It may seem like just desserts for the toy company that has frazzled and frustrated millions of Rubik's Cube enthusiasts across the country.

While millions of Americans have been grunting and groaning, twisting and turning the punishing but popular multicolored mental game, Ideal Toy Corp., which markets the cube, said it has been hit with its own type of puzzle: how to stop Taiwanese manufacturers from copying the toy and selling millions of the alleged cheap imposters here.

And to the consternation of cubists racing against the clock to solve the 3-D puzzle, some of the imposters are defective and don't move as quickly or smoothly as Ideal's brand, the toy company alleged. As if that weren't enough, Ideal claims customers are returning the defective phony cubes to them.

The imposters may subject Ideal to "ridicule and create dissatisfaction and resentment among a substantial portion of the public," not to mention causing the New York toy manufacturer to lose lots of sales, particularly around Christmas. More than 10 million cubes have been sold, contributing $40 million to Ideal's sales and making it the company's most popular toy, the company said.

To stop the flood of phony cubes, Ideal has asked the International Trade Commission to halt the importation of the cubes and their sales in U.S. stores. The ITC yesterday agreed to take the case.