Combined With Projector Patents (Class 273/119R)
  • Patent number: 6164644
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. The pinball machine includes a cabinet, a playfield mounted to the cabinet, and a backbox extending upwardly from a rear portion of the cabinet. To facilitate modification of electronics controlling the operation of the pinball machine, a controller box assembly is installed in the backbox. The controller box assembly comprises a rail structure mounted within the backbox and a controller box movably mounted relative to the rail structure to open and close the controller box. The controller box containing the electronics may be pivoted downwardly while remaining in engagement with the rail structure to provide easy access into the controller box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley D. Cornell, John R. Krutsch, James A. Patla
  • Patent number: 6158737
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. One of these features is a novel playfield assembly for the pinball machine. For ease of movement of the playfield into and from a cabinet of the pinball machine, the playfield has skid rails which extend substantially along the length of the playfield. The skid rails are spaced from the lower side of the playfield by a distance that is greater than the distance by which components protrude from the lower side of the playfield. Thus, the playfield can be placed on the ground without any chance for damage of its components. The playfield may also include a slide stop at one or both of its ends. The slide stops engage the front molding of the cabinet to ensure the playfield does not fall into the cabinet or fall from the cabinet as the skid rails are being slid across the front molding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley D. Cornell, John R. Krutsch, James A. Patla
  • Patent number: 6155564
    Abstract: An air system with an improved structure used in a rotary game table of the game table machine is disclosed. The rotary game table is pivoted on a game table base and has two different game table structures for table soccer and hockey table on the top and bottom surfaces of the game table plate, respectively. An electric fan is hidden in the goal frame of the game table for table soccer to provide sufficient air stream for hockey table to float the ball. The goal is used as an air inlet to reduce the vertical thickness of the rotary game table. The manufacturing cost and delivery cost are also decreased because of simpler structure and less material used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Inventor: Peter Tsai
  • Patent number: 6149153
    Abstract: An automatic propelling feature for a pinball game having a playfield supporting a rolling ball and a plurality of targets thereon, comprises a propelling member, mounted to the playfield, for propelling the ball toward the target; a ball guide for guiding the ball to the propelling member; one or more sensors for detecting the ball along the ball guide; and processor circuitry, responsive to the sensors, for recording initial timing samples in a memory in response to the ball passing through the ball guide and being accurately propelled by the ball propelling member, operated by a player, toward one of the targets. In response to a predetermined number of the timing samples being recorded in the memory for at least one of the targets, the processor circuitry operates the propelling member based at least partially on the recorded timing samples and attempts to propel the ball toward the "qualifying" target in response to the ball passing through the ball guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventor: Lyman F. Sheats, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6135449
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily serviceable and is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. One of these features is a novel mounting mechanism for a playfield of the pinball machine. The pinball machine includes a cabinet to which the playfield is mounted. The cabinet includes slides rails having notches for mating with corresponding pieces of the playfield thereby permitting easy rotation of the playfield within the cabinet during servicing or game conversion. Thus, the electronics and mechanical components below the playfield can be readily accessed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley D. Cornell, John R. Krutsch, James A. Patla
  • Patent number: 6129353
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. The pinball machine includes a cabinet, a playfield, a playfield panel, an electronics system, and a video display. The playfield is mounted in the cabinet with the playfield panel mounted to the cabinet and overlaying at least a portion of the playfield. The video display is mounted generally above the cabinet and is disposed to project video images onto the playfield panel for viewing by the player. When the pinball machine is retrofitted, diagnostics can be performed while the playfield panel is still removed from the pinball machine by displaying diagnostic video images/information onto a partially reflective member positioned below the video display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Lawrence E. DeMar, Louis N. Koziarz, Peter J. Piotrowski, Mark A. Weyna
  • Patent number: 6120021
    Abstract: A lock-down bar release system for a pinball machine serviceable in a location-service mode and an operator-service mode. The pinball machine includes a playfield disposed within a game cabinet and a lock-down bar for securing a playfield glass over the playfield and onto the game cabinet. A handle mechanism and associated latching structure is operable to release the lock-down bar. In the location-service mode, the movement of the handle and release of the lock-down bar is effected automatically by using a location-service key. In the operator-service mode, the operator uses an operator-service key to access the interior of the game cabinet through a coin door from wherein the operator may physically pull the handle to release the lock-down bar. The pinball machine includes a restraint mechanism for inhibiting removal of the playfield (and thereby preventing access to the coin box or cash box under the playfield) in the location-service mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter J. Piotrowski, John R. Krutsch, George A. Gomez, James A. Patla, Charles R. Bleich
