Psychic Pokemon Kadabra will finally return to the official Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) in 2023, after a 20-year absence from the tabletop scene. The first new Kadabra card in nearly two decades will be included in the upcoming ‘Card 151’ collectible set, according to PokéBeach. This card series will feature all 151 original Pokemon, with the sell sheet seen by the website listing both Kadabra and its evolution, Alakazam as inclusions.
Kadabra’s long absence is a strange tale – one that begins with a chance card discovery by British illusionist, Uri Geller.
Why Kadabra was banned from the Pokemon TCG
Kadabra was initially banned from appearing in the Pokemon TCG after Geller spotted the character on a card in Japan – where he noticed the Pokemon appeared to be inspired by his act. Geller is most famous for his spoon-bending illusions and other conjuring tricks, and it’s believed that Kadabra was created in homage to his performance.
In addition to wielding a spoon, much like Geller, the Pokemon is also named ‘Yungerer’ in Japan – a soundalike for Geller’s name.
The card spotted by the illusionist featured a character variant known as ‘Evil Yungerer / Dark Kadabra’ and as Geller later told BBC, he was very angry about this depiction, and his association with a seemingly ‘evil’ character. Later, he initiated a lawsuit over the use of his likeness and the ‘theft’ of his persona.
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For nearly 20 years, Geller prevented The Pokemon Company from using Kadabra in the Trading Card Game – however, he had a change of heart in late 2020.
In a letter to the Pokemon company, he relented to fan demands and various appeals, once again giving
‘Due to the tremendous volume of emails I am still getting begging me to allow
His own granddaughters reportedly contributed to this furore, begging him to let go of his claim.
‘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,’ Geller said in a voicemail to PokéBeach, following the announcement of the Card 151 set.
‘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. I love you all. Much love and energy.’
When the Pokemon Card 151 set launches in June 2023, Kadabra is likely to be an extremely sought-after card. Those keen to nab one should consider a bulky preorder before resell prices skyrocket.