Title:
Multilayer Novelty Item
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a multilayer novelty item. In some aspects of the invention, the multilayer novelty item can be provided in form of a costume part, such as a face mask with enhanced realism. The multilayer novelty item can include a rigid layer that has an inner surface configured to be fitted to at least a portion of a human head. The rigid layer can be provided with outer surface that is provided with indicia, such as an imprint or latex paint layer that emulates the appearance of innards of a human head, for example. One or more soft foam layers can be provided adjacent the outer surface to define one or more openings aligned with the indicia, such that the indicia can be seen through the opening. A wig (and/or other means) cooperates with the rigid layer to define a chamber for receiving the head.



Inventors:
Post, Donald J. (Newhall, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/208887
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
09/11/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/26
International Classes:
A63H33/00
View Patent Images:
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20050227582Composite model construction and methodOctober, 2005Kloos



Primary Examiner:
ANNIS, KHALED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP NEWARK (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multilayer novelty item, emulating the appearance of a body part, comprising: a rigid layer having indicia disposed therewith, said indicia comprising at least one of an imprint and a paint layer; and at least one soft layer adjacent said rigid layer and defining at least one opening aligned with said indicia, said indicia being visually-perceptible through said at least one opening.

2. The multilayer novelty item of claim 1 in the form of a costume part having said rigid layer and said at least one soft layer.

3. The multilayer novelty item of claim 2, wherein said costume part comprises a mask having said rigid layer and said at least one soft layer.

4. The multilayer novelty item of claim 3, comprising a wig cooperating with said rigid layer to at least partially define a chamber for receiving a human head.

5. The multilayer novelty item of claim 4, wherein said rigid layer comprises a plastic, and wherein said soft layer comprises foam.

6. The multilayer novelty item of claim 1 in the form of a severed limb prop having said rigid layer and said at least one soft layer.

7. The multilayer novelty item of claim 6, wherein said soft layer substantially encapsulates said rigid layer.

8. The multilayer novelty item of claim 6, wherein said rigid layer comprises plastic and said soft layer comprises foam.

9. A multilayer novelty item in the form of a mask, comprising: a rigid layer having (a) an inner surface configured to be fitted to at least a portion of a human head, and (b) an outer surface having indicia disposed therewith; at least one soft layer adjacent said outer surface of said rigid layer and defining at least one opening aligned with said indicia, said indicia being visually perceptible through said at least one opening; and means for cooperating with said rigid layer to at least partially define an area for receiving the human head.

10. The multilayer novelty item of claim 9, wherein said means comprises a wig, and wherein said area comprises a chamber.

11. The multilayer novelty item of claim 9, wherein said rigid layer comprises plastic.

12. The multilayer novelty item of claim 9, wherein said at least one soft layer comprises foam.

13. The multilayer novelty item of claim 9, wherein said at least one soft layer comprises a first soft layer and a second soft layer.

14. The multilayer novelty item of claim 13, wherein said at least one opening comprises an opening defined through said first soft layer.

15. The multilayer novelty item of claim 13, wherein said at least one opening comprises an opening defined between said first soft layer and said second soft layer.

16. The multilayer novelty item of claim 9, wherein a breath hole is defined by said rigid layer and said at least one soft layer.

17. The multilayer novelty item of claim 16, comprising a mesh layer adjacent said rigid layer and aligned with said breath hole.

18. The multilayer novelty Item of claim 17, wherein said mesh layer is adjacent said inner surface of said rigid layer opposite said outer surface of said rigid layer so as to be positionable between said rigid layer and the human head.

19. A multilayer novelty item in the form of a mask, comprising: a rigid layer, including a first portion (a) having an inner surface configured to be fitted to a human face of a human head and (b) provided with first indicia having an imprint emulating innards of the human head, and further including a second portion (a) having an inner surface configured to be fitted to a human scalp of the human head and (b) provided with second indicia emulating innards of the human head; and at least one soft layer adjacent said rigid layer and defining a plurality of openings aligned with said first and second indicia, said first and second indicia being visually perceptible through said plurality of openings.

20. The multilayer novelty item of claim 19, comprising means for cooperating with said rigid layer to at least partially define a chamber for receiving the human head.