  • Patent number: 6095519
    Abstract: An arcade game gamepiece directing mechanism facilitates a player in guiding a gamepiece in a desired direction over a playing surface. The gamepiece directing mechanism includes a rigid portion and a flexible portion connected to each other. The rigid portion receives inputs from the player and translates them to the flexible portion. When a gamepiece is received by the rigid portion and passed through the flexible portion, the combined motion of the rigid portion and flexible portion causes the gamepiece to travel in a particular direction over the playing surface. The rigid portion can be pivotally to the arcade game, while a distal end of the flexible portion can be restricted by an end restriction that restricts one, two, or three degrees of freedom of the distal end. The end restriction can also be movable relative to the playing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Inventor: Stephen P. Shoemaker, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6022020
    Abstract: A game machine in which an endless belt is circularly moved such that an upper face thereof is moved from a background side to a foreground side relative to a player. A target moving in a crosswise direction of the endless belt is provided at an upstream side of the endless belt. A disk shooter provided at a downstream side of the endless belt is operated so as to aim a shooting chute of the disk shooter at the target. A disk is shot from the disk shooter upon pressing a shooting button for activating the disk shooter. The shot disk advances toward the target, rolling on the endless belt. In case the disk hits the target, a score is obtained. The score is added and indicated by a score indicator. The disk having reached the upstream side strikes a stopper plate and falls on the endless belt. The laid disk is conveyed to the downstream side in accordance with the circular movement of the endless belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2000
    Assignee: Unikiki Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ikuo Nishikawa
  • Patent number: 5988636
    Abstract: A new multi-game table top system for providing a table top which converts into a multi-game recreational area allowing multiple people to utilize said table top for recreational purposes such as golf, soccer, or hockey, and thereafter reverting to the table top's original purpose. The inventive device includes a reticulated table top, a golf transparent board, a soccer transparent board, and a hockey transparent board where said boards are removably securable to the upper surface of the reticulated table top by a plurality of securing magnets around the edges. The reticulated table top is constructed from steel coated with a permanently bonded plastisol coating approximately one-quarter of an inch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Inventor: James A Kilmer
  • Patent number: 5988637
    Abstract: In a machine to dispense balls (spherical or near-spherical objects such as gumballs) wherein means is provided to play a game with one of the balls before it is dispensed, a temporary holding chamber is provided for a ball by two blades of a paddle-wheel-like wheel which coact with stationary surrounding side members. A latch engages a wheel portion to prevent the wheel's rotation except in response to the actuation of a target by a rolling ball in play on a playfield. By providing such a chamber in this manner, unwanted release of a ball in response to even extreme tilting or shaking of the machine is prevented because the apparatus can easily be made so that no amount of shaking or tilting will change the characteristics of the chamber to make it possible for a ball to exit the chamber except in response to actuation of the latch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Inventor: Lyle G. Dickerson
  • Patent number: 5961116
    Abstract: A table game apparatus includes a playing field assembly which includes a ground portion and walls which project upward from edges of the ground portion. Width-extending walls and length-extending walls are arranged on the top side of the ground portion in a four-cornered rectangular array. A first ball launching assembly is located at a first corner of the four-cornered rectangular array. A second ball launching assembly located at a second corner of the four-cornered rectangular array. First and second pairs of flippers are located on the ground portion. First and second pairs of flipper control assemblies are provided for controlling the first and second pairs of flippers. The first and second pairs of flipper control assemblies are supported by the ground portion. A first goal area is located on the ground portion behind and between the first pair of flippers. A first ball retention region is located behind the first goal area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Inventor: Kenneth J. Beyer
  • Patent number: 5938195
    Abstract: A serpentine ramp is rotatable about a horizontal axis between its center and its upper end to lift a pinball from a lower play surface to an upper play surface. A ball is directed from the lower surface into a ball receiving portion in the lower end of the ramp. This closes an optical switch causing the ramp to rotate between a receiving position and a discharge position. A ball disposed in the receiving portion rolls on the ramp to its upper end and then onto the upper surface. A second optical switch is closed by the return of the ramp to the receiving position which terminates the operation of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games Inc.
