Toys have been part of childhood since time immemorial. They went through different times, they were made of different materials and there are even those of extreme sophistication. But there is one, very simple, that became the most sold of all times. It is the Rubik’s cube, which is a passion for children and adults alike.
The Rubik’s cube is a different kind of toy
You don’t need instructions to know what it is all about. It is a cube with colored faces whose goal is to finish the game with each face of the same color. It is a toy that does not distinguish age range, it fascinates children and adults. The simplicity and functionality gave it validity until today.
It was created by the young architect Ernö Rubik in 1974. Trying to find a simple way to teach three-dimensional movement to his students, he came up with this idea. His invention came to be called Rubik’s cube. It took him more than a month to solve it himself. However, it soon became the most popular three-dimensional puzzle in the world. A rough estimate indicates that 350 million cubes were sold worldwide.
The toy is a true brain teaser that has been around for 47 years. Movies and television included the Rubik’s cube in many products and even originated a sport called speedcubing. It is a competition about who can solve it in the shortest time.
The Rubik’s cube was the inspiration for books as well as tournaments
In 2019, on the 45th anniversary of his own invention, Rubik wrote a book explaining its popularity. The book was called “Cubed: the puzzle of Us All”. There are publications that help to solve it and also publications and videos on the Internet dedicated exclusively to this topic.
The author also recounts the mathematical calculations and processes he went through before his invention. Also the inconveniences he had to overcome in a country like Hungary, which was part of the Soviet bloc in 1974.
The invention was patented as “a space logic toy”. The Hungarian market only allowed it to be sold in specialized shops. Until an American sales agent, Tom Kremer, discovers it in one of those shops.
When it arrived in the United States it was even more popular
Thanks to Kremer’s commercial vision, the toy appeared in the United States in the early 1980s. By 1983, the magic cube had its own cartoon series: “Rubik, the Amazing Cube”.
From there it never stopped growing in popularity. It was on the cover of the prestigious Scientific American magazine. Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas Hofstadter called it one of the most amazing inventions for teaching mathematics.
The toy itself seems to have an easy solution. However, it has 43 trillion possible variants. An almost infinite number of possibilities to solve it. You can even find tutorials, books and various explanations on the internet for solving it. Many people solve it in seconds, others find it impossible. But it is a challenge that catches most people