Thanks to Monster Jam Cardiff for inviting us to review the show
What an epic afternoon we had today watching Monster Jam at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. Ten of the world-famous trucks were in the Welsh capital as part of their 2018 world series – and it was jaw-dropping, heart-in-mouth stuff from start to finish.
Our day started at 10am with the Pit Party – a chance to meet and have photos with the drivers and to see the trucks close up.
They Monster Trucks are absolutely huge. At 1.7m high and 1.1m wide, their wheels alone are way bigger than me, never mind my children. The trucks stand at 4 metres tall and 4 metres wide, weighing up to 4,500kg. Each engine burns up to 9.5 litres of methanol per run, with each engine delivering around 1,500 horsepower. A Monster Jam truck can reach speeds of up to 110kms per hour and they can jump as far as 130 feet in length.
Each vehicle has its own characteristics. There’s the fire breathing Dragon; Zombie with its bloody arms extending from its bonnet; Monster Mutt Dalmatian complete with doggy tongue, ears and tail; Megalodon with shark fin and teeth; Scooby Doo with a blue collar, tongue and ears looking just like the cartoon character; the orange El Toro Loco with its bull-like horns; Earth Shaker, the mud-splattered digger; the spike-clad ferocious-looking Max D; Monster Energy looking just like the green and black packaging of its drink sponsor; and Grave Digger, one of the oldest and most famous trucks with its spooky purple and green graveyard print.
This is our second Monster Jam experience. Our first was back in September 2015 when we were again invited along to review. I admit we didn’t know too much about it back then – but with two car-loving sons I knew they’d love the show. In fact, we all did. Even me, who is not bothered about cars in the slightest. My children have since become huge fans of Monster Jam and we have an ever-growing collection of toys. To see these much-loved cars on home soil again was incredible.
After the pit party, we had a mad dash to the Cosy Club to watch the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan (so glad I got to see it!) before heading back to the stadium for the main show.
After a spectacular light display to open the show, for two hours we witnessed cars wheelying, jumping off platforms and flying through the air, balancing on two wheels, and even the odd back flip. It’s incredible stuff.
The show was divided into four parts – a knock out competition where the trucks had to compete with each other on a circular route including two leaps; a two-wheel stunt section where the audience got to decide the winner by voting on via their phones; motor cross motorbikes leaping through the air, their drivers barely holding on the handle bars as they left the seats; and the final round where each truck got two minutes of free-styling to impress the audience.
Earth Shaker, driven by Peter Nyman, was the winner of the first round. Max D driven by Neil Elliott was a clear winner in the two wheel round with some impressive balancing on his front wheels; and Grave Digger won the freestyle round with an impressive flip. Driven by Morgan Kane. Grave Digger is one of our favourites – even more so when he revealed in his post-victory interview that he was wearing a Wales football shirt under his driving gear.
There were many moments when my heart was firmly in my mouth as trucks lost parts, toppled over and one even had flames coming out of it. But an emergency team of forklift trucks were on hand to rescue the fallen vehicles. There were cheers all around when the drivers emerged unscathed.
With the roof closed, the noise in the stadium was deafening – ear defenders are a must – but just as we were leaving I just about hears the presenters announce that Monster Jam is coming back to Cardiff in May 2019. If you and your children love big wheels, daring stunts and destruction we highly recommend it.
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