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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

The Missing Link Puzzle from Ideal (1981)

With the release of The Missing Link, Ideal played off the name of it’s new puzzle by marketing it with “The Missing Link Monkey.”

Brain teaser alert!

In 1981, Ideal released The Missing Link, a challenging mechanical 3D puzzle and a worthy follow-up to its iconic Rubik’s Cube. In fact, the toy’s red-green-yellow-white colour palette and rotational mechanics clearly paid homage to the Rubik’s Cube.

Designed and patented by Marvin Glass & Associates, the puzzle had four sides, with each side containing four tiles. When correctly aligned, each side of the puzzle displayed a colour-coded image of an interlocked chain of either two or three links.

Once the tiles were scrambled, they could be restored to their original configuration through a combination of actions. In addition to the familiar rotating action, they could also be slid up and down. The white chain was made up of only two links and three tiles, providing a gap necessary to facilitate tile movement around the puzzle. The two middle rows did not rotate, further adding to the challenge.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.