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Publication numberUS3336030 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date15 Aug 1967
Filing date17 Jan 1966
Priority date17 Jan 1966
Publication numberUS 3336030 A, US 3336030A, US-A-3336030, US3336030 A, US3336030A
InventorsLefferson Carl, Martell Fred
Original AssigneeInternat Exhibits Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gun and target with inflatable indicator
US 3336030 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 15, 1967 F. MARTELL ETAL GUN AND TARGET WITH INFLATABLE INDICATOR Filed Jan. 17,

2 Sheets-Sheet l PLAYER MANIFOLD f 24 gPuMP- 20 41 PCROIQSTSAJORLE STORAGE AIR VALVE TANK f COMPRESSOR Fig. 2

I NVENTORS FRED MARTELL CARL LEFFERSON By m z w o! ATTORNEYS Aug. 15, 1967 F. MARTELL. ETAL 3,336,030

GUN AND TARGET WITH INFLATABLE INDICATOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 17, 1966 INVENTORS FRED MARTELL CARL LEFFERSON WWW ' ATTORNEYS United States Patent G 3,336,030 GUN AND TARGET WITH INFLATABLE INDICATQR Fred Martel], Wanamassa, and Carl Leiferson, Oakhurst, N.J., assignors to International Exhibits, Inc. Filed Jan. 17, 1966, Ser. No. 520,962 Claims. (Cl. 273101) This invention relates to an amusement system and more particularly to a game in which guns are competitively operated by players to result in one of them winning.

In amusement systems in which many people participate, the players must pit their skill one against another. It is important that some goal be accomplished and the obtaining of the goal be exciting to the participants as well as to those watching the game. This excitement should build up until, at a dramatic close, one of the players wins.

In order to achieve the foregoing it has been known to use a fragile hollow inflatable object such as a toy balloon with each of the players inflating an individual balloon. The participants turn hand cranks which operate individual pumps to inflate their respective balloons until a first one of the balloons bursts indicating a winner. However, this amusement device left something to be desired as it depended on the strength of the individual players rather than on skill, dexterity and controlled effort which would appeal to the greater number of people as well as providing more interest to the onlookers.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is an amusement system in which fragile hollow inflatable objects are adapted to be inflated each by a different player.

Another object of the present invention is a toy balloon adapted to be inflated requiring a players skill and dexterity in an attempt to have his balloon explode in the shortest amount of time possible.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a gun system for playing a game having at least one target and a fragile hollow inflatable indicator means for indicating the progress and finish of the game. Fluid pressure means is connected by way of fluid connections to the inflatable indicator means for producing fluid pressure to inflate the indicator means with valve means controlling the flow of the fluid. A gun is adapted to be spaced from the target for actuating the target when the gun is correctly aimed by the player at the target. In operation, actuating means is connected to the target and to the valve means to open the valve means and allow the fluid to inflate the indicator means only when the target is actuated.

In carrying out the present invention in one form thereof, there is provided a water gun system for a plurality of players comprising target means and an inflatable balloon each associated with a different player. Fluid pressure means is connected by way of individual fluid connections to each of the balloons and controlled by valve means for providing fluid pressure to inflate the balloons. A water gun is provided for each of the players which is adapted to be equally spaced from his associated target means. A source of water under pressure is supplied to each water gun so that each player controls a stream of water to be directed at his associated target means. Act'uating means is provided for each of the target means having a connection to an associated valve means to open the valve means to allow the fluid pressure to inflate the balloon only when the water stream strikes the target means. In this manner, there is provided an amusement device in which an inflatable object such as a balloon is adapted to be inflated by each player which requires the players skill and dexterity in an attempt to have his balloon explode For a more detailed disclosure of the invention and for other objects and advantages thereof, reference is to be had to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a water gun system embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates in block diagram form an operating system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates in detail and cut-away the head actuating system and the balloon holder shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 illustrates in detail and cut-away the balloon retaining device shown in FIG. 3.

Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown an amusement system 109 comprising a target booth 10 having a target booth backboard 10a. A plurality of clown head assemblies 30 are disposed within the booth 10 and the players A, B, and C, one for each of the head assemblies 30, stand in front of the booth and direct streams of water 21 from water guns 27 at a respective one of the clown heads. Each player aims his Water gun to direct a stream of water 21 at a tongue 32 in a water intake opening of his associated clown head 31 as shown in more detail in FIG. 3.

