- "Its six wheels will make this powerful weapons platform difficult to immobilize."
- — Robot Wars Extreme: The Official Guide
Panzer Mk 2 and Panzer Mk 4, often shortened to just Panzer, were a series of robots which competed in both seasons of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, and emerged as the series champion in each, with Panzer Mk 2 earning the first US title over The Revolutionist, and Panzer Mk 4 winning the second over Tricerabot 3.0. Panzer Mk 2 also represented the USA in The Second World Championship, where it was knocked out in round one, the robot's only combat loss compared to its nine wins.
Versions of PanzerEdit
Panzer Mk 2Edit
Panzer Mk 2 (also spelled Panzer MK2) was the team's entry for the first season, and was closely based on the Panzer, a German tank used in World War 2. It was a six-wheel drive box-shaped robot painted mustard yellow with a large lifting scoop on the front which could hoist 300lbs, although it proved incapable of being used as a srimech and was susceptible to jamming. It reportedly had bolt-on weapons including a spinning disc, but none were ever seen.
Panzer Mk 4Edit
Panzer Mk 4 (also spelled Panzer MK4) was the team's entry for the second season, and featured a powerful 6-wheel drive like its predecessor, but it had a redesigned weapon. The new plough was primarily used to provide Panzer Mk 4 with an adjustable ground clearance, rather than to flip other robots. It was smaller and had little lifting power, so Panzer Mk 4 relied entirely on ramming power to win matches.
Both versions of Panzer were built by Todd Mendenhall, the captain of Team Stealth from Rancho Palos Verdes in California, and the driver of both robots. In Season 1, he was joined by Don Lariviere and Jennifer Twisdom, while for Season 2, he was joined by his wife Valerie, and Jim Hart. The team dressed in military attire to fit the theme of their robot, and were always respectful of their opponents, praising them in interviews. In Season 2, Todd and Valerie Mendenhall always celebrated their victories with a kiss.
It started by pushing Cyclone into the arena wall and ran around most of the time keeping out of harms reach. It briefly tussled with General Chompsalot in the centre of the arena before it flung Spartacus into the arena wall. Panzer Mk 2 attacked General Chompsalot again, before backing away as Drillzilla came in to slam General Chompsalot into the arena wall. Panzer Mk 2's flipper appeared to be stuck slightly open as it was pushed by Drillzilla, before cease was called. The Judges decided that Panzer Mk 2 was the winner, and they proceeded to the next round.
In the Semi-Finals, Panzer Mk 2 fought Manta.
Panzer Mk 2 was quick to attack Manta on 'activate', slamming into the side of the lower machine. Panzer Mk 2 then hit Manta head-on, but was unable to get underneath for a flip. Panzer Mk 2 backed away into Refbot, before coming in for another attack on Manta, but became caught on Manta's disc briefly. Manta slid under Panzer Mk 2 again, nearly toppling the tank-like machine. Panzer Mk 2 replied with a slam on Manta, bouncing away onto an angle grinder. They rammed Manta again, which appeared to slow Manta's mobility down significantly. Panzer Mk 2 were still unable to get underneath and flip Manta, instead smashing into them and crashing into the Refbot for a second time. By this point, Manta appeared to have lost all mobility, but the fight still went to a Judges' decision. The judges awarded the win to Panzer Mk 2 leaving the Manta team feeling devastated about the result.
In the final, Panzer Mk 2 fought The Revolutionist.
Panzer Mk 2 chased The Revolutionist as it got its disc up to speed and then shoved it into the CPZ with Sir Killalot, but the spinner managed to get away. Panzer Mk 2 pursued The Revolutionist into another CPZ, missing with a flip and slamming into the side of Dead Metal, before the House Robot grabbed The Revolutionist, but caused no damage. Panzer Mk 2 then charged at The Revolutionist again, missing and crashing into the arena wall. Panzer Mk 2 shoved The Revolutionist into a CPZ again, where this time Dead Metal grabbed the spinner and sliced into it. Panzer Mk 2 then pushed The Revolutionist across the arena, but failed to flip them again. A second attack proved more successful, and Panzer Mk 2 finally flipped The Revolutionist against the arena wall in a CPZ. Having been immobilised for 10 seconds, The Revolutionist was eliminated and pitted, and Panzer Mk 2 was declared to have won the US Championship.
