Discover how 40 years of history has lead to the Rubik's Cube to become one of the best selling toys.
Our FoundingErnõ Rubik, a professor from Budapest In Hungary, wanted to help his students understand three-dimensional problems. His solution? The Rubik’s Cube! Ernõ creates the first working prototype of the cube in 1974.
1974Erno Rubik develops a movable art piece for his students in architecture. Ernố’s prototype Cube did things that the world hadn’t seen before. It twisted and turned and yet it didn’t break. Adding 54 colorful stickers to the six sides gave the puzzle its iconic look. When Ernố Rubik built his first Cube, it took him over a month to solve it. At the time, he didn’t know that his “Magic Cube” – “Buvos Kocka” in Hungarian – would take the world by storm.
1975Erno Rubik patents the ‘Magic Cube’ as a puzzle.
1977The ‘Magic Cube’ is manufactured in small batches and became more and more popular in Hungary during the late 1970s. Ernố Rubik realized the potential of his invention. But – in communist Hungary in the 1970s, imports and exports were tightly controlled. The answer? International Toy Fairs!
1979The “Magic Cube” was demonstrated at a variety of international toy fairs, including London, Paris and New York. In September 1979, the puzzle was spotted in Nuremberg by toy specialist Tom Kremer, who could immediately see the power and potential of the Cube. Tom Kremer’s vision was to commercialize the Cube and sell it to the world; he negotiates and signs a worldwide distribution license.
1980Tom Kremer’s passion and belief in the Cube convinced the Ideal Toy Company to distribute the “Magic Cube.” They wanted one important change… a new name! The newly-named Rubik’s Cube’s global launch took place in 1980 and the rest is history. The newer Cubes were half the weight of the earlier models making solve times much faster.
1981Sales of the Rubik’s Cubes in 1980 initially started off as modest, but started to grow once the Ideal Toy Company launched a television advertising campaign.
1981The Rubik’s Cube becomes a worldwide craze and hits millions of sales. During this time the Cube became notorious for being unsolvable. A 12 year old boy, Patrick Bossert, releases a book, ‘You Can Do the Cube’, which goes on to sell more than 1.5 million copies.
1982• Rubik’s holds the first World Championship in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary on 5th June. Minh Thai (USA) was the inaugural winner with the result of 22.95 seconds.
• Museum of Modern Art in NYC selects Rubik’s Cube for its permanent collection.