Happy Birthday, Where’s Wally?!

Puzzle book series Where’s Wally?, created by English illustrator Martin Handford, made its debut on the 21st of September, 1987, which makes Wally thirty-two years old today.

As the series was released around the world, several countries changed Wally’s name (e.g. “Where’s Waldo” that so often appears in popular culture in the United States).

puzzle book series where's wally, illustrated by english illustrator martin handford, made its debut on the 21st of september, 1987, which makes wally thirty-two years old toda

On this day: Where’s Wally?

Where's wally Original Book Cover 1987

On the 21st of September 1987 Where’s Wally was published for the first time. A British creation, for some reason unknown to me they decided to rename Wally “Waldo” in America and Canada when the books were released there.

I didn’t know about the renaming until very recently, as Wally was always Wally here in Australia too! There have been some other regional variations, but he keeps his original name in Spanish, Catalan, Dutch, Italian, Polish and Portuguese.

Other versions include Holger (Danish), Hetti (Hindi), Fodhouli (فضولي) (Arabic) and Uoli (Уоли) (Bulgarian).

I know fads are strange, but I remember being just as obsessed with Wally as anyone else at the time. I have an excuse though: I was five in 1987!