Title:
MAGNETIC GAME APPARATUS AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game apparatus is provided and includes a magnetic pickup apparatus and a plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces. The magnetic pickup apparatus such as a wand has at least two spaced-apart game piece pickup regions wherein each pickup region incorporates a magnet having field strength differing than the field strength of the magnet associated with other pickup points. The magnetic pickup apparatus is capable of being manipulated by a user to magnetically pick up a ferromagnetic object using any one of the incorporated magnets. The ferromagnetic game pieces are provisioned having different colour, size and/or weight characteristics.



Inventors:
Reid, Donald Clifford (London, CA)
Application Number:
15/077696
Publication Date:
10/06/2016
Filing Date:
03/22/2016
Assignee:
SPIN MASTER LTD. (Toronto, CA)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/30
View Patent Images:
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Other References:
http://translationportal.epo.org/emtp/translate/?ACTION=description-retrieval&COUNTRY=DE&ENGINE=google&FORMAT=docdb&KIND=A1&LOCALE=en_EP&NUMBER=19842699&OPS=ops.epo.org/3.2&SRCLANG=de&TRGLANG=en
http://translationportal.epo.org/emtp/translate/?ACTION=description-retrieval&COUNTRY=DE&ENGINE=google&FORMAT=docdb&KIND=A1&LOCALE=en_EP&NUMBER=19842699&OPS=ops.epo.org%2F3.2&SRCLANG=de&apikey=TSMqTfrVAvNtryGI8Qlfbozj8DnAGlqJ&TRGLANG=enMachine translation for DE 19842699
Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLMAN IP Inc. (Toronto, ON, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A set of elements for a game, comprising: a magnetic pickup apparatus having at least two spaced-apart game piece pickup regions, wherein each pickup region incorporates a magnet having field strength differing than the field strength of the magnet associated with other pickup regions, said magnetic pickup apparatus capable of being manipulated by a user to magnetically pick up a ferromagnetic object using any one of said incorporated magnets; and a plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces having different colour, size and/or weight characteristics that are sized and weighted to be picked up by at least one of the magnets on the magnetic pickup apparatus.

2. A set of elements according to claim 1, wherein the magnetic pickup apparatus is a wand having first and second opposing ends, and wherein said game piece pickup regions are located at said first and second opposing ends, respectively.

3. A set of elements according to claim 1, wherein said plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces are organized into multiple groups based on a first characteristic, each said group being organized into a series, wherein at least two of the members of each said series have different weights.

4. A set of elements according to claim 1, including a container sized to at least store said magnetic game pickup apparatus and said plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces, said container providing a defined playing surface upon which said ferromagnetic game pieces may be disposed for pickup by a user utilizing said magnetic pickup apparatus.

5. A set of elements according to claim 4, wherein said container is a pouch formed from flexible material.

6. A method of game play utilizing a magnetic pickup apparatus and a a plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces, wherein said magnetic pickup apparatus has at least two spaced-apart game piece pickup regions, wherein each pickup region incorporates a magnet having field strength differing than the field strength of the magnet associated with other pickup points, said magnetic pickup apparatus capable of being manipulated by a user to magnetically pick up a ferromagnetic object using any one of said incorporated magnets, and wherein said plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces are organized into multiple groups based on a first characteristic, each said group being organized into a series, wherein at least two of the members of each said series have different weights having , said method comprising: depositing said game pieces onto a defined playing area, wherein the number and size of said ferromagnetic game pieces relative to the size of said playing area are such that there would be a reasonable likelihood of many of said ferromagnetic game pieces clumping together if said ferromagnetic game pieces were to be randomly deposited on said defined playing area; and playing a game with multiple players, wherein each player is assigned to a group of said ferromagnetic game pieces corresponding to a particular one of said ferromagnetic game piece characteristics, and said player's objective is to pick up only said assigned ferromagnetic game pieces.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/137,864, filed Mar. 25, 2015, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

This disclosure relates to games and in particular to a game that incorporates a magnetic member intended for picking up other items.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Games using magnets are available in a wide variety of forms, including games where players pick up game pieces without directly using their hands. For example, a “Magnetic Card Pick-up Game and Apparatus” is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,663 to Avigal et al., wherein a player uses a magnet tied to an elastic cable to pick up magnetic cards.

Magnetic games can exercise the manual dexterity of the players. Magnetic games may also be used to educate players, particularly young children, about the principles of magnetism and the physics of magnetic fields.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

According to one aspect, game apparatus is provided which includes a magnetic pickup apparatus and a plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces. The magnetic pickup apparatus has at least two spaced-apart game piece pickup regions wherein each pickup region incorporates a magnet having field strength differing than the field strength of the magnet associated with other pickup points. The magnetic pickup apparatus is capable of being manipulated by a user to magnetically pick up a ferromagnetic object using any one of the incorporated magnets. The ferromagnetic game pieces are provisioned having different colour, size and/or weight characteristics and are sized and weighted to be picked up by at least one of the magnets on the magnetic pickup apparatus.

