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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
BEAD TOY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/067855
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bead toy for making decorative human-like figures from molded synthetic resin beads comprises a body armature in the form of an elongated strand of synthetic resin bent on itself and having integrally formed, T-shaped ends, and an arm armature having a hub and two arms extending in opposite directions from the hub, the arms also having integrally formed T-shaped ends. These T-shaped ends are engageable with foot beads and hand beads respectively, each of which has a through hole with a large first part for receiving a T-shaped end portion and a narrower second part though which the T-shaped end portion cannot pass, a longitudinal slot communicating with the through hole, and an internal pocket shaped to receive the end portion and prevent it from passing outward through the slot.

Inventors:
VENTOLA, Vincent (LLC40 Lane Roa, Fairfield NJ, 07004, US)
Application Number:
US2018/053340
Publication Date:
April 04, 2019
Filing Date:
September 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ALEX TOYS, LLC (40 Lane Road, Fairfield, NJ, 07004, US)
International Classes:
A63H3/04; A63H3/16; A63H33/00; A63H33/06
Foreign References:
US20100221975A12010-09-02
US20030162476A12003-08-28
US20130122776A12013-05-16
US20080003917A12008-01-03
US20180184768A12018-07-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH, George A. Jr. et al. (Howson & Howson LLP, Bldg. 620 Suite 210,340 Sentry Parkwa, Blue Bell PA, 19422, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A bead toy comprising:

an armature in the form of an elongated strand of

flexible synthetic resin, having opposite ends, and an integrally formed transverse part at least at one of said opposite ends whereby said one of said ends of the armature is in the form of a "T" ;

a first bead having a first through hole for receiving said elongated strand, a slot extending parallel to said first through hole and having a width sufficient that said elongated strand can pass through the slot and into the first through hole in a direction transverse to the first through hole, and said first through hole having a first portion extending from one end thereof to an intermediate location along the length of the first through hole, said first portion having a dimension transverse to the length of the first through hole sufficient to allow said first portion to receive the transverse part at one of said opposite ends of the armature and a second portion having dimensions transverse to the length of the first through hole such that said transverse part at said one of said opposite ends of the armature cannot pass through said second portion, said first portion being shaped such that when said transverse part of the armature is located in said first portion and adjacent said second portion, the transverse part is prevented from passing outward from said first portion through said slot; and

series of additional beads arranged on a part of said elongated strand extending from the first through hole of said first bead, each of said additional beads having a through hole with a transverse dimension sufficiently large to allow said one of said ends of the armature to pass therethrough in an assembly process wherein said one of said opposite ends of the armature is successively passed through the through holes of said additional beads and said first bead is installed on said armature by passing a part of said elongated armature through said slot of the first bead into the through hole of said first bead.

2. A bead toy comprising:

body armature in the form of an elongated strand of flexible synthetic resin, having opposite ends, and an integrally formed transverse part at each of said opposite ends whereby each of said ends of the body armature is in the form of a «T"; arm armature composed of synthetic resin and

comprising a hub having a central opening of a size sufficient that a portion of the body armature when bent upon itself can pass though said central opening, said arm armature including two elongated arm strands of flexible synthetic resin, both arm strands being unitary with, and extending in opposite directions from, said hub, and each said arm strand having, at its end remote from said hub, an integrally formed transverse part whereby the end of each of said arm strands remote from said hub is in the form of a "T";

two foot beads , each having a through hole for

receiving an elongated strand of said body armature, a slot extending parallel to said though hole and having a width sufficient that an elongated strand of the body armature can pass through the slot and into the through hole in a direction transverse to the through hole, and each said through hole having a first portion extending from one end thereof to an intermediate location along the length of the through hole, said first portion having a dimension transverse to the length of the through hole sufficient to allow said first portion to receive the

