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Original Rubik’s 2×2 Pocket Cube


Today, I’ll be covering the Original Rubik’s 2×2 Pocket Cube or the Mini Cube.  Here’ s the official description of this little bugger at Rubik’s.com:

Rubik’s Mini Cube® is the little brother of the world’s best selling original, Rubik’s Cube®. Although its pocket size is less intimidating in appearance, it still provides a perplexing challenge. The objective is the same as its bigger brother… to turn each side in a combination of moves returning it to 6 solid colored sides.

Rubik’s Mini Cube® offers the same geometric and logical skills building as its larger sibling. If you’ve already mastered Rubik’s Cube®, the Mini Cube® uses the same principles. If you haven’t mastered its big brother, Rubik’s Mini Cube® is a great place to start learning the logical approach to its solution.

Interestingly,the second line in the description is quite true, “Although its pocket size is less intimidating in appearance, it still provides a perplexing challenge.” People often mistake this to be much more “solveable” or rather beginner-friendly than the Classic 3×3 cube. It’s not actually a hundred percent true.  FYI, according to this website:

The number of positions:
There are 8 pieces, with 3 orientations each, giving a maximum of 8!·38 positions. This limit is not reached because:

The total twist of the cubes is fixed (3)
the orientation of the puzzle does not matter (24)

This leaves 7!·36 = 3,674,160 positions.

Yes, that’s still more than 3 million ways to scramble and solve this puzzle. However, once you know how to solve it’s big brother or learn methods designed for this puzzle, you can easily solve it in under 15 seconds or less.

PROS:

  • moderately smooth
  • reacts just fine to Silicone

CONS:

  • no cutting corner ability
  • very brittle
  • slightly expensive than it’s counterparts
  • locks up a lot
  • smaller than most 2×2’s which makes it harder to speedsolve with

Over-all Score:

I got this cube at Toys R’ Us for about 250 bucks about 8 months ago and I was surprised. Yes, it was so much smoother than the Classic 3×3, but it locked up a lot. The stickers are PET type, which means it peels away the longer you use it and eventually, the underlying color fades away.

It was also very brittle and has only a very,very few degrees of corner-cutting that I consider it ZERO. Just like contemporary 2×2 designs, it does not have a spring and screw set. So do not attempt to force it in any way or it’ll break into a million little pieces like mine did the first time I tried to. Okay, I was exaggerating. Make that a couple dozen pieces flying around your living room. Yes Einstein, same effect.

VERDICT:

I do not recommend this cube for speedcubing at all. There are a lot of better brands out there which are much cheaper and way much better than the original just like the Eastsheen 2×2. However, if you’re just too hard-headed to follow my advice or it is the only 2×2 cube available in your area, it “might” do. I hardly use this cube since it also has a curiously different color scheme: it swapped the white stickers with the green stickers, so it actually yellow opposite green. Weird huh?

Awesome review? Hell yeah!

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