Saturday, April 30, 2022

Just one more thing

Sometime early last year, I bought the complete series boxed set of Columbo on DVD from eBay. The price that I got it for was incredibly low at the time, and I was excited about that, and the fact that this was gonna be my first chance to watch the series from it's beginning, as despite my watching many of Columbo's contemporaries as a kid; I never did get into this particular show. I can remember it airing daily in syndication on A&E during the 90's, but there was just too much other stuff on to watch at the time for me to ever give it a try. Fast forward a number of years and there's a LOT less interesting stuff being made, which means that there's now more time for me to go back and catch up on the stuff that I couldn't fit into my schedule as a youngster.

As is often the case, at least for me, the eBay seller wasn't exactly truthful when describing the condition of the boxed set, and it's discs. It was stated that the discs were in "Like new" condition, when in reality quite a few of them were scuffed. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I've terrible luck over the years with scuffed discs not working, and since I knew that it was gonna take me considerably longer than 30 days to watch the entire series, which was the window for returns, I went ahead mentioned to the seller that I was gonna be requesting a return on the set. Then, before I could even start the process for the return, the seller just refunded the entire purchase, and seemingly had no interest in receiving their DVD's back. 

Some folks would probably consider this a win-win, you get the DVD's and your money back. Unfortunately, I didn't look at it like that. I do like getting things for free, but not like that. I tried to contact the seller twice, and told them that all they had to do was pay for the return shipping, get it back, then relist with a proper description; somebody else still would've bought it. They never replied back though. I remember this happening a couple of times 10-15 years ago, and I just paid to send it back, as I was comfortable keeping the item without paying for it. Of course, I also had a lot more disposable income back then too, and could eat the shipping costs a little easier. Money is much tighter these days, and as much I didn't want to keep this set that I didn't pay for, I resent me having to use some of my monthly play money to send it back even more. So, I didn't! The seller made their choice, and even though I still don't like it, I made mine.

Now, over a year later, I'm only up to the fifth season (I don't watch television nearly as often as I used to), but so far, the discs are working fine. Having seen a few episodes here and there over the years, I knew that I'd enjoy the show, but am not sure that I expected to like it as much as I have. As many others will, and have, attested to over the last 50 years, it's pretty fantastic. In fact, I'm enjoying it so much that, towards the end of last year, I decided to start a Columbo themed card collection.

I already have a few other television themed collections going: Kolchak, Project U.F.O., Perry Mason, Tales from the Darkside, Monsters, and Batman: TAS (I think there might be one more as well, but I'm drawing a blank as I'm sitting here typing). Taking on one more wasn't that big of a deal.

Basically these collections are just me trying to get a card of as many people who have appeared on the shows as possible. Being pretty burned out on all things sports right now, these collections have received most of my attention over the last six months or so. For this particular one, I already had a few cards that weren't part of any other collections, and then I was able pick up a few more on COMC during the Black Friday sales. I grabbed some for a nickel apiece from the Baseball Card Store during their Black Friday sale too. 

I don't normally cover these collections on here, if only because I don't think anyone cares, but I was already scanning some of the stuff from the Baseball Card Store and COMC earlier this year, and with the cards already out and all, I figured I might as well scan what I already had to go along with the new pieces, and get a post out of it. 

For the time being, the cards are bindered by aesthetics, but will eventually be rearranged chronologically; so everything is a bit screwy here too.

"Lovely but Lethal"
I will replace this card eventually, and then move it over to themed page that I've got going for guest stars of The Brady Bunch.

"Negative Reaction"
Don Gordon appeared on SO many great shows, and yet to my knowledge, this is his only card. Oh, and all of the 2009 Rittenhouse Twilight Zone 50th Anniversary cards in this post, were gotten for a nickel apiece during the Baseball Card Store's Black Friday sale.

"Lovely but Lethal"
Thankfully, I already had a number of Starline's that weren't being used elsewhere. It's amazing how many people in this set appeared on the show at some point.

"Publish or Perish"
Seeing Mickey Spillane on an episode was really great. Trying to find a card of him, not so much. This one comes from a 1987 board game (?) called Motto. 

"Publish or Perish" and "Try and Catch Me"
Mariette Hartley had such a wonderful voice. Had she been born a little earlier, I have no doubt that her talents would've been in great demand from radio producers of the era.

"The Most Crucial Game" and "Troubled Waters"
Ideally, I'd like to have a card to represent each episode that a person was on, but in most cases that isn't realistic. A lot of these folks just don't have a lot of cards. Dean Stockwell has a Dune card that is terribly uninteresting, and pair of slightly better Face to Face game cards. I think this one was 78¢ on COMC during the BF sale.

"Murder by the Book" and "Lady in Waiting"
Marcia Wallace had two very small parts during the first season (one of which was uncredited). I had to get a little creative for her entry.

"Identity Crisis"
I'm pretty sure that this is Robert Sorrells' only card as well.

