The Rubik’s Cube was invented by Erno Rubik, an interior design lecturer in Budapest. It is a puzzle in the form of a cube with nine squares on each face that have to be clicked and arranged into order. The first cubes were sold in Hungarian toyshops in 1977 before Ideal Toys brought the cube to the West in 1979.
Rubik’s Cube won prizes for outstanding inventions in Hungary and in 1981 it became an exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art. It was UK Toy of the Year in 1980 and 1981. From 1980 to 1982 there was a worldwide Rubik’s Cube craze with over a million being sold. People all over the world frenziedly tried to solve the puzzle, usually without success. In 1981, a 12-year-old boy, Patrick Bossert published the instant bestseller, You Can Do The Cube.
There are different versions of the cube available, including Rubik’s Revenge, which has 16 squares on each side and Rubik’s Double Tangram made out of 24 black and white triangles.
The Rubik’s Cube is still popular in the 21st century. In early 2006 an American student completed the puzzle in a record time of 11.13 seconds.