Rubik's Cube. 07/27/2014.

Rubik’s Cube. 07/27/2014.

One of the biggest crazes of the 80’s was a small cube with 6 different colors one on each side of the cube. It was called the Rubik’s Cube. Rubik’s cube was invented back in 1974, applied for a patent in 1975 and was approved for the patent in 1977 but was not introduced to the generic population until 1980. Rubik’s cube is a game that was invented by Erno Rubik which was initially designed with elastic bands but had failed. The cube was invented solely based on figuring out how to move blocks without them falling apart. It has a lot of wrong answers and only one right answer.

What’s so awesome about a cube with six sides and six different colors? The cube has different parts that are moved around so that the colors are jumbled. The problem is placing the colors all together on one side. This is considered putting the cube back together. It’s a puzzle and even though it was not designed to be a puzzle initially, it has become one of the most popular puzzles in the world. There are two other names for this cube which are, Büvös Kocka (“Magic Cube”); Hungarian Horror. Once the magic cube got out in Hungary, it was a success but once it was a success in Hungary, it was difficult to convince the country to allow Rubik’s cube go worldwide because of the country being a communist country.

In 1979, Hungary finally agreed to allow Rubik to make arrangements with Ideal Toy Corporation and that’s when it was introduced to the generic population. They re-named the cube “Rubik’s Cube” Soon after its release, the cube became a craze all over the world! Everybody knew about the cube and everybody wanted one. As of today over 1/8 of the world population has touched and seen a Rubik’s Cube. Playing with the cube may be fun but exactly how many sequences are there in this cube?

The full number is 519,024,039,293,878,272,000 or 519 quintillion possible arrangements of the pieces that make up the Cube, but only one in twelve of these are actually solvable (Wikipedia)


This little cube has such a big number of possible arrangements and only twelve are solvable. Some of the types of Rubik’s Cube has the centers marked to assist with solving the puzzle supposedly but when they are not marked it just adds to the difficulty of the puzzle. The world record holder for a Rubik’s Cube 3x3x3 was held by Erik Akkersdijk, whose feat was recorded at the Czech Open in 2008 solving the cube in 7.08 seconds.

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This cube has become so popular people compete to see who can solve the puzzle the fastest. There are several different variations of the Rubik’s cube. The variations vary from 2x2x2 which is the mini cube (Pocket) to the 7x7x7 which is called the V-Cube 7. People fascinated by this article should go and find a Rubik’s cube and see how fast they can solve the puzzle. Know this, the longest it took somebody to solve the puzzle was 26 years!

The person that took 26 years to solve the puzzle spent 27400 hours, had a sprained wrist, sleepless nights, and a strained marriage all because of the Rubik’s Cube! The moment he solved the puzzle he wept. According to Mail Online, his wife felt at times that there were three people in their marriage him, her and the cube!

The cube has become such an obsession that there have been two new issues that have popped up. They are called cube’s thumb and Rubik’s wrist. Not only did that happen, in the 80’s there were cubeaholic support groups set up to help addicts kick the habit! Talk about a weird addiction.

Rubik's Cube Variants. 07/27/2014.

Rubik’s Cube Variants. 07/27/2014.

Today there are thousands of “knock-off” Rubik’s cubes and thanks to the competitions around the world, Chinese knock-offs engineered for speed are being used for these competitions. The company that owns the rights to Rubik’s Cube, Seven Towns is trying to decide if they should crack down on pirated toys or piggyback on the competitive speed-cubing. In the recent years, the cube has been gaining a second wind of popularity and are selling around 10 million Rubik’s Cubes annually but the cubes used in competitions look nothing like the actual Rubik’s cube.

The blocks barely touch, are sanded, and are crafted to avoid the locking mechanism that the Rubik’s Cube faces when being moved. In Budapest, while all of this is happening, Mr. Rubik is working on a new solution to the marketing problem. This means, he is creating his own version of the speed cubes to compete with the Chinese and is in no rush.

Written by Mary Pat Withem
Follow her on Twitter @mpwithem