Toy construction set
Kind Code:

A construction set comprising components for building a temporary miniature structure, intended to enable and encourage young architects to build toy building structures of recognizable conventional appearance as they choose. The set comprises structural components of easily distinguishable shapes; and of various sizes, to make it simple for each young builder to design his or her own structure. Most importantly, all components, for safety purposes, are of a size which is too large for the builder to swallow. In a structure, building blocks are fit together by morise and tenon effect, and corner members are held by mortise and tenon effect in an opposite direction to provide suitable security. A roof member is easily held in place by small, adaptable mortise and tenon effect The provision of side members of various sizes enable the builder to construct window and door openings wherever he or she wishes.

Massa, Robert E. (Tulsa, OK, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert E. Massa (Tulsa, OK, US)
I claim:

1. A toy building construction of easy-to-assemble and safe size members, comprising: an assembly of block members having attachment components to provide connection between adjacent block members to form a wall structure, block members at an edge of said wall structure having corner attachment components, a corner support member of elongated structure, comprising a corner attachment component positionable to form a connection with a corner attachment components of a block member, and a roof structure positionable upon said wall structure.

2. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: attachment components of said block members comprise mortise and tenon attachment means.

3. A toy building construction as described in claim 2, wherein a wall structure comprises a plurality of layers of block members.

4. A toy building construction as described in claim 3, wherein: said corner attachment components comprise mortise and tenon connections.

5. A toy building construction as described in claim 4, wherein: Said mortise and tenon means of said corner attachment components are engageable with said wall structure by sliding action.

6. A toy building construction as described in claim 5, wherein: said corner support members include first and second lengthwise tenon components along edgeas of said first and second lengthwise members.

7. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: said corner support members of elongated structure include first and second lengthwise tenon components positioned a small distance inwardly from edges of first and second lengthwise members.

8. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: said wall structure and said corner support member comprises an understructure for roof structure including a triangular roof support member positioned upon said understructure and said roof structure is positioned upon said triangular roof support member.

9. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: said mortise and tenon connection comprises dovetail mortise and tenon connections.

10. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: said construction includes a dormer component positioned upon said roof structure

11. A toy building construction as described in claim 10 wherein: said construction includes a floor board positionable between adjacent layers of block members of said wall structure to form a storied building construction.

12. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: Said construction includes a chimney structure.

13. A toy building construction as described in claim 1, wherein: said construction comprises a crenelated tower structure.



My invention relates to amusement devices. More particularly, my invention relates to amusement devices comprising construction systems such as miniature construction toys. Still more particularly, my invention relates to miniature toy structures assembled from numerous components according to the pleasure and artistic ability of the person designing and building a structure. Still more particularly, my invention relates to miniature construction system comprising easily handled components which are of such compatible sizes and numbers to encourage an interested builder to design structures to the extend of the builder's artistic ability.


Many toys and games have been developed to provide construction houses, but these are usually shown as having the final unit comprises of a very few components which had been assembled in one of only a view few components which had been assembled in one of only a few few components which had been assembled in one of only a very few possible choices, or even, in a single manner.

In such systems, there is no encouragement to the person attempting the construction to develop his or her own design skills or artistry.

Also, when the construction toy provides only a few large components to be assembled in one manner, the builder will invariably become bored very quickly and lose all interest in the project.

For many years there were two very popular construction toys in which each consisted of many individual components to be assembled. In these popular toys the final structure would not even by identifiable as a house or building structure. In one of these 3 toys, the components comprised an assemblage of round wooden blocks to be connected together by a series of narrow sticks of various lengths.

In the other of these two toys, the main components were essentially flat metal strips of various sizes adaptable to be connected in various patterns by means of small bolts and nuts attachable near the ends of individual strips.

Of course, in each of these popular systems there were many very small components which presented the danger of being easily swallowed by a careless builder.

Other construction toys comprise a few large construction components which are intended to be assembled into only a single final construction module. Thus, the builder, particularly a child, has very limited means for developing his or her design capability.

I have intended, with my system, that, although it might not bwe obvious to a child, it is inherent in my system, to provide a means for enhancing a child's own design capability.

