US 20050277358 A1
A toy comprises at least one cutout having an at least partially printed surface at least partially covered by an at least semi-transparent smooth adhesive layer for releasably adhering accessories, wherein the smooth adhesive layer is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the adhesive layer substantially returns to an initial stickiness. A toy comprises a three-dimensional figure having at least one adhesive portion for releasable adhering accessories, wherein the adhesive portion is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the adhesive portion substantially returns to an initial stickiness.
1. A toy comprising at least one cutout having an at least partially printed surface, the printed surface at least partially covered by an at least semi-transparent smooth adhesive layer for releasably adhering at least one accessory to be placed thereon, wherein the smooth adhesive layer is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the smooth adhesive layer substantially returns to an initial stickiness.
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10. A toy comprising a cutout having an at least partially printed surface, the printed surface completely covered by an at least semi-transparent smooth adhesive layer for releasably adhering accessories related to the printed surface, wherein the adhesive layer is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the adhesive layer substantially returns to an initial stickiness.
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14. An activity board comprising a cutout having a surface at least partially printed surface covered by an at least semi-transparent smooth adhesive layer for releasably adhering accessories, wherein the smooth adhesive layer is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the smooth adhesive layer substantially returns to an initial stickiness.
15. The activity board of
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18. A book comprising at least one cutout having an at least partially printed surface, the printed surface at least partially covered by an at least semi-transparent smooth adhesive layer for releasably adhering accessories wherein the smooth adhesive layer is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the smooth adhesive layer substantially returns to an initial stickiness.
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20. The book of
21. A toy comprising a figure having at least one adhesive portion for releasably adhering at least one accessory, wherein the adhesive portion is washable such that when washed and allowed to dry, the adhesive portion substantially returns to an initial stickiness.
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This application is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/736,182 for a “Toy with Sticky Layer,” filed Dec. 15, 2003.
The present invention relates to a toy that allows for releasable adherence of accessories. More specifically, the present invention relates to a toy with an adhesive component that allows for releasable adherence and repeated release and re-attachment of accessories and that is renewably adhesive by washing.
Stick-on toys, such as paper dolls and stick-on activity boards and books, are known. Such toys use various means, such as fold-over tabs and stickers, to attach items, such as clothing or other accessories, to toys. Typically, stick-on toys attach items to a doll or activity board by providing a glue or an adhesive, typically on one surface of the item to be attached. Often these items are stickers, designed for one-time use or may be removed and reattached until they lose stickiness.
Items or the like are often designed for one-time application provided with adhesive or glue thereon and cannot be removed once placed on a paper doll or activity board. The toy is limited to one-time use and cannot be further modified by the user. Toys with stickers or the like with a glue or an adhesive designed to be reusable are limited in their ability to be reused to the extent they remain sticky and/or dirt-free. As the adhesive or glue likely collects dirt and lint on its adhesive surface and/or as the adhesive wears off after continual use, reusable stickers are problematic in that their adhesive ability eventual wanes and fails. As such, these toys have a limited life, with items unable to attach to the toy in the first place or to remain attached to the toy due to an inevitable loss of stickiness.
Other toys achieve adhesion by static cling. For instance, toys using static cling vinyl, such as Colorforms® brand which can only adhere flat, light-weight items of the same vinyl material to a flat static cling surface. Static cling vinyl is a special formulation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to which a large amount of plasticizer has been added, making it very pliable. Static cling vinyl is considered a “low tack” adhesive as it does not aggressively adhere. When the vinyl is applied to a clean, smooth, glossy surface, it adheres easily. It can be removed and re-applied nearly indefinitely without leaving behind an adhesive residue. Static cling vinyl is not really an adhesive, but it acts as one when the vinyl is charged using an electrostatic process that provides an attraction to an oppositely-charged surface such as glass. These static cling vinyl film items must be thin and lightweight in order to static cling adhere to a flat, clean glossy surfaces, such as glass or specially coated activity boards, and are limited as such to one dimensional or planar applications. Further, they are likely limited to horizontal applications as otherwise gravitational force will overcome the static cling adhesion. In order to be used in vertical application, the static cling vinyl stickers must be extremely lightweight in order for adhesion to withstand a gravitational pull.
