Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It wasn't quite forever but this toy inventor must have felt he spent an eternity blowing bubbles.

Tim Kehoe spent 15 years and an astonishing $3m (£1.8m) creating the world's first ever coloured blowing bubbles, which have now gone on sale.

Zubbles contain a special dye which gives them vibrant colours but disappears within just 15 minutes of the bubble popping.

Tim, 39, from St. Paul in Minnesota, U.S., said: 'If you said to me, "You're going to spend a quarter of your life playing with bubbles," I'd have said you were crazy.'

But, determined to be the first to bring the magic of colour to the childhood toy, he pressed on.

He said:'You're so afraid of that day you wake up, and somebody else is on the cover of a toy magazine with coloured bubbles.'

The American technology magazine Popular Science awarded Zubbles the Grand Prize for Innovation in 2005.

The vibrant bubbles have gone on sale at $15 (£9) for two bottles on the Zubbles website and will be available in the UK later this year.

Created from special dyes, the colour in Zubbles vanishes when exposed to air, water or pressure.

The elegant physics of bubbles is surprisingly simple - just two layers of soap enclosed by a layer of water a million times thinner than an inch.

However, nearly all attempts to tweak their creation have failed.

Inventors have created slightly larger and longer-lasting versions, but the 'holy grail' of toys, bringing the magic of colour to bubbles, has been notoriously difficult.

When paint or food colouring is added, it runs straight down the sides and forms a spot of dye on the base of the bubble.

And while some dyes have successfully stained bubbles, they also stained people's clothes.


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