21. The multilayer novelty item of claim 19, wherein said rigid layer comprises plastic, and wherein said at least one soft layer comprises foam.

22. The multilayer novelty item of claim 19, comprising a breath hole defined by said rigid layer and said at least one soft layer, and further comprising a mesh layer aligned with said breath hole.

23. The multilayer novelty item of claim 19, wherein said at least one soft layer comprises a first soft layer and a second soft layer.

24. The multilayer novelty item of claim 23, wherein said plurality of openings comprise at least one of (a) an opening defined through said first soft layer, and (b) an opening defined between said first soft layer and said second soft layer.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

The present application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. ยง 119(e) of U.S. Provisional App. No. 60/993,287, filed Sep. 11, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to novelty items having the appearance of a body part. In particular, preferred embodiments of the invention relate to novelty items having the form of a body part and/or a portion thereof, such as a mask, a severed limb prop, etc.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Novelty items are known in the art. For example, it is known in the art to provide costume parts, such as masks, fake limbs, etc., for use and enjoyment on Halloween. It is desirable for such costume parts to have a life-like appearance, so as to enhance the use and enjoyment of the costume parts to both the wearer and the onlooker. What is needed in the art is an improved novelty item for providing entertainment and enjoyment to users of novelty items and bystanders thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the disadvantages and shortcomings of the prior art by providing a multilayer novelty item having the appearance of at least a portion of body part, wherein the body part is that of a human, an animal, and/or a fictional character, such as a clown, monster, etc. The multilayer novelty item, while having such appearance, includes a rigid layer with indicia disposed therewith and at least one outer layer formed thereon, such as a soft foam or latex layer. The at least one outer layer has an opening defined therein and/or therebetween, such that the indicia provided with the rigid layer is visually-perceptible through the opening. The multilayer novelty item, including the outer layer thereof, is provided with structural support by the rigid layer. The multilayer novelty item emulates a body part and can be provided as a costume part, such as a mask.

In a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the multilayer novelty item is provided as a costume part, such as a mask having the appearance of a head. The multilayer novelty item, e.g., the mask, includes a rigid layer having an outer surface, which can be provided with indicia, such as a latex paint layer and/or molded imprint of a skull, teeth, or other innards, and an inner surface opposite the outer surface, which is configured to be fitted against the head, e.g. face, scalp, etc. of a user. The multilayer novelty item, e.g., the mask, further includes an outer layer formed adjacent the outer surface of the rigid layer, which defines at least one opening, such that the indicia is visually perceptible therethrough. The outer layer is preferably formed from a soft, resilient and/or flexible material for lending a life-like appearance to the outer layer and is provided with structural support from the rigid layer, which inhibits the outer layer from bending, e.g., downwardly by virtue of gravitational force. A wig extends from a scalp section of the rigid layer and cooperates with the rigid layer to define a chamber configured to receive a human head of the user. Inner and outer apertures, referenced herein as breath holes, can be formed through the rigid and/or outer layers, and a mesh layer can be secured adjacent the breath holes to further enclose the chamber and to camouflage that portion of the user's face aligned with the breath holes. Additional inner and outer apertures, referenced herein as eye holes, are formed through the rigid and/or outer layers for allowing a user wearing the mask to see therethrough.

In a second exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the multilayer novelty item is provided as a severed limb prop. The multilayer novelty item, e.g., the severed limb prop, includes a rigid layer having an outer surface provided with indicia, such as a latex paint layer and/or a molded imprint of the appearance of an arm bone or other innards. The multilayer novelty item, e.g., the severed limb prop, further includes an outer layer formed adjacent the outer surface of the rigid layer and at least partially encapsulates the rigid layer. The outer layer defines at least one opening, such that the indicia is visually perceptible therethrough. Structural support is provided by the rigid layer, which inhibits the severed limb prop from bending, e.g., downwardly by virtue of gravitational force.

