The set you see at the top of this post is the only one I have left. It's the Kellogg's Crater Critters set from around 1970. There were eight in the set and they came in a variety of colours. There was pointy-eared Lunartik, fish-like Bugsy Backbone and the svelte Miss Venus. There was the odd Upsy-Downsy with his black straw boater and King Crater with his black crown (mine lost his years ago). And there was bat-eared Jodrell Jim and the wonderfully named Gloob and Glubber. You never knew which figure would be inside (what they call 'blind boxed' in the world of designer art toys these days) or what colour it would be as each figure could be one of seven colours. These kinds of collectible figures were the prototypes for today's fast food premiums - like the McDonalds toys - and the whole designer toys market.
As I say, this is the only set I have left but at one time I had several. I have no idea where they all went - it's just one of those mysteries that attends the move from childhood to adulthood. Or, in my case, larger childhood (I can't say 'second childhood' as I am altogether unconvinced that I've actually finished with my first yet). I remember a kind of underwater orchestra with fish and octopuses and clams all playing instruments. And a stackable series of bizarre hollow heads that created a Totem Pole. For years I wondered about them ... but then the internet came along and I found other childhood obsessives who'd also kept their toys and posted them online.
Want to relive your childhood (Of course, I'm talking mainly to the boys here. Girls were never this silly about collecting toys)? Then visit the Crater Critters site where they have them all. I spent hours rummaging around and discovered that the fishy band were the King Nep-Tune set (of course!) and the heads were the Totem Tribe. I also found a load of others that had quite slipped my mind. How could I have forgotten Vegetable Sports, Tooly Birds and the Wacky Walkers?
Ah, nostalgia. Its heady scent is intoxicating.