Title:
Punch-through gift container opened by punching open individually segregated gift compartments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A punch-through gift container for use in party and game play environments providing in one embodiment an enclosed container comprising a rigid backwall (40), rigid sidewalls (50 and 51), and an internally positioned matrix of interlocking rigid partitions (30 and 32), creating within the container a plurality of compartments (02). The front wall of the container comprises a thin fungible wrapper (10) affixed to the front of the container, with a plurality of aiming targets (20) adorned on the exterior of the wrapper to indicate the center of each compartment contained therein. Gifts placed within the compartments of the container are retrieved from the chosen compartment by punching or otherwise breaking the wrapper through the aiming target corresponding to the chosen compartment. Other embodiments are described and shown.



Inventors:
Adams, Russell Blake (Marietta, GA, US)
Adams, Ryan Craig (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/316646
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
12/13/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D71/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, RAVEN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Russell Blake Adams (Marietta, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A gift container for party games and other interactive gift distribution activities comprising an enclosure including a plurality of sidewalls foldably or otherwise connected to a backwall, said sidewalls being adapted to fold into an interconnected position relative to said backwall to form said enclosure with an open interior; an insert disposed in said open interior of said enclosure, said insert having a plurality of spaced partitions disposed generally parallel to said corresponding sidewalls, said partitions fully transversing said interior dimensions, said partitions intersecting and being connected together to form a plurality of compartments, said insert being similar in depth as said sidewalls to provide a level surface comprising the plurality of front-facing exposed edges of said sidewalls and said insert; an opaque covering foldably or otherwise connected to said edges of said sidewalls, a penetrable first means for accessing compartments whereby a child or adult can use a bare hand safely to do so; and a plurality of indicating second means located on the exterior surface of said covering, said second means indicating the location of each of said compartments, whereby participants can effectively aim for said compartments to retrieve gifts.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said edges comprising said level surface, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each compartment being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said edges to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other compartments and the contents therein; said first means is accomplished inherently by said wrapper; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

3. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is a front wall foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front wall comprising a plurality of openings corresponding one for one with said compartments, said openings being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said openings; said first means is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said front wall, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each of said openings being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said front wall to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other openings; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

4. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said edges comprising said level surface, said wrapper extending beyond said level surface encompassing and being adhesively affixed to all exterior sides of said enclosure whereby a pleasing gift-wrapped effect is achieved, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each compartment being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said edges to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other compartments and the contents therein; said first means is accomplished inherently by said wrapper; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

5. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is a front wall foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front wall comprising a plurality of openings corresponding one for one with said compartments, said openings being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said openings; said first means is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said front wall, said wrapper extending beyond said front wall encompassing and being adhesively affixed to all exterior sides of said enclosure whereby a pleasing gift-wrapped effect is achieved, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each of said openings being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said front wall to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other openings; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

6. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is a front housing foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front housing comprising a plurality of openings corresponding one for one with said compartments, said openings being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said openings, each of said openings being surrounded by a plurality of eyelets; said first means being a plurality of flexible, overlapping flaps covering each of said openings and held in place by a plurality of internally and externally disposed frames with a plurality of posts and receptacles respectively affixed to said frames, said frames surrounding each of said openings, said posts and said receptacles engaging the plurality of flap holes on the edges of said flaps, said eyelets surrounding said openings, said posts ultimately engaging said receptacles, thereby sandwiching said housing and said flaps between said frames at each of said openings; and said second means is accomplished inherently by said flaps; thereby providing for a reusable container requiring no reconstruction effort.

7. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is three-sided, incorporating three of said sidewalls; said covering is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said edges comprising said level surface, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each compartment being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said edges to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other compartments and the contents therein; said first means is accomplished inherently by said wrapper; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

8. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is three-sided, incorporating three of said sidewalls; said covering is a front wall foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front wall comprising a plurality of openings corresponding one for one with said compartments, said openings being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said openings; said first means is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said front wall, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each of said openings being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said front wall to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other openings; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

9. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is three-sided, incorporating three of said sidewalls; said covering is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said edges comprising said level surface, said wrapper extending beyond said level surface encompassing and being adhesively affixed to all exterior sides of said enclosure whereby a pleasing gift-wrapped effect is achieved, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each compartment being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said edges to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other compartments and the contents therein; said first means is accomplished inherently by said wrapper; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

