Five Archetypes Inspired by Film and Television


Yu-Gi-Oh! has released more than ten thousand cards from its beginnings until now. Since the original DM era, artworks have changed a lot, but some of them still stand out, particularly those that are based on pop culture references. This article explores those inspired by movies and TV shows.

Toon Rollback

Kozmo – Star Wars & The Wizard of Oz

Kicking off the list, Kozmo is the first TCG-exclusive archetype that was teased to be inspired by two American tales before its reveal. When the first cards came out, it was pretty obvious that they were a combination between Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.

The force is really strong with them as Kozmo Farmgirl is based on Luke Skywalker, Kozmo Goodwitch has an Obi-Wan aura and Yoda's ears, while Kozmoll Dark Lady, well, I do not even need to say who she looks like. The gender swap of the monsters though was not an accident. Each of them represents a female character from Oz. Farmgirl is Dorothy, the main heroine of the film, Goodwitch is, well, Glinda the Good Witch of the South, and Dark Lady is one of the Wicked Witches.

kozmo farmgirl kozmoll dark lady kozmourning
"No. I am your mother!"

Luckily for us, the card designers didn't focus only on the main characters of the films. We got to see the side characters turn into cards too. For example, Tincan is a combination between Star Wars' R2-D2 and Oz's Tin Woodman. In the same order for the franchises, Strawman is C-3PO and Scarecrow and Scaredy Lion is Chewbacca and Cowardly Lion.

But that's not all, more villains make their appearance too, with Kozmo Soartroopers a mixture between Stormtroopers and the Winged Monkeys living in the jungles of Oz. The same happened for many Star Wars ships and various items from the Wizard of Oz, as all the spaceships in the archetype are a result of the combination of those.

Events from Star Wars also make their way in, as spell and trap cards depict them in their artworks. A great example of this is Kozmo Lightsword depicting the events of the famous duel of fates from Phantom Menace. The artworks in this archetype are really interesting and worth checking out.

Morphtronics – Transformers

The second entry in this article is Morphtronics. The oldest archetype in this list seems to be loosely based on the popular franchise of Transformers. Or, to be more precise, it is inspired by Mini-Cons, the far smaller race of Transformers, that, at least in the films, change between electrical appliances and their more anthropomorphic forms. In a similar fashion, Morphtronics in the anime would alter between forms depending on their battle position.

Morphtronic celfon Morphtronics, Scramble! Morphtronic videon
"Morphtronics, transform and roll out!"

When in attack mode, they change into their more robotic appearance, and on defense they turn into a common machine. Popular cards of this archetype include Morphtronic Celfon that changes into a cell phone, Morphtronic Lantron that is a flashlight, and Morphtronic Cameran that is, well, a camera.

Kaiju – Godzilla

Get down quickly, humongous monsters are attacking the city! Oh wait, they are just monster cards. Kaijus made their way into the game a few years ago and it is obvious that they were inspired by the Godzilla film universe and the monsters appearing in it. Some might argue that the Pacific Rim franchise or the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion are possible inspirations as well. However, none of them would exist if Godzilla had never started it all in the first place. Nevertheless, there is one exception among them. Radian, the Multidimensional Kaiju is based on Dark Lugiel from the Ultraman franchise.

The rest of the Kaijus have their Godzilla universe counterparts. Dogoran is inspired by, well, Godzilla itself and Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran is MechaGodzilla, used by humans to fight monsters. Similarly, Thunder King, the Lightningstrike Kaiju is based on the three-headed King Ghidorah and Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Thunder-King on its mecha counterpart.

interrupted kaiju slumber kaiju capture mission

Not all of them are dragon- or dinosaur-based monsters. Giant insects are attacking the city too! Gadarla looks a lot like Mothra, the huge moth-like monster, and Kumongous originates from Kumonga, the big spider monster. Bonus fact: in Japanese kumo means spider.

Time Thief – Doctor Who

Following up, this archetype is a love letter to all the whovians out there. Time thieves are apparently based on the popular British TV show Doctor Who. Many incarnations of the Doctor have their card counterparts. For example, Time Thief Redoer seems to be based on the twelfth Doctor and Time Thief Winder looks more like the fan-favorite tenth. But it didn't stop there. Their sidekicks, gadgets, and enemies got the same treatment. Time Thief Perpetua is very similar to Amy Pond, the eleventh Doctor's companion, portrayed by Karen Gillan.

