While Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam are known in the US as being named after famous magic words, that’s not the case in Japan. There they’re known as Casey, Yungerer, and Foodin. Casey is based on Edgar Cayce, a psychic famous for entering trances. Foodin can also be spelled Houdin in Japanese which, of course, refers to the famous Harry Houdini. And then there’s poor Kadabra/Yungerer. Yungerer in Japanese is a corruption of Uri Geller who was famous for bending spoons with his mind, hence the spoon he carries with him.
Uri Geller caught wind of this around the time the Rocket set first came out around the year 2000. He saw the Dark Kadabra card and the Pokémon holding the spoon and became furious at his likeness being used without contacting him. This led to a three year court battle as he sued Nintendo over this. An agreement was not able to be reached and Nintendo decided to appease Geller’s request. Thus, Kadabra has not appeared on a single Pokémon card since 2003’s Skyridge set. Pokebeach’s Water Pokémon Master interview anime director Masamitsu Hidaka in 2008 and in the only official word on the matter in the past 17 years, they confirmed that this is why Kadabra hasn’t been in the TCG. Kadabra also hasn’t appeared in the anime since one small episode appearance in 2006.
So how did Pokémon get around not having a stage one evolution in the game? Most Abra have an ability to evolve straight into Alakazam or Alakazam will simply be a basic Pokémon.
So why are we talking about this in 2020? Well, in a bizarre twist that’s a perfect fit for this year, Uri Geller himself took to Twitter to apologize. Pokémon cards have become increasingly more popular, arguably the biggest jump in popularity in recent memory, and as such, many fans began to contact Geller about this once more. Geller would receive emails from time to time about the matter, but a recent surge had him take to twitter to apologize and give Pokemon permission to make Kadabra cards once more.
The tweet reads “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!”
Geller also wrote to The Gamer and said “Due to the tremendous volume of emails I am still getting begging me to allow Nintendo to bring back Kadabra, I sent […] a letter to the chairman of Nintendo giving them permission to relaunch the Uri Geller Kadabra/Yungeller worldwide.”
Let us know your thoughts on this bizarre happenstance in the comments below. Whether Nintendo will actually make Kadabra cards from here on out is unknown. Currently trademarks and copyrights for TCG sets exist through May so if there is a Kadabra card, we probably won’t see it until late summer or early fall 2021. Here’s hoping our spoon bending psychic type friend makes a comeback fit for a magician.