10. The container of claim 1 wherein said enclosure is three-sided, incorporating three of said sidewalls; said covering is a front wall foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front wall comprising a plurality of openings corresponding one for one with said compartments, said openings being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said openings; said first means is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said front wall, said wrapper extending beyond said front wall encompassing and being adhesively affixed to all exterior sides of said enclosure whereby a pleasing gift-wrapped effect is achieved, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with each of said openings being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said front wall to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact about said other openings; and said second means is a plurality of indicating targets adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

11. The container of claim 1, further including an assembly affixed to one of said sidewalls, said assembly comprising a panel fitted with led's, a motion detection sensor, a control unit, and wiring to connect said led's and said sensor to said control unit; said control unit comprised of a battery compartment and suitable battery, control circuitry, an audio speaker, and an on/off switch; thereby offering audio and visual effects to enhance enjoyment.

12. The container of claim 1, further including small weights affixed near the bottom of said enclosure, thereby providing enhanced stability.

13. The container of claim 1, further including small, tacky-feel pads affixed to the bottom of said enclosure, thereby providing for more stability.

14. The container of claim 1, further including cushioning pads affixed to the interior walls of each of said compartments, thereby providing additional protection for compartment contents.

15. The container of claim 1, further including a plurality of carrying handles placed at intervals on the exterior sides and top of said enclosure, thereby providing for ease of transport and stability.

16. The container of claim 1, further including a penetration tool comprising a hand-held, one-piece molded plastic device comprising a gripping handhold, a hand shield, and a blunt point, thereby providing a handy device for easily penetrating said first means of said container.

17. A gift container comprising an enclosure including a plurality of sidewalls foldably or otherwise connected to a backwall, said sidewalls being adapted to fold into an interconnected position relative to said backwall to form said enclosure with an open interior; an opaque covering foldably or otherwise connected to a plurality of front edges of said sidewalls, a penetrable first means for accessing the interior of the enclosure whereby a child or adult can use a bare hand safely to do so; and an indicating second means located on the exterior surface of said covering, said second means indicating the location of each of said compartments, whereby participants can effectively aim for said compartments to retrieve gifts.

18. The container of claim 17 wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is a front wall foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front wall comprising an opening, said opening being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said opening; said first means is an opaque fungible wrapper adhesively affixed to said front wall, said wrapper extending beyond said front wall encompassing and being adhesively affixed to all exterior sides of said enclosure whereby a pleasing gift-wrapped effect is achieved, the portion of said wrapper coextensive with said opening being easily rupturable to gain selective access to contents therein while continuing to engage said front wall to maintain the remainder of said wrapper intact; and said second means is an indicating target adorned on the exterior surface of said wrapper.

19. The container of claim 17, wherein said enclosure is four sided, including a pair of said sidewalls horizontally disposed and a pair of said sidewalls vertically disposed; said covering is a front housing foldably or otherwise connected to the front of said enclosure at front edges of said sidewalls, said front housing comprising an opening, said opening being large enough for an average-sized adult hand to access said compartments through said opening, said opening being surrounded by a plurality of eyelets; said first means being a plurality of flexible, overlapping flaps covering said opening and held in place by internally and externally disposed frames with a plurality of posts and receptacles respectively affixed to said frames, said frames surrounding said opening, said posts and said receptacles engaging the plurality of flap holes on the edges of said flaps, said eyelets surrounding said opening, said posts ultimately engaging said receptacles, thereby sandwiching said housing and said flaps between said frames at said opening; and said second means is accomplished inherently by said flaps; thereby providing for a reusable container requiring no reconstruction effort.

20. A gift container for party games and other interactive gift distribution activities comprising a grouping including a plurality of backwalls foldably or otherwise connected to one another at their respective edges to form a generally three-dimensional shape, said grouping adhesively connected to a base with a plurality of extensions extending beyond the area formed by the bottom of said grouping, a plurality of sidewalls foldably or otherwise connected to said grouping at the seams of said grouping, said sidewalls extending outward into three dimensional space, said sidewalls being adapted to fold into an interconnected position relative to the corresponding sides of said grouping backwall surrounded by said sidewalls and said extensions to form a plurality of enclosures with open interiors; a plurality of inserts disposed in said open interiors of said enclosures, said inserts having a plurality of spaced partitions disposed generally parallel to said corresponding sidewalls, said partitions fully transversing said interior dimensions, said partitions intersecting and being connected together to form a plurality of compartments, said inserts being similar in depth as said sidewalls and said extensions to provide a level surface comprising the plurality of outward-facing exposed edges of said sidewalls, said inserts, and said extensions; an opaque covering foldably or otherwise connected to said edges of said sidewalls and said extensions, a penetrable first means for accessing compartments whereby a child or adult can use a bare hand safely to do so; and a plurality of indicating second means located on the exterior surface of said covering, said second means indicating the location of each of said compartments, whereby participants can effectively aim for said compartments to retrieve gifts. thereby providing for a multi-dimensional device.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/040,458 filed Mar. 28, 2008 by the present inventors.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field

