Based on Ernő Rubik’s iconic, colorful puzzle, the Ice Cube will encourage you to play a little faster.
A toy designer has created an icy variation of the Rubik’s Cube that will melt in your hand if you don’t complete it in time.
In 1977, Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik released what would become the world’s fastest-selling toy: The Magic Cube. Now known as the Rubik’s Cube, this hair-pulling puzzle has sold in the hundreds of millions worldwide and been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame, infamous for its difficulty and famous for those who rapidly crack it (also known as speedcubers). It’s become so iconic that the 3-D combination puzzle has been turned into computer games, been used as inspiration for comic convention cosplays, and is even featured in films, including the 2011 neo-noir crime thriller Drive and Disney’s science fiction animation WALL·E.
It’s so embedded in our popular culture, in fact, that YouTube currently hosts tens of thousands of tutorial and how-to video clips aimed at helping you master the complex game. Among that hefty collection of videos is the work of YouTuber and “twisty puzzle” maker Tony Fisher. While Rubik has created a number of cube variations, such as the Rubik’s 360, Fisher has been doing his own inventive modifications on the puzzle since the 1980s. That includes creating the world’s tiniest Rubik’s Cube (which can fit on the tip of your finger), a world record-breaking enormous Rubik's Cube, and now the Ice Cube. You won’t want to drop this into your drink to keep it cold, but it will give you extra incentive to pick up the pace as you play.
To create his chilly challenge, Fisher based his Ice Cube on a 10 centimeter Rubik’s Cube. Making most of the puzzle himself, the Rubik’s aficionado produced a special frame (which he painted white to ensure it wouldn’t be noticeable under the clear ice) and individual silicone molds. Those molds were filled with water and left to freeze over the course of two to three hours to create each block. Fisher reveals that all but 5% of the cube is made of ice, but that he’s looking for a way to make it nearly 98% ice in the future. It’s unclear how you’ll know you’ve actually completed the puzzle (all the blocks are the same color), but those who like the crunchy sound of ice sliding together may find playing around with it enjoyable regardless. If you want to know how to make your own, you can watch Fisher’s video tutorial on his YouTube page. And once you make it, we suggest playing with some gloves on.