R&L & Me...
My name is Greg King, and I currently live near Bendigo (in the state of Victoria, in Australia - for you non-Australian readers!), and work in the computer industry. I grew up on a farm in country Victoria, with my younger brother and two sisters. I think that some of my earliest childhood memories are of cereal toys! I remember my father had a Cessna, from the Airport set [R&L#10]. Based on the dates in Craig Hall's book, the earliest set I remember collecting was Nep-Tunes , although I'm sure I remember some of the Harbour  set. I believe that these came out around 1967, which would put me at about 3-4 years old back then! From there, I clearly remember the Space Age , Crazy Camel Train , Swinging Pets , Fringies , Puppet People , Magic Flute , Tooly Birds , Nursery Rhymes , Whistles , Dogs , Pirates , AstroNits , Totem Tribe , Stencils [38 & 57], Midi-link , Thingummyjigs , Kiddey Keys , Wacky Walkers , Animads , Whirligigs , Ice cream sticks  (not a cereal premium...icy pole premium?), Roll a Goals, and Word Puzzle  sets!
Phew...a lot of cereal consumed over that time! Oh how I wish I still had all of those toys! And, of course, in amongst that, there were the non-R&L products, like the Metric Monsters, and various card series.
That, I think, takes us to about the mid 1970's. My parents decided that some of those cereals, with their "silly toys", were not suitable for healthy, growing children, so they changed us to Weet-Bix and Kornies (...okay, that my not necessarily be a completely accurate quote and account of events...sorry Mum...but never-the-less, the change was made!) -- and there we stayed. At least with the Weet-Bix, you still got cards in the box to collect (hence my large collection of Weet-Bix cards), but the Kornies had nothing! If you were lucky, the best you could hope for, to read on the box while you ate breakfast, was "tasty economical recipes..."! I suppose the Kornies were one of the first cereals to go to a "no-premium included" policy, which is prevalent to this day!
Somehow, from all those years ago, some of my cereal toys survived the perilous journey through time. These included a full set of Tooly Birds, Nep-Tunes and Word Puzzles; almost a full set of Fringies, AstroNits and Animads (just missing the crocodile's tail!); and a few pieces from various other sets -- but funny enough, there were no double ups - just one of each. Maybe what tended to happen was that any doubles went to my younger siblings - which was probably a death sentence for the unfortunate toys! While I was just old enough to begin resisting the urge to chew little plastic things, my younger siblings would have had no such restraint!
And so it was, cereal toys faded into the mists of time - I forgot about many of the different sets that there had been, what was in what set, and all the wonderful names the pieces had - but my valiant survivors were packed away safely, in a plastic bread bag...
In the early 1980's, I moved from the country, to the big city (Melbourne), and my bread bag came along...
Every now and then, I would have a look at the contents of my bread bag, and remember what fun they had been to collect, never really expecting to ever find any more of them, let alone anyone else who might still have some!
Later, though, sometime around the mid 1990's, I met someone who collected all sorts of science fiction related merchandise, and it turned out, to my surprise, that he had some cereal toys! I was only permitted the shortest of viewings, but it was enough for me to realise that I was not alone, and that there was possibly much more to cereal toys than I had realised!
In mid 1997 I moved to Ballarat. It was here that my interest in collecting cereal toys was rekindled... I saw an ad, in a local bookshop, from someone looking for R&L cereal toys. That someone was Brett W. - well known to most long time collectors! He has one of the largest collections I know of. After contacting Brett, I found he had information that helped me not only remember all the R&L that I had forgotten, but I learnt ofall the sets that R&L made.
My problem at this stage was that I had no spares to swap, so I wasn't able to do much more with my collection. In February 2000, though, that changed when I came across 120 R&L items at a local Trash & Trivia market. From there I was able to start swapping.
It was fortunate that around this time, we got connected to the Internet, so I was able to start making contact with other collectors through the ease of email. I was also able to boost my R&L knowledge through the discovery of "Astronit's" Web site. In my opinion, it is currently the best R&L site on the Internet. In April 2000, I launched my own site...
I now have a few more cereal toys (but only a small collection by comparison to some people out there!). I don't have the budget to pay premium (sorry - no pun intended!) "collector's" prices for items, so my collection is only what I have been able to achieve with lucky affordable finds at junk and op shops!
If you are able to help me at all with my collecting, please don't hesitate to contact me!
2005 update! I have just moved from Ballarat to Bendigo. Please contact me if you are a collector in the area...