Patent application title: Castle and Moat Beach Toy
Scott Adams (Boca Raton, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63H3332FI
Class name: Amusement devices: toys sand construction
Publication date: 2010-09-30
Patent application number: 20100248581
A beach toy kit that presents a compact unit with everything a child needs
to have fun at the beach. The beach toy kit includes a castle, a ramp, a
bridge, a moat, a sand sifter, a shovel, a boat, and a vehicle. The
castle can be used as a play unit, a sand mold, or a storage unit, and is
provided in multiple pieces that are capable of stacking and nesting. The
ramp is provided in multiple, connected pieces that can be disassembled
to allow for compact storage. The ramp is multi-functional in that it can
be used as a play vehicle driving surface, a shovel, and a closure device
for the castle to retain items inside the castle. The bridge is also
multi-functional, in that it can be used as a bridge to span the width of
the moat and can be connected to the castle to serve as a handle. The
moat is a water resistant or impervious sand liner that can be recessed
into the sand to provide a water channel for the boat. The moat is
constructed of a flexible material which allows the moat to be compactly
stored within the castle. The sand sifter also is multi-functional, and
can be used simply as a sand sifter and also as a closure device for the
castle to retain items inside the castle.
1. A beach toy kit comprising:a sand mold, a first accessory, a second
accessory, and a third accessory;the sand mold having an opening and
defining a partially closed volume, the partially closed volume being
configured to provide storage for the first accessory;the second
accessory being removably connected to the sand mold at the opening to
hold the first accessory within the partially closed volume;the third
accessory removably connected to an outside surface of the sand mold to
form a handle for transporting the beach toy kit.
2. The beach toy kit of claim 1 wherein the first accessory is a sand liner.
3. The beach toy kit of claim 3 wherein the sand liner comprises a flexible and water resistant material and defines a channel for holding water.
4. The beach toy kit of claim 1 wherein the second accessory is a sand sifter.
5. The beach toy kit of claim 4 wherein the sand mold has a lower lip that at least partially surrounds the opening and the sand sifter has a flange that that engages with the lower lip to hold the sand sifter at the opening, whereby the sand sifter at least partially covers the opening in the sand mold.
6. The beach toy kit of claim 5 wherein the sand sifter is configured to snap onto the lower lip of the sand mold.
7. The beach toy kit of claim 1 wherein the second accessory comprises a vehicle ramp.
8. The beach toy kit of claim 7 wherein the second accessory has a first side and a second side, the first side comprising the vehicle ramp and the second side comprising a shovel.
9. The beach toy kit of claim 8 wherein the second accessory comprises a first generally linear surface and a second generally linear surface with opposing gussets to form a shovel handle and a shovel head.
10. The beach toy kit of claim 1 wherein the sand mold defines a castle.
11. The beach toy kit of claim 1 further comprising a second sand mold, the second sand mold defining a tower for the castle, and the partially closed volume of the sand mold being configured to provide storage for both the first accessory and the second sand mold.
12. The beach toy kit of claim 1 wherein the third accessory is a bridge.
13. A beach toy kit comprising:a sand mold, a first implement, and a second implement;the sand mold having an open bottom and defining an internal volume for receiving sand;the sand mold being adapted to receive the second implement within the internal volume; and,the first implement having a connector for connecting to the sand mold whereby the first implement at least partially covers the open bottom of the sand mold to hold the second implement within the internal volume of the sand mold.
14. The beach toy kit of claim 13, wherein the first implement is a sand sifter.
15. The beach toy kit of claim 14, wherein the sand mold includes a first flange disposed at least partially around the periphery of the open bottom, the connector of the sand sifter comprises a second flange, and the first and second flanges are configured to engage.
16. The beach toy kit of claim 13, wherein:the sand mold defines a castle with a play surface for a vehicle, the castle having a first connector at the periphery of the open bottom and a second connector adjacent to the play surface;the first implement is a vehicle ramp, the vehicle ramp having the connector at a first end, the connector of the vehicle ramp being configured to engage with the first connector of the castle whereby the vehicle ramp at least partially covers the open bottom of the castle, and the connector of the vehicle ramp also being configured to engage with the second connector of the castle whereby the vehicle ramp is adjacent to the play surface.
