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still think this may be some sort of hoax, but last week, Playboy magazine announced that they would no longer be featuring fully naked women in their magazine. In other news, McDonald’s announced that they were no longer serving hamburgers, Starbucks will only serve mineral water, Eminem will now play the cello and cats are now going to be helpful.
Those were all jokes, by the way, but this Playboy news is huge. For decades, Playboy has been known for naked women, and now they’ve announced that they will no longer provide that product. It makes perfect sense though. As anyone can point out, every smartphone and computer is just a few clicks away from all kinds of depravity to which Playboy, Hustler and Penthouse can’t even come close. Seriously, that’s not a joke. While the “Rules of the Internet” may be a joke, they’re true, and none are truer than rule 34 which of course states that if you can think of something, the adult entertainment business has already done it. Back to the point however, with so much free nudity EVERYWHERE, there’s almost no point to Playboy having pictures of naked women.
Playboy magazines with naked women are a thing of the past, but it will be interesting to see if they can do anything to keep their name different from publications like Maxim. They’ve suggested that they will continue with interviews and journalism, but focus on including art themes while maintaining an intellectual atmosphere. In short, they are trying to further modernize the magazine in hopes of attracting young men who live in cities. According to a brief interview with the CEO of Playboy, they want the difference between the readership of their publication and that of Vice is that “we’re going after the guy with the job”. A half decent zinger dealt to Vice.
In honour of Playboy no longer offering nudity, here is a look at editions of the magazine from the last 62 nudity filled years that are worth the most today. Some are actual copies, while others are just for the covers. Different sources will value particular issues and certain covers and such, so if you’re an aficionado, feel free to scrutinise my sources as you see fit.
Commonly considered the “Queen of Pinups”, Bettie Page was a favorite of not only young men everywhere in the fifties, but also of Hugh Hefner, who spoke fondly of her as a model and as a person. Her dark hair and bright blue eyes could potentially make her the 50’s equivalent to Katy Perry. This rare edition of the magazine is generally listed for over $450 online. Some sites have suggested it is worth over $800 however.
Collectors could be more interested in old issues of Hugh Hefner's girlie magazine now that it has announced it will stop publishing pictures of fully naked women.
The very early copies, those from around 1955, are now worth around $100 each, up to a few hundred for the first 10 or so editions. A copy of the first edition, published in December 1953 with Marilyn Monroe on the cover (she's also featured inside as 'Sweetheart of the Month'), can be worth up to $US10,000 ($14,000) depending on its condition.
This edition didn't have a date on the cover because Hugh Hefner, then only 27, wasn't sure if there would be a second edition. In January 2011, a rare surviving copy – with some foxing (age stains) on the cover – sold for $US7040 at a Julien's 'Icons and Idols' auction in California. At time of writing, a "used" copy was listed for $3000-plus on the Amazon website.
August 1957 edition with beach scene. On sale for $130. Photo: Supplied One of the few places in Australia to find vintage copies of Playboy is at the Nostalgia Factory in the picturesque village of Kangaroo Valley, midway between the South Coast and the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
began picking up early copies of Playboy in the late '60s when he was a regular visitor to the US. Later he responded to an ad in an American magazine and scored a box of around 50 from one pioneer collector. He's found that quite a few 60-something adults have kept the stack of magazines they hid under the bed as teenagers.
Early editions are hard to find here because they were prohibited by Customs, although quite a few copies were brought into the country by the crew of international airlines, who found that Australians were happy to pay two or three times the cover price for a "bootleg" edition.
Marilyn Monroe graced the cover and centerfold of the first edition of Playboy magazine in December 1953. Gazzard says that those published before 1968-69 are the most in demand today, which fits with Playboy's decision last month. This was before the introduction of full nudity. He stocks only copies published before 1975, with some exceptions. He has a few copies of the first Australian edition (February 1979) published by Kerry Packer's ACP. He says these are not in demand.
Current prices depend largely on condition and the talent featured, both male and female. For example, the December 1959 edition, worth $60 these days, includes stories by Jack Kerouac, Alberto Moravia, Roald Dahl and Max Schulman, all listed prominently on the cover. Yes, people really did buy the magazine for the articles.
November 1958 edition featuring Brigitte Bardot on a ski lift. On sale for $100. Photo: SuppliedFor those of us who only looked at the pictures, copies with female celebrities are worth more. The October 1959 features Kim Novak on the cover, worth $80 to a collector. Jayne Mansfield appeared regularly as a centrefold, even after she became an established Hollywood star. Ones with her inside are about $100.
Copies from 1954, the first full year of publication, are worth around $200 to $300 each in Australia. Ones from the 1960s and early 1970s are around $30 to $35. To sell they have to be in good condition and very few are. If the centrefold has been removed, they are worth 50 per cent less.