This invention generally relates to containers, specifically to such containers which are used for party game play.

2. Prior Art

Various containers are used in party or other group entertainment situations to facilitate game playing. Containers commonly known as piñatas are used to house multiple gifts or prizes for distribution to participants as part of piñata game play. Compartmented piñ{tilde over ( )}atas are also in existence per U.S. Pat. No. 5,263,889 (1993) to Ledonne, however they are not as popular as the widely available single compartment piñatas. Containers utilizing heavy-duty transparent shrinkwrap and dividers to provide structural transport and display packaging per U.S. Pat. No. 4,119,202 (1978) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,826,357 (1974) to Roth are noted. Large custom-built sealed-compartment structures have been used as part of t.v. game shows to facilitate random selection games of chance.

The piñata and its associated party game have several drawbacks. The bat swinging required to break a piñata causes safety concerns. String-pull piñatas, though safer, are generally less exciting due to the nature of pulling a string as a gaming task. Until the gifts in the piñata are released, the piñata remains a filled container and the participants are left to wait in unfulfilled anticipation with little to do. Gift distribution is random and usually leads to some participants receiving more gifts than others, or for participants to be accidentally injured in the fray of gift gathering. Most piñata designs sold are designed for single use, creating added waste and requiring repurchasing for the next party.

Shrinkwrap containers for display and transport are generally ruggedized for commercial rigor with heavy-duty materials. Such containers are therefore bulky and weighty, and compartment access is more difficult and requires relative strength. The shrinkwrap itself is transparent, allowing the contents of compartments to be easily seen.

Large compartmentalized structures used in some t.v. game shows are ill-suited for typical party environments primarily because they are custom built as semi-permanent structures for the specific show's use, and therefore are not generally available to the public. Further impracticalities exist due to the perceived cost and trouble of transporting or otherwise procuring such a complex device.

Advantages

Thus several advantages of one or more aspects are to addresses safety concerns, deliver gifts to participants equitably and timely, and to provide exciting game play for a party group. Additional advantages will provide aspects that are easy to manipulate, simple, mass-producible, and reusable. These and other advantages of one or more aspects will become apparent in the ensuing description and accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY

In accordance with one embodiment, a container comprised of a backwall, 4 sidewalls, a front wall with a plurality of openings arranged in an array, and a plurality of horizontally and vertically interlaced partitions, creating within the container an array of generally equally sized compartments, with each compartment accessible through the openings on the front wall of the container. The container is covered using a fungible opaque wrapper such as gift-wrap which minimally covers the front wall of the container thereby masking each front wall opening. On the surface of the wrapping are placed indicating targets, such as stickers, which identify where each front wall opening is located beneath the wrapper.

In such an embodiment, gifts planned for distribution as part of game play are placed inside each compartment at an opportune step during assemblage of the embodiment.

DRAWINGS—FIGURES

FIGS. 1A to 1C are perspective and exploded views of a first embodiment comprising a rectangular container.

FIGS. 1D and 1E are perspective and exploded views of another embodiment comprising a front wall.

FIGS. 2A to 2C are perspective and exploded views of another embodiment comprising a triangular shaped container.

FIGS. 3A to 3C are perspective and exploded views of another embodiment comprising a container with a flap structure used to conceal the container openings

FIGS. 4A to 4C are perspective and exploded views of a container comprising a single compartment in accordance with another embodiment.

FIGS. 5A to 5C are perspective and exploded views of a single-compartment container with a flap structure used to conceal the container openings in accordance with another embodiment.

FIGS. 6A to 6C are perspective and exploded views of a container with electronic sound and lighting effects added to further stimulate game play.

FIGS. 7A to 7C are perspective and exploded views of an embodiment in which the container's compartments open out in different directions.

