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Publication numberUS3719003 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date6 Mar 1973
Filing date10 May 1971
Priority date10 May 1971
Publication numberUS 3719003 A, US 3719003A, US-A-3719003, US3719003 A, US3719003A
InventorsF Skjoldborg
Original AssigneeF Skjoldborg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy building set
US 3719003 A
Abstract
A toy building set comprising blocks made of a firm, somewhat resilient material, preferably of a rigid foam plastics, and adapted to be interconnected thereby that at least one tenon protruding from the surface of one block is brought to engage a corresponding recess in another block. Each said tenon comprising an inner part and an outer part. Said inner part having a length of between 60 and 90 percent, preferably between 75 and 85 percent, of the height of the tenon taken from the surface of the block and being provided with side faces outwardly approaching the longitudinal axis of the tenon, said inner part of the tenon preferably being formed as a truncated cone or as the frustum of a pyramid. Said outer part of said tenon having a length of between 40 and 10 percent, preferably between 25 and 15 percent of said height of said tenon and being provided with side faces forming an angle of less than 180 DEG , but greater than 120 DEG with the said side faces of said inner part of said tenon. Each said recess being over a depth corresponding to said height of said tenon conform with the latter and having the same dimensions as the said tenon.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 191 Skjoldborg TOY BUILDING SET [76] Inventor: Finn Skjoldborg, 6753 Agerbaek,

Agerbaek, Denmark [22] Filed: May 10,1971

[2]] Appl.No.: 141,760

UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,907,137 lO/l959 Ehrmann ..46/25 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 100,283 2/1937 Great Britain ..46/25 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Publication: Playthings, pgs. 101-102, July 1964, Vol. 62, number 7.

[ 1 March 6, 1973 Primary ExaminerL0uis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever AttorneyErnest F. Marmorek [57] ABSTRACT A toy building set comprising blocks made of a firm, somewhat resilient material, preferably of a rigid foam plastics, and adapted to be interconnected thereby that at least one tenon protruding from the surface of one block is brought to engage a corresponding recess in another block. Each said tenon comprising an inner part and an outer part. Said inner part having a length of between 60 and 90 percent, preferably between and percent, of the height of the tenon taken from the surface of the block and being provided with side faces outwardly approaching the longitudinal axis of the tenon, said inner part of the tenon preferably being formed as a truncated cone or as the frustum of a pyramid. Said outer part of said tenon having a length of between 40 and 10 percent, preferably between 25 and 15 percent of said height of said tenon and being provided with side faces forming an angle of less than 180, but greater than with the said side faces of said inner part of said tenon. Each said recess being over a depth corresponding to said height of said tenon conform with the latter and having the same dimensions as the said tenon.

1 1 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMAR 61m 3,719,003

Fig.1.

20 22 f4 25 20 22 /4 (r (/l Fig. 2.

70 A? Fig. 4. f6 28 I8 /2 I6 Fig. 3. 12 /8 1 N V EN TOR: Film sz jolddty I BY flMI I TOY BUILDING SET This invention relates to a toy building set comprising blocks made of a firm, somewhat resilient material, preferably of rigid foam plastics, and adapted to be interconnected thereby that at least one tenon protruding from the surface of one block is brought to engage a corresponding recess in another block.

In hitherto known such toy building sets the tenons are cylindrical or slightly tapered, and the interconnection of two adjoining blocks is obtained through friction between the side faces of the tenons and the walls of the recesses. Where such blocks are frequently used, however, the result is often that the material enclosing the recess, and forming also the tenons, is permanently deformed, whereby the necessary frictional resistance to hold the blocks together is missed. Where, moreover, the blocks are required to be of larger dimensions, so that they can be used for building of for example play-houses, wherein children may stay, in case the tenons are made short enough to permit relatively easy engagement with the recesses over their full length, the cohesion of the blocks will, generally, not secure adequate interconnecting capacity, and in case the tenons are made of adequate length the work involved in the assembly and dismantling of the blocks will be too troublesome for children.

The object of the invention is to provide a toy building set of the type in question, and chiefly such a set comprising relatively large blocks made of foam plastics, for example of expanded polystyrol, permitting easy assembly as well as easy disengagement of the blocks, and affording at the same time such a cohesion between the blocks that even a relatively large construction made of the blocks can be lifted by lifting of the upper part of the construction without the lower part thereofis therefore falling off.

