Parent reviews for Blaze and the Monster Machines

Common Sense says

Friendly characters + STEM content = smart pick for tots.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 6 reviews
Parent of a 3 year old Written bytenah January 5, 2015

attention getter!!

My lil boy LOVES blaze and the monster machines. He interacts with them. The show definitely keeps his attention!!
Parent of a 2 year old Written byKelly K. October 7, 2016

One of the best shows out there

To say this is our toddler's favorite show is a huge understatement! We watch Blaze so much - and now have several toys, books, and accessories - he seems like a part of our family. We love this show so much, I feel the need to counter some statements made here. ... I disagree with the reviewers who claim this is a rip-off of other shows. There are no other shows in existence that so effectively feature STEM concepts at a level accessible to preschoolers. The other shows referenced merely gloss over concepts like these and focus more on emotional development and relationships, which are valuable, but not at all unique. It is also one of the most interactive shows in this category. It keeps children engaged and interacting with the characters while learning simple math and engineering concepts. ... I disagree with the reviewers who claim Crusher is ostracized from the rest of the group. On the contrary, despite his repeated attempts to cheat and steal and bully the other monster machines, the group continues to include him and always comes to his rescue if he gets into trouble. In "Tool Duel," even after Crusher steals Gabby's toolbox, once Blaze and AJ return it to her, she fixes Crusher's exhaust pipe. In "The Truck Team Challenge," when Crusher falls into a pit and Pickle alone doesn't have enough *mass* to pull him out, Blaze helps them. In "The Mystery Bandit," when Crusher's toy truck goes missing along with other metal objects, he joins the group in searching for it. In "Race to Eagle Rock," Crusher is included with the group as they transform from monster trucks into race cars. In “The Wishing Wheel,” Blaze’s wish that everyone gets their own wish fulfilled includes Crusher getting the world’s biggest trophy. In both “Runaway Rocket” and "Rocket Ski Rescue," each entire episode follows Blaze as he saves Crusher when his high-powered rockets are too much for him to control. I’m sure there are more examples; these are just off the top of my head. Also, he has a best friend and loyal companion in Pickle (my favorite character). ... Finally, the reviewers who claim the catchphrases “Let’s Blaze!” and “Give me some speed!” are drug references need to get their minds out of the gutter. ... If you haven’t watched the show, I recommend you give it a chance. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but don’t believe some of the B.S. reviews that claim it is in any way harmful. I’m an educated, loving, progressive parent, and I am very picky about what my child is exposed to. This is a great show, period.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byBarry166 February 1, 2016

mixed messages

My 2 year old loves this show because he loves the trucks. My 6 year old keeps complaining though that Blaze the lead character is a bigger cheat than Crusher (the shows bad guy) even though Blaze constantly points out that Crusher is a cheat and cheats never win. Her reasoning is kind of spot on and I was impressed by it so I decided to put it on here. Blaze has a driver and no other truck does, the driver has a special helmet, Blaze has a super speed option and Blaze can transform into any object he wants. Because of these powers he always wins the races but since nobody else is special like this isn't he cheating too? Guess it takes a kid to see these things.
Parent Written byBetan T. August 8, 2016

Blaze and The Monster Machines - Positive, Parent/Child Interactive,Entertaining - Learn while Laughing with a Kid Safe Show