transverse part at one of said opposite ends of the body armature and a second portion having dimensions transverse to the length of the through hole such that said transverse part at said one of said opposite ends of the body armature cannot pass though said second portion, said first portion being shaped such that when a transverse part of the body armature is located in said first portion and adjacent said second portion, the transverse part is prevented from passing outward from said first portion through said slot; and two hand beads, each having a hand bead through hole for receiving an elongated strand of said arm armature, a slot extending parallel to said hand bead though hole and having a width sufficient that an elongated strand of the arm armature can pass through the slot and into the hand bead through hole in a direction transverse to the direction of the hand bead through hole, and each said hand bead through hole having a first portion extending from one end thereof to an intermediate location along the length of the hand bead through hole, said first portion of the hand bead through hole having a dimension

transverse to the length of the hand bead through hole sufficient to allow said first portion of the hand bead through hole to receive the

transverse part at an end of one of said strands of the arm armature and a second portion having dimensions transverse to the length of the hand bead through hole such that said transverse part at an end of one of said strands of the arm armature cannot pass though said second portion of said hand bead through hole, and said first portion of each said hand bead though hole being shaped such that when a transverse part of the hand armature is located in said first portion thereof, and adjacent said second portion

thereof, the transverse part of the hand armature is prevented from passing outward from said first portion thereof through the slot of said hand bead.

3. The bead toy according to claim 2, wherein: said body armature is bent on itself at a location

midway between its opposite ends;

portions of said body armature extend, in side-by-side relationship to each other, through the central opening of said hub;

the transverse part of each of said opposite ends of said body armature is engaged with one of said foot beads and located in the second portion of the through hole therein; and

the transverse part at the end of each of said arm

strands remote from said hub is engaged with one of said hand beads and located in the second portion of the through hole therein.

4. The bead toy according to claim 3, in which a sufficient number of intermediate beads is disposed between said hub and each of said hand beads to maintain the transverse part of each strand of the arm armature from moving out of the second portion of the hand bead through hole in which it is located.

5. The bead toy according to claim 3, in which said portions of the body armature extend through an opening in at least one bead located between said hub and said foot beads, in which a stop is fitted onto said portions of the body armature adjacent said at least one bead and between said at least one bead and said foot beads, and in which a sufficient number of intermediate beads is disposed on each of said portions of the body armature between said stop and the foot bead on each of said portions of the body armature to maintain each of the transverse parts of the body armature from moving out of the second portion of the foot bead through hole in which it is located.

Description:
BEAD TOY

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority on the basis of provisional application No. 62/565230, filed on September 29, 2017, and incorporates by reference the entire

disclosure of the provisional application.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a bead toy and to a kit for making bead toys from molded plastic beads .

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Children enjoy making various kinds of decorative articles by threading strings through beads . These

articles can include human figures having body parts including a head, a torso, arms legs, hands and feet.

Younger children, however, frequently encounter difficulty in forming the knots needed to hold the beads in place on the strings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] This invention provides a simple bead toy that is readily assembled by younger children, that enables the child to produce human form figures using beads that the child can select from an assortment of beads, and that does not require the tying of knots.

[0005] One aspect of the invention pertains to the structure of the beads, and the armatures on which the beads are assembled. Preferably, the armature is in the

-i- form of an elongated strand of flexible synthetic resin, having opposite ends, and an integrally formed transverse part at least at one of the opposite ends whereby that end of the armature is in the form of a "T" . In the case of a bead toy simulating a human figure, a first bead can become a hand or a foot. This first bead has a first through hole for receiving the elongated strand, a slot extending parallel to the first through hole and having a width sufficient that the elongated strand can pass through the slot and into the first through hole in a direction

transverse to the first through hole. The first through hole has a first portion extending from one end thereof to an intermediate location along the length of the first through hole. This first portion has a dimension

transverse to the length of the first through hole

sufficient to allow the first portion to receive the transverse part of the armature and a second portion having dimensions transverse to the length of the first through hole such that the transverse part of the armature cannot pass through the second portion. The first portion is shaped such that, when the transverse part of the armature is located in the first portion and adjacent the second portion, the transverse part is prevented from passing outward from the first portion through the slot.