- "There can be a new revolution with the Panzer's coming through!"
- — Stefan Frank
Panzer Mk 2 came back for the World Championships representing the USA along with Manta, Drillzilla and The Revolutionist. This competition was also broadcast during Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1. In the first round, it fought Tornado, Yeborobo, who represented South Africa, and Philipper, who represented Belgium.
Panzer Mk 2 began by getting caught on the pit and flipping at thin air, before slamming itself against the arena wall and grappling with Tornado. It proved an equal of Tornado in pushing power, but then Panzer Mk 2 backed into a CPZ, before lifting up Tornado. It flipped Tornado again, this time onto Philipper. Panzer Mk 2 drove into the side of Tornado, pushing it across the arena and flipping it against the arena wall, before clamping down on the boxy machine with its flipper.
Panzer Mk 2 lifted Tornado over again just as Yeborobo was being counted out. Yeborobo was placed on the Floor Flipper, which flung them into Panzer Mk 2 and Tornado as they continued their pushing match. Towards the end of the fight, Philipper approached Panzer Mk 2 from the side whilst it was locking horns with Tornado, and flipped Panzer Mk 2 onto its back.
- "There goes Panzer Mk 2 from California, all the way back to the Golden Gate Bridge."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Panzer Mk 2 is counted out
Its self-righting mechanism appeared to have jammed during the tussle with Tornado, so Panzer Mk 2 was unable to right itself and Refbot counted it out, eliminating it from the competition, with Tornado heading through instead. This proved to be the team's only loss on Robot Wars.
- "It has a self-righting mechanism, except, from all the beating with Tornado, it seems to have jammed. So, couldn't quite get back over, I was hitting the switch and it was wiggling a little, and that was done."
- — Don Lariviere
Panzer Mk 4 began by targeting Joker. Joker hit Panzer Mk 4 in reply, but no damage was taken. Snake Bite stayed away from the action at first, but then pushed Panzer Mk 4 into the arena wall. This didn't faze Panzer Mk 4, who pushed Joker into the wall, onto the flames, and then into the disc button. Panzer Mk 4 rode up the front of Snake Bite as Joker backed away, before ramming into Snake Bite and getting caught on the green machine. As Joker spun around over a flame jet, Panzer Mk 4 hit Snake Bite again, towards Sgt. Bash, before pushing Joker into Dead Metal. They then repeated this with Snake Bite, before slamming into them again as time ran out. With all three machines still mobile at the end, the Judges eliminated Joker.
Panzer Mk 4 quickly drove straight out towards Spin Doctor and began pushing it around, tires screeching in the process. With their disk still not working, Spin Doctor tried using its rear wedge to slam into Panzer Mk 4, but the unaffected Panzer Mk 4 continued to push them around. Spin Doctor turned round, pointing its disc at Panzer Mk 4, but Panzer Mk 4 charged straight into them, the power of the attack flipping Spin Doctor over.
- "Look at the speed and power of the Panzer Mk 4!"
- — Stefan Frank as Panzer Mk 4 flips Spin Doctor over
Out of options, Spin Doctor backed into the pit release button, but this gave Panzer Mk 4 another chance to slam into its opponent. The disoriented Spin Doctor accidentally backed straight into the opening pit, putting Panzer Mk 4 through to the Heat Final.
There in the Heat Final, Panzer Mk 4 faced Probophobia.
Panzer Mk 4 was extremely aggressive, pushing Probophobia into the pincer of Sgt. Bash early on. Panzer Mk 4 backed away while the House Robot gripped Probophobia, before driving into them, over Probophobia's wedge, into the arena wall and almost over, but Panzer Mk 4 escaped and pushed its adversary into both House Robots.
