Title:
METHOD AND KIT FOR PLAYING A GAME USING FIGURINES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and kit for playing a game using figurines. The method includes: providing a plurality of figurines; and providing instruction associated with linking the plurality of figurines according to a selected condition. Each figurine is formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine, and each figurine is representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and any combination thereof. The plurality of figurines include: one figurine representative of a plot object; one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and one figurine representative of a setting object. The selected condition comprises one or more of: a story, an alphabetical order, removing one figurine from a set of figurines, moving one figurine in a set of figurines, adding one figurine to a set of figurines, and correlating the plurality of figurines according to a figurine characteristic.



Inventors:
Compton, Randy (Boulder, CO, US)
Lake, Julie (Boulder, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/829594
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
07/27/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/288
International Classes:
A63H3/00; A63F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schmeiser, Olsen & Watts LLP (Mesa, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for playing a game using figurines, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of figurines, each figurine being formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine, and wherein each figurine is representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and any combination thereof, the plurality of figurines including: at least one figurine representative of a plot object; at least one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and at least one figurine representative of a setting object; and providing instruction associated with linking the plurality of figurines according to a selected condition; wherein the selected condition comprises one or more selected from the group consisting of: a story, an alphabetical order, removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines, moving at least one figurine in a set of figurines, adding at least one figurine to a set of figurines, and correlating the plurality of figurines according to a figurine characteristic.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the plot object comprises one or more selected from the group consisting of: a shiny object, a high value to weight ratio object, a currency object, and a rare object.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the setting object comprises one or more selected from the group consisting of: a theatrical property, an interior design accessory, a landscape accessory, an architectural accessory, a tool, a food, a vessel, a vehicle, and an object recognizable by a child.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the condition of removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines comprises: a first player removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines; and a second player removing at least one figurine from the set of figurines; wherein a winner is determined upon leaving one figurine in the set.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the set of figurines is arranged in at least one row, and wherein the first player and the second player each remove at least one figurine from one row.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the figurine characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: similarities, differences, size, function, shape, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, texture, appearance, and any combination thereof.

7. A method for playing a game using figurines, comprising the steps of: linking a plurality of figurines, wherein each figurine is representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and any combination thereof, the plurality of figurines including: at least one figurine representative of a plot object; at least one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and at least one figurine representative of a story object; and viewing instructions associated with linking the figurines according to a selected condition.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein each figurine is formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the selected condition comprises linking the figurines through a story.

10. The method of claim 7, wherein the selected condition comprises linking the figurines through an alphabetical order.

11. The method of claim 7, wherein the selected condition comprises: a first player removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines; and a second player removing at least one figurine from the set of figurines; wherein a winner is determined upon leaving one figurine in the set.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the set of figurines is arranged in at least one row, and wherein the first player and the second player each remove at least one figurine from one row.

13. The method of claim 7, wherein the selected condition comprises correlating the plurality of figurines according to a figurine characteristic, and wherein the figurine characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: similarities, differences, size, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, appearance, texture, and any combination thereof.

14. A kit for playing a game using figurines, the kit comprising: a plurality of figurines, each figurine representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and any combination thereof; and an instruction set associated with the plurality of figurines, including instructions for linking the figurines according to a selected condition.

15. The kit of claim 14, wherein the plurality of figurines includes: at least one figurine representative of a plot object; at least one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and at least one figurine representative of a setting object.

16. The kit of claim 14, wherein each figurine is formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine.

17. The kit of claim 14, wherein the selected condition comprises linking the figurines in an alphabetical order.

18. The kit of claim 14, wherein the selected condition comprises linking the figurines according to a figurine characteristic, wherein the figurine characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: similarities, differences, size, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, appearance, texture, and any combination thereof.

19. The kit of claim 14, wherein the selected condition comprises: a first player removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines; and a second player removing at least one figurine from the set of figurines; wherein a winner is determined upon leaving one figurine in the set.