A series of additional beads is arranged on a part of the elongated strand extending from the first through hole of the first bead. Each of the additional beads has a through hole with a transverse dimension sufficiently large to allow the transverse part of the armature to pass through it in an assembly process wherein the end of the armature having the transverse part is successively passed through the through holes of the additional beads and the first bead is installed on the armature by passing a part of said elongated armature through the slot of the first bead into the through hole of the first bead.

[0006] The toy can be assembled in such a way that pressure exerted by the additional beads against the first bead holds the transverse part of the armature adjacent the second portion of the first through hole, so that the transverse part is prevented from passing outward through the slot of the first bead.

[0007] The bead toy in accordance with the invention comprises as its principal components, a body armature, an arm armature, and a set of beads including two hand beads and two foot beads .

[0008] The body armature is in the form of an elongated strand of flexible synthetic resin, having an integrally formed transverse part at each of its opposite ends so that each of the ends of the body armature is in the form of a

[0009] The arm armature is also composed of flexible synthetic resin, and comprises a hub and two elongated arm strands. The hub has a central opening of a size

sufficient that a portion of the body armature when bent upon itself can pass through it. The elongated arm

strands, which are preferably unitary with the hub and formed of a flexible synthetic resin, extend in opposite directions from the hub. Each of these arm strands has, at its end remote from the hub, an integrally formed

transverse part whereby the end of each of arm remote from the hub is in the form of a "T" . [0010] Each of the two foot beads has a through hole for receiving an elongated strand of the body armature, a slot extending parallel to the though hole and having a width sufficient that an elongated strand of the body armature can pass through the slot and into the through hole in a direction transverse to the through hole. Each through hole has a first portion extending from one end thereof to an intermediate location along the length of the through hole. This first portion has a dimension transverse to the length of the through hole sufficient to receive the transverse part at one of the opposite ends of the body armature. Each through hole has a second portion having dimensions transverse to the length of the through hole such that the transverse part at the end of the body armature cannot pass though the second portion. The first portion is shaped such that when a transverse part of the body armature is located therein and adjacent the second portion, the transverse part is prevented from passing outward from the first portion through the slot.

[0011] The hand beads cooperate in a similar manner with the transverse portions of the arm armature.

[0012] To form a human figure, the body armature is bent on itself at a location midway between its opposite ends. Portions of the body armature extend, in side-by-side relationship to each other, through the central opening of the hub of the arm armature. The transverse part of each of the opposite ends of the body armature is engaged with one of the foot beads and located in the second portion of the through hole therein. The transverse part at the end of each of the arm strands remote from the hub is engaged with one of the hand beads and located in the second portion of the through hole therein.

[0013] A sufficient number of intermediate beads is disposed between the hub and each of said hand beads to maintain the transverse part of each strand of the arm armature from moving out of the second portion of the hand bead through hole in which it is located.

[0014] In a preferred embodiment, the two portions of the body armature extend through an opening in at least one bead located between the hub of the arm armature and the foot beads. A stop is fitted onto those portions of the body armature adjacent the at least one bead and between that bead and the foot beads. A sufficient number of intermediate beads is disposed on each portion of the body armature between the stop and the foot bead thereon

maintain each of the transverse parts of the body armature from moving out of the second portion of the foot bead through hole in which it is located.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 is an elevational view of an assembled bead toy in accordance with the invention, the bead toy being in the form of a figure having a head with hair, a torso, arms with hands, and legs with feet;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a to plan view of the head bead;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a top plan view showing a hair bead;

[0018] FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing an arm armature and a shoulder bead;

[0019] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the shoulder bead;

[0020] FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the arm armature; [0021] FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of a body armature in accordance with the invention;

[0022] FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a transverse part at one of the ends of the body armature;

[0023] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a hand bead showing the manner in which the hand bead is engaged with a transverse part at an end of one of the arms of the arm armature;

[0024] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the hand bead;

[0025] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a foot bead;