FIGS. 8A to 8C are perspective and exploded views of another embodiment providing a container with a hinged lattice assembly for securing the wrapper to the container front wall.

FIG. 9 illustrates various embodiments of potential accessories that are optionally used in conjunction with the various container embodiments to provide various ways for enhancing the container.

FIGS. 10A and 10B provide perspective views of an embodiment of a device which provides a way for effectively interacting with the container during game play.

FIGS. 11A to 11C provide perspective and exploded views of an embodiment comprising a container with rear access doors for accessing each compartment from the rear of the container.

DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 02 compartment
  • 03 compartment
  • 04 compartment
  • 05 compartment
  • 10 wrapper
  • 11 front wall
  • 12 opening
  • 13 wrapper
  • 14 Wrapper
  • 15 side wrapper
  • 16 top wrapper
  • 20 target
  • 30 vertical partition
  • 31 slot
  • 32 Horizontal partition
  • 33 partition
  • 37 vertical partition
  • 38 Horizontal partition
  • 39 top partition
  • 40 backwall
  • 41 door
  • 42 backwall
  • 43 backwall
  • 44 backwall
  • 45 inside wall
  • 50 vertical sidewall
  • 51 horizontal sidewall
  • 52 sidewall
  • 53 sidewall
  • 54 horizontal sidewall
  • 55 vertical sidewall
  • 56 base
  • 57 sidewall
  • 58 top wall
  • 61 post
  • 62 interior frame
  • 63 receptacle
  • 64 exterior frame
  • 70 flap
  • 71 flap hole
  • 80 housing
  • 81 housing eyelet
  • 82 housing
  • 83 opening
  • 90 led
  • 100 panel
  • 110 vibration sensor
  • 120 wiring
  • 130 control unit
  • 140 outer lattice
  • 150 lattice hinge
  • 160 inner lattice
  • 170 spur
  • 200 brace
  • 201 brace foot
  • 202 bottom section
  • 203 middle section
  • 204 top section
  • 210 pad
  • 220 weight
  • 230 container foot
  • 240 handle
  • 300 handhold
  • 301 Shield
  • 302 point

DETAILED DESCRIPTION—FIRST EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 1A, 1B, AND 1C

The first embodiment of a punch-through gift container is shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C, embodied as a rectangular container. The container comprises a backwall 40, two vertical sidewalls 50 and two horizontal sidewalls 51, a plurality of vertical partitions 30, a plurality of horizontal partitions 32, a wrapper 10, and a plurality of targets 20. The partitions 30 and 32 within the container, in cooperation with each other and with the backwall 40 and sidewalls 50 and 51, form a plurality of compartments 02 within the interior of the container. The backwall, sidewalls, and partitions are typically constructed from paperboard, but other materials such as fabric, plastic or even wood or metal are optionally used. Materials are optionally mixed, such as using a metal or plastic tubing framework for the walls and partitions, with fabric encasing the framework. For the rest of the discussion of the embodiments and their various ramifications and realizations, unless otherwise noted and as will be repeated, it is assumed that paperboard, or more specifically, corrugated cardboard, has been used in the construction of the container components. It is recognized, and is to be included in the scope throughout this application, that suitable alternate construction materials and their appropriate fastening materials are optionally used in the construction of the container. The backwall 40 and sidewalls 50 and 51, shown as separate components in FIG. 1C, though not required, are optionally formed from a single appropriately die-cut and folded sheet of paperboard as per normal practice. The sidewalls are aligned perpendicular to the backwall and are located along the backwall edges forming an enclosure, affixed together at any seams by an appropriate adhesive material such as tape, glue, or other common adhesive material.

The vertical and horizontal partitions 30 and 32 are dimensioned to the length or width of the section of the container being divided within the container from the interior of one sidewall to the opposite sidewall. The partitions are deep enough to rest against the backwall 40 and extend perpendicular from the backwall to a height even with the sidewalls 50 and 51, causing the front exposed edges of the sidewalls and partitions to form a level surface. The partitions have slots 31 that are cut into the partition from the partition edge into half the depth of the partition. The slots are located along each partition 30 and 32 at points where the partitions intersect, and the partitions are joined together by sliding them into each other at the slots, forming an interlaced matrix insert as illustrated in FIGS. 1B and 1C. The insert is placed against the container backwall 40 and the ends of each partition abut the sidewalls 50 and 51 per FIGS. 1B and 1C, creating an array of compartments 02. The partitions are optionally affixed to one another and the backwall and sidewalls at their aforementioned touch points via glue or other adhesive material as required for strength and stability.

