Sunday, 19 May 2019

Monster Jam Principality Stadium, Cardiff - Review


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Monster Jam Principality Stadium, Cardiff - 18th May 2019- Review*


We were given tickets to review Monster Jam at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Bear absolutely loves Monster Trucks and is always talking about how big they are and the stunts they perform. He was so excited to be seeing them live and to get really close to all the trucks and the drivers at the pre show Pit Party.

The Principality Stadium in Cardiff is an amazing venue. It has a closing roof to keep us all dry. It rains a lot in Cardiff, and is situated in the middle of the city centre. Great for places to eat, shop and links for public transport.


We had not been to Monster Jam before so had no idea what it would be like. We knew it would be noisy and went armed with ear defenders for Bear and ear plugs for us adults.


How Much Does A Monster Jam Truck Cost?


You will see why I ask this question when you scroll down to the Main Event. The Monster Jam trucks get really battered and bashed. Monster Jam is American so all figures are in dollars, it's very impressive!

Average cost of a Monster Jam Truck $170,000 to $250,000
Engine $50,000
Tyre $2,600
Body is made of fibre glass and painted with an unique design. The initial cost of the body work is $15,000 - remakes cost $8,000

 The Pit Party - Meeting the Trucks up Close


There were ten Monster Trucks at this event, I must admit I hadn't heard of any of them. Bear, his mummy and daddy had watched some on you-tube so were really pleased to see their favourites in real life.

2019 LINE-UP:

Grave Digger (Morgan Kane),
Max-D (Neil Elliott),
Wonder Woman (Haley Gauley),
Monster Energy (Todd LeDuc),
El Toro Loco (Mark List),
Zombie (Alx Danielsson),
Megalodon (Alex Blackwell),
Scooby-Doo (Linsey Read),
Pirate's Curse (Mike Vaters II)
EarthShaker (Peter Nyman).

The pit party starts at 10am and goes onto 1pm. If you want to meet the drivers it's recommended that you go early.

We arrived a little after 11am and the place was buzzing. The atmosphere was great, lots of over excited children waving flags and clutching toys.

The queues to meet the drivers were pretty long, Grave Digger had the longest - I was told it is the most popular truck.

There were crowds around each truck but everyone was so friendly and kind. They all stood back to allow everyone a chance to get close and have their photo taken.

Bear loved it. He started off a bit shy, then he started posing. With no encouragement from us he posed in his own unique way with each truck, the best was with Zombie - we laughed so much.

Monster-jam-principality-stadium-cardiff-Megalodon
Megalodon

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Scooby Doo 

Monster-jam-principality-stadium-cardiff-El-Toro-Loco
El Toro Loco

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Max D

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Pirates Curse

Monster-jam-principality-stadium-cardiff-Zombie
Zombie
They even had a bouncy assault course, the children let off some of their energy climbing and bouncing. It was a great morning.

I now knew what all the trucks looked like, and their names. They are huge! Each is about 12 feet high, the wheels are almost 6 foot.

They all had a unique design, they were all amazing but Zombie had to be my favourite.

Bear had two favourites - Megalodon (The shark one) because he was treated to a replica toy, and El Toro Loco (his most favourite) of which he chose a flag.

Boy-with-Megalodon-toy-car

Boy-with-El-Toro-Loco-flag


We spent over an hour at the Pit Party, it was so much fun seeing all the trucks up close and certainly added to the excitement of the day. We didn't stop to meet any drivers, today was all about the Monster Jam Trucks.

We all had to leave the stadium while they prepared for the main event, the stadium is close to all the shops and there are so many places to eat within a few minutes walk. The most popular places were full so I recommend booking a table in advance if you want to eat at a particular place.

The Main Event


We returned to the stadium for the main event. The NOISE wow! It was so loud, to add to the noise children were blowing horns. What parent buys their child a horn? Haha! They were so loud and I'm sure there are many "lost" or "broken" today.

Do take ear defenders for the children and ear plugs for adults. They reduce the noise levels to comfortable, although you can't hold a conversation.

Lights went down, music started and the Monster Jam Trucks entered the Arena and did a circuit before parking in a row at the far end.