17. The beach toy kit of claim 16, wherein the vehicle ramp comprises a first generally linear surface and a second generally linear surface with opposing gussets on the underside of the vehicle ramp to form a shovel handle and a shovel head.
18. A beach toy kit comprising:a sand mold and a vehicle driving surface;the vehicle driving surface having spaced apart first and second ends;at least one of the first and second ends of the vehicle driving surface having a connector for connecting to an outside surface of the sand mold, whereby the vehicle driving surface defines a handle for the sand mold.
19. The beach toy kit of claim 18 wherein the vehicle driving surface is a bridge, both the first and second ends of the bridge having a connector for connecting to an outside surface of the sand mold.
20. The beach toy kit of claim 19 wherein the beach toy kit further comprises a sand liner, the sand liner being adapted to be at least partially recessed within sand and defining a channel for holding water.
21. The beach toy kit of claim 20, wherein the channel has a width and the bridge spans the width of the channel.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
THE NAMES OF PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
The embodiments described and claimed herein relate generally to toys. More specifically, some of the embodiments relate to beach toys and implements for building a sand castle and playing with sand and water.
2. Background Art
Going to the beach and playing in the sand is a popular pastime for many families. Playing in the sand is made fun and engaging through the use of various types of beach toys and sand castle building aids that are readily available on the market, such as castle-shaped plastic buckets. Unfortunately, the prior art beach toys suffer from several problems. For example, most beach toy kits typically include one bucket and one or more implements, such as a shovel, a rake, and/or a sieve or sifter. The prior art shovels, rakes, and sieves serve primarily only one function, i.e., to manipulate sand. As a result, children will oftentimes become quickly bored.
In addition, the storage options for prior art beach toys are limited and inadequate. As a result, some parents simply store the beach toy accessories in the bucket. With no adequate means to hold the beach toys in the bucket, however, accessories can be lost during the walk to/from the beach and/or during storage. Attempts have been made to solve this problem, for example, through the use of mesh bags. Unfortunately, when filled, these bags can become bulky and difficult to use and carry, especially for a child, and will consume large amounts of storage space. Another alternative storage solution is provided in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0277357A1 to Buckley ("Buckley"). In one embodiment, Buckley discloses a beach toy storage container that has the form a hollow doughnut or toroid. The doughnut form comprises two half portions that are connected together. The two half portions are rigid structures and define an internal volume that can be used for storing sand toys. Once separated, each of the two half portions can be dug into the sand and filled with water to create a pool surrounding or adjacent to a sand castle structure. Like a filled mesh bag, however, the Buckley storage container is bulky and large and, therefore, cannot be easily carried by a child and consumes large amounts of storage space. Moreover, the Buckley storage container presents a closed volume in which sand can be trapped and cause an unintended mess if opened in a vehicle or at home.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Several embodiments of a beach toy kit are described and claimed herein that solve at least some of the problems of the prior art beach toy kits. In simple terms, a compact unit is provided with everything a child needs to have fun with a castle at the beach. More specifically, some of the embodiments include multi-functional components that keep the interest of children, allow the toy to be compactly stored for future use, and/or reduce the risk of lost toys.
In one particular embodiment, the beach toy kit includes a sand form and at least two accessories. The sand form can resemble a building structure, such as a castle, whereby the castle defines a hollow form with at least one opening. In that regard, the castle can be used as a sand castle mold. The accessories can be any type of toy or implement, such as a vehicle, a boat, a shovel, a rake, a sieve, a ramp, a bridge, or a moat. The internal volume of the castle can be used for storing the accessories. It is contemplated that at least one of the accessories will be connectable to the opening in the sand castle to at least partially close the opening and to retain or hold the various other accessories inside of the castle. For example, the accessory can be a sand sifter or sieve. In this case, the sand sifter could be provided with connectors on opposite sides that engage with complementary connectors at the rim of the opening on the castle.