Additional features, functions and benefits of the disclosed multilayer novelty item will be apparent from the detailed description which follows, particularly when read in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description of exemplary embodiment(s) considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a multilayer novelty item constructed in accordance with a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention, wherein the multilayer novelty item is shown as a mask having a rigid layer, a plurality of outer layers, a plurality of mesh layers, and a wig;

FIG. 2 is an exploded front perspective view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded rear perspective view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a right side elevational view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a left side elevational view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is bottom plan view of the multilayer novelty item of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a multilayer novelty item constructed in accordance with a second exemplary embodiment of the present invention, wherein the multilayer novelty item is shown as a severed limb prop having a rigid layer and an outer layer at least partially encapsulating the rigid layer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1-9, a multilayer novelty item 10 is shown constructed in accordance with a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The multilayer novelty item 10 is shown in FIGS. 1-9 as a mask. It is contemplated that the multilayer novelty item 10 could be provided as any costume part, such as a costume part configured to be worn on any suitable area of a user's body, e.g., the torso, to emulate the torso, including the innards of such area, e.g., the rib cage. However, as discussed in further detail below, the costume part is shown as a mask configured to be worn, for example, on the head of a user thereof to at least emulate the innards of a head. In this regard, the multilayer novelty item 10 includes a rigid layer 12, a plurality of outer layers 14, 16, a wig 18, and a plurality of mesh layers 20, 22, each of which shall be discussed with further detail below.

The rigid layer 12 of the multilayer novelty item 10 is preferably vacuum-formed and/or molded plastic, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), styrene, etc. The rigid layer 12 has an inner surface 24 configured to face and fit a user wearing the mask and an outer surface 26 opposite the inner surface 24. The outer surface 26 is configured to face opposite the user and is provided with a plurality of indicia 28a-d. For example, the indicia 28a-b is provided with the outer surface 26 as molded imprints defined in the outer surface 26, and the indicia 28c-d is provided as a latex paint layer formed on the outer surface 26. The indicia 28a-c can be used to provide a desired appearance. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1-9, the indicia 28a-d has been provided in such a way as to respectively emulate innards of the head, e.g., the jaw and shape thereof, the skull and shape thereof, the yellow color of decay on teeth of the jaw, the red color of blood on the skull, etc. Moreover, it is further contemplated that the indicia can be provided with the outer surface 26 in any desired manner, e.g., molding, painting, adhesion, fastening, etc. As discussed below with further detail below, the indicia 28a-d is preferably visually-perceptible through the outer layers 14, 16. The molded indicia 28a-b can be provided as having three dimensional qualities. For example, the indicia 28a-b can be provided as an irregular and/or non-planar surface imprint into the outer surface to form the shape of teeth, bones, etc.

When a costume part formed by the multilayer novelty item 10 is a mask, the rigid layer 12 preferably includes a first portion 30, which is configured for alignment with the face of a user, and a second portion 32 extending from the first portion 30, which is configured for alignment with the scalp of the user. Indicia 28a, 28c are provided with the outer surface 26 of the rigid layer 12 at the first portion 30 thereof, and indicia 28b, 28d are provided with the outer surface 26 of the rigid layer 12 at the second portion 32 thereof. It is contemplated that the multilayer novelty item 10 can include any number of sections suitable for a desired application. For example, a costume part covering the torso (alone and/or in combination with a mask covering the head) may include a section configured for alignment with the chest of the user and another section configured for alignment with the back of the user.

Continuing with reference to FIGS. 1-9, the wig 18 extends from and is attached to at least part of the second portion 32 of the rigid layer 12. Such attachment can be accomplished with an adhesive, a fastener, etc. The wig 18 cooperates with the rigid layer 12 to define a chamber 34 for receiving the head of the user. Any wig suitable for the aforementioned purpose can be used, though it is preferable for the wig 18 to include a bundle 36 of faux (or natural) hair secured to a plurality of reinforcing bands 38 formed of an elastomeric fabric.