In operation of the system as shown in FIG. 2, an A.C. supply is connected to terminals 12 and 14 to directly supply power to a motor 17 adapted to rotate the clown heads 34 from side to side. This side to side movement makes it more diflicult for the water stream 21 to be directed at the tongues 32 in the water intake openings. In addition terminals 12 and 14 are connected to a motor 19 which operates an air system 40 to supply high pressure fluid viz. compressed air, to balloon assemblies 50. It will be understood that in FIG. 2, for simplicity only, one balloon assembly 50 has been shown together with its corresponding head assembly 30 and gun 27. The remaining balloon assemblies 50, head assemblies 30 and guns 27 are connected and operate in similar manner. All of the guns 27 are equally spaced in distance from their respective head assemblies 30.

When all of the players A, B and C are in position with their water guns 27, the attendant is ready to start the game by actuating switch 11 to its illustrated closed position. With switch 11 in a closed position, a circuit is completed for current flow by way of the A.C. source to motor 18, thereby to operate pump 24 to supply water under pressure to a manifold 25 and then by way of conduits 26 to water guns 27. The stream of water 21 from the gun 27 as shown in FIG. 2 is directed to an intake opening to strike a pivoted tongue 32 thereby to actuate switch 33. The water from stream 21 is then collected in a reservoir 22. The collected water in reservoir 22 is drawn out of the reservoir through a filter 23 by the pump 24 completing the water cycle.

When the water stream 21 strikes the tongue 32 it depresses and activates a switch 33 to complete a circuit by way of the A.C. terminal 14, junction 16, wire 33a (FIG. 3), switch 33, wire 33a, a solenoid 45a, junction 15, and then through closed switch 11 to the other A.C. terminal 12. In addition, with switch 11 closed, an energization circuit is completed by way of junction 15a and 16a to a solenoid 46. Solenoid 45a is adapted actuate a valve 45b so that when solenoid 45a is energized, the valve 45b is actuated to its open positon to allow air to flow from the manifold 44 of the air system 40 into the balloon assembly 50 and in this way to inflate a balloon 53.

Solenoid 46 is adapted to actuate an air release valve 450 connected between the pipe 51 and the atmosphere. When solenoid 46 is energized, valve 45c is actuated to its closed position thereby preventing the release of air. The player continues to direct their respective streams of Water 21 through the intake openings and at the tongues 32 until one of the balloons 53 increases to such size that it bursts indicating a winner.

As previously described, motor 19 is continuousuly energized to operate an air compressor 41 of a fluid pressure air system 40. The air compressor 41 supplies high pressure fluid, viz., air under pressure, to a storage tank 42. The air pressure in storage tank 42 is regulated in a manner well known in the art to a predetermined air pressure, as for example ninety pounds per square inch. The air under pressure from tank 42 is directed through a pressure control valve or regulator 43 into a manifold 44. The pressure in manifold 44 may also be regulated to a pressure, as for example, twenty pounds per square inch. From manifold 44 extend a plurality of takeotfs or conduits 44a in number equal to the balloon assemblies 50. Each of the conduits 44a is connected to an associated solenoid actuated valve 45b of a balloon assembly 50 the output side of which is connected to a .standpipe or balloon intake 51. A balloon 53 has its mouth disposed about the end of the outlet of pipe 51 and a funnel shaped balloon retainer 52 embraces the mouth of the ballon as shown in FIG. 4 and later described in more detail.

Accordingly, it will now be understood that when the stream of water 21 from the gun illustrated in FIG. 2 strikes the clown tongue 32, switch 33 is actuated thereby to open the solenoid actuated valve 45b and to allow air under pressure into the balloon 53. Identical circuits are utilized for the remaining head assemblies 36 with the corresponding circuits being connected to junctions and 16. At the end of a game, after one of the players bursts his balloon, the attendant opens switch 11 thereby opening the energization circuit for motor 18. In this manner, air under pressure is no longer supplied to guns 27. In addition, both solenoids 45a and 46 are deenergized so that valve 45b is closed and valve 45c is open. In this manner, the conduits 44a from the manifold 44 are closed and air from the balloon 53 is released to the atmosphere through valve 450.

