Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Playboy Complete Collection 1953-2016 (HMH Publishing, 1953-2016). The full 54-year run of the magazine, offered as one lot! From the iconic first issue of December, 1953 to 2016, over 750 issues of the magazine that made Hugh Hefner one of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs of the 1950s and arguably influenced as many people as any magazine in the second half of the 20th Century.
    When Hugh Hefner borrowed just enough money to publish the first issue in 1953, he wasn't even sure that there would be a second 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 first issue had an initial print run of 50,000 copies, and successive issues gradually increased in numbers, making those early issues relatively scarce, especially in nice condition.
    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 beautiful girls in various stages of undress, drawn by renowned illustrators like George Petty and Alberto Vargas; Playboy had real, live, beautiful women, photographed in a manner that, by comparison to the "girly" magazines of the day, was more tasteful, and that presented the models in more natural, everyday settings. The Playboy model was "the girl next door." Playboy overnight became the Esquire for a new generation.
    Copies of the earliest issues average around 5.5 (or FN- in comic book grading lexicon). More specifically, the #1 is about 5.0, #2 is 4.5, #3 is 6.0, with the rest of 1954 averaging about 6.0, with the exception of #4, an Apparent 4.0 with glue on the spine. Here are the average grades for other years:
    1955: 5.5
    1956: 5.0
    1957: 5.5
    1958 and 1959: 6.0
    1960s: 5.5
    1970s: 6.0
    1980s: 7.5
    1990s-up: 8.0 and better
    Here are decades of Playboy when it was fab - the gorgeous Girls Next Door, the unparalleled cartoons, interviews with the movers and shakers of the world, fiction by some of the finest writers, and non-fiction on a wide variety of topics that appealed to the hip -- men and women alike. The collection is being offered at no reserve and the copies unencapsulated, ready to enjoy from cover to cover.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,605

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 27 days left to consign to the 2021 January 14 - 15 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Far as I'm concerned, the real superheroes are those great guys at Heritage.
    Stan Lee
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search