I always assumed that Red Rose Tea was a British product and that the Wade figurines, included in the tea boxes of my childhood, were available the empire over. Actually, Red Rose is Canadian, originating from Saint John, New Brunswick in 1894. The free figurines started to be included in 1967 in Quebec to boost sales and were quickly available nation wide until 1983. These small ceramics are still included in some U.S. Red Rose tea boxes, however, this tea is not the classic orange pekoe made for the Canadian market (the tea I take travelling).
Pictured here is the king pin of collectibles. The gingerbread man at one time could get around $40 on ebay, comparable to $1 for other figures. He is rare because his thin body is liable to break. Although the market has softened on Wade collectibles, he's such a jaunty character that it won't be too much trouble to keep him around until his star rises once more.