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Pinata yo-yo stand

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Title: Pinata yo-yo stand.
Abstract: A novel apparatus for mounting a piñata at least includes: a portable frame member; a pulley member at least having a pulley; a coupling member coupled between the portable frame member and the pulley member, the coupling member adapted to allow the pulley member to rotate about an axis orthogonal to pivot axis of the pulley member; and a tether member adapted to be coupled to a piñata at a first end, adapted to be operatively coupled to the pulley, and adapted to be pulled at a second end by a user. The portable frame member provides vertical and horizontal clearance for piñata games to occur underneath. The tether member facilitates changing the vertical position of a tethered piñata, while changing the rotational position of the pulley member via transverse movement of the tether member by the user facilitates changing the path of a swinging piñata projected from a horizontal plane. ...


- Sandy, UT, US
Inventor: Nelson M. Alas
USPTO Applicaton #: #20070099534 - Class: 446005000 (USPTO) - 05/03/07 - Class 446 


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Related Patent Categories: Amusement Devices: Toys, Having Portions Knocked Apart Or Awry By Impact, Including Portion Serving As Container For Diverse Articles (e.g., Pinata)
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20070099534, Pinata yo-yo stand.



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to recreational equipment in general, and to the improved portability and convenient operation pinatas in particular.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] As is well-known, pinatas are ornate objects often constructed of papier-mache and the like, and used to temporarily store candy, novelty items and others of interest to children. Pinatas are constructed in many shapes and colors, including human and animal shapes. It is common for a child celebrating a birthday (or other birthday party member) to swing at a moving pinata with a stick or other member while blindfolded. When the blindfolded person connects with adequate force the wall of the pinata gives way to allow the pinata contents to fall on ground. From there, the participating children can retrieve the fallen goodies as they are able.

[0005] Because pinatas are normally hung from a tree branch or the like, their placement is limited mostly to outdoor locations. Further, a suitable tree branch may not be at a desirable location. Additionally, there is often an interest in making the pinata experience more challenging for older or more coordinated children than the simple harmonic motion normally imparted to the pinata by a bystander's push allows.

[0006] Prior art approaches to mounting recreational items capable of swinging movement include punching bag supports (see for example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,510,131), a support frame capable of supporting a pinata (see for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,152), various mechanisms for hoisting and lowering loads (see for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,765,630 and 4,690,248; and U.S. Design Pat. Des. 456,584). There are even freely rotating hoists (see for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,491,329).

[0007] What is lacking in the prior art and sorely needed, however, is a truly portable and collapsible frame for hanging a pinata at any desired location with sufficient vertical and horizontal clearance--whether outdoors or indoors. What is further lacking in the prior art and sorely needed, is a convenient way of imparting complex motion to a swinging pinata by, as well as simple harmonic motion, changing the orientation of the swinging planes, and rapidly raising and lowering the height of the swinging pinata with ease.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide a novel apparatus for mounting a pinata that at least includes: a portable frame member; a pulley member at least having a pulley; a coupling member coupled between the portable frame member and the pulley member, the coupling member adapted to allow the pulley member to rotate about an axis orthogonal to pivot axis of the pulley member; and a tether member adapted to be coupled to a pinata at a first end, adapted to be operatively coupled to the pulley, and adapted to be pulled at a second end by a user. The portable frame member provides vertical and horizontal clearance for pinata games to occur underneath. The tether member facilitates changing the vertical position of a tethered pinata, while changing the rotational position of the pulley member via transverse movement of the tether member by the user facilitates changing the path of a swinging pinata projected from a horizontal plane.

[0009] Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

[0010] Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

[0011] These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] In order for the advantages of the invention to be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 is an oblique view of the present-inventive pinata mounting apparatus;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a side view of a portable frame member with telescopic sections, along with a locking pin mechanism; and

[0015] FIG. 3 is a side view of a frame section coupler joining two frame member sections.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings, and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

[0017] Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases "one embodiment," "an embodiment," and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

[0018] FIG. 1 illustrates the present-inventive apparatus for mounting an operating a pinata. The pinata mounting apparatus 100 contains a portable frame member 100 providing enough horizontal and vertical clearance for children (or adults) to participate in pinata-based games between and underneath the frame member. The frame member includes frame member bases 160 and 170 which may be weighted as needed to provide a ballast effect for steadying the frame. In the preferred embodiment, the frame member 110 includes one or more frame member sections such as the ones 162 and 172 shown.

[0019] Multiple frame member sections can be joined by frame member section couplers such as the one 168, as further detailed in FIG. 3.

[0020] The apparatus 100 also includes a pulley member 130 pivotally attached to the frame member by a coupling member 120. As part of the preferred embodiment, the frame member 110 also includes a cross-member 150 to increase sturdiness. The pulley member 130 accepts a tether member 140 (e.g., a rope, cable, etc.) which can be attached to a pinata 180 at one end, and manipulated at the other end.

[0021] In an alternate embodiment, the frame member can included several telescopic frame member sections as illustrated in FIG. 2. The telescopic nature allows the frame member to extend to a number of predetermined lengths to increase portability and collapsibility. As part of a locking mechanism 264 to lock the frame member sections into position, a locking pin 265 is inserted into one of several locking pin holes (not shown) which are part of the frame member sections. As a matter of design choice, the locking pins 265 may be spring loaded.

[0022] In the preferred embodiment as additionally illustrated in FIG. 3, frame member sections such as the ones 168 and 366 can be joined by interference fit couplers 168. The couplers 168 may also be augmented by locking pins or other securing mechanisms.

[0023] In operation, a user can hold the end of the tether member 140 to facilitate raising and lowering the height of an attached pinata 180. It is also traditional to impart a pendulum motion to the pinata as known in the prior art. The present-inventive pinata mounting apparatus 100 also allows, via the coupler 120, the user to change the direction and motion of a swinging pinata by moving the tether member 140 angularly with respect to the axis of the coupler. Thus, a complex pinata motion and positioning is possible as is desired by the user. The apparatus is also sufficiently collapsible to easily allow its transport in an automobile.

[0024] It is understood that the above-described preferred embodiments are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiment is to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claim rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

[0025] It is expected that there could be numerous variations of the design of this invention.

[0026] Finally, it is envisioned that the components of the device may be constructed of a variety of materials.

[0027] Thus, while the present invention has been fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made, without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention as set forth in the claims.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20070099534 A1
Publish Date
05/03/2007
Document #
11266848
File Date
11/03/2005
USPTO Class
446005000
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
63H33/00
Drawings
4



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