12 Things You Didn’t Know About Where’s Waldo

That was one research trip down a very nostalgic rabbit hole. Waldo might be best remembered for causing kids to physically fight over books, but his empire stretched way beyond mere paper.

1.

While there have been numerous spin-off books, there are currently seven pictures books in the main Waldo storyline with the most recent, The Incredible Paper Chase, having been published in 2009.

2.

Known as Wally in his native England and Waldo in the U.S. and Canada, the main character of the series has many other localized names including:

French - Charlie
Hindi - Hetti
Norway - Willy
Croatian - Jura
German - Walter
Danish - Holger

3.

In 2011, 3,872 people gather in downtown Dublin to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Waldo.

4.

The offending cartoon breast that caused Where’s Waldo to appear on the ALA top 100 banned books list from 1990-1999 was covered up in the 1997 special release.

5.

The 1989 release of The Great Waldo Search was the first instance to show Waldo was from the “Land of Wallies” which would become a staple final scene in future Waldo books.

6.

Waldo traveled alone at first but in subsequent novels more characters were added.

- Odlaw was the Wario to Waldo’s Mario. First appearing in The Magnificent Poster Book (1991), Odlaw was narrated as evil though he never appears to be committing dastardly acts in the books.

- Wizard Whitebeard first showed up in The Great Waldo Search (1989) as the person responsible for helping Waldo discover the truth about himself and his past.

- Wilma appeared in The Ultimate Fun Book (1990) but then explicably was replaced by her twin sister/doppelganger Wenda for In Hollywood (1993).

- Woof also debuted in The Ultimate Fun Book (1990) but was defined only by his tail until his full body appearance on the last page of The Wonder Book (1997).

7.

Having been the focus of six different video games (the most recent of which being mobile versions of the books for iPhone), the Waldo NES game has the distinction of being one of the worst console games ever created.

8.

From 1993 - 1998 the Where’s Waldo single panel comic strip appeared in over 100 newspapers in America.

9.

In 2009, a group of Waldo enthusiasts stage a real life recreation of Where’s Waldo in downtown Chicago.

10.

While not distributed in the U.S., kids in the U.K, Australia, Malta, New Zealand and South Africa could read about geography and later history with a monthly subscription to Wally’s World and Wally’s History of the World respectively. Sadly, the magazine went under in 1999.

11.

Life cereal featured collectable trading cards and exclusive Waldo scenes on the back of their cereal boxes during several promotional campaigns in the 1990s.

12.

In 1991, DiC ran a 13 episode season of Where’s Waldo which was subsequently translated for the international market with Waldo’s name again changing according to region.

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