The Rubik’s Cube has sold hundreds of millions of units around the world since its invention in the 70s.
But have you ever wondered how it got its name?
Erno Rubik was a young architecture professor in 1974 who had created a wooden cube that could be turned on all sides. He made this cube in order to show and better explain spacial relationships to his students.
Erno always thought of the wooden cube he created as a work of art used to demonstrate simplicity and complexity, not as toy. But over time, Erno began to realize the possibilities of the Cube and he patented the Cube in 1975.
Two years later, Erno sold the first cube in a Hungarian toy store in 1977. The first cubes were marketed at “Magic Cubes”, or “Buvos Kocka”. It wasn’t until 1979 that the cube made its way out into international markets due to the Communist Regime behind the Iron Curtain having tight control over imports and exports.
The cube was shown by mathematicians at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1979 where a toy specialist named Tom Kremer picked it up and realized the potential of such a puzzle. Tom’s enthusiasm for the cube lead to Ideal Toy Company taking on the distribution of the cube and bringing it to the rest of the world.
Executives at Ideal Toy thought the name “Magic Cube” had overtones of witchcraft and after further consideration settled on naming the cube after its inventor, Erno Rubik. And so the Rubik’s Cube was born.
Since then, the Rubik’s Cube has become the best selling toy of all time and you will be hard pressed to find a person who hasn’t at least heard of the puzzle. Erno Rubik has since become the president of the Hungarian Engineering Academy and supports puzzle designers, solvers, and enthusiasts around the world.
And yes, he can solve the Rubik’s Cube. Just don’t ask him to break any speed records.