- "Wow! Panzer comes in from nowhere, he must have had 30 miles an hour on him. That's some major speed and lift"
- — Stefan Frank as Panzer crashes into Probophobia and Sgt. Bash
Probophobia finally escaped Sir Killalot and gave Panzer Mk 4 another scare when Probophobia lifted Panzer Mk 4 up, but Panzer Mk 4 stayed on its wheels. Panzer Mk 4 reversed into Probophobia, pushing them into a CPZ with ease, before pushing Probophobia into the arena wall. They came in for another attack on Probophobia, pushing them up against an angle grinder, but unable to wedge them on it. Probophobia drove away, causing Panzer Mk 4 to miss another slam, crashing into the angle grinder instead. Another slam by Panzer Mk 4 sent Probophobia into the disc button, activating it. By this point, Probophobia appeared to have slowed down, but the relentless champion continued its assault. Eventually, Probophobia ceased moving altogether, so Panzer Mk 4 pushed it onto the pit and activated the pit release. Probophobia weren't quite down, so Panzer Mk 4 gently pushed it and triggered the pyrotechnics of the pit, signaling Probophobia's elimination from the competition.
- "There's no question in my mind why these guys are the reigning champs."
- — Stefan Frank
In the first round of the Grand Final, Panzer Mk 4 went up against Rosie the Riveter 2.
The battle began with Rosie the Riveter 2 shoving Panzer Mk 4 from the side into an angle grinder. Panzer Mk 4 backed away, over the Flame Pit and into the arena wall, spinning and turning into Rosie the Riveter 2's wedge. Rosie the Riveter 2 drove under Panzer Mk 4's side again, but the US champion quickly escaped. Panzer Mk 4 launched its own attack on Rosie the Riveter 2's side, bouncing them up but not turning them over. Panzer Mk 4 finally took advantage of Rosie the Riveter 2's high ground clearance, driving them into the arena wall of a CPZ, leaving them in the clutches of Dead Metal. The tussle caused the pit release to be activated as Panzer Mk 4 and Rosie the Riveter 2 continued to clash head-on, neither being able to penetrate the other's ground clearance from the front. Rosie the Riveter 2 launched another attack of its own, but Panzer Mk 4 reversed away, causing Rosie the Riveter 2 to drive straight into the pit, instantly advancing Panzer Mk 4 to the next round.
Now inside the Top 4 of the competition, Panzer Mk 4 was drawn against Destructive Criticism in its semi-final.
Panzer Mk 4 started tentatively, but then charged into Destructive Criticism, pushing them from the side, before Destructive Criticism tried to cut into Panzer Mk 4 with its disc. No real damage was caused though, and Panzer Mk 4 retaliated by ramming Destructive Criticism against the pit button, onto their side and unable to move. Panzer Mk 4 attacked the spinner again, causing it to bounce back down onto its wheels, but Destructive Criticism had broken down and was counted out. Panzer Mk 4 and Shunt then both helped to pit the beaten machine.
The final match was against Tricerabot 3.0, a robot that it had beaten at the same stage at Robotica Season 3 (in fact, both robots were simply renamed and repainted for Extreme Warriors Season 2). Before the battle, the Panzer Mk 4 team added their mascot to their machine.
- "Panzer's got Tricerabot up on the grinder! Up on the real - Panzer, great bit of driving, that mascot's made all the difference in the world."
- — Stefan Frank near the beginning of the fight
Both robots were quick to get away on 'activate', their fronts colliding, but neither machine were able to get under the other. Panzer Mk 4 shoved Tricerabot 3.0 into the arena wall from the side. Tricerabot 3.0 quickly recovered, but Panzer Mk 4 attacked them again, ramming Tricerabot 3.0 into the arena wall again, sending the invertible machine over and onto the angle grinder. Panzer Mk 4 smashed into Tricerabot 3.0 again, knocking them off the angle grinder. Tricerabot then drove under Panzer Mk 4, the impact almost flipping Panzer Mk 4 over, before they slowly toppled back onto their wheels.
