- "To be honest, this has been utter pants in previous wars"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Thunderpants, before realising that it's not moving
Thunderpants (also spelt thUnderpants) was a low invertible box-shaped robot armed with a sledgehammer that entered Series 7 of Robot Wars. It was the final Robot Wars entry from Team Panda. The robot never featured on the televised show (it was seen briefly, but merely concealed in shadow) as its drive belts had broken beyond repair before its first battle in Heat E, after the robot's wheels had been damaged by King B Powerworks in its qualifying match for the series. Thunderpants lost this battle, but was awarded a discretionary place in the main competition. An interview with the team was filmed, but was not shown on the televised show. As the interview was not televised, and neither were the statistics shown on the televised show, information about the robot is limited.
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.
Team Panda had built many robots in the past, such as Panda Monium, More Panda Monium, Big Pants, Hot Pants and the antweight Pants. However, none of these machines had much success at all. The team had hopes for Thunderpants and its power was certainly promising, but in a very unfortunate way, it didn't deliver.
The robot was named after the film of the same name due to the fact that Pete Collier's two daughters Amelie and Megan were huge fans.
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
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.
|THUNDERPANTS - RESULTS|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1 (forced to retire before the battle)
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. Leveller 2, Tetanus Booster, Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit||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 1: Did not enter
- Series 2: Entered with Panda Monium
- Series 3: Failed to qualify with More Panda Monium
- Series 4: Failed to qualify with Big Pants and More Panda Monium
- Series 5: Did not enter
- Series 6: Entered with Hot Pants
- Series 7: Forced to retire
- 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.