Title:
Variable vibrating candy holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Variable vibrating candy holder comprising a handle housing a battery power source with a switch and joined to the handle through a resilient coupling, there is a variable vibrating device, consisting in, but not limited to, a small motor inside a plastic case, onto whose shaft, pointing away from the user's face, is securely attached a rotary element provided with an eccentric mass which can be displaced to modify the amplitude of vibration, while in opposite direction, pointing toward the user's face there is a support to which is attached a replaceable sucker candy, in such a manner, that when the user turns on the power, the unbalanced rotary element vibrates transmitting an amusing vibration motion to the candy, and this toy can be combined with other miniature devices to provide diverse effects such as blinking colored lights, pleasant sounds and gentle scented breeze.



Inventors:
Fernandez, Rodolfo (Kings Mountain, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/405163
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
04/15/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070224909Child Receiving Device with Child Entertainment SystemSeptember, 2007Schoenfelder et al.
20070128972Photo-chromic and phosphorescent toysJune, 2007Schmidt et al.
20100099327AUDIO ANIMATION SYSTEMApril, 2010Binyamin
20080102730Novelty deviceMay, 2008Ploog et al.
20040121699Toy construction block and method of manufacturing sameJune, 2004Ladner et al.
20090318055STUFFED TOY HAVING A RUBBER CORE AND METHOD OF ASSEMBLYDecember, 2009Mccann
20080107766SAND SCULPTING TOOLMay, 2008Cannetti
20070218800Auxiliary toys and methods of distributing the sameSeptember, 2007Benedict
20060183402Articulable shoulder puppetAugust, 2006Von Jabba
20060046608Turkey callMarch, 2006Moss
20090093184METHOD OF INTEGRATING OPTICAL FIBERS INTO FABRICS AND PLUSH TOYSApril, 2009Garbos et al.



Primary Examiner:
RADA, ALEX P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RODOLFO FERNANDEZ (Kings Mountain, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as invention is:

1. A variable vibrating candy holder comprising: a handle housing a power source consisting in appropriate batteries, and a miniature power switch; a separate adjustable vibrating device, connected at a convenient angle to the upper part of the handle by a resilient tubular coupling; and a candy holding element connected to the vibrating device case, to which are securely attached replaceable sucker candies pointing toward the user's face, such that when the variable vibrating candy holder is turned on, it imparts a pleasant vibration motion directly to the attached sucker candy, being the amplitude of said vibration motion adjustable, increasing the amusing effect while the candy is sucked by the user.

2. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, wherein the adjustable vibrating device consists in, but is not limited to, a properly shaped case at a convenient angle and distance above the handle, into which is encased a small electric motor, driving an unbalanced element hereafter, referred to as rotor, attached to the motor shaft which protrudes out of said case in a direction opposite to the user's face.

3. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 2, wherein said rotor is provided with an eccentric mass, whose radial distance to the axis of rotation is adjustable by the user turning said eccentric mass like a nut along a radial threaded screw-like element, varying the amplitude or intensity of the vibration motion in direct proportion to the radial distance of said eccentric mass to the axis of rotation of the rotor.

4. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, wherein the resilient tubular coupling between the handle and the variable vibrating device consists in, but is not limited to, a tubular bellow made of any suitable resilient material conveniently joining the vibrating device case with the upper end of said handle minimizing the vibration effect transmitted to said handle when the vibrating device is turned on and at the same time said resilient tubular coupling covers and protects the flexible electric cables connecting the vibrating device to the power source in the handle.

5. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, wherein the candy holding element consists in, but is not limited to, a resilient socket properly fixed to the vibrating device case, and to which is securely attached at a convenient angle toward the user's face, a replaceable sucker candy, in such a manner that the vibration motion is directly transmitted to the attached candy while it is being consumed by the user, increasing its amusing effect.

6. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 2, wherein the rotor is provided with miniature radial fan blades, such that when the holder is operating, a pleasant gentle breeze conveying the candy fragrance is directed toward the user's face.

7. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, wherein the operation of the vibrating device after turned on by the user, is controlled by a miniature electronic device limiting to a pre-established period of time the duration of the operation cycle.

8. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, wherein miniature sound and/or light emission devices, are conveniently mounted anywhere on the candy holder, enhancing its amusing effect.

9. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 8, wherein the sound and light emission devices are powered by appropriate power sources such as, but not limited to, replaceable batteries controlled through appropriate miniature electronic circuits which are activated by suitable motion switches.

10. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, which is built as a reusable device, provided with a removable cap to replace the batteries.

11. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, which is provided with an appropriate cover to protect the candy when it is not being consumed.

12. A variable vibrating candy holder as defined in claim 1, which is provided with a necklace to hang it around the neck whenever the user interrupts the consumption of the candy for a short time.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

(Not Applicable)

STATEMENT REGARDING FED. SPONSORED R & D

(Not Applicable)

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING

(Not Applicable)

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to lollipops or sucker candies holders in general, and particularly to vibrating candy holders, being the candies replaceable and provided with holding sticks or configured as novel designs with special features.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There are many patents issued to candy holders which impart motion to replaceable sucker candies, but very few include vibration as a feature, despite that it is a very practical and functional kind of motion to enjoy said type of candy.

All other kind of motions, such as rotation, wobbling, linear displacement, etc., in a certain way, make more difficult for the user to consume the candy. Vibration, on the contrary, contributes to the enjoying of sucker candies by the consumer, and furthermore, add a pleasant contact feeling to the action of sucking the candies.

Many patents of invention have been granted to candy holders to impart different amusing effects to the candy supported by the holder. However, although some of them include vibration among their features, only a few have included the vibration effect alone as a main feature, and most of them teach a vibration movement combined with rotation or other kind of movements, such as wobbling, oscillation, etc., which are less practical and pleasant to consume the candy than vibration alone.

During the search for related prior patented inventions only two appear using the vibration alone of the candy as a significant feature, but those, as all the other prior art inventions including vibration, do not provide as a novel feature the possibility to vary the intensity of the vibration imparted to the candy in such a simple manner as does the object of the present invention. Furthermore, in all patented prior art vibrating holders, the driving device causing the vibration effect is located in the handle, transmitting the vibration effect first and directly to the user's hand, so that the vibration is sensed, by the user's hand in all its intensity while the vibration effect imparted to the candy is partially damped.

On the contrary, in the candy holder object of the present invention, the vibration generating device is housed into a separate case connected to the handle through a resilient coupling, in such a manner that the vibration transmitted to the handle and in turn to the user's hand, is notably damped, while the maximum intensity of the vibration effect is transmitted to the candy directly attached to the vibrating device case.

Nelson et al. in their invention U.S. Pat. No. 6,743,072, teach a whirling amusement device and an associated method of operation wherein an object that could be a candy is attached at the end of a spring like extension and in which, among other features, the candy is subjected to vibration movements combined with whirling and wobbling motion. These features, though amusing, are not very practical for the user to consume the candy, jumping erratically from one side to the other in front of his/her face.

Coleman et al. in their invention patent application No. 2003/0228828 A1, teach a versatile candy holder combined with a granular reservoir into which the user can dip the candy to cover it with edible particles, but although it features a vibration effect imparted to the held candy, as in the previous case, the vibrating device is located within the handle.

Palmer et al. in their invention U.S. Pat. No. 6,383,536 B1, teach an interesting vibrating candy holder based on novel electronic circuits, activated by the user's tongue contact, but the vibration generating device is also located inside the handle and the candy is rigidly attached to it.

Therefore, in prior invention patents or applications, the vibration motion is originated inside the handle, so that it is sensed in all its intensity by the user's hand, what could be somehow unpleasant, and in none of them the vibration motion is easily variable.

In the present invention, the vibration motion is not generated inside the handle, but in a specially built component of the holder connected to the handle by means of a resilient coupling, so that the vibration effect transmitted to the user's hand through the handle is minimized. and almost all the vibration effect is transmitted to the candy which is directly attached to the vibrating device case.

In addition, in the present invention the amplitude of the vibration of the candy is variable, being provided with elements that allow the user to adjust it very easily.

