Since most Soviet citizens were unable to leave their homeland, the American Dream was embodied in symbols drawn from everyday life and objects which people could display in their immediate surroundings. A widespread hobby in those days was collecting empty cans of imported fizzy drinks (Pepsi, Coca-cola, Fanta, Sprite etc.) or empty cigarette packets (Marlboro, Camel, Lucky Strike and the like). Collectors would create 'trophy walls' out of them inside their modest flats.
Plastic bags bearing pictures of cowboys, the Statue of Liberty and other well-known symbols of the USA became highly prestigious accessories, bringing their owners closer to the special fairy-tale world of the better life. These bags were handled with the utmost care: they were washed and dried so as to extend their useful lives for as long as possible. That was how the American Dream came to be embodied in simple everyday objects, giving them a magical, mystical significance akin to a cargo cult.