"Old Fashioned Murder"
Tim O'Connor has a couple of cards in the '79 Buck Rogers set, this sticker just so happened to be the cheapest.

"Mind Over Mayhem"
Given how groundbreaking Forbidden Planet was, you'd think that there would be more cards out there featuring Robby the Robot, but aside from a couple of movie poster reprints, there isn't a whole heckuva lot to be found.

"Mind Over Mayhem"
When possible, I prefer to get cards of people looking like they did when they appeared on the shows. It's usually pretty hard to do, but in this instance, Lew's appearance is spot on. I still need another copy of this card for a Stephen King themed page that's taking longer to complete than I had originally thought.

"The Greenhouse Jungle"
I had been watching a  cool promo card of  Arlene Martel's going into the COMC Black Friday sale, hoping that it would go on sale, then some asshat had to go and buy it for full price the night before the sales started. This is a poor substitute for that card.

"Double Shock"
The glossy finish on this card didn't scan very well, but this being my first card from one of these Americana sets (I've since gotten a few more), I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of them. Oh, and for anyone who's a fan of Ms. Newmar, she will be the subject of another post on the new blog at some point in the next couple of months :)

"Swan Song" and "Last Salute to the Commodore"
John Dehner has gotten some better looking cards in recent years, and with yearly Twilight Zone sets still being released, I fully expect him to get a few more. If the opportunity ever arises, this one will be swapped out.

"Fade into Murder"
I knew if I kept this card long enough, I'd find a use for it!

"Now You See Him"
Robert Loggia is another fellow who is woefully underrepresented in the trading card market. Want a card of him, well, I hope you like this one, because that's about all there is. I thought it was kind of funny too, to find out a couple of months ago that Phil had bought a copy of this one right around the same time I got mine. I'd say great minds... but I don't want insult Phil with the comparison.

"The Most Crucial Game".
I went back and forth with these additions. The episode that all of these guys appeared in aired November 5th, 1972, so my first thought was that that would coincide rather well the 1972-73 Topps basketball release. As you can see, all six are represented in the set, but I've kind of fallen out of love with it over the last couple of years. Plus too, a few of these are not overly great looking poses. With that in mind, I then set about to try and find each players best looking card, which yielded cards from three different sets, and different teams as well. That just wouldn't do, so I went back to the original plan. Thankfully, I still had an abandoned set build that I could raid.

Now for the fun part...

If you've ever seen the show, then you already know that a lot of attention is paid to the murderers -- they are the main guest star of each episode after all -- so I thought would be fun to give them their own section in the binder, or as it's currently called, The Rogues' Gallery (the book in yesterdays post on the new blog was a happy coincidence).

And for anybody who hasn't seen the show, and is worried about spoilers, don't be, pretty much the whole first act of every episode is spent showing the murderer setting up their nefarious plan, and then executing it. And as mentioned above, the primary guest star is always the murderer, so you already know who it is going into each episode. 

The Rogues' Gallery isn't order yet either, but will be when I get a little further on with the condition.

"Prescription Murder"
The great Gene Barry was the first baddie, playing the killer in the first film. I had to borrow this card from one of my Sci-Fi HOF pages (War of the Worlds, of course).

"Death Lends a Hand", "The Most Crucial Game", "Double Exposure", "Columbo Goes to College"
I'm glad that I don't have to get three more Robert Culp cards for this collection, because the pickings are rather slim for him as well. Though I do still need one more card of for another collection.

"A Stitch in Crime"
I didn't want a Spock card to represent Leonard's addition, which doesn't leave much to choose from as far as he is concerned. This is just a placeholder, as the card I really want is currently sitting on COMC, but I'm not willing to pay the $3 price tag.

"Death Lends a Hand" and "The Greenhouse Jungle"
1951 Greiling Film Stars for the win! I love this set, and I love Ray Milland, so I couldn't ask for a better entry than this.

"Fade into Murder" and "Butterfly in Shades of Grey"
As was the case with Leonard Nimoy, I didn't want to use a Capt. Kirk card for Bill Shatner, which, once again leaves me with very few options.

"Troubled Waters" and "Last Salute to the Commodore"
Of all the people in this post, Robert Vaughn probably has the most variety to choose from, as far as his cards go that is. I've got cards of him in multiple collections, and all are completely different from the others. These Man from U.N.C.L.E. are really fun, and since no one really cares about the show anymore, they're usually pretty cheap too.

"Lovely but Lethal"
"Lovely but Lethal" is the only episode so far that I have all of the main stars for, those being Vera, Vincent Price, and Martin Sheen. And just for the record, yes, that was a hell of a cast!

"Any Old Port in the Storm"
I've had this Donald Pleasence for years, but had nowhere to put him. Then I decide to start this collection and a John Carpenter themed page right around the same time, and now there's not enough of the Donald to go around! Columbo gets the nod if only because it was further along. Another copy will be in my future though.

