Blaze and the Monster Machines is a CGI interactive musical educational children's television series produced and created by Nickelodeon. It follows the adventures of a monster truck named Blaze and his best friend and driver, AJ, as they explore and teach viewers the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). It is a show that airs on Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon. The show's first episode aired on October 13, 2014 on the main Nickelodeon channel.
As of December 18, 2020, the show is currently in its sixth season.
Set in an alternate universe mostly populated by sentient vehicles, mainly monster trucks, the series centers around Blaze, a monster truck who loves racing and adventure, accompanied by his human driver companion AJ. Each episode is based on a series of events that differ depending on the plot, and throughout the adventure the two encounter obstacles which have to be overcome. During these obstacles, he and AJ will have a problem to be solved with "assistance" from the viewing audience, often relating to riddles, counting, or others. Certain problems also feature the episode's featured STEM concept, Crusher stopping Blaze with a cheat which he always manages to get past, and his Blazing Speed, which is used as a last-minute device to get to something super fast and right on time. The episode always ends with Blaze and AJ finishing their mission and doing something to celebrate.
Blaze and AJ have many friends, mainly the trucks that they mostly hang out with, Stripes, Starla, Darington, Zeg, and later Watts, as well as Gabby the human mechanic. Their main adversary is Crusher, a mean truck who likes to cheat, and goes all out to stop Blaze from winning or following him. He is accompanied by a small monster truck named Pickle, who serves as the voice of reason for his schemes and idolizes Blaze.
The missions of each episode vary depending on the plot. Some involve Blaze trying to get something in time, others require him to help one of his friends, and others have a race which takes up the entire episode, which always end with Blaze winning. The plot is also accompanied by original songs sung by Blaze and AJ themselves, usually offscreen during montages, whenever they are setting off or demonstrate the STEM concept featured.
In some episodes, mainly those where Blaze has to help a friend, the plot is sometimes altered with a subplot involving Crusher and Pickle with their own prediciments, which do not interfere with the main storyline but follow its theme in some way. In the subplot, Crusher is trying to do something but humorously fails each time. The subplot usually shows up three times in an episode (usually the first after the second featured song, the second after the second problem, and the third before the credits). There are rare occurrences where the subplot intersects with the main plot, in which something causes something to happen to Blaze or the two end up joining him.
Official descriptions (from Nickjr.com)
"Blaze and the Monster Machines is a CG interactive series for preschoolers featuring Blaze, the world's most amazing monster truck, and his driver and best friend, 8-year-old AJ. The series follows their adventures in Axle City--a town populated with big-wheeled vehicles known as monster machines.
Blaze is Axle City's greatest hero and the champion of the racetrack! Whenever there's trouble, he's the truck everyone turns to for help because he can do things no other truck can! Blaze has Blazing Speed--a special turbo boost that lets him accelerate in times of need to go faster than any other monster machine. But Blaze has more than just speed. He also has the power to transform into any other vehicle or machine! Using his knowledge of engineering, Blaze can add new parts to himself and change into anything. From a hydrofoil to a hang glider to even a hair dryer, if you can engineer it, Blaze can become it!
AJ and the home audience help Blaze on his adventures by exploring the physics of how things move, tackling problems through scientific inquiry and mathematics, and discovering the component parts necessary to make everyday technologies work." - Nickjr.com, 2014-15
"Blaze and the Monster Machines features Blaze, the world's most amazing monster truck, and his driver, AJ. Preschoolers help Blaze on his adventures in Axle City, solving problems based on a STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, math)." - Nickjr.com, 2015-present
All episodes generally follow a similar format, featuring the following:
So far, every season consists of 20 episodes each, except for Season 7.
The first season started on October 13, 2014 and ended on February 18, 2016. This is the first season of the show, which began with the premiere movie Blaze of Glory. The last episode didn't air until a few episodes after Season 2 began airing. Until Season 5, this was the only season not to feature special themed episodes.
The second season started on September 25, 2015 and ended on April 14, 2017. Season 1 still had one episode left to air when it started. This season featured the "Race Car Adventures" themed episodes, which feature Blaze going to VelocityVille and turning into a race car; the STEM concepts featured in those episodes are congruent to what race cars use. Six episodes were planned for this theme, but only four aired this season, with the last two airing as part of Season 3. Similar to Season 1, the last episode was not aired until a little while into Season 3.
The third season was announced June 15, 2015. It started on October 10, 2016 and ended on February 22, 2018. Like Season 1, the past season had only one episode left to air when it began. Like Season 2, this episode features six special episodes with a theme of "Wild Wheels", which feature Blaze going to Animal Island and hanging out with all kinds of animals. Unlike other episodes, these episodes don't feature STEM concepts but instead feature various animal facts and focus on one particular animal.
The fourth season was announced June 21, 2016. It started on March 26, 2018. Like the past two seasons, it features six special themed episodes, this time the theme is "Robot Riders". These episodes feature Blaze transforming into a robot to handle really dangerous tasks a monster truck can't do. The STEM concepts featured in these episodes generally involve robotics and are congruent to what robots are meant for.
The fifth season was announced May 22, 2018. According to Nickelodeon's press release, Season 5 "takes all terrain to a new level with monster-sized racing adventures. Monster truck Blaze and his eight-year-old driver AJ will travel over land, under the sea and into orbit as Blaze transforms into awesome new vehicles designed to push the limit while helping his friends cross the finish line." It is the first season since Season 1 not to have special themed episodes.
The sixth season was announced February 19, 2020. According to Nickelodeon's press release, Blaze and the Monster Machines speed into a new season with the most epic races and rescues yet, including next-level transformations into fire rescue vehicles, big rigs, construction trucks and even a fire-breathing dragon.
The seventh season was announced March 24, 2022. According to Nickelodeon's press release, Blaze and the Monster Machines will speed into an all-new season for preschoolers with themed storylines including epic special missions, mighty mechanical rescues with Robot Riders and high-flying adventures with Super Wheels.
Changes to Season 2
Changes to Season 3 onward
Character design notes