Merch Hunter: Groundhog Day

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There should be a rule somewhere that Groundhog Day be committed to the vaults as one of the prime comedies of all time, such is the film’s importance to the world of cinema. It is at once a simple romantic comedy with a high-concept, easily digestible and entertaining, and yet it is also a theoretical wonder, inspiring philosophical and specifically metaphysical debate at the same time as featuring a groundhog driving a pick-up truck. That is some kind of achievement.

It is also a film that inspires fierce fandom: last year, I had the temerity to calculate how many days Bill Murray spends reliving Groundhog Day. People actually queued up to pull my theories (which were supposed to be humorous) to pieces and I was left a broken, quivvering husk of a man. So this year, I’m being far more safe, and simply looking at some of the best ever Groundhog Day merchandise.

I could be hilarious, and simply post the same bit of merchandise three times in a row, but that would probably only be funny to me, so I won’t.

1. Panasonic Fm / Am Radio Flip Clock [Model RC-6030]

The single coolest alarm clock from the history of cinema, and something of a rare find, especially in working order. If you’re clever, you can probably tinker with the innards to make it only play Sonny & Cher’s “I Got Your Babe” for that authentic Groundhog Day experience, but I’d be a little scared of killing it completely myself.

You can buy a working set here for a paltry $55, but it looks in need of some restoration. Goddamn Bill Murray for destroying so many in the film, or we could all have one by now. Possibly.

Interestingly, Panasonic also provided the flip-clock for Back to the Future. Well, maybe not that interestingly…

2. Hero Design “Groundhog Day Info Graphic”

Very possibly one of the best alternative film posters I’ve ever seen – but then it’s always a safe assumption that anything linked to the wonderful Gallery 1988 is going to be pretty damn special. The poster is a graphical survival guide, and packs in masses of information from the film in easily digestible form, and it is a very clever, affectionate celebration of the film, for those with a little more imagination than just buying the film poster itself.

$50 might look a lot for a poster, but it’s numbered, and limited to 100, and it’s far more appropriate to consider it as a piece of rare art. They won’t last long, so buy one here.

3. Punxsutawney Phil

It took a lot to include a Beanie Baby here, so please go easy on me. The little fluffy bastards are worth an absolute fortune, and the fact that there are multiple Punxsutawney Phil variants available makes the cuddly morons a good choice for investment, considering how much they seem to be affected by collector’s inflation. For God’s sake though, if you really must buy them, don’t put them on display or treat them like actual babies. That sort of behaviour should be reserved for your Mr Potato Head special editions, like mine…

T-Shirt of the Week

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Born to the mean streets of Newcastle, England the same year that BMX Bandits was cruelly over-looked for the Best Film Oscar, Simon Gallagher's obsessive love of all things cinema blossomed during that one summer in which he watched Clueless every day for six weeks. This is not a joke. Eventually able to wean himself off that particular dirty habit, and encouraged by the revelation that was One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, he then spent many years reviewing films on the underground scene, throwing away thousands of pounds on a Masters Degree in English in the process, before landing feet-first at the doors of British movie site ObsessedWithFilm.com, where you can catch his blend of rapier wit and morbid sardony on a daily basis. Simon is also a hopeless collector of film paraphenalia, and counts his complete Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads collection among his friends.

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