Hence, as exposed above, none of prior art candy holders include among its features the variability of the candy vibration like this invention and the few candy holders that include vibration as an important feature, have the vibration generating device housed inside the handle, usually together with the power batteries, so that most of the vibration effect is transmitted directly to the user's hand, contrary to this invention, wherein the vibration generating device, with the candy directly attached, is apart of the handle and connected to it by a resilient coupling.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One of the novelties of the present invention consists in that the vibration generator, instead of being housed in the handle or the base of the holder, is located in the interior of a separate case, the vibrating device case, which in turn is connected to the handle through a resilient tubular coupling, while the candy is supported by an appropriate holding element which is directly attached to said case, in such a manner, that practically all the vibration effect is imparted to the candy and not to the user's hand.

Another novel feature of the present invention is that the vibration generated is variable and easily adjustable by the user, improving the amusement of the candy consumption.

The candies, in turn, can be like common lollipops, provided with solid cylindrical sticks, or hollow cylindrical or conical sticks, or simple stick free candies properly configured to be attached to the variable vibrating candy holder.

As an optional feature, the present invention can be provided with L.E.D.'s as integral part of the candy support to illuminate the candy from its interior.

Alternatively, this variable vibrating candy holder can be combined with pror art self illuminated candies, adding fun to the candy consumption.

In addition, the moving visible components of the variable vibrating candy holder can be also provided with L.E.D.'s which will produce pleasant light effects, controlled by appropriate electronic miniature devices.

These features and advantages, and some others, will become evident to those skilled in the art through the drawings and their descriptions illustrating the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a general view of a preferred embodiment of the variable vibrating candy holder object of the present invention comprising a handle, a resilient tubular coupling and the vibrating device case with an attached candy.

FIG. 2 illustrates an axial section view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in the previous figure.

FIG. 3 is a general exploded view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in the previous figures.

FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic view of a possible electric/electronic circuit for the previously shown embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates another schematic view of a possible simplified electric circuit for the same embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The variable vibrating candy holder object of the present invention comprises several basic components and can have as many supplementary components as desired. The basic components are: a handle wherein are conveniently housed appropriate electric batteries, an electronic circuit board and a miniature power switch; a properly configured case housing a vibrating device that can be a small electric motor or any other type of vibration generator with adjustable vibration amplitude; a resilient tubular coupling connecting and supporting the vibrating device case to the handle at a convenient angle in relation to said handle; and a special element to hold the attached candy pointing toward the user's face.

When the vibrating device comprises a small electric motor as in the preferred embodiment described, it is provided with an unbalanced rotary element or rotor mounted on the shaft of the small electric motor, which points to a direction opposite to the user's face and is provided with an eccentric mass that can be displaced by the user at different radial distances of the center of rotation, to adjust the amplitude of the vibration.

In addition, the rotor used in this preferred embodiment of the invention, is provided with an outer ring which is connected to its central hub by means of radial elements conformed like miniature fan blades in such a way that when the holder is activated, a gentle breeze carrying the fragrance of the candy is directed toward the user's face.

The variable vibrating candy holder, as an additional option to increase its amusement features, can be provided with an integrated section, or a separate attachment, properly conformed to encase a battery powered miniature electronic device, which is automatically activated whenever the variable vibrating candy holder is touched or moved by the user, or by any other adequate means, to play a pleasant melody and/or to emit colored continuous or blinking lights during a pre-established period of time.

In the case of light emission, the holding element, and other components of the variable vibrating candy holder may be made of translucent material, and with appropriate external surface to behave like an optical fiber, conducing the light emitted by the electronic device to the interior of the candies through hollow or solid sticks.

Any one of the components of this variable vibrating candy holder can be very similar in shape and/or function to prior art components, being the particular combination of them what constitutes the innovative aspect of the present invention.

All components of the present invention, in all their possible variations, can be produced by current manufacturing processes, which allow high rates of production, are highly efficient and reliable, and are very well known in the fields of confectionery and injection molding.

At the same time, this toy can be manufactured with the necessary quality control to guarantee the highest standards of safety for the users, who very often are kids.

