Which Big 80s Toy Will Get Its Own State Championship in Albany?
In 1974, an architecture professor at the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts built a toy to help his students get a better understanding of three-dimensional objects. The toy was such a huge hit with the professor's pupils that he ended up patenting the idea and releasing a small batch into Budapest toy stores in the 1977.
The toy sold well, so the professor took his invention to the 1979 Nuremberg Toy Fair where it was immediately pounced upon by the Ideal Toy Corp in 1980. Ideal took the product international and it went on to become a worldwide phenomenon with kids and adults throughout the 80s. That professor's name? Arno Rubik.
Today the Rubik's Cube is an instantly recognizable puzzle, and while its popularity may have waned over the years, there's a dedicated and passionate community around the game. Speedcubers, or Cubers for short, continue to find the wildest ways to compete on international levels via the World Cube Association.
That love of the Cube has birthed New York State's first ever Rubik's Cube Championship, taking place in Albany July 2 through 4 at the State Capital Center. There will be competitions around the standard 3x3x3 Cube we all know, plus a smaller 2x2x2 and larger 4x4x4, 5x5x5, and even 7x7x7 variants.
This isn't just run of the mill Cubing, either: there are specific events forcing competitors to solve the puzzle one-handed, with the fewest moves, and even blindfolded. Yes. Blindfolded. On a color-centric puzzle game.
Cubers and spectators have to show proof of COVID vaccination or a recent negative test to attend. Registration is still open on the World Cube Association site until Saturday, June 25 for $50 per competitor. The Championship is limited to only 300 Cubers.