I found myself in a toy store the other day. I was there to purchase birthday presents for my son. Which I did. Boy will he be happy. But I also spotted something that I thought I must have for myself. An electronic Rubik’s cube!

A small digression is probably appropriate at this point. I have several cubes already, including a few regular cubes, a keychain cube, a Darth Maul head cube, a 2x2x2, a 4x4x4, and a 5x5x5. I’ll readily admit to being a nerd. So you can imagine why this item held some appeal to me.

It was encased in that impossible to open plastic that everyone hates so I wasn’t able to try it out in the store. The text on the back of the box was extremely vague. But from what I could tell by looking through the plastic, it was a giant Rubik’s cube that had recessed center cubies that were able to light up. My mind reeled with possibilities. Maybe the centers would change colors so you had to solve it to match those colors. Maybe it would time you and the centers would line up when a side was solved. Maybe it would use light and sound to tell you how to solve it. It is certainly big enough that it could have enough smarts to do some interesting things.

When I was finally able to open it up the first thing that I noticed was that it does not turn or twist. It was simply a single large cube shaped to look like it turns and twists. No additional instructions were enclosed to tell me what it does. This was rather upsetting. Tentatively I flipped a small switch on the red side. It sprung to life and began yelling instructions at me. From what I was able to gather it contains six electronic games that are all variations of Simon. You press the center pieces when they light up. I put it down after maybe 30 seconds. I am now the proud owner of a $20 paper weight.