An opaque wrapper 10 is affixed to the exposed edges of the partitions and sidewalls opposite the backwall using an appropriate adhesive such as glue, forming the front covering of the container. As shown in FIGS. 1B and 1C, the wrapper need only be large enough to cover each compartment opening. However, it is pleasing for the wrapper to be extended to encompass the entire exterior of the container, which includes the exteriors of the backwall and sidewalls in addition to the front of the container, giving the overall aesthetic impression that the container resembles a large gift-wrapped box, distinguishing it in appearance from prior art. The wrapper 10 is typically made from gift-wrap or other popular thin, fungible material to allow for participants to relatively easily puncture the wrapper and access an individual compartment 02 within the container.

Indicating targets 20 are placed on the wrapper at points on the wrapper which correlate with the location of each compartment opening to give participants an aiming point for accessing each compartment through the wrapper. Targets 20 are created using paper, foil, or other material stickers applied to the gift-wrap covering, though other methods such as simply drawing or printing targets on the wrapper also suffices. Optionally, each compartment 02 size is generally physically large enough for an average sized adult's hand to fit in the compartment. The overall size of a typical container varies based on the number of compartments, the size of each compartment, and the overall shape of the container desired.

For this embodiment and all embodiments in this patent application, gifts (not shown) of various types are inserted into the container's compartments at some natural point during assembly of the container prior to the compartments being sealed completely.

OPERATION—FIGS. 1, 2, AND 7

In operation, the basic use of the punch-through gift container per FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C is quite simple. Due to the relatively simple construction and assembly of the container, to facilitate low cost shipment and sales, and to allow a party host to be able to determine the type and quantity of gifts (not shown) to be placed in each compartment 02, the container may likely require partial assembly by the party host. In more of a full assembly required realization, the party host may need to fold backwall 40 and sidewalls 50 and 51, interlock partitions 30 and 32 via slots 31, deposit partition matrix into backwall/sidewall structure, load the compartments 02 with gifts, add wrapper 10 and targets 20. In alternative realizations, a complete package consisting of the container complete with gifts and the covering are assembled for purchase directly by the party host, or some other realization is optionally determined to best fit the requirements of ease of sales vs. ease of assembly by the party host. The ability to produce the container from low cost materials, that it is simple to assemble, and that it is easily customizable with gift contents provide for several advantages over the prior art.

Once the container is assembled and filled, each compartment 02 contains at least one gift for distribution, and the wrapper 10 and targets 20 are in place masking the compartment openings. The container is placed on the floor or a table-top so it is easily accessible and able to be held in place one or two party hosts while it is being used. Unlike certain prior art, the container is often the largest device in use at a typical party, making it a center of attention. Participants, or possibly their proxy if the participants are small or shy children, take turns selecting and punching through the target 20 and cooperating section of wrapper 10 of one of the compartments 02 and retrieving the gift or gifts in the compartment. That the wrapper is lightweight, allowing for even small children to enjoy the thrill of the physical activity of game play, is a solid advantage over prior art.

That the participant gets to immediately realize the benefit of their participation in the party game by getting their gift is a significant advantage over prior art, since there is no waiting for a ‘winner’ for prizes to be released. Conceivably each participant wins with each turn taken using the punch-through gift container. The act of punching through the wrapper 10 provides a uniquely entertaining and notably safer alternative than prior art which uses swinging sticks for game play. Another exciting aspect of game play is the act of choosing which target to punch and the related suspense of finding out what gift has been chosen due to the hidden nature of the gifts behind the opaque wrapper, unlike certain prior art. Since with each punch of the container this same excitement is generated, another advantage over prior art is realized. Gift distribution is equitable among the participants, providing another advantage over prior art.

The process of taking turns punching and retrieving gifts continues until all the targets have been punched through and all the gifts disbursed. Once all the compartments 02 have been punched through and all gifts therein disbursed, the container is discarded. Optionally, if the container has retained good structural condition and the party host so desires, the old wrapper 10 is completely removed, the compartments 02 are refilled with gifts, a new wrapper is affixed, targets are added, and the container is reused, providing advantage over certain prior art.