    Inventors: Python Anghelo, Raymond Czajaka, Dan K. P. Lee
  • Patent number: 5884911
    Abstract: A table game including a housing, a playing surface received within the housing, and a paddle member resiliently affixed to the playing surface and supported by the housing. The paddle member serves to move the playing surface upwardly and downwardly relative to a vertical force applied to the paddle member. The paddle member is rotatable about a vertical axis relative to an actuation of a handle member connected thereto. The paddle member is slidable across a width dimension of the playing surface. The playing surface includes a first surface which is pivotally connected to a second surface. The first surface is independently movable relative to the second surface. A second paddle member is affixed to the second surface at an end of the first surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Inventor: Jose Javier Silva Guridi
  • Patent number: 5860649
    Abstract: A coin-operated, time-controlled table game apparatus includes a plurality of movable rods which support respective playing pieces; and a locking device including at least one locking beam which can be moved up and down, and which supports at least one pin, wherein at least one of the plurality of movable rods, after the expiration of playing time, is fixed in place by the locking device, wherein each rod to be fixed in place has defined therein at least one groove extending in the axial direction into which an associated pin of the locking device is inserted after the expiration of playing time, and wherein a pin is provided for each rod to be fixed in place, the pin projecting relative to the longitudinal axis of the locking beam and being positioned in alignment with an associated rod such that it plunges into the groove of the associated rod when the locking beam is engaged after the expiration of playing time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: NSM Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Andreas Buchholz
  • Patent number: 5833235
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprises a position controller and a movable feature on the pinball machine. The position controller comprises a servomotor connected in operative relation to a shaft. The movable features connect to the shaft and are movable between several positions by the shaft. Circuitry is provided to produce a signal to command movement of the feature to one of the positions in a manner responsive to an event taking place in the pinball machine. Electronic circuitry causes the servomotor to move the shaft to a specific position in response to the signal, without the need for mechanical switches. Specifically, a plate-like, movable obscurer for the flippers is disclosed as the movable feature, although other types of movable features are discussed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Sega Pinball, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul M. Lesley, Michael D. Toler
  • Patent number: 5803452
    Abstract: A marble maze incorporated into a game board. The present invention playing surface is in the form of a maze of bumpers and railings, and a raised central area with indentations, all providing obstacle paths and capture points for playing marbles. Small, elongated sticks for flicking and moving the marbles are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Inventor: John F. DeCristoforo
  • Patent number: 5785313
    Abstract: A bowling game board having a base board on the top surface of which a lane is formed for rolling a bowl; a bowler's platform provided on one end of the lane of the base board and attached thereon movably in the width direction of the base board; a bowler doll fixed on the top of the bowler's platform and having an arm which rotates under the restitution force of a spring; a locking part provided in the rear of the arm of bowler doll on the bowler's platform for engagingly locking the tip end of the arm and a push button for disengaging the lock of the locking part; a pin stand part provided on the other end side of the base board; a pin controller for causing pins to stand provided above the pin stand part so as to be able to move upward/downward; and a pin collecting case removably attached on the outer end part of the pin stand part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Staff Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masami Shiraishi
  • Patent number: 5722656
    Abstract: Machine to dispense spherical or near-spherical objects such as gumballs or rubber balls. A reservoir holds the balls and a sloping playfield is provided. After a coin is inserted a ball from the reservoir is dropped onto the playfield. A player can then use flippers to try to hit a target with the ball before the ball falls through one of the holes which the playfield contains. If this happens the ball is dispensed and the player no longer has an opportunity to hit the target. If the player is able to hit the target with the ball that ball is dispensed. At the same time, a second ball is dispensed as a prize.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Inventor: Lyle G. Dickerson
  • Patent number: 5667217
    Abstract: An arcade game including an inclined playing surface and a coin directing mechanism. A coin hopper forces multiple coins through the coin directing mechanism and onto the playing surface for each activation of a button by the player. The player can direct the multiple coins in a desired direction down the playing surface using the directing mechanism. The coins roll toward one or more targets on the playing surface, and a game score is adjusted based on the targets that receive the coins. Indicators for the targets can highlight specific targets and goals during game play. A progressive bonus score can also be added to the game score when a progressive goal is achieved by the player. After the game is over, a tilting mechanism tilts the playing surface to clear the playing surface of coins that have not rolled into apertures and are resting on the playing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: RLT Acquisition, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew F. Kelly, Bryan M. Kelly, Phillip Yee, Kevin A. Heyes
