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The Swan Archives Merchandise Page

The Swan Archives has attempted to obtain and catalogue an example of each item of historically significant Phantom-related officially licensed merchandise.

Fortunately for us, there isn't very much of it. Especially if you ignore (as we do) all those stupid home made Death Records refrigerator magnets, gumball rings, lighters, pillowcases, and wall clocks.

Here's what we've found so far...we're always on the lookout for more.

VINYL
 
Promotion copy of vinyl soundtrack album from A&M Records
Rarely seen in the wild, this is the soundtrack album still in its shrinkwrap.
 
Standard-issue vinyl soundtrack album from A&M records
45rpm "Old Souls," by Jessica Harper from A&M records (this one's a promo copy)
 
45rpm "Somebody Super Like You," by Harold Oblong and The Undead from A&M records (this one's a Canadian promo copy)
Exceedingly rare British promo single, with Jessica Harper doing "Old Souls" on one side, and Paul Williams doing "The Hell of It" on the other.
 
45rpm EP from Thailand, with four songs from the movie, from 4Track records
45rpm EP from Thailand, with four songs from the movie, from Express Songs
  8-TRACK
 
What could be more '70's than a Phantom 8-Track?
 
CASSETTE
 
How many of these did you wear out?
 
CD
 
Standard issue 1992 North American CD from A&M Records
 
Remastered Japanese CD, issued 2002
Nashville-based Culture Factory USA released this remastered version of the soundtrack in late 2011, in a limited edition of 3,000 copies. They've made the CD look like a vinyl album, which is a nice touch. The album cover is an exact duplicate of the Canadian edition of the original LP, and the disc itself is in a white inner sleeve; there are no other inserts or "extras", which is consistent with how the album came originally. To us, this CD has a much fuller, punchier sound than either the standard issue North American CD from 1992 or the Japanese remaster from 2002. This is definitely the best available version of the soundtrack, unless you're one of those weirdos who thinks the pops, clicks, and crackles that accompany music played from vinyl add "authenticity".
 
DVD/BLURAY
 
Arrow Video's bluray for the UK/Europe/etc. market (region-locked for Region B, so you need either a Europe/UK/Greenland/Africa/Middle East/Australia/New Zealand bluray player or a region-free player to watch it) was released on February 17, 2014 in both Amray (above to the right) and their fancy limited edition steelbook packaging (front and back shown above on the left).

The discs are identical regardless of packaging. This edition includes by far the most generous helping of bonus features on any Phantom disc to date, many of them produced with the Archives' involvement. New on this edition is a wide-ranging 72-minute discussion between Paul Williams and Phantom fan Guillermo del Toro (shot in del Toro's "mancave," Bleak House); selected outtakes and deleted scenes from the Archives' collection (in some cases side-by-sided with the as-released footage); a new featurette based on our "Swan Song Fiasco" page, scripted by our Principal Archivist and featuring the deleted and modified Swan Song footage; the Rosanna Norton "Carte Blanche" featurette, "Paradise Regained" featurette and "William Finley Pushes the Phantom Action Figure" featurette from the French (Opening) bluray (but now in 1080p and without forced subtitles); English LPCM 2.0 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 audio; an isolated music & effects LPCM 2.0 track (so you can listen to the music and sound effects without dialogue); and a fancy booklet that includes a condensed version of the Swan Archives' Promotion page, as well as an essay by film festival programmer Michael Blyth. There are also radio spots (again, from the Archives' collection), trailers (one from each campaign), and behind the scenes photos (mostly the Randy Black shots from the Archives' "Production" page).

The Arrow rendering of the feature is a transfer from a new master from Fox, which is not without controversy. Arrow encoded the transfer without modifying the color or grading from what Fox provided. Many feel that Fox's new transfer is too dark and contrasty as compared to the way the film "ought" to look. Indeed, Arrow made inquiries to Fox about the bold grading, but received no response.

We at the Archives don't claim any special expertise on this. To our eye, though, the darks seem deeper and darker than we're accustomed to, but it's hard to say whether our expectations and memories are dictated more by our experience in the theater in the '70s, or by subsequent home video viewings. In any event, very dark browns look black, and the whole palette of the film is farther towards yellow and away from pink than we think we remember.

On the other hand, the Arrow version looks vastly superior, to our eye, to any prior transfer, including the Opening versions, its nearest competitor, in terms of texture and detail.

