As it’s already well into November, it’s high time you started making Christmas plans for the Columbo fan in your life – or filling out your own Columbo wishlist if you’re the fan in someone else’s life…
Most fans aren’t aware that there’s a surprising amount of decent Columbo items out there in the market – both contemporary and vintage – many of which are listed below. They’re guaranteed to make hearts sing, and come at a variety of price points, so have a look and hopefully there’s something here to inspire!
Columbo complete series DVD box-set
It goes without saying that any half-serious Columbo fan needs the DVD boxset in their life (expecially in those countries where it’s not available on Netflix – i.e. most of the world). Fortunately, this is a gift that comes at a terrific price, is marvelously packaged in a cigar box-style presentation box – and is, quite literally, the gift that keeps on giving. Often available for as little as 30 pounds / $50 in online stores such as Amazon, it’s a steal and should be top of any wishlist!
Columbo iPhone skin, mug, bags, t-shirts and MORE!
A very nice thing happened since this article was originally published. I highlighted the above cool ‘ScreamPunk’ Columbo design on an iPhone skin, which I’d spotted on RedBubble. I lamented that RedBubble weren’t keen to offer readers of this blog a special offer on their range of Columbo wares. Boo hiss, etc, etc…
Then I was contacted by the designer herself, Lorna Reid, (AKA @SketchStone on Twitter), who also stocks a range of the Columbo items on the Twisted Kiss Etsy page in the UK – including mugs, wallets, t-shirts, hoodies, messenger bags, mouse mats and the such (shown above).
Better yet – she’s happy to extend readers of this blog a 15% discount on any purchases over GBP9.99 made from now until 31 December 2016! What a trooper! Purchase online here with confidence, and enter the code COLUMBOXMAS16 to secure your discount.
Lorna Reid, you’re a Columbo HERO!
Columbo: A Christmas Killing
The little-known but officially sanctioned original mystery novel of the 1970s can be picked up reasonably easily on eBay or Amazon (prices can vary quite a lot), and would make for a delightfully seasonal addition to any fan’s book shelf. Never heard of it? Read all about it here!
Columbo official board game
Another item that surprises and delights many fans just to know it exists, the Columbo board game dates back to 1973 and is, again, pretty easy to find on eBay or Amazon without breaking the bank. A variation on classic board games Why and Cluedo, it really is fun for the whole family. Not sure about the box artwork, mind you. Either Milton Bradley didn’t obtain image rights, or they got a talentless work experience lad to knock it together one lunchtime…
Peter Falk autobiography
Peter Falk’s autobiography Just One More Thing is an absolutely lovely read. There’s plenty of recollections of Columbo, naturally, but the tales of his life are extremely interesting.
Plus it’s written in such a style that it’s almost as if Peter himself is narrating it straight to you. It’s easy to find online and not expensive. So grab a copy NOW!
Nothing quite nails your Columbo colours to the mast quite like striding out in a t-shirt adorned by the Lieutenant’s likeness and catchphrases. US TV station MeTV have a nice little selection available to buy online with prices starting from $19.95. Have a peep here!
The Columbo Collection book of short stories
Penned by no less a luminary than character co-creator William Link, this collection of original short stories was released in 2010 and would doubtless tickle the ribs of any Columbo afficianado.
One could argue that some of the stories are a little too short to really make the most of the Lieutenant’s mental faculties, and there are some pretty blatant call backs to the original mysteries, but it’s Columbo written by William Link – so get ‘im, tiger!
It’s inexpensive and easy to find online, so buy with confidence!
Columbo vintage posters
Some of my most cherished possessions are my range of genuine Italian movie posters for a selection of Columbo episodes released in the county in the mid-70s. With stunning illustrations and vivid colours, they’re truly striking artworks in their own right, and guaranteed conversation starters.
There are several variations available for some episodes, and while prices can vary, you can pick up a great quality piece of memorabilia for well under $100. Search eBay for: Riscatto per un Uomo Morto (Ransom for a Dead Man); Concerto Con Delitto (Etude in Black); Scacco Matto A Scotland Yard (Dagger of the Mind) and Un Amico Da Salvare (A Friend in Deed) and you might get lucky!
And if you really love them…
It’s another book, I know, but this one is really special. Now out of print, TV critic Mark Dawidziak’s seminal The Columbo Phile is a real collector’s item and is really the Holy Grail of Columbo reading.
Released in 1989, it features Mark’s reviews of every episode and season from the original run, as well as behind-the-scenes input from Peter Falk, Levinson and Link, and a range of guest stars, including Patrick McGoohan, Roddy McDowall, Theo Bikel, Susan Clark and many more.
It can be quite expensive, but is worth every penny. It’s the one book every serious Columbo fan should own. Read more about it here!
So, what’s on your personal Columbo Christmas wishlist? And are there any gems out there that I might have missed that you could suggest? Leave a comment below – and happy hunting!
Oh, one last thing… don’t forget to leave out a glass of milk and a plate of Mr Paris’s favourite health cookies on Christmas Eve. Rumour has it Santa’s extremely fond of health cookies…