Inspired by the Wienermobile, the animated Adult Swim sci-fi series Rick and Morty is driving into Alamo Drafthouse in Chandler from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, August 26.
Cynical mad scientist Rick has been fashioned into a truck that will follow pop-up shops in 40 U.S. cities, including Tucson and Flagstaff on Friday, August 25, and Sunday, August 27, respectively. The times and locations have yet to be determined.
“It’s a real spectacle,” says Jim Babcock, Adult Swim’s vice president of consumer marketing. “It’s built on a Ford chassis. Early on, we saw a sketch that showed it as a glorified taco truck that could be a rolling Rick and Morty store. We called it Trader Rick’s at the very beginning.”
Babcock adds that the pop-up shop offers a “great combination of items created by licensees,” ranging from socks to a Monopoly game. There will be T-shirts, a pool float and, of course, backpacks with a “profane phrase on the back.”
“Morty always tells Rick to get his (stuff) together and put it in a backpack,” he says. “Seriously, though, the Monopoly game is something that everyone’s excited about.”
Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the series follows the adventures of Rick and his grandson, Morty, who split their time between domestic family life and interdimensional adventures. Like the show, the Rickmobile and its appeal is simple, Babcock explains.
“It’s corny, but it does bring happiness to people,” he says. “People are really excited to stand in line to take pictures with it.
“I remember seeing Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile driving down the street. Hopefully, we’re creating memories like that for people. It was definitely a big inspiration. Two of the people touring with us, actually, are veteran Wienermobile pilots, as they call them.”
The show has heart, says Babcock, adding that it’s well written, well drawn.
“The relationship between Rick and Morty is real,” Babcock says. “There’s true emotion and it’s a funny show. There are great jokes. It’s not just a throwaway bunch of fart jokes. There’s some depth to it.”
Rickmobile Appearance, Alamo Drafthouse, 4955 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 520.213.8129, drafthouse.com/phoenix, rickmobile.com, 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, August 26, free admission.