The Rubik’s Cube, or Magic cube as it was named at the beginning, became one of the world’s most famous puzzles of all time
The Magic Cube is a three-dimensional colour-matching puzzle that’s a great mental challenge at home or on the move. Turn and twist the sides of the cube so that each of the six faces only has one colour.
The Magic Cube is incredibly addictive and has fascinated fans since it arrived in 1980. Actually, the first Magic Cube was released in Budapest toy shops in 1977 under the Hungarian name “Buvös Kocka.” It was a new logical toy invented three years earlier by Hungarian architecture professor Ernõ Rubik, who tried to explain three-dimensional spaces to his students.
Little did he know his Magic Cube, as he originally named it, would become one of the world’s most famous puzzles of all time! It was not mentioned to become even a toy.
With Ernő Rubik’s permission, businessman Tibor Laczi took a Cube to Germany’s Nuremberg Toy Fair in February 1979 to popularise it. It was noticed by Seven Towns founder Tom Kremer, and soon the deal was signed to release the Magic Cube worldwide.
By the 80s, the Rubik’s Cube was a worldwide craze selling millions of Cubes every year and cementing its legacy into pop culture. Featured in The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, a Spice Girls music video, and major Hollywood movies, the popularity of Rubik’s Cube continued to grow worldwide. The Rubik’s Cube is revered as one of the most beloved toys of all time. Each year millions of Cubes are sold, solved, and shared among friends, families, and puzzle seekers. Annual sales of Rubik branded cubes were said to have reached 15 million worldwide in 2008.
By the 80s, the Rubik’s Cube was a worldwide craze selling millions of Cubes every year and cementing its legacy into pop culture
This unusual puzzle has 43 quintillions of possible permutations (Something like this: 43.252.003.274.489.856.000), and you need to use certain algorithms to solve it. There are many variations of the Rubik’s cube nowadays, but the most basic one is 3x3x3. A standard cube measures close to six centimetres on each side and consists of 26 unique miniature cubes, also known as “cubies” or “cubelets.”
The Magic Revival
fter the Magic cube patent expired in 2000, many companies from all over the World, especially from China, placed their versions of it, triggering new life to the most famous puzzle. The new wave of Cube’s popularity fleshed the Globe, which brought again The World Rubik’s Games Championship held in Toronto with 83 participants. It was the first such tournament after 1982, when the Magic Cube first conquered the World.
Social networks and Youtube channels helped spread the new fame of the old puzzle toy. If you are not such a wunderkind and could solve the Cube for 10 seconds only, then you will need a good strategy. It’s not only that you need to discover the right algorithm, but you need to understand it and see how it could be applied. Many fans publish their own strategies and advise those who want to try them. However, you should not be demotivated by multiple failures. It is normal, and only rare talented individuals can solve it by themselves without any instructions. Also, you should not be surprised if you cannot solve the puzzle now, and you could do that when you were young. It’s also normal!
The world record time for solving a classic 3×3×3 Rubik’s Cube is 3.47 seconds, held by Du Yusheng from China, on 24 November 2018 at Wuhu Open 2018.
The Cube has inspired an entire category of similar puzzles, commonly referred to as twisty puzzles, which include cubes of different sizes and various other geometric shapes. Some such shapes include the tetrahedron (Pyraminx), the octahedron (Skewb Diamond), the dodecahedron (Megaminx), and the icosahedron (Dogic). Sompuzzlee, such as Rubik’s Snake and the Square One, change shapes.
Some puzzles have also been created in the shape of Kepler–Poinsot polyhedra, such as Alexander’s Star (a great dodecahedron). Grégoire Pfennig has also created at least one puzzle in the shape of a small stellated dodecahedron.
Today, the Rubik’s Cube is revered as one of the most beloved toys of all time
The Rubik’s Cube spread the glory of ‘80s Hungary till the nowadays. It was not that usual for a country behind the Iron curtain to set its popularity in the West. Hungary did it thanks to Ernő Rubik and his invention. Today, everyone in the World heard about his magical cube and knew its origins in Hungary.
Besides its presence in the pop-culture, the Magical cube is a star by itself. In 2018, a special exhibition in Syracuse, New York, was dedicated to the Magic Cube. Ernő Rubik’s life and work were presented to the visitors, who could even try building a giant mosaic wall together from Rubik’s cubes. There were robots available to be programmed by visitors to find their way out of a maze. One of the biggest attractions was a car-sized Rubik’s Cube that showed how this invention works from the inside. One of the most interesting exhibits was a spectacular golden cube made of 18 karat gold worth about two million euros.