Title:
Promotional Item
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A promotional item (10) includes a central member (12) having one or more receiving features (14, 16) adapted to removable secure one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18), such as business cards, credit cards, baseball cards, and the like. In an embodiment, the flying promotional item (10) comprises an aircraft (10, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700) in which the central member (12) forms a fuselage and the cards or card-like objects (18) form aerodynamic surfaces for providing aerodynamic capability to the promotional item (10). Thus, the one or more card-like objects (18) provide a plurality of independent functional uses. An instrument (22), such as a pen, pencil or stylus, made be disposed within the aircraft such that the tip (24) of the instrument (22) may be accessible by removing a nose section (20) or tail section (26) of the aircraft from the fuselage (12).



Inventors:
Victor, Robert J. (Sunnyside, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/576679
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
10/11/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H27/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DINH, TIEN QUANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETER J. RASHID (The Villages, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A promotional item comprising a central member (12) having one or more receiving features (14, 16) capable of securing one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) having a substantially rectangular shape at locations that causes said promotional item to resemble an aircraft (10, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700) that may or may not be capable of aerodynamic flight.

2. The item according to claim 1, wherein said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) have a dimension of approximately 85.60 millimeters by approximately 53.98 millimeters (approximately 3.370 inches by approximately 2.125 inches).

3. The item according to claim 1, wherein said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) have a dimension of approximately 3.5 inches by approximately 2.0 inches (approximately 89 millimeters by approximately 51 millimeters).

4. The item according to claim 1, wherein said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) have a thickness of approximately 0.76 millimeters.

5. The item according to claim 1, wherein said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) provide a plurality of independent functional uses.

6. The item according to claim 5, wherein one of said plurality of independent functional uses of said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) comprises an aerodynamic surface for providing aerodynamic capability to said promotional item (10).

7. The item according to claim 5, wherein one of said plurality of independent functional uses of said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18) comprises one of business cards, baseball cards, playing cards, credit cards, photographs, or the like.

8. The item according to claim 1, further comprising an instrument (22) at least partially disposed within said central member (12).

9. The item according to claim 8, wherein said instrument (22) comprises a writing instrument (22) having a tip (24) situated within a removable cap (26) of said item (10).

10. The item according to claim 1, wherein one of said central member (12) and said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects includes an exterior surface with promotional information thereon.

11. The item according to claim 1, wherein said aircraft (10, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700) further includes a vertical stabilizer section (26).

12. The item according to claim 11, wherein said vertical stabilizer section (26) comprise one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18).

13. The item according to claim 11, wherein said vertical stabilizer section (26) comprises a single substantially rectangular card-like object (18) having a “V” shaped configuration.

14. The item according to claim 1, wherein one or more receiving features (14, 16) comprises one or more slots (14, 16) formed in said central member (12).

15. The item according to claim 14, wherein said one or more slots (14, 16) are shaped to impart a cambered profile to said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18), thereby enhancing a stiffness and aerodynamic property of said one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects (18).

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention generally relates to a promotional item. More particularly, the invention relates to a promotional item and a method of making a promotional item that resembles, for example, an aircraft by removably securing substantially rectangular card-like objects, such as business cards, credit cards, and the like, to a central member in such a way that the card-like objects form aerodynamic surfaces, thereby providing a plurality of independent functional uses.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an unassembled flying promotional item including a central member with receiving features according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an assembled flying promotional item according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a flying promotional item including a protective shield or cap to protect a tip of an instrument that is oriented in the same direction to that of flight according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a flying promotional item in which the tip of the instrument is oriented in a direction opposite to that of flight;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a flying promotional item in which the tip of the instrument is oriented in the same direction to that of flight and is capable of being received within a fuselage;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a flying promotional item in which the tip of the instrument is oriented in a direction opposite to that of flight and is capable of being received within a fuselage;

FIG. 7 is another embodiment of a flying promotional item comprising a tail-less flying wing;

FIG. 8 is another embodiment of a flying promotional item comprising a canard;

FIG. 9 is another embodiment of a flying promotional item comprising a multi-wing or bi-wing plane;

FIG. 10 is another embodiment of a flying promotional item comprising a mono-wing plane;

FIG. 11 is another embodiment of a flying promotional item of FIG. 2 including a vertical stabilizer in the form of a card;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a flying promotional item including a “V” tail configuration; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a flying promotional item in which the tail assembly is integrally formed with the fuselage.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a promotional item 10 is shown according to an embodiment of the invention. The promotional item 10 includes a central member 12 made from a lightweight material, such as wood, plastic, foam, and the like. The central member 12 includes one or more receiving features 14, 16, such as slots, platforms, clips, and the like. The one or more receiving features 14, 16 are adapted to frictionally or adhesively grip one or more substantially rectangular card-like objects 18, such as business cards, baseball cards, credit cards, photographs, and the like. The exterior surface of the central member 12 and/or the card-like objects 18 may contain promotional information thereon.

