March 8, 2020, was the final day before the entire world shut down as Covid-19 took away all the things that people enjoyed doing. Concert tours were halted, sports suddenly stopped; socializing became nonexistent. It was a day where what felt like everyday life had ended.
For the Hot Wheels Monster Truck Live tour, it’s second annual tour that had been going incredibly strong both in the US and overseas in Europe. The international tour had concluded, and the trucks were being shipped back to the homeland, while the American leg had just picked up steam entering it’s third month.
And then, it all stopped. No wheelie contests, donuts, racing nor freestyle. It all just stopped.
There was hope to get the tour going again in the fall, but worry and concern lingered, so the wait continued. For 18 months, the toys that were popular with kids, and collectable for adults, were the closest that a Hot Wheels event would happen. Last fall, a unique “Drive Thru” experience was added at several different venues that saw many trucks get a static display where fans could stay in their cars, and literally drive through and take pics of the field of trucks, and even more.
Vehicles like Rock Star, Snake Bite, Towasaurus Wrex, and even the iconic Bigfoot 1 and 5 got a chance to be seen in places that they often would travel to.
But, fans have longed for the true feeling of Hot Wheels to be back in action inside the arenas that made them such a popular stop for fans, and a different stop for drivers. And now, after a year and a half of standing still, HOT WHEELS MONSTER TRUCKS LIVE IS BACK!
While some of the lineup looks very familiar from when it was on tour last winter, there have been some updates, and additions, to the tour. Let’s take a gander at the entire lineup for the 2021 Hot Wheels Fall Tour.
This second-generation driver has certainly made an impact after a very successful first season at the wheel of a flat black hot rod. The Bone Shaker is one of the original Hot Wheels designs that has seen a few different looks in the toy line, from it’s iconic black and red to even a surf wagon look of wood and lighter blues.
But, Holman himself has also had to go through some changes when it came to the look of this truck. During the 2019 season, the team adjusted the body dimensions so the cab had a much larger look, and the nose tapered in to match the diecast. Even the skull out front was made larger to give it a meaner attitude.
It has worked to perfection as Holman has won multiple Titan Cups over the last two years, and during his time away from the tour, he’s even had a substitute role in driving his father’s truck (more on that chassis in a bit).
The resident rat rod is going to be making a major impact once the tour restarts.
The father-son duo on the tour is completed by long-time driver, owner, and builder, Bobby Holman. This deep-water cat has always been popular with the fans, both here and abroad.
In 2020, fans got acquainted with a second Tiger Shark overseas, and it would be the most dominant truck on the international tour. Here in the U.S. it has been a challenge for the experienced driver to take home a Titan Cup, although the elder of the Holman bunch has a couple on his record.
That said, Holman has the distinction of saying he was the first driver to experience a rollover on the Hot Wheels tour, although maybe that’s not an honor he is wanting. Still, Holman’s experience behind the wheel always makes him extremely competitive, especially in racing as he’s quick to put a bite on the opposition. So, this mammal from the ocean is ready to take it’s bite out of the remainder of the field.
Last year, the international tour saw a team with a proven, capable, and powerful truck run the Tiger Shark body. That truck ended up being the most dominant truck on that tour with more Titan Cups than any other machine.
This year, that same driver has a new chassis, and now, an entirely new identity.
Samson driver Rick Steffens, with the blessing of his father-in-law, Hall of Fame inductee Dan Patrick, has an entirely new chassis for 2021, and this year will have the new Mega Wrex dinosaur body for the tour. With blue and purple accents, and a fierce bite out front, Steffens is already looking like he will mean business when he gets in the seat. The other competitors know the kind of machines come out of Patrick Enterprises, as many use parts that PEI manufacture. Now, the entirely new chassis, already in competition, is going to be a much different beast.
Steffens already said the differences between this new truck and the old one are practically nothing. In fact, a majority of the parts from the old chassis went onto the new one, making it a seamless transition.
Now, an all-new look for the Hot Wheels fans will certainly make for a fun time on the concrete.
Without question, the truck that has been the most dominant on the Hot Wheels tour since it’s inception has been the truck with a graffiti design, and wildly painted tires.
The “Heavy Hitter” himself, Derick Anson, is an absolute perfect fit for the identity. His fast-pace, wild freestyle and his full-tilt racing attitude just work entirely well with the Demo Derby moniker.
Fans seem to be drawn to this truck because of the unique wrap on the Cadillac body and the paint on the tires to match the look. The paint doesn’t always stay on, as Anson already has put the truck into a few very uneasy positions, but has not rolled it over as of yet.
A demo derby usually results in destruction, and Anson is certainly going to be destroying some cars once the tour gets rolling once again.