[0026] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the foot bead, showing the manner in which the foot bead is engaged with a transverse part at an end of the body armature;

[0027] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a stop that can be fitted onto the body armature for preventing sliding movement of beads on the body armature; and

[0028] FIG. 14 is an elevational view showing various forms of bead toys in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] The bead toy 20 shown in FIG. 1 includes a head bead 22, a hair bead 24, an arm armature 26, a shoulder bead 28 fitted onto a hub (not visible in FIG. 1) of the arm armature, a neck bead 30 between the head bead and the shoulder bead, hand beads 32 and 34 at the ends of the arm armature, and a series of arm beads 36 between the shoulder bead and each hand bead. The bead toy also includes a series of beads 38, forming the torso of the figure, below the shoulder.

[0030] The hair bead, the head bead, the neck bead, the hub of the arm armature, the shoulder bead, and the torso beads are all mounted on parallel-extending strand parts 40 and 42 of an inverted U-shaped body armature 44. The strands of the body armature extend through a ring-shaped resilient elastic stop 46 below the lowermost torso bead 38, and each of the two the portions of the body armature extends through a series of leg beads 48 and is connected to one of the two foot beads 50 and 52.

[0031] The hair bead is preferably an element separate from the head bead so that the user can have several options for the choice of a hair style for the figure. In the bead toy shown in FIG. 1, an additional bead 54 is provided on the body armature above the hair bead 24, and another ring-shaped elastic stop 56 is positioned above the bead 54.

[0032] The U-shaped loop formed at the upper end of the body armature extends through a ring portion of a clasp 58, which can be used as a hanger for the bead toy.

[0033] As shown in FIGs . 2 and 3, the hair bead and the head bead have through holes in the form of elongated slots, 58 and 60 respectively, the narrow dimension of which is less than twice the diameter of the strand of the body armature and preferably slightly greater than the diameter of the strand of the body armature. The long dimension of each of these slots is slightly more than twice the diameter of the strand of the body armature.

These dimensional relationship prevent the head and hair beads from spinning on the body armature.

[0034] As shown in FIGs. 4 and 6, the arm armature is composed of a circular central hub 62 having flexible strands 64 and 66 extending laterally in opposite

directions from the hub. These strands 64 and 66 are preferably injection molded as a unit with the hub from soft PVC. As shown in FIG. 5, the shoulder bead has a recess in its underside of a size to receive the hub 62, and slots, e.g., slot 68, for accommodating the strands 64 and 66 when the shoulder bead is fitted onto the hub.

[0035] The outer ends of the strands 64 and 66 are formed with transverse parts, 68 and 70, respectively, which are preferably cylindrical, of the same diameter as that of the strands, and molded as a unit with the strands and the hub. These transverse parts cooperate with the hand beads to maintain the hand beads in engagement with the two strands 64 and 66 of the arm armature.

[0036] As shown in FIG. 7, the body armature 44 is in the form of an elongated strand of synthetic resin, such as injection-molded, soft PVC. The body armature is shown bent into an inverted U-shape, and has transverse parts 72 and 74 are formed at the ends of elongated strand parts 40 and 42. As shown in FIG. 8, the transverse parts are preferably cylindrical and of approximately the same diameter as that of the strand parts 40 and 42.

[0037] FIGs . 9 and 10 illustrate the configuration of a hand bead 32 and the manner in which it engages a

transverse part 70 at an end of one of the strands of the arm armature. The hand bead 32 has a through hole 76, and an elongated slot 78 in its side wall extending the full length of the hand bead in a direction parallel to the direction of the through hole and communicating with the through hole. The width of the slot 78 should be

approximately the same as the diameter of the body armature strands so that a strand can be moved through the slot to the interior the through hole. If the width of the slot is slightly less than the diameter of the strand, the

resilience of the synthetic resin material from which the hand bead and the strand of the arm armature are formed allows expansion of the slot and compression of the strand as the strand is moved into the bead through the slot.

