Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Awesome Turtle Picture #29

After previously discussing how difficult it was for characters from the Mirage TMNT comic to get action figures in the Playmates toyline, I thought I'd spend this Awesome Turtle Pictures looking back at one of the more obscure characters to actually GET a toy: Chote.  Or as Playmates called him, "Shogun Shoate".

Chote originally appeared in TMNT (Vol. 1) #46 and #47, published in May of 1992, as an honorable but villainous hench-mutant under the command of recurring antagonist Savanti Romero (who didn't get an action figure until the 2003 toyline).  He was created by Mirage staffer Michael Dooney.

By the end of the "Masks" story arc, Savanti Romero was once again defeated and Chote was banished to the future by supporting character Renet.  Upon arriving in the future, he wound up sharing panel-space with a familiar face:

That koala-looking guy is Fluffy Brockleton from Dooney's "Gizmo" series.  The opening editorial from Eastman and Laird in TMNT #47 even assures readers that Dooney had plans to continue using Chote, with that ending implying he'd be showing up in some "Gizmo" comics.  Alas, Dooney never acted on those plans and Chote was never seen nor heard from again.

Well, Chote was never heard from again because he changed his name to Shoate for some reason.

In 1994, Chote beat the odds and actually received an action figure from Playmates, albeit under the name Shogun Shoate (I'm guessing the alliteration just rolled off the tongue better in the marketing boardroom).  In all honesty, it was a pretty dead-on recreation of Chote's comic book likeness and the origins of the character fit right in with the "Shogun" subline the series was going through that year (he was certainly a better fit than Shogun Triceraton).

The bio on the back of his card changes up his back story a bit.  He's still a villain to the Ninja Turtles, but now he's apparently a subordinate of the Shredder's.  His bio also says that his favorite film is "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III", which was loosely (LOOSELY) based on the "Masks" storyline the character originated from.

Beyond the rather sweet toy and a two-issue arc, Chote/Shoate hasn't gotten much play.  Michael Dooney hasn't forgotten about him, though, and continues to draw the character for fans:

On an apocryphal note, another time-displaced dinosaur-man with sweet shoulder pads was set to appear in the proposed Mighty Mutanimals animated series: Deinotor.

Obviously, that show never happened.  The Mighty Mutanimals cartoon was pitched in 1993, a year after Chote was introduced in the comics, but a year before Shoate got his toy from Playmates, so if Deinotor was an evolution/variation of Chote as Shoate was, I really don't know.

Anyhow, that's your history lesson on obscure TMNT villain Chote.  Well, he's more obscure than, um, Tattoo, but less obscure than... uh...  Muckman?  Yeah, sure, let's go with that.


Anonymous said...

urbandictionay defines chote as "a derogatory slang abbriviation of the word choteus meaning that of a man's penis which is wider in length than it is long." Which may have something to do with the name change.

I'm really surprised this guy never made it into the old toon or 4Kids series. He really would have fit well into either.

Nacho said...

Good post! Just a question, what kind of creature is he? In the comics he is described as a lizar, toad and dinosaur. Cheers!!

Killer Moth said...

The Chote figure would be a holy grail for me, as I never did get his figure when I was young. And I looked hard, too. (But I did get Scratch, so win some, lose some.)

Given how his boss Romero was finally converted for the 2003 animated series, I'll share the first commenter's surprise in "why no Chote?" A time-traveling dino-warrior? He would have been perfect for the Ninja Tribunal arc.

Can't wait for your next toy retrospect, Mark. I'm surprised you haven't addressed Armaggon or Scale Tail, already. But you will.

Might as well ask: any idea when you're going to resume your Fred Wolf episode retrospectives, Mark? Be most curious to read the next one, in light of James Avery's recent passing. What a way to start the new year, alas.

Chet said...

The "Shogun" line was pretty lame, as it used pretty much the same sculpts for the Turtles that were also used for the movie III-line, albeit using some new parts and a new paint job. In retrospect, the line made no sense at all, as it was produced only a year after 'TMNT III', which didn't do particularly well in the first place.

It was almost as if Playmates was saying: "This movie would've been really great if they'd used Chote. And Shredder. And a Triceraton, cuz whatever." At least the 4kids cartoon had Feudal Shredder. And the Shogun Triceratons design was kind of similar to the ones we saw in 4kids.

Chote/Shoate had a great menacing design and would've fit in great with the earlier Playmates action figures. I think he's almost as obscure as Scratch, Warrior Rocksteady (a repainted Robotic Rocksteady) and Robotic Michaelangelo (a repaint of Metalhead).

And he should've gotten more fiction. Imagine him duking it out with Leatherhead, Katmandu (talking about obscure characters that SHOULD have gotten a toy!), Traximus or with the daimyo in 'TMNT III'. He would've been a great enemy in videogames as well. Why use Hothead in 'Tournament Fighters' if you got Choate?

But there's still hope for the lizard guy within the IDW and Nickelodeon continuities, which both seem to embrace rare characters or variations thereof. Or am I Choate-ing for the moon, right now?