14B, strip 14B overlapping only a portion of strip 14C, strip 14C overlapping only a portion of strip 14D, and so on. This leaves an initial edge 42 of each strip 14 exposed for wind resistance as an aid in dispersal of the strips when the confetti projectile is launched.

In use, the thrower grasps the confetti projectile 10 in his or her hand and detaches the exposed end 28 by pulling on the edge 30. Because the strips 14 are then free to disperse, the thrower preferably retains the body 12 in the hand, and may pinch the exposed end 28 between two fingers. The thrower then flings the confetti projectile 10. By retaining the exposed end 28 between two fingers, the band 16 and first strip 14A attached thereto is removed from the remainder of the body 12, with the initial edge 42 of the strips 14 on the radially outermost part of the body 12 now exposed. As the body meets air resistance, the strips 14 rapidly separate from the body 12 as they fall from the body and the initial edges 42 of each strip 14 encounter wind resistance during the flight of the body 12. The strips 14 peel off from the body 12 as it flies through the air. The body 12 has a greater density than do the individual strips and thus those strips which have not come loose or become exposed to the air travel farther with the body 12 than do the strips 14 which are radially outboard therefrom. This produces improved dispersal of the strips 14 as the confetti projectile 10 sheds them during flight, as illustrated in FIG. 5. As noted above, the confetti projectile may similarly be launched by the use of compressed air or the like from a launch tube. The user simply detaches the exposed end 28 as described above and carefully places the confetti projectile 10 in the launch tube. When the compressed air is released, the confetti projectile 10 is launched from the tube and the strips 14 peel from the body 12 in a similar manner to the thrown projectile 10 as described above. As a result, a colorful display of strips 14 is dispersed over a greater path than could be achieved by conventional means, in a simple and economical manner.

Although preferred forms of the invention have been described above, it is to be recognized that such disclosure is by way of illustration only, and should not be utilized in a limiting sense in interpreting the scope of the present invention. For example, the strips may be provided of different materials as well as different colors, so that when dispersing, the strips have different qualties (e.g., some reflective, some not reflective). Obvious modifications to the exemplary embodiments, as hereinabove set forth, could be readily made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

The inventor hereby states his intent to rely on the Doctrine of Equivalents to determine and assess the reasonably fair scope of his invention as pertains to any apparatus not materially departing from but outside the literal scope of the invention as set out in the following claims.





 
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