Adult Swim’s animated comedy series Rick and Morty made an appearance at the University of New Mexico and again at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe last week.
Now that Adult Swim has rolled out the show’s third season, it’s catering further with the Rickmobile — a van shaped as Rick Sanchez, the show’s main character — and selling merchandise across the United States.
When the Rickmobile stopped by the UNM SUB and Meow Wolf, New Mexico’s fanbase responded accordingly. Enthusiasts had the opportunity to snag promotional gear ranging from psychedelic apparel, featuring the titular characters, to Meeseeks toy boxes.
“The promotional company was looking for brand ambassadors, so we reached out online,” tour assistant Zachary Sanchez said. “I’m attending UNM and Meow Wolf’s stop only, and then they keep going over to Texas with different people there.”
Backpacks, hoodies, plushies and toys only scratch the surface of the items available on the Rickmobile. There were also exclusive items, such as an aluminum retro spaceship and a portal gun. Items utilized by Rick were in complete replica form.
At UNM, the line meandered from the SUB to the bookstore, with event-goers enduring a cloudless 90-degree desert afternoon to get their hands on limited-edition merchandise. At Meow Wolf, people waited well into the night to see what they could get.
“Everyone thinks they’re the only biggest Rick and Morty fan, but if you take one or two fans from every friend group and throw in thousands of friend groups, then we have this gigantic 2,000-person crowd,” said Rickmobile driver Jon Kraft. “It’s a counterculture show that has garnered a very mainstream movement; it’s really cool.”
The Rickmobile started its journey this May in Boston, later stopping in Chicago, Salt Lake City, Portland and Los Angeles. Now more than halfway through a 5,000-mile road trip, the crew is venturing back eastward through Dallas and Miami, eventually closing up shop in New York in October during the annual Comic-Con.
Tour manager Heather Chirtea detailed a hectic, yet enjoyable lifestyle on the road.
“We have a really good core team. There’s six of us that all travel together. There are managers, pilots and a chase car, which comprises the convoy across the states. Here we have 11 people in the local market, and every city is a different crew. We’re on the road until Oct. 8, and so far, it’s been a great time,” she said.
Season 3 of Rick and Morty is currently halfway through its ten-episode run, which coincided well with the Rickmobile’s appearance. Fans in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe held the show in high regard.
“The newest episode is my favorite so far, where they (fight toxic versions of themselves),” UNM junior McKayla Grady said. “I’m planning on buying a Meeseeks box; you plug it into your laptop, and a Mr. Meeseeks inflates out of it.”
Meanwhile, Meow Wolf’s audience was more boisterous and emphatic.
“Pickle Rick!” shouted groups of fans in succession, referencing the show’s third episode. “Farewell, Solenya!”
Rick and Morty is on Adult Swim Sunday nights at 10 p.m. The series has a current 100 percent critic rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
Audrin Baghaie is the music editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.