TOE PUPPET

DAVID J. BUDRECK
Patent No. 5,830,035

Patented November 03, 1998

CLAIMS:

1. A puppet adapted to be mounted on a human digit for providing animated motion of a figurine responsive to movement of the human digit, the puppet comprising:

a hollow, elastic cap having an interior wall defining an axially-extending cavity for snugly receiving said human digit; and
a resilient neck having a proximal end connected to said cap and a distal end secured to said figurine, said neck extending along an axis transverse to the cavity axis wherein the neck is tapered so as to decrease in transverse dimension in a direction from said proximal end toward said distal end, and wherein said figurine is mounted to the distal end of said neck and is spaced from said cap, said neck and said figurine being oscillatable to and fro in response to movement of said human digit.

2. The puppet of claim 1, wherein said figurine is removable from said neck and interchangeable with another figurine.

3. The puppet of claim 1, wherein said neck is constructed and arranged to be one-piece with said elastic cap.

4. The puppet of claim 1, wherein said neck is a separate element constructed and arranged to be attached to said elastic cap.

5. The puppet of claim 1, wherein said neck is a solid member extending from an upper portion of said elastic cap.

6. A puppet adapted to be mounted on a digit of a human appendage for providing animated motion of a figurine responsive to flexure of the digit, the puppet comprising:

a hollow, elastic cap having an interior wall defining an axially-extending cavity for snugly receiving said digit of said human appendage; and
a resilient, solid, elongated neck extending upwardly with respect to said cap along an axis transverse to the cavity axis, wherein the figurine is mounted to the neck and the entirety of said figurine is supported at a distance relative to the cap, said figurine being movable in a predominantly forward and backward path relative to the human appendage in response to flexure of said digit.

7. The puppet of claim 8, wherein said figurine is adjustable, and attachable and detachable from said neck by means of a friction fit.

8. The puppet of claim 6, wherein said elastic cap is constructed of a material enabling the cap to be conformable to the shape of the digit.

9. A toe puppet adapted to be mounted on a person's toe for providing animated motion of a character responsive to wiggling movement of the toe, the puppet comprising:

a hollow, elastic cap having wall and an end wall defining an open-ended axially-extending cavity for snugly receiving said toe, said cap including a resilient, elongated tapered neck portion extending upwardly with respect to the side wall along an axis transverse to the axis of the cavity and supporting said character at a distance spaced upwardly from said cap, said character being movable back and forth in response to movement of said cap due to the taper and length of said neck portion and the weight of said character, and said character being friction fit on said neck portion to allow adjustability and interchangeability of said character on said neck portion.

10. A puppet, comprising:

a cap having a side wall and an end wall defining a passage for receiving a digit of a human appendage, wherein the cap defines spaced first and second ends and wherein the passage extends inwardly from the first end along a first longitudinal axis;
a resilient neck connected to the cap and extending therefrom along a second longitudinal axis transverse to the first longitudinal axis, wherein the neck is connected to the cap at a location spaced from the first end of the cap such that a portion of the side wall is disposed between the neck and the first end of the cap; and
a figure secured to the neck, wherein movement of the cap is transferred through the neck to the figure so as to move the figure in response to movement of the digit.

11. The puppet of claim 10, wherein the neck defines a proximal end adjacent the cap and a distal end adjacent the figure, and wherein the neck tapers in transverse dimension from the proximal end toward the distal end.

DESCRIPTION:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a human foot showing a mounting digit in the form of a large toe provided with the puppet embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view illustrating the elastic cap integrally formed with the neck portion embodying the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view illustrating an alternative embodiment of the invention illustrating the elastic cap bonded or otherwise affixed to the neck portion; and
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4.