Kadabra is reportedly returning to the Pokémon Trading Card Game after a lawsuit saw him banned for more than two decades.
As reported by PokéBeach, the upcoming Pokémon Card 151 set will feature Kadabra for the first time since 2002’s Skyridge set. The Pokémon Company stopped printing Kadabra cards (and removed it from the anime) after magician Uri Geller sued it for using his likeness, though he retracted his complaint in 2020.
PokéBeach gained access to the list of cards appearing in the Pokémon Card 151 set, confirming Kadabra’s return, and received a statement from Geller expressing his relief that it was being printed again.
“I am pleased Pokémon fans are excited to see Kadabra return to the card game,” he said. “I want to thank the Pokémon fans who reached out to me over the last [few] years.”
He continued: “It was you and my granddaughters that got me to change my mind. Now we can all see Kadabra reunited with the original Pokémon in the card game this summer. I love you all. And I admit, totally open and honest, I was a fool. It was a devastating mistake for me to sue Pokémon. [Kadabra] was basically a tribute to Uri Geller. But it’s back now. Forgive me.”
Kadabra’s Japanese name, Yungerer, bares similarities to Uri Geller, and the Pokémon is also known for being able to bend spoons, which is Geller’s signature move.
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The magician said last year that he was expecting Kadabra to return to the Pokémon Trading Card Game soon after it also made a return in the anime in December 2021.
The Pokémon Company has worked around the lack of Kadabra, which is the middle stage of the Abra to Alakazam evolution line, in some instances, but has generally avoided these Pokémon altogether.
Abra has only featured once since Skyridge, for example, in 2007’s Mysterious Treasures set. Here it had a special ability that allowed it to evolve directly into Alakazam and therefore skipped the need for Kadabra, but The Pokémon Company didn’t use this trick again.
It otherwise took to printing special versions of Alakazam that allowed it to be played without evolving first, for example through Pokémon Lv. X or V cards.
Pokémon cards have grown more popular than ever despite Kadabra’s 20 year absence, evidenced, among other things, by the number of people trying to steal them.
Tokyo police reported an unprecedented number of trading card thefts in the latter half of 2022, while an independent gaming store in Minnesota reportedly had around $250,000 worth of Pokémon merchandise stolen in February 2022. One month later, again in Tokyo, a man was arrested for allegedly launching a literal heist in order to steal the treasured cards.
Also in March, a Georgia man didn’t steal Pokémon cards directly but instead misused money from the government to buy one, using a COVID-19 relief payment to buy a rare, shiny Charizard.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer and acting UK news editor. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.