It always amazes me to see, when people are reusing some kind of material into something completely different.
One often used thing, is Coca Cola cans - the iconic logo makes it very easy to recognize to most poeple in the world, as you can buy it almost everywhere. I saw this elephant last year in British Museum's giftstore:
You might have encountered the bags from Ecoist, made by candy/gum paper etc. - Maybe even seen Dawn Griffith's how-to regarding making pop can pins out of .... yes cans using a die cut - or even been lucky enough to see an exhibition by Individuals.
Toy car like this (I bought it a while ago) is made in places, where both resources and money are scarce, so the people simply use the material at hand, that they can get for free: cans, wrapping paper etc and using their imagination to create items like this. I talked to a lot of eldery family members this week, and they all remember having toys (somewhere in the 1930s to 1950s) like this, as they were affordable, and it made them smile when they saw my little decorative toy... Guess they were going down memory lane.