Wow - I never saw Tobie's baby pictures. And at that age, I would know he's different but would have NO clue as to what color to call him! However, you could tell the "chocolate" in the making by looking at his pawpads and feet around the pads. That looks like the first hint of a chocolate.
Chocolate takes awhile to show up (like the lilac) because its not a dark color. The very early picture almost remind me of the "pewter" color that I've seen in persians. Its a "weird" shade.
Also the younger pictures do tell his some kind of shaded - otherwise the chocolate would be on the entire hair shaft. I guess he really should have been registered as a shaded chocolate ticked tabby, but since he's a HHP it doesn't really matter for showing. Not like you have to "correct" the color and start over.