Thus, in considering the possible manner of developing a construction system which would maintain a childer's interest and also provide means for enhancing a child's design capability, I eventually developed the amusement system which I describe herein

Then, in accordance with my usual practice, I have conducted a patent search which revealed the following patents which were considered to be the closest to my invention:

U.S. Pat. No. 739,669GrimmSept. 22, 1903
U.S. Pat. No. 1,344,451RichardJun. 22, 1920
U.S. Pat. No. 3,020,601Stambaugh et alFeb. 13, 1962
U.S. Pat. No. 3,577,672NuttingMay 4, 1971
U.S. Pat. No. 4,227,337Murray et alOct. 14, 1980
U.S. Pat. No. 4,969,568YoshidaNov. 13, 1990
U.S. Pat. No. 5,458,522Brooks, IIIOct. 17, 1995
U.S. Pat. No. 5,487,690Stoffie et alJan. 30, 1996
U.S. Pat. No. 5,876,261Bach et alMar. 2, 1999
U.S. Pat. No. 6,015,149BurkJan. 18, 2000

U.S. Pat. No. 739,669 to Grimm describes a knock-down toy house of strong paper. Separate components of the house are designed to fit removably together, as, for instance, the floor pieces, corner posts, sides, and roof sections. The roof sections are each formed of two parts, 5, covering the main part of the house, and, 6, covering the wing. The hinges of the roof may be formed by scoring the paper. The sides of the roof are held by a joining strip 13. Windows are formed of isinglass and glued to cover suitable openings in the walls.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,344,451 to Richard describes a knock-down toy house made of building blocks of various sizes which are superposed on each other. The roof boards are held together by a pasted strip and placed over the triangular member 11 land 12.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,020,601 to Stambaugh et al describes a knock-down building structure which consists of four vertically extending panels and a bottom panel all made of plywood or suitable material. Four corner members of resilient metal are slid into place with the vertical panels. The metal roof is slightly bent to fit into position with the side panels.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,577,672 to Nutting describes a dollhouse toy formed of a series of rigid hollow blocks randomly arranged in adjacent unconnected fashion. Each block represents a complete room.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,222,337 to Murray et al describes a toy building constructed of a plurality of wall panels and a plurality of spaced posts frictionally mounted on a base member. Each wall panel is fitted between a pair of posts, and the roof is connected to the posts. The interlocking connections are complex and are shown in FIGS. II and VII.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,969,568 to Yoshida describes a pen holder formed by a bottom member of a chosen configuration having mounted thereon a plurality of flat rectangular board members connected detachably to each other and to the bottom member by means of straight or angular connections. The connections are basically straight members having a winged component extending at a chosen angle from each end.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,458,522 to Brooks, III describes a building block of any geometrical shape having fabric fasteners secured thereto to provide releasable coupling to another block. Fastener devices are of hook-and-loop material, such as “VELCRO”.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,487,690 TO Stoffle et al describes an assortment of clamps designed to enable a child to attach panels of corrugated material to each other in a manner that each clamp has an elastic deformation gripping section and a crush deformation section to provide enhanced gripping action.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,876,261 to Bach et al describes a building set comprising a number of building modules, each of which may releasable receive a wall panel. Each module defines a space as outlined by the cooperation of the columns and girders.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,015,149 to Burk describes a card stacking game comprised of a group of components which provide means to assemble a plurality of playing cards to form a three-dimensional structure. The components used as connection members have a plurality of U-shaped grooves into which the cards are received. The grooves are formed in extensions radiating in chosen directions.


The primary object of my invention is to provide an amusement device comprising systems for toy constructions which are simple, easy to use, and safe to handle.

Another object of my invention is to provide an amusement device including a construction toy in which safety prevails in the design of the components and their use.

Another object of my invention is to provide a set of construction components which will encourage, induce, or stimulate basic design capabilities of a child, upon which the child may readily find unusual architectural capabilities.

Still another object of my invention is to provide a construction system in which the young architect may build a construction model which he or she may disassemble immediately, or may maintain for an extended period as a decoration, or upon which he or she may continued to add on or re-construct as the child perceives a new design thought.

I have developed my invention with the following considerations most in mined:

1. To provide a toy which would always be of interest to a child seeking to build a structure, because the child is always provided with the opportunity of designing his own structure.

