On March 29, 1983, Ernö Rubik was granted the patent for SPATIAL LOGICAL TOY, U.S. Patent No. 4,378,116.

The spatial logic toy, known today as the Rubik’s Cube, was first introduced in 1974 in Hungary by inventor Ernö Rubik. Rubik, a professor at the Academy of Applied Arts and Design, spent a lot of his free time designing puzzles to create a different way of thinking about three-dimensional geometry.

One of these designs was a wooden cube, each side contained nine moveable squares, and each side had a specific color. Rubik started out enjoying how the squares moved but after a certain amount of time he realized he did not know how to get the squares aligned back to their original side and color. It took him over a month to figured it out, he said “it was a code I myself had invented! Yet I could not read it.” The cube has over 43 quintillion combinations in which it can be rearranged.  

This toy was designed to stimulate logical thinking in teenagers. According to the application “the object of the invention is to develop a spatial logical toy, which is built up of a total of eighteen toy elements forming a solid (a regular or amorphous body), preferably a rectangular solid shaped body, in the assembled state, while the toy elements are mutually connected in the center of the solid without using separate connecting profiles, merely by the proper shape of the solids of the toy elements. Along the spatial axes of the spatial logical toy, six or nine toy elements can be simultaneously rotated, yielding the possibility of several variations of play.”

By 1979, the cube was ready to be mass produced and introduced to the United States. Prior to its launch in the U.S., Ideal Toys decided a name change would be better for marketing and trademark protection. Originally called the Magic Cube, the company debated many names but eventually settled on Rubik’s Cube. By 1982, over 100 million cubes had been sold and that is also the year the International Rubik’s Championships were held; a competition to see who could solve the puzzle the fastest. The winner of that competition solved the toy puzzle in 22.95 seconds.

More than 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide and it is noted as one of the best-selling toys of all times.

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