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United States Patent Application 20170368463
Kind Code A1
Ritchie; Fred D. ;   et al. December 28, 2017

Splat H2O

Abstract

Described herein is a portable outdoor water and snow activity station used as a game or a toy. The activity station is a mesh screen panel PVC structure with supports that has a detachable water hose, which connects to a standard water spigot; the detachable hose has on/off nozzles for filling water balloons and other water toys and may be removed during non-use. The activity station has multiple slingshot launchers that may be used for launching both water balloons and snowballs. The activity station's adjoined mesh screen panels shield players as they propel objects with the slingshot launchers. The activity station contains rear storage pouches to hold water balloons and snowballs while in use. The activity station's foldable design allows for easy set up, take down, portability, and storage. The object of the game is for players at opposing stations to launch water balloons and snowballs at each other.


Inventors: Ritchie; Fred D.; (Plainfield, IL) ; Savala; Frank V.; (Plainfield, IL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Ritchie; Fred D.
Savala; Frank V.

Plainfield
Plainfield

IL
IL

US
US
Family ID: 1000002124670
Appl. No.: 15/193429
Filed: June 27, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63G 31/007 20130101; F41B 3/02 20130101; A63B 71/02 20130101; A63B 65/122 20130101; A63B 67/002 20130101; A63H 27/10 20130101
International Class: A63G 31/00 20060101 A63G031/00; A63B 71/02 20060101 A63B071/02; A63B 65/12 20060101 A63B065/12; A63B 67/00 20060101 A63B067/00; F41B 3/02 20060101 F41B003/02; A63H 27/10 20060101 A63H027/10

Claims



1. A portable activity station for use with a water hose or water source intended for multiple players at a time, comprising: a framework having plurality of pipes; a water hose located at the upper surface of frame; a protective mesh screen attached to frame; a plurality of slingshot launchers; a plurality of water hose insert points; a plurality of nozzles; a plurality of hinge folding points and a plurality of folding points; a plurality of storage pouches

2. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of framework is rectangle in shape.

3. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of framework is 41/2 ft. tail and 61/2 ft. wide

4. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of framework is made by interconnected polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes

5. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the mesh screen is attached to the sections supported by corners of the PVC frame

6. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of water balloon & snowball launcher is in the form of a slingshot

7. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of clamps secure detachable water hose to frame

8. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of nozzles are attached to the water hose on the upper portion of the said frame

9. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality hinge folding points are attached to each PVC pipe

10. The portable activity station according to claim 1, wherein said the plurality of folding points are used to fold the device for portability and storage

11. A method for playing a game having multiple players simultaneously hide behind rectangle PVC structure while using slingshots to propel water balloons and snowballs while being partially shielded by mesh screen, said method comprising the steps of: a. Positioning said teams in a facing relation to one another and in a predetermined boundary adjacent a water transmitting and emitting frame; b. Launching a plurality of water balloons and snowballs towards an opponent, water balloon and snowball receiving player operatively positioned on adjacent water transmitting and receiving frame
Description



FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] Splat H2O is an invention generally relating to a portable outdoor water and snow activity station for children comprising of a rectangular shape frame of PVC, mesh screen panels, slingshots, water hose, and holding pouch for water balloons and snowballs. The portable activity station allows multiple players to launch water balloons or snowballs at opposing players while being partially shielded by the mesh screened station.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] Currently there are a number of toy solutions for providing outdoor water and snow fun for children and adults; however current outdoor water toy and water activity station solutions lack the ability to be used for both water and snow or to be easily set up, taken down, and transported. Splat H2O provides a unique portable outdoor water and snow activity station that may be used in all seasons. In addition, generally current water toys and snow toys are for single person use. Splat H2O is designed to be used by multiple children and or adults with both water and snow. Splat H2O has a detachable hose that allows users to fill water balloons, soak or fill other water toys and remove the hose during freezing temperatures. Splat H2O's lightweight tri-fold compact design allows for ease of setup, take down, portability and storage.