  • Patent number: 5664777
    Abstract: A play feature for a pinball game permits the storage of a number of game balls and release of the balls at high speed and in quick succession back onto the playfield for multiple ball play. A rotor element having a plurality of vertical vanes is disposed within a circular housing having a conical lip. The base and vanes of the rotor, together with the conical lip, define receptacles for receiving game balls. When a predetermined rotor speed is reached, the balls travel upwards on the conical lip and outward against an outer wall of the housing. The stored balls are conveyed successively to a discharge channel where they return to the play field at high speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis P. Nordman, Winston H. Schilling, Edward F. Hicks
  • Patent number: 5653442
    Abstract: Game including game pieces (34, 34') which can be slid over a flat upper surface of a fixed, perpendicular, triangular or polygonal substrate and including at least one game pistol moveably seatable upon the substrate (30) for selective displacement or shooting of the game pieces (34, 34') over the substrate using a strike piece (58) which is operable through a spring loaded pressure fork (42). In addition, goal like capturing basins (49) and goal devices (84) as well as glide paths (100) and capturing devices (110, 112, 116) for the game pieces can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 5, 1997
    Inventor: Helmut Abel
  • Patent number: 5651546
    Abstract: A rolling ball game is provided with a token dispenser which dispenses game tokens by rolling them onto the inclined cover glass of the game cabinet. The dispenser is provided with controls to permit interaction of the dispenser with the game housed within the cabinet. Thus, dispensing may occur during game play as a function of player skill when appropriate events occur on the game playfield. Tokens provide a basis for players to defer game rewards, such as bonus points or special game features until another game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Lawlor, Matthew C. Coriale
  • Patent number: 5641163
    Abstract: An integrally molded table soccer playing figure has an elongated body with head and foot portions disposed at its opposite ends. A cylindrical passage axially extends laterally through an upper portion of the body and is adapted to coaxially receive a longitudinal portion of an actuating rod used to rotate and translate the playing figure. The body passage is diametrically sized to create a press-fit between the body portion and the rod portion therein, and the body is mechanically locked to the rod by a small roll pin longitudinally inserted through aligned openings in the body and rod. Integrally formed on opposite lateral sides of the body portion are relatively large diameter force receiving and diffusing washer portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1997
    Assignee: Tornado Table Sports, Inc.
    Inventor: Calvin Edward McCloud
  • Patent number: 5632482
    Abstract: The invention comprises a multilevel, vertically oriented pinball game arranged in a cabinet that occupies a minimum of floor space. Because the smaller game cabinet limits the depth of the playfield, a single horizontal playfield would not provide the play or challenge of a standard game. To overcome this drawback, the pinball game of the invention includes a plurality of vertically displaced playfields. The playfields are arranged such that the player plays vertically between the playfields as well as playing horizontally on the individual playfields. Each playfield includes a number of play features such that even though the game is contained in a smaller cabinet it will provide a typical number of play features. At least one player controlled flipper is provided on each playfield to allow the player to control the ball when on that level. A wide variety of ramps or other ball transfer devices can be used to convey the ball between the playfields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventor: Python Anghelo
  • Patent number: 5564697
    Abstract: A table top game apparatus includes a circular play area peripherally demarcated by an annular trough, a plurality of disk shaped game-pieces, a game-piece propelling mechanism which is located at, and movable along, the trough, and an annular confinement wall adjacent the trough opposite the play area. The game-piece propelling mechanism is pivotally mounted upon a base which is, in turn, slidably or rollably seated in the trough. The trough includes provision for selectively partitioning it to receive in selected partitions game-pieces which will land there during the course of play of a particular game. The annular confinement wall is preferably provided with selectively movable markers for providing location and play information juxtaposed a particular portion of the trough, such as at particular partitions. Various configurations of the table top game apparatus accommodate a range of percussion games involving sliding game-pieces and rolling game-pieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Inventor: Thomas J. Catrinar
  • Patent number: 5558373
