A new survey has revealed a third of all parents would choose the Rubik’s Cube as a stocking filler for kids this Christmas. The survey, which had 2,000 respondents, also included chocolate and stationery as top stocking solutions.
The Rubik’s Cube is instantly recognisable and has been a popular toy in homes since the 1980’s. Now enjoying a revival along with the introduction of some exciting new handheld games, we have been fortunate enough to be able to test them out, read on to find out how we got on!
At first glance this looks like the original Rubik’s Cube until you realise that it is just one layer of the 3x3x3 cube. The aim of the game is pretty similar as you have to complete the Rubik’s Edge so that each side only has one colour on it. The only parts that move are the corner pieces so this makes the game trickier than you might initially think! The fun thing about this game is that you can create a variety of different shapes with it as you move it around and try to find one of the 192 possible solutions! A great, pocket sized game that you can take anywhere with you and suitable for ages 6+. The Rubik’s Edge Cube retails at £9.99 and can be found n all good toy shops.
We were really keen to find out what the Rubik’s Cage was all about as although it is cube shaped, it is much bigger and the box shows that it is a game that can be played with between 2-4 players. Inside the box you get the Rubik’s Cage and 24 ‘Cubies’ (4 of each colour – red, yellow, blue, green, orange and white) along with some instructions. The Cage itself has 3 layers and each layer spins round, the Cubies are all removed from the Cage to play and the aim of the game is to get 3 Cubies in a row on one face of the Cage, this can be either diagonally, vertically or horizontally. The game can be played with 2, 3 or 4 people; for a two player game each player selects 3 different colours of Cubies so you both have 12 and on your turn you can select one of the following moves: drop a Cubie (open the top Cage door and place a Cubie in to any one of the 8 sections), twist the cage (you may turn one layer of the Cage a quarter turn in either direction) or you can flip the cage by turning it upside down. A great game for logical thinking and trying to be one step ahead of your opponent(s) as you decide whether to place a cube or put the other player off by flipping or twisting the Cage to catch them out! The winner is the first person to place a row of 3 Cubies in the same colour on one face of the Rubik’s Cage. The game is quite addictive and we have played it many times, it can be fast paced or slightly slower depending on the type of player you are up against! The Rubik’s Cage retails at £19.99 and can be found in all good toy shops.
Another brilliant twist on the original Rubik’s Cube and a very different looking game with its spherical shape but still displaying the well known Rubik’s colours. The Orbit has 3 rotating rings which are double sided which gives you 6 sides overall, the aim is to complete the puzzle so that each side of each ring follows the same colour all the way around. A really fun twist on the classic Cube and it certainly takes a little bit of time to get you head around the way they colours move around! A great game for keeping your mind active as you try and solve it, something I have not yet achieved! The Rubik’s Orbit retails at £14.99 and is available in all good toy stores.
Rubik’s 2×2 Cube
Quite simply a 2×2 version of the original 3×3 Cube. This pocket sized cube is perfect for younger players to start with before moving on to its bigger brother and there are still a whopping 3,764,160 different combinations! I am a big fan of this one as it comes with its own display stand which keeps you coming back to it instead of it getting put in a drawer and forgotten about and it also makes a great gift. Find out all about Rubik’s and get help with solutions at www.rubiks.com. The Rubik’s 2×2 Cube retails at £8.49 and can be found in all good toy shops.
Something a little bit different now with the Rubik’s Match which is a card game for 1-4 players. Inside the box you get 32 challenge cards, 48 cubie cards and some instructions. Each player is given 12 cubie cards and the pile of challenge cards is placed face down in the middle of the table; there are different challenge levels which is really helpful when you are learning to play or playing with children. Each player spreads their cubie cards out in front of them, a challenge card gets flipped right side up to reveal a pattern and all players must race to copy the pattern on the card by using the cubie cards they have in front of them. Cards can be overlapped and you can use and many or as few cards as you need to but the pattern must match exactly the pattern on the challenge card in order to win. The first player to replicate the pattern wins the challenge card, play starts over again and the first person to collect 3 challenge cards is the winner. Suitable from age 7 and retailing at £4.99, Rubik’s Match can be found in all good toy shops.
The Original Rubik’s 3×3 Cube
Proudly advertised on the box is the fact that the Rubik’s Cube is the world’s number 1 puzzle as it is the best selling puzzle in history. The puzzle has 6 sides, each made up from 9 coloured squares, twist and turn it to mix all of the colours up and then try to return it to its original state with each side having one solid colour. I remember having one of these when I was young and never manged to complete more than a couple of sides, yet it was a puzzle that you could just pick up whenever you fancied to give it another go, as if there was some sort of hope that I could solve it! Just like the 2×2 Cube, the 3×3 cube comes packaged with a stand which makes it more appealing than being simply packaged in a box. Although no different in looks to how my Cube was 20 years ago, the way this Cube feels has certainly improved; the twists and turns feel far smoother which suggests that the build quality has been enhanced over the years and they have ‘tough tiles’ which are super durable bonded solid plastic to make sure your puzzle stands the test of time. With 43 quintillion combinations the Rubik’s 3×3 puzzle is sure to be a hit with its recipient and will continue to keep generations entertained for a long time to come. Retailing at £9.99 the Rubik’s 3×3 Cube is available in all good toy shops.
Such a fantastic bundle of Rubik’s puzzles and I can see why these games are so popular as stocking fillers. Rubik’s puzzles are great fun for all ages both at home and to take out, we love toys that don’t involve batteries or noise and these really get your brain going and help with logical thinking. To find out more about the range and stockists then visit John Adams.