DescriptionPlayboy The Complete Collection (HMH Publishing, 1953-2008). One of our auction highlights represents more than 50 years of an American institution -- a complete collection of Playboy Magazine, from the iconic first issue of December 1953 to the April 2008 issue -- and all 650 issues in between! And they're housed in 42 brand new library cases made especially for Playboy.
It's the finest Playboy collection we've seen, with an overall condition rating of Very Fine to Near Mint, or 9.0 on a 10-point grading scale. From the January 2000 issue to the present, 83 of 100 issues are still sealed in their plastic newsstand packages, several of which include a separate pictorial supplement. For individual grades of the first 15 issues and average grades by decade for the collection click here.
When Hugh Hefner borrowed enough money to publish the first issue in 1953, he wasn't sure there would be a second. But the first issue, most famous for its color picture of a nude Marilyn Monroe in the center of the magazine -- taking up just one page, it wasn't yet a centerfold -- the 50,000 initial print run was followed by gradually increasing numbers at first, making those early issues relatively scarce, especially in as nice of condition as in this collection.
Hefner had a vision, one he had honed while working as a copywriter for the premier men's magazine of the day, the venerable Esquire, already in its 21st year when Playboy was launched. His vision incorporated the best of Esquire - the smart mix of fiction and non-fiction, the humor (especially the clever cartoons), the articles on music, sports, and other manly topics, and added to that, the element of the Playmate (a term that wasn't used until the 3rd issue). Esquire had regular, sexy renditions of beautifu
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