The History Behind the Creation of the Rubik’s Cube


Javier SerranoAmiibo Price Guide founder Javier Serrano, aka Fjaviserr, takes the puzzle out of the history of the Rubik’s Cube. Read more of his wonderful guest posts here!


 

Sometimes, it is very hard to believe the figures that surround the toy industry, but those numbers reflect in a way the importance and weight of toys in popular culture. When we think about the best-selling toy in History, we can bear in our mind some of the most relevant toys and brands, but there is only one king, the Rubik’s Cube.

Since its inception, more than 460 million units of the unique puzzle have been sold around the world, becoming by far the truly monarch of toys and collectibles. Enthusiastic fans try to improve their skills solving the different versions of this amazing tridimensional puzzle every day, and its mystery and complexity still rules the shelves in the stores worldwide.

However, the story behind the origins of this great invention, is worthy of the best Hollywood screenplay ever wrote, and how the perseverance of its creator made of the Rubik’s Cube a staple of pop culture.

Ernő Rubik, a young Hungarian professor of architecture, at the Budapest College of Applied Arts, was obsessed with finding a way to model three-dimensional movement to his students. During the spring of 1974, and after several months of hard work, he finally created something he called the “Bűvös Kocka” or Magic Cube.

When he showed the first handmade prototype to his students, he knew that puzzle cube would be an instant success. The issue was how to find the way to get a commercial patent for his creation, considering that Hungary was a Communist regime at that time, and the bureaucracy under the Iron Curtain could be a problem, just because all the ideas belonged to the Government.

Although, he found a small local company which developed and distributed the first units of the Magic Cube in Hungary, he must find the way to license its creation overseas. So, after spending endless hours to get a solution, the only possible way was a partner beyond the shadow of the Communist borders.

In 1978, he could get in touch with the US company, Ideal Toys, and he could finally license his million-dollar idea. Ideal presented the magical puzzle to the world at the Spielwarenmesse, or better known as The Nuremberg International Toy Fair, in 1979.

Before, the international release in 1980, Ideal rebranded the Magic Cube to the Rubik’s Cube.

The Rubik’s Cube was the Toy of the Year in 1980 and generated a strong unprecedented demand in toy industry, becoming an unstoppable craze. Since then, and over the years other companies had the license, such as Hasbro or the current licensor, the Canadian company, Spin Master.

The cube also inspired numerous artworks, architectonical designs and films, consolidating it as one of the most recognizable pop culture icons in History. Besides, the competitions around it to complete the puzzle for speed-solving breaks the logic, considering that Max Park set a jaw-dropping 3.13-second speed record for the classic 3x3x3 cube on June 11, 2023.

Today we can find different versions which represent a constant challenge for the most skillful fans, but the essence doesn’t have changed, becoming the Kubik’s Cube a key pop culture element among generations.

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ernő Rubik’s invention, and I am sure that its reign will last over the next 50 years. So, long live the Cube!!!

I hope you find this information helpful. Have an excellent week. Let me know if you’d like to know more in the comments below.

 

Check out Max Park set a world record time for solving a Rubik’s Cube!

 

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Karl
Karl
9 days ago

I love how all the people go crazy afterwards in the video! The inventor got his name on it, but I hope he made some money off it as well!

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