20. The kit of claim 19, wherein the set of figurines is arranged in at least one row, and wherein the first player and the second player each remove at least one figurine from one row.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This invention claims priority, under 35 U.S.C. § 120, to the U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/925,770 to Randolph Compton and Julie Lake filed on 23 Apr. 2007, which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to methods and kits for playing a game, specifically methods and kits for playing a game using figurines and instruction.

2. Description of the Related Art

Games are often used for educational and/or entertainment purposes. In particular, several games are frequently employed test a player's memory. For example, memory games and exercises are often used to develop a person's capacity to observe and remember specific details, such as order, location, and physical characteristics. In addition, such games are commonly played with children for developing memory and observation skills, and may be used for learning new groups of objects, such as shapes, letters, or animals.

Also, several games enable a user to tell a story by playing the game. For instance, games are often based on fairy tales or other familiar and/or fantastical stories. Further, several games include playing pieces which may be used as characters in a story. Similarly, several games include instructions or rules for moving playing pieces akin to a plot of a story. Moreover, several games include a board, or other surface, for locating playing pieces like a story setting.

Additionally, because games often require several components and/or pieces for playing the game, it is often desirable to conveniently package all of the components of the game, including instructions, in one packaging for protection, storage, ease of use and/or merchandising of the game. Some improvements have been made in the field. Examples of references related to the present invention are described below, and the supported teachings of each reference are incorporated by reference herein:

U.S. Pat. No. 6,601,850, issued to Ross, discloses a game and its associated method of play. The game contains a plurality of object areas in which game objects may be placed. Game objects are randomly added to, or removed from, the object areas one by one. Before the addition or removal of each new object, the player is made to visualize a neutral field of play that is either completely filled with game objects or devoid of game objects. As such, each time a player views the object areas, an additional game object has been added or removed, but the player does not know which object has just been added. Using memories of the object areas when last viewed, a player tries to identify which of the game objects present is the game object that was just added or removed. If the player selects correctly, the cycle is repeated and another game object is randomly added or removed. If the player selects the wrong game object, the game ends.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,435,726, issued to Taylor, discloses an amusement game and teaching aid is provided stimulating innovation, creativity, imagination, vocal expression, memory, native American Indian culture, history and exercising fundamental thinking and communications skills and development of motor skills. A storyteller is provided with a plurality of story stones, with each story stone being imprinted with a native American Indian hieroglyphic symbol and legend characterizing a different subject of the story being told, whether it be a true story of history or a randomly made up story by the storyteller. On successfully completing the telling of the story, the storyteller ties one knot in the jute rope.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,716,069, issued to T. A. Loayza, discloses a game comprising a combination, a plurality of playing implements representing animated objects mentioned in a story, said implements being playable to form groups, and additional playing implements representing places for said groups to meet in conformity with the story, and a device representing a principal animated object or thing mentioned in the story, all these items being used in such a manner as to tell a complete story, and the first player who succeeds in telling the story being considered the winner of the game.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,363,482, issued to Goldfarb, discloses an electronic game apparatus facilitates the playing of a parlor game. The game apparatus generates a series of player-interrogation signals, and defines a corresponding “correct” sequence of auditory and switch-closure responses by the players (or player). The correct sequence is defined in accordance with established game rules that are known to the player(s). The game apparatus receives actual auditory and switch-closure responses from the player(s), compares the responses with the correct sequence, and indicates visually and auditorily whether each response is correct.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,364,315, issued to Velke III, discloses a game kit for playing a variety of outdoor games, comprising a plurality of animal-shaped game pieces, wherein each of the game pieces has at least one light-emitting device and at least one sound-emitting device; a plurality of radio frequency receivers, wherein each of the receivers is encased within an animal-shaped game piece and is operable to activate the light-emitting device and the sound-emitting device; at least one radio frequency transmitter adapted to be worn by a player and operable to activate the radio frequency receivers; and a container for storing and transporting the game kit components. Each of the receivers is activated when a player wearing a transmitter enters a predetermined detection zone around each of the receivers, thereby causing the light-emitting device to emit light and the sound-emitting device to emit sound. The game kit preferably includes other components, such as a flag, a game book, a stopwatch, and balloons.