EXAMPLE A

[0003] As described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,591,071, some water games available in the market make use of a water gun which includes a main liquid reservoir and a pressurized liquid reservoir contained within the main liquid reservoir. A trigger-actuated pump is used with a manually operated three way valve to selectively supply liquid: (a) from the pump to the pressurized reservoir; (b) from the pump to the nozzle; or (c) from the pump to both the pressurized liquid reservoir and the nozzle. The water gun is limited in many ways as compared to Splat H2O. This type of water gun requires manual valve switching with complicated steps not easily performed by young children. Splat H2O only requires that the user place the snowball or water balloon in the slingshot, pull and release. Splat H2O can be easily operated by children 5+ and requires no pumping, triggering, or switching on or off.

EXAMPLE B

[0004] As described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,607,333, there are currently snowball launchers and snowball slingshot products that allow users to place snow in or on the products, aim, launch or shoot a snowball. In general, these products can only be used for snowballs or can only be used by one person at a time. Splat H2O is a portable outdoor water and snow activity station that can be used with both water and snow by multiple people simultaneously to launch snowballs; water balloons, water sponge or other projectiles and therefore overcomes prior art patents limitations.

EXAMPLE C

[0005] As described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,396, there are currently water balloon launchers available that allow an individual to place a water balloon in or on the toy, aim and launch by pulling a trigger or releasing a sling. These products can only be used by one person at a time, often requiring additional persons to stabilize the sling for use and water balloons are not consistently interchangeable with snowballs. The current water balloon launcher slingshots require 1 person hold each end of the slingshot (2 people in total) while a third person places the water balloon in the sling, pulls and releases. Splat H2O does not require multiple persons to launch a snowball, water balloon, water ball sponge or other projectile. Splat H2O is a freestanding portable outdoor water and snow activity station that is secured to the ground by the use of standard sod staples allowing users to launch a snowball, water balloon, or water ball sponge without the assistance of any additional people. Splat H2O overcomes the limitations of current slingshot launchers by allowing a single user to operate with ease while providing a mesh shield for protection from opponents. Prior art require multiple people and do not have a means of providing a shield for users.

EXAMPLE D

[0006] Water target games have long been a source of entertainment at carnivals, fairs, amusement parks, circuses and the like. As described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,909,518, there are water balloon games available that allow participants to stand inside an enclosure and launch water balloons. However, in general, current outdoor water activity stations are freestanding oversized air filled, semi-permanent or permanent frame structures that are not intended for personal use. Also, current products are only used for water activity and not for snow activity. Current products are intended for commercial use in a permanent or semi-permanent assembly. The current products also require assembly by multiple persons to make operational and safe for use. The Splat H2O portable outdoor water and snow activity station's freestanding design allows users to launch water balloons, snowballs, and other toys while hiding behind the station during play. Splat H2O further overcomes current art limitations with its lightweight tri-fold structure design that allows the unit to be easily set up, taken down, or transported as its joint hinges allow it to be folded into a compact carrying position. Unlike current outdoor water activity stations, Splat H2O can be setup or taken down by a single person and transported in a standard size vehicle.

[0007] Examples of slingshots similar to Example C may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,396 issued to Randoll on Dec. 23, 1980, and other game devices, similar to Example D may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,243,220 issued to Shelley on Jan. 6, 1981; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,684,137 issued to Armer, Jr. et al. on Aug. 4, 1987. Each of these patents is hereby expressly incorporated by reference in their entirety.

[0008] As discussed above, it may be seen that these prior art patents are very limited in their teaching and utilization, and an improved game apparatus is needed to overcome these limitations. What is needed is a all season portable outdoor activity station and method for providing an improved activity station that is lighter, smaller, foldable, easily set up, easily taken down and easily transportable, for playing water and snow launching games. None of the prior art particularly describes an apparatus designed for outdoor use that may be used simultaneously by multiple players in all seasons with either water or snow, that contains a detachable water hose for filling or soaking multiple water toys at a time, such that it is easily set up, taken down, transported and stored by a single person.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0009] In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the prior art, it has been observed that there is currently a need in the market for a inexpensive all season portable outdoor water and snow activity station with a mesh screen structure that may be used to shield users from opponents, that has a detachable water filling hose with on/off nozzles, with multiple slingshot launchers for water and snow. The tri-fold design of the Splat H2O is constructed to be lightweight, set up, taken down and transported by a single person. Splat H2O is fully portable, and easily stabilized by standard U-shape sod staples or similar. It would be advantageous, as described herein, to have a portable outdoor water and snow activity station that can be used in all seasons. Furthermore, it would also be beneficial, as described herein, to have a portable outdoor water and snow activity station that is not inflatable, semi permanent or permanent. Still further, it would be expedient, as described herein, to have a portable outdoor water and snow activity station that may be used for personal or non-commercial use.

