Rubik's World Puzzle

This puzzle is a variant of the Rubik’s cube puzzle that was designed by rounding the moving pieces, called cubies, so together they form a sphere instead of a cube. It was made in 1982 in Hong Kong.
In its solved position, the surface of Rubik’s World puzzle surface represents the surface of the earth with the continents painted in bright colors on a black background. The puzzle includes a stand that allows it to rotate and is attached at the north and south poles
Each cubie of the Rubik’s Cube is analogous to a piece of the Rubik’s World puzzle. The nine pieces of the globe that correspond to nine cubies forming a face of the cube, are bordered by a circle so can rotate in the same way that a face of the cube can.
The four edges of the rounded square pieces that include the north and the south poles correspond to lines of latitude. The edge of any other rounded piece that is parallel to lines of latitude also correspond to lines of latitude. However, the edges that are perpendicular to the lines of latitude do not represent lines of longitude since they do not go through the north and south poles. Those edges can be rotated to correspond to lines of latitude.
A solution for the Rubik’s Cube might not work for the Rubik’s World puzzle. Parts of Asia and Africa are shown on center pieces of the puzzle and an otherwise correct solution might have them incorrectly oriented, making additional moves necessary.
For more information about the Rubik’s Cube and other twisting puzzles that use the same or similar mechanisms see 1987.0805.01.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1982
Ideal Toy Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 11 cm x 9 cm x 10.5 cm; 4 11/32 in x 3 17/32 in x 4 1/8 in
place made
Zhonghua: Hong Kong
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Mathematical Recreations
Science & Mathematics
Twisting Puzzles
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Twisting Puzzles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Judy Green
Additional Media

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