Title:
Building card kit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A building card kit including a character, a plurality of building cards and printed material relating to at least one of the characters and the plurality of building cards. Each of the building cards preferably has at least one side thereof provided with indicia relating to the character.



Inventors:
Cassidy, John B. (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/414095
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
04/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/10; A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLANK ROME LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A building card kit comprising: a character; a plurality of building cards, each building card having at least one side with indicia relating to the character; and printed material relating to at least one of the character and the plurality of building cards.

2. The building card kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein the printed material is related to both the character and the plurality of building cards.

3. The building card kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of building cards has at least one slot for interconnection with the slot of another building card.

4. The building card kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of building cards can be assembled into a form that relates to the character.

5. The building card kit as claimed in claim 4, wherein the printed material contains instructions on how to assemble the building cards into the form.

6. The building card kit as claimed in claim 4, wherein the assembled form is sized such that the character can interact therewith.

7. The building card kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein the printed material contains instructions on how to assemble the building cards into a plurality of different forms.

8. The building cards kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein the printed material is related to the indicia provided on the building cards.

9. The building card kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of building cards comprise at least two different types of building cards.

10. The building card kit as claimed in claim 9, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in size.

11. The building card kit as claimed in claim 9, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in shape.

12. The building card kit as claimed in claim 1, wherein the printed material is at least one of a storybook, a pamphlet, and a set of instructions.

13. A building card kit comprising: a character; and a plurality of building cards, each building card having at least one side with indicia relating to the character.

14. The building card kit as claimed in claim 13, wherein each of the plurality of building cards has at least one slot for interconnection with the slot of another building card.

15. The building card kit as claimed in claim 13, wherein the plurality of building cards can be assembled into a form that relates to the character.

16. The building card kit as claimed in claim 15, wherein the assembled form is sized such that the character can interact therewith.

17. The building card kit as claimed in claim 13, wherein the building cards can be assembled into a plurality of different forms that relate to the character.

18. The building card kit as claimed in claim 13, wherein the plurality of building cards comprise at least two different types of building cards.

19. The building card kit as claimed in claim 18, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in size.

20. The building card kit as claimed in claim 18, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in shape.

21. A building card kit comprising: a character; and a plurality of building cards, wherein the plurality of building cards can be assembled into a form that relates to the character.

22. The building card kit as claimed in claim 21, wherein each of the plurality of building cards has at least one slot for interconnection with the slot of another building card.

23. The building card kit as claimed in claim 21, wherein the assembled form is sized such that the character can interact therewith.

24. The building card kit as claimed in claim 21, wherein the plurality of building cards can be assembled into a plurality of different forms that relate to the character.

25. The building card kit as claimed in claim 21, wherein the plurality of building cards comprise at least two different types of building cards.

26. The building card kit as claimed in claim 25, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in size.

27. The building card kit as claimed in claim 25, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in shape.

28. The building card kit as claimed in claim 21, wherein at least one building card of the plurality of building cards has at least one side with indicia relating to the character.

29. A building card kit comprising: a character; a plurality of building cards; and printed material relating to the character and at least one of the plurality of building cards.

30. A building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein at least one building card of the plurality of building cards has at least one side with indicia relating to the printed material.

31. The building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein the printed material is related to both the character and the plurality of building cards.

32. The building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein each of the plurality of building cards has at least one slot for interconnection with the slot of another building card.

33. The building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein the plurality of building cards can be assembled into a form that relates to the character.

34. The building card kit as claimed in claim 33, wherein the printed material contains instructions on how to assemble the building cards into the form.

35. The building card kit as claimed in claim 33, wherein the assembled form is sized such that the character can interact therewith.

36. The building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein the printed material contains instructions on how to assemble the building cards into a plurality of different forms.

37. The building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein the plurality of building cards comprise at least two different types of building cards.

38. The building card kit as claimed in claim 37, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in size.

39. The building card kit as claimed in claim 37, wherein the at least two different types of building cards are different in shape.

40. The building card kit as claimed in claim 29, wherein the printed material is at least one of a storybook, a pamphlet, and a set of instructions.

41. A building card kit comprising: a plurality of building cards capable of assembly into a form; printed material separate from the plurality of building cards, the printed material relating to the assembled form of the plurality of building cards.

42. A building card kit comprising: a plurality of building cards; and printed material relating to the plurality of building cards and a separate character.

