BubbleBoy immortalised as Starbeard character

Monday, December 21st, 2020

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There’s a bubbly new character in the latest update of Jolly Good Games’ mobile hit Starbeard*, and it’s a character who holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone here at the charity.

Jolly Good Games have immortalised BubbleBoy, a comic book hero originally created by Sam, a young boy with leukaemia who was the inspiration behind our life-changing BubbleBusters Project.

Sam, who passed away last year, created the character during a prolonged period of medical isolation due to his illness. He was a talented cartoonist and portrayed BubbleBoy as a superhero in stories for the Clic Sergeant magazine; a hero enclosed in a bubble by day, saving the world by night. When our Founder and CEO Dr Mick Donegan asked Jolly Good Games if they might consider using the BubbleBoy character in one of their games, they immediately agreed to fit the idea into their plans.

Jolly Good are just one of many to have been impressed by Sam’s remarkable abilities and positivity, as our Dr Mick explains.

“Sam first contacted us by email in 2018 to ask how he could support our work (below). It was an immensely touching offer, especially given his own situation. We’d been aware of the potential of telepresent robots to bridge the communication gap between an isolated child and their school and friends, and offered our help to Sam and his family.”

Below: Sam’s email to SpecialEffect

“We were able to bring Sam back into contact with his education and friends both in and out of the classroom via a telepresent AV1 robot, and it was because of the resulting leap forward in his quality of life that we were inspired to create BubbleBusters, a project that’s currently providing life-transforming loans and support of telepresent robots to over 30 children in the UK with immunodeficiency. Two of these children have even able to maintain vital contact with their schools and friends while receiving stem cell treatment in Germany.”

“I cannot overstate how much this wonderful gesture by the team at Jolly Good Games means to myself, the charity and Sam’s family. Sam not only inspired our project but gave it its name and identity, and we’re incredibly grateful for Jolly Good for granting him the perfect legacy in the very activity that provided him with such joy and support, especially during his illness.”

Sam’s mum Amy echoed this:

“Thank you so much to SpecialEffect and Jolly Good Games for immortalising Sam’s Bubbleboy character. I showed Sam the Starbeard BubbleBoy before he died and told him he was going to be in a game. He loved the image and was very excited. I’m so proud of everything my boy achieved in his short life and it’s amazing that others recognise his extraordinary talent. I hope that the game is a huge success.”

We’re so happy that Sam’s talent and Jolly Good Games have come together in such a brilliant way. Total superheroes!

*BubbleBoy appeared in Starbeard on Google devices on 21 December, with the iOS release to follow.

Below: (l) Sam with his AV1 robot and his cartoon strip, (r) the BubbleBoy character in Starbeard