Setup for the July 4th 8-way Giant Mech Pack Battle!

It’s Freedom Day here in the USA! This is the day we celebrate not being ruled by a King anymore by setting off fireworks. Lots of fireworks. Like you don’t even know. But… there are no fireworks trading cards that I’m aware of – so what do we do to celebrate here at The Archives? Well how about a Giant Mech pack battle featuring Transformers vs Gundam… and then Evangelion was in there cause, eh… The videos are epic, this is the write-up, buckle up.

Table of Contents

The intro video to this whole insane thing, It’s over an hour of giant mech trading cards fun

Setting The Stage

I live in Los Angeles, a wonderful city, around July 4th for about a week ahead and a week after we light off fireworks every single night. Then on July 4th — things go completely insane, with non-stop fireworks on every street for 4-5 hours straight. As a trading cards collector I wasn’t sure what to do with this. There aren’t really any fireworks themed trading cards out there after all. Unless you count Panini’s parallels lol.

But look, we’re not going to do nothing… how about Giant Mechs? They kind of look like fireworks when they fight, certainly sound like it. So I decided to go big. I pulled 8, yes 8, boxes off the shelf and entered into the battle. This includes Kayou’s latest Rise of the Beasts Transformers set – that turned out to be a fantastic set of cards. Before we get too much further, let me show you the information graphic I used to introduce the battle on video:

Graphic image showing all 8 boxes I used in the Giant Mech pack battle for July 4th. With URLs and prices for each.

So there you go, thats all the sets in the battle, where I got them from and how much I paid. That’s 4 Transformers sets, 3 Gundam sets and then yeah, 1 Evangelion set. For the pack battle, I arranged all the packs in card count order. That way I could open the packs with more cards first, and then move on to the rest. It still took a long time, over an hour, to run the entire battle. There were quite a few very difficult calls throughout the battle.

With the stage set, 2 packs from each box on the table, let’s get those fireworks flying!

How the 8-way giant mech battle of Transformers vs Gundam started. 16 packs on the table, 1 from each of the 8 boxes.

Round 1: Transformers vs Gundams

This battle took every inch of my break mat, 8 packs side-by-side. Since the cheapest set, that unknown Transformers set, has the most cards per pack – let’s start there. We needed to draw 3 cards from this pack before we move onto anything else. These cards are… not great. Sure, they’ve got foil, and there are Transformers on them – but they feel really boring compared to what we’ve seen from Kayou’s sets.

And that continues to be true. The instant we started to pull even rare cards from the Kayou sets they dominated the podium. I want to especially call out the newest Kayou set, Rise of the Beasts, that set is shockingly good. It comes in a tiny box, differently shaped from anything I’ve seen before. Also just 12 packs with only 3 cards – A completely different configuration for Kayou. But still, look at these cards…

Those are both Optimus Prime, well one is technically Optimus Primal – still same difference eh? Look at the framing on these, gorgeous! Sure the movie art is not my favorite, but Kayou is hitting it out of the park with these frames. It carries the colors of the Transformer while also bringing in some of that cybertron script to make it look real.

And there you have a screenshot of how the board looked after round 1. At this point we’ve seen every single card for 1 pack of each box. First place is an incredible CP rarity Gundam from Duel 2. That card just look sick. Then a UR, also from Duel Gundam 2 – I do love these URs but I have quite a few of them now. And then third place is that amazing Cheetor – again from that Kayou Beasts set.

Round 2: What about Evangelion?

Transformers vs Gundam – but what happened to Evangelion? Well you see, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a series about giant mechs, the Evangelions. But it’s also a series about the pilots, and the drama happening on the ground. And while the flier for this Evangelion set lists a few different giant mech cards – the vast majority are character portrait cards. And that is everything we pulled tonight:

And so there you go, what are these silly humans even hoping to do against 4-5 story tall mechs? Sure a Transformer might notice and befriend them, but it’s just as likely to stomp on them. And a Gundam making landfall from space is just going to liquidate that dude in the Hawaiian shirt without even noticing. It gets worse though… both packs in this battle gave me dupes, both packs! One pack even had 3 base cards and 0 dupes. This is a 31$ product with only 12 total packs, how can they justify this madness!?!

I probably shouldn’t have entered Evangelion into this battle, should have kept it as Transformers vs Gundam. I was just really hoping I’d pull an actual Evangelion. Gundam Mech Story had similar issues. While I love every card from that box – I’m putting together a full set after all – these two packs were meh at best.

Those two SSRs were the best we saw. No URs, definitely no ZR signature cards. So Duel Gundam had to carry the day and it did, it sure did. Those thick 55pt cards are always incredible. And while the shiny chome on the set 1 SSRs is always a treat – ultimately it was a CP rarity from set 2 that carried the day. I had never pulled a CP before. The card is just incredible to look at, you can see it was 1st place back at the end of round 1 and it never really moved from there.

Before we move to conclusions I wanted to mention the black sheep in this battle. The unknown Transformers set, despite being filled with tons of cheap and colorful cards – just could not compete with anything else on the board. I mean, sure if it was this vs Evangelion, it probably wins. But against Kayou and Duel Gundam it never really stood a chance. The only reason to even consider this set is if you are solely concerned with costs, and nothing else.


I had a blast running this, and there were constant fireworks being set off outside through the entire filming process. It kind of sounded like an actual battlefield, and that was exactly what I was trying to capture in this pack battle. Giant Mechs are obviously a favorite of mine, I’ll never turn down a chance to open some of these trading cards. Transformers vs Gundam is right up my alley.

In the very end that CP from round 1 held 1st place. Then that simply EPIC Cheetor ended up in second, mostly due to it’s amazing panel foil lining. I also love that it is a drawn card and not just a frame from a movie. 3rd place then went to our always inspiring leader Optimus Prime. I swear I didn’t do anything to cheat on this, that card was pulled during the battle. Until next time friends.


Optimus Prime
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