The embodiment and its realizations is able to be used for a vast variety of occasions and party settings, unlike prior art. The container enables many different ages to participate, unlike some games that have definite age limitations. The punch-through container and its game have proven enjoyable for ages 2 and up. There is also improved ease of cleanup over prior art. Unlike other party games or traditional wrapped or individual gift boxes, the mess associated with the punch-through container is self-contained as the punching through of the compartments leaves little to no mess outside the container.

As mentioned above, the types and amounts of gifts placed in the compartments 02 are variable. A single small gift or groupings of small trinkets or candy are optionally placed in gift bags for easy retrieval from the compartment. Larger gifts such as plush toys or packaged gifts are placed unwrapped or in their original packaging in the compartment. Fragile gifts or gifts with sharp edges that may cause harm to the user when punched are not to be placed in the compartment at all, or if absolutely required, they are to be completely surrounded with a padded material such as bubble wrap or pressed foam wrap or placed in individual packaging before being placed in the compartment 02.

In addition to the basic game play addressed above, a multitude of other games are playable involving the punch-through gift container to vary risk/reward and increase time spent and overall entertainment value. For instance, the time honored gift trading game known by the various names Yankee swap/Chinese Gift Exchange/White elephant/Dirty Santa is optionally played using the punch-through gift container as the ‘collection of gifts’ for the game. Participants are optionally able to punch multiple targets 20 instead of one at a time. Participants are optionally blindfolded when punching targets. The container is optionally playable while in motion, creating moving targets. The punch-through gift container is usable to allow winners of other party games such as relay races or beanbag tosses to select their prizes by punching a target or two. The container is usable in group settings for gift distribution instead of the typical handing out of individually wrapped gifts. For adults, the container is usable as guests arrive to provide a fun way to distribute party favors.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 1D AND 1E

As shown in FIGS. 1D and 1E, a front wall 11 is affixed to the front edges of the sidewalls 50 and 51 to provide improved structural integrity and stability to the overall container and a larger surface area for affixing the wrapper 10 to the front of the container. The shape of the front wall for this embodiment is rectangular, but the front wall is adaptable for use with other embodiments requiring that its shape be modified to suit the respective embodiment for which the front wall is intended. Alternately, the front wall 11, sidewalls 50 and 51, and the backwall 40 are foldably connected into a unitized structure created from a single piece of die-cut and folded paperboard, commonly known as a paperboard box, affixed at the appropriate seams with a typical adhesive such as glue.

The front wall contains a plurality of openings 12 that correspond one for one to each of the plurality of compartments 02 within the container. Optionally, each opening 12 is to be large enough to fit an average adult fist through comfortably. In this embodiment the openings are square in shape and are optionally configurable as other shapes such as round. The interior surface of the front wall rests, or is affixed by gluing or other method as preferred, against the front edges of the matrix of partitions 30 and 32. The wrapper 10 is affixed to the exterior surface of the front wall 11 via an appropriate adhesive such as glue, and targets 20 are added to the wrapper to indicate the center aiming point for each compartment as previously discussed. Also as previously discussed, the wrapper 10 is optionally extended beyond the front wall and covers the entire exterior of the container to provide a finished look similar to a large gift-wrapped box.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 2A, 2B, AND 2C

The punch-through gift container is optionally embodied in many exterior shape configurations. For instance, the container is optionally embodied as round, polygonal, fluidly shaped, or in the shape of the outline of a popular or trendy figure. The compartments in such shapes are optionally adjusted in size and shape to ensure space efficiency. A triangular shaped embodiment is realized in FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C, comprising a container with a backwall 42, a plurality of sidewalls 52, a plurality of variable length partitions 33, wrapper 13, and targets 20. The sidewalls, backwall, partitions, and wrapper when assembled form a plurality of compartments 03.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 3A, 3B, AND 3C

An embodiment is realized in FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C which defines a container that has been constructed with a flap-in-frame front covering to provide reusable compartment access. The flap-in-frame container replaces the wrapper 10 and targets 20 found in other embodiments with a front housing 80, a plurality of exterior and interior frames 64 and 62, and a plurality of flaps 70. The housing 80 is affixed to the front edges of the sidewalls 50 and 51, and contains a plurality of openings 83, with each opening 83 surrounded by a plurality of eyelets 81. Each of the openings 83 corresponds one for one to each of the plurality of compartments 02 within the container. Each of the openings 83 is covered by a plurality of overlapping flaps 70 constructed of a semi-flexible material such as rubber to allow for the flaps to be penetrable by a participant's hand and remain in place blocking the opening 83 when at rest. Each plurality of flaps 70 is secured in place around each opening 83 by sandwiching flap holes 71 between a corresponding exterior frame 64 with corresponding receptacles 63, the housing 80 with corresponding housing eyelets 81, and a corresponding interior frame 62 with corresponding posts 61. The frames 62 and 64 are typically constructed of plastic, but are optionally constructed of other materials suitable to the realization.

