The psychic-type Pokémon Kadabra has spent the last 20 years missing from the Pokémon card game and the long-running anime thanks to the litigious actions of professional illusionist Uri Geller. That is, until he took to Twitter Saturday apologising for his actions and removing the legal blockade.
The story sounds bizarre on its face, but Geller believed Nintendo had used his name and signature spoon-bending ability when creating Kadabra, which is called Yungerer in Japanese. He sued the company for £60 million in November 2000, and the ongoing legal action led anime and card art directors to discontinue the use of Kadabra until the matter was settled. Kadabra continued to appear in the popular video game series without any substantive change, including using the Japanese name Yungerer.
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.— Uri Geller (@TheUriGeller) November 28, 2020
It will probably be one of the rarest cards now! Much energy and love to all!https://t.co/Rv1aJFlIKS pic.twitter.com/5zDMX5S8WA
On November 28th, Geller announced via Twitter that he was “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!” (Sorry, Uri. No retirement money, yet.)
TheGamer reports that Geller’s change of heart might have been spurned by Pokémon fans petitioning him to relent on his ban with a “tremendous volume of emails”, which led to him reaching out to Nintendo to call an official ceasefire.
Geller posted again to Twitter on November 29th with a video of him opening the suitcase he originally sent to his lawyers as proof of its claim. He cracks open the lid “for the first time in 20 years” to reveal several Kadabra figurines - and one mistaken Alakazam, its evolution - dozens of copies of the Kadabra card first printed in Japanese in 1996 and English in 1999 and various other Pokémon merchandise.
I never realized how powerful and important it was for me to lift the ban on Yungeller/Kadabra, especially for all the kids around the world!— Uri Geller (@TheUriGeller) November 29, 2020
I'm sorry for what I did 20 years ago, but you can learn from mistakes even more than you can learn from success!#kadabra #pokemon pic.twitter.com/3YuxrUHzgq
“Thanks very, very much for all your nice messages,” Geller says at the end of the video. “Bless you all, and Pokémon Yungerer - Kadabra - is free, finally.”
Neither Nintendo nor The Pokémon Company have commented on Geller’s claims or legal action, nor have they said when Kadabra might be reprinted in the Pokémon TCG or reappear in the ongoing anime series.