For nearly 20 years, Pokémon cards have been missing Kadabra, the spoon bending psychic type, thanks to a legal battle with fellow spoon bending psychic type Uri Geller.
Geller initially sued Nintendo in 2000, claiming that Kadabra was not only parodying his image, but also saying, "Nintendo turned me into an evil, occult Pokémon character. Nintendo stole my identity by using my name and my signature image."
The claims were deeper than that, with Geller going on to explain that the star on Kadabra’s forehead and the lightning patterns on its abdomen bore what he felt was a reference to symbols used by Nazi Germany and that, naturally, he didn’t want himself or his image to be associated with it.
Since the Pokémon trading card game was introduced to the West in 1999, only seven cards have had Kadabra’s image, with the last card being printed in 2003. This is in stark contrast to the other members of the evolution line, with Abra having 12 cards, and Alakazam having 13, with cards being printed as recently as the expansions for Pokémon Sword & Shield.
Of course, it’s pretty hard to say that just because this strange occult fox demon thing bends spoons, it’s related to his image. But what really seals the deal is that in Japanese, the name translates to ‘Yungerer’, or, ‘Yungeller’, as well as the fellow evolutions also parodying popular magicians in their names.
However, Geller recently had a change of heart, explaining in a recent tweet that he was “truly sorry” and that he’s rescinding his position and allowing the cards to be printed again.
In an email to TheGamer, he explained his position and change of heart further.
"Due to the tremendous volume of emails I am still getting begging me to allow Nintendo to bring back Kadabra/Yungeller, I sent [...] a letter to the chairman of Nintendo giving them permission to relaunch the Uri Geller Kadabra/Yungeller worldwide."
Nintendo has not made any statements, or any confirmation that they will now begin printing new cards or creating new pieces of Kadabra merchandise, but it’s definitely a positive step forward.
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