The Pokémon is the middle stage of the Abra line, and then evolves into Alakazam when traded between players. The name of a Pokémon is often very significant to the sources that inspired it, and so in English, the Abra line riffs off the classic phrase chanted by magicians. Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam. It's not especially subtle, but you get it. On the other hand, their names in Japanese are a little more intriguing, and it's the whole reason that the Psi Pokémon got into hot water in the first place.
In Japanese, Abra is called "Casey", for the American psychic who would allegedly place himself into trances, and worked with very famous clients like Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Edison. Alakazam is known as Foodin, which is likely to be a reference to Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin or Harry Houdini, or both of these magicians. However, Kadabra's Japanese name is Yungerer, which, combined with the Pokémon's prized possession, is a clear twist on the name Uri Geller. An Israeli-British illusionist famous for his apparent ability to bend spoons with his mind, the performer didn't find the portrayal flattering.
"Nintendo turned me into an evil, occult Pokémon character. Nintendo stole my identity by using my name and my signature image," he said when he sued Nintendo in 2000. "I want to tell the world before the start of the holiday season that I have nothing whatsoever to do with these violent characters." He objected to the Pokémon's star and lightning bolts on its design, and claimed that these were to do with the Schutzstaffel soldiers of Nazi Germany, who were commanders of the Holocaust during the second World War.
Seventeen years have passed since then, and it was looking like Kadabra would never appear on a Pokémon Trading Card again. Until today. "Due to the tremendous volume of emails I am still getting begging me to allow Nintendo to bring back Kadabra/Yungeller, I sent [...] a letter to the chairman of Nintendo giving them permission to relaunch the Uri Geller Kadabra/Yungeller worldwide," said Geller in an email to The Gamer.
Apparently, his letter has been seen by "two Nintendo representatives", so we're waiting on their next move. In any event, it'll still be one of the rarest cards out there (unless Nintendo has a stockpile of Kadabra cards for this very moment), and these pieces of paper reach some pretty prices.
Featured Image Credit: The Pokemon Company
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