Little guys have been with me at least since my first memory of them at age three. I was certain then that a group of them was standing on the front porch, just outside the screen door, chattering away. I've always liked to draw versions of them and have sketchbooks full. One of the main reasons I went to art school was to learn how to draw them more accurately. They're still around--I'm at work now on a painting of the little guy with the accordion.
I collect them whenever I find one that strikes that particular inner chord, and sometimes my family members pick one or two up for me. The little guy with the red hat was found in a very tiny, bleak, thrift-store in Grand Junction 20 years ago. The little guy lady was found for me by my brother, and my son bought me the moon-faced little guy. These types are old, from the 40's, and were made of sawdust mixed with glue and pressed into molds.
The moon faced guy was the subject of a sight drawing exercise a few years ago. (The bird was drawn in response to an overly angry fellow I observed at a party--nothing to do with this entry.)
Every culture seems to have versions of them and a fascination with them—elves, leprechauns, little goblins, Hobbits, etc. Carl Jung, in his autobiography, wrote of carving a little guy from his school ruler, placing it in a box along with a special stone, and hiding it in the attic when he was ten. I completely relate to Jung's fascination with little guys. Not sure I care to research the unconscious reasons behind them, but I'm drawn to draw them.