Bubbl-Matic from Kenner (1965)

Company: Kenner | Release date: 1965 | Where to purchase: eBay

Bubble-based toys were some of Kenner Products’ earliest sales successes. One of its most popular offerings, the Bubbl-Matic, was a plastic gun (available in red or blue) that shot bubbles with every squeeze of its trigger. Instead of traditional bubble solution, the gun’s ammo was powered by Bubbl-Tablets, also sold by the company.

Drawing inspiration from its “just add water” mixes for the Easy-Bake Oven, Kenner designed each bubbl-tablet to turn into bubble solution when dissolved in water. The use of tablets allowed Kenner to offer more of them in a single package at the same price point as liquid-based alternatives.

Other offerings in the line included the Bubbl-Jet and Bubbl-Trumpet. Also available in red or blue, the Bubbl-Jet was about ¼ of the size of the Bubbl-Matic and was marketed for its “hide in hand” capabilities. After dissolving a bubbl-tablet in its tank, kids could puff on one end of the toy to produce a steady stream of bubbles or even a single large bubble.

The Bubbl-Trumpet upped the ante with music. Fueled by the same bubbl-tablets, the trumpet played musical notes while the child blew “thousands of bubbles”, much to the chagrin of parents.

Note: If you buy something using the eBay link in this story, we may earn a small commission.