Other stick-on display boards and toys achieve adhesion by cohesive force between two interposing surfaces both of which are coated with fabric, felt, nap, flannel, or other material such that their surfaces are fibrous, rutted and/or bumpy such that the two surfaces can “grab” one another and attach by cohesive force.
For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 4,403,000 to Gates includes a display object and display item, both of which are coated with flock, a crushed fibrous material such as rayon. Gates' flock-coated display object and flock-coated display items are removably secured by cohesive force as the two flock-coated surfaces are coupled and their fibers intermesh and interlock. Gates notes that traditional felt or flannel boards are deficient in that they are limited to one-dimensional, planar applications, and limited to use in a horizontal position as there is not sufficient cohesive force between two surfaces in vertical position to withstand the pull of gravity. Hence, Gates seeks to overcome these deficiencies by providing a display object and display item (each having and attaching to one another other at) non-smooth surfaces coated with flock. (The surface of the display object and the back of the display item are coated with flock using a nondrying adhesive). While Gates employs an adhesive to attach the flock, it also leaves small areas of non-drying adhesive object against which fibers of the display will stick. In these areas, the flock produces a barrier of which only a portion of the ends of the nap contact the adhesive of the opposing display item it, in order to lessen the cohesive force. Hence, Gates teaches away from direct adhesive contact. Gates requires an intermeshing of fabric particles between two unsmooth surfaces (i.e. contact of the adjacent flock-coated surfaces) as well as contact of nap of one unsmooth surface to adhesive of second surface, to achieve both adhesion and removability. Additionally, Gates requires on both display object and display item being covered with flock and limits what can be attached (only flocked-covered display items) to a display object according to its disclosure. Gates is limited to the types of material that toy can receive can be employed, that is, only those that are flock-coated and non-smooth. Gates requires both display object and item to be coated with fibers to provide two non-smooth surfaces to engage one another.
Stick-on toys and other stick-on items as described herein and known in the art have limitations in their applications, with items having either one or two dimensions. Further, these stick-on toys require an interaction of a relatively large portion of flat surface area between items to be removably adhered.
The demand for more sophisticated toys grows, and there exists a need to develop better methods of attaching, removing and re-attaching items to a variety of sophisticated toys, and ensuring a repeated ability to adhere and remove sophisticated items. Further, there remains a need to allow toys, specifically adhesive toys, to get dirty while not impairing their adhesive function.
The present invention relates to a toy comprising at least one cutout having an at least partially printed surface completely covered by a washable and at least semi-transparent layer for releasably adhering accessories related to the printed surface.
The present invention provides a toy that at least a portion of which releasably adheres to various items without losing adhesive ability over time, allowing for repeated adhesion, removal, and reattachment of items to the adhesive portion of the toy.
The present invention has an adhesive portion, whether for instance at least portion of the toy is molded of the adhesive itself or an adhesive layer is disposed upon a surface of at least a portion of the toy. The adhesive portion comprises an adhesive with several properties.
Generally, an adhesive is a compound that adheres or bonds two items together. Generally, a “temporary adhesive” is designed to repeatedly or easily stick and unstuck. A temporary adhesive may be “pressure sensitive.” “Pressure sensitive adhesive” (PSA) is a term known in the art used to designate a distinct category of temporary adhesives which in dry form (solvent/water free) are aggressively and permanently tacky at room temperature and that firmly adhere to a variety of dissimilar surfaces upon mere contact without the need of more than finger or hand pressure. These products require no activation by water, solvent, or heat in order to exert a strong adhesive holding force toward such materials as paper, plastic, glass, wood, cement, and metal. They have sufficient cohesive holding power and elastic nature so that, despite their aggressive tackiness, they can be handled with the fingers and removed from smooth surfaces without leaving an adhesive residue or deposit. Typically, adhesive that is pulled away from the surface to which it is applies may remain or leave a residue on the surface to which it has been applied once it is removed. “Pressure sensitive adhesive” is a term of art noting a special class of adhesives that provide good adhesion to a surface while at the same time allow for ease of pulling or peeling away from and removing from the surface to which they stick, not producing any damage to or leaving a visible layer of adhesive polymer on such a surface.
