All research into old, unknown figures is best conducted via the medium of 'teamwork' and this post is a prime example. Following-on from a 'What The !&*$?' submission from Joe Bellis in Plastic Warrior issue 162, which he had-down as an unknown, possibly early British, plastic soldier, probably from a gun-crew.
Now I recognised him because I knew I had some, which I thought were in storage, but that a couple had come in since the move, so went into the attic to look for them with all the other seated unknowns in the 'misc' civilians box.
I couldn't find them anywhere, but remembering I used to keep them with the unknown military (I'd come to the same conclusion as Joe; but thought carrier deck-crew, I had the other coloured jackets see!), I had a look there and found all of them! Why they were still there being added-to I don't know as I had begun to suspect they weren't military, but one gets stuck in routines I guess!
"Probably not military, I suspect a Hong Kong set of two or three motorcycles, one with or without a sidecar? Equally could be a bobsleigh or dog-sled team, or futher [sic] adrift: a racing yacht or a tractor pulling a reaper/binder with two opperators [sic] (I'll go though the FIM's and see if they are copies of early British anything?). In addition to Joe's pose, there is a standing with plug-in feet, and a sitting with rearward locating-spike, on his posterior! I have good reason to think the two 1950 Northern European-looking traffic cops are home-paints, if not, they'd give more weight to the motorcylce [sic] solution?"
. . . which - if nothing else gives you an idea as to the effort I put into my spelling here! Paul knows me and is a good editor. He also has deadlines to work to and space considerations, both of which I'm not constrained by, so A) he gave me credit for more than I came up with, and B) we can (with his blessing) look at them in greater detail now.
This then in turn reminded me I had posted the same motorcycle here, in the novelty-posts last Christmas, so I went back to the attic and dug it out, sent him some more images just in time for the Printers (see page 8 of PW issue 164).
The painting style, the paint colours and the plastic type - various shades of chocolate brown - all point to that apparently closely-related 'family' of brand-marked (and unmarked) figures from CM, CMV, HK and ABC (some sold by Past The Post).
The motorcycle is a 1910/20's design I think? Probably early British and possibly based on a kit motorcycle? I wondered maybe Pyro, Strombecker or early Monogram, someone like that . . . or is it a copy of an Italian clip-together model . . . or older tinplate clockwork? Doh!
Also there must be a second vehicle for the standing guy as he has plugs on his feet - for a separate base, and looks to be holding-up another machine?
If no one here knows, I'll sent them into PW's 'What The !&*$?' and the circle will be complete! If not the knowledge . . . but someone knows! There are collectors of HK stuff and someone, somewhere, will have the set/sets mint in box/on card, it's a question of getting them to fill the circle now! And I know I've seen that base, with its flange and texture of neat sand or pebbles; somewhere . . . but where?
If you study this picture though, you'll notice that the last two on the row have been mocked-up for the press-release, they have no headlights or horns, no cylinder-thing above the handlebars, and the front mudguard is actually only the left-hand plate only, held-on with a piece of wire.
Also their number-plates have been stuffed in the forks and don't follow the sequence of the rest of the line-up, and both riders are A) in brand-new uniforms and B) looking a little bemused, I think? Who says the camera never lies? That's a piece of corporate, fake, PR-fluff from 100 years ago (1916), right there!