Illusionist Uri Geller Apologizes for Lawsuit That Once Halted Kadabra Pokemon Cards

Illusionist Uri Geller Apologizes for Lawsuit That Once Halted Kadabra Pokemon Cards

As for whether the spoon-bending psychic-type will appear in the TCG again, that's up to Nintendo.

There is no spoon—or at least, there's no spoon gripped by Kadabra on any Pokemon cards made in the last two decades. Over the long holiday weekend, some Pokemon news broke that could see that Gen 1 Pokemon finally make its way back into the Trading Card Game; famed illusionist Uri Geller, who 20 years ago filed a lawsuit against Nintendo over Kadabra, has had a change of heart and says he's now a-OK with the psychic-type.

After TheGamer published an article on the lawsuit Geller first pursued after he discovered the existence of Kadabra (and the Pokemon's similarities to his own likeness) while Christmas shopping in Tokyo in 1999, Geller reached out to the site with a new statement. Geller, whose suit against Nintendo concerned Kadabra's original Japanese name ("Yungerer" or "Un-geller") and the monster's clutched spoon (Geller's rise to television fame included multiple performances of spoon bending), now says he regrets the whole ordeal.

"I'm truly sorry for what I did 20 years ago," Geller wrote on Twitter after reaching out to TheGamer. "Kids and grownups I am releasing the ban. It's now all up to #Nintendo to bring my #kadabra #pokemon card back." Geller says he reached out to Nintendo on the matter and that his message was seen by two representatives of the company—Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have yet to release new statements concerning Geller and Kadabra.

While Kadabra indeed hasn't been seen on an official Pokemon card in decades, it's not clear whether the matter was originally settled with any concession to Geller beyond leaving Kadabra out of the Trading Card Game. Geller, who also objected to Kadabra's similarities to his likeness on the basis that the monster was depicted as "evil" (he also claimed the three squiggles on Kadabra's chest were a reference to the Nazi SS) did not go as far as attempting to have Kadabra renamed or removed from other Pokemon media.

Kadabra's absence from the Trading Card Game was certainly felt in the game itself, as the other Pokemon in its evolutionary line didn't disappear completely. There was an Abra card made years later with a special move that allowed it to evolve directly into Alakazam. Then, while Abra card production also ceased, subsequent expansion sets continued to include Alakazam on special LV.X or EX cards that don't use the game's evolution mechanic.

Potential for new cards aside, some actual good may come out of this turn of events. Twitter's Pokemon superfan and historian Dr. Lava tweeted at Geller with an offer: sign 100 Kadabra cards for charity. Here's hoping some worthy cause benefits from a feud that started way back when outlets still reported on Pokemon as flash-in-the-pan "toy craze."

Header image: Kadabra art and TCG search results via the official Pokemon website.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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