The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to children's play toys and games and, in particular, to interactive toys, games and play systems utilizing radio frequency transponders and transceivers to provide a unique interactive game play experience.
"Family entertainment centers, play structures and other similar facilities are well known for providing play and interaction among play participants playing in, or around an entertainment facility and/or play structure. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,853,332 to Briggs, incorporated herein by reference. A wide variety of commercially available play toys and games are also known for providing valuable learning and entertainment opportunities for children, such as role playing, reading, memory stimulation, tactile coordination and the like.
"However, there is always a demand for more exciting and entertaining games and toys that increase the learning and entertainment opportunities for children and stimulate creativity and imagination."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention provides a unique method of game play carried out within either an existing or specially configured entertainment facility or play structure. The game utilizes an interactive 'wand' and/or other tracking/actuation device to allow play participants to electronically and 'magically' interact with their surrounding play environment(s). The play environment may either be real or imaginary (i.e. computer/TV generated), and either local or remote, as desired. Optionally, multiple play participants, each provided with a suitable 'wand' and/or tracking device, may play and interact together, either within or outside the play environment, to achieve desired goals or produce desired effects within the play environment.
"In accordance with one embodiment the present invention provides an interactive play system and seemingly magical wand toy for enabling a trained user to electronically send and receive information to and from other wand toys and/or to and from various transceivers distributed throughout a play facility and/or connected to a master control system. The toy wand or other seemingly magical object is configured to use a send/receive radio frequency communication protocol which provides a basic foundation for a complex, interactive entertainment system to create a seemingly magic interactive play experience for play participants who possess and learn to use the magical wand toy.
"In accordance with another embodiment the present invention provides an interactive play structure in the theme of a 'magic' training center for would-be wizards in accordance with the popular characters and storylines of the children's book series 'Harry Potter' by
"In accordance with another embodiment the present invention provides a wand actuator device for actuating various interactive play effects within an
"In accordance with another embodiment the present invention provides an
"In accordance with another embodiment the present invention provides an electronic role-play game utilizing specially configured electronically readable character cards. Each card is configured with an
"In accordance with another embodiment the present invention provides a trading card game wherein a plurality of cards depicting various real or imaginary persons, characters and/or objects are provided and wherein each card has recorded or stored thereon in an electronically readable format certain selected information pertaining to the particular person, character or object, such as performance statistics, traits/powers, or special abilities. The information is preferably stored on an
"For purposes of summarizing the invention and the advantages achieved over the prior art, certain objects and advantages of the invention have been described herein above. Of course, it is to be understood that not necessarily all such objects or advantages may be achieved in accordance with any particular embodiment of the invention. Thus, for example, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention may be embodied or carried out in a manner that achieves or optimizes one advantage or group of advantages as taught herein without necessarily achieving other objects or advantages as may be taught or suggested herein.
"All of these embodiments are intended to be within the scope of the invention herein disclosed. These and other embodiments of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments having reference to the attached figures, the invention not being limited to any particular preferred embodiment(s) disclosed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"Having thus summarized the general nature of the invention and its essential features and advantages, certain preferred embodiments and modifications thereof will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description herein having reference to the figures that follow, of which:
"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an interactive play structure modified to incorporate certain features and advantages in accordance with the present invention;
"FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a magic wand toy for use within the interactive play structure of FIG. 1 having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention;
"FIG. 2B is a partially exploded detail view of the proximal end or handle portion of the magic wand toy of FIG. 2A, illustrating the optional provision of combination wheels having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention;
"FIG. 2C is a partial cross-section detail view of the distal end or transmitting portion of the magic wand toy of FIG. 2A, illustrating the provision of an RF transponder device therein;
"FIG. 3 is a simplified schematic diagram of an RF reader and master control system for use with the magic wand toy actuator of FIG. 2A having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention;
"FIGS. 4A and 4B are front and rear views, respectively, of an optional
"FIGS. 5A and 5B are schematic diagrams illustrating typical operation of the
"FIG. 6 is simplified schematic diagram of an
"FIG. 7 is a simplified block diagram illustrating the basic organization and function of the electronic circuitry comprising the
"FIGS. 8A-8D are front views of various role-play character cards for use within an interactive play structure such as illustrated in FIG. 1;
"FIGS. 9A and 9B are front and rear views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a role-play character card for use with a specially configured interactive game and/or game play facility having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention;
"FIGS. 10A-G are various illustrations of a role-play adventure game configured to be utilized with the role-play character card of FIG. 9 and having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention;
"FIGS. 11A and 11B are front and rear views, respectively, of a trading or playing card having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention; and
"FIGS. 11C and 11D are front views of several alternative embodiments of trading or playing cards having features and advantages in accordance with the present invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Barney, Jonathan A.; Weston,
Keywords for this news article include: Creative Kingdoms,
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