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Publication numberUS3851879 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date3 Dec 1974
Filing date5 Nov 1973
Priority date5 Nov 1973
Publication numberUS 3851879 A, US 3851879A, US-A-3851879, US3851879 A, US3851879A
InventorsHicks A
Original AssigneeMarvin Glass & Associates
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game device with selectively movable panel structure
US 3851879 A
Abstract
Game apparatus including a central transparent upright panel, a pair of outer transparent upright panels on opposite sides of the central panel and selectively movable generally horizontally relative thereto, a plurality of angularly disposed vertically spaced apart and inclined baffle plates between the central panel and each outer panel, and a plurality of game balls movable down the baffle plates between the panels. The outer panels are gravity biased downwardly and inwardly toward the central panel whereby the outer panels will pinch or trap a ball and prevent it from rolling down a baffle plate unless the respective outer panel is selectively moved away from the central wall thus permitting the game ball to roll down a baffle plate. The outer panels are movable relative to the central panel by means of manually operable levers mounted on a base for the game. Two players compete in manipulating their respective movable outer panel in attempting to control the downward speed of their ball along the inclined baffles so as to be the first player to have his ball reach the bottom of the structure. Should a ball be permitted to roll down a baffle too fast, it will fly off the end thereof into a losing chute area.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[451 Dec. 3, 1974 1 1 GAME DEVICE WITH SELECTIVELY MOVABLE PANEL STRUCTURE Alan A. Hicks, Wilmette, Ill.

[73] Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates,

Chicago, 111.

[22] Filed: Nov. 5, 1973 [21] Appl.'No.: 412,645

[75] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl 273/120 R [51] Int. Cl. A631 7/02 [58] Field of Search 273/108, 109, 110, 111, 273/120 R, 120 A [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 141,414 8/1873 Arnaud 273/120 R 2,616,699 11/1952 Franks 273/120 R 2,742,291 4/1956 Simon 273/120 R X 3,333,851 8/1967 Rosen 273/120 R X 3,623,728 11/1971 Goldfarb Q. 273/109 3,638,945 2/1972 Breslow.... 273/120 R X 3,643,946 2/1972 Ylinen 273/109 X Primary ExaminerGeorge J. Marlo Assistant Examiner-R. T. Stouffer Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Coffee & Sweeney [5 7] ABSTRACT Game apparatus including a central transparent upright panel, a pair of outer transparent upright panels on opposite sides of the central panel and selectively movable generally horizontally relative thereto, a plurality of angularly disposed vertically spaced apart and inclined baffle plates between the central panel and each outer panel, and a plurality of game balls movable down the baffle plates between the panels. The

'outer panels are gravity biased downwardly and inwardly toward the central panel whereby the outer panels will pinch ortrap a ball and prevent it from rolling down a baffle plate unless the respective outer panel is selectively moved away from the central wall thus permitting the game ball to roll down a baffle plate. The outer panels are movable relative to the central panel by means of manually operable levers mounted on a base for the game. Two players compete in manipulating their respective movable outer panel in attempting to control the downward speed of their ball along the inclined baffles so as to be the first player to have his ball reach the bottom of the structure. Should a ball be permitted to roll down a baffle too fast, it will fly off the end thereof into a losing chute area.

15 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENIE BEE 3l974 PATENTE HEB 3:914

SHEET 2 0F 2 2c]g 15 i mull,

42 WNW GAME DEVICE WITH SELECTIVELY MOVABLE PANEL STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to game devices and in particular to competitive action games wherein the path of a game piece is controlled by the manipulation of elements on the game device.

It is well known that game devices which utilize a moving playing piece capture the fascination and attention of the participants of the game. Moreover, those BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the game device of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a partial vertical section view taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section view taken generally along 0 the line 44 of FIG. 3;

games which involve an element of dexterity and reaction on thepart of the participants, such as in attempting to control the path of travel of a particular game This invention is directed to the provision of a new and improved game apparatus employing a game elementor playing piece which travels down a series of inclined baffles to a predetermined ending position.

The best mode currently contemplated for carrying out this invention includes the provision of a central upright transparent panel having a pair of outer transparent upright panels movable generally horizontally relative thereto by means of levers on a base for the structure. A plurality of inclined manually manipulatable vertically spaced apart baffle plates are disposed between the central panel and each outer panel, and a plurality of game balls are provided for rolling down the baffle plates between the panels. The outer panels are supported on pins which are received in oblique elongated slots so that the outer panels are gravity biased downwardly and inwardly toward the central panel to pinch and hold the balls therebetween. The panels each are selectively movable upwardly and outwardly independently when the respective lever therefor is depressed. The panels return to their ball pinching positions when the lever is released.

