Rubik's Brand are a puzzle designer, manufacturer and shop. They are the producer of the original Rubik's cube.
- 1 3x3x3 Cube
- 2 2x2x2 Cube
- 3 Rubik's Revenge
- 4 Professor's Cube
- 5 Rubik's Magic
- 6 Rubik's Clock
- 7 Other Puzzles Produced by Rubik's
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
Bűvös Kocka (1970s)
The first Rubik's cubes were sold under the name "Bűvös Kocka" (Hungarian: "Magic Cube"). The first batch of 5000 were produced by Politechnika in Budapest in late 1977. Over a million were produced in the late 1970s, they were sold mainly in Hungary (Hungary was part of Communist Eastern Europe), but some reached foreign markets especially in western Europe. These early cubes are heavy (twice the weight of later ones) and very stiff. The six colours are the standard ones although they are often arranged differently from the later colour schemes.
Rubik's Cube (1980s)
In 1979 UK toy company Seven Towns arranged a worldwide deal for the cube with Ideal Toys - a big US toy company. Ideal began marketing and selling the cube in 1980 creating a worldwide craze. They chose to call it "Rubik's Cube" partly because there was no international patent on the invention, and they needed a distinctive name they could trademark. The Hungarian manufacturers (now called "Politoys") retooled their production lines creating a lighter cube, smoother in finish, and much easier to turn than the Bűvös Kocka.
The lack of a patent meant that many duplicates flooded market as the Rubik's Cube craze took off. These duplicates, which were often inferior, were produced in the Far East, especially in Taiwan. The cubes had names such as Magic Puzzler, Perfect Puzzler, Wonderful Puzzler, Challenge Puzzler, and Le Cube.
Other puzzles which were all sold under the Rubik name in the 1980s include:
- Rubik's Pocket Cube - the 2x2x2 Cube
- Rubik's Revenge - the 4x4x4 Cube invented by Peter Sebesteny
- Rubik's Wahn - the original 5x5x5 Cube invented by Udo Krell, sold in Germany
- Rubik's Key Chain - mini Rubik's Cube on a keychain
- Rubik's Perpetual Calendar - a calendar Rubik's Cube
- Rubik's Snake
- Rubik's Cheese - a very rare two-layer-cylinder puzzle
- Rubik's Domino
- Rubik's Magic and Master Magic
- Rubik's Clock
Rubik's Cube (1990s & 2000s)
Sales of Rubik's Cubes collapsed with the end of the Cube craze in 1983, but in the 1990s Rubik's Cubes (now under the control of Seven Towns) began being manufactured and sold again. The cube was very similar to the 1980s cube. There were many packaging variations, from several distributors depending on the country (OddzOn in the USA).
They were often used for speedcubing, but the centers were riveted rather than screwed into the core, so tension was not adjustable. The stickers were poor quality, being made from laminated paper.
Dan Knights, who started speedcubing in 1999, describes the cubes he bought from OddzOn as being highly variable: "some are mediocre from the start, others can be worked with to become excellent speed-cubes." He also states that "the stickers, however, present a MAJOR problem. Everyone who cubes seriously knows this, even Rubik himself".
Rubik's Studio Cube
The Studio Cube was a 3x3x3 manufactured by Rubik's Studio in Hungary. Available in the 1990s and 2000s. More expensive than store-bought cubes, they were mainly bought as a collectable. They were very similar to the original 1980s cubes, and had a 1980-type logo. The centers were fixed with a screw, allowing the tension to be adjusted. Opinions about its suitability for speedsolving varied, although generally it was not a preferred cube, due to the flat centres (more prone to pops), required break-in, and possible modifications required (replacements of springs, screws, and possibly the core).