[0038] The diameter of the first portion of the through hole is such that the hand bead can be rotated about the transverse end portion of the strand. The through hole, however, tapers so that the though hole has a second portion that the end portion cannot pass though.

Preferably, the interior of the hand bead is formed with a pocket matching the T-shape of the transverse part at the end of the strand of the arm armature and extending in a radial direction perpendicular to a radial direction through the slot 78, in order to receive the transverse part of the strand of the arm armature and resist rotation of the hand relative to the arm armature when the

transverse part is engaged with the pocket.

[0039] In the assembly of the bead figure, intermediate beads 36, which have through holes large enough that the transverse end portions of the arm strands can pass through them, are positioned on the arm strands adjacent the hub, preferably before the shoulder bead is set in place on the hub. The hand beads are then engaged with the strands of the arm armature, by passing the transverse end portions of the armature strands though the slots. The hand beads are then rotated to engage the transverse end portions of the arms with the internal pockets, and the shoulder bead 28 is engaged with the central hub 62 of the arm armature (FIGs. 4 and 6), forcing the intermediate arm beads 36 outward against the hand beads 32 and 34 (shown in FIG. 1) and maintaining engagement of the transverse end portions of the arms with the internal pockets in the hand beads.

[0040] As seen in FIG. 1, the two hand beads 32 and 34 are different, bead 32 having a male portion 80 adapted to be received in a conforming recess in hand bead 34 so that the figure's hands can be brought together in a "folded hands" pose by bending the arms of the figure. A ridge 82 formed on the hand bead 32 engages a conforming recess in the internal wall of hand bead 34 so that the hand beads remain together when engaged.

[0041] The foot beads are engaged with the transverse parts at the ends of the body armature strands in a manner similar to the manner in which the hand beads are engaged with the transverse parts at the ends of the strands of the arm armature. As shown in FIGs. 11 and 12, the foot bead has a through hole having a large lower portion in which the end portion 72 of body armature strand 40 can rotate, a smaller diameter upper portion though which the end portion 72 cannot pass, and a pocket shaped to fit the end portion 72 where the lower and upper portions of the through hole meet. As in the case of the hand beads, the pocket should be configured so that it extends in a radial direction, transverse, and preferably perpendicular, to a radial direction extending through the slot 86 from the

longitudinal axis of the through hole. Preferably, the walls of the through hole are configured to guide the transverse part of the strand of the body armature or arm armature into the radially extending pocket.

[0042] In the assembly of the bead toy, the intermediate leg beads 48 (FIG. 1) , which have through holes large enough that the transverse end portion of the body armature can pass through them, are set in place on the leg portions of the body armature, and the foot bead are engaged with the body armature by passing the transverse end portions either through the bottom openings or through the

longitudinal slots. The foot beads are then twisted to allow the transverse end portions of the body armature to engage the internal pockets. The stop 46 (FIGs. 1 and 13) prevents the intermediate leg beads from sliding upward and permitting disengagement of the foot beads from the body armature .

[0043] In the assembly of the bead toy, the leg beads 58 are preferably first engaged with the leg portions of the body armature. The foot beads 50 and 52 are then engaged with the transverse end portions of the body armature. The stop 46 can then be set in place to prevent the leg beads from sliding upward. Then, the torso beads 38 can be slid downward over the body armature by inserting the bent part of the body armature through the though holes in the torso beads . The arm armature can then be set in place and the arm and hand beads engaged with the arm strands. After the arm and hand beads are in place, the shoulder bead 28 is placed over the hub of the arm armature, pushing the intermediate arm beads outward and ensuring engagement of the hand beads with the arm armature. (The bead toy figure's right arm is distorted in FIG. 1 in order to reveal the arm armature 26.) The neck bead 30 and the head and hair beads and additional beads can be placed on the body armature and held in place by the additional stop 56.

[0044] As will be apparent, the T-shaped ends of the body and arm armatures avoid the need for tying knots and make assembly of the figure easy for young children. With a sufficient supply of beads, a child can produce a wide variety of figures, examples of which are illustrated in FIG. 14.