Bubble by Bright Things plc

Console Name: Bubble
Release Date: August 5th, 2005
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Publisher: Bandai
Developer: Bright Things plc
Dominic Wheatley, CEO, Bright Things
John Kavanagh, Inventor of the technolog

Bright Things was formed in June 2002 by Dominic Wheatley and John Kavanagh, the inventor of the technology, to develop and exploit the prototype interactive educational children’s console. By 2004, the console was well underway and Bright Things started to acquire various child licence to develop their games. The first acquisition was in May 2004 with BBC Worldwide for the distribution rights of key children’s characters, including The Teletubbies and The Tweenies. By January 2005, Bright Things managed to secure a distribution deal with Bandai in the UK and Ireland.

The console released on August 5th, 2005, alongside two games : Balamory and ‘Teletubbies. In late September the company introduced Tweenies, followed by Fimbles in October 2005. In November 2005 Thomas & Friends finally followed by Noddy.A letter of intent was signed with Eidos for distribution in France and Spain. The console also received a favorable reaction from several major U.S. retailers and distributor and the U.S. office of Bright Things was in the process of defining the distribution strategy for the very strategical market that is the U.S. Bubble was manufactured in a factory located in Zhongshan, China with the capacity to produce 90,000 bubble units per month. This was based on one production line and is scaleable accordingly.

With an order of 112,000 units from Bandai, things were looking bright (pun intended), but the reality was quite different.  By June 2006, only 28,000 consoles were sold and Bandai had to lower their retail price. Bright Thing was also in bad shape. With the cost of sales being slightly higher than the money they receive from Bandai for the sale and the royalties, the company was unable to turn a profit. This was on top of the R&D cost of £2,708,000 (Hardware, £1,408,000, Software, £1,238,000) and administrative expenses of £2,538,000.  In total, Bright Things lost more than £5,165,000 on this adventure.  All the development was put on hold, hoping that the sales of the console would pick up.  As the company had plenty of Intellectual Property around DVD games, they decided to expand their offering and works on different other revenue streams, including DVD games such as Tomb Raider – The Action Adventure.  Bandai was finally able to clear all of their inventory after Christmas 2006 but it was then clear that Bandai would not put in another order of Bubble.

A total of 6 games were released for this console:

Balamory Fimbles Noddy
‘Teletubbies Thomas & Friends Tweenies


Cancelled Games
The following games were cancelled due to the poor sales figures:

  • Angelina Ballerina
  • Bob the Builder
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Koala Brothers
  • Pingu
  • Postman Pat
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