|"Blowing Non-Staining Brightly Colored Bubbles Now Possible"|
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The invention of vibrant colored soap bubbles, dubbed Zubbles, are set to become one of the biggest toy inventions of the century.
Stainless colored bubbles where believed to be almost chemically impossible. US inventor, Tim Kehoe spent over 12 years of his life, and over 3 million dollars, creating the world's first non-staining, colored bubbles.
For years Kehoe mixed, boiled, and brewed with endless enthusiasm and very little success. His persistence led him to a half-million dollars in financial backing, with which he hired a dye chemist, Ram Sabnis. Together, they unlocked a revolution in color chemistry. After the bubble is popped, the color magically disappears with friction, water or exposure to air after about 15 minutes.
Bubbles are currently the world's most popular toy. A Chicago company called Chemtoy began selling bubble solution in the 1940s, and they have captivated children ever since. There are more than 200 million bottles of bubble solution sold annually.
According to a Popular Science report, "It turns out that coloring a bubble is an exceptionally difficult bit of chemistry." A bubble wall is mostly water held in place by two layers of surfactant molecules, spaced just millionths of an inch apart. If you add, say, food coloring to the bubble solution, the heavy dye molecules float freely in the water, bonding to neither the water nor the surfactants, and cascade almost immediately down the sides. You'll have a clear bubble with a dot of color at the bottom. What you need is a dye that attaches to the surfactant molecules and disperses evenly in that water layer. Pack in more dye molecules, get a deeper, richer hue."
In 2005, Popular Science named Zubbles the "Innovation of the Year". They are finally available for sale.
Zubbles are currently being sold on zubbles.com. Zubbles are currently available in two colors: Presto Pink and Blazing Blue. 4 oz. 2-packs are priced at $14.95.
Reportedly, the first shipments started being received the week of July 13, 2009.