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"Rubik's hot dog not hot either."
March 5, 2012 7:32 AM   Subscribe

The mid 1980's marked the zenith of popularity for Erno Rubik's amazing cube (previously on the blue). But how magic was it? To find out, Ruby-Spears Productions gave the toy a face, legs and some clever, albeit grammatically incorrect dialogue, and in 1983 Rubik the Amazing Cube was born!

The theme song, as performed by Menudo:
♫On a mysterious night, when the cube appeared...[unintelligible]
Then the cube had changed everything in our lives
He's colorful, magical, loooovable!
Rubik, he's our friend. Rubik, the amazing cube!♫

After the poorly-reinforced treasure chest holding Rubik captive fell from the angry man's stagecoach, Rubik was adopted by a well-to-do family who just so happened to need some crime-fighting help and light amusement. Behold Rubik's magical powers!

-He proffers upon Lisa the power of flight in "Super Power Lisa" (Part 1, 2, 3)!
-One of his cubic pieces can serve as a bugging microphone to help kids find a coffin!
-Need I point out he's an excellent dancer!
-Oh, and he is a self-contained heat source for all your camping needs, but watch out for those hotdogs!

Ruby-Spears, credited with the original idea for Scooby Doo, were also responsible for Dynomutt, Fangface and the American MegaMan cartoon series.

MegaMan Cartoon - Episode 1 (Part 1, 2, 3)

posted by obscurator (21 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I always heard the 1st line of the theme song as "On a mysterious night, when the cube appeared, bringing happiness..."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:40 AM on March 5, 2012

I totally remembered this cartoon, but I had managed to forget about Menudo.

GEE THANKS. *sigh*

posted by trackofalljades at 7:43 AM on March 5, 2012


I hasten to add that, for me, the most important point about this show is that the voice of Rubik was performed by Ron Palillo, who was also Arnold Horshack in Welcome, Back Kotter.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:52 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

A wonderful, awful post.

Also, my HS friend was always driven insane by Menudo because, being from SoCal, he knew that "Menudo is a traditional Mexican dish, made with beef stomach..." (cf Wikipedia)

I was fortunate enough to never see this show, despite being semi-into the kube kraze.
posted by DU at 7:55 AM on March 5, 2012

After finding only a one-minute clip, I'm now dying to know why they were in a saloon looking for a coffin..
posted by obscurator at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2012

This show served as a milestone for a twelve-year-old me. I distinctly remember this being the first time I saw something on TV and thought "What the FUCK?".

(And remember, I grew up in the Sid and Marty Krofft years.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:02 AM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

May Rubik and Scrappy Doo fight each other to their mutual deaths.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:12 AM on March 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ruby-Spears, credited with the original idea for Scooby Doo, were also responsible for Dynomutt, Fangface and the American MegaMan cartoon series.

Don't forget Thundarr the Barbarian, everybody's favorite Star Wars rip-off.

I *loved* Thundarr so much.

I caught a handful of episodes of the Rubik the Amazing Cube cartoon. Wasn't there some gimmick whereby when Rubik got scrambled, he lost his powers and one of the Latino kids who fought crime with him had to solve the puzzle before they could escape danger/save the day? I was five, those are foggy times in my head.
posted by rocketman at 8:23 AM on March 5, 2012

Cheers. Of course there would be a MASK intro video in the related list, which in turn pointed me to a Inspector Gadget clip, the Thundercats introduction, then Silverhawks, Bravestarr, She-Ra and before you knew it that's another half hour lost in eighties nostalgia -- and half these series sucked beach balls through nanotubes.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:43 AM on March 5, 2012

rocketman, you are correct about that. If Rubik was scrambled, he wasn't magical -- just a regular cube. There's a bit on Robot Chicken where the joke is that the kids keep him scrambled all the time except when they need him because he's so fucking annoying. Spoiler, this backfires later when the kids are killed, save the one who can solve it, but he's been blinded. Rubik has gotten scrambled, and they are stranded in the desert.

(I just happened to see that this weekend -- it's not like the skit is horribly fresh in my mind all the time.)

Speaking of things to be embarrassed by, I can't believe I never realized just how much Thundarr borrowed from Star Wars. I also LOVED that show.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:53 AM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I was lying upside down on my couch after school, watching the intro for M.A.S.K. after watching GI *Joe, upside-down of course with my head hanging off the edge, when I had my first inkling that maybe there was more to life than just wasting time watching cartoons in the time between school and going to bed. I don't know what prompted that bit of self-awareness. It was something like, "this doesn't seem like a good reason to be alive, you know, watching this stuff." But the M.A.S.K. theme song was really great and I think I got pretty distracted from my teen-aged introspection.

If I was to put my life down in a memoir, I'd probably pin that afternoon as the time when I lost my child-like Buddha-nature. It's all been down-hill since then, really.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]

I had my first inkling that maybe there was more to life than just wasting time watching cartoons

Don't worry, you'll snap out of it eventually.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:04 AM on March 5, 2012

Somebody once told me what M.A.S.K stood for: Machines Are Sports Kars.
posted by anazgnos at 10:06 AM on March 5, 2012

The Wikipedia entry lists the following episode titles:

Rubik Run
Rubik is Rich
Rubik Redux
Rubik at Rest

If that is, in fact, not a Wiki-joke, it's kinda brilliant.
posted by Bummus at 10:10 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

This website, which I'm prepared to consider an authority, seems to indicate that those titles are inaccurate (though funny)
posted by ShutterBun at 10:18 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

rocketman: "...I was five, those are foggy times in my head."

Too much pixie-stix, fun-dip and big league chew, eh? I hope Nancy's propaganda campaign let you see the light and come clean...
posted by symbioid at 12:00 PM on March 5, 2012

So - yeah. Pac-Man, Q-Bert, Galaxy High, Rubik's, Mr. T, Punky Brewster, Menudo, Mary Lou Retton, Captain N. Oh dear, all those 80s shows. I'm not sure if that was some awesome shit or scary shit or a bit of both.

Speaking of Pac-Man... They're making a new Pac-Man cartoon.

Joystiq mentions it, and they share a little clip from the old 80s cartoon as well...
posted by symbioid at 12:03 PM on March 5, 2012

This was one of the things in the eighties that made the possibility of nuclear war seem a little less intolerable.
posted by sonascope at 2:38 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

The 80's also gave the world this:
"Gyrations atop a giant Rubik’s cube? Check. Uber groiny, hardbodied ballet dancers in metallic bowler shoes? Check. Intimated BJ three-way with male Moschino models? Check. Glittering Mickey Mouse butt cleavage? OKAY NOW THAT’S JUST GOING TOO FAR."
posted by iviken at 2:58 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I find it hard to get nostalgic about an extra-long toy advertisement.
posted by George Lucas at 3:51 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

Ruby-Spears also brought us the awesome Thundarr the Barbarian, one of the better thing about 80s Saturday Mornings.
posted by JHarris at 6:45 PM on March 5, 2012

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