Children's favorite gets a 3D makeover

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The Independent Online

A favorite pastime for children around the world - blowing bubbles - has been given a 3D makeover by a US toy company.

The new bubbles require special glasses that allow children to see 3D stars, hearts, lightning bolts or butterflies inside their bubbles.

Optrix 3-D Bubbles sets, which include 3D glasses, a bubble "blower" and tray, must be used outdoors on a sunny day to see the images.

Imperial Toy, which sells a bottle of traditional bubbles every second, launched the 3D bubbles in the US earlier this month and will begin sales in Spain and Portugal in May. Switzerland and Poland will follow later in the year before a global launch in spring 2011. The toys are priced between $7.99 - $9.99 (€6 - €7.40) at most retailers.

Toymakers are beginning to quickly capitalize on the interest surrounding "3D" devices, prompted by the growth of 3D films and television. In 2009, global toy giant Crayola introduced a 3D drawing set that allowed children to draw 3D worlds and see them through special glasses.

"3D is dominating the box office and world of consumer electronics," said an Imperial Toy spokesperson. "Optrix 3-D Bubbles is the first of many planned toy introductions in the 3D category under the Optrix umbrella."