[0010] Splat H2O fills the aforementioned deficiencies in the current water and snow toy industry by providing a portable all season outdoor water and snow activity station with a structure that may be used to shield users from opponents, has detachable water filling hose and multiple slingshots.

[0011] Splat H2O tri-fold design allows for easy set up, take down, portability, and storage. The portable outdoor water and snow activity station has a detachable hose, which may be easily attached to a water source, and has on/off valve quick hookup nozzles for simultaneously filling multiple balloons, soaking sponge balls or refilling water toys. The activity station has multiple sling shot launchers that can be used for both water and snow. The invention fulfills the need for a portable multi-seasonal water and snow activity station.

[0012] Among other things, it is an advantage of the invention to provide a portable outdoor water and snow launching activity station for use by children and adults. It is still further an advantage of the invention to come in a set of two structures with the intent of competition. It is auspicious that the invention's tri-fold design is constructed to be lightweight, fully portable, easily set up, easily taken down, and easily secured while in use by standard sod staples or similar.

[0013] Other uses of Splat H2O will become apparent to those skilled in this art from the following description wherein there is shown and described a preferred embodiment of this invention, simply by way of illustration. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification and various, obvious aspects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions will be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 Front View of the portable outdoor water and snow activity station

[0015] FIG. 2 Rear View of the portable outdoor water and snow activity station

[0016] FIG. 3 Top View of the portable outdoor water and snow activity station

[0017] FIG. 4 Side View of the portable outdoor water and snow activity station

[0018] FIG. 5 Opposing Units View of the portable outdoor water and snow activity station

[0019] FIG. 6 Sling Shot Sub Assembly--FIG. 6A slingshot window, FIG. 6B exploded view of slingshot, FIG. 6C back of slingshot nylon panel, FIG. 6D elastic rubber band

[0020] FIG. 7 Screen Sub Assembly--FIG. 7A mesh screen panel, FIG. 7B close up of how mesh screen panel attaches to structure

[0021] FIG. 8 Joint Hinges Sub Components--FIG. 8A 90 degree T joint hinge bottom of structure, FIG. 8B cross joint hinge, FIG. 8C 90 degree T joint top of structure

[0022] FIG. 9 Detachable Hose Sub Assembly--FIG. 9A elevated side angle of activity station, FIG. 9B close up of detachable water hose

[0023] FIG. 10 Collapsed Assembly--FIG. 10A elevated side angle of collapsed activity station, FIG. 10B side view of collapsed activity station, FIG. 10C front view of collapsed activity station, FIG. 10D elevated horizontal view of partially collapsed activity station

[0024] FIG. 11 Exploded View--FIG. 11A elevated side angle view of activity station, FIG. 11B elevated side angle exploded view of activity station

DESCRIPTIVE KEY

[0025] 10--Portable Outdoor Water and Snow Activity Station [0026] 12--screen panel [0027] 14--frame support piping [0028] 16--standard sod staple [0029] 18--detachable water hose [0030] 20--nozzle [0031] 22--slingshot window

[0032] 22A--elastic rubber band

[0033] 22B--nylon fabric [0034] 26--T-Joint Hinge [0035] 28--Cross Joint Hinge [0036] 30--elbow Joint [0037] 32--snap bracket

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

[0038] Following are more detailed descriptions of the invention embodiments. It should be appreciated that various aspects of the invention introduced above and discussed in greater detail below, may be implemented in numerous ways and is not limited to any particular manner of implementation. Examples of specific implementations and applications are provided for illustrative purposes only. Well-known instruction instances, protocols, structures arid techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obfuscate the description.

[0039] In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the frame of the invention is comprised of a series of polyvinyl chloride pipes (PVC) and sections arranged to form an elongated rectangle that may be folded and stacked upon itself. The frame contains five total panels with the three center panels containing polyvinyl mesh screen at the bottom and open windows with elastic rubber bands attached to nylon fabric at the top, while each of the panels on either end of the frame act as support for the structure that is held in place by standard sod staples.