U.S. Patent Application Publication No.: 2005/0230914, by Campbell, discloses a game for use by a plurality of players. The game comprises a bag, a scoop for each player, a plurality of game pieces and a timer. In use, and in a starting arrangement of the game, the pieces are disposed in the bag. Each piece bears at least one visually-perceptible letter and a corresponding Braille representation of the letter. The pieces are sufficient in number such that, in use, and from the starting arrangement, each player can, in turn, manually-manipulate the scoop provided for the player to randomly withdraw from the bag a respective group of pieces, said group containing a sufficient number of game pieces to permit said pieces to be arranged in at least one subgroup wherein the letters of said pieces form a word. The timer demarcates a period of time in which each player can arrange the pieces to form words.

The inventions heretofore known suffer from a number of disadvantages, which include: being expensive, being difficult to use, not being entertaining, not being educational, not having several different games in one packaging, not having figurines which may be collected, traded, and/or used to tell a story, not being able to be used as a toy and/or a learning device, not being a convenient size, not being portable, and/or not being contained in a single package.

What is needed is a method and kit for playing a game that solves one or more of the problems described herein and/or one or more problems that may come to the attention of one skilled in the art upon becoming familiar with this specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available games, game methods, and game kits. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide a method and kit for playing a game.

In one embodiment of the invention, there may be a method for playing a game using figurines, which may include the steps of: providing a plurality of figurines; and/or providing instruction associated with linking the plurality of figurines according to a selected condition. Each figurine may be formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine, and/or each figurine may be representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and/or any combination thereof. The plurality of figurines may include: at least one figurine representative of a plot object; at least one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and/or at least one figurine representative of a setting object. The selected condition may include one or more selected from the group consisting of: a story, an alphabetical order, removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines, moving at least one figurine in a set of figurines, adding at least one figurine to a set of figurines, and/or correlating the plurality of figurines according to a figurine characteristic.

In another embodiment of the invention, the plot object may include one or more selected from the group consisting of: a shiny object, a high value to weight ratio object, a currency object, and/or a rare object. In still another embodiment of the invention, the setting object may include one or more selected from the group consisting of: a theatrical property, an interior design accessory, a landscape accessory, an architectural accessory, a tool, a food, a vessel, a vehicle and/or an object recognizable by a child. In still yet another embodiment of the invention, the condition of removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines may include: a first player removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines; and/or a second player removing at least one figurine from the set of figurines. A winner may be determined upon leaving one figurine in the set. In even another embodiment of the invention, the set of figurines may be arranged in at least one row, and/or the first player and/or the second player may each remove at least one figurine from one row. In even still another embodiment of the invention, the figurine characteristic may selected from the group consisting of: similarities, differences, size, function, shape, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, texture, appearance, and/or any combination thereof.

In even yet another embodiment of the invention, there may be a method for playing a game using figurines, comprising the steps of: linking a plurality of figurines, and/or viewing instructions associated with linking the figurines according to a selected condition. Each figurine may be representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and/or any combination thereof. The plurality of figurines may include: at least one figurine representative of a plot object; at least one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and/or at least one figurine representative of a story object.

In an additional embodiment of the invention, each figurine may be formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine. In still an additional embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include linking the figurines through a story. In yet an additional embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include linking the figurines through an alphabetical order. In still yet an additional embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include: a first player removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines; and/or a second player removing at least one figurine from the set of figurines. A winner may be determined upon leaving one figurine in the set. In even an additional embodiment of the invention, the set of figurines may be arranged in at least one row, and/or the first player and/or the second player each remove at least one figurine from one row. In even still an additional embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include correlating the plurality of figurines according to a figurine characteristic, and/or the figurine characteristic may be selected from the group consisting of: similarities, differences, size, function, shape, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, appearance, texture, and/or any combination thereof.

In even yet an additional embodiment of the invention, there may be a kit for playing a game using figurines. The kit may include: a plurality of figurines; and/or an instruction set associated with the plurality of figurines, which may include instructions for linking the figurines according to a selected condition. Each figurine may be representative of a story element selected from the group consisting of: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, a setting object, and/or any combination thereof.

