Where's Wally Search Engine Coming

Posted on March 2, 2007

Wheres WaldoWhere's Wally was a popular children's character featured in books that were published in over fifty languages. Now The Guardian is reporting that Wally may return as a search engine. A deal was recently cut between Entertainment Rights and Where's Wally creator Martin Handford. Entertainment Rights executive Mike Heap told The Guardian that in the future people will be talking about going to "Wally it" instead of "Googling it."
Referring to Google's happy position where to "Google something" has become an everyday phrase, Mr Heap said Wally would soon be muscling into the search engine corner of cyberspace.

"In the future I think you will be saying 'I'm going to Wally it'," he said. Last month, Entertainment Rights became the world's biggest independent owner of children's brands when it bought up its US rival in a deal that doubled its size and added Lassie and the Lone Ranger to its portfolio.

Hampstead-born Mr Handford, 50, worked in an insurance office to fund his way through art college and specialised in drawing crowd scenes.

He created the popular Wally character - the time-travel aficionado who always dresses in red and white - in 1986. Since then, more than 73m of the "Where's Wally?" books have been sold around the world. Each picture takes him around eight weeks to draw. Entertainment Rights said Where's Wally has become one of the most recognisable children's characters in the world but still had plenty of potential to grow.
Are people ready to "Wally it?" Tackling the Google brand may be a bit of stretch but Wally should be able to find a niche online. Wally is probably known to U.S. readers as Waldo as the book series was published as Where's Waldo here in the United States. Maybe U.S. readers will "Waldo it."