43. A set of building cards comprising: a plurality of building cards, at least one building cards of the plurality of building cards relating to a separate character.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a building card kit containing at least one character and a set of building cards for assembly into a structure that relates to the character.

2. Brief Description of the Related Art

Building card sets have been known for many years. The cards in these sets are typically rectangular in shape and contain at least six slots which are used to interconnect one card to another and form a structure (i.e., a house of cards). Each of the cards in the set are typically provided with random images for purposes of decoration.

3-D puzzles provide an alternative to building cards. 3-D puzzles, however, are limited in that they can only be assembled into a single, pre-defined structure. In other words, a typical 3-D puzzle has only one specific location for each of the pieces in the puzzle. Thus, once a person assembles the 3-D puzzle into its intended form, the fun generally ends and any re-assembly of the same structure will be less satisfying to the person as they will not be as challenged during the assembly process.

Each of the above described building cards and 3-D puzzles have significant drawbacks in their entertainment and educational values. While the building cards and 3-D puzzles both provide a challenge in assembly, they are both limited in that the assembled structures are then not further utilized for education and/or entertainment purposes.

Accordingly, there is a need to provide a building-type kit that will not be limited in the number of structures that can be formed, as well as provide for continued fun and interaction with the structure that has been formed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention improves significantly over the prior art building cards and 3-D puzzles. In particular, in order to have building cards be more interesting, they are provided in a kit along with a character that is related to an assembled form of the building cards, and/or at least one side of the cards are printed with indicia relating to the character. Because of this combination, a person can use their imagination to create an unlimited number of structures with which the character can interact.

In a further embodiment, the building cards are provided unprinted. In this manner, once a person assembles a structure, they are free to decorate the unprinted portions of the building cards to make the assembled structure artistically unique in its own right. With this second embodiment, a person is also provided with an opportunity to express themselves artistically as well.

As used herein, the term “building cards” refers to cards that are provided with slots that allow interconnection with slots of another building card. As used herein, the term “character” means any object that interacts with the structure formed by the building cards, such as a toy figure, an action figure, a toy car, or the like, and that is not integral with the structure formed by the building cards. For example, the character may be a posable or non-posable figurine that is scaled to match the assembled structure, or other figurines and structures in other building card kits.

As used herein the term “related to” refers to items, images or other indicia that are related by a common story line, related in subject matter, or related by a common theme.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings a form which is presently preferred, it being understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangement shown, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a building card kit according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a sample character included in the building card kit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a large rectangular shaped building card;

FIG. 4 shows a square shaped building card;

FIG. 5 shows a building card in the shape of an arc;

FIG. 6 shows a small rectangular shaped building card;

FIG. 7 shows a set of building cards having different indicia printed on a side thereof; and

FIG. 8 shows an example of the printed material that can be provided with the building card kit of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 show a preferred embodiment of the building card kit 1 according to the present invention. The building card kit 1 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a character 2 and a plurality of building cards 4. Additionally, the building card kit 1 may also include printed material 6 such as a storybook, a pamphlet, a set of instructions or the like, relating to the character 2 or the plurality of building cards 4.

As shown in FIGS. 3-6, the plurality of building cards 4 can take many different forms, shapes and/or sizes. For example, FIG. 3 shows a large rectangular shaped building card 4a, FIG. 4 shows a square shaped building card 4b, FIG. 5 shows a building card 4c in the shape of an arc, and FIG. 6 shows a small rectangular shaped building card 4d. The building cards are not limited to the shapes shown, but can be any shape. Regardless of the shape, preferably each of the building cards 4 are provided with at least one slot 5 which allows that particular card to connect to the slot 5 of another card within the set to form a structure. Accordingly, the cards can be assembled in any way a person wants to create an unlimited number of free-standing structures.

The building cards 4 provided in the set are preferably comprised of laminated or unlaminated chip board material, or can be any other similar type of material such as cardboard, plastic, etc., and are bundled such that the cards 4 are attached together along perforations 7 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 7) which are designed to break the cards into the different shapes shown in FIGS. 3-6. Alternatively, the cards can be packaged “loose” in that the are removed or devoid of any frame or common sheet.