This is a quasi-interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) oriented program combined with the normal upbeat Positive Social Awareness Message (Friendship, Teamwork, Responsibility, Diversity, and Caring). The CGI environment is stylized for "shape" recognition in a world environment (circle, squares, rectangles, etc.). It does use children's interests in motorized vehicles (specifically suped-up trucks) that have been personified with unique but not intensely deep human personalities - a tool of the trade animators have used ever since animated flip book cartoons and recently like the Disney CARS movie franchise. Many parents have begrudgingly compared BLAZE to Disney Cars (not a STEM oriented animation whatsoever), Dora The Explorer, Bob the Builder, Elmo's World, Sophia the First, Paw Patrol, Thomas the Tank Engine, etc. They also expect this show to be the end all, do all STEM/Social Awareness/Environmental Responsibility all rolled up into one show for their children to watch without parental involvement. Bob, Dora, Elmo would be closest on par to Blaze as STEM and Social Awareness. Dora does get more involved with a direct Environmental Message, which was one of its goals, than Bob or Elmo. Thomas has elements of STEM, but it's more on track with Social Awareness and doing the right thing (after doing the wrong thing). Paw Patrol and Sophia are not STEM oriented, but focus more on Social Awareness. Cars ... is just entertainment. According to Disney, Cars definitely is not STEM and although it has elements of teamwork, it's primarily just entertainment. The fact is ... not every child is interested in the characters of Dora The Explorer, Bob the Builder, Elmo's World, Sophia the First, Paw Patrol, Thomas the Tank Engine, etc. ... just like they may not be interested in Blaze! So, the same STEM and Social Awareness elements are incorporated broad spectrum into a number of different children's shows. Just like you as an adult may like one Late Night Television Host but absolutely dislike another Late Night Host although both are expounding the same views on the same exact topic ... children feel the same about what programs they like to watch. Of course, there are the claims: 1) "Give me some Speed" and "Let's Blaze" are drug references to LSD and Marijuana use. 2) the running Protagonist and Antagonist theme (Good Personal Choices vs. Bad Personal Choices) between primary characters AJ/Blaze and Crusher/Pickle promotes an "us versus them" theme. 3) Crusher and Pickle's friendship is based on a Bully and a Victim relationship. 4) the dangerous street stunts and reckless driving promotes unsafe behavior (children imitating in real life what they see on television) and no segment on Street Safety. 5) there is no Environmental Message present and Resource Waste is acceptable (Crusher spilling oil all over the Monster Ball field, Baker Bots making tons of food that is only cleaned up by throwing it all away). 6) the characters are primarily one dimensional stereotypes. 7) AJ and Gabby are too young to drive, Gabby looks too boyish, and they seem to be the only humans in the show. 8) the character Zeg pokes fun of slower individuals or individuals with speech issues. 9) the audience in the Axel City Monster Dome stereotype spectators as less intelligent or redneck. Let's pick each one of these claims off: 1) They're not promoting drug use. If you're reading that deep into this cartoon, take two really big steps back and put down the bag of Doritos folks. Although "Blaze Up" and "Gimme Speed" were drug references in the 80s counter culture, they've pretty much run their course in 2016. And just about any phrase can be used as an inappropriate reference ... the phrase "You're on Bob's wood Mr. Crab" from an episode of Bob the Builder is now a popular adult oriented reference. Dora talks to and understands Boots ... so the same thing said about Scooby Doo could be applied to Dora as well. 2) All shows require at least one thing ... a Protagonist element (what you want to be and cheer for) and an Antagonist element (what you want to avoid). Otherwise you have no storyline, or one that's not very interesting or becomes numbingly redundant where nothing happens. Parents complain that AJ/Blaze and the other Monster Machines never attempt to help Crusher become a better personality, but they miss the fact (that children pick up quickly) Crusher never wants to change and that Blaze! gives him every opportunity to do so. Crusher is an adversary, his purpose is to show the opposite of cooperation and fair play and how cheaters never win in the long run. Nowhere does AJ/Blaze never "ostracize" him or Pickle. In matter of fact, in one episode Crusher doesn't want to race with Pickle and AJ/Blaze asks Pickle to race with them. AJ/Blaze even helps Crusher in the same episode when Crusher's chosen team mate Rudy abandons him in a pit that Pickle cannot pull him out of. There's no "US vs. Them" theme ... 3) This is by design. That's why parents should watch shows with their children instead of plopping down kids in front of a TV or Computer and walking off. Crusher is a classic bully, as most antagonists in any story are. His character exhibits every personality trait of a narcissist. There's a reason for this ... for you as parents to discuss this with your children about what to look for in choosing who they consider friends or hang out with. After all, this is STEM and Social Awareness. Children pick up on this right away, that in real life, people like Crusher are not necessary your friend even though they may pretend to be. But even bullies need a toadie (sidekick) and Pickle is it. Pickle is basically Crusher's conscience - always upbeat, always trying to get Crusher to do the right thing. As a Bully, Crusher is more of a whiner than a physical abuser. 4) Yes, and it's intended to keep interest. Let's face it, children are not going to watch a show where monster trucks drive slowly through Axel City or stay parked in Gabby's garage and talk like old women under dryers at a hair salon. Here again, is where you as parents come into play ... explaining the difference between cartoons doing funny stunts and how in real life drivers do not do this except in shows like the special ones that the Monster Machines participate at the Monster Dome. Blaze! requires some parenting on the parents' part too. My 2 year old daughter already knows it's just a cartoon and people don't really drive that way in real life and how you can't do their stunts on the road. And she figured that out without me telling her. Too many times, parents think their children are too young to understand concepts when children are actually more keenly aware about things than adults are. Also keep in mind, this is not a Safety Town video or Driver's Education. But the creators probably could tone down the stunts if the Monster Machines are not racing or practicing and are just driving down the street normally. 5) Correct. Generalized Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts are it's core, Social Awareness is its message. It is not an Environment Sciences lesson. You're not going to see a saving rainforests/whales episodes or energy conservation episodes or benefits of recycling. That's Dora's bailiwick and Paw Patrol's "Rocky" touches on Recycling with his "Don't Lose It, Reuse It" catch phrase. Although - the writers should play the responsibility angle by showing someone recovering the oil for reuse after Crusher spilled all over the Monster Ball field in order to cheat or all the Baker Bots food recovered to help the less fortunate. 6.) Again correct. But keep in mind, this is a pre-schooler's show and the K.I.S.S. method ... Keep It Sensibly Simple. (I know that's not the true acronym, but I'm keeping it polite). There's no need to over complicate the characters to get the core STEM topic and message across. 7) It's an animated entertainment program for children. Give children more credit than what you're giving them, they know children don't normally drive Monster Trucks. They know that some older children in real life can ride a 4 wheeler like Gabby or Ryder in Paw Patrol. As for Gabby missing some female attributes - they're unnecessary to get the point across that Gabby with Purple longer hair and a girl's voice ... is a girl who is a mechanic (another Plus: Gabby personifies that girls can do just about anything as boys). And the children this program is for, don't have those attributes yet to begin with. As for them being the only two humans living in a city of living machines, again it's the K.I.S.S. method. The show is about Monster Machines and other living vehicles, you only need 1 boy and 1 girl. And for people clambering for diversity ... AJ is not Caucasian and Gabby is representative of a mixture of races. 8.) Zeg is a dinosaur Monster Machine that's well loved by the characters and children viewers alike. He's not an inside joke against slow people or people with speech impediments. There's no need for a Political Correctness crusade against Blaze! because of Zeg's character voice. If you're going to do that, then you may want to first consider the stereotypes concerning Transformers and the way the Dynobots were portrayed in that cartoon ... 9) Ever been to a Truck Pull or Demolition Derby or Rodeo at a Fair or a Motocross event? Ever sat in the Grandstand bleachers and looked around at the folks sitting next to you? LOL ... it's pretty much the same as they portray in Blaze! Overall, it's a positive show. Children get excited over it. They absorb the STEM and recognize what it means to be a friend, work as a team, and what a bully is. There's nothing scary, evil, or "disturbing" about the show. No creepy, gross, hideous, nightmare causing creatures (regardless if they're "nice"). The majority of complaints by parents are simply complaints made to complain about something. Watch it WITH your children, like it's supposed to be watched and do the interactive parts WITH your children. Sometimes, I think the children who watch these programs are more acute to what's happening than the "bubble-wrap the world" parents who comment about the programs. LOL