The magnetic pickup apparatus can be a wand having first and second opposing ends, the game piece pickup regions being located at the first and second opposing ends, respectively.

The ferromagnetic game pieces can be organized into multiple groups based on a first characteristic, with each group being organized into a series, wherein at least two of the members of each series have different weights.

The game apparatus can include a container sized to at least store the magnetic pickup apparatus and the plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces. The container can provide a defined playing surface upon which the ferromagnetic game pieces may be disposed for pickup by a user utilizing the magnetic pickup apparatus. The container can be a pouch formed from flexible material.

Another aspect provides a method of game play utilizing a magnetic pickup apparatus and a plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces, wherein the magnetic pickup apparatus has at least two spaced-apart game piece pickup regions, wherein each pickup region incorporates a magnet having field strength differing than the field strength of the magnet associated with other pickup points, wherein the magnetic pickup apparatus is capable of being manipulated by a user to magnetically pick up a ferromagnetic object using any one of the incorporated magnets, and wherein the plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces are organized into multiple groups based on a first characteristic, each group being organized into a series, wherein at least two of the members of each said series have different weights. The method includes: depositing the game pieces onto a defined playing area, wherein the number and size of the ferromagnetic game pieces relative to the size of said playing area are such that there would be a reasonable likelihood of many of the ferromagnetic game pieces clumping together if the ferromagnetic game pieces were to be randomly deposited on the defined playing area; and playing a game with multiple players, where each player is assigned to a group of the ferromagnetic game pieces corresponding to a particular one of the ferromagnetic game piece characteristics, and the player's objective is to pick up only the assigned ferromagnetic game pieces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other aspects of the invention will be more readily appreciated having reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a magnetic wand, which is an element of a first embodiment of a magnetic game apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of ferromagnetic bells of various sizes, weights, and colours; the bells constituting additional elements of the first embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a view of a series of bells of the same colour, having different sizes and weights.

FIG. 4 is a top view of a playing surface, which is another element of the first embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a pouch, which can provide the playing surface shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the pouch, partially opened, showing the magnetic wand and bells contained therein.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the pouch, fully opened, flattened for use as the playing surface and having various bells located thereon.

FIG. 8 is a view of the magnetic wand being grasped in a first orientation.

FIG. 9 is view of the magnetic wand being grasped in a second orientation, opposite the first orientation.

FIG. 10 is a view of the magnetic wand being grasped by a user to pick up a “string” of bells.

FIG. 11 is a diagram of a pamphlet detailing rules of play for a method playing a game using the apparatus of the first embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The drawings show an embodiment of a set of elements for a game (the “illustrated embodiment”). As will be discussed in greater detail below, the invention is broader in scope than the illustrated embodiment and thus the illustrated embodiment should be understood only as an example of the invention, which is defined by the scope of the appended claims.

The a set of elements of the illustrated embodiment includes a magnetic pickup apparatus such as a bottle-shaped magnetic “wand” 13 (see FIG. 1), a plurality of ferromagnetic game pieces such as coloured ferromagnetic bells 14 of various sizes, weights, and colours (see FIG. 2), and an optional container such as a pouch 11 (see FIG. 5), which, in some embodiments, also can serve as a playing surface 11a (se FIG. 4).

In one potential method of play, players can take turns using the magnetic wand 13 to attempt to pick up a “string” of bells 14 of a single colour from the playing surface 11A, according to detailed rules of play.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the pouch 11 can be semicircular and, when opened, is a circular piece of flexible material having a releasable fastener such as zipper 12 about its perimeter. The zipper 12 permits the opposing halves of the pouch 11 to be releasably attached to one another to thereby provide a closable pouch, or container, for the magnetic wand 13 and the plurality of coloured ferromagnetic bells 14, as shown in FIG. 6. Preferably, the pouch 11 is made of a flexible foam material with decorative fabric attached to both sides.

The pouch 11 also serves as a playing surface 11a, as shown in FIG. 7. When opened, the pouch 11 has a circular, mat-like shape that provisions the playing surface 11a. When the zipper 12 is engaged and in closed position, the pouch 11 has a semi-circular, pocket-like shape and can function as a container for the game components.

In alternative embodiments, the pouch 11 may be omitted in its entirety or replaced, for example, with a plastic dished member with a flat bottom interior surface to hold the bells 14, or with any other suitable member.

As shown in FIG. 1, the magnetic wand 13 of the illustrated embodiment has a bottle-like shape, a first end such as top end 15, and a second end such as bottom end 16, with the wand 13 asymmetrically tapering towards the ends. The first and second ends 15 and 16 of the wand 13 are circular and have different diameters, as shown in FIG. 8. The bottom end 16 has a larger diameter than the top end 15. The surfaces of the first and second ends 15 and 16 are slightly and smoothly rounded, or curved outwardly, from the ends 15 and 16 of the wand 13.