In the normal or starting position of the game, the

\ spacebetween the outer panels and the central panel is less than the diameter of the game balls such that in ball against the central panel and thereby prevent it from rolling down one of the inclined baffle plates. A space is provided at the end of the inclined baffle plates such that a game ball traveling too fast will overshoot the subjacent inclined baffle plate and fall straight down toward the base portion of the game to a losing position. Two playersthereby compete in manipulating the movable panels in attempting to control the downward motionand/or speed of their ball along the inclined baffle plates without overshooting the ends of any of the inclined baffle plates so as to be the first to reach a bottom target area without falling off of the open end of one of the baffle plates.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side view, on an enlarged scale, of one of the game balls in a pinched or trapped position; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view similar to that of FIG.

5 of a game ball which is free to roll down an inclined baffle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The game device of this invention, generally desig nated 10, includesan upright transparent flanged wall or center panel, generally designated 12, extending vertically upwardly from a base, generally designated 14,

a pair of flanged transparent outer panels 16 mounted on the wall 12, a plurality of angularly disposed, vertically spaced apart baffle plates 18 on each side of the wall 12 and a plurality of game balls 20.

The upright wall 12 has a central panel portion 12a, a top wall portion 12b and vertical-side flanges 12c. The

outer panels 16 have side flanges 16a disposed on the outside of the flanges 12c.

Means are provided for trapping a game ball 20 at any position along the baffle plates 18. This is done by pivotally supported on a horizontal pin 24 which extends through an ear 26 on the lever22 and which is mounted in the base 14. The outer panels 16 are supported on the transparent upright wall 12 by means of a plurality of pins 28 protruding outwardly from the flanges 12c of the upright wall 12, which protrude through angular slots 30 in the flanges 16a of the outer panels 16. By this structure, when a lever 22 is depressed in the direction of arrows A (FIGS. 1 and 3), it engages with the lower edge of its respective outer panel 16 and lifts the panel outwardly and upwardly away from the upright wall 12, as guided by the pins 28 and slots 30. This allows a player to selectively pinch and release his respective ball and thereby regulate the downward speed of the ball as it travels down the baffle plate 18 between the central panel 12a and the respective outer panel 16.

The balls initially are introduced between the panels through openings 34 in the top wall portion 12b on each side of the central panel above the uppermost end of the first baffle plate 18 on the respective side of the panel 12a.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the distance between the upright wall 12 and the outer panels 16 is slightly. less than the diameter of the game balls 20 when the outer panels 16 are in their lower pinching position (see FIG. 5) when the lever 22 is not depressed. By depressing the lever 22 a player can move the outer panel 16 from the position shown in FIG. 5 to the position which is shown in FIG. 6 where the game ball 20 is free to roll down a baffle plate 18.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 4, the baffle plates 18 are relatively disposed such that they do not extend completely to the side flange portions 120 of the center panel 12 thereby allowing an unobstructed vertical pathway down which the game ball 20 may drop to the base portion 14 without contacting any of the baffle plates 18. The lowermost baffle plate on each side of the center panel 12 is shorter than the other baffle plates thereabove and is disposed such that a ball 20 will roll off its lowermost end and into a target area 38 on the base 14 defined by an upstanding wall means 40. The remaining baffle plates on each side of the center panel 12 are inclined as shown best in FIGS. 1 and 4 and are relatively disposed such that the lower end of each baffle plate is spaced inwardly of the upper end of the immediately adjacent lower baffle plate so that a ball can drop onto the upper end of the lower baffle plate if the ball is moving at a sufficiently slow speed. If the ball travels too fast it will fly off the lower end of a baffle plate past the upper end of the adjacent lower plate and down the side vertical passageway to the base 14 outside of the target area 38.

The base 14 includes a plurality of game ball catching areas 42 defined by a peripheral wall 44 surrounding an inclined floor 46 which is inclined downwardly and for wardly from the upright wall 12. The base 14 also is provided with a U-shaped cutout 48 to allow the lever 22 to be fully depressed.

The game device is simultaneously played by two opponents who start by positioning a game ball on each side of the upright wall 12 through the openings 34. Each player then tries to be the first to successfully direct his particular game ball 20, which descends down the baffle plates under gravitational forces, into his target area 38 by allowing the ball to roll down each successive baffle plate 18 by selective depressions of lever 22. Each player attempts to control the speed of his ball such that at the end of each baffle plate 18 the velocity of his ball is slow enough so that it will not fly past the next subjacent baffle plate 18 and drop straight down through the vertical pathway into the ball collecting area 42 but will drop down onto the next subjacent baffle plate 18 and so on to his target area 38.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.

