Tom Kremer

A writer like no other

Tom Kremer was entranced by the magic of The Cube. He never gave up the hope of finding at least one major toy manufacturer to take it on.

Rubik’s Cube – a fantastic invention

In the world of games and toys it is rare to find an original classic. The Rubik’s Cube is one of the great exceptions.

 

Invented by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian university lecturer, it languished quietly on the shelves of a few Budapest retailers. Tom Kremer came across it by chance. Although Konsumex, the state owned company detailed to organise its export, had it on exhibition at the Nurnberg annual toy fair, none of the staff had the slightest inkling of how to handle it.

 

The Hungarian language, shared by the Konsumex personnel and Tom Kremer, broke the ice and he was able to take the cube to all the major toy companies in the West. Not one of them was interested. The puzzle sector constituted less than 1% of the toy market, it was way too difficult to solve by the ordinary public, it had to be imported from a Communist country, it was three times more expensive than any other puzzle, it did not suit TV advertising.

Tom Kremer continued to believe that the Cube was a permanent classic.

Tom Kremer was entranced by its magic and never gave up trying.  Miraculously, at the end of the year, the Ideal Toy Company, on the brink of bankruptcy, decided to take it on. Incredibly, within two years of its launch the Cube conquered the world. Some 200 million cubes were sold, discounting the millions of fakes.

 

After two years, however, this commercial explosion killed the Cube. Then another six months later, no Cube could be sold or shipped or made anywhere in the world. The US toy company who owned the rights, Konsumex, the Hungarian manufacturing company and even the Cube’s original inventor, lost interest.

 

Only Tom Kremer continued to believe that the Cube was a permanent classic. He negotiated the acquisition of all the rights from Ideal Toy Company and over fifteen years of unstinting labour managed to revive it and build a brand paying the inventor, Erno Rubik, a generous share of the revenue. The Rubik’s Cube now stands proudly over the world of toys, available everywhere.

 

How fast can you solve the cube?