The Rubik’s Cube is a classic puzzle that was invented in 1974. It was initially called the ‘Magic Cube’, but later it was named after its inventor Erno Rubik.
There is an interesting story behind how Rubik conceived the idea of the Rubik’s Cube. One day, he was toying around with a few blocks which were attached together using a rubber band. While doing so, he tried several twists, due to which the rubber band broke. This interested him even more in the structural problem of how the blocks can be independently moved for a random number of turns without making the cube fall apart. After trying several times, he eventually succeeded in it. Rubik created the Rubik’s Cube after solving the structural problem.
The Rubik’s Cube is a 3D combination puzzle game. You will find each of the six faces of the cube covered by nine colored stickers. There are six solid colors, which are white, yellow, red, blue, orange, and green. Nowadays, the most current models have the white opposite to yellow, blue opposite to green, and orange opposite to red. Red, white, and blue are arranged to form a clockwise order. Earlier, the cubes did not have any specific color arrangement. The position of the colors was different from the cube to the cube. There is an inbuilt pivot mechanism that enables each face of the cube to turn individually, and that’s how all the colors get mixed up.
The trick for solving the puzzle is to make each face return to the same color side. Other similar puzzles have been produced now, based on this concept with several numbers of sides, dimensions, combinations, designs, and stickers.
About the inventor
Erno Rubik is a Hungarian sculptor, professor of architecture, and an inventor. He is also famous for his other inventions, which include the Rubik’s Magic, Rubik’s Snake, and Rubik’s 360 to name a few.
In 1975, Rubik applied for the Hungarian patent HU170062. Once it was granted, the Rubik’s Cube was launched and marketed effectively in the market. It popularly came to be known as the ‘Magic Cube’. The Rubik’s Cube was licensed to be sold by Ideal Toy Corp in 1980 through Tibor Laczi, a businessman and the renowned Seven Towns founder Tom Kremer. It has gained importance worldwide by selling more than 360 million cubes and is claimed to be the world’s best-selling puzzle game or toy.
The first batch of the Rubik’s Cube was releases in May 1980. It was advertised through newspapers and television advertising campaigns. By the end of 1980, it won the German Game of the Year award, Best Toy award in UK, US and France and some other awards. Between 1980 and 1983, it was in vogue and the craze led to sale of around 200 million cubes worldwide. The Rubik’s Cube had become very popular among everyone between the ages 7 and 70 all over the world. It continued to be promoted and sold throughout the 1980s and 90s, but the demand revived again and became increasingly fast-selling during early 2000s. The interest in the Rubik’s Cube rose to such an extent that the sales doubled in no time.
Speedcubing , also known as speedsolving is a practice where one has to solve a Rubik’s Cube in the least time possible. There are various speedcubing competitions that take place worldwide. The first world championship was organized by the Guinness Book of World Records. It was held in Munich on 13th March in 1981. All Cubes were moved 40 times, which were prepped by lubricating with petroleum jelly. The official winner was Jury Froeschl who completed it in 38 seconds. The first international world championship was held at Budapest on 5th June in 1982. It was won by Minh Thai with a time record of 22.95 seconds.
Even though the Rubik’s Cube popularity reached its pinnacle in the 1980s, it is still extensively known and used by people all throughout the world.