These small tin toys were first made during the 1860s, especially in and around Nuremburg, Germany.
They were often copies of larger tin toys. By the 1890s and into the early 1900s, companies in the UK, France, Spain, and the United States were producing penny toys by the millions.
Only some "penny toys" actually cost a penny, or in Germany, a 'pfennig', when they were first sold, but they were just about the least expensive toys around.
See also Tin toys.