The purpose of the puzzle is to scramble the colours and then restore it to its original state of having one solid colour on each of the 12 faces.
The Megaminx is a dodecahedron-shaped twisty puzzle very similar to the classic Rubik’s Cube, except there are a lot more faces! 12 instead of 6. Could it make that much difference?
You can also create a lot of extra fun by making patterns like creating a star shape on each face, or a two colour combination checker pattern on each side, or just make up your own uniform patterns. Then challenge your friends to make them too.
The puzzle has 12 different colours and there are 50 moveable pieces to turn to solve the puzzle. This compares with the 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube which has just 20 movable pieces, so you can see this one’s going to be a lot harder to solve. Just like the standard 3x3x3 cube the centre pieces do not move; that’s at least some consolation, isn’t it?
In early 1981 the German mathematician Dr. Christoph Bandelow (1939—2011) filed a patent for this puzzle. Others did too, including Uwe Merffet who published a cardboard mockup of an original design by Kersten Meier and Udo Krell in his catalogue from 1982. The puzzle was at that time named “Pyraminx Magic Dodecahedron”. The Megaminx started production in 1982, but since its first limited-edition incarnation its popularity has continued to rise and its as popular today as ever. This version is also produced under the Meffert’s banner but Adam G. Cowan is credited as being the Inventor of this version produced by Recent Toys.
The Megaminx even has it’s own World Cube Association event. Juan Pablo Huanqui of Peru set the fastest average time to solve a Megaminx rotating puzzle cube in 30.39 seconds at the Wuxi Open 2019 in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China, in August 2019. He also had his record for the fastest solve in 27.22 seconds recognised by the Guinness Book of Records later that same year.
Like all high-quality Meffert twisty puzzles, the Magaminx puzzle has a smooth turning mechanism. With so many faces and angles, it does need to be lined up exactly before turning and never force turned. The puzzle turns almost as easily as a regular Rubik’s Cube.
Size of the puzzle is about: 70mm x 70mm x 70mm Each face of the dodecahedron is 50mm wide.
These puzzles don’t have a printed solution in the box. It’s much better to use one of the many tutorials available on YouTube.
A copy of the Megaminx puzzle forms part of the Science & Mathematics collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This is the description from their catalogue:
This puzzle is in the shape of a regular dodecahedron, a twelve sided solid with each face a regular pentagon. The puzzle was known as the “Megaminx” or magic dodecahedron. It was distributed by the Japanese firm TOMY in 1982, for the puzzle maker Uwe Meffert.
Each pentagonal face of the Megaminx is divided into eleven pieces: a pentagon at the centre, five rhombuses at the corners, and five trapezoids in the center of the edges. The faces are colored using two shades of blue, two shades of orange, two shades of green, two shades of purple and one shade of pink, yellow, brown, and white. The twisting mechanism for this puzzle differs from that of the Rubik’s Cube.
This puzzle was originally called a Pyraminx Dodecahedron. The Pyraminx is a variant on the Rubik’s Cube that was invented by Uwe Meffert and is shaped as a regular tetrahedron, a pyramid with four faces that are all equilateral triangles. Some of Meffert’s twisting puzzles are discussed in a 1982 article in Scientific American.