IT is a puzzle that has put generations of children and adults to the test, earning the status of the world’s best-selling toy in the process. Now a new documentary focuses on the Rubik’s cube and those who endeavour to complete it in the quickest possible time.


The Rubik’s cube?

The 3D combination puzzle was invented by Ernõ Rubik in 1974. The Hungarian professor of architecture had originally set out to make a teaching aid to help his students understand three dimensional problems.


The original cube?

It featured six faces covered by nine stickers each, although modern cubes now feature plastic panels to prevent fading and peeling. The original was called “Magic Cube” - or “Buvos Kocka” in Hungarian - and when first made, took Rubik himself a month to solve.


It was released in 1980?

With early prototypes selling well in his homeland in the late 1970s, Rubik did a deal that saw his invention distributed by a bigger firm who changed the name to Rubik's and launched it globally in 1980. It quickly became a worldwide craze and in 1982, the first world championship was held in Budapest, with the winner completing it in 22.95 seconds, which was regarded then as speedy.


It’s a best-seller?

More than 350 million have been sold so far and the cube is considered to be the best-selling toy in history.


So what’s the new film?

The Speed Cubers is a new documentary set to stream on Netflix later this month, focusing on the world of competitive speedcubing and those who compete to solve the cube - and other puzzles - in record times.


In particular?

The documentary focuses on two competitors - Feliks Zemdegs, who was regarded as the 'king of the cubers' for nearly 10 years, and Max Park, who is a relative newcomer, beating Zemdegs' world record time of 6.46 seconds for solving the cube with his own score of 6.39 seconds in 2017.


And the documentary looks at their friendship?

As well as being simply mesmerising to watch the players’ hands moving so fast it’s like a blur as they solve the puzzle at breakneck speeds, the film looks at the friendship between the high-profile speedcubers and the pressure placed on their relationship by the looming World Championship.


Spoiler alert!

Zemdegs has since earned the Guinness World Records title again, solving the puzzle in 4.22 seconds; all along way from the times originally being achieved back in the 1980s.


The toy’s success still surprises its creator?

It is estimated that a billion people have tried to solve the cube - which has 519 quintillion possible combinations, and it still comes as a surprise to Professor Rubik.

He said: “I’m amazed how it continues to excite new generations. People have taken cubes underwater and to outer space…on the 40th anniversary, I was in New York to see the Empire State Building light up in its colours.

“I never imagined it would become a global craze.”


When’s it on Netflix?

The Speed Cubers debuts on the streaming service on July 29.