1930 – 2017
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.
In the world of games and toys it is rare to find an original product that becomes a true classic. The Rubik’s Cube is one of them.
Invented by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian university lecturer, it enjoyed some success within Hungary. Tom Kremer came across it almost by chance. Although the state owned company detailed to organise its export, had it on exhibition at the Nurnberg annual toy fair, none of the staff had much idea of how to handle it.
The Hungarian language, shared by the trade delegation 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 a tiny percentage of the toy market, it was too difficult to solve by the ordinary public, it had to be imported from a Communist country, it was hugely more expensive than any other puzzle just to mention several of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that Tom faced in finding a distribution partner.
Tom Kremer continued to believe that the Rubik’s Cube could be a permanent classic.
Tom Kremer was entranced by its magic and never gave up trying. Miraculously, at the end of 1979, the Ideal Toy Company, on the brink of bankruptcy, decided to take it on. Incredibly, within a few years of its launch the Rubik’s Cube conquered the world. Some 300 million cubes were sold in as little as 3 years.
However this commercial explosion killed the Cube. Eventually no Rubik’s Cube could be sold or shipped or made anywhere in the world. Everyone involved lost interest.
Tom Kremer continued to believe that the Rubik’s Cube could become 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 and is available almost everywhere.