The multilayer novelty item 10 is provided with at least one outer layer, such as an outer layer 14 aligned with and secured to first portion 30 and an outer layer 16 aligned with and secured to the second portion 32. The outer layers 14, 16 are preferably formed of a soft, resilient and/or flexible material, such as polyurethane foam, so as to lend a life-like appearance to the outer layers 14, 16. The outer layers 14, 16 can be painted and provided with a latex paint layer thereon (not designated). One or more openings 40, 42 are provided, such as the opening 40, which is defined through the outer layer 14 and/or the opening 42, which is defined between the outer layer 14, the outer layer 16, and/or the wig 18. The openings 40, 42 extend through to the rigid layer 12 and are each respectively aligned with the indicia 28a, 28c and the indicia 28b, 28d, such that the indicia 28a-d provided with the rigid layer 12 is visually perceptible through the outer layers 14, 16, such as from a front view and/or any other desired view. In this regard, a continuous design can be formed across the collective viewing area formed by the outer layers 14, 16 and the exposed areas (indicia 28a-d) of the rigid layer 12.

The multilayer novelty item 10, e.g., the mask, can be provided with an inner hole 44a defined by the first portion 30 of the rigid layer 12 and an outer hole 46a defined by the outer layer 14, which is cooperatively aligned therewith to form a first eyehole 48a. The mask is also provided with an inner hole 44b defined by the first portion 30 of the rigid layer 12 and an outer hole 46b defined by the outer layer 14, which is cooperatively aligned therewith to form a second eyehole 48b for enabling a user to see through the mask. The first and second eyeholes 48a, 48b extend through to the chamber 34, thereby enabling a user of the mask to see therethrough.

Similarly, the multilayer novelty item 10, e.g., the mask, can be provided with an inner aperture 50a defined by the first portion 30 of the rigid layer 12 and an outer aperture 52a defined by the outer layer 14, which is cooperatively aligned therewith to form a first breath hole 54a. The mask is also provided with an inner aperture 50b defined by the first portion 30 of the rigid layer 12 and an outer aperture 52b defined by the outer layer 14, which is cooperatively aligned therewith to form a second breath hole 54b for enabling a user to breath easily through the mask. The first and second breath holes 54a, 54b extend through to the chamber 34, thereby enabling a user of the mask to more easily breathe when wearing the mask.

So as to camouflage that portion of a users face aligned with the breath holes 54a, 54b, mesh fabric layers 20, 22 are secured adjacent the breath holes 54a, 54b, respectively, and further enclose the chamber 34. As shown in FIGS. 1-9, the mesh fabric layers 20, 22 are adhered to the inner surface 24 of the rigid layer 12 opposite the outer layer 14. However, it is contemplated that the mesh layers 20, 22 can be adhered at the outer surface 26 between the rigid layer 12 and the outer layer 14. The mesh layers 20, 22 are preferably of a dark color, such as black, so as to provide enhanced camouflage during the night, which is a common time for persons to wear a mask on Halloween, for example.

Referring to FIG. 10, a multilayer novelty item 110 is shown constructed in accordance with a second exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Elements illustrated in FIG. 10 which correspond substantially to the elements described above with reference to FIGS. 1-9 have been designated by corresponding reference numerals increased by one hundred. The embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 10 is constructed and used in manners consistent with the foregoing description of the multilayer novelty item 10 shown in FIGS. 1-9, unless it is stated otherwise.

The multilayer novelty item 110 is provided as a severed limb prop with a rigid layer 112 in the general shape of a human arm bone. The rigid layer 112 is provided with first indicia 128b in the form of a molded imprint creating an irregular non-planar surface imprint emulating innards, such as contours of a human bone. First indicia 128d is also provided in the form of red paint to emulate the appearance of blood. Second indicia 128a, 128c in the form of a molded imprint of bone with red blood can also be provided in another location along the rigid layer 112. The rigid layer 112 is encapsulated by an outer layer 114 formed from urethane foam or latex. As shown, the outer layer 114 is provided with a first opening (not designated) that is in alignment with the first indicia 128b, 128d and is further provided with a second opening (not designated) that is in alignment with the second indicia 128a, 128c. In this regard, the second indicia 128b, 128d is visually-perceptible through second opening of the outer layer 114 and the first indicia 128a, 128c is Visually perceptible through the first opening of the outer layer 114.

It will be understood that the embodiments of the present invention described herein are merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make many variations and modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. All such variations and modifications, including those discussed above, are intended to be included within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.