Hot Wheels could not have picked a better event to tie their name to than a monster truck show. What are monster trucks, after all, other than giant Hot Wheels that are capable of the jumping, bouncing, and wholesale destruction you played out so often during childhood? Little toys for kids to smash around probably predate trucks by thousands of years, too.

The Bismarck Event Center is a flexible place. One week they might have someone like Celine Dion there, and the next they might have 12,000 pound trucks streaking through the air. The event center’s arena will be all set up with the vertical jumps, lines of soon to be two-dimensional junk cars, and other obstacles that 1,500 horsepower trucks need in order to thrill an audience. 

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Now, I’m not saying that monster truck drivers aren’t bold. It would be especially hard for me to do so while I’m sitting in my Jetta. But motocross riders, whose only roll cages are built into their torsos — that takes certain body parts of steel. They’re joining the action to make sure you see everything that awesome people and their vehicles are able to achieve.

You might think that Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live would be a good adventure to take your kids on. You would be right. They’ll get to see life-sized versions of Hot Wheels’ most iconic toys, including Bone Shaker, Tiger Shark, and the V8 Bomber. Your kids might not yet have lived long enough to appreciate subtler forms of entertainment, but they’re going to understand brightly colored trucks launching themselves into low orbit perfectly. The monster truck show gets kids cheering, clapping, and even staring on in silence and total awe.

Typically at monster truck shows, you have to pay extra for a VIP pass if you want to get up close and personal with the trucks and their drivers. But because Hot Wheels knows their audience, they’re including their Crash Zone Pre-Show Party with every ticket. Go to the show up to two and a half hours early, and you can meet with Hot Wheels’ gearhead daredevils in person, get their autographs, and see just how much impressive tech goes into their monster trucks. The party before the show will also feature the Hot Wheels Racing Zone, an exhibition of the toy maker’s twirliest tracks. Please suspend your disbelief when I tell you that there will be monster truck merch there as well!

(I had a Hot Wheels track when I was a boy. I left it set up in the living room on a night when our big German Shepherd heard coyotes yipping nearby. Poor Max barreled into the thing, tripping and sending pieces of orange plastic flying in every direction. The coyotes were probably laughing at him.)

Hot Wheels blown up into real life is not just for kids. Taking in a monster truck show with friends beats going to any movie by a mile. And fellas, do you want to surprise your date with an evening that she’ll never forget? Take her to the jam and show her that you’re the sensitive kind of guy who can still appreciate monster trucks. This is good relationship advice and it works.

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live is coming to the Bismarck Event Center on February 22nd and 23rd. Tickets are on sale now at


By David Scheller