19 May: Rubik’s Magic Prototype

Over 100 million Rubik’s Cubes were sold in just a few short years at the onset of the 1980s – a phenomenon kickstarted on 19th May, 1974, when Hungarian Professor of Architecture Ernő Rubik supposedly created the prototype for his ‘Magic Cube’.

It took him a month to solve himself – a feat which seems unimpressive in a world where the current record stands at under six seconds.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Ideal Toys saw the unlikely potential in the unprecedented ‘spacial logic toy’ Rubik had created; reveal just how many knockoffs and spinoffs were generated by its incredible success; and explain why there are 519 quintillion reasons to be sceptical about this being a truly significant date in Rubik’s history… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Rubik’s Cube – A History of the 1980s Puzzle’ (ThoughtCo, 2019): https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-rubiks-cube-1779400

‘On this Day, in 1974: the “Magic Cube” was invented by Ernő Rubik’ (Kafkadesk, 2021): https://kafkadesk.org/2021/05/19/on-this-day-in-1974-the-magic-cube-was-invented-by-erno-rubik/

• ‘Rubik’s Cube Commercials through the years!’ (Rubik’s, 2021):

Want more? There’s OVER FIVE MINUTES of Rubik’s fun, cut for time from today’s episode, exclusively available to our podcast’s supporters. For this, and bonus content each and every week, subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or sign up to our top two tiers on Patreon:

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