By the new toy building set this is obtained thereby that each tenon comprises an inner part and an outer part, said inner part having a length of between 60 and 90 percent, preferably between 75 and 85 percent of the height of the tenon taken from the surface of the block and being provided with side faces which outwardly are approaching the longitudinal axis of the tenon, said inner part preferably being formed as a truncated cone or a pyramid, and said outer part having a length of between 40 and percent, preferably between 25 and percent of the height of the tenon and being provided with side faces forming an angle of less than l80, but greater than 120 with the side faces of the inner part, whereas each recess over a depth corresponding to the height of the tenon is conformed therewith and has the same dimensions as the tenon. This design involves that in connection with the assembly of the blocks only the insertion of the outer part of the tenon into the corresponding recess part requires a resistance to be overcome, and, at the same time, that during the insertion of the tenon the air contained in the bottom part of the recess will escape alongside the surface of the tenon as a consequence of the deformability of the material and the pressure applied during the interconnection, even where this pressure is relatively low. When thereafter attempts are made to pull the blocks apart, a vacuum develops in the bottom part of the recess holding the blocks together and being only overcomable if a certain force be exerted on the blocks, such force, however, not exceeding the capacity of even small children.

Although the outer part of the tenon and the corresponding inner part of the recess may be of a cross sectional shape entirely different from the innert'enon part and the outer recess part respectively, it is most convenient if each tenon has uniform cross sections over its entire length, whereby it is secured that no passages develop that permit easy escape of air, involving in turn weakening of the connection.

Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view of an embodiment of a block belonging to a toy building set according to the present invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are side views of two other embodiments of a tenon to be used according to the present invention, and

FIG. 4 is a side view of a double-tenon made as a separate part.

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a toy: block 10 of foam plastics, for example expanded polystyrol. The toy block 10 is provided on its underside with two protruding tenons 12, and on its upper side coaxially with the tenons 12 with two recesses 14.

Each tenon 12 comprises an inner part 16 next to the block 10 and having a height corresponding to 82 per-.

cent of the total height of the tenon 12. The inner part 16 has inner side surfaces defining the shape of said inner part 16 as a truncated cone, which may for example be a part of a 30 cone, or as a corresponding frustum of a pyramid.

The tenon 12 comprises further an outer part 18 of a height corresponding to 18 percent of the total height of the tenon. The outer part 18 is provided with outer side faces likewise defining the shape of a truncated cone, but with outwards increasing diameter and being part of a cone with an apex angle of 10, or the shape of a corresponding frustum of a pyramid.

Each recess 14 comprises two parts 20 and 22, corresponding to the tenon parts 16 and 18. The recess part 20 conforms exactly with the tenon part 16 and has a depth equal to the height thereof. The outer portion of the recess part 22 is conform with and has the same dimensions as the tenon part: 18, but the recess part 22 has a depth exceeding the height of the tenon part 18 by slightly less than 3 percent of the height of the tenon 12.

When a tenon l2 is made engage a recess 14 of 7 another block, the assembly of the two blocks will not encounter any resistance until the outer edge 24 of the tenon 12 reaches the transition 26 between the two parts 20 and 22 of the recess 14. At this time a certain pressure must be exerted on the blocks, as a consequence of the resilience of the material, however, a relatively gentle pressure will be sufficient to overcome the resistance and to ensure that the tenon part 18 is pressed into the recess part 22, expelling at the same time the air contained herein, whereby the air tends to reduce the friction. When the blocks are no longer exposed to pressure, the tenons 12 will tend to move slightly out of the recesses 14, whereby, particularly at the bottom of the recess part 22, but also alongside the i side surface of the tenon 12, a vacuum develops which is adequate to prevent too easy removal of the tenon 12 from the recess 14. If, on the other hand, a pullingforce is actually exerted on the tenon 12, this vacuum will soon be overcome, whereafter the tenon 12 can without any difficulty be withdrawn from the recess 20.

FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of a tenon 12, having an inner part 16 corresponding to the inner part 16 in FIG. I, and an outer part 28 deviating from the outer part 18 in FIG. 1 in that it is cylindrical. In this case the recess 14 must, of course, have a corresponding cylindrical inner part 22. The cylindrical outer tenon part 28 shown possesses vacuum-producing properties at least equalling those of the outer part 18 shown in FIG. 1, but does not afford the press-button connection obtained by the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, and which affords a further safety against unintended separation of two blocks.