Rubik's Cube - DIY
Beginning around 2004, the official Rubik's online shop (Rubiks.com) began selling Rubik's cube DIY kits. DIY meant that the puzzle arrived disassembled and required you to assemble it yourself. They were sometimes criticized because the center caps did not stay in as well as some other designs, although this could be fixed with either glue or a small square of paper. A better fit could be achieved once some extra plastic is shaved off. Still, unlike store-bought cubes, the center tensions were adjustable, so these cubes were often favored by speedcubers until significantly better cubes were released.
25th anniversary cube
Rubik's Cube celebrated its 25th anniversary (since its 1980 launch) in 2005, and a special edition was released. This featured a sticker in the centre of a reflective face (which replaced the white face) with a "Rubik's Cube 1980-2005" logo, and had different packaging.
Japanese Speedcubing Kit
The Japanese Speedcubing Kit was a DIY cube available only in Japan in the years around 2008/9.
Rubik's Cube - Tiled
In 2012, Rubik's introduced a newer, updated version of the original cube. It featured tiles that are embedded into the pieces instead of stickers, so there isn't any chipping or peeling. Out of the box, it was incredibly tight and very slow. After breaking it in well, it loosened itself and became faster, with corner cutting of about line-to-line forwards, but little to no reverse corner cutting. It could lock up and catch. They were not good for speedcubing, although these cubes do use screws, so it is possible to adjust the tension, if you can remove the middle tiles.
Since around 2016 Rubik's tiled cubes have looser tensions, so that newer versions are much faster straight out-of-the-box.
The Rubik's Speedcube was Rubik's first official speedcube. It was introduced in 2013. It was essentially the same cube as the 2012 tiled cube, but it had looser tensions by default, and the center caps could be easily removed to adjust the tensions or swap the springs. Compared with the Chinese speedcubes of the time, Rubik's Speedcube was regarded as well-below average. It is smooth and very fast, but there are pops and lockups, poor corner cutting and almost no reverse corner cutting. Review
Rubik's GAN Speedcube
Rubik's second attempt at a speedcube was a collaboration beteen Rubik's Brand and Gan Cube. Officially just called the "Rubik’s Speed Cube", although it was designed by Gan. It was released in 2017.
Also known as the 'Mini Cube'. Rubik's brand 2x2's are smaller than most 2x2x2 cubes, therefore it can fit in your pocket - therefore the name Pocket Cube.
The stickered 2x2 cube was replaced by a tiled version around 2013.
Rubik's released a 2x2 speedcube in 2017. This was co-designed with Gan.
This was the first 4x4 cube; it was first sold in 1982. Sales of twisty puzzles collapsed soon afterwards and they weren't manufactured again until around the year 2000.
Older Rubik's 4x4s were often used by speedcubers, although they required a long time to properly break in. These cubes could get surprisingly loose before they became unusably pop-prone, because (unlike rival Eastsheen cubes) they do not have internal pops. Rubik's later re-tooled this cube, with a slightly modified mechanism. People have said that this cube locks up too much and pops too much. This brand fell out of favor with the release of the Eastsheen c. 2002.
Rubik's introduced their tiled 4x4 in 2014.
This was the first 5x5 cube. It had only a limited release in Germany and Japan in 1983, and they weren't manufactured again until around 2000.
The Rubik's 5x5 is not a good speedcube and was known by some as a "Rubik's Brick" due to the extreme amount of force that was once required to make turns on this puzzle out of the box. Although this puzzle has been retooled, and the newer Rubik's 5x5 cubes are better, they are still not as good as other cubes. The outer layers tend to be much harder to twist than the inside layers. This is the largest of the main 5x5 brands.
Rubik's Magic, is a Magic made by the Rubik's brand. The puzzle was patented by Erno Rubik in 1986, and launched into the toy shops in October that year. 1980s versions were made by Matchbox Toys. A version with more tiles known as the Master Magic was also released.
Rubik's Clock is a Clock puzzle invented and patented by Christopher C. Wiggs and Christopher J. Taylor. It was bought to market and sold under the Rubik's brand name in 1988.