OPERATION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 3A, 3B, AND 3C

The embodiment utilizing flap-in-frame compartment access is operated in a similar manner as other container embodiments with the addition of eliminating the need to re-wrap the container compartment openings when reusing the container, since the flaps are a permanent fixture and they perform the function of allowing access to the compartments while masking the compartments when at rest.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, and 5A, 5B, and 5C illustrate a unique embodiment of the punch-through gift container in that only one compartment exists in the container. This embodiment allows each person to receive an individual gift container, but still allow for the experience of punching the gift open. FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C illustrate the single compartment punch-through gift container with a gift-wrap style punch-through covering similar in assembly and function to the container described by FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C. Backwall 43, sidewalls 53, and wrapper 14, form single compartment 04, and target 20 indicates the aiming point on wrapper 14 for compartment access. FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C illustrate the single compartment container with a flaps style covering similar in assembly and function to the container described by FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C. Backwall 43, sidewalls 53, single housing 82, flaps 70, and frames 62 and 64 comprise this embodiment.

OPERATION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 4 AND 5

Operation of the single compartment container embodiments in FIGS. 4 and 5 are similar to other container embodiments with the exception that each participant receives a separate container as opposed to each participant selecting a compartment to access in a multi-compartment container.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 6A, 6B, AND 6C

FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C illustrate a punch-through gift container with the added features of battery-operated electronic visual and audio stimulation via a plurality of led's 90 mounted in a panel 100, a vibration sensor 110, and a control unit 130. Wiring 120 connects the led's and the vibration sensor to the control unit 130 via separate wiring runs per FIG. 6C. These components are mounted and affixed within a separate assembly comprising a backwall 44, two vertical sidewalls 55, horizontal sidewall 54, and led housing 100. The assembly is secured to the punch-through gift container along one of its sidewalls using an adherent such as glue, and the control unit is integrated at one corner of this container to give access to the control unit's battery compartment and the on/off switch. The control unit 130 contains a replaceable battery sized appropriately for the described functions, typically 9V or one or more AA or AAA batteries, appropriate discrete element or microprocessor circuitry to provide the required functions described, an on/off switch, and a speaker. As an alternative to vibration sensing, optical sensors are optionally used within each compartment to detect a punch-through and trigger effects, in addition to other possible realizations of electronic accessories.

OPERATION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 6A, 6B, AND 6C

When turned on by the user via the on/off switch on the control box, the electronics included in this embodiment typically create sound and/or lighting effects while the punch-through gift container is being used. The vibration sensor is set to trigger unique sound and/or lighting effects as the compartments are being punched through. Optionally, sound effects play continually, adding to the festive atmosphere of the game play.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 7A, 7B, AND 7C

FIGS. 7A, 7B, and 7C illustrate a multi-directional container embodiment built in concept by assembling multiple single-direction containers with backwall edges and corresponding sidewalls joined together, with parts eliminated to simplify construction, so that the different compartments 05 open out into differing directions, creating an assemblage resembling a cube. Multiple backwalls 45 are used in these containers with their edges affixed to one another and to base 56 to create an internal base structure for the overall container. From each of these multiple backwalls, partitions 37, 38, and 39 and sidewalls 57 and 58 are added based on the number of compartments required per the particular gift container created. Corresponding wrappers 15 and 16 are affixed to exterior surfaces surrounding the corresponding compartments, and targets 20 are placed at the appropriate aim spots on the wrappers indicating compartment centers. Additional possibilities for multi-directional container embodiment shapes are pyramids, octahedrons, etc.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 8A, 8B, AND 8C

