‘Where’s Waldo?’ Celebrates 25 Years Of Eye Strain

Where’s Waldo, originally published as Where’s Wally? in Britain, is now 25-years-old, according to the Chicago Tribune. The bespectacled traveler has caused eye strain and endless entertainment for countless children for a quarter of a century. In order to celebrate the little guy’s many adventures, officials in England illuminated popular tourist attraction the London Eye with red and white lights. Waldo is celebrating his birthday in grand style.

Not to be outdone, the Empire State Building will issue its own tribute to the hard-to-find traveler on Friday. Reports suggest that the skyscraper will don the character’s iconic red and white stripes, as well. There’s apparently much love for Waldo on both sides of the pond.

In order to cash in on the Where’s Waldo birthday craze, a number of new Waldo-themed products will soon be made available to the public. In addition to a new line of puzzles and games from Techno Source, Toy News Online reports that everyone’s favorite four-eyed adventurer will be featured in a line of die-cast automobiles released by Lionel NASCAR Collectibles.

Wikipedia describes the adventurer’s origins as follows:

“In 1986, Handford was asked by his art director at Walker Books to draw a character with peculiar features so that his pictures of crowds had a focal point. After much thinking, he came up with the idea of “Wally”, a world traveller and time travel aficionado who always dresses in red and white. Sometimes it would take him up to eight weeks to draw a two-page sketch of the elusive “Wally” and the characters surrounding him.”

The first Where’s Waldo? book was published in 1987. Since then, the illustrated exploits of the red-and-white stripped travels have sold over millions of copies and inspired such spin-offs as a TV show, a comic strip, and a series of video games.

Are you a fan of Where’s Waldo? Does his 25th birthday celebration make you feel incredibly old?