The 90s Toys & Games

Where’s Waldo?

Where’s Waldo? is a series of children books illustrated by Martin Hanford. The first book was published on September 21st, 1987 and to date there are seven books published to date.

Waldo is known for his red-and-white striped shirt, his blue jeans and his red-and-white cap with a red ball at the end. He also walks with a cane. Where’s Waldo is a fully illustrated book. Each page is a scene, depicting dozens of humorous or bizarre circumstances. Sometimes, the scene is a medieval village or a festival. The reader is meant to try and spot Waldo in the picture. However, there are many imposters (or red haring) and the more crowded the scene, the more difficult it is to find Waldo.


However, Hanford leaves surprises throughout the books. In later editions, Waldo (or Wally) is not the only recurring character. There is his dog (woof), Wenda (his female equivalent) and Wizard Whitebeard who carries a red-white-and-blue staff and has a beard so long, he drapes it over his shoulder.

The book has been translated into over 18 languages and in each translation, Waldo is renamed to match an equivalent in the local language. In Dutch, he’s Wally, in German? Walter. And in Estonian, Waldo becomes Volli. In the author’s native country, the striped-shirted man is known as Wally.

The author, Martin Hanford, has said it can take him up to eight weeks to simply sketch the elaborate Waldo scenes (which cover 2 pages). The books are also unusually large, measuring 12″ x 10.5″.  There was even a mini-Waldo edition which was printed in A6 (4 1/2″ x 6 1/4″) and included a free magnifying glass for trying to spot the illusion traveller.

The books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

While Where’s Waldo is primarily a hardcover book, Hanford did team up with children’s geographical magazines to create scenes of Waldo traveling the world.  There was also a short-lived animated series which only lasted 13 episodes.

Where’s Waldo books

  1. Where’s Wally? (1987)
  2. Where’s Wally Now? (1988)
  3. Where’s Wally?: The Fantastic Journey (1989)
  4. Where’s Wally? In Hollywood (1993)
  5. Where’s Wally? The Wonder Book (1997)
  6. Where’s Wally? The Great Picture Hunt (2006)
  7. Where’s Wally? The Incredible Paper Chase (2009)

Comments are closed.

Copyright @ 2014 The Answers Network. All Rights Reserved.