Rubik's Magic Panels

Patented by E. Rubik 1987-U.S. & 1985-Hungary.
(plastic, eight 2" panels, original black panels and newer red panels)

Eight panels, held by wire loops, can be folded and manipulated. Mix up and restore the 2x4 solution of 3 rings, or make the reverse side 3x3 (with a missing panel) solution of 3 linked rings. It is also fun to make different 3D shapes.

Basic Transformations From Red Panels Directions
The star transform of Rubik's Magic Junior can be generalized, the Rubik's Magic directions show a generalized loop (called roll) and three new ones:

star transform:

Note: If in Step 3 of the wallet stack
you pull it apart horizontally
instead of vertically, you get the
"row swap transform"
(see Jaap's Page) that exchanges
the top and bottom rows.

What The Basic Transformations Do
After mixing up the puzzle, simply playing with the basic transformations typically gets you back to the starting pattern of three disconnected loops, and the more you do it, the more you get an intuition on how to do it faster. At some point, it is useful to really think about what each transformation does. Below, on the left is shown the starting position with panels labeled from 1 to 8 (or the back of the starting position with panels labeled A through H). The right shows where each panel goes; bars indicate where the top of that panel is now positioned.

Rubik's Magic Panels Solution

The basic transformations together with the two hints of the red panels directions shown above lead to the following solution. Some other versions of the puzzle (e.g. Simpson's and Harry Potter) have the graphics placed so that this solution works.

0. If necessary, as per Hint 1, play with transformations to restore the 2x4 solution; if using the new red version, reposition it with the copyright at the top (text upside-down).

1. As per Hint 2, do a reverse, and then position the puzzle horizontally (where the upper right three panels are are the lower right three panels of the linked solution):

2. Continuing as per Hint 2, do a half roll towards the left that moves the upper right three panels to the lower left (when you are done, the underside has the pattern shown in Hint 2):

3. Do the transformer:

Oohms Solution that Uses Some Fun Moves
Jaap's Page credits the following method to Alexander Oohms.

0. If necessary, play with the transformations shown in the puzzle directions to restore the puzzle to the 2x4 solution.

1. Fold the right two panels up and then fold lengthwise:

2. Arrange into a 2x1 box where the right side is two panels thick, fold the extra two panels up through the box and back down (so they are now on the outside right), and then push the right side in to make a stack of 6 panels:

3. Push the stack of 6 down so that you have an open half box with a bottom that is 2 panels thick, flip the extra 2 panels under the bottom around 180 degrees to lie flat, and then rearrange into a Z shape:

4. Flip down the extra two panels on the back of the top of the Z (so the center of the bottom row is now three panels thick), flip the third center panel to the left so that all three sections of the bottom row are now two thick, then flip the extra row of three on the bottom down:

Fun Shapes From The Red Panels Directions

Other Versions of Rubik's Magic Panels

New orange version, 2" panels, same as new red one.

Simpsons, 2" panels.

Harry Potter, 2" panels.

Versions of Rubik's Magic Panels With Small Panels

Porsche / Mercedes, 1.5" panels.

Mini Dinosaurs, 13/16" panels (really small but it works).

Further Reading
Jaap's Intro, from:
Jaap's Transforms, from:
Jaap's Solutions, from:

McFarren's Page, from:

Koller's Page, from:

Garron's Page, from: booklet, from:

Rubik Patent,, from: - patent no.4,685,680