FIGS. 8A, 8B, and 8C illustrate an embodiment which uses a sandwiching mechanism to secure the wrapper 10 to the front of the container. An Inner lattice 160 is affixed to the front edges of sidewalls 50 and 51. An outer lattice 140 is hinged to the horizontal sidewall 51 using a plurality of hinges 150. The wrapper 10 is held in place via sandwiching between the inner and outer lattices. A plurality of posts 170 on inner lattice 160 secure the wrapper at the edges surrounding the lattice openings in order to ensure punching of the wrapper affects only the wrapper of the compartment being punched-through. This lattice arrangement allows for a container to be created that provides a punch-through experience while offering the ability to replace the used wrapper without using glue, thereby creating an easily refillable and reusable container.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 9, 10A, AND 10B

Additional accessories are embodied for enhancing the punch-through container. Per FIG. 9, adjustable length braces 200 affixed to the back of the container are optionally used to keep the container still and held in place while it is being used. In this embodiment, each brace comprises two tacky-backed rubber feet 201 attached via a simple hinging mechanism to the two far ends of the brace 200, and multiple brace sections 202, 203, and 204 comprising the length of the brace that are telescoping and connected together via multiple catches and pins or other common mechanism to allow for length adjustment. The brace sections are made of light metal, plastic, or other suitable material. One foot 201 rests against the backwall of the container and the other foot 201 rests against a surface near the container to provide support to the container when it is in use. Other embodiments of braces are similar to a stand-up picture frame stand, easel-style, etc.

Cushioned Pads 210 are optionally affixed by glue or another adherent to the walls of compartments to keep gifts from rattling within each compartment. Weights 220 are optionally affixed by glue or other suitable adherent at the bottom of the container to assist in overall balance and stability when using the container. Tacky-feel rubber feet 230 are optionally placed on the bottom of the container to assist in overall balance and stability. Plastic or other suitable material handles 240 are optionally affixed via tab/slot or other method to the sidewalls and top of the container to provide for ease of carrying the container, and to assist with holding the container in place as it is used.

Per FIGS. 10A and 10B, a punch-through tool comprising a handhold 300, a hand shield 301, and a blunt point 302, typically made of molded plastic, is usable to make the act of punching simple to perform for young children, those concerned with safety, or those who prefer using something other than their own hand for punching into the compartment.

DESCRIPTION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 11A, 11B, AND 11C

FIGS. 11A, 11B, and 11C illustrate a punch-through gift container embodiment with a plurality of rear access doors 41 built into the backwall 40 corresponding one for one with each compartment 02 in the container, for access into each compartment 02 via the back of the container. The doors 41 are either cut directly into the backwall or added to backwall openings via hinges, or other similar mechanism based on the material used for the backwall and doors. The doors are held closed via friction between the door edges and the backwall opening edges or by sealing the door shut with tape or similar adhesive material, or other method based on the material used for the backwall and doors. This embodiment allows for the user to add gifts to a container from the back of the container when the front of the container is already sealed by a glued or otherwise irremovable wrapper. As with other embodiments, this embodiment serves to illustrate one method for adding gifts to a container with the front wrapper already affixed. Other methods such as allowing side doors for insertion and removal of partitions with gifts loaded, creating a rear panel that hinges or slides open revealing compartments, or other methods are also possible alternatives to this embodiment.

OPERATION—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT—FIGS. 11A, 11B, AND 11C

The operation of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11A, 11B, and 11C is different from the operations of similar embodiments in the method for loading gifts into the container. In this embodiment, the party host loads gifts into a container to which the wrapper 10 has already been glued or otherwise irreversibly affixed to the front of the container. Gift loading in this embodiment is accomplished by opening a small rear access door 41, one per compartment, placing the gift in the compartment, and closing the rear access door.

CONCLUSIONS, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

Accordingly the reader will see that, according to several embodiments described, a punch-through gift container is realized that provides a more commercially viable, safer, more entertaining party game device for all occasions and ages. Certain embodiments improve environmental friendliness, reduce waste, and are reusable. The various embodiments created added suspense, introduce a game of chance, and offer improved user gratification. Increased and more widely varied game play options are available, including alternatives to traditional gift-giving methods, and increased and more equitable wins are achievable in game play.

While the above description contains many specificities, these are not to be construed as limitations on the scope of any embodiment, but as exemplifications of the presently preferred embodiments, thereof. Many other ramifications and variations are possible within the teachings of the various embodiments. For example, hinged embodiments, collapsible embodiments, modular embodiments, embodiments with variable or multiple sized compartments, creatively shaped, embodiments with decorative appendages, top-loading, mechanized, and back-to-back embodiments, etc., are all within scope of the realizations envisioned.

Thus the scope of the invention is to be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, and not by the examples given.





 
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