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 3 year old Written byGrant T. January 28, 2017

What on earth is your problem

I just do not understand why you sob for making this cartoon. The graphics the video quality everything about it is perfectly fine but why on Earth do you have to say blaze? "I have the need for some speed" "LETS BLAZE!"?! My son loves this sbow and i have to be the bad guy and say no... you pile of... answer my question why? Why do you put that garbage in the kid videos. Oh blaze group is a social jock crew, always wins and technically cheats. This show is just awful. Im 30 years old and im not a stickler, hell im a construction worker, ive heard everything... this is unacceptable.
Adult Written byfather2two November 30, 2015

Okay, but...

It definitely teaches kids some important STEM lessons and provides them with role models across gender lines and has a non-white main character--all positives. The show does, however, show a character named Crusher and his accomplices who antagonize Blaze and his friends. As a parent and a teacher, this worries me on two levels. First, the characters constantly fight about possession. This can be problematic for parents to put into the proper perspective. Second, the introduction of an antagonistic character promotes ostracizing those who think differently than you. The characters never work with Crusher or promote positive change within him. Instead, they work against his behavior and exclude him from their activities. For these reasons, I will not let my children watch this show for now.
Adult Written byGregory Nelson September 16, 2015

Overrated Rip Off

Honestly, Why did CSM give Blaze and the Monster Machines 5 stars, and Why do people like it so much, It is just a rip off of Cars, Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer, Each character is a vehicle, and there's a human, the new Bob, and They ask where something is even though it's in front of them, just like with Dora, There's no hope in anyone watching this, it's too overrated, Please don't EVER watch this.