Magnets are incorporated into the wand such as magnets 17a and 17b located in each end 15 and 16 of the wand 13. Magnet 17a, which is weaker than magnet 17b, is located inside and adjacent the first end 15 of the wand 3. Magnet 17b, which is stronger than magnet 17a, is located inside and adjacent the bottom end 16 of the wand 13. The stronger magnet 17b generates a stronger magnetic field than the weaker magnet 17a. Preferably, the magnets 17 are permanent magnets.

In alternative embodiments, the wand 13 can have three or more magnets 17 each having a different magnetic strength. For example, a three-pointed wand may be used instead of the two-ended wand 13, wherein each of the three points of the wand has a magnet 17 having a strength that differs from the strengths of the other magnets 17.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the plurality of coloured ferromagnetic bells 14 are generally spherical and hollow, with a hard pellet (not shown) loosely contained therein. One or more apertures 18 in the walls of the bells 14 permit the sound made by the pellet to emanate from the bells 14. Bells of this type are sometimes referred to as sleigh bells or jingle bells. The bells 14 are made of a ferromagnetic material, such as nickel, iron, or another magnetic material or alloy. Preferably, a plurality of bells 14 are provided in various sizes, weights, and colours, with an equal number of bells 14 of each size, weight, and colour. For example, four different colours of bells 14 may be provided, each colour having two large bells, having a diameter of 2.6 cm at the midpoint; three medium bells, having a diameter of 2.0 cm at the midpoint; and five small bells, having a diameter of 1.3 cm at the midpoint.

In alternative embodiments, other arrangements of ferromagnetic game pieces or targets are possible. Generally speaking, the ferromagnetic game pieces can have different colour, size and/or weight characteristics. For the purposes of game play whose objective is to pick up at least one and preferably a string of magnetic targets, the magnetic targets can be organized into multiple groups based on a first characteristic, such as colour or shape. For example, the magnetic targets could have one of a predefined number of shapes such as round, square, heart, cross, etc. Each said group can be further organized into a series, wherein at least two of the members of each series have different weights. Thus, for example, the series of heart shaped targets could include four members, having small, medium, medium and large weights, respectively.

One method of game play involves a player attempting to selectively pick up bells 14 of a single colour from the plurality of bells 14 located on the playing surface 11a, using one end of the wand 13. First, the player places a plurality of bells 14 on the playing surface 11a, as shown in FIG. 7. The number of different colours of bells 14 may be selected, based on the number of players. Preferably, the number and size of the bells 14 relative to the size of the playing surface 11a are such that there would be a reasonable likelihood of many bells 14 clumping together if they were to be randomly deposited onto the playing surface 11a. This increases the likelihood of magnetic interference, making the game more interesting.

Before attempting to pick up any bells 14, the player decides whether to use the weaker magnet 17a or the stronger magnet 17b and selects the desired magnet 7. The player may select the weaker magnet 17a by grasping the wand 13 by the bottom end 16, as shown in FIG. 8, or may select the stronger magnet 17b by grasping the wand 13 by the top end 15, as shown in FIG. 9. Using the stronger magnet 17b provides the player with a stronger magnetic field, which exerts a stronger attraction on the bells 14, thereby permitting the player to pick up more weight, for example, a long “string” of bells 14, as shown in FIG. 10. Using the weaker magnet 17a provides the player with a weaker magnetic field, which exerts a weaker attraction on the bells 14, thereby permitting the player to pick up bells 14 with greater precision. For example, a player may select the weaker magnet 17a to pick up a bell 14 of his or her colour, which is surrounded by bells 14 of another colour. Alternatively, a player may select the stronger magnet 17b to pick up a number of bells 14 of his or her colour, which are grouped together and isolated from bells 14 of another colour.

Once one or more bells 14 of a single colour have been picked up using the wand 13, the player may set these bells 14 aside. Alternatively, the player may attempt to pick up additional bells 14. If the player picks up bells 14 of more than one colour, the player immediately returns all bells 14 picked up that turn to the playing surface 11a. At any time after picking up one or more bells 14 the player may stop the turn and set aside the bells 14 picked up that turn, so long as bells 14 of only a single colour have been picked up that turn.

The next player can then grasps the wand 13 and attempts to pick up bells 4 of his or her colour, as above. The players take turns until one of them has picked up all of the bells 4 of his or her colour.

The game may be played by one or more players, using one playing surface 11a, one wand 13, and a plurality of bells 14 of different colours. Preferably, the number of players is equal to the number of different colours of bells 14.

FIG. 11 shows a pamphlet detailing specific rules of play governing how players take turns and the results required to win the game. Alternative rules are also possible.

The embodiments are described herein illustratively and are not meant to limit the scope of the invention as claimed. Variations of the foregoing embodiments will be evident to a person of ordinary skill and are intended by the inventor to be encompassed by the appended claims.