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprises a position controller and a movable feature on the pinball machine. The position controller comprises a servomotor connected in operative relation to a shaft. The movable features connect to the shaft and are movable between several positions by the shaft. Circuitry is provided to produce a signal to command movement of the feature to one of the positions in a manner responsive to an event taking place in the pinball machine. Electronic circuitry causes the servomotor to move the shaft to a specific position in response to the signal, without the need for mechanical switches. Specifically, a plate-like, movable obscurer for the flippers is disclosed as the movable feature, although other types of movable features are discussed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1996
    Assignee: Sega Pinball, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul M. Lesley, Michael D. Toler
  • Patent number: 5553851
    Abstract: Gaming apparatus in which a ball is traveled onto a revolving surface has a plurality of rings of differing diameters which jointly form the revolving surface. The rings are centered on a vertical axis of rotation and may rotate in opposite directions or in the same direction at different speeds. The rings have winning apertures and losing apertures through which a rolling ball may drop through the ring. The rings, other than the final ring along the path of travel of the ball, also have pass zones at which a ball may roll on to the next ring without dropping into an aperture. Progressively higher score values may be assigned to the winning apertures of the successive rings along the path of ball travel. In the preferred form, the apparatus includes a ball launcher and detectors for counting balls which drop through winning apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Assignee: Quick Silver Development Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Alex Malavazos, Gregory Malavazos, Constantine Malavazos
  • Patent number: 5544880
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprises a playfield, a shooter for propelling balls on the playfield, and a figure having at least one movable limb. The limb is movable between a first position where the limb is capable of receiving and holding a ball, and a second position where the ball is propelled from the limb onto the playfield. A motor/solenoid and shaft are provided for moving the limb between the first and second positions to propel the ball from the limb, and then to retract the limb back to the first position. A ball delivery trough is positioned to deliver balls to the limb in the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Assignee: Sega Pinball, Inc.
    Inventor: John D. Borg
  • Patent number: 5533726
    Abstract: The improved player feature of the invention comprises an arm mounted for rotation about a vertical axis. An electromagnet is attached to the arm's outer end which is capable of suspending a ferromagnetic ball. Located below and along the path traveled by the magnet are a plurality of play features such as ramps, chutes, outholes and the like. A ball elevator is provided to bring the pinball to the electromagnet. The electromagnet is rotated over the play features. When the magnet is aligned with a desired play feature, the player presses a button to deactivate the electromagnet thereby dropping the ball onto the desired feature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis P. Nordman, Winston H. Schilling
  • Patent number: 5516102
    Abstract: A game apparatus includes a game surface, a game piece which is movable on the game surface, a pair of striker assemblies for moving the game piece on the game surface and a fence assembly which cooperates with the striker assemblies for retaining the game piece within a confined area on the game surface. The striker assemblies are movable in both longitudinal and transverse directions on the game surface, and they are attached to movable sections of the fence assembly so that the confined playing area on the game surface is varied as the striker assemblies are moved during the course of game play.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: Leisure Incorporated
    Inventors: Louis F. Polk, III, Aaron J. Moriarity, Paul A. Pilosi
  • Patent number: 5507487
    Abstract: A wire form loop for use in conjunction with a pinball machine having a playfield on which is mounted a plurality of game play features. The playfield includes a shooter lane, play area, and drop area wherein at least one game play feature is located in the drop area. The wire form is provided for allowing a pinball to travel from the shooter lane to the play area and includes an entrance in the shooter lane, an exit to the play area, and an open area between the entrance and the exit. A spring biased plunger attached to the shooter lane is used to impart a plurality of speeds upon the pinball such that a first speed will allow the pinball to travel completely along the wire form from the entrance to the exit and a second speed will cause the pinball to fall from the open area of the wire form to the drop area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: Capcom Coin Op, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan P. Hansen, Roberto Hurtado
  • Patent number: 5497994
    Abstract: A pinball game using a pinball adapted to be propelled along a playfield is provided. The pinball game includes a target mounted above the playfield and first and second movable objects mounted above the playfield which are movable between a closed position wherein the first and second movable objects are disposed substantially adjacent to each other and an open position wherein the first and second movable objects are disposed substantially apart from each other. A solenoid having a plunger movable between an extended position and a retracted position in response to contact of the target by the pinball. An arm rotatable about a pivot point having first and second ends displaced from the pivot point is linked to the plunger at a point spaced from the pivot point. A first link connects the first end of the arm to one of the movable objects and a second link connecting the second end of the arm to the other of the movable objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 12, 1996
