Tokka‘s the snapping turtle, Rahzar‘s the wolf, and they were created for the 2nd TMNT movie, The Secret of the Ooze, released in 1991, because Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird thought it would be more fun to have NEW characters in the movie, rather than just recycling Bebop & Rocksteady again. And so Eastman drew these concepts:
The final costumes ended up looking a little different in the movie, but they were definitely along the same lines as the initial concept art. Interestingly, the wooden shoulder pads seen on Tokka’s concept piece would end up becoming part of the original Slash the Evil Turtle From Dimension X toy. This fact will be relevant momentarily.
Of course with their appearance in the 1991 movie, they got toys released later on in 1991 as well. Rahzar was an all-new sculpt and other than his goofy-ass face, the toy resembles the film pretty well while still maintaining the aesthetics of the toy line. Tokka, however…
Tokka’s toy utilized pieces from Slash, the Evil Turtle from Dimension X! The torso, upper arms, and legs were all recycled from Slash, with just a new head and lower arms & hands. Even Tokka’s accessories were just black-cast versions of Slash’s maroon weapons! Tokka didn’t retain the wooden shoulder pads, though, and instead just got more spikes. Slash had two versions released, one with a magenta belt and one with a black belt. Similarly, Tokka had two versions released — the one with black spots painted onto his chest, and one with lighter, brown spots painted on his chest. Weird!
And in the 1991 arcade game, TMNT: Turtles in Time, Tokka and Rahzar were the co-bosses of the pirate-based stage, Skull & Crossbones. But in the Super Nintendo adaptation of that game, they were moved earlier in the game to be the co-bosses of stage 4, Technodrome: Let’s Kick Shell! Which is cool, the SNES version is like a funky remix of the arcade game. Strangely, in both versions, Tokka was colored lavender.
In the SEVENTH season of the 1987 TMNT cartoon, Tokka and Rahzar appeared in the episode Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter, which originally aired in December of 1993. However, their appearances here resembled their TOYS, not the film costumes. Whaaat?
As far as I’m aware, the last time the two appeared as a duo was in the 2009 film, Turtles Forever, which saw characters from across the TMNT Multiverse interacting. They were background characters, but I still appreciated their inclusion. Both the wolf and snapper showed up in the 2012 TMNT CGI-animated series, but with very different origins, and not as a tandem. I don’t think either have appeared in the IDW comic series, nor in the Rise of the TMNT cartoon.
So now we get to my repaints of those original 1991 toys. I couldn’t do much about Rahzar’s doofy face, so I started by painting him a very dark brown, and then painting every lock of his hair in sienna individually. Some ended up kind of blending together, but that’s cool; it gives him a more natural, wild look. I painted his torn shirt and loin cloth to look like the rags he wore in the film, and then painted the thigh and forearm guards black with a silver drybrushing. I grimed up the shoulder pads and chest armor. Basically, I wanted all of his gear to look it came from a garbage dump. Because, y’know, it did. Rahzar’s nose was painted with a gloss black so it would look wet like a dog. He is not a good boy.
Tokka, meanwhile, was painted pale green with a light brown plastron coloring, and grey rags. I then gave him a purple wash over his skin, harkening back to his appearance in the Turtles in Time video game, and giving him a unique coloring different from any of my other Ninja Turtle repaints. I then gave his pads and rags an off-white drybrushing, gave his plastron and claws and spikes and rags a brown wash, and did the other detailing.
My repaints don’t look exactly like any version of T&R to have appeared before, but rather took inspiration from their various interpretations across the 1990s.
And just because I think it’s funny, here’s a page from the comic book adaptation of the movie, drawn by Jim Lawson:
Images of the original toys were taken from http://www.poeghostal.com/2009/11/show-and-tell-tokka-and-rahzar.html
Images of Eastman’s concept art taken from a Worthpoint.com auction of the pieces.
Comic page from the Archie Comics release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze adaptation. Scan taken from a pirate comic book site, although I do own both the Archie and Mirage Studios releases of the comic.
Turtles in Time Arcade screenshot, TMNT II film screenshot, TMNT FOREVER concept art taken from Google Image searches.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tokka, Rahzar, and all related characters and concepts were originally created by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird, and are currently owned by Nickelodeon, a division of Viacom.