2. To provide a toy which comprises components of sizes which permit a variety of design models, and all of a size to provide quick and easy assembly.

3. To provide a construction model which may be assembled in a secure manner in order to permit the builder to maintain the structure as a decorative article, to be easily modified as the builder wishes.

4. To provide a construction toy comprising components of sizes which are not of unusually small sizes which could be boring to the by requiring excessive handling, and also not of unusually large sizes which could limit the design choice for his assembly.

5. To provide a construction toy in which the material of the block members could be of wood, plastic, or metal. The material of the block members should be determined by which material might be most appropriate for a particular type of use. For example, a particular type of wood could be considered best suited to be painted with water-based paint, and be especially inductive to a young builder. Or, the block members could be provided in colored plastic components as desired by the manufacturer or distributor of the construction set.

Generally, with a construction toy organized according to my invention, a child has a great opportunity for designing and constructing a structure as he chooses and prefers. The various components may be provided in a variety of sizes as shown in the drawings.

I show herewith a number of architectural components which may be added to the basic construction to greatly extend the design capability of the construction set, especially when it is more feasible to provide an entire small architectural component than require the item to be assembled from a multitude of extremely small pieces.

For example, I described certain of these components in the drawings, such as dormers, chimneys, steps, and posts. If such item were made of numerous parts, the parts would be too small to be safe.

For another consideration, I show in the drawings that the slope I show for the roof members and portions of the dormers is preferably 30 degrees in relation to the horizontal. I believe this angle provides both neat and attractive designs, and also provides convenient mathematical calculations for a manufacturer of components of the system.

I am assuming that the amusement device I have provided in this manner of a construction system is most adaptable to a child of at least five or six years old. I believe that at these ages the child will have some amount of design intellect. Preferably, a most simple system may be offered the young child, and more complex systems may be sequentially related to the age of the young builder.

Then, the above objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from my description of the following embodiments of my invention.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a structure formed by assembly of components of the invention as it could be positioned upon a baseboard, and shown with the separate lines of the various shingles and boards indicated.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another form of structure according to the invention, and shown with the separate lines of the various shingles indicated.

FIG. 3 is an end view of a typical construction shingle of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of corner components of a structure of the invention showing the position of components preparatory to assembly.

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of a shingle member shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of a shingle member of the wall structure of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a shingle member of the wall structure of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a partial top view of an alternate corner structure of the in vention.

FIG. 9 is an end view of a roof structure according to the invention.

FIG. 10 is a partial bottom view of a roof structure according to the invention along the lines 10-10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a door frame member according to the invention,

FIG. 12 is a front elevation view of an alternate structure according to the invention.


In FIG. 1 I show a perspective view of one embodiment of a structure, 10, generally, formed according to my invention. The structure, 10, comprises a two-story housing component constructed upon a baseboard 12 for the young builder to use to simulate an area of land.

If a baseboard 12 is to be furnished with the construction system, the baseboard 12 may be furnished in a variety of choices, whichever might be considered of most interest to a young builder. For example, as I show in FIG. 1, the baseboard 12 could be a flat piece of rigid material having a surface of a neutral color with no design thereon. In this case, the builder could decorate the surface as he or she chooses, perhaps even to the extend of drawing or painting a design of a lawn or driveway on the surface. Or, the baseboard may be a flexible sheet having a design imprinted thereon could be furnished with the set.

The two-story structure described in FIG. 1 comprises a somewhat complex structure assembled o many of the components I am describing with my invention. I am also describing in FIG. 2 and FIG. 12, other styles and sizes of structures constructed according to my invention for the purpose of emphasizing the adaptability of the components of this construction system to a variety of construction architectures as may be suggested by sketches accompanying a retail set, or as may be designed and constructed by the young builder.

The two-story structure comprises an assemblage of corner support posts 14 interconnected with shingles of different sizes, as is shown by shingles 16, 18, 20, or 22, for example, all similarly configures for connection to support posts 14 in the manner described in FIG. 4.

The connection of the corner support posts 14 with shingles 16, or other lengths of shingle, is accomplished by means of a loose mortise and tenon joint. Thus, the components may easily slide into position from above.