Overall, if given a choice, and despite the controversy over the darkness of the Arrow disc, we'd take the Arrow version over the Opening version, thanks to Arrow's more comprehensive set of bonus features, higher resolution and removable subtitles on certain features, and the isolated soundtrack. All that Arrow lacks, as compared to the Opening edition, is the Bob Sinclar music video (no great loss, in our opinion) and Gerrit Graham's (mostly French) introduction to the film. (Of course, as mentioned above, the Arrow disc will only play on Region B and region-free players, so exercise caution if you're outside Region B. That said, many region-restricted players can be rendered region-free through use of a "secret" combination of button-presses... try googling your player's make and model number and "region free" and see what comes up.)


Until the Arrow release, the best editions of Phantom on DVD and BluRay had been those released by Opening, in France. Their original 2-disc special edition set came out in 2006, and is pictured above. It has 5.1 Dolby Digital and dts soundtracks, and it's got them in French and English, as well as standard stereo soundtracks. It's 16/9 enhanced, and has plenty of extras, the most significant of which is Deborah Znaty's superb 50 minute documentary featurette, Paradise Regained, which features interviews with Brian De Palma, Paul Hirsch, Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, Harold Oblong and Archie Hahn, Ed Pressman, and Larry Pizer. It's also got two different theatrical trailers; a ten minute "video postcard" from costume designer Rosanna Norton; a faux advertisement for Phantom action figures featuring William Finley; a short introduction to the film (in French) with Gerrit Graham; and Bob Sinclar's music video for "I Feel For You," which is a little homage to Phantom (and which can be viewed on our Themes page.)    Unfortunately, this set is marred by someone's mucking around with the dead bird matte, apparently thinking they could improve things. We'll explain: In the film, the bird matted over Swan's podium in Beef's airport unveiling changes a bit. When Swan is talking at the podium, the bird has one feather sticking out of its butt (or whatever birds use for a butt), and looks like this:
 
 
See how it has just one long feather sticking out of its rear end? Then, when the camera moves over for the reveal of Beef, a different bird matte is used. This one has an extra feather sticking out of the bottom end of its backside, like this:
 
 
The two bird mattes don't match, which is kind of ugly, but that's how the film was released. It's history. It's authentic. It's what we all saw when we experienced the film in the theater. But for the 2006 Opening edition, someone at Fox (Opening tells us they made no changes from the master they received from Fox) has taken it upon themselves to "fix" the bird in the second shot so that it more closely matches the bird in the first shot. Here's exactly the same moment, as it appears in the Opening DVD, and others that later used the same master (as discussed below) but, as far as we know, in no other versions in the world:
 
 
This is just really strange. We have no idea why Fox has masters that differ in this respect. Maybe Criterion will be able to sort it all out someday.
 
This Japanese blu-ray came out in November of 2013, and is just nuts in every possible way. The transfer is the same controversial one as appears on the Arrow disc, but because Japan and North America are both Region A territories, this one (unlike the Arrow disc) will play on standard North American blu-ray players. It has no extras, except for the same hodgepodge of clips that the old North American DVD edition tried to pass of as a "theatrical trailer," (see description of that disc below). And, very strangely, the feature has only one audio track (English language DTS-MA), and, as far as we can tell, only one subtitle track (English for the hard of hearing), so we're not sure how a non-English speaking Japanese person would be able to enjoy the film. We should have known something was amiss when we saw the cover art, which depicts the Phantom singing into a microphone. (Since he's mute, and can speak only through his electronic voicebox, we're not sure what a microphone is supposed to accomplish for him.) We suspect that the person who drew the cover art (which is otherwise lovely, and printed on a sandpaper textured finish with spot gloss) hasn't actually seen the film. At least, not with audio or subtitles they could understand. Ours came with a sticker on it that says "Fox Premium Blu-ray." Apparently "Premium" is a synonym for "even after forty years, we at Fox still just couldn't give a shit about this film."
 
This version is one of the twelve disks in the French "Le Cinema Du Monde" Series 8. It's basically Disk 1 of Opening's 2006 two-disc set, so it has the film in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS, with French and English soundtracks and optional French subtitles, and has Gerrit Graham's brief introduction to the film (in French), but lacks the extra features from disk two of the Opening set. Although marked as "Region 2," this disk is actually region-free, and in the PAL format. And, like the 2006 Opening disc, it has the incorrect bird matte.
 
In June of 2007, the French DVD set from 2006 described above was issued in a German version by Capelight Pictures. It's the same as the French version, except with German subtitles and German language soundtrack in place of the French. The incorrect bird matte from the French version has migrated to this German version, as well. Available from amazon.de, among others.
 