In a further embodiment of the invention, the plurality of figurines may include: at least one figurine representative of a plot object; at least one figurine representative of an anthropomorphic object; and/or at least one figurine representative of a setting object. In still a further embodiment of the invention, each figurine may be formed to substantially include physical characteristics associated with the figurine. In yet a further embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include linking the figurines in an alphabetical order. In even a further embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include linking the figurines according to a figurine characteristic, and/or the figurine characteristic may be selected from the group consisting of: similarities, differences, size, function, shape, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, appearance, texture, and/or any combination thereof. In even still a further embodiment of the invention, the selected condition may include: a first player removing at least one figurine from a set of figurines; and/or a second player removing at least one figurine from the set of figurines. A winner may determined upon leaving one figurine in the set. In even yet a further embodiment of the invention, the set of figurines may be arranged in at least one row, and/or the first player and/or the second player each remove at least one figurine from one row.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order for the advantages of the invention to be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawing(s). It is noted that the drawings of the invention are not to scale. The drawings are mere schematics representations, not intended to portray specific parameters of the invention. Understanding that these drawing(s) depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawing(s), in which:

FIG. 1 is a partially broken away perspective view of a kit for playing a game using figurines, according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a figurine, according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a flow chart of a method for playing a game using figurines, according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is an illustrated diagram of a method for playing a game using figurines, according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is an illustrated flow chart of a method for playing a game using figurines, according to one embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is an illustrated flow chart of a method for playing a game using figurines, according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawing(s), and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment, different embodiments, or component parts of the same or different illustrated invention. Additionally, reference to the wording “an embodiment,” or the like, for two or more features, elements, etc. does not mean that the features are related, dissimilar, the same, etc. The use of the term “an embodiment,” or similar wording, is merely a convenient phrase to indicate optional features, which may or may not be part of the invention as claimed.

Each statement of an embodiment is to be considered independent of any other statement of an embodiment despite any use of similar or identical language characterizing each embodiment. Therefore, where one embodiment is identified as “another embodiment,” the identified embodiment is independent of any other embodiments characterized by the language “another embodiment.” The independent embodiments are considered to be able to be combined in whole or in part one with another as the claims and/or art may direct, either directly or indirectly, implicitly or explicitly.

Finally, the fact that the wording “an embodiment,” or the like, does not appear at the beginning of every sentence in the specification, such as is the practice of some practitioners, is merely a convenience for the reader's clarity. However, it is the intention of this application to incorporate by reference the phrasing “an embodiment,” and the like, at the beginning of every sentence herein where logically possible and appropriate.

As used herein, “comprising,” “including,” “containing,” “is, are,” “characterized by,” and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional unrecited elements or method steps. “Comprising” is to be interpreted as including the more restrictive terms “consisting of” and “consisting essentially of.” A “figurine” is to be defined as a figure which is small, ornamental, molded, sculpted, and/or carved. “Anthropomorphic” is to be defined as ascribing human form, attributes, motivation, behavior and/or characteristics to a being or thing not human, such as an inanimate object, animal, or natural phenomena.

FIG. 1 illustrates a kit 10 for playing a game. The illustrated kit 10 includes a plurality of figurines 12 and a container 14 configured to contain the figurines 12. For example, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the figurines 12 may be any three-dimensional object and/or figure which may be small, ornamental, molded, carved, statuesque, and/or sculpted. Accordingly, the figurines may have any size, such as, but not limited to, a diameter of half an inch, one inch, two inches, and two-and-a-half inches. Further, the illustrated figurines 12 are formed to include physical characteristics associated with the figurine. For instance, a pig figurine may include physical characteristics associated with a pig, such as pink skin, a curly tail, a snout, pointed ears, and hooves. Similarly, an apple figurine may include physical characteristics associated with an apple, such as a colored peel, seeds, and a stem.

