Sons of Rubik's Cube

By Bryan Lufkin | 06.19.12 6:30 AM

Rubik's Cube

The Rubik’s Cube was one of the best-selling toys ever. Revisit the classic, then see if you can conquer some of its offspring.

1. Brainstring (Advanced)
Perfect for: Getting tied up in knots.
Geek factor: It’s the spittin’ image of a microbe. Also, 12 strings and 24 knobs ensure that one wrong move will result in a tangled snarl.$17

2. Dayan Gem Cube III
Perfect for: Puzzling with flair—the Gem comes with stickers for customizing its look
Geek factor: Dubbed a “helicopter dodecahedron,” the 12-sided figure with spinning faces may be the Airwolf of twisty puzzles. $42

3. V-Cube 7 Illusion
Perfect for: Channeling the spirit of ’80s ska
Geek factor: First, this bulging two-tone cube hits you with optical illusions. Then it kicks your brain’s ass with 49 squares per side. $40

4. Original Rubik’s Cube
Perfect for: Busying your brain while watching reruns of Night Court
Geek factor: The World Cube Association pits Rubik’s nuts against one another in speed runs. The youngest champ? Three-year-old Shengzhi Gao at 1:02:30. $12

5. Brain Twist
Perfect for: Throwing at your sibling’s head
Geek factor: Rubik’s Cube becomes Rubik’s Tetrahedron. Twist the spikes to match the colors, but another challenge awaits: The toy flips inside out, and you have to match that side, too. $17

6. Planets
Perfect for: Combining the topography of the moon with the portability of a stress-relief ball
Geek factor: Ergonomic, sleek design. Rotate and align like-colored planets. Mind the craters, which can lock neighboring balls’ ability to rotate. $15

7. Gear Cube Extreme
Perfect for: Getting in touch with your inner gearhead
Geek factor: Inspired by an idea from BitTorrent cofounder Bram Cohen, this toothed menace triple-scrambles its colors with every move you make. $36