Title:
Tricyle carriage toy with dual drive wheels and characterized cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mechanized toy includes a carriage supported on three wheels with a decorative cover engaged with, and extensive over, the carriage. The carriage provides a platform integral with an axially directed yolk, the yolk engaging one of the three wheels. A drive motor is secured to the platform and rotates a drive axle engaging the other two of the three wheels which are placed in opposing juxtaposition. A snap engagement feature enables the cover to be attached to the carriage and to be removed from the carriage as desired. When several different heads are used with a single carriage, the heads may be interchanged.



Inventors:
Gutierrez, Roger A. (La Habra, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/437476
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H17/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROGER A. GUTIERREZ (LONG BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A mechanized toy comprising: a carriage supported on three wheels; a decorative cover engaged with, and extensive over, the carriage; the carriage providing a platform integral with an axially directed yolk, the yolk engaging a first one of the three wheels; a drive motor secured to the platform, the drive motor having a drive axle engaging the a second and third ones of the three wheels in opposing juxtaposition; and a means for removably engaging the cover with the platform.

2. The toy of claim 1 wherein the drive motor is mounted below the platform and the means for engaging the cover with the platform is at least one snap engagement fastener.

3. The toy of claim 2 wherein the at least one snap engagement fastener includes at least one recess in one of the carriage and the cover, and at least one correspondingly positioned extension in one of the cover and the carriage respectively.

4. The toy of claim 1 wherein the yolk and the first wheel is directed in one of rearwardly and forwardly relative to the drive motor and the second and third wheels.

5. The toy of claim 2 wherein the cover is formed to resemble a head.

6. The toy of claim 5 wherein the first wheel is positioned within the head adjacent a mouth feature of the head.

7. A mechanized toy comprising: a carriage supported on three wheels; a plurality of decorative covers, each alternately engaged with, and extensive over, the carriage; the carriage providing a platform integral with an axially directed yolk, the yolk engaging a first one of the wheels; a drive motor secured to the platform, the drive motor having a drive axle engaging a second and third ones of the wheels in opposing juxtaposition; and a means for removably engaging a selected one of the plurality of covers with the platform.

8. The toy of claim 7 wherein the drive motor is mounted below the platform and the means for engaging the selected one of the covers with the platform is at least one snap engagement fastener.

9. The toy of claim 8 wherein the at least one snap engagement fastener includes at least one recess in one of the carriage and the cover, and at least one correspondingly positioned extension in one of the cover and the carriage respectively, a terminal end of the at least one extension and the at least one recess formed for mutual frictional engagement.

10. The toy of claim 7 wherein the yolk and the first of the wheels is directed in one of rearwardly and forwardly relative to the drive motor and the second and third wheels.

11. The toy of claim 7 wherein the covers are each formed to resemble a head.

12. The toy of claim 11 wherein the first of the wheels is positioned within the head adjacent a mouth feature of the head.

13. The toy of claim 11 wherein the second and third wheels are positioned to opposing sides of the head.

14. A mechanized toy comprising: a carriage supported on three wheels; a decorative cover engaged with, and extensive over, the carriage; the carriage providing a platform integral with an axially directed yolk, the yolk engaging a first one of the three wheels; a drive secured below the platform thereby positioning a drive axle adjacent a supporting surface, the drive axle engaging at least one of the wheels thereby moving the toy in a selected direction on the supporting surface; the cover formed as an enlarged head with face positioned in a direction of travel of the toy; the one of the wheels sized as a dominant element of the toy.

15. The toy of claim 14, wherein the first wheel is positioned distally with respect to the enlarged head.

16. The toy of claim 14 wherein the first wheel is positioned proximally within the enlarged head.

17. The toy of claim 14 wherein the second and third wheels are positioned in opposing positions proximal to the enlarged head.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable.

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Present Disclosure

This disclosure relates generally to mechanized toys and more particularly to a tricycle carriage toy with drive motor and characterized cover, and to the manner in which the toy is constructed.