Time Thief redoer Time Thief perpetua

Moreover, Time Thief Chronocorder has an appearance similar to that of the Sonic Screwdriver and Time Thief Bezel Ship is probably based on TARDIS. Additionally, the artwork of some spells and traps of the theme depict the connection between monsters and their respective Doctor Who counterparts. This can be seen in the artwork of Time Thief Flyback, where Time Thief Redoer, an incarnation of the Doctor, saves his female companion.

SPYRAL – James Bond

It is 2017 and you are playing at a big event. You find your table rather quickly and your opponent is already there. Everything seems normal, but when he opens his deck box, a familiar music theme is coming out alongside the cards. You do not pay much attention to it and you proceed normally to the duel. You go first, business as usual, you had a good turn one. Now it is your opponent's turn. He is summoning his monster and you can only look at it from a small hole. The name's Bond, James Bond … err, i mean it's SPYRAL Super Agent!

The final entry in this list, another TCG import archetype, seems to be loosely based on the popular double-o seven franchise. The agent here is obviously based on the titular character of the series, while the rest of the cards follow along with him. You have SPYRAL Master Plan being your M, portrayed by Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes in the most recent incarnations of the character, as the head of the agency. SPYRAL Quik-Fix is your Q, providing all the spy gadgets, and SPYRAL Tough is Felix Leiter, Bond's CIA friend.

SPYRAL super agent SPYRAL double helix SPYRAL resort
No Time to Duel

These cards are not the only ones fitting the overall theme. SPYRAL GEAR - Big Red is a possible reference to the expensive cars that the famous agent uses, and SPYGAL Misty could be a great parallel to the Bond girls.

An Honorable Mention

Coming to a close, there are certainly other archetypes and cards that were inspired by films or TV shows. Since I cannot mention every single card that falls inside this category separately, I decided to focus on a single one, my favorite among them. Its name speaks for itself, as I am talking about Fullmetalfoes Alkahest. It rings some bells, doesn't it? The card's name is obviously a reference to the popular manga/anime Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fullmetalfoes Alkahest
You can't summon him without giving two monsters in return

That's it for today. Are there any other archetypes that you think should have made the list? Do you have any personal favorite cards based on a film or a TV show? Let us know in the comment section below.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


To leave your comment please log into your Cardmarket account or create a new account.

DanteandVirgil(27.10.2021 14:36)

Honorable mention should go to the `` mystic tomato '' inspired by the cult film'' Attack of the Killer Tomatoes''

MonitorLizard(20.10.2021 21:52)

Superquantum - Power Rangers

Raidraptor-Nest(20.10.2021 17:24)

Masked HERO is Kamen Rider. Look at Masked Hero Blast and Kamen Rider W together

Bitmail(20.10.2021 15:11)

Nice trivia article. Hope you will cover videogames and such too. Personal favorite is the Dogmatika/Despia, they have a heavy resemblance on the Dark Souls series along with some Bloodborne (Lovecraft) elements :)

Almoone(20.10.2021 12:44)

Scrap Factory is a reference to Terminator !

mynameiscem(20.10.2021 10:03)

I really thought Dragonmaids would be here.

Mellow613(20.10.2021 09:43)

Beetrooper - The bad guys from Arthur and the Minimoys!!!

Qreatix(20.10.2021 08:22)

Also, Evil / Live Twins are based on the anime Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. Combine South Park with the Powerpuff Girls and this is what you get lol.

Closed-Cardmarket-Account-991230433(20.10.2021 08:13)

No fucking way your real name is Thanos Stone

AlexD3009(20.10.2021 01:17)

Interesting how 3 of the archetypes (if i am right) were tcg exclusives at one point

Mr-Volcano(20.10.2021 00:09)

I need Kozmo support :(

Davideldezaragoza(20.10.2021 10:29)

We need Mr-Volcano

Mr-Volcano(20.10.2021 10:49)

Mr. Volcano has no archtype xD