Kadabra Returns To Pokémon Card Game After 18 Year Ban

Kadabra Returns To Pokémon Card Game After 18 Year Ban

Image: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku / Toby Walker

The Pokémon Company will print its first new Kadabra card in over 20 years. According to a report by PokéBeach, the Pokemon Card 151 set due out in June will feature the psychic spoon-bender alongside the series other original Pokémon, something that would have previously been blocked by illusionist Uri Geller’s lawsuit accusing Kadabra of being based on his own likeness.

PokéBeach (via IGN) said it was able to confirm Kadabra’s return after viewing a leaked sell sheet for the upcoming set. While on its face it seems obvious that number 64 would be included along with the 151 other original Pokémon, Kadabra has been excluded from the card game since the early 2000s. That’s when Geller, best known for performing conjuring tricks ostensibly revolving around physic abilities, such as bending spoons, first discovered Kadabra and tried to take Nintendo to court over the Pokémon’s similarities to his act.

While the most obvious example was Kadabra’s signature bent spoon, its name in Japanese, Yungerer, also bore clear similarities. Geller reportedly took special issue with the Team Rocket Kadabra card which featured “Evil Yungerer.”

Read More: Getting Into The Pokémon Trading Card Game Is Way Easier Than You Think

“I’m very angry about this,” he told the BBC back in 2000. “I wouldn’t have given permission for an aggressive, and in one case evil character to be based on me. This is not even anything to do with the old question of if I’m a magician or a real psychic. It’s straight theft of my persona.”

Geller didn’t stay angry though. Following years of failed lawsuits, pleas from fans, and even his own granddaughters, he eventually relented. In 2020 he sent a letter to Nintendo giving permission for Kadabra to continue being used. Pokémon company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara wrote back at the time to thank him. Geller even started teasing Kadabra’s possible return to the card game last year.

“Look, I want to thank the Pokémon fans who reached out to me over the last [few] years,” he told PokéBeach in a voicemail yesterday. “Including the ones from PokéBeach, who kept contacting me nonstop. So basically, it was you and my granddaughters that got me to change my mind.”

The illusionist went on:

Now we can all see Kadabra reunited with the original Pokémon in the card game this summer. I love you all. And I admit, totally open and honest. I was a fool. It was a devastating mistake for me to sue Pokémon. [Kadabra] was basically a tribute to Uri Geller. But it’s back now. Forgive me. I love you all. Much love and energy.

You are forgiven Uri Geller.


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