Rubik's/Speed Cube Set

By +Brad Naylor

Once again, since I am the nerdy one, I get to review the nerdy toys. The Rubik's Cube was invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik, an architecture professor at the Budapest University of Technology and was originally called the Magic Cube until Ideal Toys bought the license, renamed it Rubik's Cube and launched it to the unsuspecting masses in 1980. The Rubik's cube became an icon of 80's culture and is the best selling toy of all time with sales in excess of 350 million units.

Sensei speed cube plus mini cube
Sensei speed cube plus mini cube
I was invited to relive the 80's and review the Sensei Cube, which is a 'Speed' Cube, an adaptation which allows us genius level citizens to solve the cube that much faster than using an original 80's cube. There are adjustable tension screws for the user to fine tune the cube to their preferred level of resistance. It also allows speed cubers to literally cut corners by starting to turn a layer before the perpendicular layer is fully in place. If you tried that on an original cube it would lock up or even cause a block to pop out and the cube to fall apart in your hands.

Mathematicians have since determined that it is possible to solve a Rubik's cube from any arrangement in 20 moves or less, one move being a rotation of any layer in any direction. Check out this story from way back in 2010. 

This cube comes with colors which cannot be peeled off so there is no temptation to cheat, and more importantly, the stickers won't come off due to wear and tear. Having not picked up a Rubik's cube in at least 10 years, it felt kind of strange at first. Once I had spun a few layers, it all came back to me, and my perfect cube was officially mixed up.

Adjusting the Tension Screw
Adjusting the Tension Screw
I mentioned earlier that the cube could be tensioned to the user's liking, this is achieved by popping the face off each center square and adjusting the tension screw. Unfortunately, these faces pop off during normal usage if you try to cut corners and not align a layer before turning another. If you are a cube novice and more than one cover falls off then you could be screwed, unless you know which face each color belongs to. If you put the colors back in the wrong place, the cube will be unsolvable (which it already was for 97% of the people who lived during the 80's).

This set also came with a mini keychain cube which is practically worthless as a functional cube, but is OK as a retro keychain, and a cheaply made little drawstring sack to keep both cubes in when you get bored or frustrated with them.

Check out the video of me putting the cube back together again.


Overall, much as I love the Rubik's Cube, this one did not feel terribly well made and had I paid full price for it, I think I would have been disappointed. The bonus mini cube keychain did nothing to make me feel like I got value for money, and the low quality feel of the bag, just added insult to injury.

Disclosure: I received this item for a reduced price in exchange for the honest and unbiased review above.

Rubik's/Speed Cube Set
Penguin Rating

For more product reviews click HERE

Post a Comment