As shown in more detail on FIG. 4, the mouth of the balloon 53 is fitted about the end of the feed pipe or conduit 51 and the tube portion of the balloon retainer 52 is fitted about the balloon 53. The end of the tube portion of funnel 52 is beveled so that it fits over the balloon mouth and provides a snug fit. The outermost end of the balloon mouth forms a lip which extends from the end of the tube portion of the funnel 52. It will be understood that as the balloon is inflated it would normally tend to free itself from tube 51. Specifically, as the balloon inflates the mouth of the balloon tends to become expanded until the balloon would fly from the tube. However, the tube of funnel 52 prevents this action and secures the balloon in place.

It will also be understood that the hollow conical shaped portion of the funnel retainer 52 provides a shoulder for sides of the balloon 53 adjacent the mouth. In this manner, the balloon is supported in an upright position as it is inflated and is prevented from falling on its side. Without the support of the funnel, the balloon would tend to fall on one side in its expanded state and would be in the way of the water stream and would provide a secondary target. Accordingly, the retainer 52 provides a supporting shoulder for the lower portion of the balloon 53 to maintain it in position as it expands until it reaches its bursting point.

It will be understood that in accordance with the invention that there is provided actuating means including a switch 33 which is actuated by the water stream striking the pivoted target member 32. With the switch 33 actuated, the solenoid 45a operates valve 45b of valve means to allow compressed air into balloon 53.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown in detail the head assembly 30 actuating system for rotating 9. target head 31 from side to side. For simplicity, only one head assembly 34} has been illustrated of the three assemblies shown in FIG. 1. As previously described, the motor 17 produces the drive for this movement and there is provided a disc 61 secured to the motor shaft. A pin 61a is fixed to the upper side of the disc 61 and is received within an elongated slot 62a in a flange 62. The flange 62 extends outwardly at one of its sides in the form of a bar 63 supported by rigid supports 64 secured to the target booth backboard 10a. The bar 63 is guided within supports 64 to allow it longitudinal movement. A plurality of pins 66, only one of which has been illustrated, are secured to the upper side of bar 63 with each pin 66 corresponding to a differing head assembly 30.

As shown in FIG. 3, pin 66 is received within an elongated slot in a plate 65 secured and perpendicular to a hollow cylindrical rod 67. Rod 67 forms the main support member for the head assembly 30 and has secured at its uppermost end as by screw threads, a horizontal support member 68. Member 68, at its outwardly extending end supports the switch 33 and a pivot 32a for the tongue member 32. The connecting wires 33a for switch 13 are disposed within the hollow rod 67 and are coupled to the switch 33. Adjacent the junction with rod 67, the support member is threaded to receive threads 69a of both horizontal and vertical rods 69, which engage the clown head 31 thereby to secure and hold the head 31 as it is rotated.

It will now be understood that the clown head 31 is secured by way of member 69 to the rod 67 which is adapted to pivot about its axis. Accordingly, upon actuation of the motor 17, the disc 61 rotates therefore providing bar 63 and pin 66 with transverse movement first in one direction and then in the opposite direction. In this manner, pin 66 provides a force against plate 65 thereby turning rod 67 about its pivot first in a clockwise direction and then in a counter-clockwise direction, so that the clown head 31 turns from side to side upon actuation of the driving motor 17.

It is to be noted that normally toy balloons or other hollow fragile inflatable objects will burst after reaching a predetermined expanded size. However, some balloons may be faulty in that they will not explode and will continue to expand. Thus, the player who is attempting to burst this faulty balloon will not be a winner even though he is entitled to win the game and more importantly, the faulty balloon may be dangerous when it does explode in its greatly expanded state. Accordingly, there is provided means to burst the balloon when the balloon reaches a point in its expansion when it should burst. Specifically, there is provided a safety device in the form of a sharp object or a tack 55 extending from the upper portion 10b of the target booth 10 in approximately the position of the center of the inflated balloon 53. Accordingly, a normal balloon will burst before reaching tack 55. However, if the balloon is faulty, it will expand until it reaches its associated tack 55 at which time the tack point will cause the bottom to explode.