2. Description of Related Art including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Ogihara, U.S. Des 254746, discloses a design for a wheeled toy upright figure with a football type helmet as a character. Branson, U.S. Des 312492, discloses a design for a conical shaped wheeled toy robot. Pachol et al., U.S. Des 345400, discloses a design for a toy hamburger sandwich character. Hornsby et al., U.S. D469827, discloses a design for a wheeled toy character with crab-like claws. Robinson, U.S. D478132, discloses a design for a character extending from an automobile. Lewis et al., U.S. D498270, discloses a design for a walking head character. Carruth, U.S. D508968, and Carruth, U.S. D509860 each discloses a design for a wheeled character with prominent head and nose. Brown, U.S. D3078619, discloses a toy which provides a tumbling action and has a wheeled support member on which a movable body piece is supported, the support member having a base, a first pair of wheels supported adjacent the front of the base, a second pair of wheels supported adjacent the rear of the base, the wheels of each pair being aligned on a common axis, the wheels all having the same diameter and the axes being in a common plane and parallel to each other, the distance between the axes being approximately one and a half times the diameter of the wheels, the wheels of each pair being spaced apart slightly less than the wheel diameter, and the base being shaped to provide an unobstructed area between the wheels the body piece supported on the periphery of the wheels and having a central generally cylindrical body portion with rounded ends of generally hemispherical shape, the central portion having a diameter approximately equal to the wheel diameter and the rounded ends having a radius approximately equal to that of the central portion, the overall length of the body being substantially the same as the distance between the parallel wheel axes, so that the body piece may be cradled in the area between the four wheels whereby the body piece due to it s full shape will readily tumble and will not ride up the forward wheels and fall of the carriage. Coggeshall, U.S. Pat. No. 3,197,918, discloses an animated wheeled toy, adapted to devour a plurality of objects, the toy comprising a hollow body member having a head and face on the forward end, an open mouth in the head, a pair of wheels, an axle pivotally mounting the wheels on the forward end of the body member for supporting the body member on a surface, four large equally space paddles fixed to and extending between the wheels, a frame having a retaining tray pivotally mounted at the forward end on the axle, the tray being enclosed by the hollow body member, a retaining slide fixed to the forward portion of the tray, the slide having a curvature juxtaposed to the perimeters of the rear of the wheels and extending parallel to the paddles whereby the objects may be captured by the paddles, the paddles propelling the objects to the top of the slide thence into the tray. Hippely et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,334,078, discloses a toy vehicle that includes a chassis supported by a plurality of wheels. A body includes a jaw which supports a plurality of teeth and is pivotally secured with respect to the chassis. A lever mechanism is coupled to the body and jaw and operates in response to user imposed force to configure the vehicle in either a closed or open mouth configuration. Norman et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,944, discloses a toy that includes at least one endless stretchable loop supporting or defining a figure or representative object, the toy being sized and shaped for removable placement around a toy wheeled vehicle by tension exerted by the loop against selected exterior portions of the toy wheeled vehicle. Christopherson et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,699,096, discloses an action figure that includes an upper body having robotic features and a lower body interconnected with the upper body. The upper body includes a head and arms connected to a torso that connects to the lower body. The lower body includes construction tools, a chassis, and front and rear wheels attached to the chassis. The action figure has a sound generation system that generates a sound such as a whistle or a phrase by actuation of sound activating switches. Hollis et al, U.S. Pat. No. 6,749,482, discloses a multi-configurable toy vehicle that has at least two rotatable segments. Each rotatable segment includes a first side having a first design and a second side having a second design. Additionally, each rotatable segment is independently rotatable with respect to each other from a first side orientation to a second side orientation. A movement means, such as pivotal wheels, enables the multi-configurable toy vehicle to move on a surface. The movement means is associated with at least two of the rotatable segments to facilitate operation of the multi-configurable toy vehicle when any of the rotatable segments are in either of the first or second side orientations.

The related art described above discloses wheeled toys that present imaginative characterizations including prominent head structures. However, the prior art fails to disclose a three-wheeled toy and particularly one with a simplified carriage structure adaptable for use in a forward single wheel adaptation as well as a rearward single wheel adaptation. The present disclosure distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

A mechanized toy includes a carriage supported on three wheels with a decorative cover engaged with, and extensive over, the carriage. The carriage provides a simplified structure having a platform integral with an axially directed yolk, the yolk engaging one of the three wheels. A drive motor is secured below the platform and rotates a drive axle that is therefore low to the ground and engages the other two of the three wheels which are placed in mutually opposing juxtaposition with respect to the platform. The two wheels are driven by the drive motor and yet are able to be quite small due to the low deployment of the drive axle. In this way, the one wheel may be quite large and visually dominant. A snap engagement feature enables the cover to be attached to the carriage and to be removed from the carriage as desired. When several different covers are used with a single carriage, the covers may be interchanged and the single wheel may be leading or trailing depending on the configuration of the selected cover so that the toy may be converted from the appearance of a dragster, for instance, to that of a face-forward character.

A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is to provide a mechanized rolling toy with simple construction and operation.

A further objective is to provide such a toy with fanciful characterization.

A still further objective is to provide such a toy with mechanically interchangeable covers so as to change the appearance and nature of the toy.