    Assignee: CAPCOM Coin-Op, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan P. Hansen, Rick Morgan
  • Patent number: 5497989
    Abstract: In a pinball machine a ball trough is provided for moving the ball between the drain hole and the shooter lane. The ball trough comprises a channel fixed to the playfield and has a first end adjacent the drain hole and a second end proximate to the shooter lane. A rotatable carrier is movable between a first position and a second position for carrying the ball from the channel to the shooter lane and has a load opening, an exit opening, and a passage therebetwen. The load opening is positioned adjacent to the second end when the carrier is disposed in the first position and the exit opening is disposed adjacent to the shooter lane when the carrier is disposed in the second position. The passage may have an arcuate surface on which the ball will ride as the carrier approaches the second position for urging the ball out the exit opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 12, 1996
    Assignee: CAPCOM Coin-Op, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark D. Ritchie, Ming D. Zhang, Robert S. Morrison
  • Patent number: 5496030
    Abstract: A pinball machine is provided and includes an inclined playfield for supporting a rolling ball. The inclined playfield has associated therewith at least one flipper, an exit lane, and a drain hole. A door mechanism having a retractable door is positioned adjacent to the exit lane and a holding area is positioned behind the door for allowing a ball to be stored therein whereby the ball is prevented from continuing down the exit lane and into the drain hole. A kicker mechanism is also associated with the holding area for launching the ball from the holding area back through the exit lane and into the play area of the playfield. A first switch is positioned upon the playfield and is operable through contact with the ball for causing the door to move from a first position wherein the ball is prevented from accessing the holding area to a second position wherein the ball is allowed to access the holding area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1996
    Assignee: Capcom Coin-Op, Inc.
    Inventor: Claude A. Fernandez
  • Patent number: 5494285
    Abstract: A pinball machine is provided and includes a game cabinet having disposed therein a playfield movable between open, intermediate, and closed positions. A support assembly is used for maintaining the playfield within the cabinet. The support assembly includes a pair of cabinet brackets mounted one to each side of the cabinet where each of the brackets has a riding surface. A pair of wheels are mounted to the playfield and are provided to ride along the riding surface of a corresponding one of the cabinet brackets. A pair of support arms is further provided each having one end thereof pivotally attached to the cabinet and the other end thereof pivotally attached to the playfield wherein at least one of the support arms has pivotally attached thereto a prop arm which is engageable with the playfield when the playfield is disposed in the intermediate position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 27, 1996
    Assignee: Gamestar, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark J. Coldebella, Christopher A. Shipman, Robert S. Morrison
  • Patent number: 5433443
    Abstract: A game apparatus for a simulated hockey game including a game board having a playing surface and at least two pairs of opposing sides with each side having an opening for receiving a small object such as a disk. There are four sets of game playing menders which are able to manipulate the object over the playing surface. Because there are four sets, four persons are able to play this game. A vertical shaft extends from each playing member and down through the playing surface. A number of generally horizontal rods are used to move the playing members along respective slots formed in the playing surface. Each rod is operatively connected to a respective one of the vertical shafts so that rotation of the rod causes rotation off the shaft and the attached playing member. At least some of the rods for moving the playing members of each of the sets project from a respective one of the four opposing sides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: William Keith Schell
    Inventor: Anthony P. S. Ples
  • Patent number: 5419555
    Abstract: A structurally and operationally improved, integrally molded table soccer playing figure has an elongated body with head and foot portions disposed at its opposite ends. A cylindrical passage axially extends laterally through an upper portion of the body and is adapted to coaxially receive a longitudinal portion of an actuating rod used to rotate and translate the figure. To significantly reduce the connection stress concentration on the rod and the figure mounted thereon, the body passage is diametrically sized to create a press-fit between the body portion and the rod portion therein, and the body is mechanically locked to the rod by a small roll pin longitudinally inserted through aligned openings in the body and rod. The ability of the body portion to withstand high lateral impact loads is enhanced by the integral formation on its opposite lateral sides of relatively large diameter force receiving and diffusing washer portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Inventor: Calvin E. McCloud
