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Rubik's Cube

Cheap, small and liable to keep kids (and big kids) occupied for hours, days, months, on end. It sounds like every parent's dream, doesn't it? Well, in reality, there was nothing more frustrating - or rewarding - in the world of toys than a Rubik's Cube.

The genius behind possibly the most iconic toy of all-time (I'll let you argue that one out) is Erno Rubik, a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture. He created the timewaster of a 3D toy measuring 2.25inches on each side, consisting of a 3x3x3 assortment of 26 coloured squares. The aim of all this? Attempting to unscramble the squares by twisting the rows of squares around, so you eventually end up with only one colour on each side.

The original Rubik's cube (called a Magic Cube) first came onto the scene in the mid-70s, but it only became a craze once Ideal released it into American culture. In 1980 it won the German Game Of The Year award for Best Puzzle. From then on, brows were uniformally furrowed as we battled to crack the code... Until they realised the coloured stickers could be peeled off and reassigned by their own fair - if a bit blistered - hands. Cheats! But we weren't all cheaters. And for those who didn't stoop this low and for those for whom colouring in competitions no longer challenged them, there were competitions to enter to see who could solve the Rubik's cube the fastest.

The Rubik's Cube World Championship was held in 1982 in Budapest, where crowds witnessed a boy of only 16 years' worth of cube cracking under his belt solve the cube in under 23 seconds! Since then, the record has been broken over and over again, currently standing at 7.08 seconds, set in 2008 at the Czech Open. Other crazy cube competitions have featured contestants solving their's underwater, blindfolded and even using only their feet!

The year 2008 also saw the Guinness record being set for the most people solving a Rubik's cube at one time - 96 people, for the record. Where could things move on from this little cube, you might have wondered? Well, once its global success was cemented, the merchandising machine really kicked in. Continuing on from the success of the original Rubik's cube - well there had to be more for those who'd completed it - there were the 2x2x2 Pocket Cube, 4x4x4 Rubik's Revenge, Rubik's snake, Rubik's clock, Rubik's Magic, pocket chains for the hardcore addicts, and more recently Soduku-theme cubes.

Other legacy's include a cartoon, an addict's support group (really!) and no doubt a fair few cases of RSI (repetitive strain injury). But so worth it, so say the 350 million people who've bought a Rubik's cube to date.

In February 2009 the most exciting update yet was unveiled at the American Toy Fair in New York - The TouchCube. The cube works on the same principle as the original, but is an electronic. light-up, touchscreen version, sure to excite fans of the toy. This time around, moves can be undone and the cube even gives you handy hints. 

See, things were always harder years ago. Exams, parents, Rubik's Cubes.... Kids don't know how good they've got it today!


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Do You Remember Rubik's Cube?

Do You Remember Rubik's Cube?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    Used to complete the cubes for all the kids in class - got fairly quick at it at the time - although nothing like the crazy speedcubers. Can still do it - I'll knw I've lost my mind when I'm unable to do it !
  • Anonymous user
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    I was the first kid in junior school to have a Rubik cube, which was cool but I could only complete 2 sides! Think I might have peeled off and repositioned the stickers at one point
    • Anonymous user
      on
      Yeah I did that lol
  • Anonymous user
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    most iv ever managed was two sides! lol
  • Anonymous user
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    On the modern day versions of this classic toy, Drummond Park saw fot to include a quick solve it guide, which seems to make the cube remarkaly easier to solve. I still have the small yellow book by a guy named Patrick from the eighties on my bookshelf. Unfortunately, the book was many more pages than the quick solve guide, much more complex, and it was printed in black and white!
  • Anonymous user
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    My brother had one of these, we tried to solve it, but never could. It would stay on the shelf, in his room, & we would try to solve it every now & then, but we failed, Marg.
  • Anonymous user
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    Well the rubiks cube how many of us had one of these as a child, this is the sudoku of the past. Playing for hours on this little cube of bright colours which was almost impossible to do. There was always one child who would show off about doing it but was it even worth bothering. Yes as its a classic
  • Anonymous user
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    WTF!!! pure torture almost as bad as my mum making me play TRIOMINOES, GAME OF LIFE, DINGBATS, DILEMMA, BALDERDASH, GO FOR BROKE and other fun family games that usually involved one or more people ending up in tears. Oh what memories. Monopoly is the ruin of all family occasions. Ha Ha!!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I can do the Rubik's Cube in 55 seconds almost every time.
  • Anonymous user
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    I had a moody miniature keyring one which had round stickers on it. I also had a Rubik's Barrel but never had a rubik's sphere.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    My sister and i were so excited when our dad bought us a cube, Our headmaster could solve it, I remember him telling the shcools creeps how to do it, when i asked he didnt have time. I never did work it out, I still have it now.