If you look at the catalog pages for 1980, you’ll see two figures that are incredibly rare, the Policeman and Fireman. I’ve personally never seen one in person or even as an auction, but reader Geotroid knows a bit about the subject, so below I’ve included the information he sent me, as well as the two catalog pages with the figures.
I’ll assume you’ve seen this sales picture before and this one, too. [BEM: See below] Some cool vehicle variations here (guns on the NASA ship, a rescue helicopter with basket, a police jeep with a winch) but more interesting are the “Fireman” aka “Captain Hackett” and the chrome & blue “Policeman” figure. These feature new body sculpts and were obviously made out of die-cast. Steel molds are not cheap, so why discard a manufacturing expense? Why weren’t they released? Good question. One can speculate that the designs were a “pass” for the US market for whatever reasons. Perhaps legal?
Its a little known fact that both figures were indeed released in Europe! They came in those little figure boxes. [Another collector] secured at least two samples of the chrome & blue Policeman (Which bears an uncanny resemblance to the android police in George Lucas’s THX-1138 movie). They are exceptionally rare. I’ve seen many, many more “boxed” policeman figures from Europe that contained the standard Sergeant Silver figure.
Those boxed figures have many different toy pictures on the back, while others simply have a checklist and no pictures at all. Most vexing was the denotation of “F507 Rescueman.” [Other collector] and I assumed it didn’t exist until I found a boxed sample on eBay Italy (again!) in December of 2007. I tipped off [other collector] and let him bid and he won for a measly $14 or so. When it arrived, he discovered that one of the arms was broken and glued together, but that’s not too big of a deal. It even came with his clear face visor, which are often missing from those figures that have one.
About a year later, [he] was scanning the bidding history of a known eBay Metal Man “competitor” who often outbid him and he discovered that his competitor had won a loose Rescueman BIN for about $9.00 in England! But it was loose, so it was missing the visor, of course 😉
So those are the only two Rescueman figures I’ve ever seen. They are impossibly rare. The paint scheme is obviously different from the pictured prototypes but the body sculpts are unique to that figure.
There’s also a prototype Radon photo that I’ve seen (can’t find it at the moment) which shows Radon with a pale baby-blue/silverish torso. I’ve never come across a sample in that color, though.