Pokémon fans may not have noticed, but Kadabra has not been printed on a card for almost 20 years. Thanks to a long-standing feud and court case between Israeli illusionist and psychic Uri Geller, The Pokémon Company has not been able to create new versions of the psychic Pokémon Kadabra in the trading card game (TCG). Kadabra has been in video games since the lawsuit, most recently a part of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s DLC, Isle of Armor.
In a tweet, Geller apologized to fans saying “I am truly sorry for what I did 20 years ago. Kids and grownups I am releasing the ban. It’s now all up to #Nintendo to bring my #kadabra #pokemon card back. It will probably be one of the rarest cards now! Much energy and love to all!”
I am truly sorry for what I did 20 years ago. Kids and grownups I am releasing the ban. It’s now all up to #Nintendo to bring my #kadabra #pokemon card back.
It will probably be one of the rarest cards now! Much energy and love to all!https://t.co/Rv1aJFlIKS pic.twitter.com/5zDMX5S8WA
— Uri Geller (@TheUriGeller) November 28, 2020
The feud between the illusionist and Nintendo started back in 2000, when Geller took Nintendo to a Los Angeles federal court. There Geller claimed that Nintendo had transformed his likeness “into an evil, occult Pokémon character.” The lawsuit also claimed that the Pokémon’s design was reminiscent of the lightning emblem used by the German SS during World War II. To offset alleged damages because of the common likeness, Geller sought almost $80 million in damages.
“I want to tell the world before the start of the holiday season that I have nothing whatsoever to do with these violent characters,” said Geller at the time. The result is that The Pokémon Company ceased printing copies of Kadabra in the TCG.
Who’s the most magical Pokémon of them all?
While the comparison to the illusionist might not be immediately obvious, they both have a tendency toward spoons (Geller claims to be the originator of spoonbending). The comparison is a little easier to see in the Japanese names of the Abra evolutionary line.
While Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam are references to the showbiz magical phrase, the Japanese names are based on famous magicians. Casey, Yungerer, and Foodin reference magicians Edgar Cayce, Uri Geller, and Harry Houdini.