In the consecutive drawings, the same or equivalent component or part of component is designated with the same reference character, although there are a great variety of different possible shapes for any of them.

Most main features of the variable vibrating candy holder are explained in the detailed description of the illustrative drawings but the embodiment of the present invention and each of its components may be much different and much more diversified than those shown in the figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the variable vibrating candy holder held by the user's hand 100, comprising a hollow handle 201, housing the batteries power source closed at its lower end by a resilient cap 204, and on said handle is conveniently located the switch push button 208 which is depressed by the user's thumb to activate the vibrating holder.

On top of the handle 201 and at a convenient angle, is coupled a resilient tubular coupling 205, to whose upper end is coupled a vibrating device case 202 containing the vibration generating device.

At the upper end of the case 202 pointing toward the consumer's face, is attached a resilient support 207 properly configured, to which, in turn, is attached a candy 300, that can be a current or a special kind of lollipop.

In this preferred embodiment, inside the vibrating device case 202 is housed a small electric motor whose shaft protrudes away from the user's face, in a direction opposite to the candy, through a small orifice in a resilient cover 206 closing the case 202.

Onto the motor shaft is tightly attached an unbalanced rotary element or rotor 203 such that when the user pushes the switch 208 activating the candy holder, the unbalanced rotor rotates as indicated by the curved arrow M1 imparting a vibration effect to the attached candy as indicated by the curved lines M2.

The rotor 203 is provided with a screw 203d in radial position, conveniently screwed to the hub 203a from the outer ring 203b, and onto said screw is mounted an eccentric mass 203e with a threaded orifice, that can be displaced like a nut by the user in order to modify the amplitude or intensity of the vibration effect, increasing or decreasing the unbalanced condition of the rotor, when the radial distance of the eccentric mass to the center of rotation is larger or smaller, respectively.

The rotor 203 can be provided with one or more radial elements configured like miniature fan blades 203c joining the outer ring 203b to the central hub 203a, such that when the candy holder is activated, a gentle breeze is sent toward the user's face, conveying the fragrance of the attached candy.

It is obvious that the variable vibrating candy holder object of the present invention can be manufactured with different compositions and configurations, including light and/or sound emitting miniature devices, as well as combined with prior art novelty candies.

FIG. 2 illustrates an axial section view of the preferred embodiment of the variable vibrating candy holder previously shown in FIG. 1, comprising a handle 201, into which are encased two conventional batteries 209, connected in series by means of the metal contacts 210, which are fixed by a rivet 211 to the resilient cap 204 closing the lower open end of the handle 201.

The negative electrode of the battery 209 at the left is connected through a metal contact 212a to one terminal of a miniature electronic device 214, while the positive electrode of the battery at the right is permanently connected through a metal contact 212b to a second terminal of the electronic device 214, being the electric circuit within said device normally open.

During a brief instant, when the user activates the candy holder pushing the button 208, the movable resilient metal contact 213 connects briefly the positive electrode of the battery at the right to a. third terminal of the electronic device 214, whose internal circuit then remains closed for a pre-adjusted period of time.

A vibrating device case 202 is coupled at a convenient angle to the upper end of the handle 201 by means of a resilient tubular coupling 205, through which, by means of three flexible electric conductors 215a, 215b and 215c, are connected other terminals of the electronic device 214 to the vibrating device which, in this embodiment, is a small electric motor 216, as well as to any additional element, a L.E.D. 217 in this case.

The closed end of the vibrating device case 202 points toward the user's face at a convenient angle in relation to the handle 201, and to said end is properly attached the resilient holding element 207, into which is inserted the free end of the candy stick 301a whose opposite end, in turn, is inserted into the candy edible part 301b.

In the embodiment shown, the candy holding stick allows the illumination of the candy by means of the L.E.D. 217 conveniently mounted on the closed end of the vibrating device case 202, inside the holding element 207.

The small electric motor 216 encased in the vibrating device case 202, has its shaft protruding out of the open end of said case in a direction away from the user's face, through a small orifice in the resilient cover 206 closing the open end of the case 202.

