Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010

Rubik's Cube

Erno Rubik, the Hungarian creator of the Magic Cube — as he originally called it — probably never imagined that the toy he developed in 1974 would become one of the best-selling toys of all time. Renamed the Rubik's Cube by Ideal toys, which acquired the rights to it in 1980, the brain-scrambling toy went on to sell more than 300 million units worldwide. Every year dozens of Rubik's Cube–solving contests are held, including the International Rubik's Championships that originated in Budapest, the creator's hometown. For the cube's 15th anniversary, Diamond Cutters International created the Masterpiece Cube — a fully functional, 185-karat, solid-gold version encrusted with colored jewels. Despite its fame, the Rubik's Cube has yet to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, where other classic playthings such as the Slinky and the Etch-a-Sketch are enthroned. Perhaps newer versions like Rubik's 360 (a spherical, transparent incarnation of the puzzle) may finally put it over the top.