If you’re a former Pokémon card collector, you probably asked yourself, “How much is my collection worth?” Some cards, rarer than others, can reach astronomical sums at auctions. Each Pokémon card has its own story, it must be said, but one of them has particularly terrified the chronicles for the last twenty years. Here’s the story of this Pokémon card, and the one it’s supposed to be based on.
Uri Geller, the magician with a spoon
Our story begins in 1999. Uri Geller, a wizard who claims to have psychic abilities (like turning a spoon with your mind), is approached by Pokémon TCG fans who ask him to sign Kadabra cards . . In fact, the Japanese name of the Pokémon (Yungerā) is phonetically similar to the name Geller (Yuri Gerā) pronounced in Japanese.
Geller’s specialty is turning spoons with his mind, and Kadabra is always depicted with a spoon that he turns through the use of psychic powers. Uri Geller immediately sees this as an unauthorized reference to his picture and name, and the discovery of an evil version of the Pokémon (Dark Kadabra) makes him think that a negative picture will be returned of him and that the kids will pretend themselves pretend he’s an evil person. Uri Geller therefore fears that his reputation will suffer.
The complaint against Nintendo
According to the BBC, Geller sued Nintendo in 2000 over the Pokémon card game. His lawyer, Yoichi Kitamura, believes this is a copyright infringement. In the United States, his attorney is asking for $ 100 million (or about € 83,423,500). The wizard then said:
Nintendo turned me into an evil, occult Pokémon character. Nintendo stole my identity with my name and signature picture.
Uri Geller had also asked that Nintendo stop releasing cards with Pokémon based on him. For its part, Nintendo claims through Hiroshi Imanishi (Director of Nintendo in the US) that no Pokémon is based on a real person.
For their part, fans were quick to notice the lack of the Pokémon and linked up with this case, even though it was never followed up. Nintendo no doubt wanted to avoid the inconvenience and so did not try to reintroduce Kadabra to its Pokémon deck. The very last time Kadabra appeared on a card was actually during the 2003 Skyridge expansion. There have only been seven different versions of Kadabra in the history of the Pokémon TCG. . However, Kadabra’s return could be planned soon.
Drop the complaint and the consequences for Nintendo
The spoon mage eventually dropped the charges and gave Nintendo permission to use the Kadabra character on its Pokémon cards. Uri Geller said on Twitter on November 28th:
I am really sorry for what I did 20 years ago. Children and adults I give up the ban. Now it’s up to #Nintendo to bring back my #kadabra #pokemon card.
It will probably be one of the rarest cards now! Lots of energy and love to everyone! Https://t.co/Rv1aJFlIKS pic.twitter.com/5zDMX5S8WA
November 28, 2020
I am so sorry for what I did 20 years ago. Children and adults, I’ve let go of the ban. Now it’s up to #Nintendo to bring back my #kadabra #pokemon card. It will probably be one of the rarest cards ever! Lots of energy and love to everyone!
Uri Geller provided additional clarification by stating on behalf of The Gamer site:
Because of the huge amount of emails I keep pleading to allow Nintendo to bring Kadabra / Yungeller back, I sent […] a letter to the president of Nintendo giving them permission to restart Uri Geller Kadabra / Yungeller worldwide.
The wizard confirmed that he had received a response from several Nintendo representatives. So Kadabra may soon be printed on a Pokémon card set again.