From the mid 1800s till today it is all the rage to collect paper collecting plates.
These were issued for free or packaged in various products.
These collector plates were in any case published in Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Italy
Children were able to collect entire series in this way, sometimes more than 10,000 different pictures were published per country with the most different themes.
The dimensions are usually around 6 x 10 cm
These collector plates are called “Chromos” (color image)
The provision of this chromo image as advertising material began around 1850 in the “Au Bon Marché” department store in Paris
Au Bon Marché came up with the idea of offering their clients’ children a color print, the children then encouraged the parents to make purchases again at this department store and it worked, it was a resounding success.
On these prints is a nice picture on the front and an advertising message on the back.
Later these plates were also put in or on the packaging of new products such as chocolate, concentrated milk, broth extract, soup, etc.
The chromos became a means to increase the sales of those products. Nowadays they are still issued, often by grocery chains where if you buy goods for a certain value, you get a closed bag with a few collectible plates (chromos). The intention is that you can then trade double with your friends to complete a compilation album. The youth love it, now and in the past.
I have found very old examples that have to do with Martin toys.
One of them shows the “Les Pousse Pousse Annamite”.
This name can also be read very small at the bottom of the wheel and is also exactly the name that Martin gave his toys.
This Martin toy was introduced in 1889 and sold during the World Exhibition in Paris that year.
On the back is advertising from 1889 for a chocolate factory in Paris.
The second example is a typical Parisian street vendor, who sells Martin toys to passers-by.
If you look at the Martin figures you see the “Ma Portiere- Le Gai Violoniste- Les Agents and the La Petite Marchande D’oragnges.
You can see that they dated from 1895 to 1901, so the picture will also date from around 1901/1902.
On the back is advertising for a fashion house in Paris
The third example is a typical Parisian street vendor, who sells Martin toys to passers-by.
This chromo is a drawn and colored image of a photo that was also used for postcards. See: https://fernandmartintoys.nl/fernand-martin-and-postcards/
On the postcard you can see the toys more clearly, it turns out to be the violinist, in a stripped down version lying on the floor and a dressed up version on the box.
On the back advertising fore a shop with haberdashery – lingerie – hosiery
They are nice extras that you can collect in addition to the real Martin toys.