Such pressure sensitive adhesives may be employed in the present invention. The adhesive employed the present invention is reusable, in the sense that it may repeatedly adhere items (placed or pressed thereto or thereon by the user), and repeatedly release items (when they are pulled or peeled away by the user) without losing it's adhesiveness for next use.
Additionally, the adhesive employed in the present invention may be washable such that washing restores its adhesiveness. Hence, if unwanted items such as dust, dirt, lint and the like, have attached to the adhesive, and hence, affected its adhesiveness or stickiness, simply washing the surface of the adhesive, removing the dust, dirt, lint, etc will return it to its original stickiness. Washing away dirt, dust, lint, and the like does not likewise remove the adhesive or detract from its adhesive capability. In this sense, the adhesive of this toy has a strong adhesive ability, and at the same time, an unlimited life span, a drastic improvement in the field of stick-on toys.
The adhesive is employed in the present invention to create an adhesive portion or layer which is “smooth,” in that its adhesive surface is substantially continuous, uniform, and even-finished, such that it is without any additional non-adhesive materials, such as fibers, permanently coated and/or fixed in and/or on the adhesive playing a part along with the adhesive in providing the desired adhesion or stickiness to the adhesive layer or portion. Hence, adhesive layer or portion is not rough, rudded, reticulated, uneven or the like at its exposed adhesive surface. It can adhere to virtually any items, whether likewise smooth items or otherwise bumpy, rough, reticulated or the like.
Adhesive may be any suitable reusable adhesive or glue and further any suitable washable adhesive or glue. Preferably, the adhesive is a liquid polymer adhesive which spreads across and evenly covers the desired portion of the toy to form a polymer adhesive layer. Preferably, the liquid polymer adhesive is a polyurethane or a polyester, and is preferably similar in composition to U.S. Pat. No. 5,102,714 to Mobley et al., which is herein incorporated by reference. Preferably liquid polymer adhesive is heat cured to form the polymer adhesive layer from the liquid polymer adhesive, similar to methods of U.S. Pat. No. 6,613,382 to Lee, which is herein incorporated by reference.
Preferably, the liquid polymer adhesive is heat cured to the desired shape or form and/or heat cured onto the desired surface or area of the toy. Preferably, adhesive layer is at least about 2 mm thick. Alternatively, liquid polymer adhesive may be molded to a desired shape to form a portion of the toy itself. Once heat cured, finished adhesive layer or portion maintains a permanent tack on its exterior, exposed smooth surface. Adhesive layer or portion has a rubbery consistency with a varying degree of rigidity as is desired in the application in which it is employed. Other adhesives with similar properties from alternate vendors and other similar methods may be used.
Toy according to the present invention, with adhesive incorporated therein or therewith by integrating into disposed upon is releasably adhesive in that its exposed surface non-permanently adheres to items that the user attaches by placing, pressing, or the like, to the adhesive portion and easily releases them. Upon releasing items, adhesive portion does not lose its adhesiveness, does not cause adhesive deposit or leave adhesive residue on the items.
Adhesive portion of a toy according to the present invention may comprise at least a portion of the toy that has been entirely formed from the adhesive itself into a three-dimensional configuration, such as a body part, i.e. torso, arm, leg, of a doll. Adhesive portion may comprise a layer disposed over at least portion of the toy, for instance, a flat surface such as a paper doll or a three dimensional surface, such as the surface of the doll's torso. Adhesive portion may be formed or disposed upon the toy by suitable means such as molding or spraying and curing directly thereon. Adhesive portion may be integrated directly into or the structure of the toy or upon its surface.
When attaching items, it requires contact of a small surface area portion of the adhesive portion to a small surface area of the item or accessory to be attached thereon to achieve sufficient adhesion for play. Additionally, the toy of the present invention is advantageous as it allows for upright toys (arranged vertically) such that the pull of gravity does not interfere with the relatively strong adhesion between surface of toy and accessory. Accessories do not fall off the toy when in upright position.
