Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Mini Action Figure Play Set
- Shogun, and his level, are exclusive to the 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Atari ST ports of the earlier 1989 Konami Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, which was renamed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game for the NES/Atari ST market (another TMNT game had been released on these two systems previously, hence the number two). Shogun's new level was sandwiched in between the quarry/warehouse (where Splinter is being held captive by Granitor) and the Technodrome sections of the arcade game.
- Donatello, and the other three members of the TMNT, first appeared in Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's 1984 comic book, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume #1, Number #1. The TMNT concept was initially intended as a parody of various comic book characters/themes of the time.
- "Shogun", a shortened form of "Sei-i Taishogun", which translates into "great general who subdues the eastern barbarians", was the title for Japanese supreme rulers/military commanders of the past. Historically, the last Shogun was Tokugawa Yoshinobu, who was forced to abdicate his authority to the Emperor Meiji in 1867.
- The Naginata, a spear-like weapon with a long, curved blade, is a traditional samurai implement that was most often used by footmen, and especially against cavalry, as its' length made it an efficient tool for dismounting/attacking men on horseback (in fact, the naginata is said to be the primary reason warriors began the practice of wearing shin armor). It is similar to a halberd or glaive. As time moved forward, and guns became the dominant tools of warfare, the naginata became less useful and eventually came to be viewed as a weapon more suited to women (a naginata was often part of a samurai daughter's dowry). Naginata-jutsu, the martial art of wielding the naginata, is still practiced today.
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game instruction manual describes Shogun as master of the "Ultimate Galactic Sword" despite the fact that he doesn't use a sword. Historically, katana blades were sometimes recycled into naginata blades, so one could find a bit of a connection to swords in that context. More likely, whomever wrote the manual didn't know what a naginata was.
Realizing that he had underestimated the capabilities of the TMNT too many times in the past, Shredder decides to purchase some additional insurance against the meddlesome reptilian foursome. He puts out an interstellar contract on the Turtle's heads, promising a ludicrous sum of money to anyone who can eradicate the TMNT for him, once and for all. Traveling through the cosmos, via the Translocation Matrix Beam in Krang's Technodrome, Shredder narrows the list of applicants down to the two most dangerous bounty hunters: Tora The Polar Beast and Shogun.
Shogun is a cyborg warrior who hails from Sector 6 of the Dead Star Zone. Shogun's head, which is self-propelled via an anti-gravity drive, can separate from his body and fly about independently. Shogun frequently employs this tactic, as it allows for two-pronged attacks that confuse his prey. His weapon of choice is a custom-built naginata, the blade of which is composed of an alien alloy that is so sharp that it can part steel like tissue paper. As Shogun is dressed up in traditional samurai armor, fights with a classic Japanese weapon, and chose a replica of an ancient Japanese castle as his fortress on Earth, it appears he has very deep ties with that time period's culture. How a cyborg from another galaxy acquired the taste for such things is unknown.
Donatello (whom I chose for the "hero" of this play set project solely because of his use of the bo staff--I figured this made him a suitable match for the naginata-wielding Shogun, as the two weapons are similar in length/style) is one of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shogun hopes to slay in order to collect Shredder's bounty. Donatello is the smartest of the four Turtles, possessing genius-level intelligence, with considerable knowledge in most branches of modern science. He is also the least violent of the Turtles, preferring to use his wits, rather than brawn, to solve problems. Donatello, and his three brothers, began life as normal, pet turtles, until, one day, an accident involving mutagenic ooze transformed them into their current, more humanoid, form. They received their education, and ninjutsu training, from their master and adopted father, Splinter.
Newsprint, a paper grocery bag, white paper, colored paper, tissue paper, cardboard, white glue, hot glue, wire twist ties, paperclips, gloss nail polish, cat hair (no animal was harmed in acquiring it), ink, graphite pencil, colored pencil, and acrylic paint.
(*The dimensions for the two action figures can vary, depending on how the joints are positioned. The numbers given for the figures assume a 'neutral' standing pose without any accessories attached. Additionally, Shogun's hair is excluded from his measurements.)
(Donatello) 5.4 cm/2.1 in. x 2.7 cm/1.1 in. (highest point x widest point)
(Shogun) 6.6 cm/2.6 in. x 4.0 cm/1.6 in. (highest point x widest point)
(Play Set) 14.5 cm/5.7 in. x 23.6 cm/9.3 in. (highest point x widest point)
(Donatello) Eighteen points total: Neck (2), shoulders (2), elbows (4), wrists (2), hips (2), knees (4), and ankles (2).
(Shogun) Twenty-six points total: Neck, shoulder armor flaps (2), mid-chest, waist, shoulders (2), elbows (4), wrists (2), waist armor flaps (4), belt knot, hips (2), knees (4), and ankles (2). The neck peg can also rotate inside it's socket, when attached to the body, but I don't consider that a "true" joint.
(Play Set) Two points: Bamboo spikes and secret wall.
Thirteen days total; individual components:
Donatello: 4 days (1/22/08-1/25/08)
Shogun: 3 days (1/27/08-1/29/08)
Play Set: 6 days (1/31/08-2/5/08)
For comparison purposes, below are several images taken from Shogun's level in the NES version of TMNT II: The Arcade Game.
(In no particular order of importance.)
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