Treasure hunt ends in Malibu

A sculpture depicting a scene from the Cartoon Network show “Rick and Morty” is shown at Latigo Canyon Road in Malibu. The sculpture is part of a “treasure hunt” held to celebrate the show’s new season. Contributed Photo.

Fans of the hit TV show “Rick and Morty” have been flocking to Malibu this week as part of a global treasure hunt. Malibu is one of just 14 sites chosen for the part game, adventure and “living episode” of the animated comedy show.

“Rick and Morty” is a science fiction cartoon that airs on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Season six of the hit animated series begins Sept. 4. To bridge season five and the premiere of new episodes, the producers wanted to create an immersive adventure for fans that bridges the seasons. 

In the adventure, clues are given daily on social media #wormaggedon where “an alien worm comes to earth,” according to a spokesperson from Warner Media. Fourteen custom sculptures depicting the characters and story have been placed around the world on six continents, everywhere but Antarctica. Wormaggedon tells the story of an alien coming to earth. Nine of the 14 “builds” were hidden with a treasure hunt for fans to discover them. 

“Clues are posted daily on socials,” the spokesperson explained. The first fan to find a hidden sculpture wins a life-size golden Rick head on the spot. “Fans who don’t win are still enjoying the challenge of trying to solve the clues and see if they are right,” according to Deena Beach, vice president of marketing at Adult Swim. 

Although the first sculpture was actually revealed in Mexico City, it was not part of the treasure hunt. It was the Malibu sculpture that kicked off the hunt for a hidden one-of-a-kind piece of art. The Malibu sculpture was hidden Aug. 22 at 6029 Latigo Canyon, where super fan Brandon Cruz discovered it. The sculpture features Rick, an animated sociopathic genius scientist, sitting on a toilet, reminiscent of an earlier episode. After Cruz made the discovery, other fans have been flocking to the site for selfies.

Each of the sculptures is completely different, featuring various scenes from the show. These art pieces are actually “massive,” measuring 13 feet high, and made of hard-coated foam. Other hidden builds that have been revealed this week by fans are in the Netherlands, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Toronto, and South Africa. Each of the hidden sculptures that has been found was discovered mere hours after the first clue was posted.

“We’re telling the story in this bridge season through these custom animation pieces,” Beach said. “#Wormaggedon started with the introduction of the threat. We saw an egg the worm hatched from and where it came from. We’ve been talking about this as a global living episode with only 14 locations around the world and Malibu being the first to host a treasure hunt.

“Fans get to participate not just by visiting these battle scenes but also by solving the clues for each of the locations. We have global fandoms that have joined together on various social platforms to try and crack the clues every morning. We’ve brought ‘Rick and Morty’ fans together in a way that we’ve really never done before.”

“Rick and Morty” was the No. 1 comedy across all U.S. cable in 2017, 2019, and 2021. It’s been ranked as one of the top series on HBO Max, both domestically and globally. The Malibu sculpture will be available for viewing and selfies through Sept. 2. The piece is available to view from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. 

“We’ve encouraged everyone to be incredibly respectful when some of the clues send people out into neighborhoods,” Beach said. “We’ve put it into the clues. ‘Only knock on my door.’ I think our fans coming to Malibu have been incredibly respectful. We want everyone to responsibly enjoy the stunt. We love being hosted in Malibu.”