Have you heard of the Rubik’s Cube? The mind-bending puzzle is one of the best-selling toys of all time. Recently, TFK Kid Reporter Shaan Glazer met up with its Hungarian inventor, Ernő Rubik, in New York City.
1. When—and why—did you invent the Rubik’s Cube?
It was in 1974. I was teaching design at a university in Hungary. I was looking for examples for the students of how to work with space and materials. After about six years, I made my first prototype of the Cube. I went to the Toy Fair in New York City and introduced the Cube to the world.
2. You rarely travel to the United States, but you’re in New York City now to do a special event. What’s your favorite thing about being here?
New York is very alive and full of activity. It’s the city that never sleeps.
3. People are still playing with the Rubik’s Cube almost 50 years after you invented it. Why do you think it has been so popular?
It’s really difficult to understand how popularity is born. There’s a huge community on the Internet that’s interested in the Cube. There are so many competitions with the Cube.
4. Have kids changed since the Rubik’s Cube first came out?
They are no different. The new generation is discovering what happened in the past.
5. What school subjects were the most useful to you when creating the Rubik’s Cube?
My father was an engineer. I became an engineer, as well. Math is important. But my first diploma was in architecture. I love to design buildings, houses, and environments. I was also very involved with art.
6. What does it take to be a toy designer?
You have to be curious, and try to understand what you see and what’s under the surface of things.
7. I don’t know how to solve the Rubik’s Cube. Do you have any advice?
You don’t know, and you’ve never tried?
8. I’ve tried, but I’ve never been successful. Where should I start?
You need to be systematic . First, you need to have a simple goal. After you reach it, you can go further. The important thing is to never give up.