To the shaft of the motor 216 is securely attached a rotary element or rotor 203, comprising a central hub 203a and an outer ring 203b, joined to the hub by means of radial elements configured as miniature fan blades 203c.

As previously described in FIG. 1, the rotor 203 is provided with a screw 203d in radial position, conveniently screwed to the hub 203a from the outer ring 203b, and onto said screw is mounted an eccentric mass 203e with a threaded orifice, that can be displaced like a nut by the user in order to modify the amplitude or intensity of the vibration effect, increasing or decreasing the unbalanced condition of the rotor, when the radial distance of the eccentric mass to the center of rotation is larger or smaller, respectively.

When the motor is activated, the unbalanced rotor 203 imparts to the vibrating device case 202 a vibration that is transmitted to the attached candy holding stick 301a and through it to the candy edible part 301b, producing a funny and pleasant effect to the user consuming the candy, while said vibration is damped by the resilient tubular coupling 205 connecting the case 202 to the handle 201, so that little vibration reaches the user's hand.

In addition, the rotor 203 can be provided with light emission units activated by shock or motion such as the L.E.D. miniature device 203f conveniently located on the outer ring 203b, so that, when the rotor is rotating and vibrating, it shows an amusing colored light pattern.

Furthermore, like many other prior art candy holders, the variable vibrating candy holder can be provided with pleasant sound emitting miniature devices also activated by shock or motion.

The miniature electronic device 214 can perform many different functions to control time of operation, color and/or sound emission, etc., or can be eliminated at all to simplify the manufacturing of the candy holder.

If the electronic device 214 is eliminated, then the vibrating and any other additional electric feature will remain activated only while the user pushes the button 208 and the movable contact 213 touches the contact 212b, closing the electric circuit.

The variable vibrating candy holder can be manufactured using plastics and any other suitable materials in many shapes and colors, using diverse available manufacturing processes.

Different vibrating devices can be used to generate the vibration effect, but in all cases must be provided with simple means to adjust the amplitude or intensity of the vibration motion, and must be located in a case separated of the handle and joined to it by a resilient coupling.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded general view of the embodiment shown in the previous figures, where can be seen apart all main components, and particularly, the handle 201 and the vibrating device case 202, which appear divided in two halves: 201a and 201b, and 202a and 202b, respectively.

Both halves of the handle 201 can be assembled together by means of an appropriate adhesive or using screws, rivets or any other adequate assembling elements, although the resilient cap 204 and the resilient tubular coupling 205, could keep them assembled.

Both halves of the vibrating device case 202 can also be assembled by means of adhesives, screws, rivets, or any other adequate assembling elements, although the resilient tubular coupling 205, the resilient candy holding attachment 207 and the resilient cap 206, could keep them assembled.

FIG. 4 shows the electric scheme of the embodiment described in the previous figures, including the miniature electronic device 214.

FIG. 5 shows an electric scheme similar to that shown in FIG. 4, but simplified by the elimination of the electronic device 214.

It will be obvious to one skilled in the art that the general configuration of the variable vibrating candy holder can be greatly varied, so as the kind of vibrating device, the shape and construction of the rotary element when motors are used, the angle of the vibrating device case in relation to the handle, the type of batteries, etc.

In addition, the power can be supplied not only from electric batteries but also by hand, through levers, rack and pinion and flywheel mechanisms, or from any other mechanical power system such as windings, etc.

Furthermore, a gentle air stream can be provided from small-pressurized containers, rechargeable or disposable, filled with compressed air or any other appropriate gas, which may be sent directly toward the user's face carrying the fragrance of the candy attached to the holder.

The toy can also be provided with colored flexible elements which could be illuminated optical fibers and would be caused to move under the action of the gentle air stream from the rotor or by the rotary motion.

It can also be provided with a protection cover to prevent the contamination of any attached candy when it is not being consumed, so as with a necklace string to hold the toy from the user's neck.

Therefore, the above description is illustrative and not restrictive. The true scope and spirit of the invention resides in the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than in the given example. Modifications and variations on the embodiments described, or known to those skilled in the art, may be made within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.