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Adult Written byMomNPop2013 November 7, 2015

Inertia, friction and valves

This week my daughter heard my grandson (2) talking to himself as he pushed a heavy box around the room. He said, "Once something heavy starts moving, it's hard to get it stopped. That's called inertia." He learned that on Blaze earlier in the week and was applying it accurately to moving a heavy box. Today, I had to explain friction to him over and over for 20 minutes, because he had so many practical application questions about what he learned on Blaze, this week, about friction. I about tapped out my knowledge base, giving him examples and answering his questions. Tonight, he learned about valves on Blaze. I was able to point out to him the the sink and bathtub faucets are valves too. He seemed quite impressed with the correlation to what he had just learned and the practical application. So obviously that is all exciting and mind blowing. My one concern, having only watched two episodes today, for the first time, is whether or not the emphasis on speed and seemingly reckless driving is inadvertently teaching them wrong in that area. I lost count of how many times they said something about going faster as the recklessly darted all over the screen, rarely on all four wheels. Maybe they need to do an episode on the mechanics and safety of safe driving, if they haven't already. Thrilled with what he is learning about science. I cannot believe, at two, how quickly he is picking up these concepts, applying them and asking questions about them.
Parent of a 4 year old Written byMelissa M. November 3, 2016

Misinformation galore

The entertainment value is all well and good, but half the episodes use these concepts incorrectly. Such as using "Friction" when their talking about "traction", or "inertia when they mean "momentum". I'm not an educator, honestly I don't even have my darn high-school deploma, I'm a dropout. And if I can recognize these major inconsistencies and misinformation, I'm sure their are a lot more that I'm missing, and I see them in almost every episode. If it's that bad, these writers need to check their information before saying "PRINT"...
Parent of a 3 year old Written byDorianneEmm July 7, 2015

Fun Learning, Great Representation

My kid loves trucks, so Blaze is a big hit. As parents we love it because it has real learning, not just about honesty and fair play, but also about science. Each episode is centred on a concept like adhesion or friction, they sing catchy songs about the topic while using it to defeat the traps that the cheater Crusher has set. Plus it has great representation: AJ, Blaze's driver is a POC (looks like a black boy to me) and the mechanic is a girl with purple hair.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 2 year old Written byNaomi D. November 30, 2016
Id like to comment on a specific episode on centrifigul force. Where on the show blaze was referring to this as centripidal force..i found this extremely annoying and in my opinion if you are focussing on teaching children that you pronounce the correct word.
Grandparent Written byJ N. January 8, 2017

Drug Phrases

Yeah i agree with another parent about the cartoon saying Lets Blaze and give me somr Speed. To Blaze One or Lets Blaze means to smoke a joint. If kids said that away from the TV it would sound alarming. They could and should use different phrases. How can parents not know this
Parent of a 3 year old Written by[email protected] May 23, 2016

Great Learning and Positive!

My 3-year-old son is now yelling out words like TRAJECTORY, FRICTION, ADHESION, and STRUCTURE - I love that they don't dumb anything down, encourage vocabulary building, provide real world examples in the story line to make connections and are doing math and science constantly. I think I even heard him subtracting the other day in the back seat. The trucks have a nice diverse range of characters, with both Male and Female leads as the show. Socially, the story line typically follows some problem they need to solve, and one truck who is always trying to cheat/sabataoge Blaze, the truck known as "Crusher" has only one friends "Pickle". When asked does my son want to be a Blaze truck that has friends and helps people or a Crusher truck - he knows which one is positive, makes good decisions and other trucks seem to respect. Great show by Nick JR.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bybrittanylane851... April 30, 2016

Not appropriate!

