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Iconic 'Rubik's Cube' Toy Celebrates Milestone

FILE - A competitor attends the World Rubik's Cube Championship in Budapest.
FILE - A competitor attends the World Rubik's Cube Championship in Budapest.
A plastic multi-colored, multi-layered puzzle cube that has both entertained and frustrated scores of admirers worldwide is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

A special exhibition is being staged at a science center in Jersey City, New Jersey, to honor Hungarian architect Erno Rubik for his invention of the toy cube that bears his name.

The exhibit, Beyond Rubik's Cube, is aimed at showing visitors how the toy puzzle intersects the worlds of art and science.

"So what this exhibit, if we have succeeded, what it will do is -- you come in here, and maybe you think of yourself as a mathematical person. It will bring out your artistic and creative side. And if you come in here more from the art perspective, you'll find that math and science is really tied into art. And that's why we call this 'Beyond Rubik's Cube,' because it's not about the cube," Hoffman expained. "It's about the intersection of engineering, that brilliant mechanism inside the cube; design, of course the colors of it, and mathematics, that 43 quintillion possibilities."

In addition to Rubik's initial prototypes, the exhibit also features an 18 karat gold cube set with over 1,300 jewels of various hues -- with a price tag of $2.5 million.

Since its debut in 1974, an estimated 350 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold, making it the most popular toy in the world.

An earlier version of this story mistakenly reported that 350,000 Rubik's Cubes have been sold to date. VOA regrets the error.
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