One embodiment of the present invention is shown in
The term “cutout” as used herein means an item in at least a two-dimensions whose edge or edges define a particular shape. Cutout may be made of paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, laminate, vinyl, polyester film or any other suitable material or combination of materials. Cutout is not limited to any shape and may include a simple shape, such as a rectangle. Cut-out may be substantially flat overall and two-dimensional or may have a raised portions and surfaces that are three-dimensional.
The term “figure” as used herein means any real or imaginary being, person, animal, such as a doll or a teddy bear, or any real or imaginary object, such as a house or bus. In the embodiment shown in
As shown in
Adhesive layer 14 allows items to be reattached and removed to toy or doll, over and over again. Adhesive layer 14 attaches and reattaches accessories without losing its adhesiveness. Additionally, adhesive layer 14 is washable in that it may be wetted and wiped with damp cloth, and allowed to air dry, if adhesive layer 14 becomes dirty or otherwise loses adhesiveness. Washing adhesive layer 14 in this manner and allowing it to dry restores its adhesiveness, returning to an initial stickiness. It is an advantage of the present invention to provide a reusable toy with a renewable adhesive capability so that the toy may be repeatedly played with, accessories repeatedly attached, removed and re-attached, without a loss of adhesiveness. It is a further advantage that a loss of adhesiveness due to dirt, lint or other matter attaching to the adhesive can be remedied by washing the adhesive layer 14 of the present invention and allowing it to dry.
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The term “accessories” as defined herein means any item for placement on the cutout. Accessories may relate to each other or to the printed surface, sharing a common theme with each other and/or with the cutout. Accessories may include, but are not limited to, clothing, shoes, bags, sports equipment, and jewelry. Accessories may relate to a particular theme, such as “dress-up”, including a hat, glasses, dress, shoes and purse Accessories additionally relate to the printed surface, for instance, in the correct placement of the accessories to the printed surface (with accessories including items of clothing and printed surface depicting a figure for placement of clothing on related body parts), or in theme (accessories relating to the beach, including pail, shovel, beach umbrella, and boat, for placement on the printed surface depicting a beach and ocean scene.) Accessories may relate to learning, such as the numerals 1-10 or the letters of the alphabet, for correct ordered placement upon the cutout.
Accessories may be made of any material which is suitable to adhere to adhesive layer such as paper, cardboard, fabric, cloth, plastic, wood, metal, or any combination thereof. Accessories may be of any shape, size and/or configuration, whether flat, two or three-dimensional, which is appropriate for attachment to the toy of the present invention. It is an advantage of the present invention that many items may serve as accessories for attachment to the adhesive component of the present invention and are not limited to planar items or construction using a certain material to enable adherence to the toy. It is particularly advantageous that the high tack of the adhesive employed in the present invention allows for attachment of more sophisticated accessories, which may be relatively heavier than traditional items and/or may be three-dimensional. Accessories from other toys may be used with the toy of the present invention.
As shown in
A toy according to the present invention is shown in
While toy shown in
In another embodiment of a toy according to the present invention, a three-dimensional figure, such as a doll, has at least one adhesive portion disposed at or formed into at least one part, such as a body part. As shown in
Doll 100 has many body parts and likewise many surfaces with different shapes, slopes, and bumps. There may be printed surfaces upon the figure. The present invention provides an easy way to attach items and accessories to a doll and prevent them from unintentionally slipping off during play, the adhesive portions 114, 166 retaining accessories thereon until the user desires to remove them.
As previously discussed with respect to adhesive layer of
Toy as shown in
All or some of accessories may relate to a common theme. For instance, in
While the embodiment of the toy of
The above description is for the purpose of teaching the person of ordinary skill in the art how to practice the present invention, and it is not intended to detail all those obvious modifications and variations of it which will become apparent to the skilled worker upon reading the description. It is intended, however, that all such obvious modifications and variations be included within the scope of the present invention, which is defined by the following claims. The claims are intended to cover the claimed components and steps in any sequence which is effective to meet the objectives there intended, unless the context specifically indicates the contrary.