In 1913, Belgians were introduced to the now famous Kwatta chocolate confections. Now produced by the Heinz Company, the brand of chocolate is so popular it has become a generic moniker for how chocolate is produced in Europe and is the source of the saying "All eyes on the Kwatta."
During the 1940s, Kwatta chocolate products contained a free prize: 3" by 1.75" trading cards of Hollywood actors and actresses. Between 1947 and 1953, 384 different cards were available, and for 20 francs, an album to hold the cards was also sold from the Bois-d'Haine Kwatta factory.
Demonstrative of his popularity in many nations, Ricardo Montalbán was featured on at least three cards. The 1947 trading card, numbered 147, is a photo of Ricardo Montalbán as the character Ricardo Montez from On An Island With You. Interestingly, the card was available about six months before the film premiered at theaters in May of 1948. Card 222 is from 1948, and it is of the character of Mario Morales from 1947's Fiesta. Card 311 is a MGM publicity image.
Before the Internet era, photographs of celebrities were a valuable collectible for fans, and everything from trading cards to magazines touted images to collect and save. The Kwatta trading cards of Ricardo Montalbán are symbols of his popularity around the globe, having built an audience first in Mexican films, and eventually becoming a Hollywood actor admired by fans of many different nations.