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Rubik's Cube: One of the world's best selling toys is 40 years old

Over 350 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold since it was first designed. On Monday, the addictive puzzle marked its 40th anniversary. Ernő Rubik, a Hungarian professor of design, invented his 3-D combination cube in the spring of 1974. He had no idea that it would become one of the world’s best-selling toys. Neither did he expect it would have an impact on science, art, and design. "Beyond Rubik’s Cube" is an exhibit at the Liberty Science Center, in Jersey City, New Jersey, that opened April 26 to celebrate the puzzle’s 40th anniversary.

The Rubik's Cube is 40 years old
The Rubik's Cube is 40 years oldPhoto by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Rubik's Cube was originally called the Magic Cube. It was licensed by Rubik to be sold by Ideal Toy Corp. in 1980. It won the German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle that year. As of Jan. 2009, 350 million cubes had been sold worldwide making it the world's top-selling puzzle game. It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy.

Over the last forty years, there have been many variations of the Rubik's Cube, but in a classic Rubik's Cube, each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers, each of one of six solid colors: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. In currently sold models, white is opposite yellow, blue is opposite green, and orange is opposite red, and the red, white and blue are arranged in that order in a clockwise arrangement.

The Rubik's Cube reached its height of popularity in the 1980s. However, it is still widely known and used. Since 2003, The World Cube Association, the Rubik's Cube's international governing body, has organized competitions and kept the official world records.

To celebrate Rubik's Cube anniversary, Google had the puzzle on its page on Monday at www.google.com for people to click on the squares to make the perfect cube.