The Cubing Corner

The Popularity of the Rubik's Cube

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The Popularity of the Rubik’s Cube

Invented in 1974 by Ernõ Rubik, a professor from Budapest in Hungary, the colourful puzzle was initially dreamed up as a device to help students achieve a better understanding of 3-D spaces. His first prototype- then ‘Magic Cube’ was such a success with his students that Rubik persisted in patenting the invention, bringing it to worldwide mass production in 1980. Today, the Rubik’s Cube is one of the most famous toys of all time!

But just how popular is the Rubik’s Cube? The cube has gone through ups and downs over the decades. This article will look at the historic popularity of the cube and some promising modern statistics.

1980’s popularity

Over forty years of history has led to the Rubik’s Cube becoming one of the best-selling toys ever- transcending geography, culture and age. The Rubik’s Cube continues to be the world’s bestselling puzzle  and one of the most popular brainteasers around. A Must Have For Puzzle Lovers

Sales started a bit slow, however, Ideal ran a television advertising campaign in the mid-1980s. By the end of 1980, the Rubik’s Cube won a slew of awards including the German Game of the Year special award and the UK Toy of the Year award. Over 100 million units were sold by the end of 1981. Lastly, Patrick Bossert published his guidebook to solving the cube “You Can Do The Cube” in 1981, which sold 1.5 million copies.

The original hype of the masses that surrounded the cube for its first few years dimmed over the late ’80s and ’90s.

2000’s resurgence

In 2003 brought innovation to the world cubing with better hardware and new algorithms. Speedcubing started picking up as a popular sport. In the US, sales doubled between 2001 and 2003, and The Boston Globe declared that it was “becoming cool to own a Cube again”. Ron Van Bruchem and Tyson Mao created the World Cube Association and organized the second World Championships, with 83 participants in attendance. The WCA became the first official organization to standardize and monitor competitions and achievements. In other words, interest was up again, and in 2008 annual sales of the cube were up to 15 million worldwide. 

2020s popularity

Today, the Rubik’s cube is one of the best selling toys of all time. Over 350 million cubes have been sold worldwide since their invention. Drawing on the success of the 3×3,  many variations of the original cube were designed and are in high demand. Let’s dive deeper and find statistics that reflect just how popular the genre really is.

  • If you google rubik’s cube it turns up about 17,800,000 results.
  • Googling how to solve the Rubik’s Cube turns up about 5,960,000 results. 
  • Twisty puzzle turns up 7 million results.
  • On Instagram #rubikscube has half a million uses. 
  • Tiktok is a very popular platform for cubers with 2.9B views for #rubikscube. 
  • Reddit’ s highly active cubing forum has 106k members in r/Cubers. 
  • There are hundreds of cubing/twisty puzzle influencers over Youtube, Instagram, and Tiktok.

Worldwide interest

Cubing is a hobby that transcends borders, however it is interesting to take a look at where in the world it is most popular. Using similarweb to analyze this, we found some interesting results. 

  • Rubiks gets 600K-1M visits per month. The top 5 countries in the world to visit are United States> India> Australia> United Kingdom> Vietnam
  • The WCA  gets 200K-500K visits per month. The top 5 countries in the world to visit are United States> China> Vietnam> Indonesia> Poland 
  • GoCube gets 100K-200K visits per month. The top 5 countries in the world to visit are United States> United Kingdom> Thailand> Taiwan> France

Over the last 50 years, cubing has grown exponentially in popularity. New puzzles, algorithms, tricks, and technologies keep it interesting and continue attracting growing crowds. In conclusion, cubing is projected to grow even more over the coming decade.

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