"Look it's Megalodon!" Bear shouted as the trucks roared past.

The main event is divided into three parts.
Timed race, two trucks compete and the fastest goes through to the next round.
Two wheel skills - which the audience can vote on via a website and
Freestyle - again with the audience voting.

Two trucks lined up ready to race - and they were off! Probably a little to fast as both overturned at the first corner. This was not the last time that Scooby Doo would end up upside down. The crowd cheered, we held our breath and thumbs up, both drivers were ok. The trucks were righted and limped back to the line up.

This is great! I was loving it already.

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And they're off.....


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Ooops!

Boy-grimacing
Eeek!

Monster-jam-principality-stadium-cardiff-el-toro-loco-and-Max-D-neck-and-neck
Max D and El Toro Loco race against the clock
Few trucks reach the final without damage to their cars. I'm not sure at this point if it's all part of the entertainment, or they are all just having a bad day. Either way we're thrilled, Bears favourite El Toro Loco is beaten in the final by Monster Energy.

Then the Two Wheeled Skill event. Each driver demonstates their skill at driving the trucks on two wheels. How do they do it? These massive trucks prance on their front wheels, roll on their back wheels, tip on their side almost toppling.

I vote - 4 for Scooby Doo (another crash) and 9.5 for El Toro Loco. Grave Digger is pipped by El Toro Loco, El Toro Loco walks forwards on it's front wheels blowing steam from it's nostrils. The crowd cheer. El Toro Loco wins! Bear is jumping up and down waving his flag.

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Grave Digger on two wheels

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El Toro Loco on two wheels
We have a short intermission and Bear and I queue for some snacks and a drink each. The queues are slow and the prices high, but were having fun. I am surprised at how much I am enjoying it. I'm not a follower at all, it was my first Monster Jam event and I'm hooked.

Next came Motocross Freestyle. These riders are crazy! They drive up a ramp, do somersaults and land safely on one of the hills. What is really impressive is they let go! Some let go with their hands, some do handstands on their bikes, all are really impressive. The photo below is a bit hard to see as the bikes get lost amongst the crowd and they are so fast, but live they are just amazing.

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Motocross, amazing acrobatics
Then the final event - Freestyle. Each truck comes in to its own music and has a set amount of time to show what they can do. The audience votes and the results are shown on the big screens.

Ooops, Scooby Doo is having a bad day, and Wonder Woman crashes too. In fact it's getting harder to identify some of the trucks as they are so bashed up. Zombie has lost an arm, then crashes and loses it's eyes. Bits fall off all of them, only Grave Digger and El toro Loco look intact.

Grave Digger performs an amazing back flip. Megalodon attempts one but rolls over, El Toro Loco crashes at the end.

The audience votes and Grave Digger wins, El Toro Loco second.

scooby-doo-over-again
Scooby Doo Crashes - again

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El Toro Loco stealing the Freestyle

El-Toro-Loco-crashes-onto-its-back
Ooops! Spoke too soon

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Grave Digger GO!

Grave-Digger-nearly-there


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YES! Fantastic back flip
The final results come in - El Toro Loco wins! Yes! What a fantastic day and a fantastic result. Only Grave Digger left undamaged, now you can see why I wondered how much the trucks and the body work costs.

The show is over, we have loved it all, and at two and a quarter hours it wasn't too long for little ones. As we walked away from the arena I asked Bear what his favourite bit was, the back flip. Good choice, it was mine too.

Then Bear said;

"My favourite truck (El Toro Loco) won."

I nodded

"That means I won, I'm a winner too!"

Yes, Bear. We are all winners, great show and now Monster Jam has five new fans.

Would we go again? Absolutely. It's a great day out for the whole family. Have you been? Were you there on Saturday? I'd love to read what you thought in the comments.

For more action (some videos too) check out my insta stories

Ticket prices vary according to seating and venue, Cardiff cost between £20 and £50 for the main event and £12 each for the Pit Party (Tickets can only be purchased with Main event tickets). Under two's go free but over two's pay full price.

Monster Jam is live at Coventry on June 8th. Details can be found on the Monster Jam website.

*Disclosure - we were given tickets for the purpose of this review, all opinions are honest and my own.
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