Police have discovered parts of toys that Ben Needham may have been playing with on the Greek island of Kos before he went missing.
The samples were found by archaeologists supporting a team of investigators at the spot where the toddler went missing aged 21 months.
Inspector Colin Hope, who is part of the specialist search team, said: "We have found small parts of what look like tiny cars. We have found some wheels, we have found a bonnet.
"But we have also found plastic bits of toys like little heads from dolls and that kind of thing ... a whole range of toys really, including the sort of items we are looking for."
Mr Hope said Ben was known to have had a couple of toy cars.
It is not yet known whether the items, which have been shown to the Needham family, belonged to the toddler.
Excavators have now dug two metres below ground and archaeologists say they have reached the level the ground was at when Ben disappeared in July 1991.
Dr Nicholas Marquez-Grant, an archaeologist from Oxford University, said: "What I am trying to look at in general crime scene work is graves, for example.
"What I am doing here (on Kos) is to establish what the natural layer of soil is. We know from maps and databases what we are looking for - particular layers of a certain colour."
Police are raking and sifting soil dug up by a JCB on a hillside location overlooking the Aegean Sea. The area is not far from Kos town and is surrounded by olive and lemon groves.
A beer can with a sell-by-date of 1992 and a number of animal bones are among the items discovered so far.
Forensic anthropologists are on site to examine the finds.