Several Kingdom Hearts fans in Japan are reporting that their $699 Alba Ater chess set has come with pieces that are broken, have poor paint jobs, or are misaligned.
As we've reported before, Kingdom Hearts merchandise tends to be eye-wateringly expensive, ranging from tumblers worth $600 to life-size Keyblades that are almost as expensive as current-generation consoles. One of the more extravagant examples of pricey Kingdom Hearts memorabilia is the Alba Ater chess set worth $699, which was revealed at the tail-end of 2021 and has finally started releasing in Japan.
The chess set is supposed to resemble the one that Young Xehanort and Eraqus use in the opening cutscene of Kingdom Hearts 3. Despite the high price, many Kingdom Hearts fans ended up purchasing it, and some of those orders have started being received in Japan, but unfortunately, a fair few of those recipients are claiming that the pieces are broken or misaligned and that the paint jobs are poor.
As reported by Twitter user ligero_miguel, several Japanese Kingdom Hearts fans who have started receiving their orders of the Alba Ater chess set have found the included chess pieces to be broken. Photos taken of the chess sets show that, in the worst-case scenario, some pieces have the top completely broken off. Others have paint peeling off or are bent out of shape.
To make matters even worse, the Alba Ater chess set is nothing more than a replica of the game played by Xehanort and Eraqus and isn't even actually a usable chess set. The listing for the set on the Square Enix store notes that it isn't actually a game, and therefore no rules are included, essentially making it a big diorama that might also have some broken pieces.
It's not clear if the examples shown are just a few Kingdom Hearts fans with bad luck, or if it's representative of a wider issue with the Alba Ater chess set in general, but here's hoping that Square Enix offers some kind of compensation to the unlucky people with these sets.
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