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A bouncing ball type of amusement device has a buoyant die floating in a water-filled, transparent rubber ball. The die has a plurality of faces with written material thereon. When bounced after asking a yes or no type of question, the die will float to the top of the ball and one of its faces will contact the inside surface of the ball and be viewable by a user.

Kessler, Brian D. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Browdy and Neimark, PLLC (Washington, DC, US)
What is claimed is:

1. An amusement device comprising: an outer shell of transparent or semi-transparent plastic or elastomer or plastomer having good bounce characteristics, a liquid within the shell, and a buoyant die having multiple faces floating in the liquid in the shell, each of said faces of the die having written material thereon.

2. The amusement device of claim 1, wherein the form of the shell is a generally spherical ball.

3. The amusement device of claim 1, wherein the liquid is water.

4. The amusement device of claim 1, further comprising glitter within the liquid.

5. The amusement device of claim 1 wherein the die is in the shape of an octagonal pyramid.

6. The amusement device of claim 1, wherein the shell comprises a UV stabilizer or tint.

7. The amusement device of claim 1, where the shell has a surface polish selected to break up color light spectrum that could cause a magnifying effect that could make the ball intensify light and act like a magnifying glass in sunlight.



The present invention relates to an amusement device in the form of a spherical ball having good bounce characteristics and having a clear or near transparent ball having a buoyant, readable die therein.


Many different fortune-telling devices or die agitators are known in the prior art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,049,277 to Carlsson et al is a die agitator comprising a transparent container 12 containing a liquid, and a die 14 which is buoyant. The die has multiple faces that include indicia thereon. When the container is inverted, the die, because of its buoyancy with respect to the liquid of the container, rises upwardly and one of its faces engage the transparent base wall 22 and is readable. The wall 22 is the only viewing location for the die. U.S. Pat. No. 6,464,602 to Rottger is a hollow ball containing internal circuitry. The outside of the ball is made of a foam rubber material. When thrown an impact sensor 30 within the ball is activated and the circuitry produces a randomly generated audible question. Three switches 12, 14 and 16 accessible by a user on the outside of the ball provide a choice of answers to the question. U.S. Pat. No. 5,406,728 to Willitts is a decorative transparent spherical enclosure with a flat surface to facilitate application of an image to the surface. The enclosure contains a liquid having particles such as glitter or snow-flakes. When shaken or inverted, the particles descend slowly through the liquid. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,119,621 and 3,168,315 to Bookman are liquid filled die agitators. A buoyant die member 14 and 70 respectively is contained in the opaque liquid and has multiple faces with indicia. The die member will rise to the surface of the container 7 and 10, respectively, when it is inverted by a user so that the indicia on one of the die faces can be read through the transparent closure 16 of the container 7 and window 30, respectively. U.S. Pat. No. 6,368,176 to Lolzowski is a fortune telling device that includes an electronic library of text in the form of answers to a user's questions. When the device is shaken a randomly generated answer is displayed through the outside of the device. U.S. Pat. No. 6,755,416 to Nakamoto et al is a die rolling device and game. A liquid filled container 50 within the spherical shaped device includes a multi-faced die 42. The device will provide viewable indicia on the die when shaken.


While the device in accordance with the present invention may take various forms, a preferred form is in the shape of a spherical ball in which the wall or shell is made of a rubber or plastic or plastomer material having good bounce characteristics, and which is sufficiently transparent so that a buoyant die floating within a liquid contained in the ball can be viewed by user after the ball is bounced. One of the many faces on the die will subsequently come to rest near an upward inside surface of the ball and will be viewed as an answer to a question proposed by the user.


FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view of a presently preferred embodiment according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a typical die for use in the present invention.


FIG. 1 shows a spherical ball 10 in partial section having a spherical wall formed of a plastic or a rubber material which is both sufficiently transparent so that what is within the ball can be seen and which has good bounce characteristics. A preferred material for forming the wall 12 is an MDI-based polyurethane elastomer, but it will be understood that other materials which are sufficiently transparent and which have good bounce characteristics can also be used.

In the illustrated embodiment 10, a liquid 14 is provided with the interior of the wall 12 and the liquid 14 preferably fills the interior of the ball 10, and is preferably injected under pressure. The liquid is preferably but not essentially water containing a small (but anti-microbial) amount of a child-safe anti-microbial agent easily selected by those skilled in the art.

Within the interior of the ball 10 may be provided a plurality of small, decorative and preferably reflective particles, e.g. so-called “glitter” also well known to those skilled in the art. When the ball is shaken or thrown or bounced, the glitter 16 freely floats in the liquid 14 and its decorative effects can be seen through the wall 12 of the ball 10. The glitter is not essential and any decorative particles of sufficiently small size, desirably made of non-toxic materials, can be used. The best effect is caused by a light glitter type material, that helps obscure other sides of the cube when the chosen side is against the wall of the ball. It makes it easier to read the one panel.

Within the interior of the ball 10 is a buoyant die 18 made of water resistant material such as a plastic. A suitable sealant can be used to protect the die from being damaged by the liquid 14 as long as such sealant is waterproof and either transparent or near transparent. One such suitable sealant is an impact resistant polycarbonate resin. Die 18 is center balanced and has multiple faces, such as an octagonal pyramid, i.e., two pyramids extending in opposite directions and connected to one another at the base. Other shapes can also be used. Each of the faces of the die has written material thereon. Such written material can be “YES DEFINITELY”, “NOT A CHANCE”, “CANNOT PREDICT NOW”, “BOUNCE AGAIN”, “LOOKING GOOD”, “GO FOR IT”, “DON'T BET ON IT”, and “ARE YOU KIDDING?”, for example. Other such written material can be formed on the faces of the die and will preferably be an answer to a yes or no question. The ball 10 is molded in a conventional manner with the die therein. See copending application Ser. No. 12/300,626, in the name of the present inventor, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein, at page 4. It is also possible to add something to the surface of the ball to keep it substantially clear but introduce something that breaks up the color light spectrum that could cause a magnifying effect that could make the ball intensify light and act like a magnifying glass in sunlight. This effect can be achieved by introducing either a UV stabilizer, tint, cloudiness, or modifying the polish of the mould for making the ball. With regard to the polish, a finer polish means a shinier (and clearer) skin on the ball. One approach to achieve the desired effect is through the level of polish on the tool which should be kept slightly coarser (lower level).

Thus, the ball surface will be less shiny, therefore creating more disruption of light that travels through it, since more disruption means that there is less concentrated light to magnify.

The amusement device 10 is used simply by bouncing it or throwing it against any hard object such as a wall. When it hits a wall or a floor or the ground the die will move within the ball and float and “walk” toward the top inside surface of the ball when caught. One face of the die will come in multiple point contact with the inside surface and will be readable by a user. The device can be used as a fortune telling device in this manner.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without undue experimentation and without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. The means, materials, and steps for carrying out various disclosed functions may take a variety of alternative forms without departing from the invention.

Thus the expressions “means to . . . ” and “means for . . . ”, or any method step language, as may be found in the specification above and/or in the claims below, followed by a functional statement, are intended to define and cover whatever structural, physical, chemical or electrical element or structure, or whatever method step, which may now or in the future exist which carries out the recited function, whether or not precisely equivalent to the embodiment or embodiments disclosed in the specification above, i.e., other means or steps for carrying out the same functions can be used; and it is intended that such expressions be given their broadest interpretation.