Welcome to the world of monster trucks: Meet the stars of a new show coming to Birmingham

And now the phenomenon is becoming increasingly popular across the pond with fans in the region excitedly awaiting the action-packed Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live show. It is touring the UK for the first time including dates at Birmingham Arena from Friday, January 31 to Sunday, February 2 where it will combine iconic jumps and stunts with all of the epic crashing and smashing monster truck lovers expect. Thrillseekers of all ages can get a closer look at the trucks and meet the drivers before the show starts in the Crash Zone.

Each performance will also feature speciality acts like the superstars of freestyle motocross, world record attempts, and Megasaurus – the massive, car-eating, fire-breathing prehistoric robot who loves chomping on anything with four wheels. But at the heart of the tour is American husband and wife team Darron and Rebecca Schnell, who are driving 4x4x4 pickup Hot Wheels Bigfoot and the sleek but fierce Hot Wheels Racing #1 respectively. Darron has been driving competitively for the past nine years after first getting his foot in the door by volunteering with a team.

He fulfilled a childhood dream to race, perform stunts behind the wheel of the impressive vehicles and entertain the crowds. But rookie Rebecca, who is one of only a handful of female monster truck drivers in the world, is taking part in her first ever event.

Advertising The 29-year-old, who works as an emergency trauma paediatric nurse back home in the US, says she has been enjoying her first taste of driving and performing stunts in the arena.

“I’ve having a blast. My favourite part is doing the doughnuts because you get to spin around and wave at the crowd each time you go around,” says Rebecca. She says practice makes perfect when it comes to maneuvering the huge machines around the arena which requires both feet and both hands.

“It takes quite a bit of practice but the more you’re in your seat the better you get,” Rebecca tells Weekend.

Advertising One of her highlights of the tour so far has been meeting the fans in the Crash Zone. “You are able to get up close and personal with the fans,” she explains. The couple, who live in St Louis, Missouri, have been married for almost nine years and Darron says it’s been fun sharing his passion with his wife.

“She’s travelled with me for years but she’s never been on the other side. Now I get to share it with her and see her experience it all for the first time.We’re relating on another level now which is cool,” he adds. Being away from home for long spells of time can be the hardest part of the job but Darron says with this tour that hasn’t been an issue.

“I’ve found that I’m not in such a hurry to get home because Rebecca is with me and we can make it home wherever we go. His favourite part about Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live is meeting the fans as it takes him back to his childhood and seeing a monster truck for the first time. “The actual driving can get repetitive but the cool part of what we do is the people we get to meet and the places we get to go.

“I remember being three or four and a monster truck seemed larger than life. To be on the other side of that now is very surreal,” explains Darron. The couple say one of the best things about the show, which has scheduled stops in Manchester, Lodz, and Glasgow, is that it offers entertainment for spectators of all ages.

“Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live is a very fun, family friendly show. I’ve been involved in monster trucks for 15 years and I’ve never seen the same show twice,” says Darron. “It’s an epic show with lots of high-flying action for kids of all ages and adults too,” adds Rebecca.

Conceived in 1968 by an innovator, a rocket scientist and a car designer, Hot Wheels 1:64 scale die-cast cars were designed to look great and perform. Five decades later, Hot Wheels, produced by toymaker Mattel, is the number one selling toy in the world with more than 16.5 cars sold every second. The brand has evolved from a simple, yet beloved, toy car with orange track system into a global franchise powerhouse.

Now fans can see their favourite toys come alive at the arena show which promises entertainment for all the family. “Mattel is always exploring new and innovative ways for fans of all ages to play and engage with our portfolio of iconic brands,” says Julie Freeland, senior director of Mattel Global Live Events & Attractions. “We are delighted to tour the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live experience in Europe and to bring our fans into the real-life action in an arena,” she adds.

“We’ve experienced unprecedented success in our first year delivering Hot Wheel Monster Trucks Live to fans in North America and we’re excited to expand to Europe under this new partnership with Live Nation,” said Ken Hudgens, president of production company Raycom-Legacy Content Company.

“We look forward to immersing a new group of international fans in our authentic Hot Wheels experience and providing them unmatched entertainment,” he adds.

*For tickets see HotWheelsMonsterTrucksLive.com

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