Armed for battle, the V8 Bomber is back with an attitude in it’s olive-drab paint and classic 70’s era body.
Ever since Snellen got hold of this truck, dating back to it’s prior silver body, the competition has been tough, but he also has found the part of the show that this truck is made for…donuts.
The teammate truck to Anson, this chassis is a combination of a Holman chassis, along with Concussion Motorsports, which has led to a shorter wheelbase, with very tight turning radius. What that has led to is some extremely high-speed cyclones that have consistently kept the V8 Bomber at the top of the donut competition for over a year.
This chassis has done extremely well once all the loose ends were fixed and the suspension was dialed in. Do not expect anything to change this fall, because the V8 Bomber is ready to blast the competition.
Having the pressure of driving the most famous name in monster trucks is hard enough. Add in being the newest driver to pilot the Bigfoot name, but also to do so in a look that was done alongside Hot Wheels, and it feels like a pressure cooker that’s about ready to blow.
That is what Rebecca Schnell has this year, as she is only the fifth female to pilot a Bigfoot truck in the team’s 46-year history. Only Marilyn Chandler, Debbie Rhoaden, Debra “Madusa” Misceli, Amber Walker and now Schnell have that distinction. But, this is a much different entity than any of the previous trucks those ladies had driven.
In conjunction with Hot Wheels, the Bigfoot team unleashed a radical 1979 F150 body to match the latest diecast on the market of the truck. Termed “Midwest Madness” this classic blue body has a patina look with rust patches and faded white in the name, Hot Wheels emblem and the iconic 4x4x4 emblem. It is a very different scheme from what the Foot operation ran the last couple years, those being the classic blue and the racing stripes.
Schnell herself has gotten very acclimated to the #15 chassis that she ran during last year’s international tour, and now with the Bigfoot name on either side, chances are that will drive her to be one truck everyone wants to beat.
There always is a true Hot Wheels themed truck on the circuit. The last two years, that truck has been the Hot Wheels Racing 1 machine, with an updated look that ran last year with both Rebecca Schnell and Christian Norman.
This year, the other half of the Schnell couple, Darron, will get the true Hot Wheels body treatment. But, the Hot Wheels Racing concept is being replaced with a much different design.
This year, a bold red and blue body, Schnell is the pilot of the new Race Ace Raptor. Just sitting still this truck draws attention. It’s stance just screams victory, and on Schnell’s proven chassis, it is going to be a truck everyone has to watch for.
Being the team truck to the Midwest Madness Bigfoot puts pressure on him, because if his truck breaks, he has to fix it. But, if his wife’s truck breaks, he also has to fix it. Not to mention, once the competition ends for the weekend, bragging rights are on the line between the couple. Knowing Darron, he doesn’t want to play second-fiddle to anyone, at least on the track. If he loses to his wife, she is going to be ecstatic, while he will be happy for her, and also at the same time make her laugh.
No matter what, this Raptor has an ace hiding under the body.
The time has come to unleash these seven behemoths on the public for the first time since March of last year, and the 2021 fall schedule is crossing from east to west, and even heading south for a few stops. Each event will have a “Crash Zone” prior to competition, allowing the fans to come down and get pictures with the trucks and drivers, and even race some Hot Wheels on toy tracks. Fans will even get to meet the hosts of the tour during the Crash Zone, something that they enjoy each time.
Although maybe some restrictions could be in place, the Hot Wheels Tour will fire engines in just over a week, letting the $4 toys transform into quarter-million dollar living creatures.
Go to HotWheelsMonsterTrucksLive.com for all the ticket information, and the A-Z rundown for the show.
Fall Tour Schedule
- Ontario, California-Toyota Arena
- 9/18 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 9/19 (1:30 p.m.)
- San Diego, California-Pechanga Arena
- 9/25 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 9/26 (1:30 p.m.)
- Louisville, Kentucky-KFC Yum! Center
- 10/2 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
- Charlottesville, Virginia-John Paul Jones Arena
- 10/9 (12:30 p.m.), 10/10 (1:30 p.m.)
- State College, Pennsylvania-Bryce Jordan Center*
- 10/16 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 10/17 (1:30 p.m.)
- Hoffman Estates, Illinois-NOW Arena
- 10/23 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 10/24 (2:30 p.m.)
- Norfolk, Virginia-Scope Arena
- 10/30 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 10/31 (2:30 p.m.)
- St. Charles, Missouri-Family Arena
- 11/6 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 11/7 (2:30 p.m.)
- Ft. Worth, Texas-Dickies Arena
- 11/13 (12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), 11/14 (1:30 p.m.)
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-Paycom Center
- 11/20 (6:30 p.m.), 11/21 (2:30 p.m.)
*Attending all shows.