Walker Books & Classic Media Announce New Global Publishing Program For Where’s Waldo?

Leading independent children’s publishers, The Walker Group, consisting of Walker Books UK, Candlewick Press and Walker Books Australia, with Classic Media, a global media company with a portfolio of some of the world’s leading kids, family and pop-culture brands, including Where’s Waldo?, today announced that The Walker Group has been appointed to create a new global publishing program for the popular Where’s Waldo? books.

Press Release from Classic Media

London, UK/New York, NY/Boston, MA (Monday, May 17, 2010) — Leading independent children’s publishers, The Walker Group, consisting of Walker Books UK, Candlewick Press and Walker Books Australia, with Classic Media, a global media company with a portfolio of some of the world’s leading kids, family and pop-culture brands, including Where’s Waldo?, today announced that The Walker Group has been appointed to create a new global publishing program for the popular Where’s Waldo? books.

Inspired by the internationally bestselling Where’s Waldo? books by Martin Handford—which have sold an extraordinary 50 million copies worldwide and have been published in 38 countries and in 27 languages—this first-ever spin-off program for Where’s Waldo? will feature all-new material that will be released across a variety of exciting and innovative formats, creating even more ways to enjoy the unique search and find experience of Where’s Waldo?.  The new range will be designed to complement the original Where’s Waldo? collection designed by Martin Handford.

“We are very proud to be the long-standing home of the Where’s Waldo? publishing phenomenon,” said Helen McAleer, Managing Director, Walker Books UK.  “It’s incredibly exciting to be working with Classic Media on the spin-off global publishing program based on this popular character, and we look forward to creating a new range of formats and content to keep the millions of Where’s Waldo? fans entertained around the world.”

“Thanks to our new partnership with Classic Media, Candlewick will be able to build on our bestselling publishing program with new formats and character-driven spin-offs, all maintaining the one-of-a-kind search and find elements that have made the Where’s Waldo? series such a huge success with kids and adults for more than twenty years,” said Karen Lotz, President and Publisher, Candlewick.

“Walker has done an exceptional job as publisher of Where’s Waldo? since its debut in 1987,” said Nicole Blake, SVP, Marketing & Consumer Products, Classic Media.  “We are so excited to announce this global partnership for spin-off publishing that will create even more opportunities for fans to enjoy the Where’s Waldo? experience for years to come.”

The line will debut in 2012 in honor of Waldo’s 25th birthday celebration.

The Walker Group is the publisher of the original and internationally bestselling Where’s Waldo? books by Martin Handford, and is well positioned for a creative collaboration with Classic Media on the multiple formats that will be available as part of the new spin-off publishing program.

First published in 1987, Where's Waldo? is one of the most recognizable characters in the world.  The pop-culture icon has appeared in the primetime American TV shows Frasier, The Simpsons and Friends, as well as on the 1000th Anniversary cover of Rolling Stone magazine denoting the top cultural figures of the last 40 years. Where’s Waldo? recently made its Video Game and Mobile Game debuts, with the first App for iPhone and iPod touch selling more than one million units.  Waldo celebrates his 25th birthday in 2012.

About The Walker GroupWalker is the world's leading independent publisher of children's books. Working with the best authors and illustrators, Walker Books is renowned for its truly original publishing and outstanding quality. Home of books for all ages, from babies to teenagers, Walker publishes the books that children grow up with and always remember. Walker's licensing division manages licensing activity across several Walker brands including Maisy and all other Lucy Cousins properties; Guess How Much I Love You and new property Tilly and Friends. Walker Productions was launched in 2007 to develop Walker content for other media platforms. Walker is part of a vibrant international group that includes Candlewick Press in America, and Walker Australia.  Walker is home to many award-winning authors and illustrators including Anthony Horowitz, Helen Oxenbury, Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Browne, Mal Peet, John Burningham, Allan Ahlberg, Lucy Cousins and Michael Rosen. Further information can be found at www.walker.co.uk.

About Classic MediaClassic Media, one of the world’s largest independent entertainment companies, is a leader in reinventing the classics of yesterday and creating the classics of tomorrow. The Company owns and manages a globally-recognized portfolio of well known family and pop-culture entertainment brands, including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Where’s Waldo?, The Lone Ranger, Lassie, Postman Pat, and new global brands Tinga Tinga Tales and Guess with Jess.  Big Idea, a member of the Classic Media family, is the leading faith-based studio and producer of children’s programming, including the best-selling animated series, VeggieTales.  More than 3,600 hours of Classic Media programming is distributed in more than 170 territories worldwide and showcased in multiple formats, including TV, film, home video, consumer products, publishing, digital, and music.  Visit us at www.classicmedia.tv.

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