V-cube is a brand of cube puzzles which started selling cubes in June 2008. They mass produce and sell 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4, 5x5x5, 6x6x6, 7x7x7, 8x8x8 and 9x9x9 puzzles, but they have designs and patents that go all the way to 11x11x11.
V-cubes were invented by Panagiotis Verdes and are produced by Verdes Innovations S.A., Verdes's company located in Greece. The design of these cubes was completely new and different from all pre-existing designs, as it was based on the cone and because the pieces hook together instead of simply being held together by the centers. In addition, the plastic used for the V-cubes is a bit more elastic than the normal plastic for cubes. This led to better durability and stability during speedsolving and pops and also a slightly smoother feel.
V-cube were the first company to ever mass-produce the 6x6 and 7x7 puzzles, and were at one point the best cubes for big cube speedsolving. However by 2014 Shengshou and Moyu had cubes which were much more widely used because of their better quality and lower price compared to V-Cubes; and these led to V-Cubes being rarely used.
Upon release the V-Cube 2x2 was seen as a good 2x2. It had a core similar to a 3x3, with many inner edges. The black V-Cube 2a was generally regarded as the best of the V-Cubes, although many speedcubers still preferred other brands of 2x2 such as the WitTwo v1 ("Type C "). The V-Cube 2 was later eclipsed by cubes such as the Dayan Zhanchi 2x2 or the Moyu Lingpo. These were considered to be better cubes because of their speed, corner cutting and resistance to pops.
V-Cube released their first 3x3x3, the V-Cube 3, in January 2012. Like many V-Cubes, it is also available as a pillow-shaped version, called V-Cube 3b. The V-Cube 3 is available assembled and DIY, which comes with 3 sets of springs with different tensions.
The mechanism resembled a lot of the newer DaYan cubes, including use of "torpedoes" to prevent popping. This caused a lot of controversy; especially as V-Cube previously filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Dayan and because of questions regarding the matter being avoided on their Facebook page. They also stopped the sale of Dayan GuHong cubes, which hit the community particularly hard because it was considered one of the best cubes at the time. People that sold modified versions of the GuHong were also forced to stop selling the cubes.
Although V-Cube 3 was initially rated as a decent cube, many reviewers and cubers still preferred the Dayan ZhanChi because of smoothness and somewhat better corner cutting.
The V-Cube 4 was released in January 2013.
Upon its release (in 2008), the V-Cube 5 was considered to be the best 5x5 on the market. The mechanism incorporated new principles which allows it to have low friction but also to remain intact even when several pieces are removed; meaning a particular algorithm or step can be completed, and then the pop repaired. The V-cube 5x5 can cut corners without being broken in or lubed at all; however this puzzle needs to be broken in to make it easier to turn.
Released in 2008. This cube has a clicking mechanism to keep a hidden inner layer it has from coming out of alignment; however it does pop quite frequently. This puzzle does require breaking in & lubrication, but the outer layers are considerably faster when this is done, Out of the box, it has a tendency for minor lockups, and to improve the performance, it needs be modified. Also, with modification, the clicking in the middle layer can be removed. This cube became less popular since Shengshou released its 6x6 in 2011.
V Cube has released flag cubes with flag patterns for the V-Cube 6.
Released in 2008. The V-Cube 7 is much like the V-cube 5 in mechanism, but the outer layers are much smoother and the inner layers require more effort to turn. The V7 is also untensionable; meaning the cube cannot be tensioned. There was however a modification that could fix this. The pillowed shape is to hide the fact that the outer layers of the cube are a little larger than the inner layers; otherwise the outer layers could just fall out.
V-Cube has also released flag cubes and the V-Cube 7 Illusion, which have different patterns on them.
Shengshou released a (cubic) 7x7 in 2012 which quickly became the preferred cube among speedcubers.
The V-Cube 8 was released in 2014.
The V-Cube 5, 6, and 7 all had several modifications; the most notable of these was Memyselfandpi's V-Cube 6 mod. It helped make the layers smoother and completely got rid of the clickiness. It was also part of the mod to put dirt into the cube, although it is not recommended as it makes the cube harder to turn. The V-Cube 5 and 7 mods were mainly sanding down the bumps on the pieces. Memyselfandpi has videos of these mods on Youtube.
V-Cubes were initially announced in 2003 as Olympic Cubes. It was initially believed to be spam on the Yahoo! speedsolvingrubikscube forum. Although patents were announced in 2004, there was little information about V-Cubes even in early 2007. Later in 2007, prototypes of V-Cube 5 through 7 were sent to Frank Morris, the world record holder for 4x4 and 5x5 at the time.
Patents and controversy
The V-Cube is protected by patent in many parts of the world, which has led to some controversy regarding knock-offs. Even puzzle types that are not available, such as the Maru 4x4x4, are considered in violation of patent, as the mechanism is inspired by V-Cubes. See for example this Speedsolving.com thread.
They have also criticized because of poor customer service on their Facebook page regarding questions about whether their V-3 DIY had torpedoes inspired by Dayan.
The US patent can be found on Google Patents.
- V-Cube, Official website