Also, as shown, the container 14 is a bag. However, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the container 14 may be any container configured to contain figurines 12, such as, but not limited to: a box, a cup, a pouch, and an envelope. In addition, the illustrated kit 10 includes instruction 16 for playing a game. For example, one skilled in the art would understand that the instruction 16 may include printed rules and/or a story for playing a game. Some examples of such instruction 16 are as follows. The examples should not, however, be viewed as limiting the scope of the invention. The claims will serve to define the invention.

INSTRUCTION EXAMPLE 1

Lay out five to eighteen figurines 12. Choose one figurine 12 and start a story using the figurine 12 as the subject material. Ask the other player(s) to do the same until the entire story is woven. Alternatively, using the same figurines 12 for subject matter, tell the story “popcorn” style, where story-tellers blurt out pieces of the story as they imagine it. As another alternative, instead of laying out the figurines 12, leave the figurines 12 in the container 14. Take turns pulling out one figurine 12 at a time, and tell a story in the order in which each figurine 12 is pulled. As a further alternative, the player(s) read a story provided by the instruction 16 and the player(s) use(s) his or her figurines 12 to act out the story, thereby enabling multiple players to interact with other players.

INSTRUCTION EXAMPLE 2

Lay out three figurines 12 in one row, five figurines 12 in a second row, and seven figurines 12 in a third row. Take turns removing as many figurines 12 as desired from any one row, but only from one row at a time. The winner is the player who leaves just one figurine 12: the loser is the player who has to pick it up.

INSTRUCTION EXAMPLE 3

Lay out five to eighteen figurines 12. Ask other players to look at them briefly and then to look away or close their eyes. Move one figurine 12. Ask the other players “What's moved?” If there are more than two players, have the players hold their guesses until everyone has their answers. Then, have the players take turns answering the question, “What's moved.” Alternatively, more than one figurine may be moved at a time. As another alternative, remove one or more figurines 12 and ask, “What were they?” Still, as an additional alternative, add one or more figurines 12 and ask, “What's new?”

INSTRUCTION EXAMPLE 4

Lay out five to eighteen figurines 12. Arrange the figurines 12 in alphabetical order. Alternatively, arrange the figurines 12 in reverse-alphabetical order. As another alternative, arrange the figurines 12 in a row so that the first or last letter of the object of each figurine 12 is used to spell a word and have the other player guess what word was created.

INSTRUCTION EXAMPLE 5

Lay out all figurines 12. Arrange the figurines 12 in groups according to similarities and differences. Explain your reasoning, or have the other players guess.

FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of a figurine 12. As shown, the figurine 12 is representative of story elements 22, such as, but not limited to: a plot, a character, and a setting. One skilled in the art would appreciate that the figurine 12 may be a plot object 24, which is representative of a plot or quest, such as, but not limited to: a shiny object, a high value to weight ratio object, a currency object, and a rare object.

For example, one skilled in the art would appreciate that a shiny object may be any object which has a bright and/or glossy appearance and/or reflects light, such as, but not limited to: gold and other metals, glass, crystal, and polished rocks. Similarly, one skilled in the art would understand that a high value to weight ratio object may include objects, such as, but not limited to: gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and other precious metals and gemstones. Likewise, one skilled in the art would appreciate that a currency object may be any object used for trade or exchange, such as, but not limited to: coins, bills, notes, and paper money. In addition, one skilled in the art would understand that a rare object may be any object which is uncommon, unnatural, unusual, and/or few in number and widely separated, such as, but not limited to: diamonds, endangered plants, endangered animal species, collectable stamps, collectable coins, a Norman Rockwell painting, a first edition of a book, a princess, and a queen. As a result, a plot object 24 may be such as, but not limited to: a piece of jewelry, a gemstone, a mineral, a coin, a stamp, and a princess.

Similarly, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the figurine 12 may be an anthropomorphic object 26, which may representative of a character, a subject, a protagonist, an antagonist, etc. of a story such as, but not limited to: a person, an animal, or another object having human motivation, characteristics, or behavior. For instance, some examples of anthropomorphic objects 26 may include: a tree that talks, a teapot that sings, a dog that reads, and a statue that chews gum.

