I received these tiny matchbox dolls when I was a small child, living in Switzerland. They arrived from Italy, where my aunt and paternal grandmother lived. They are called fiammiferini, and they’re so cute!
Note: fiammifero is italian for match, and the toys themselves were sold in match boxes.
My 6 year old niece was delighted to play with the two my mom sent her. My toddler girl, who is a tad too young to play with them unsupervised, calls them “babies” and loves them too. I wonder if they still exist. My italian aunt claims she has not seen them for a long time. My Swiss family mentioned they’ll keep an eye out for them at flea markets.
In the meantime I did a search on flickr and found out that people recognize them globally!
(Yes, I do have a gazillion other things I should be doing. But procrastinating with flickr and blogs is so much more fun…)