Less expedient, but usable nevertheless, is the embodiment of the tenon 12 shown in FIG. 3, which deviates from the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in that the outer part of the tenon, here indicated by 38, is tapered outwards in the same manner as the truncated tapered part 16, although having an essentially smaller cone-angle than has the part 16. To ensure the development of the required vacuum, in this embodiment the outer part 38 is of a height corresponding to slightly less than 30 percent of the height of the tenon 12.

FIG. 4 shows how a tenon 412 may be combined by two single tenons 12, for example of the type shown in FIG. I, and so that the tenon 412 is symmetrical relative to its central transverse plane. This tenon 412 may be used for interconnecting two blocks that, in adjoining faces, are provided with recesses 14 only.

Generally, the tenons 12 and therecesses l4 ought to be of circular cross section, affording maximum freedom in connection with assembly of the blocks, but, naturally, also cross sections of other shapes may be used, for example oval, which may be appropriate with a view to securing that two blocks will always be connected in one definite manner. Likewise the tenons and the recesses may be of polygonal cross section.

What I claim is:

l. A toy building set comprising blocks made from a somewhat resilient material, some of said blocks being provided each with at least one tenon protruding from the surface of the corresponding block, some of said blocks being provided with at least one recess, said blocks being adapted to be interconnected thereby that at least one of said tenons of one of said blocks provided with at least one tenon is brought into engagement with one of said recesses of one of said blocks provided with at least one recess, each said tenon comprising an inner part and an outer part, said inner part having a length of between 60 and 90 percent of the height of said tenon measured from the said surface of the corresponding block, from which said tenon protrudes, each said inner part of each said tenon being provided with converging inner side faces, said outer part having a length of between 40 and I0 percent of said height of said tenon and being provided with outer side faces forming an angle greater than l20 but not more than 180 with the said inner side faces, said angle having its vertex at the transition region of said inner and outer parts, each said recess being over a depth corresponding to the said height of said tenon conforming with said tenon and having substantially the same dimensions assaid tenon.

2. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, each said block being made from a rigid foam plastics.

3. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, said inner part of said tenon having a height of between and percent of said heightof said tenon, said outer part of said tenon having a height of between 25 and 15 percent of said height of said tenon.

4. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, said inner part of said tenon being formed as a truncated cone or as the frustum of a pyramid.

5. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, each said tenon having uniform cross sections over its entire length.

6. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, each said recess having a total depth which is between 0 and 5 percent greater than the said height of said tenon.

7. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, said outer side faces of said outer part of said tenon being parallel to the longitudinal axis of said tenon.

8. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, said outer part of said tenon being tapered, in outwards direction sloping away from the longitudinal axis of said tenon.

9. A toy building set as defined in claim 8, said outer side faces of said outer part of said tenon forming an angle of less than 10 with said longitudinal axis of said tenon.

10. A toy building set as defined in claim 1, comprising a separate tenon member, said separate tenon member having a central transverse plane and consisting of two tenon portions arranged on either side of said central transverse plane, each said tenon portion being adapted to engage one of said recesses with said central transverse plane flushing with the surface of the corresponding one of said blocks, each said tenon portion being shaped and dimensioned as one of said tenons.

11. A toy building set as defined in claim 10, said separate tenon member being symmetrical relative to said central transverse plane.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2907137 *19 Nov 19566 Oct 1959Nikocraft LtdToy building element
GB100283A * Title not available
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Publication: Playthings, pgs. 101 102, July 1964, Vol. 62, number 7.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5657516 *12 Oct 199519 Aug 1997Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyDual structured fastener elements
US8105128 *10 Feb 200631 Jan 2012Soerensen Soeren ChristianInjection molded toy building element
US20130143467 *15 Jan 20136 Jun 2013Mattel, Inc.Toy building blocks
WO2000061954A1 *12 Apr 200019 Oct 2000Isabelle MilletSystem for assembling components made of expanded plastic foam
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/121, 24/595.1, 24/DIG.410
International ClassificationA63H33/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S24/41, A63H33/065
European ClassificationA63H33/06E