The Rubik's Cube, The Mind-Boggling Toy Worth Millions

By | March 7, 2022

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Erno Rubik and his famous cube. wired

Few inventions in the entirety of human history can match the simplicity and popularity of the Rubik’s Cube. Born from the mind of a Hungarian architect aptly named Ernő Rubik in 1974, the most universal puzzle toy ever started as a collection of colored wood and paper fastened by glue, paper clips, and rubber bands.

Rubik conceived of the idea while working as a descriptive geometry teacher. The lesser-known and arcane study uses two-dimensional images to serve as three-dimensional problems. Undoubtedly, Mr. Rubik became the only purveyor of this discipline to earn over $100 million. Here’s the story of the confounding Rubik’s Cube and its 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different arrangements.

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A simple toy worth millions. classteaching.wordpress

The “Magic Cube”

Born in the shadow of World War II, Rubik never intended to become famous. However, his square brainchild, of which he speaks like it’s one of his actual children, had other ideas. As he wrote in an autobiography, that’s not really about him. “The cube loves attention; I don’t. He is eager to interact with everyone; I sometimes find this a bit difficult. He’s quite ambitious; I am less so.”

He first began tinkering with his intricate moving blocks. As he said, “I don’t know exactly why.” After much trial, error, and some coloring, he realized after a few moves, he would never be able to return the color scheme to its original shape. While that might have given some of us anxiety, it fascinated Rubik. And he wasn’t alone.