In 1933 Ross was starting to publish a brandnew product line, the so-called “Mäppchenfotos” (“Package photos”) or “Filmsterne” (“Filmstars”), a very charming and popular miniature collection. More than 700 different sets have been produced throughout the thirties. The regular size of those mini cards was 4,5 x 7,0 cm. One package contained 10 different little photographs in black and white with a white margin. The issue price was 35 German pennies per pack. The miniatures were delivered in a pastel green and blue cardboard which could be opened at the reverse side (insert flap). The front side mentioned the artist's name, the publishing company Ross, the package number and the quantity of containing photographs. An oval cutaway exposed a visible segment of the first picture within the pack.
Ross didn't wait very long until the first pack on Garbo was produced, the nineth of their new production line. In the following 5 years Ross was distributing several sets on Garbo. Finally 22 miniature packs were available, produced between 1933 and 1938, starting with number 9 and ending with number 707.
The most motifs of the miniature cards haven't been used for the regular cards. Ross published a lot of new material here and pleased all collectors additionally.
Not all 22 sets had the same kind of miniatures regarding size, layout or price. In 1936 Ross published a special set with another format. That bigger size was 5,5 x 8,5 cm and cost 5 pennies more. The pack number was 309 with an orange wrapping. And that special set contained not 10 but just 6 cards only. 5 of them portray ANNA KARENINA scenes and the 6 th one (don't ask why) is related to THE PAINTED VEIL.
In 1937 the company produced the one and only set containing 10 handcolored miniatures in a red wrap with pack number 432. All 10 issues portrayed Garbo in CAMILLE. The format showed the regular size again and the price was also 40 pennies. Such a handtinted layout became more and more popular. Collectors who didn't like that manual color could get rid of it by putting the miniatures in cold water. After a while the light color was rinsed off and the result was a black and white card.
The biggest problem regarding numbering is the fact that all miniatures do n o t carry any numbers!!! The only indication for a special card set was the number on the wrap itself. As you can imagine that concept could cause a lot of confusion. Whenever people exchanged or replaced single miniatures out of a specific set, no one was able to check that anymore as long as there wasn't a comparison possible with another original pack of the same number. It also meant that loose miniatures which were bought without wrap or which were swapped with other persons couldn't get identified anymore. The only way to be sure to keep an original set of a certain number in hands was to order it directly from Ross via mailorder or to buy it at a stationery store or cigarette shop where Ross products were sold.
Regarding Garbo we got 20 sets in black and white with 10 miniatures each, 1 set with 6 bigger issues and 1 colorized pack containing 10 pieces again. So we have a grand total of 216 available Ross miniature collecting cards showing Greta.
All 216 miniatures show Greta in 8 silent film scenes or in private moments, the rest of the entire collection is dedicated to her talkies, starting from ANNA CHRISTIE to CONQUEST.
The most issues are referred to CAMILLE, particularly with regard to the additional colorized pack no. 432.