"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 which entered Series 7 of Robot Wars, the final entry from Team Panda. The robot never fought on the televised show, as its drive belts slipped while entering the arena for its first-round battle, leaving it immobile in its entry gate. Thunderpants could not be repaired in time, and was eliminated before the battle began. An interview with the team was filmed, but was not shown on the televised show, nor were the robot's statistics displayed.

Thunderpants 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 it is again! Come on, you've got to get out of those doors to compete..."
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Thunderpants, only to realise its immobility
Thunderpants Gate

Thunderpants, immobile at the entry gate

Thunderpants appeared in Heat E of the Seventh Wars, where it was due to fight newcomers Leveller 2, veterans Tetanus Booster and previous series Heat Finalists Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit in its first-round battle. However, while entering the arena, the robot's drive belts came loose as a result of the damage sustained in its qualifier, leaving Thunderpants immobilised at the entry gate.

"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]

Despite attempts by Team Panda to return its drive belts into position, Thunderpants could not be repaired in time, and remained immobile inside the entry gate. As a result, it was red-carded by Refbot before the battle was about to start, and eliminated from the Seventh Wars without having entered the arena. Thunderpants' melee went ahead without it.

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

Eventually, Leveller 2 and Tetanus Booster would progress to the second round following the immobilisation of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit, which was eliminated along with 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 lost mobility while leaving its entry gate and could not be repaired in time, 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 Not selected 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


Thunderpants S7

Official Series 7 photo

  • 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)
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