Undertale is a PC game much loved in my house. My oldest loves the characters, their snappy dialogue, and the universe they inhabit. I love that the game has just a whiff of Ultima IV‘s morality system (you have to decide between “pacifist” and “genocide” approaches to the game, or you can remain neutral, and the game’s characters will treat you according to that choice and the reputation that arises from it). I love the innovative combat system that deftly straddles the fence between turn-based and real-time combat. And yeah, I kinda love the characters too, just because my kid loves them. And we both love the music from the game. When I learned from a friend that Arizona-based Fangamer had a series of Undertale character figurines on the market…well, it was an expensive discovery, but totally worth it. Pretty simple transaction, really: I fill Fangamer with the contents of my Paypal account, and they fill me with Undertale characters and, presumably, determination.
The packaging of each figure is nice enough – a window box that means you don’t necessarily have to open a figure to get a good look at it. The character’s in-game graphic representation adorns the box, so you have a visual reference as to who this is in the game world. The figures can be purchased separately, or as a five-figure set in a large box. (I ordered the figures two at a time over a period of a month and a half, so the ones you’ll see here are the individually boxed characters.)
The detailing of the figures is impressive – the game itself paints its characters in shades of retro-style 8-bit pixels, with only occasional splashes of color. The figurines round out the characters to 3-D life with personality. Each figure comes with a round stand; some may be able to stay upright without it, but it’s best to keep the figures on their stands.
One caveat: these were bought for a nine-year-old boy, with the explanation that they were more like little statues than action figures. Despite the fact that he handled them with care, Sans lost a leg within an hour of being opened, and not long after that, Lesser Dog’s tail came loose from his body. (Sans then asked, “If the dog had puppies, would they be children of a lesser dog?”) Papyrus was knocked off of a table onto carpet by my youngest, and his body came apart neatly in half. Papyrus could be snapped back together, and Sans was reunited with his lost leg by attacking both to his stand and leaving them there. Lesser Dog’s tail snaps back into place, but now that it’s loose, it seldom stays in place for long.
The point of all this is: the Undertale Little Buddies are delicate. Really delicate. It would seem that, despite the “ages 6+” label on each box, these are actually intended to sit on the shelves of an adult collector, and may not survive in homes that have things like playful cats and little brothers. Younger Undertale fans – who are legion – should be made aware of that if they receive any of these. (The already-announced second wave, which will include such characters as Flowey and Mettaton’s single-wheeled mobile computer form, may be more delicate still.) Fangamer also makes Undertale plushes, but surely there’s some middle ground between “plushes” and “super-delicate figurines”. The seemingly infinite breakability of these was a disappointment.
Compared to some of the other games my son has been into – among them Minecraft, Terraria, and Five Nights At Freddy’s – Undertale is under the radar. It was great to find that someone was making memorabilia based on it…I just with it was a bit more durable, given the game’s large young fanbase.