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Pickle Rick

Rick and Morty
by yo go re

Sometimes surprises are bad, like when you find out Star Wars Black Series Zuckuss is a Disney Store exclusive, so you have to take a 40-minute drive to go get one. But sometimes surprises are good, like when the place next to the Disney Store that sells calendars and games has a figure you had no idea existed.

"Morty, stop digging for hidden layers and just be impressed. I'm a pickle."

If F. Scott Fitzgerald is to be believed, then it's okay to recognize both that Pickle Rick is a played-out forced meme and that I want an action figure of it in my collection. Pickle Rick was hyped like the second coming of Jesus, only for the show to immediately have Morty undercut it, being disappointed in how stupid it was. Rick's "clever" plan is ridiculously transparent, and the show comes down not on his side, but on the side of the psychologist who manages to get right to the core of him after knowing him for only a few minutes. Even Rick's own rebuttal of the value of therapy does more to cut himself down than Dr. Wong, and he doesn't even recognize it. The smartest guy in the room gets dunked on by a monologuist with a rented office in a strip mall.

This toy comes to us from Funko, so theoretically it's part of the same line as the BAF figures, but at 5½" tall, it certainly won't be in scale with those (even considering how bad the scale was in the first place). Heck, it's closer to being in scale with the real world than with any other toys. Considering how big pickles are, how big rats are, and how big you yourself are, this guy is potentially in a 1:1 scale. So if you don't have or want any of the other R+M figs, that doesn't mean you need to pass on this one.

Pickle Rick is depicted wearing his murine mechsuit, rather than the roach armor he started with. The sculpt is true to the animation, with the pickle body resting in a cage of rat bones, and limbs in various states of decay: the left arm has muscle on the hand, bare arm bones connected by a tendon in the elbow, and a big chunk of meat on the shoulder; the right arm is only bare by the elbows, with muscle above and below, and still skin and fur for the hand and shoulder. The left leg is similar, but the right has a pulley system and a metal shin. If you turn the toy around, you'll see the spine and connective tissue, plus the big back muscles that make the arms move. They even remembered to include the rat brain and the tube that plugs into the side of his head!

The articulation is only so-so: Pickle Rick's shoulders and hips swivel. No more. They didn't try to put hinges into his arms, they didn't make it so you can turn his hands, nothin'. But that's okay, because they made up for the playability with his accessories. But first, let's talk about the big surprising feature:

The exo-skeleton is honestly just an exo-skeleton, and the "pickle" part of Pickle Rick is a 100% separate piece that can be removed from the body. Now, it'll always have the rat brain attached, so it's not a purely pickle Pickle Rick (ie, a "pre storm-drain" Pickle Rick), but that's a lot more than expected. The pickle has sculpted bumps, and a few bloody paint apps, but the Rick face is easily the highlight.

So, with the gherkin resting in its ossuary cradle, let's talk accessories. Like the POP!s proved, Pickle Rick really has two modes: "sewer attack" and "embassy attack" - aka melee vs. long range. So which one does this toy favor? Neither. It gives us enough accessories to re-create almost everything. For the Fievel Goes West-inspired rat slaughter in the sewers, he comes with a pair of wrist-mounted screw weapons (but sadly, no X-acto blade equivalents, so no matter what, this won't a perfect representation) that are packaged next to the figure in the tray and can clip onto the wrists.

After that, he needs to escape the sewer, so he sprouts a jetpack and dons a rat's-head mask before taking to the sky. No other version of Pickle Rick has bothered with this short-lived accessory, but this toy does. The mask and thrusters are a single piece that slides (tightly) onto the head, featuring the same level of sculpting and paint as the rest of the figure. There's a little bit of fur texture, notches in the ears, and the goggles and air filter it needs. The fur, air tubes, and jet pack are all grey, but they're all different shades and stand out from one another. Plus, there's a nearly useless pink app around the lower edge of the mask, representing the exposed muscle. Yes, it's there in the cartoon, but if it hadn't been included here, would anyone have ever noticed? Doubt it. But there it is!

So by this point, Pickle Rick is in the unnamed foreign embassy, and has access to more than rat carcasses to use as supplies from which to forge his weapons. It's at this point he builds a laser strong enough to slice through humans and drywall alike, powered by normal AA batteries he carries in a bandolier belt. This figure comes with the belt and the laser, though they both have some issues. First of all, the batteries are too small - like, half the size they should be. And the laser plugs into the top of his left shoulder, which might be fine (since that's where he carried it), except that you then can't raise his arm to have him properly hold the dang thing! There's a little antenna that should be on the other side, and it would have been truly awesome if one of the batteries could be removed from the belt and put into the compartment on top of the device. Again, the sculpt and paint are good.

Do note that the figure is wearing the belt when you puchase him, and it for some odd reason doesn't have a peg to hold it shut - it's a solid piece. So if you want to remove it, you'll need to pop the toy's legs off first. Yes, it's easier to remove the arms, but you can't really fit the belt past those shoulder muscles. Fortunately, the limbs are all attached via ball-and-socket joints, so you won't be likely to harm to toy by doing this. Still, it could have been a lot smarter.

Considering how modular this action figure is, you have to wonder if Funko was planning him to be a Build-A-Figure at one point: you know, pickle sold by itself, arms with one figure, some accessories with another, etc. Maybe they were even planning to put the extra accessories in a second series. Who knows! What matters is that for about the price of a Marvel Legend, you can get a really good Pickle Rick that comes with almost every feature we'd have asked for.

-- 12/16/18

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