It's the 25th anniversary of what is claimed to be the biggest selling toy ever. Ray Marshall takes a look at its attractions
When you see Rubik's Cube lying in front of you, in a multi-coloured mix of squares, it is like a magnet to your hands.
Against your better judgement you pick it up and start to try to assimilate the colours and solve the puzzle, twisting first this way and then that.
At first you see a glimmer of success, you manage to get three or four colours on to the same side of the cube, then it all goes pear-shaped - so to speak.
It becomes infuriating, but you can't put it down. Then somebody, not much bigger than a tot, comes along and speedcubes it to perfection. Drat!
Basically that's the attraction of Rubik's Cube; simple but infuriating and the pleasure of seeing one complete is so satisfying.
It is the 25th anniversary of what is said to be the world's biggest selling toy and, although it has never gone out of fashion, sales are once again taking off.
How many middle-aged Tynesiders can cast their minds back to the early 1980s when they walked the streets or sat in the classroom twisting and turning their cube and, as time went on, became an efficient exponent of completing the puzzle.
How many of us were scared to pick it up, or would have a few turns and set it back down, frightened of being drawn into the puzzling maze of trying to solve the cube?
But who was Rubik, the father of the cube, and where is he now?
Erno Rubik is a Hungarian, who still lives in Budapest. He is 60, happy with life and still proud of how the world took to his invention.
Rubik built the prototype in 1974, but it took another six years to emerge on to the international stage.
He says: "Thirty years ago the Cube was a novelty for me, or 25 years ago for the outside world.
"Yes, the Cube is part of me because I designed it, I created it. I'm not ashamed of it.
"I'm proud of it as a designer, because no-one has improved on my design, and proud of it as an engineer.
"It's my child, if you like. But it's not newborn; when you have children you spend a lot of time with them when they're young, nurturing them. But they grow up and develop a life of their own. The Cube is like that."
How good were you at solving the Rubik Cube? Write to me at Remember When, Evening Chronicle, Groat Market, Newcastle NE1 1ED, or e-mail me at the address above.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rubik's Cube being on sale in Britain we have 10 Special Edition Rubik's Cubes to give away, each worth £9.99.
All you have to do to qualify is state the country of birth of Erno Rubik, inventor of Rubik's Cube, on a postcard and send it to Rubik's Cube, Ray Marshall, Remember When, Evening Chronicle, Newcastle, NE1 1ED and the first 10 correct answers will be the winners.
The editor's decision is final.
Toy with mass appeal
More than 300 million copies of Rubik's Cube have been sold to date.
In 1980 it won was named the retail industry's toy of the year.
It became so iconic that it earned a place as a permanent exhibit in New York's Museum of Modern Art.
It also has an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The inaugural World Rubik's Championships were staged in Budapest in 1962. This year they were in Florida.
The fastest time ever recorded solving the Cube is 12.11 seconds by "speed-cubing" ace Shotaro Makisuma of Japan - meaning nobody has broken the magical 10-second barrier.
There are 43 quintillion ways of configuring the Cube (43,252,003,274,489,856,000 to be precise), but only one solution.
At one move per second, it would take 1,400 million million years to go through all the Rubik's Cube's configurations.
We love 1980
In 1980 when Rubik's Cube hit the UK toy market . . .
Margaret Thatcher was Britain's first woman Prime Minister.
Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States.
The Moscow Olympics were boycotted by the USA and others.
John Lennon was assassinated by Mark Chapman.
Muhammad Ali was defeated by former sparring partner Larry Holmes.
West Ham won the FA Cup beating Arsenal 1-0.
Willie Carson won the Epsom Derby on Henbit.
Bjorn Borg beat John McEnroe in the Wimbledon final. Evonne Goolagong Cawley won the women's title.
The New Romantics were coming into fashion.
The CD was launched by Dutch company Philips.