Further, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the figurine 12 may be a setting object 28, which is representative of a story setting, such as, but not limited to: a theatrical property (or prop), an interior design accessory, a landscape accessory, an architectural accessory, a tool, a food, a vessel, a vehicle, and an object likely to be recognized by a child. For instance, a setting object 28 may be such as, but not limited to: a book, a plant, a rock, a block, a wrench, a hammer, an animal, an apple, an orange, a bottle of milk, a bowl, a boat, a car, and a snowman.

FIG. 3 illustrates a method for playing a game using figurines. As shown, the method includes the following steps: providing a plurality of figurines 30, each figurine associated with a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, and/or a setting object; and providing instruction 16 for linking the figurines according to a selected condition 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35. As shown, the selected conditions include: linking the figurines according to a story 31; linking the figurines according to an alphabetical order 32; linking the figurines according to a figurine characteristic 33; linking the figurines according to which figurine(s) are missing, moved, and/or added 34; and linking the figurines according to removal of a figurine from a row 35.

Further, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the step of providing a plurality of figurines 30, each figurine associated with a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, and/or a setting object may include providing an object which is three-dimensional and/or a figure which may be small, ornamental, molded, carved, statuesque, and/or sculpted and which is representative of story elements 22, such as, but not limited to: a plot, a character, and/or a setting. As a result, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the figurines provided may be selected from categories, such as, but not limited to: beverages, foods, animals, persons, symbols, work tools, treasure hunts, jewelry, tableware, blocks, charms, kitchen tools, items from nature, items associated with music, and books.

In operation of one embodiment of the invention, the figurines are linked according to a story 31. Initially, a player lays out five to eighteen figurines. Then, the player chooses one figurine and starts a story using the figurine as the subject material. Then, each subsequent player does the same until the entire story is woven and/or all of the figurines have been chosen. Alternatively, using the same figurines for subject matter, the players tell the story “popcorn” style, where each player blurts out pieces of the story as they imagine it. As another alternative, instead of laying out the figurines, the figurines are left in the container. The players then take turns pulling out one figurine at a time, and tell a story in the order in which each figurine is pulled.

In operation of another embodiment of the invention, the figurines are linked according to an alphabetical order 32. First, a player lays out five to eighteen figurines. Next, the player arranges the figurines in alphabetical order. Alternatively, the player arranges the figurines in reverse-alphabetical order.

In operation of still another embodiment of the invention, the figurines are linked according to a figurine characteristic 33. Initially, a player lays out all of the figurines. The player then arranges the figurines in groups according to similarities and differences. Additionally, one skilled in the art would understand that the figurines may be arranged according to any group, such as, but not limited to: similarities, differences, size, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, appearance, animate, inanimate, and/or texture. After the play has arranged the figurines in groups, the player explains his or her reasoning, or has the other players guess his or her reasoning.

In operation of yet another embodiment of the invention, the figurines are linked according to which figurine(s) are missing, moved, and/or added 34. First, a player lays out five to eighteen figurines. Then, the player asks the other players to briefly look at the figurines and then to look away or close their eyes. The player then moves one figurine. Next the player has the other players look at the figurines, and asks the other players “What's moved?” If there are more than two players, the player has the other players hold their guesses until everyone has their answers. Then, the player has the other players take turns answering the question, “What's moved.” Alternatively, the player may move more than one figurine at a time. As another alternative, the player may remove one or more figurines and ask, “What were they?” Still, as an additional alternative, the player may add one or more figurines and ask, “What's new?”

In operation of still yet another embodiment of the invention, the figurines are linked according to removal of a figurine from a row 35. Originally, a player lays out three figurines in a first row, five figurines in a second row, and seven figurines in a third row. The players then take turns removing as many figurines as desired from any one row, but only from one row at a time. The winner is the player who leaves just one figurine: the loser is the player who picks the figurine up.

FIG. 4 illustrates a method for playing a game using figurines. As shown, the method includes linking a plurality of figurines 12 according to an alphabetical order 44. Also illustrated, the method includes linking a sub-group of figurines 12 (such as figurines 12 which represent food) according to an alphabetical order 42. As illustrated, the sub-group of figurines 12 includes figurines 12 which represent food. However, one skilled in the art would appreciate that any sub-group may be used for linking the figurines 12 according to an alphabetical order, such as, but not limited to: beverages, foods, animals, persons, symbols, work tools, treasure hunts, jewelry, tableware, blocks, charms, kitchen tools, items from nature, items associated with music, and books.