Tricerabot 3.0 came in for another attack; it was their turn to push Panzer Mk 4 against the arena wall, before Panzer Mk 4 piggy-backed Tricerabot 3.0. Panzer Mk 4 drove under Tricerabot 3.0's front and pushed them into a CPZ, with Sgt. Bash coming in and briefly separating the machines from their persistent onslaught. Another attack from Panzer Mk 4 lifted Tricerabot 3.0 up. They pushed Tricerabot 3.0 again, but their front wedge got caught on the arena disc, allowing Tricerabot 3.0 to get away. Panzer Mk 4 launched one final attack, shoving Tricerabot 3.0 onto another angle grinder, and then slamming into them again, righting the invertible machine, before time ran out. The Judges decided to award the victory to Panzer Mk 4, meaning they successfully defended the Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors Championship.
|PANZER MK 2 - RESULTS|
|Heat||vs. Cyclone, Drillzilla, General Chompsalot, Run Away, Spartacus||Won|
|Final||vs. The Revolutionist||Won|
|The Second World Championship|
Representing USA, Heat
|NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during Extreme Series 1|
|Heat||vs. Philipper (BEL), Tornado (UK), Yeborobo (RSA)||Eliminated|
|PANZER MK 4 - RESULTS|
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Joker, Snake Bite||Qualified|
|Heat A, Round 2||vs. Spin Doctor||Won|
|Heat A, Final||vs. Probophobia||Won|
|Grand Final, Round 1||vs. Rosie the Riveter 2||Won|
|Grand Final, Semi-Final||vs. Destructive Criticism||Won|
|Grand Final||vs. Tricerabot 3.0||Won|
- Wins: 9
- Losses: 1
|Main Series||Panzer Mk Series Record|
|Season 1||Grand Champion|
|Season 2||Grand Champion|
|Nickelodeon||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
The team also entered the first season of the US robot combat series Robotica with their original design Panzer Mk 1 where it beat Malvolio then lost to Viper. They returned for the third season with Panzer Mk 3 and won the competition, defeating Juggerbot in the final. By definition, this makes Panzer the only robot to have won two separate televised robot combat series. It also competed in BattleBots as Wrath, winning three matches before losing to OverKill.
Todd also built and entered lightweight Pestilence for Season 1.0 (Pestilence entered the 1999 Long Beach event as part of middleweight clusterbot SlapPest), super heavyweight Doom of Babylon for Season 2.0, lightweight Harmageddon Too for Season 2.0 (however Harmageddon Too didn't compete) and middleweight Wrath Jr. for Season 5.0.
Panzer also entered RoboJoust 4 in November 2002 as Panzer Mk 4.5 and was the champion of the Heavyweight bracket.
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Alongside Chaos 2, Panzer Mk was one of only two teams to win and successfully defend their title in their respective main competitions.
- With nine wins and only one loss, Panzer Mk has the strongest win-loss ratio out of all robots to have accrued any combat losses, with a positive ratio of 90% victories, ahead of TR2 (88.8%) by virtue of having one more combat win.
- If the two versions of the robot are considered separately, Panzer Mk 2 holds a 3-1 record, while Panzer Mk 4 holds an undefeated 6-0 record.
- Panzer Mk was the only one of the four semi-finalists from the first US Championship to reach the Grand Final of the second. The other three semi-finalists all returned for Season 2, but lost in the heats.
- While entering the arena for the title battle of Season 2, Panzer Mk 4 was introduced as Tricerabot, and vice versa.
- Panzer Mk is the only robot to beat two robots from a single team (in the main competition and not in a side competition) during one season.
- Team Stealth were one of only three teams in Season 2 who did not compete in any side event or Nickelodeon Robot Wars following on from the main competition, alongside the teams of Lightning Tracks and King of Diamonds.
- Excluding the participants in the 10 Robot Rumble, Panzer Mk 2 is one of only six robots to fight at least two past or future domestic champions in a single battle. The others to do this are 13 Black, Shockwave and the other three robots in its Second World Championship heat: Yeborobo, Philipper and Tornado.
- In 2003, the Panzer Mk series was inducted into The Combat Robot Hall of Fame as an inaugural member. Reasons for its selection included its individual successes in Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, Robotica and BattleBots (as Wrath), as well as the speed, power and versatility of its six-wheeled drivetrain.