Patent Number: 6,168,494

Title: Expandable and changeable playset building system

Abstract: An expandable and changeable playset building system with at least one retained playset member, which may comprise a resiliently compressible panel, and at least one squeeze connector, which may be formed from a pair of opposed gripping surfaces, for selectively retaining the retained playset member by frictional engagement. An interactive base connector unit can be provided that simulates a structure, such as a bridge, a tree, a fence, a merry-go-round, or a parking gate, in miniature and in three dimensions. A plurality of squeeze connectors can be coupled to the interactive base connector unit for retaining a plurality of retained playset members. Also, first and second squeeze connectors could be rotatably coupled together. Further, a plurality of squeeze connectors with a plurality of different orientations could be fixedly joined to form a fixed universal connector. Electrical current can be transmitted between the interactive base connector unit and the retained playset members by corresponding electrical contacts. The interactive base connector unit can have an electrical switch and an electrically powered element that is activated by a triggering of the switch. The switch could be a layer of electrically conductive ink applied to the interactive base connector unit with a gap therein wherein a user can close the gap to trigger the switch by application of an external electrically conductive element, such as a finger, that bridges the gap. Alternatively or additionally, such a switch could be provided on the retained playset members.

Inventors: Engel; Robert William (Thousand Oaks, CA), Fouke; Stephen George (Marian del Rey, CA), Hollis; John Rey (Topanga, CA)


International Classification: A63H 3/00 (20060101); A63H 3/52 (20060101); A63H 33/00 (20060101); A63H 33/42 (20060101); A63H 003/52 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018