With the above understanding of the invention, it will be seen that many modifications may be made. For example, instead of the use of water guns in aiming streams of water 21, the guns 27 may focus a beam of light. Thus, as well known in the art, a photocell may be secured to tongue of the clown assemblies 30. An electrical circuit may be adapted to energize solenoid 45a when the beam of light from the gun 27 strikes a corresponding photocell. In addition, the guns 27 may shoot pellets or bullets at a target 32 and if the projectile reaches its mark, a circuit is closed to energize solenoid 45a.

The principles of the invention having now been explained together with modifications thereof, it is to be understood that many more modifications may be made within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A gun system for playing a game comprising,

at least one target means,

a fragile hollow inflatable indicator means for indicating the progress and finish of the game,

fluid pressure means connected by way of fluid connections to said inflatable object for producing fluid pressure to inflate said object,

valve means for said inflatable object being connected in said fluid connection,

gun means spaced from said target means for actuating said target means when said gun means is correctly aimed by a player at said target means, and

actuating means connected to said target means and to said valve means to open said valve means to allow fluid to inflate said inflatable indicator means only when said target means is actuated.

2. The gun system of claim 1 in which said hollow inflatable indicator means is a balloon having its mouth engaging said fluid connection and said gun means comprises a water gun having water under pressure supplied thereto which a player may control to direct a water stream at said target means.

3. The gun system of claim 2 in which said target means includes a shaped pivoted member and in which said actuating means includes a switch in spaced relation with said member for actuation of said switch when said water stream strikes said shaped member.

4. The gun system of claim 2 in which there is provided funnel means having (1) a tube portion fitting over said balloon mouth engaging said fluid connection thereby to provide a snug fit for said balloon mouth and to maintain it in place and (2) a hollow conical shaped portion providing a shoulder for the side of said balloon adjacent said balloon mouth as said balloon is inflated.

5. The gun system of claim 4 in which the wall of said tube portion of said funnel means at the end remote from said conical portion is of diminishing thickness thereby to ease the fitting of said tube portion onto said balloon mouth.

6. The gun system of claim 1 in which there is provided a safety device comprising a pointed object disposed a distance from said inflatable indicator means selected to be greater than the normal bursting size of said indicator means.

7. A water gun system for a plurality of players comprising a plurality of target means each associated with a different player,

a fragile hollow inflatable indicator means for each target for indicating the progress and finish of a game,

fluid pressure means connected by way of individual fluid connections to each of said inflatable indicator means for providing fluid pressure to inflate said inflatable indicator means,

valve means for each of said inflatable indicator means each connected in an associated fluid connection corresponding to its respective inflatable indicator means,

a Water gun for each of the players equally spaced from an associated target means having a source of water under pressure for supplying under a players control a stream of water to be directed at 5 said associated target means, and

actuating means, operated by each of said target means, having a connection to an associated valve means to open said'valve means to allow said fluid pressure to inflate a respective indicator means only when said water stream strikes said target means.

8. The water gun system of claim 7 in which each said target means includes a pivoted member and a switch in spaced relation with said member and actuated by said member when said water stream strikes said member.

9. The water gun system of claim 8 in which there is provided a housing for each target means formed in the shape of a head having a mouth opening,

each of said pivoted members being disposed within an associated housing and behind said mouth opening whereby a water stream may be directed through said mouth opening to strike said pivoted member thereby actuating said switch and means for producing rotatable movement to each of said housings to increase the difficulty to each player in maintaining said water stream directed at said corresponding pivoted member.

11). The water gun system of claim 7 in which there is provided funnel means for each of said fluid connec tions having (1) a beveled tube portion fitting over the mouth of said inflatable object engaging said fluid connection thereby to provide a snug fit and support and (2) a hollow conical shaped portion providing a shoulder support for said inflatable object as it is inflated.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 12/1922 Great Britain.

ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.

M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner,

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Referenced by
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US3434717 *26 Aug 196625 Mar 1969Arthur SchwartzWater gun target
US3477723 *4 Dec 196711 Nov 1969Jedso Ind IncCombined water pistol and target device
US3572712 *23 Jul 196830 Mar 1971Ance M VickMoving target and water gun with indicating mechanism
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/349
International ClassificationF41J5/18, F41J5/00, A63F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41J5/18, A63G33/00, A63F2011/0065, A63G31/007, A63F2009/0084
European ClassificationF41J5/18, A63G33/00, A63G31/00W