Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Playboy is an adult entertainment magazine, or pornography magazine, founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner, which has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: PLA, PLA.A), reaching into every form of media. Playboy is one of the world's best known brands. In addition to the flagship magazine in the United States, special country-specific versions of Playboy are published worldwide.
The magazine is published monthly and features photographs of nude women, along with various articles on fashion, sports, and consumer goods, and often short fiction by top literary writers as well. The magazine has been known to express liberal opinions on most major political issues.
Playboy's use of "tasteful" nude photos is often classified as "soft core" adult reading material. More "hard core" pornographic magazines started to appear in the 1960s in response to the success of Penthouse.
The first centerfold was Marilyn Monroe, although the picture used had originally been taken for a calendar rather than Playboy. Hefner purchased the rights to the photos of Monroe along with others.
The first issue, published in December, 1953, did not carry a date, as Hefner was unsure whether there would be a second issue. That first issue was an immediate sensation and sold out within a matter of weeks. Known circulation was 53,991 (Source: Playboy Collector's Association Playboy Magazine Price Guide). The cover price was 50¢. Copies of the first issue in Mint to Near Mint condition fetched over $5000 in 2002.
The famous Playboy logo, depicting the stylized profile of a rabbit wearing a tuxedo bow tie, was designed by art designer Art Paul for the magazine's second issue and has appeared on every issue since; a running joke in the magazine involves hiding the logo somewhere in the cover art or photograph. Hefner said that he chose the rabbit as a mascot for its "humorous sexual connotation", and because the image was "frisky and playful."
Since reaching its peak in the 1970s, Playboy has seen a slow decline in circulation and success, in part due to a series of bad investments in men's clubs and casinos, and partly from increased competition in the field it founded - first from Penthouse in the '70s and more recently from the related area of more irreverent and socially acceptable "lad's mags" such as Maxim and FHM.
In response Playboy has attempted to re-assert its hold on the 18 - 35 male demographic it once controlled through slight changes to its content and focussing on issues and personalities more appropriate to its audience - such as hip-hop artists being featured in the Playboy Interview.
The "Playboy Interview", a monthly interview of someone prominent, has become famous for its confrontational style and in-depth process as a typical interview would range from 7 to 10 hours long. The interviewers employed have included Alex Haley.
The "Playboy Interview" started with Miles Davis in September of 1962 (Volume 9 Number 9). Over the years they have conducted interviews with Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Ayn Rand, Malcolm X, Kurt Vonnegut, Bertrand Russell, Salvador Dali, Martin Luther King Jr., Jean-Paul Sartre, Al Capone, George Wallace, Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali), Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Orson Welles, Ralph Nader, Arthur C. Clarke, Yasir Arafat, Stephen Hawking, Shintaro Ishihara, and Carl Sagan.
Bans on the sale of Playboy
In Singapore, Playboy is banned. In 2003, the Censorship Review Committee concluded that the ban should be continued because the Singaporean community is not ready for Playboy's liberal use of sexually explicit photographs. In the 1980s, a well-publicized ban occurred when the American convenience store chain 7-Eleven decided to remove the magazine from its stores.
On the 14th of January 2004 the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Playboy Enterprises Inc.'s (PEI) trademark terms "playboy" and "playmate" should be protected even in Internet searches that prompt pop-up advertisements. The suit originally started on April 15th 1999, Playboy sued Excite Inc. and Netscape for copyright infringement.
In the original ruling the Honorable Alicemarie Stotler , of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, stated: "Defendants use of the words 'playboy' and 'playmate' in their search engine does not equate to commercial exploitation of plaintiff's ("PEI") trademarks."
The best-selling Playboy edition was the November 1972, which sold 7,161,561 copies.
- First issue with Leroy Neiman 's Femlin : August 1955
- First issue with a Vargas girl: March 1957
- First issue with Ian Fleming story: March 1960
- First issue with Playboy Advisor column: September 1960
- First issue with Playboy Interview: September 1962 (with Miles Davis)
- First issue to show female pubic hair: August 1969 (dancer Paula Kelly)
- First issue with Playmate showing pubic hair: January 1971 (Liv Lindeland )
- First issue with signed centerfold: October 1975
- First issue with Playmate data sheet: July 1977.
- First issue without staple in Playmate's navel: October 1985
- First national magazine with Web site (Playboy.com): August 1994
(starting at the accompanying date, or during the accompanying date range)
- Argentina (1985 to 1995)
- Australia (1979 to 2000)
- Brazil (1975 to present) - see Playboy Brasil
- Britain (1953)
- Bulgaria (2002 to present)
- Croatia (1997 to present)
- Czech Republic (1991 to present)
- France (1973 to present)
- Germany (1972 to present)
- Greece (1985 to present)
- Hong Kong (1986 to 1993)
- Hungary (1989 to 1993, 1999 to present)
- Italy (1972 to 2003)
- Japan (1975 to present)
- Mexico (1976 to 1998, 2002 to present)
- The Netherlands (1983 to present)
- Norway (1998 to 1999)
- Poland (1992 to present)
- Romania (1999 to present)
- Russia (1995 to present)
- Serbia (2004 to present)
- Slovakia (1997 to 2002)
- Slovenia (June 2001 to present)
- South Africa (1993 to 1996)
- Spain (1978 to present)
- Sweden (1999 only)
- Taiwan (1990 to 2003)
- Turkey (1986 to 1995)
- List of men's magazines
- List of people in Playboy 1953-1959
- List of people in Playboy 1960-1969
- List of people in Playboy 1970-1979
- List of people in Playboy 1980-1989
- List of people in Playboy 1990-1999
- List of people in Playboy 2000-Present
- The Playboy Mansion
- Playboy on Campus
- Playboy Videos
- Hugh M. Hefner, editor. The Bedside Playboy. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1963.
- Gretchen Edgren, editor. The Playboy Book: Forty Years. Santa Monica, California: General Publishing Group, 1994, ISBN 1881649032
- Playboy: 50 Years, The Photographs. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2003, ISBN 0811839788
- Hugh M. Hefner, editor; Michelle Urry, cartoon editor. Playboy: 50 Years, The Cartoons. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004. ISBN 0811839761
- Gretchen Edgren, editor. The Playboy Book: Fifty Years. Taschen, 1995. ISBN 3822839760
- G. Barry Golson, editor. The Playboy Interview. New York: Playboy Press, 1981. ISBN 0872236684 (hardcover), ISBN 0872236447 (softcover)
- G. Barry Golson, editor. The Playboy Interview Volume II. New York: Wideview/Perigee, 1983. ISBN 039950768X (hardcover), ISBN 039950769 (softcover)
- David Sheff, interviewer; G. Barry Golson, editor. The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: Playboy Press, 1981, ISBN 0872237052; 2000 edition, ISBN 0312254644
- Playboy Enterprises Inc.
- Playboy.com (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Germany (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Brazil (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Netherlands (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Mexico (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy France (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Japan (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Romania (Warning: contains nudity)
- Playboy Covers of the World— Thousands of Playboy covers from all editions worldwide, past and present.
- Crossett, Andrew, "Index: The Women of Playboy - 1967-2004", 2004.
- Index: Interviews conducted 1961-1996
- Playboy's Art of James Bond
- Playboynet (Germany) (Warning: contains nudity)
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