I claim:

1. A game device, comprising:

a base structure;

a pair of generally upright panels mounted on said base structure for relative movement of at least one of said panels toward and away from the other panel;

means defining a tortuous path between said panels from an upper area to a lower area thereof;

a playing object for movement by gravity downwardly along said tortuous path, said playing object having a width greater than the width of at least portions of said tortuous path; and

means for selectively and relatively moving said panels between a clamping position whereby said playing object is pinched and held between the panels and a release position wherein the playing object is permitted to freely move down said tortuous path under gravity whereby a player of the game attempts to control the downward motion of the playing object along the tortuous path by selectively and relatively moving said panels.

2. The game device of claim 1 wherein at least one of said panels is transparent to permit a player to observe the movement of the playing object along said tortuous path.

3. The game device of claim 1, including means defining areas along said tortuous path into which said playing object will enter and thereby leave said path if said playing object is moving too fast downwardly along said tortuous path.

4. The game device of claim 3 wherein said tortuous path is defined by baffle members disposed between said panels and at least some of the baffles having free ends off of which the playing object will fly if permitted to move too fast along the baffle.

5. The game device of claim 4 wherein said baffles are comprised of a vertically disposed and spaced series of inclined generally horizontal individual plate members.

6. The game device of claim 5 wherein the lower end of each of said baffle plates is disposed above and inwardly from the upper end of the immediately subjacent baffle plate whereby a playing object travelling too fast along an inclined baffle plate will overshoot the subjacent inclined baffle plate.

7. The game device of claim 6 including vertical chute means at the outer ends of said baffle plates down which the playing object will fall should it overshoot the baffle plates.

8. The game device of claim 3 wherein at least one of said upright panels is transparent to permit the player to observe the movement of the playing piece down said tortuous path.

9. The game device of claim 1 wherein three upright panels are provided on said base including a central panel and a pair of outer panels disposed on opposite sides of said central panel for movement toward and away from the central panel, with a tortuous path defined on both sides of the central panel between the central panel and the outer panels, whereby two players of the game can compete in moving their playing pieces down their respective tortuous paths.

10. The game device of claim 9 wherein all of said panels are transparent so that each player can observe the movement of both his own and the opposing players playing pieces as they move down their respective paths.

11. The game device of claim 10 including means defining areas along said tortuous path into which said playing object will enter and thereby leave said path if said playing object is moving too fast downwardly along said tortuous path.

12. The game device of claim 9 including closure means about the sides and top of said panels, with top openings at the top of said closure means through which playing pieces may be deposited between said panels, and a lower target area disposed at the bottom of said closure means.

13. A game device comprising:

an enclosure affording a substantially closed passageway between spaced apart generally parallel panels, at least one of which is movable from a normal position wherein a playing piece is pinched and held between the panels and a release position wherein the playing object is permitted to freely piece, defining said passageway and mounted on move between the panels; the stationary panel whereby a playing piece dean opening in the top portion of the enclosure; posited in the enclosure travels down the baffles. a playing piece of size and shape to be received into 14. The device of claim 13 wherein the enclosure insaid opening and movable in said passageway only 5 cludes an unobstructed passageway past the ends of the when the movable panel is in said release position; baffles which permits the playing piece to fall to a playing piece collecting area.

means for selectively moving the movable panel from 15. The device of claim 14 wherein a target area is i the normal position to the release position such provided at the end of the passageway, separated from that a player may control and regulate movements '10 said collecting area for collection of the successfully of the playing piece between the panels; and manipulated playing pieces.

a plurality of baffles, of lesser width than the playing

Patent Citations
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US141414 *31 May 18735 Aug 1873 Improvement in toys
US2616699 *21 Feb 19504 Nov 1952Franks Charles MRotatable wheel marble game
US2742291 *15 May 195317 Apr 1956Philip SimonBall puzzle skill toy
US3333851 *20 Apr 19641 Aug 1967Rosen Leonard BGame apparatus including pivotal slideway members and control means for manually directing the travel of a ball thereover
US3623728 *14 Mar 196930 Nov 1971Goldfarb A EddyInflatable pillow with game board
US3638945 *8 Aug 19691 Feb 1972Marvin Glass & AssociatesGame device
US3643946 *24 Nov 196922 Feb 1972Klaus Johannes YlinenToy football game
Referenced by
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US5056789 *7 May 199015 Oct 1991Talbot Derek JBall sequencing game
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/120.00R
International ClassificationA63F7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/02
European ClassificationA63F7/02