The Rubik’s Cube is one of those all-time great toys. Despite te many changes in toys today, it’s still one of the most popular and famous ones ever.
The idea came from Erno Rubik back in 1974 in Hungary. His idea wasn’t to make a toy.
Rubik made the cube as a way to illustrate spatial relationships in 3D to his students, BusinessInsider reports. He felt this is an easy way to not only tell, but show how these things happen.
“In my view it’s very simple. There are axises, to turn the axises the faces, it contains 27 different pieces. What you can see is only 26, because there is one in the middle”, Rubik says.
There are about 43 quintillion possible combinations to make the Rubik’s Cube. It’s own creator needed more than a month to solve it the first time. “It was, for me, it was important to prove it’s possible. I can’t say that the optimal one, but I was able to manage it and I was able to show it to people”, he adds.
Originally, he called it the Magic Cube. It wasn’t made to be a toy or a puzzle, but “a piece of art… and an intellectual task as well”.
At first people didn’t really responded well to it. It was too complex and not marketed as a toy. Eventually though the Ideal Toy Company picked the idea and remarketed it. Even Rubik says he never expected the Cube to become so popular.
The Rubik’s Cube wen on the market in 1980. To this day there have been more than 450 million of them sold all over the world. The Cube is a mainstream favorite, it’s been in movies, pop culture. There are so many additional toys and versions. All of this brings in $250 million in sales in 2017 alone.
And of course, there are competitions on who will solve the cube faster. The most recent world record is 4.22 seconds. It was set in May 2018 by Feliks Zemdegs of Australia. Scientists also use the Rubik’s Cube to teach robots motions, problem solving skills and visual recognition. So, the Rubik’s Cube is really a lot more than a toy or a puzzle. And it’s not going away anytime soon, which is great.