Rubik’s Cube History and Popularity

The Rubik’s Cube is a 3D cube-shaped puzzle that was invented by Erno Rubik in 1974. Rubik was a professor of architecture from Hungary, and he was also a sculptor. The six sides of the cube each have nine smaller squares that are different colors. You can move each row or column of squares around the cube in order to change the colors on each side. But when you move the squares around on one side then it moves the squares on every other side of the cube that are in that same row. The objective of the puzzle is to twist and turn each row of colored squares until you get nine squares of the same color on each side of the cube. People have been known to spend hours on this puzzle without even coming close to completing it.

Rubik's Cube

One year after Rubik invented the cube, he found a Hungarian toy manufacturer named “Politechnika” and made a deal with them to have the cube mass produced. Two years later in 1977, the Rubik’s Cube was first sold in toy stores located in Budapest, which is the capital of Hungary. But it wasn’t called the Rubik’s Cube at the time. It went under the Hungarian name “Buvos Kocka,” which means “Magic Cube” in English. The cube was quickly a success after it was sold in Hungarian toy stores. However, the cube was not being sold outside of Hungary because it was a Communist country and it wasn’t easy to globalize products coming out of there. It wasn’t until 1979 that the Hungarian government finally agreed to have the Rubik’s Cube sold outside of Hungary, so that the Western countries could have it in their stores as well. Rubik made a deal with the Ideal Toy Corporation to distribute the cube to these countries. Before they did, they spent the next year coming up with a new name for the puzzle. They eventually settled on “Rubik’s Cube,” which is named after its inventor. In 1980, it was released in Western toy stores and became a popular item there too.

The Rubik’s Cube has become an iconic puzzle in world history. In 1982, there were annual competitions held in Budapest where people competed to complete the puzzle in the fastest time. In 1983, there was even a children’s television show dedicated to the puzzle called “Rubik, the Amazing Cube.” The Rubik’s Cube has sold over 300 million times and it has been deemed one of the most popular toys to ever be created in the 20th century.