[0040] The various embodiments of the invention are directed to be an all season portable outdoor water and snow activity station. The invention is a set of three adjoined panels and two end support panels that allow it to be set up as a tri-fold structure for use and collapsed into a single stack of panels for ease of portability and storage. The particular configuration of the framework is unimportant to the invention except that it provides sufficient support for the elements necessary for use. Consequently, it may take on different shapes than specifically illustrated and described herein.

[0041] The portable all season outdoor water and snow activity station otherwise referred to above as Splat H2O in its entirety will be referenced as "structure" for the purposes of the detailed description of the invention.

[0042] FIG. 11A shows an example embodiment of a structure 10. Structure 10 includes a mesh screen panel 12 and piping supports 14. Piping supports 14 may be located on at least all four sides of mesh screen panel 12. In an embodiment, piping supports 14 may also be located at rear right and rear left to function as leg supports for the entire structure. Standard stakes 16 may be located at the bottom of the structure on at least three sides to secure the structure to the ground while in use.

[0043] Structure 10 may comprise at least one detachable filling hose 18 with at least three outlet nozzles 20 that may be used to fill or soak multiple objects with water simultaneously. Structure 10 may also comprise at least three slingshot windows 22 and at least one holding pouch (not shown). In this example embodiment, slingshot windows 22 are located above each of the three mesh screen panels 12.

[0044] FIG. 1 illustrates a front view structure 10 comprising three mesh screen panels 12 at the bottom of the structure and three slingshot windows 22 at the top of the structure with supports 14 on all four sides of each mesh screen panel 12 and with supports on all four sides of the structure 10 with stakes 16 on at least 3 sides of the structure.

[0045] FIG. 2 shows a rear view of structure 10. Structure 10 may be set up by supports 14 on the rear right and rear left while being stabilized by standard stakes 16 on at least three sides of the structure.

[0046] FIG. 3 shows a top view of structure 10 with supports 14 on at least three sides of the structure.

[0047] FIG. 4 shows a side view of structure 10 with supports 14.

[0048] FIG. 5 shows structure 10 as opposing stations for competition with both a rear view of structure 10 and a front view of structure 10 with supports 14 and stakes 16 securing the structure to the ground for use. FIG. 5 shows structure 10 with three mesh screens 12 and three slingshot windows 22 which may used to launch snowballs or water balloons at opposing players.

[0049] FIG. 6A shows slingshot window 22 magnified to show how the slingshot attaches to support 14. The slingshot window 22 has at least four elastic rubber bands 22-A that attach to at least all four corners of the launching pad 22-B on one end of the elastic rubber band 22-A while connecting to support 14 on at least all four sides.

[0050] FIG. 7A shows mesh screen panel 12 magnified. FIG. 7B shows how mesh screen panel 12 attaches to supports 14 on at least all four sides.

[0051] Structure 10 is capable of folding into a single stack of panels for transporting or storage. FIG. 8A is a magnified view of 90 degree T joint hinge 28 at top of structure 10 attached to support 14 which allows structure 10 to become foldable for ease of portability and storage. FIG. 8B is a magnified view of cross joint hinge 26 which also allows structure 10 to become foldable for ease of portability and storage. FIG. 8C is a magnified view of 90 degree T joint hinge 28 at bottom of structure 10 attached to support 14 which further allows structure 10 to become foldable for ease of portability and storage.

[0052] FIG. 9A shows an elevated side angle view of structure 10 to show water hose 18 attached to supports 14 by the use of snap brackets 32. Water hose 18 contains at least one outlet nozzle 20 allowing users to soak or fill objects with water. FIG. 9 shows the detachable water hose 18 and outlet nozzle 20 which may be used for soaping or filling objects with water.

[0053] FIG. 10A shows a vertical view of structure 10 in folded state. FIG. 10B shows a side vertical view of structure 10 in a folded state. FIG. 10C shows a front view of structure 10 in a folded state while FIG. 10D shows a horizontal view of structure 10 in a partially folded position.

[0054] While the invention has been described above in terms of specific embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed embodiments. Upon reading the teachings of this disclosure many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind of those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains, and which are intended to be and are covered by both this disclosure and the appended claims. It is indeed intended that the scope of the invention should be determined by proper interpretation and construction of the appended claims and their legal equivalents, as understood by those of skill in the art relying upon the disclosure in this specification and the attached drawings.

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