 
In December of 2009, Opening re-released their 2006 DVD set with a better transfer of the film (in which the bird matte looks the way it's supposed to) in both DVD and BluRay formats, pictured here. The BluRay edition lacks the Sinclar video from the 2006 set and the regular stereo soundtrack on the film, but adds a new DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and is of course in Hi Def. It's otherwise the same as the 2006 2-Disc set, with the extra features remaining in standard definition and PAL format, the upshot being that a North American (NTSC) BluRay player can play the movie, but not the extras. The revised DVD is available in a 2-disc "Ultimate Edition" with all the extra features of the 2006 edition (including the Sinclar video), and in a single-disc edition, containing only the new transfer of the film and Gerrit's French introduction.

Although the Opening DVDs are marked with the Region 2 logo, they're actually region free; they are, however, in the PAL format, so they will play only on PAL-compatible DVD players. Highly recommended, though, as they look and sound infinitely better than the North American DVD.
 
The North American DVD, in addition to having less than perfect picture and no 5.1 soundtrack, is barebones; it doesn't even have the "theatrical trailer" its packaging claims it has. Instead, it has a random collection of clips that it's trying to pass off as a trailer. It's an embarrassment. Production of this DVD was discontinued in July of 2006, but it remains readily available for the time being.
 
Two variations of the cover on the standard European version.
 
Australian version, mate. This is the same video transfer as the North American version, but has only the English language soundtrack, no French audio track, and no subtitles at all. It has the same non-trailer as the North American edition, too.
 
Phantom is one of the discs in this 5 disc De Palma collection from France
 
Brazilian version; English language audio, with Portuguese, English, and Spanish subtitles. No trailer or special features, but check out the unique cover art featuring orgy-girl #6!
 
Greek version -- with Greek subtitles!
 
The Italian job.
 
Japanese version from 2002. We were hoping it would be dubbed in Japanese, but it's subtitled.
 
VHS
 
1985 North American Key Video version
Poster advertising the 1985
North American Key Video version
 
1988 North American version
1990 North American version
 
French version
The older French version
 
1994 Italian version
 
1987 Australian version
 
1989 German version
 
1987 Japanese version
1993 Japanese version
 
1990 Israeli version. You have to play it starting from the end.
 
 
VHD

Here's the very scarce VHD from Japan (which we believe is the only market for which a Phantom VHD was ever created). VHD, or "Video High Density," was a commercially unsuccessful (but kinda cool) format in the early 80's, in which a vinyl grooveless disk was enclosed in a plastic cartridge, emerging from its cocoon only once inside the player. Combine the lack of success of Phantom itself with the dismal failure of VHD as a format, and you can do the math: there aren't very many of these Phantom VHD disks still in existence.
 
 
LASERDISC
 
North America
 
Japan, 1987 edition
Japan, 1993 edition
 
France
 
ACTION FIGURES

These two different Phantom 12" action figures were made in extremely limited numbers by Japan's Medicom Toy Corporation. They're highly detailed, quality pieces of work. There's the suicide version, which comes with a little plastic knife, which you can put in the phantom's hand; and the warning version, which comes with a little toilet plunger (which they call a "vacuum pump".) With both of these, there are removable clothes, the phantom's electronic voicebox, and Death Records diecast metal lapel pins. Also, the detail on the faces on the two versions is different; one has him screaming, while on the other his teeth are clenched.
 
 
 
 
In May of 2007, Medicom released their third Phantom action figure, which they refer to as "Phantom Version 2.0". It comes with both the dagger and the toilet plunger, and an extra right hand. It's pictured here in the box, all minty-fresh.
 
We at the Archives are unwilling to take our Phantom Version 2.0 out of the box, out of concern that he might, if released, resume his efforts to destroy everything having to do with Swan, including the Archives itself. Fortunately, the (apparently fearless) Kim Reed, webmistress at Dolfielittles.com had no such qualms, and has kindly consented to our use of these photos she took of her own dangerous Phantom action figure. Thanks, Kim!
 
The Swan Archives staff is of course eager for the introduction of the Phoenix doll, and hopeful that she'll come in a "singer" version and a "screamer" version. And, if her clothes are removable, we hope there will be detailed instructions; the staff doesn't get out much.