In an embodiment, the promotional item 10 comprises an aircraft in which the card-like objects 18 are located in positions that allow them to function as aerodynamic surfaces, such as wings, horizontal and vertical stabilizers, canards, and the like, even though the card-like objects are substantially rectangular in shape. By definition, an aircraft resembles an object that may or may not be capable of aerodynamic flight. The receiving features 14, 16 that removably secure the cards 18 may be shaped to impart a cambered profile to the cards 18, thereby enhancing the card's stiffness and aerodynamic properties. Thus, the card-like objects 18 are capable of performing a plurality of independent functional uses. For example, one independent functional use of the card-like objects 18 comprise the use as a business card, baseball card, credit card, photograph, and the like; and the other independent functional use comprises the use as an aerodynamic surface of an object that resembles an aircraft, such as a wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizer, canard, and the like. Stated differently, the card-like objects 18 have a primary use and a second use. A primary use of the card-like objects 18 may be when the card-like objects 18 are used as a business card, baseball card, credit card, photograph, and the like. A secondary use of the card-like objects 18 may be when the card-like objects 8 are used a aerodynamic surfaces of the object that resembles the aircraft.

As mentioned earlier, the card-like objects 18 are substantially rectangular in shape with four sides; two sides opposite each other having substantially equal length and the other two sides opposite each other having substantially equal length, with substantially perpendicular comers.

For example, the international standard size for a business card is specified by ISO 7810 ID-1, which is approximately 85.60 millimeters by approximately 53.98 millimeters (approximately 3.370 inches by approximately 2.125 inches), the same dimensions as banking cards, such as ATM cards, credit cards, debit cards, retail loyalty cards, or the like. In the United States, the dimensions of the business card is approximately 3.5 inches by approximately 2.0 inches (approximately 89 millimeters by approximately 51 millimeters). In addition, the card-like objects 18 may have a thickness of approximately 0.76 millimeters. Although the comers are substantially perpendicular for business cards, banking cards may have comers rounded with a radius of approximately 3.18 millimeters.

In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the promotional item 10 is in the form of an aircraft, and specifically a monoplane in which the central member 12 forms a fuselage of the aircraft 10. Once the cards 18 are affixed to the fuselage 12, the cards 18 provide lift and aerodynamic capability to the aircraft 10. The aircraft 10 also includes a removable cap 20 in the form of a nose section that can be removed or detached from the fuselage 12 of the aircraft 10, and a tail or vertical stabilizer section 26 that may be integrally formed with the fuselage 12 for providing aerodynamic stability to the aircraft 10.

To increase the utility of the aircraft 10, an instrument 22, such as pen, pencil, stylus, and the like, may be at least partially disposed and/or incorporated into the fuselage 12, as shown in FIG. 3. The instrument 22 is situated in such a way that its tip 24 is shielded or otherwise prevented from causing accidental injury when the aircraft 10 is thrown. One way such protection may be achieved is by having the nose section 20 covering the tip 24 of the instrument 22 when not in use, as shown in FIG. 3. Another way of preventing accidental injury is by orienting the tip 24 in a direction opposite to that of flight, as shown in FIG. 4. In this illustrated embodiment, the nose section 20 and the fuselage 12 of the aircraft 10 are integrally formed with each other, and the vertical stabilizer section 26 is detachable from the fuselage 12.

Yet another way of preventing accidental injury is by rendering the aircraft 10 aerodynamically unstable when the tip 24 is accessible, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In one example, the instrument 22 may be disposed or incorporated into the vertical stabilizer section 20 of the aircraft 10 in which the vertical stabilizer section 20 can be detached from the fuselage 12, thereby rendering the aircraft 10 aerodynamically unstable. In another example, the instrument 22 may be disposed or incorporated into the nose section 20 of the aircraft 10 in which the nose section 20 can be detached from the fuselage 12, thereby rendering the aircraft 10 aerodynamically unstable. It is noted that the configuration shown in FIG. 4 can be considered to render the flight capabilities of the aircraft 10 inoperable.

It will be appreciated that other ways of preventing accidental injury by the tip 24 of the instrument 22 are within the scope of the invention. For example, the tip 24 of the instrument 22 can be mechanically retracting into the fuselage 12 of the aircraft 10.

It will also be appreciated that many configurations of the promotional item 10 are within the scope of the invention. Other possible configurations for the promotional item 10 include, but are not limited to, a tail-less flying wing aircraft 100 as shown in FIG. 7; a canard aircraft 200 as shown in FIG. 8; and a multi-wing aircraft 300 as shown in FIG. 9. Furthermore, any of the above configurations may be formed by using only a single card 18, rather than a plurality of cards 18 for the wing structure of an mono-wing aircraft 400, as shown in FIG. 10.

As shown in FIG. 2, the vertical stabilizer section 26 is formed as part of the fuselage 12 in a cruciform tail configuration. Alternatively, the vertical stabilizer section 26 may consist of a separate card 18 of an aircraft 500, as shown in FIG. 11. However, the vertical stabilizer section 26 may be formed by bending a single card 18 into a “V” tail configuration of an aircraft 600, as shown in FIG. 12. Alternatively, the entire vertical stabilizer section 26 may be formed as part of the fuselage 12 with no cards 18 being used in an aircraft 700, as shown in FIG. 13.

The invention may be imprinted or otherwise decorated to enhance its use as a marketing or promotional item. Furthermore, the invention is not limited to business cards, but may be adapted to employ baseball cards, playing cards, credit cards, photographs, or any other similarly thin, card-like object.

The present invention has been described with reference to certain exemplary embodiments thereof. However, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that it is possible to embody the invention in specific forms other than those of the exemplary embodiments described above. This may be done without departing from the spirit of the invention. The exemplary embodiments are merely illustrative and should not be considered restrictive in any way. The scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents, rather than by the preceding description.