Playboy Magazine Prices
Publication Dates: December 1953 - Present
Playboy Magazine Publishing History
Playboy magazine has provided quality entertainment since December, 1953 when Hugh Hefner produced the first issue of the free-spirited, newsstand attraction. The first issue was particularly momentous, since it carried a center-page photograph of Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe that Hefner had purchased. The photo was originally to be used on a calendar.
Hefner was so unsure of the magazine's success that the first issue carried no date.
The rest, as they say, is history. Playboy continued to publish monthly uninterrupted since then, with the exception of March, 1955. The magazine's growth had been so phenomenal and rapid in early 1955 that the staff was stressed, burnt out, and, needing time to reorganize, decided to take a month off from publication.
Through the years, Playboy has featured some of the best fiction writers, like John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury (excerpts from his Fahrenheit 451 was presented in three consecutive issues in the first year), John Updike, Stephen King, P. G. Wodehouse, Joyce Carol Oates, Frederic Pohl, Tom Robbins, Alex Haley, and many others.
In the early 60s, Playboy began featuring extended interviews and panel discussions and has kept the format in place for over 50 years, featuring subjects as diverse as jazz artists, policitians, movie stars, businesspeople, philosophers. Some of the more interesting interview subjects include The Beatles, Muhammad Ali, Jean Paul Sarte, Ayn Rand, Marshall McLuhan, Tom Cruise, John Wayne, Bob Dylan, Sharon Stone, Miles Davis, Eldrige Cleaver, Malcomb X, Steven Speilberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Dolly Parton, and many others. The interviews are usually with current newsmakers, as are the personality profiles and 20 Questions segments that have appeared more recently.
Antonio Varga (Vargas), who worked for Esquire and Playboy at various times from the 40s to the 70s, was recruited by Hefner in 1959 and produced a monthly stream of drawings until the mid seventies. Artist LeRoy Neiman became a regular contributor to Playboy in the late fifties and whose renderings of everything from ballet to Grand Prix racing appeared in the pages of Playboy to the present. Neiman's work is fast approaching legendary proportions. His originals and early prints are fetching impressive numbers at sales and auctions.
Playboy became a staple of American culture not long after its inception in 1953. Playboy clubs dotted the urban landscape, the mid 60s to the mid 70s, and the magazine had hit its circulation highs (September 1972 was the best -selling issue of all time with a count of 7,012,000 copies sold).
The magazine has always presented the most beautiful women in the world by some of the best glamour photographers in the world. In addition to plenty of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Sophia Loren in the early days, more recent stars such as Drew Barrymore, Farrah Fawcett, Madonna, Shannon Doherty, LaToya Jackson, Cindy Crawford, and Pam Anderson were interspersed by the likes of Joan Collins, Bo Derek, Jayne Kennedy and Raquel Welch.
The monthy appearance of the Playmate was always a staple and it was Playboy which introduced the centerfold to the world. Among the more notable centerfolds are Monroe, Mansfield, Stella Stevens, Anna Nicole Smith, Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson.
PRICING & COLLECTING INFO:
Consecutive run estimates (ranges from good to mint):
December 1953: Initial publication