In another particular embodiment, the beach toy kit includes a castle and at least one accessory. The accessory presents multi-functionality, wherein the accessory is usable as a play implement and also can be connected to the castle for storage. When connected to the castle, the accessory forms a handle that can be gripped for transporting the castle from one location to another. For example, the accessory can be a bridge that spans the width of a water channel or moat. In this case, each end of the bridge can be provided with connectors that engage with complementary connectors on the castle.
In yet another particular embodiment, the beach toy kit includes a castle and at least one accessory. Like the previously described embodiment, the accessory presents multi-functionality, wherein the accessory is usable as two different play implements. For example, the accessory could be a vehicle driving surface that includes various features making the vehicle driving surface also useable as a utensil, such as a shovel or rake.
In yet another particular embodiment, the beach toy kit includes a building structure comprising multiple pieces. For example, the building structure could comprise two pieces, a base structure and a stacking structure. In the storage configuration, the stacking structure would nest inside of the base structure to present a compact package. In the usage configuration, the stacking structure would sit on top of the base structure to present a larger building structure.
In yet another particular embodiment, the beach toy kit includes castle and a sand liner. The sand liner could present an annular channel around the castle that defines a moat. The sand liner is flexible such that the sand liner could be folded and stored compactly within the castle.
Other embodiments, which can include some combination of the features discussed above and below and other features which are known in the art, are contemplated as falling within the claims even if such embodiments are not specifically identified and discussed herein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features, aspects, objects, and advantages of the embodiments described and claimed herein will become better understood upon consideration of the following detailed description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a first embodiment of a beach toy kit in its use configuration;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the same in its stored configuration;
FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the same in its stored configuration;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a second embodiment of the beach toy kit in its use configuration;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a component of the second embodiment in use;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating the second embodiment in its stored configuration; and,
FIGS. 7-14 provide various views of the first embodiment of the beach toy kit from various angles.
It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale and that the embodiments are sometimes illustrated by graphic symbols, phantom lines, diagrammatic representations and fragmentary views. In certain instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the embodiments described and claimed herein or which render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that the inventions described herein are not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated. Indeed, it is expected that persons of ordinary skill in the art may devise a number of alternative configurations that are similar and equivalent to the embodiments shown and described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims.
Like reference numerals will be used to refer to like or similar parts from figure to figure in the following detailed description of the drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTIONS
Referring first to FIGS. 1-3 and 7-14, a first embodiment 10 of a beach toy kit 10 are shown. The kit 10 includes a boat 12, a vehicle 14, a castle 20, a ramp 30, a bridge 40, a moat 50, a sand sifter 60, and a shovel 70. It is contemplated that other embodiments could include various combinations of these or other accessories. For example, the boat 12 can be any type of boat, including a sail boat and a powerboat. The vehicle can be any type of vehicle, including a car, a tractor, and a truck. The castle 20 can be substituted with any type of building structure. The ramp 30 and bridge 40 can be substituted with any type of driving surface. The sifter 60 can be replaced with a pan or a bowl. And the shovel 70 can be substituted with any type of utensil, such as a rake.
The castle 20 is provided with ramps 21, 22, 30 that a child can use to push a play vehicle 14 up and down. As shown, the castle is constructed from two pieces, a main structure 23 and a stacking structure 24, although any number of pieces can be used. The unique feature of the castle 20 is that the various pieces are designed to nest. As shown, the stacking structure 24 fits into the main structure 23 to provide a compact package for storage or transport. In a usage position, however, the stacking structure 24 can be set on top of the main structure 23 to present a large castle 20.
Both the main structure 23 and the stacking structure 24 comprise various side walls and top walls that define partially-closed, internal volumes 25, 26. The walls of the castle 20 can be formed out of plastic with a thin wall, perhaps through injection molding. Other materials, such as metal are contemplated. The bottoms of the main structure 23 and stacking structure 24 are open, which allow various accessories, such as the ramp 30, the bridge 40, the moat 50, the sifter 60, and the shovel 70, to be stored therein. See, for example, FIG. 3. The main structure 23 and stacking structure 24 can be used as shown in FIG. 1, or can be used as molds to create sand castles.