We need a connecting capability between the support posts 14 and the shingles, which as I show is most suitable by a type of mortise and tenon. This type of connection provides a simple means for holding the components in a stable position by being able to slide together easily, as I show in FIGS. 4 and 8.

Most importantly, I have discovered that the most significant feature of the construction is the relationship between the structure of the corner support members and the structure of the basic block members. The mortise and tenon adaptation of both units must not be secure, but must be loosely slidable into position.

All the mortise and tenon units must be loosely arranged for easy and quick attachment and release. Then, the mortise and tenon units of the corner support members should be made to gain attachment by a sliding motion. As such, because the mortise and tenon action of the corner support members is contrary to the action of the horizontal motion of the action given to the block members, the entire construction unit can maintain a sturdy connectibility while still providing easy removability.

Preferably, the corner support posts 14 should all have a tenon joint 24 on at least two sides. Then, any of the shingles 16, 18, 20, or 22, may have, near each end, a mortise joint 26, for connection thereto.

In FIG. 8 I show a modified form of corner support post having a mortise joint 26 in position to cooperate with a tenon joint 24 on a revised corner shingle member 16.

I show in FIG. 3 an end view of a typical shingle 16 with a mortise joint 26 along a longitudinal upper edge and a tenon 24 joint along a longitudinal lower edge.

At chosen places, as the young builder decides, shingles may be arranged to form spaces as shown in the drawings for the appearance of windows or doors. As shown in FIG. 1, window 28 is formed by the positioning of shingles 18 and 20 of different sizes. Then, in each case, the windows are outlined by window frame members 30 of necessary sizes, which are more clearly described in FIG. 11.

A door entranceway 32, generally, is formed by the arrangement of frame members 36, outlining the door5 entranceway 32.

If desired, the windows and doors may be formed as opening by the frame members, or, for decorative purposes, the windows or doors may be symbolized by various design components, either as furnished with the construction set, or by design components developed by the young builder. The window flame and door frame members are similar, but may differ in size depending upon the choice of the design. Also, frame members 30 and 34 may be made to be slightly clampable in position, if desired.

In FIG. 1 I show a covering component as a roof structure 38, generally, comprising a side triangular roof support member 40, positioned upon a top row of shingle and corner support posts positioned upon a top row of shingle and corner support posts 14, with a roof sheet member 42 upon the triangular support member 40, and a roof; seam member 44 positioned along the angular portion 46 of the two roof members 42. Triangular member 40 comprises a tenon along the lower edge (not shown) to cooperate with the mortise components available along the upper edges of typical shingle members.

In FIG. 1 I show the positioning of typical dormers 48, generally, on the roof 38. In this view I describe one form of dormer 45, generally, which includes a window frame design 50 on afrant face of the dormer 48. This design could be applied in the form of any set design furnished with the construction set or by an easily painted design on the front face by the young builder.

Also, in FIG. 1, I have shown a side wall chimney 52, generally, positioned at one side of the structure 10.

FIG. 1 includes a front porch structure 54, generally, formed byu the combination of porch side wall members 56, a floor board 58, support posts 60, and step component 62, generally. The porch members, support posts, and step component, are connectible by small mortise and tenon effect as I show for other components of the invention, as with the roof member.

To emphasize the versatility of the invention, I show modified building structures in FIGS. 2 and 9, as described by structure 64, generally, and castle 66, generally, with a crenelated tower 68, generally, either structure of which may be constructed by total components which may be furnished with the set or constructed by set components. I intend, preferably for the complication of a finished styructure to be dependent upon the design genius of the young builder.

For advanced construction sets, many different types of architectural components may be provided to stimulate the interest of the young builder. I have shown separate components such as dormers, chimneys, and towers. Other potential components could be shown, such as a silo for a farm project.

I have shown several sizes of rectangular board members. Thus, if desired, several sizes may be used in the same structure for design in a building having smaller upper floors.

I have emphasized that an important aspect o my invention is considered to be the safety of the young architect by providing that none of the many components is to be small enough for a child to swallow. For example, the smallest component is intended to be a shingle, which should be of a size approximately two inches by an inch and a quarter.

Since many different embodiments of my invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, it is to be understood that the specific embodiments described in detail herein are not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.