Title:
SELF-STORING TOY KIT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-storing toy kit having a container that serves as the main body of the toy and adorning inserts that are secured to the main body. The main body has a plurality of walls that define an interior storage compartment for holding the adorning inserts. The walls have narrow slits on its exterior surface for receiving adorning inserts. The adorning inserts are dimensioned to fit tightly within the slits of the main body to ensure secure retention of the adorning inserts. The adorning inserts have a distal end that is resilient and a body that is flexible to allow the adorning inserts to cantilever from the slits. The main body has closing means for the interior storage compartment. The compartment allows for storage of the adorning inserts within the main body and eliminates the need for a separate carrying case for the adorning inserts.



Inventors:
Katz, Daniel (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/233972
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/19/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080051002Fencing and missile shooting toyFebruary, 2008Chung Wong
20060046613Confetti discharge methods and machinesMarch, 2006Mann
20080293326HAIR FOR TOYSNovember, 2008Ishimura
20030027486Foam toysFebruary, 2003Lapointe et al.
20030087580COLOR MEMORY TOYMay, 2003Shibahashi et al.
20070197121Toy airplane with finger roller launching systemAugust, 2007Nelson et al.
20080153381Flying toyJune, 2008Schenk et al.
20030148702Collapsible toy hoopAugust, 2003Campbell
20070093171Doll dressing apparatusApril, 2007Chan et al.
20090221210Amusing display ornamentSeptember, 2009Lin
20050032455Modular, structural building element, construction toyFebruary, 2005Holmes



Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ladas & Parry LLP (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable toy kit comprising: a main body having a plurality of walls forming a closed geometric shape that defines an interior storage compartment; said interior storage compartment having closing means to close said interior compartment; said walls having exposed narrow slits; adorning inserts having a resilient distal end and a flexible body, said distal end having a length and width allowing it to fit tightly within said narrow slits whereby said inserts are securely cantilevered in said slits when inserted therein; said adorning inserts having indicia to serve as an adornment for said main body;

2. The portable toy kit as set forth in claim 1 wherein said main body is fabricated out of corrugated board having at least one ply and at least one layer of fluting.

3. The portable toy kit as set forth in claim 2 wherein said slits extend through a top ply and into a layer of fluting.

4. The portable toy kit as set forth in claim 2 wherein said slits extend through all layers of fluting and all plies of said main body.

5. The portable toy kit as set forth in claim 1 wherein said main body is a square having a front face, rear face, top, bottom, and left and right sides.

6. The portable toy kit as set forth in 1 wherein said closing means comprises a radially pivotable hinged wall having a lip that extends into an interior of said main body and frictionally engages an interior portion of a wall of the main body.

7. The portable toy kit as set forth in 1 wherein said slits comprise a plurality of continuous slits that extend substantially the entire width of the exterior surface.

8. The portable toy kit as set forth in 1 wherein said indicia convey the appearance of body parts, garments, or accessories and said inserts are shaped to further convey such appearance.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to toy kits in general, and new and improved kits in which the container for the decorative elements of the toy kit also functions as the main body for the toy.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various toy kits have been developed which allow a user to adorn a main body of a toy such as a doll body by allowing elements having free ends to be placed into apertures on the main body. For example, the Mr. Potato Head doll was developed which allows users to add facial features, limbs and accessories to a three-dimensional potato-shaped plastic body by placing free ends of these adorning elements into preexisting apertures on the potato-shaped body. The attachment of the adorning elements to the potato-shaped body allows the user to customize the appearance of the toy and provide a variety of amusing appearances.

However, a disadvantage of known prior art kits is that they are limited in the customization that the user is able to perform. As an example, the Mr. Potato Head toy has only several apertures on the body for receiving adorning elements and the user is limited in the locations where they can place adorning elements on the main body. Furthermore, many of the prior toy kits do not securely hold the elements on the body and elements inadvertently fall out when the toy is inverted.

Several prior art toy kits have tried to overcome this disadvantage by providing improved retention of connectable elements. For example U.S. Pat. No. 6,179,681 to Matos (the “Matos '681 Patent”) teaches a construction kit featuring connectors having tongues, slots and notches for attachment to other connectors. The width of the notches and slots on the connectors are substantially equal to the thickness of the connectors in order to provide a frictional fit inside the slots or on the notches when a connector is attached thereby providing a secure retention of the connectors to each other. However, this type of toy kit is expensive to manufacture and requires precise dimensions of the connectible elements to provide secure retention of the connectors to the main body. Therefore, the toy kit taught by Matos may be ineffective in retaining connectors if the dimensions of the connectors deviate slightly from the intended dimensions due to a manufacturing problem or normal wear.