I don't think the Creator thought about the fact that kids like to copy what they hear.... I don't like hearing my niece and nephew say "give me some speed" they watch this because my sister thinks it's okay and then she wonders why her kids go walking outside and around the house asking random people to "give me some speed" I pointed it out to her and she said "oh then I guess when people freak out now I know where they got it from" and let them watch it some more @[email protected] NO
Parent of a 2 year old Written byZosie J. February 8, 2017

Blaze has tons of great lessons and two really awful ones

My daughter is obsessed with Blaze, and it's genuinely entertaining. I bought all the episodes on Amazon glad for an educational alternative to her fascination with dinotrux, which I hated (way too much pushing and hitting, no positive females). Blaze has a great female role model in Gabby, and my daughter pretends to fix all her cars every single day alongside her Sophia the first doll, which she calls "Gabby." Don't worry about the science terms, for anyone who would take the time to google centripetal force, inertia, and friction are actual physics concepts that are accurately described in the show with catchy songs I would purchase for car trips if made available. My kid uses the science vocabulary regularly but with typical toddler lack of sophistication also regularly employs Crusher's catch phrases, like the supremely bratty "me me me!!!!" when she's frustrated, which is so ugly (and embarrassing in public). She knows Crusher is the bad guy, but there have been multiple studies that show kids imitate whatever social behavior they are simply exposed most on TV to rather than what the plot writers say was the correct behavior in the message tacked on at the end of the episode. My other issue is with depictions of effort. "Let's blaze" is a magic phrase that makes winning easy by activating an intrinsic (not worked-for) power in the main character. Blaze wins (easily) every single time, even when he has put in less practice than everyone else in the competition. I try to redirect the message to be more realistic and helpful by chanting "let's blaze" when we are attempting something difficult (e.g., putting on shoes by herself) and telling my toddler it means "let's work our hardest." If I could also get her to stop repeating the bratty Crusher phrases in every single episode, or if Crusher were even a little less obnoxious to copy, this would be a five star children's show for positive influence, educational value and entertainment.
Adult Written byGeorgie C. December 27, 2017

Terrible Show

The worst thing on TV. Pretends toteach but just confuses. 2 pointless humans! Lazy!
Parent of a 1 and 3 year old Written byGareth J. December 8, 2017

Educational but sends the wrong message

My little boy totally loves watching this show, he knows all the characters and at 3 is discussing angles, inertia and mass, all picked up from the show. Having sat down and watched all episodes repeatedly, I've picked up on what I believe are some misleading messages. I appreciate it is called Blaze but the show provides such unfair bias towards Blaze, with him always coming out on top, whether it's too the detriment of Crusher or even his so called friends, he always seems to win, using his 'blazing speed', and even worse he does it with no humility or empathy. I prefer the other characters like Darington and Stripes, though they barely feature...possibly because they don't have the ability to change into whatever is convenient.
Parent of a 2, 2, 3, 4, and 9 year old Written byJennifer S. April 23, 2017

Great show

I have 5 boys and they just love this show. they understand what is being said and shown to them. we have great conversations during and after about what they watched, excellent information for a wide range of ages. Catchy songs and awesome characters. A must for any parent with young kids.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byJesse F. April 17, 2017

Show Me Units!...... X

The show is great. It's very STEM oriented, and as an Electrical Engineering Student in my last year of school, I absolutely love the songs. Each episode has some new theme, which is usually derived from physics, and every episode will have a new song tailored to that theme. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because the show has a serious problem talking about units. The only units I remember actually hearing are Meters, Kilograms, Degrees Celcius, and degrees (angular). This is a major issue in a show that's about engineering, and is the reason kids think 30 speed is fast. I don't understand why talking about units would be so difficult. The show already throws out words like [centripetal force; inertia; rotational speed; aerodynamics...] the list goes on. But there is rarely mention of something as simple as time or volume. Even the "Light Thief" episode failed to introduce an SI base unit; the Candela - a quantified measurement of how BRIGHT something is. You just see these Monster Machines getting brighter and brighter with no mention to how bright they are getting. There was a mention of using "more energy", but they never put a number to it. Anyway, good show. Just missing the units, which is where kids usually struggle in STEM classes.
Parent of a 2 and 7 year old Written byEmma E. October 12, 2016

Speak properly

This show is fantastic my children aged 7 and 2 equality love it. My only annoyance however is how they count. When I was a child is got told off at school for not saying my numbers properly. Constantly they miss out the T in their numbers. It's forty not fourdy. Other than this its great

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Positive role models