  • Patent number: 5417420
    Abstract: A portable table golfer comprising a base plate positionable in a horizontal orientation on a table, the golfer having a lower surface and an upper surface, a pair of upstanding supports extending upwardly from the upper surface of the base plate with an aperture extending through each, the apertures being at different elevational orientations in axial alignment, a support shaft rotatably supported within the apertures and having a handle at the upper end thereof, a miniature shaft extending downwardly from a central extent of the support shaft with an adjustment mechanism centrally located therein for varying the effective length of the miniature shaft, a golf club head located at the bottom of the shaft with an adjustment mechanism between the lower end of the miniature shaft and the head for varying the angle of the golf club head, a tee located on the upper surface of the base plate for retaining a ball to be hit by the orientation of the shafts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 23, 1995
    Inventor: James J. Berg
  • Patent number: 5415401
    Abstract: A movable body rebounding mechanism has a rocking plate, a plurality of projecting members and a rocking mechanism. The movable body rebounding mechanism is for use in amusement devices in which a movable body moves on an upper side of a game board having upper and lower sides. The projecting members project from the rocking plate to the lower side of the game board, through holes formed in the game board and out of the upper side of the game board. A clearance exists between the holes in the game board and the projecting members. The rocking mechanism reciprocates the rocking plate parallel to the game board in at least first and second directions. The rocking mechanism includes a drive mechanism for eccentrically rotating a first pin which projects through a hole in the rocking plate. There is little clearance between the first pin and the hole in the rocking plate. The drive mechanism further includes a second pin positioned stationary with respect to the game board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Assignee: Tomy Company, Ltd
    Inventor: Yoshizo Nagasaka
  • Patent number: 5405142
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprising a housing having provisions for translating a ball in play throughout a plurality of locations therein, including at least one rotary spinner and active bar bumper, said housing further including flippers, inactive bumpers and ball traps and channels disposed at strategic locations on a playing field, the rotary spinners and bar bumpers being operably connected to a drive system which is operated off a single drive motor and which includes an integral scoring relay which generates a scoring signal in response to a drag torque imparted on the drive system every time a ball makes contact with a rotary spinner or bar bumper, the housing further having a three dimensional figure attached to one end thereof, adapted to move at least a part thereof relative to the housing, the figure including an internal mechanism adapted to move one arm thereof in a generally up and down motion such that it randomly and periodically impacts a trigger within the housing which engages a mechanism for ra
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: Toy Biz, Inc.
    Inventors: Avi Arad, Melvin Kennedy
  • Patent number: 5405144
    Abstract: The play feature of the invention consists of an inclined ramp mounted for tilting motion along a single axis. A reversible electric motor, controlled by the flipper buttons, can pivot the ramp in either direction about the axis. The player, by manipulating the flipper buttons, controls the tilting of the ramp thereby to control the path of travel taken by the ball as it rolls down the ramp. The ramp is provided with a plurality of bumpers, roll over switches and out holes that allow the player to score points if the player traverses the ramp in the manner directed by the game program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark D. Ritchie, John W. Skalon
  • Patent number: 5368300
    Abstract: A goal-scoring game is played on a convex playing field having an apex, a periphery lower than the apex, and a spaced apart plurality of goals adjacent the periphery for receipt of game pieces. A plurality of movable game pieces are provided for movement about the field and into the goals. Player-operated impacting flippers are disposed adjacent to and associated with each of the goals, for impacting one of the game pieces to drive the impacted game piece away from the associated goal. A disperser is disposed over the field for storing a plurality of the game pieces and dropping them one at a time in rapid succession precisely onto the apex of the field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Anjar Co.
    Inventor: James R. Becker
  • Patent number: 5368299
    Abstract: In a pinball machine, a ball spinner comprising a cup adapted for rotation relative to a playing field, the cup having a curved inner surface which terminates in a peripheral flange, and a centrally disposed hub extending downwardly along the axis of rotation, the hub having a compression spring disposed thereof for maintaining the cup in a non-rotating, unweighted position, the cup being operably associated with a drive motor for rotation thereof, and being adapted to engage a switch upon sensing the weight of the pinball therein, the switch enabling the drive motor and remaining in a closed position until the pinball is ejected from the cup during rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Azrak-Hamway International, Inc.
