Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Blast From The Blast - Roller Coaster Toy

Roller coaster toys had been around for awhile and they have gotten much more complex over the years. On October 29th, 1990 inventor Richard G Miller filed patent #5,118,320 for this simple, yet fun looking toy.This novel mechanical gravity toy has what the patent describes as a tortuous elevated track layout and a toy vehicle system which includes adjustable supports for the track, attached by universal joints.

The vehicle includes rollers movably supporting it on the track with a pivoting roller guide and a lateral securing element to couple the car to the track, yet it is still removable.

The articulated figure has movable arms that are adaptable to the centrifugal forces of the moving car. And, a lift motor carries the car to the top of the with track lift-hill. Early versions of roller coaster toys were known to have extremely limited layouts mainly due to the fact that there was no way to adjust the height or angle of the track. Another problem was there was no way to keep the car from leaving the track and still have enough momentum to complete the course.

Figure 1 is a front perpective view of the track layout and gravity operated vehicle.Figure 2 is an enlarged view showing the universal joint and track connection used in the elevated layout. Figure 3 is a view of a typical tower and base used in the track layout.

Figure 4 is a view of a gravity operated vechicle with track retaining guides. Figure 5 is a traverse cross section view of the vehiclewhich illustrates the retaining & guide system ( solid lines) as well as the release (broken lines.) Figure 6 is a view showing the lift system with a car in starting position. Figure 7 is a diagrammatic look of the car with an articulated figure.

This roller coaster toy is a nowhere near as complex as today's toy/model and I have no clue if it ever got into production or not, I do know I would buy one.