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Sierra grad’s Adult Swim cartoon megahit’s car rolls into Manteca

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Christian Preston and Gina Vongsanit pose for a picture with the “Rickmobile” Wednesday afternoon at Fantastic Collectibles on Center Street.


POSTED July 13, 2017 12:57 a.m.

The first person in line Wednesday for the “Rickmobile” at Fantastic Collectibles arrived at 3:30 a.m. – more than 10 hours before the vehicle pulled into Manteca.
And by the time a crew of 15 to 20 people from Go! Experience Design had done all of the setup necessary to open the traveling pop-up store, hundreds of people had lined up around the building and almost down to Yosemite Avenue for their chance to buy something related to Adult Swim megahit “Rick and Morty” – a cartoon created by Sierra High School alum Justin Roiland.
That’s par for the course according to event organizers who said that the vehicle routinely draws thousands of people in major cities around the country, and that Wednesday’s stop was requested specifically by Roiland so that his hometown had the chance to be a part of the fun.
“There was absolutely no way that we were going to miss Justin’s hometown,” said Meghan Moran, the assistant tour manager of the “Don’t Even Trip Road Trip” that is currently swinging through Manteca on its way down to Comic-Con International in San Diego next week. “The crowds have been amazing almost everywhere that we’ve been, and the fans are devoted – when we get spotted at a gas station we get boxed in until people get the opportunity to take their pictures.
“It’s not uncommon to see people lining up 24 hours in advance, and it’s great to see crowds like this here in Manteca.”
The vehicle, a “pop-up shop on wheels” according to Moran, carries exclusive Rick and Morty merchandise that gets restocked before every single stop – a necessity considering that the rabid fan base routinely buys everything that can fit into the truck.
And while plenty of Manteca fans came out on Wednesday to support a hometown success story in Roiland and his unique and bold vision, it drew plenty of people from outside of town as well who didn’t want to miss a chance – even if they’ve already been a part of the fun.
Stockton sisters Marlena and Sophie Smith spend Tuesday in Sacramento lined up to purchase a few things and chat with other like-minded fans that appreciated their costumes – Marlena wearing a blue wig, makeup and a white lab coat as Rick and Sophie in a yellow t-shirt and wig as Morty – only to come out to Manteca on Wednesday to do the exact same thing.
They plan on making one more stop in Fresno before the Rickmobile continues on to Las Vegas before heading to San Diego for the massive Comic-Con International.
“I like the offbeat humor and the fact that the story just seems to be all over the place,” said Marlena while clutching a pair socks and a pen she purchased from the Rickmobile. “It’s cool to be in Justin’s hometown – he actually tweeted about a pizza place here that he loves, so we figured that we’d crash that while we’re here.”
According to Fantastic Collectibles owner Richard SImas, it was the event production company that contacted them in order to set-up the visit on Wednesday, and was something that he was more than happy to accommodate given Roiland’s local ties and the popularity of memorabilia and collectibles pertaining to his career – both as the co-creator of Rick and Morty and voice actor of the Earl of Lemongrab on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.
He said that Roiland had planned on making an appearance at the shop, but was unable to do so because of production conflicts.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.

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