"The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case"
Theodore Bikel was a tremendously talented character actor, and is yet another fellow that I need more cards of for other collections. Now if someone like Upper Deck would just make some more cards of him already. I don't care about more ePack cards of some kid that appeared for thirty seconds in the latest Spider-Man, I need more cards of Theodore... ASAP!!!

"A Matter of Honor"
This card may be replaced at some point too, but I don't have any other options in mind at the moment. I don't want to use a Khan card for Ricardo, but may end up doing so, but it's no rush, so I'll worry about it later.

*Not shown in the post -- Dawn Wells: I haven't decided which Golden Age card to use for her yet, but am strongly leaning towards the 2013 playing card.

There's not a lot of variety here for the moment, at least as far as the card sets go, it all pretty much just Starline and '09 TZ. I've mined those sets for their worth, so they'll be no more of those. I've currently got 30-40 other cards earmarked for future purchase, and there's probably at least 50 more out there that I'll identify later on, so there will be quite a bit more variety as the collection continues to grow.

For the most of these kinds of collections I prefer to use officially released items, but there are some big names that appeared on this show who do not have any official cards, most notably, Jack Cassidy. If he had only played a bit part in one episode, I'd be okay with leaving him out -- but he played the killer three times, and is a lot of peoples favorite ne'er do well; I can't leave him out! Obviously a custom will be needed. Greg has said that he would try to make some customs for me, and if I can ever get my list done (I've got people missing from other collections too), Jack will be one of the first ones that I request. I might see if he can do a Peter Falk too, as he's only got game/trivia cards, poorly made foreign cards, and a few not so great foreign stickers. 

It's been a while since I last did a post this long, on this blog. Feels weird. I'm gonna start working on a crazy-long bio post for the Beavers blog, so it might be another week or two before I have time to post on here again. You'll live though, I know you will.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Picking up scraps

Having not bought anything since early January, and no longer doing any trading, mail of the fun variety has pretty much stopped showing up altogether.

I do have two packages coming, but aside from those, I fully expect things to remain status quo for the foreseeable future. I'm not complaining though, as my heart just isn't in cards right now (which is part of the reason I started the new blog). That being said, I still find some joy in certain things from time to time, especially when looking through the duplicates that, Bo, of the somehow daily Baseball Cards Come to Life! (how he is able to post so frequently I will never understand), makes available for trade after each of his vintage baseball card lot purchases. Not working on sets anymore, there isn't as much for me to claim as some others are able to, but occasionally something in my wheelhouse will pop up, and so far, I usually have pretty good luck in getting those particular cards.

Despite it now being 2-3 months since my last envelope of claims arrived, it's still my last piece of card related mail to arrive, so I guess I can technically still refer to this as my most recent mail day?

The Gerry Staley up top is probably my favorite of the bunch, it was the only combo card that Topps ever did for him. If I was more motivated right now, I'd make more of a push to complete my collection of his stuff, as he's one of those guys who, not surprisingly, hasn't received a bump from the boom crowd. But I'm not, so hopefully no one else will discover how awesome he was before I feel like actively collecting again.

This color shift didn't scan very well, but you can still kind of see what's going on along the border, and even more so up at the team name. I don't know what was going on with the printers back in 1970, but they produced quite a few of these that year.

Don's a little rough, but it's a black bordered '59 that I didn't already have. I can always upgrade later if need be.

The first four cards represented my claims, Tim here was a card that I inquired about via email (Bo has a lot of '93 Donruss duplicates). I guess I sort of have a Tim Salmon collection going now, although for the time being I'm only seeking out specific cards. The image on this one isn't anything to write home about, but I love these red, white, and blue Rated Rookies. I've got Bret Boone already (which also came from Bo), and I think this was only other guy in the set that I would want who got one.

And finally, two suprise '61 Billy Muffett's. They definitely fall into the well-loved category, but both were still a welcome sight. I've lost track again of how many I have, but I think these two were added to the fourth page. That's at least 29 then, which isn't bad... I still need more though!

Many thanks again to Bo for the cards. It's always fun to paw through someone else's unwanted stuff, even if it is being done virtually. Unexpected Billy Muffett's are pretty good, too.

Friday, April 1, 2022

New blog

I don't know how much interest there'll be, but I started a new blog earlier this week. I wasn't sure if I was gonna promote it on here or not, especially since someone already found it on their own. After thinking about it though, I guess mentioning it once wouldn't hurt. So if you feel like checking it out, that'd be cool. If not, that's cool too.

For what it's worth, it'll probably be my main blog from now on, or at least it will be very shortly. I'm moving all of my fun (for me) topics over there, and will just stick to cards and sports on here going forward. 

I will try to keep up with my current schedule on here of a post per week, or every other week. My heart hasn't been in it for most of this year so far. Aside from listing things on eBay, I haven't been doing any card related activities (I don't count blog posts as a card related activity) as of late, and don't think that I have done any during the last month or two. I'm sure my interest level will pick back up at some point, but until then, don't be too surprised if this blogs posts continue to drift more into filler territory

So yeah, anyway, new blog; not the same as the old blog...