Square Enix requires to Twitter to warn Final Fantasy VII fans that the official Aerith figurine isn’t yet available, so any discovered online are fake.
Square Enix is warning fans of Final Fantasy VII Remake to be on the lookout for third party counterfeit versions of the Play Arts Kai Aerith Gainsborough figurine. Although some different figures are already available, circumstances likely involving the pandemic have demanded Square Enix to postpone a few releases. Of the statistics that now exist, Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa can be found through official Square Enix merchandise shops. Other popular characters, such as Sephiroth and Reno, will be made available in the coming months. Obviously, Chocobo plushies can also be found at the shop, even though those beloved creatures are by no means restricted to Final Fantasy VII.
It should come as no surprise that fake versions of the Aerith figurine have already appeared on the internet; Final Fantasy VII is one of the most popular JRPGs of all time and Aerith is one of the story’s most impactful characters. Furthermore, due to the existence of the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, some prospective buyers could be unaware that there has not been a formal Aerith figurine for many years. However, Square Enix has made clear that these new figures are based from their Remake versions and are thus completely new layouts.
The account goes on to state that while it has seen the images of the fake characters, these “are not official Square Enix products, plus they do not meet our high quality standards.” The tweet closes by mentioning that the figure’s official release will be sometime this summer, meaning Aerith will be one of the last figures released. While her figurine is being published in July, the Sephiroth and Reno figures will not be available until May and June, respectively.
It is unknown if there’ll be more Play Arts Kai figures released prior to the next major installment of this game. The most likely candidates for new action figures would probably be either Red XIII or Yuffie, who is making her debut at the Intergrade version of the game for PlayStation 5. Yuffie is also being joined with a fellow Wutai ninja operative named Sonon, who may also receive a figure of himself based on the impact he has on the story. Should he turn out to have a pretty compact addition to the story–he might, believing he’s an original character–then it is possible that he’ll be deducted in the merchandising line.
Square Enix’s warning is one that doesn’t apply only to Final Fantasy VII merchandise. Third party manufacturers are trying to pass off fraudulent material according to people’s beloved video games for a long time. It’s also important to note that Square Enix is likely not just mentioning this because it needs to make money, either; it is highly improbable that counterfeiters have the tools, time, or interest to create their fake products as durable or detailed as those available from the first retailers. Chances are, if Final Fantasy VII fans care enough about the franchise to purchase one of these figurines, they are likely to want the real thing. If that is the case, it’d be best for them to simply await the official releases and then purchase them straight from the Square Enix store.