A separate container for holding adorning elements adds to the expense and bulkiness of toy kits. Several prior toy kits have been developed which eliminate the need for a separate container to hold the adorning elements. As an example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,520,078 to Klamer teaches a self storage multicharactered toy having a main body and interchangeable parts. The main body in the Klamer '078 Patent comprises a hollow, egg-shaped box member comprising two hemi-ovate sections that detach to allow storage of the interchangeable pieces within the main body. The disadvantages of the toy taught in the '078 Patent are that the main body is expensive to manufacture and the interchangeable parts are not sufficiently held in the apertures on the main body. Further, the main body of this device is not stackable for further customization.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a toy kit that has a container that also functions as the main body for the toy.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a toy kit that securely retains adorning elements to the main body of the toy.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a toy kit that has a main body that can house the remaining components of the toy.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a toy kit with improved portability.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a toy kit that has an improved ability to be customized.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a toy kit that is lightweight and economical to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a self-storing toy kit having a container that serves as the main body and adorning inserts for securement to the main body. The main body has a plurality of walls forming a closed geometric shape that defines an interior storage compartment for holding the adorning inserts. The walls have narrow slits on its exterior surface for receiving adorning inserts. The slits have a substantial length to provide a large area for the user to secure the adorning inserts to the main body for improved customizability.

The adorning inserts are dimensioned to fit tightly within the slits of the main body to ensure secure retention of the adorning inserts. The adorning inserts have a distal end that is resilient to allow the distal end to penetrate the walls surrounding the slit. The resiliency of the adorning inserts allows the adorning inserts to cantilever from the slits and maintain its spatial orientation to give the toy a three-dimensional presentation. The flexibility of the adorning inserts allows the adorning inserts to be manipulated by the user. The adorning inserts contain indicia and are shaped to convey the appearance of body parts, garments, accessories, or other objects that are desirable for a toy kit.

The main body has closing means for closing the interior storage compartment. The compartment allows for storage of the adorning inserts within the main body and eliminates the need for a separate carrying case for the adorning inserts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the self-storing toy kit;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the self-storing toy kit with the adorning inserts secured to the main body;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the self-storing toy kit with the interior compartment shown in an open position.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational sectional view of the self-storing toy kit having adorning inserts within slits on the main body.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational sectional view of a second embodiment of the self-storing toy kit having adorning inserts within slits on the main body.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1-5, the present invention is directed to an improved self-storing toy kit. The main body 2 has a plurality of walls 3 which forms a closed geometric shape that defines an interior storage compartment 4 for holding the adorning inserts 10. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the main body is a square-shaped, six-sided box having a front face 6a, rear face 6b, top 6c, bottom 6d, and left 6e and right 6f sides. Alternatively, the main body 2 may have polyhedral or curved walls and may be a variety of shapes including rectilinear or ovular shapes. The main body 2 has narrow slits 8 for receiving adorning inserts 10.

The adorning inserts 10 are fabricated out of a flexible and resilient material such as plastic. The adorning inserts 10 contain indicia and are shaped to convey the appearance of body parts, garments, accessories, or other objects that are desirable for a toy kit. In the embodiment shown, the adorning inserts 10 comprises legs 20, arms 22, eyes 24, a nose 26, a hair piece 28, and a tongue 30.

The adorning inserts 10 have a distal end 12 having a length and width sufficient to allow the adorning inserts to fit tightly within the slits 8 of the main body so that the adorning inserts can be securely cantilevered in the slits. The distal end 12 of the adorning inserts is fabricated out of a strong material to allow the distal end to penetrate the walls 3 surrounding the slits 8. When the adorning inserts 10 are inserted into the slits 8, the distal end 12 of the adorning insert is clamped down by the edges of the slits 8 to firmly secure the inserts in a cantilevered manner. The resiliency of the adorning inserts 10 allows them to protrude from the slits 8 in a cantilevered manner and maintain its spatial orientation to give the toy a three-dimensional presentation. For example, the arms 22 shown in FIG. 1-3 maintain an extended and bent orientation to give them a positioning that emulates a natural arm position. The flexible nature of the adorning inserts 10 further allows the user to manipulate the adorning inserts 10 when they are attached to the main body 2 without compromising the secure retention of the adorning inserts 10 by the slits 8. Both ends of the adorning inserts 10 may be configured to fit tightly within the slits 8 of the main body so that the inserts may extend in a three-dimensional manner. For instance, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the feet insert 20 have both ends inserted into slits 8 to form a three-dimensional adornment.