BOOK TIE-IN

To say that the paperback novel, by Bjarne Rostaing, is "loosely" based on the screenplay is an understatement. It actually appears to be loosely based on a very early version of the screenplay, as it contains a version of Beef's funeral scene, which was deleted from the scripts pretty early on. It's an interesting read, though: Phoenix, a drug addict, meets Winslow soon after he arrives in New York City, they have a "relationship," she steals his money, etc. It's kinda like fanfiction; takes characters we know, and tells a different story about them.
 
Here's the same book, with a slightly different version of the cover.
 
SHEET MUSIC
 
All the songs from the film, arranged for easy/intermediate piano and vocal. Also includes some photos (including several nice on-set shots), and Gerrit Graham's write-up from the A&M presskit. This songbook has been out of print for years.
The "library edition" of the sheet music; same thing, but in hardcover.
 
STICKPINS
 
The French company Spartorange distributed a limited number (only 450) of these highly detailed stickpins, manufactured by LMI Paris. They also produced an even rarer version (only 60 units) which is identical, except that the "Phantom of the Paradise" scripting is white rather than red. If you have one of the white variants that you're willing to part with, get in touch!
 
TRADING CARDS
 
"Cards of Mr. Cinema" was a set of French trading cards published by Images et Leisures. The cards used to be compiled at the Mr. Cinema website, sort of a French version of the Internet Movie Database which had its origins in a French television show called "Mr. Cinema", but the site seems to have disappeared.
 
HELMETS
 
Limited edition full size replicas of the Phantom's helmet were sold briefly in 2007 by Medicom Toy Co. of Japan, but only sold to buyers in Japan. These helmets were packaged in Medicom's Death Records boxes (see below), so along with the helmet, you got a free box. The Medicom helmets are not as nice, in our opinion, as the ones made by the Guy in Winnipeg. For one thing, the visor isn't easily removable from the helmet, as it is in the film; Medicom loses authenticity points here. Also, the right eyehole on the Medicom helmet isn't really a hole; it's a depression in the helmet, over which a piece of dark plastic has been glued. The helmets made by the Guy in Winnipeg, in contrast, have correctly removable visors, and the right eyehole contains the correctly convex smoky covering.
 
INEXPLICABLE CRAP
 
The marketing geniuses at Medicom Toy Company of Japan are selling these empty cardboard boxes, but only for delivery in Japan. They're shipped flat, in sets of five, and you unfold them. Shown here with a helmet, so you can get an idea of the size of the boxes. Helmet not included. It's only a matter of time before these guys start selling napkins on which they've scrawled the words Phantom of the Paradise with a crayon.
 
And who wouldn't want to cuddle up with a dead bird plushie? Apparently, nobody would: Medicom's latest offering, in early 2008, was this unlikely custom-shaped pillow featuring the Death Records dead bird logo. Unfortunately, the company received very few orders for it, it never got manufactured, and the orders went unfulfilled.
 
SHIRTS

We generally don't feature unlicensed merchandise on this page, but the Archives receives so many requests from our readers as to where to obtain quality Phantom-related clothing that we feel compelled to make an exception here as a matter of public service.

Unfortunately, most of the "Death Records" shirts you find on eBay and elsewhere just aren't very good. The lettering is usually in the wrong font (crikey, how hard is it to use Metropolitaines Regular?), or the quality of the material is dubious, or the bird is blurry or unshaded. We've looked at them all and, after careful consideration, concluded that the best available Death Records shirts are the ones offered by Austin Steele, at his Zazzle store, here. Finally, someone is using half-toning in the bird logo, the right font for the wording, and the right relative size and spacing between the wording and the bird. We appreciate the attention to detail.
 
 
We're also partial to this stylish "Beef" shirt, offered by Chantale and Angie over at CinemaObsessed.com, available here. Sure, the lightning bolt should probably be blue rather than yellow, but then it would run the risk of looking like an icicle, or a stalactite from the Wampa ice cave. We're OK with some artistic license on this one.
 
 
Jeff Zornow's fantastic artwork for this shirt, available from Fright Rags, is intended to evoke a 1970s era record album cover, and is an imagining of what such a cover might have looked like had "Faust" been released, with Phoenix on vocals.
Here's Jeff's original art, a hand-drawn combination of pencil, pen. brush and ink; coloring and graphics were added digitally later.
 

 
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Inquiries may be directed by email to archivist at swanarchives.org. The words "grand guignol" appear nowhere on this site. All website text, design, and coding is Copyright 2006-2014, Ari the Principal Archivist. No claim is made to the copyrighted works, trademarks or service marks of Harbor Productions, 20th Century Fox or A&M Records, and The Swan Archives is in no way affiliated with any of these entities.
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