FIG. 5 illustrates a method for playing a game using figurines 12. As illustrated, the method includes linking, or grouping, a plurality of figurines 12 according to a figurine characteristic 54. As shown, the figurine characteristics 54 include the following: animals, weather, fruit, and vehicles. However, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the figurine characteristics 54 may be any characteristic, such as, but not limited to: similarities, differences, size, function, shape, speed, preference, rarity, color, geographic habitat, composition, texture, animate, inanimate, appearance, and any combination thereof.

FIG. 6 illustrates a method for playing a game using figurines 12. The illustrated method includes linking a plurality of figurines 12 according to removal of a figurine from a row 62. In a first turn 63 a first player removes any number of figurines 12 from a row 62, and leaves voids 67 where the removed figurines 12 used to be for a second turn 64 by a second player. The second player then removes any number of figurines 12 from a row 62, and leaves voids 67 where the removed figurines 12 used to be disposed for the next player's turn 65. Each player continues taking turns 63, 64, and 65, until a last figurine 68 remains, and a final turn 66 is taken. During the final turn 66, the player's whose turn it is removes the last figurine 68. The player who removes the last figurine 68 loses the game. However, one skilled in the art would understand that as an alternative, the player who removes the last figurine 68 may win the game.

Advantageously, the instruction 16 for linking the figurines according to a selected condition 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35 tests and/or enhances cognitive skills. For example, the instruction 16 may require and/or teach cognitive skills for playing the game, such as, but not limited to: memory, recognition, linguistic, logical, mathematical, spatial, bodily, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Further, the instruction 16 may require neuroplasticity for playing the game, which is important for developing brain cognition and functioning.

It is understood that the above-described embodiments are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiment is to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

For example, although the figures illustrate a plurality of figurines 12, it is envisioned that the game method and kit 10 may include any number of figurines appreciated in the art, such as, but not limited to: five, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty-seven. As a result, one skilled in the art would appreciate that the number of figurines 12 used for a game, or instruction 16, may vary according to the number of figurines 12 available, or desired, for play.

Similarly, it is envisioned that the figurines 12 may have any size, shape, and/or characteristic appreciated in the art. For instances, the 12 figurines may be representative of items such as, but not limited to: beverages, foods, animals, persons, symbols, work tools, treasure hunts, jewelry, tableware, blocks, charms, kitchen tools, items from nature, items associated with music, and books.

Likewise, it is envisioned that the instruction 16 may include instruction 16, rules, guidelines, or stories, for any number of games appreciated in the art. For example, the instruction 16 may include instruction for one, two, five, or ten games. Further, the instruction 16 may be cards which display images of the figurines 12. Additionally, although the figures illustrate that the container 14 may be any container understood in the art configured to contain figurines 12, such as, but not limited to, a box, a cup, a bag and an envelope.

It is also envisioned that the kit 10 may include a gameboard or other accessory for playing the game using figurines 12. For example, the kit 10 may include an index for linking the figurines 12 according to an alphabet 44, or according to a figurine characteristic 54. In a non-limiting example, the index may include an elongated member including wells and/or holes. Each well and/or hole may be labeled according to the conditions of game, such as by the letter of the alphabet or according to a figurine characteristic. The hole(s) and/or well(s) may be configured and/or formed to receive the figurine.

It is expected that there could be numerous variations of the design of this invention. For example the figurines 12 may be any size and/or shape appreciated in the art. For instance, the figurines may be a three-dimensional object which is representative of objects, such as, but not limited to: a plot object, an anthropomorphic object, and/or a setting object.

Finally, it is envisioned that the components of the kit 10 and method may be constructed of a variety of materials. For example, the components of the kit may be comprised of materials, such as, but not limited to: textiles, paper, wood, metal, plastic, glass, and/or rubber.

Thus, while the present invention has been fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made, without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention as set forth in the claims.