Kayou Transformers: Great Value, Excellent Cards
We’ve already had one Transformers, but what second Transformers? Haven’t heard of second Transformers? Let me help, that what the Archives are here for after all. There are currently three “types” of Transformers trading cards for sale on AliExpress, the ones we look at before, a weird AR set that requires a phone app that won’t work in the US, and these from Kayou. And wow are the Kayou Transformers cards fun to open!
Unlike that first box we looked at which I never figured out the manufacturer beyond this “安徽卡洛文化发展有限公司”. It translates like Anhui Kaluo Culture Development Co., Ltd. That company does hold some trademarks that make it look like they produce stuff like this – but that’s as far as I can get on that investigation. This one is much easier, see that yellow ant logo on everything? That’s Kayou’s logo, pronounced Ka-Yo sort of, if that’s wrong please let me know. Kayou is not shy, they label every single thing from the box, to the packs, to the cards – you’ll never miss it.
As you can see from the picture above or the videos I made, this box looks different from any other – except maybe The Three Kingdoms? It’s tall, taller than the packs even, and narrow – as narrow as a pack in fact. The packs sit facing forward in a row, there are 18 in here and one box promo pack – always a great addition! I’m not sure if the shape is meant to stand out on a shelf, or if maybe this format of box is used in a different way then the flat ones? There is so much I don’t know about these products, but I’m trying to learn.
I bought this one for $34.25, which does seem like a lot. I remember though that when I bought it I was actually trying to buy a Disney card.fun 2-yuan box that had just been posted for sale. I try to never buy just one box since a small package is less likely to survive the shipping process. I remember being just a little disappointed with the first Transformers box I bought – so I threw this one figuring Kayou has to do it right eh?
That label gives you a good idea of how tall and narrow this box is. There is a hollow plastic bumper inside it that holds the packs up near the top and at an angel so if you take one the rest slide forward. We see this set is numbered TF-DC-001, the TF is the actual set name – all the cards are numbered TF01-X. This purple box is TF01, the red box is the next set TF02 – I’ll probably buy that as well but I always get the older ones first since they might sell out earlier. Both sets are the same price, so you might as well buy the second red box if you are going to get this.
It’s awesome. Wait I’ll be more specific. The label on the back of the box actually goes through all the rarity levels and counts. From that we know that there are 124 cards in 9 rarity levels and subsets. You get 5 cards in a pack, and 18 packs in a box – so that’s 90 cards. Completing this set likely requires 6-8 boxes if I had to guess.
There are 6 “BP” cards which um, I guess are AR cards where your phone will show the character posing on the card? I doubt that works outside of China as you likely need to register to use it and that will almost certainly require a Chinese ID#. 3 SHR cards which are animated, but must have more levels of animation then the regular HR does?
7 LR, 8 AR (also augmented reality cards I guess), 8 UR, 16 SSR, 20 HR – these are also animated cards but with only 2 images. The set rounds out then with 20 SR and 36 R, the base cards on this set. The label also tells us roughly what the pack odds are! There are two configurations, the common one appears in 7 out of 9 packs, on average of course. The upgraded pack is then 2 out of 9, so you should roughly expect 4 of those in a single box.
A common pack will have 2 R, 1 SR, 1 HR or lucky upgrade to SHR and 1 SSR. This is the type of pack I opened, it matches what I saw precisely. The other rarer pack then includes 2 R, 1 SSR 1 HR and then 1 of the top rarity cards. So if a box has 4 of those packs, you will only be seeing 4 top rarity cards from the AR, UR, LR and BP. This will be the main limiting factor in collecting the set – just 4 of those per box is pretty rough. Especially the UR being locked behind that is kind of disappointing.
Let’s start with the R level as you will see the most of these. The card above is Bludgeon, a decepticon with a sword. Great art on this, the character art really pops against the light background and the excellent shadow work. What I really like about these cards is that they list how many cards in that level. So this is an R, number 30 and there are 36 total cards at that level. Sure the flier also tells you, but having in that card is really helpful for organizing a binder.
My first pack had an HR in it, as you saw from the odds that this is essentially a default rarity card. These HR cards are all lenticular animating cards! They show the transformation of the character. This one depicts Windblade, transforming into their jet form. These are really well done animations, even on the more common HR cards which only have 2 lenticular images printed on them. I can’t wait to see what an SHR would look like.
And then lets end with the two big bois, both Optimus Prime. On the left is the SSR, and on the right is the PR. Both of these look incredible, with excellent foil treatments – where the white is on the SSR is actually rainbow inlaid foil. On the right the black is actually a really reflective gold foil – the scanner picks that up as black – watch the video to really see it.
Well this was excellent, I always love it when you buy a box – especially these 30$+ boxes – and it’s got some amazing cards in it! I know 30$ seems cheap for western cards, but that is super expensive for AliExpress. I’ve noticed though that the market is changing. Boxes I was buying last year for 13-14$ are now going for 16-18$ from the same exact vendors. And it isn’t just out of print stuff, new stuff has gone up too.
Clearly there is a bit of inflation going on, we’re also seeing more and more “doujin” or garage kit sets being sold next to legit productions from Kayou. I’ll do my best to help you keep track of what is safe to buy, but be careful out there, don’t spend more than you are willing to lose. Especially on AliExpress.