    Inventor: John Driska
  • Patent number: 5364099
    Abstract: A pinball machine which comprises a housing, a playfield, a motor assembly and a movable assembly is provided. The motor assembly is electronically adapted to respond to the actuation of the targets and is movably connected to the movable assembly. Mechanisms are provided to move the movable assembly from a first position to a second position. The moving mechanisms are operable to return the movable assembly to the first position in response to the actuation of one or more of the targets. In the illustrative embodiment the movable assembly resembles a woman tied to a log on a lumber mill saw table. The first position is the beginning of the saw table and the second position is near a saw blade. The player of the game is prompted to hit specific targets which will save the woman by returning the log to the first position away from the saw blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Data East Pinball, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph E. Kaminkow, Norman R. Wurz
  • Patent number: 5364098
    Abstract: A rolling ball entertainment device such as a pinball machine comprises a frame which carries a playfield, plus a shooter for rolling a ball onto the playfield. By this invention the device also includes signalling device, an auxiliary control, and electronics for activating the signalling device. Also, a timer is provided for defining a period of time beginning with the activating of the signalling device. The electronics, connected to a feature of the device, permit the auxiliary control to activate the feature during the period of time. This provides an added dimension to rolling ball entertainment games in which an alert player can improve the score by use of the auxiliary control in those periods as indicated by the signalling device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Data East Pinball, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph E. Kaminkow
  • Patent number: 5358242
    Abstract: A planetary ball storage device for a pinball game according to the present invention consists of a horizontally disposed rotating wheel having a plurality of pinball receiving pockets arrayed on the periphery of the wheel. The game player, using the flippers, can direct a ball into an empty pocket when a pocket is in a ball receiving position after a predetermined game objective has been met. Balls are returned to the playfield by the utilization of a magnetic lifter arm controlled by the game microprocessor. The wheel is rotated by an electric motor and its position is detected by an optical switch assembly. A second optical switch assembly generates a signal to energize the magnetic lifter arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 25, 1994
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: John T. Trudeau, Ernie Pizzarro
  • Patent number: 5356141
    Abstract: The play feature for a pinball game of the present invention comprises a roulette scoring device mounted above the playfield which includes a horizontally rotating wheel having a plurality of apertures arrayed around its periphery. A different point value indicated to the player is associated with each of the apertures. Pinballs can enter the roulette scoring device not only from the shooter lane, but also from a ramp disposed on the playfield. An optical switch or microswitch included in the ramp adjacent a holding device and a microswitch in the shooter lane generate signals sent to the game microprocessor to cause the wheel to rotate. An optical switch mounted on the playfield senses the return of the ball to the playfield and signals the game microprocessor to stop the rotation of the wheel and to add the appropriate point value to the player's score.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1994
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Barry Oursler, Zofia Bil, Python Anghelo
  • Patent number: 5342049
    Abstract: A gaming machine combines a random selection feature with a skill feature to allow the player to utilize his ability to manipulate the skill feature to improve his chances of winning on the gaming machine. A reel slot machine is combined with a playing surface using a ball. The reel slot machine is first activated and a combination of slot symbols are randomly selected. The player manipulates a ball about a playing surface and the travel of the ball can result in additional spins of one or more reels of the slot machine so that other winning opportunities can be created. The gaming machine can be operated so that the playing surface is only activated when the player achieves a losing combination on the reel slot machine portion. This allows the player a second chance to win if he can use his skill on the playing surface to respin the reel slots. The player can also win "bonus" amounts as set out on a predetermined schedule of payouts by his skillful manipulation of the ball on the playing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1994
    Inventors: Michael Wichinsky, Leroy H. Gutknecht, Claude A. Fernandez
  • Patent number: 5338031
    Abstract: The tilt switch/incline indicator of the invention consists of a first support member that is connected to the game cabinet in a known orientation. A second member is pivotably supported on the first member and can be fixed relative thereto at angles corresponding to the desired angle of incline of the playfield. The second member supports a pendulum-type tilt switch similar to that used in the prior art. The pendulum acts like a plumb line to give a visual indication to the game operator that the playfield is at the desired angle set at the second member by observing when the pendulum is centered relative to the contact. The mechanism of the invention uses the tilt switch as the level indicator such that the playfield can be positioned at a known angle without requiring a separate level indicator or the recalibration to the tilt switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Patla, Sr., James X. Glass