On Sale Now: Reprint of Playboy Magazine’s First Issue



As part of its year-long 60th anniversary celebration, Playboy magazine has reprinted copies of its inaugural issue, which first hit newsstands in December 1953.

This collector’s edition reprint is an exact replica of Playboy’s premiere issue, down to the staples that bind it (the magazine began using a glued binding starting with its October 1986 issue) and the heavier paper stock on which it is printed. Playboy’s first issue featured Marilyn Monroe on the cover and inside as the magazine’s “Sweetheart of the Month;” a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; an article on the Dorsey brothers; a feature on “desk designs for the modern office;” and the cartoons and party jokes for which the magazine is now famous.

Playboy’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Hugh M. Hefner commented, “I am pleased that we can offer longtime fans as well as a new generation of readers an opportunity to possess a piece of Playboy history, and experience the original spirit and heart of the magazine that continues on today.”

The reprinted magazine is available nationwide at Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers, and will be on sale through Monday, July 7, 2014. Copies are also available for purchase online at PlayboyMagazineStore.com. The issue retails for $9.99, and its modern-day UPC sticker can be easily removed.

Historical Background
Founded by Hugh M. Hefner in 1953, Playboy magazine has become a tastemaker, an arbiter of style and a vanguard for political, sexual and economic freedom for the past 60 years.

The magazine’s first issue was assembled by the then-27-year-old Hefner on the kitchen table of his South Side Chicago apartment. It featured Marilyn Monroe on the cover with her now-famous nude calendar photo inside, and was financed with just $600 of Hefner’s own money and less than $8,000 of raised capital (including $1,000 from his mother).

Playboy’s first issue appeared on newsstands in December 1953 for 50 cents and sold more than 51,000 copies. It did not carry a cover date because Hefner was not sure when or if he would be able to produce another. The magazine quickly became a part of America’s pop cultural landscape, so much so that in 1959 a New York reader was able to successfully send Playboy a letter with the magazine’s signature Rabbit Head symbol as the only address.