It looks like Kadabra is returning to the Pokémon card game after 20 years in legal exile
The psychic Pokémon last appeared in 2003’s Skyridge set, before vanishing as the result of a lawsuit from Uri Geller.
Psychic Pokémon Kadabra is due to appear on a Pokémon card for the first time in almost 20 years, according to a new report.
Kadabra - the evolutionary midstep between Abra and Alakazam - made its last Pokémon Trading Card Game appearance in 2003’s Skyridge set, the English-language release that combined cards from Japanese expansions Split Earth and Mysterious Mountains.
Despite appearing in all of the Pokémon video games released over the last two decades, the first-generation Pokémon hasn’t been printed on a card since. (Players have been able to evolve Abra directly to the Stage 2 Alakazam as a result, skipping its Stage 1 evolution - the only Pokémon card able to do so.)
Behind the Pokémon’s disappearance was a £60 million lawsuit filed in November 2000 by illusionist Uri Geller, who alleged that the Pokémon - known as Yungerer in Japanese - had made use of his name and likeness, including his spoon-bending act.
However, in late 2020, Geller suddenly reversed his decision, apologising for the lawsuit and “releasing the ban” on Kadabra’s appearance in the Pokémon TCG via a letter to Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara.
“It’s now all up to #Nintendo to bring my #kadabra #pokemon card back,” Geller tweeted in November 2020. “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.— 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
While Kadabra hasn’t reappeared in the Pokémon TCG in the two years since the apparent lifting of the ban - including the nostalgic Celebrations packs - it now seems that the rare Pokémon card will finally make a comeback in this year’s upcoming Pokémon Card 151 set.
According to a sell sheet seen by Pokémon TCG fansite PokéBeach, Pokémon Card 151 will be a Japanese expansion for the Pokémon card game that will include all 151 Pokémon from the series’ first generation, including Kadabra and a new Pokémon ex card for Alakazam.
The news was seemingly confirmed by Geller himself, who told PokéBeach that ‘nonstop’ messages from fans in recent years (plus a request from his own granddaughters) to allow the card’s return had ultimately led to his apologetic U-turn.
“Now we can all see Kadabra reunited with the original Pokemon in the card game this summer,” Geller said. “I love you all. And I admit, totally open and honest. I was a fool. It was a devastating mistake for me to sue Pokemon. [Kadabra] was basically a tribute to Uri Geller. But it’s back now. Forgive me. I love you all. Much love and energy.”
Pokémon Card 151 will reportedly be released in Japan on June 16th, including 165 cards plus an unconfirmed number of secret rares. An international release is yet to be confirmed or dated.