Preferably, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, it is preferred that at least one side of each of the building cards 4 is provided with indicia which relates to either the character 2 provided in the building card kit 1, the structure which is formed by the building cards 4, or both. For example, in FIG. 7 the building cards 4 in the set are shown for use in assembling various types of structures resembling castles. Thus, the building cards 4 are printed on at least one side thereof with images resembling parts of a castle. These images include, for example, doors, bricks, windows, turrets, flags, crests, wood planks, etc.

Although the preferred embodiment described herein shows a building card kit 1 wherein the character 2 is a knight and the building cards 4 are printed with indicia relating to a castle, it will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art that other characters and printed building card kits can be provided such as, a pirate and building cards for assembling various boats, a farmer and building cards for assembling barns and other farm structures, an astronaut and building cards for assembling various types of space stations/rockets and a soldier and building cards for assembling forts, a car and building cards for assembling garages, to name a few. The type of character and images printed on the cards are virtually limitless, and will thus only be limited by the imagination of the designer of the building card set. For example, multiple building card kits can be provided as related series or themes, such as ancient ruins or wonders of the world, famous skylines or skyscrapers, fantasy/futuristic themes, modern day heroes/superhero theme, exploration or expedition adventure, haunted houses, doll houses; cowboy themes, samurai/ninja themes, mystery/spy themes, famous battles/wars, national/city parks, sports arenas/coliseums/racetracks, or famous literary locations, t name a few.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 8, it is preferred that the building card kit 1 also include printed material 6 such as a storybook, a pamphlet, a set of instructions or the like, relating to the character 2 or the plurality of building cards 4. In order to assist the person in assembling a structure, it is preferred that the printed material 6 provided with the kit include instructions on how to assemble one or more different types of free-standing structures with which the character 2 can interact. In particular, the printed material can provide specific guidelines for creating different parts of the free-standing structure, such as wall, floors, roofs, towers, spires, bridges and other architectural elements which are related to the character, as well as drawings and/or photographs of the various possible structures. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, the printed material 6 is in the form of an instruction book that includes directions and drawings on how to assemble the building cards 4 into various structures such as the tower shown. Preferably, the assembled structures are sized for interaction with the character provided in the kit.

Accordingly, with the building card kit according to the present invention, a person is given a greater opportunity to express him or herself creatively. In particular, the person is allowed to design their own structure with the building cards that relates to the character provided in the kit. However, unlike traditional building cards, once the structure is assembled the fun and learning does not end because the person is now able to have the character interact with the assembled structure in a role-playing manner. Accordingly, by providing such a kit, a person's creativity is fostered as they are allowed to actually play and interact with the finished structure that they themselves have designed and assembled. Moreover, the user can change the structure and the fun starts all over again.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the building cards 4 in the kit are not provided with any printed matter or indicia (such as the cards shown in FIGS. 3-6). In other words, the building cards in the set are unprinted and preferably colored white. With this type of building card kit of the second embodiment, it is preferred that the kit be provided with printed material which includes instructions on how to assemble the blank building cards into a free-standing structure relating to a particular character, for example, the knight shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Once a structure is assembled that is to the liking of the person, the person can then proceed to decorate the blank building cards with their own designs. Thus, not only will the blank building card embodiment foster the creative abilities of the person in assembling structures, it will also allow the person to express themselves in an artful manner when they decorate the structure they created in a way that they desire, thus making each structure unique in its own right. In addition, and similar to the pre-printed building card sets, the structure assembled by the person is designed such that the person can continue their learning or role-playing activities by having the character interact with the assembled structure.

In alternate embodiments, stickers can be provided for further decorating the printed or unprinted surfaces of the cards, the surfaces of the cards can be adapted for use with dry-erase markers, the surfaces of the cards can be made magnetic for use with magnetic-type stickers, the surfaces can be adapted for use with reusable peel-and-stick decorations, etc. The building card kit can also be provided with separate parts for decorating/attachment to the slots in the cards, portions of the assembled structure, specific locations on the assembled structure (i.e., preformed holes in the cards), or the character. These separate parts can be molded of plastic or any other desired material, and have printed or unprinted surfaces.

It is also contemplated that supplemental refill card sets will be provided separately from the original set containing the character. The separate building card sets can be printed with indicia on at least one side of each of the building cards or left blank for future decoration by the person. The separate sets can also be provided with stickers, dry-erase markers, magnets, etc.

The present invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments. These embodiments, however, are merely examples and the invention is not restricted thereto. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that other variations and modifications can easily be made while remaining within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.





 
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