The castle 20 is designed to be used in conjunction with the vehicle ramp 30. The vehicle ramp 30, as shown, comprises two pieces, a first ramp member 31 and a second ramp member 32. In this embodiment, the first ramp member 31 and second ramp member 32 are identical, and each have two connectors 33, 34, one at each end, that allow the two ramp members 31, 32 to be connected together, interchangeably. In addition, the castle 20 is provided with a complementary connector 27, which allows the ramp to connect to the castle.
The bridge 40 is provided with multiple functions. As shown in FIG. 1, a child can use the bridge 40 simply as a bridge for pushing a vehicle 14 over the moat 50. However, as shown in FIG. 2, the bridge 40 can be connected to the castle 20, whereby the bridge 40 defines a handle for transporting the kit 10, including the associated accessories. In particular, the bridge 40 has connectors 41, 42 on both ends of the bridge which are configured to engage with complementary connectors 28A, 28B on the castle 20. The opposite ends of the bridge are spaced apart to allow the bridge to be set over the moat 50.
The moat 50 is shown as an annular, closed loop channel, but can be alternatively shaped. The moat 50 is formed using a water resistant or impervious sand liner that is designed to be at least partially recessed within the sand to define a channel. The sand liner solves the problem of placing water in the sand and watching it disappear. The moat 50 filled with water allows a child to play with water and a play boat 12 in the sand. The sand liner is flexible to allow the it to be folded and stored compactly within the castle 20.
The sifter 60 is configured to be used not only as a sifter, but also as a closure member for the castle 20. More particularly, the sifter 60 is provided with connectors 61, 62 and the castle 20 is provided with a lip 29, that surrounds the perimeter of the bottom opening of the castle 20, to form a complementary connector. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the sifter 60 connects to the bottom of the castle 20 to at least partially cover the opening of the castle 20 and prevent items placed inside of the castle 20 from falling out.
Turning now to FIGS. 4-5, a second embodiment 110 of a beach toy kit is illustrated. As shown, the second embodiment includes a castle 120 and a ramp 130, although it is contemplated that the second embodiment 110 could also include various other accessories, like the first embodiment 10. The ramp 130 of the second embodiment 110 is unique in that it is multi-functional. The ramp 130 can be used as depicted in FIG. 4, as a ramp, or can be used as depicted in FIG. 5, as a shovel. In addition, the ramp 130 can also be used to partially close the open bottom of the castle 120 and therefore retain various other accessories within the castle 120, as shown in FIG. 6.
The ramp 130 has a two part construction, including a first ramp member 131 and a second ramp member 132. Like the first embodiment, each ramp member 131, 132 includes connectors on opposite ends to allow the ramp members 131, 132 to be connected together and/or to the castle 120. In a usage position, the ramp 130 can be connected to the castle at complementary connector 121. In a storage position, each ramp member 131, 132 can be separately connected to the bottom of the castle to connectors 122A, 122B and 123A, 123C, respectively. In the storage configuration, each ramp member 131, 132 spans the width of the bottom opening on the castle 120 to hold stored items inside of the castle 120.
The first ramp member 131, as shown, comprises two intersecting surfaces 133, 134, which can be planar, as shown, or curvilinear. On a top side of the first ramp member 131, the surfaces 133, 134 serve as vehicle driving surfaces. The opposite, or bottom, side of the first ramp member 131 defines a shovel handle and head. The shovel handle is defined by surface 133, which can be extended through the use of ramp member 132. The shovel head is defined at the intersection of the surfaces 133, 134, and is bounded by two gussets 135, 136 which strengthen the ramp member 131 and provide means for retaining sand within the shovel head.
Although the inventions described and claimed herein have been described in considerable detail with reference to certain embodiments, one skilled in the art will appreciate that the inventions described and claimed herein can be practiced by other than those embodiments, which have been presented for purposes of illustration and not of limitation. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the embodiments contained herein.
Patent applications by Scott Adams, Boca Raton, FL US