The NIck Jr. tribute week is in full swing. Nickelodeon's Marianne James talks to Licensing.biz about the the tearaway success of its hit pre-school series, Blaze and the Monster Machines as it continues to deliver STEM learning to both boys and girls.
Blaze and the Monster Machines is the high-speed, adventure-fuelled show featuring daring rescues and heroic missions centred around Axle City’s greatest monster truck, Blaze and his driver AJ.
Blaze has carved out a reputation as being a key character to help develop children’s knowledge of science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM curriculum – yet still providing fun, laughter filled content.
“On the surface, Blaze is a fast-paced action series based on monster trucks, races, chases, stunts and the amazing transformations that the characters undertake,” said Marianne James, VP commercial partnerships, consumer products and experiences, Nickelodeon UK and Ireland.
“But underneath that, the show introduces pre-schoolers to some basic STEM concepts, encouraging children to apply critical thinking skills.
“When we launched we knew we had a really unique proposition for the pre-school boys market, but what has really surprised us is the engagement of the series with girls too. Starla (a cowgirl monster truck) is the second most popular character behind Blaze.
“We will be introducing another girl character in season four, which is coming in 2018.”
After launching in 2015, the ‘smart’ pre-school show rapidly became the number two show on Nick Jr., just behind PAW Patrol, gathering 8.6 million viewers. And the content pipeline shows no signs of slowing down.
Season three has launched with two key new themes: Light Riders and Wild Wheels. The latter features the transformation of the Monster Machines into different animal types, after they discover a mystical Animal Island.
Season four will then launch in 2018, meaning that new Blaze content will continue to air throughout this year and next, introducing pre-schoolers to ever more interactive, fun-filled adventures with the Monster Machines.