A still further objective is to provide such a toy with three wheels wherein, depending on the cover selected, the toy may be configured with a single wheel in a leading or in a trailing position.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

Illustrated in the accompanying drawing(s) is at least one of the best mode embodiments of the present invention In such drawing(s):

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of one embodiment of the presently described apparatus with a first cover characterization partially covering a rear wheel;

FIG. 2 is a frontal elevational view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view thereof;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of an alternate second cover characterization;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the one embodiment with a third cover characterization and showing that the yolk of the invention extends to either side of the rear wheel; and

FIGS. 6 and 7 are vertical longitudinal sections through the cover, but not the carriage and wheels, shown as a side elevational view of the one embodiment and a reverse second embodiment thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The above described drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in at least one of its preferred, best mode embodiment, which is further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.

Described now in detail, as shown in the attending figures and particularly FIGS. 6 and 7, is a mechanized toy 10 having a carriage 20 supported on three wheels 31, 32, 33 and a decorative cover 40 engaged with, and extensive over, the carriage 20, the cover providing a design or characterization of the toy 10. The carriage 20 is constructed as a horizontal platform 22 integral with an axially directed yolk 24, and the yolk 24 engages a first one 31 of the three wheels at axle 25, i.e., the yolk 24 extends to both sides of the wheel 31 as shown in FIG. 3. Wheel 31 is free to rotate within the yolk 24 and is positioned to support the yolk above a supporting surface 5. A drive motor 50 is secured below the platform 22 preferably by screw fasteners or other common fastening means such as bonding agents (not shown), thereby positioning a drive axle adjacent a supporting surface for enabling wheels 32 and 33 to be small in diameter so as to be visually unobvious. Preferably, the carriage 20 and the cover 40 are plastic injection molded parts, but they may be made of alternative materials such as plaster, wood, and paper, and by other then a molding process, as by pressure forming, sculpting, etc.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the drive motor 50 rotates a drive axle 52 engaging the second 32 and third 33 of the wheels. In the preferred embodiment the two wheels 32 and 33 are place in mutually opposing positions on either side of both the drive motor 50 and the platform 22. Preferably, the drive motor 50 is any one of the common motors used in toys and especially for toy cars. Such motor types include friction motors, spring motors, pull-string motors, and rubber band motors.

A means for engaging the cover 40 with the carriage 20 is preferably one or more snap engagement fasteners 45 shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, and the manner of positioning the fasteners 45 as shown in arbitrary, as such many be positioned as best or necessary for improved support of the cover 40 on the carriage 20. Such snap engagement fasteners 45 each comprise a recess 60 on, for instance, the interior surface 42 of the cover 40 and a correspondingly positioned extension 62 on, and extending upwardly from the carriage 20. Of course, the positions of the recess 60 and the extension 62 may be reversed. Also, plural fasteners 45 may be utilized to better secure the cover 40 with the carriage 20. Because, in this embodiment, the cover 40 is able to be easily removed from the carriage 20, the cover 40, as for instance as shown in FIG. 1, may be replaced with an alternate cover 40, as for instance as shown in FIG. 4 having a different design. Further, the ability to simply remove the cover 40 from the carriage 20 gives children alternative methods of play with the toy 10, such as building an alternate cover on the carriage 20 with modeling clay or other construction materials, and also using the cover 40 with other toys such as toy cars, action figures, and such.

Of course the cover 40 may be permanently engaged with the carriage 20, as for instance by using a bonding agent in the recess 60 prior to engaging the extensions 62 therein. In this case, the toy 10 is manufactured, sold and used as an integral unit and without parts interchangeability.

The present invention may be construed in at least two embodiments; one where the yolk 24 and the one of the three wheels 31 is directed rearwardly relative to the drive motor 50 and the two of the three wheels 32 and 33, as shown in FIG. 6, and the other where the yolk 24 and the wheel 31 is directed forwardly relative to the drive motor 50 and the two of the three wheels 32 and 33, as shown in FIG. 7. In both cases, wheels 32 and 33 drive the toy 10.

Preferably, the cover 40 is formed to resemble the head of a warrior, a person, an animal, a fictional character or other imaginative figure, and more particularly may be formed to resemble a famous person or well-known fictional character from books, films or television. In one embodiment the one of the three wheels 31 is preferably positioned within the head formation portion of the cover 40 and preferably adjacent to, i.e., immediately behind a mouth feature of the head formation as shown in FIG. 7. In a further embodiment, the first wheel 31 is positioned as shown in FIG. 6, i.e., rearwardly, and the wheels 32 and 33 are positioned forward and may be either interior, as shown in FIG. 1, or exterior as shown in FIG. 5 to the head formation of cover 40 and such forward pair of wheels may be small as shown or exaggerated in size for effect.

The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.

The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.

Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.

The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.