"The concept for the new one was simple: lets build an axe-bot that can run bothways {sic} up so we don't need to waste time self-righting. … The other main difference to Hot Pants was the move to a sledgehammer instead of the axe. The axe never really did the damage I would like ..."
— Team Panda website on Thunderpants

Thunderpants (also spelt thUnderpants) was a heavyweight robot that entered Series 7 of Robot Wars. It was the final Robot Wars entry from Team Panda. The robot never fought on the televised show, merely making an appearance concealed in shadow behind an entry gate, as its drive belts had broken beyond repair. An interview with the team was filmed, but was not shown on the televised show, nor were its statistics displayed.

The robot was named after the film of the same name due to the fact that Pete Collier's and Steve Bracewell's daughters Megan and Amelie were huge fans.


Thunderpants in the making

Thunderpants being built

Thunderpants team

Team Panda with Thunderpants

Thunderpants was a low invertible box-shaped robot armed with a sledgehammer. Thunderpants was constructed using the base of its predecessor Hot Pants as a template. The hammer featured a rather unique mechanism which enabled it to move both up and down from its starting point, allowing Thunderpants to attack an opponent with its hammer even when inverted.


King B Powerworks vs Thunderpants

Thunderpants (centre), flipped over by M2

In its Series 7 qualifier[1], Thunderpants fought M2, King B Powerworks and Pressure. It got off to a slow start, and King B Powerworks slammed it into the arena wall. Thunderpants was still driving, but as it moved into the centre of the arena, M2 flipped Pressure directly onto the top of it, and King B Powerworks pressed into the side of it, causing terminal damage to Thunderpants' wheel. M2 flipped it over, and Thunderpants was left alone, immobile. Despite this, Thunderpants was offered a discretionary place in the series alongside the victorious M2 and King B Powerworks, although the damage sustained to Thunderpants' wheel would prove to be its downfall in Series 7. Team Wind Power, creators of Pressure, state that Thunderpants was selected for the series because of Team Panda's comedic costumes.

"Despite the fact that Thunderpants was immobilised early on in the fight, giving Pressure third place (three out of the four in each qualifier went through to the TV show), Thunderpants went on to the show instead of Pressure because they had funny costumes! Mike spoke to the producers, personally to question the result and that is what he was told. The irony is when Thunderpants was loaded into the bull pen ready to fight it couldn't move so the robot and costumes were never seen."
— The Pressure team on why Thunderpants was selected

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 7Edit

"To be honest, this has been utter pants in previous wars, and looks as if is again!"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Thunderpants, then realises that it's not moving
Thunderpants Gate

Thunderpants, immobile at the entry gate

In Heat E of the Seventh Wars, Thunderpants was due to go up against newcomers Leveller 2, veterans Tetanus Booster and previous heat finalists Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit in its first round battle. However, Thunderpants didn't make it out of the starting gates due to damage to its drive belts. Thunderpants was given the red card by Refbot and was automatically eliminated from the competition before activate was even sounded.

"As I drove Thunderpants forward there was a lurch and then nothing!! I could hear nothing either. They opened the gates and hauled her back. Both drive belts had come off!!! This had never happened before. On later analysis we realised that the damage to the wheel supports from King B3 had twisted the wheels so they were no longer straight. Under load the belts went! Derek [Foxwell] gave us a few minutes to try to get them back on but to no avail. We were out in the worst possible style!"
— Team Panda website[2]

The melee continued as the remaining three robots went into battle.

"So only three remain after the wonderful, wonderful competitive spirit from Thunderpants"
— Jonathan Pearce as activate is sounded

The battle eventually ended with Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit being eliminated from the competition, alongside Thunderpants.


Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1 (forced to retire before the battle)
Heat E, Round 1 vs. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit, Leveller 2, Tetanus Booster Withdrew
NOTE: Thunderpants broke down in the entry gate and never made it into the arena, leaving the other three robots to fight alone.

Series RecordEdit

Main Series Thunderpants Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Panda Monium
The Third Wars Failed to qualify with More Panda Monium
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify with More Panda Monium
Failed to qualify with Big Pants
The Fifth Wars Failed to qualify with Big Pants
The Sixth Wars Entered with Hot Pants
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 1
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Pants
Series 2 Entered with Pants


  • In the edited version of the Seventh Wars shown on Jetix and Fox Kids, all of the robots' introductions were removed to cut the show to 30 minutes. Thunderpants was the sole exception due to it not making the arena.


  1. Video of Thunderpants' Series 7 qualifier
  2. Thunderpants on (archived)