In alternative embodiments, the distal end 12 of the adorning inserts may be constructed out of a resilient material but the insert body 11 is fabricated out of a non-resilient material. For example, an adorning insert simulating hair may have a rigid distal end 12 while the insert body 11 has soft strands of a hair-like material.

While FIGS. 1-5 show slits 8 in the walls 3 of the main body for receiving adorning inserts 10, in another embodiment slots having apertures of a larger width than slits are adapted to receive adorning inserts having a distal end of appropriate dimensions to provide a frictional fit inside the slot for secure retention.

The slits 8 may be arranged in a variety of configurations and may be on some or all of the walls 3 of the main body. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-3, the slits 8 are arranged on the front face 6a, top 6c, left side 6e, right side 6f and bottom 6d in a plurality of parallel horizontal strips extending continuously along substantially the entire width of the walls 3. The significant length of the slits 8 provides the user a large area along the walls 3 to attach the adorning inserts 10 for improved customizability. The slits 8 may be configured in a wide variety of different arrangements to provide different areas on the walls 3 for attachment of adorning inserts 10 as desired for the toy kit. For instance, the slits 8 may be short and positioned at discrete points in order to help the user position adorning inserts 10 at precise areas.

When the adorning inserts 10 shown in FIGS. 1-3 are secured to the main body 2, the toy kit appears as a doll with a whimsical appearance. The adorning inserts 10 can be designed with a wide variety of colors and shapes to vary the appearance of the toy. For instance, the adorning inserts 10 can comprise four legs, a tail, and a snout to give the toy an appearance of an animal when the adorning inserts are secured thereon. Alternatively, the toy kit can have adorning inserts 10 with indicia indicative of elements of common objects such as a clock, computer, or television to give the toy an appearance of such objects. The adorning inserts 10 may have a flat distal end 12 for being received in slits 8 but may have a three-dimensional insert body 14 for an improved visual appearance. For instance, the insert body 14 may be contoured as a three-dimensional, life-like nose.

In a preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 4-5, the main body 2 is fabricated out of corrugated board having at least one ply 32 and one layer of fluting 34. The adorning inserts 10 when placed into a slit extend through the top ply 33 and into the fluting 34. When the corrugated board has two or more plies, the slit 8 may extend into the fluting and terminates at a subsequent ply or may be configured to extend through the other plies. For instance, in FIG. 5, the corrugated board has two plies and slit 8a extends through each of the plies whereas slit 8b only extends through the top ply 33. The severed fluting 34 of the corrugated board which forms the boundaries or edges of the slit 8 applies a significant amount of pressure on the adorning inserts 10 to securely retain the adorning inserts in the slits 8. The severed fluting 34 on the edges of the slit 8 also forms opposed frictional surfaces which grip the adorning inserts 10 within the slits and restrict their movement. The force applied by the main body 2 on the adorning inserts 10 allows the adorning inserts to maintain their position when the main body is inverted or subject to a significant amount of force. This improves the performance of the toy kit in windy situations such as when outdoors or in turbulent situations such as when traveling. Furthermore, corrugated board is flexible and can accommodate adorning inserts of a variety of thicknesses. Therefore, less precision in the dimensions of the adorning inserts 10 and slits 8 is needed for secure retention of the adorning inserts. This further decreases manufacturing costs of the toy kit.

Corrugated board is an inexpensive material and the main body 2, slits 8 and adorning inserts 10 are easily manufactured by conventional machinery. This allows the toy kit to be manufactured economically and efficiently. The main body 2 comprising a six-sided box as shown in FIGS. 1-5 is preferably constructed out of a corrugated board blank that is cut and folded. A large variety of other shapes may also be constructed in this matter.

The storage compartment 4 allows the adorning inserts 10 to be housed within the main body 2 and eliminates the need for a separate carrying case for the adorning inserts. The interior storage compartment 4 has closing means 15 to close the interior compartment and prevent the adorning inserts 10 from falling out of the compartment. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the closing means 15 comprises a free wall 35 having three sides that are not attached to any of the other walls and one attached side 39 connected to an adjacent wall. A hinge 37 is formed at the portion of the attached side 39 of the free wall 35 that is connected to the adjacent wall. The hinge 37 allows the free wall to be pivoted radially to allow access to the interior of the main body 2. When the free wall 35 is closed, a lip 16 attached to a free side of the free wall 35 in a perpendicular manner extends into the interior of the box and frictionally engages an interior wall to secure the box in a closed position. Alternatively, the closing means 15 may comprise hook and loop fasteners, snaps, or other securing means well known in the art.

The planar main body 2 is stackable with one or more additional main bodies in accordance with the present invention for improved customizability.