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Old 03-18-2020, 08:46 PM
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Playboy to Cease Publication


Playboy is taking a break for the whole virus thing. Give the world of print media, nobody expects it to ever come back.


Still, I bet the brand is worth a bundle with is vast library and of course the air freshener market.


They were sort of on the wrong foot in terms of women's rights, saying women ought to just accept that men are pigs. On the other hand, they also encouraged women to fully participate in the world on their own, not as an adjunct to a man.


I have to admit this news is just a little sad.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:53 PM
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I'm gonna miss the articles
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:05 PM
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They were sort of on the wrong foot in terms of women's rights, saying women ought to just accept that men are pigs.
In what way? Because they appreciate the beauty of a woman's body?
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:08 PM
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Still, I bet the brand is worth a bundle with is vast library and of course the air freshener market.
I always thought the brand, with the bunny logo and everything, could have been worth a lot, had it been managed properly. They could have emphasized the sophistication that Hef tried to bring to it earlier, with the whole cocktail culture and all that. I mean, look at chains like Hooters or Hard Rock Cafe or one of the casino brands. That could have been the Playboy brand.
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:15 PM
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Realistically, with today's technology, you don't have to go down to the newsstand if you need to see a picture of a nekkid woman any more. You can probably find one on the device you are reading right at this moment.

And society has become too cynical to really believe the model's bio that says she loves puppies and walks along the beach, is working her way through medical school, and is looking for a guy just like you.
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:22 PM
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Why wouldn't I believe she loves puppies?
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:25 PM
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Playboy really lost its cachet when the Rat Pack 1960s segued into the Psychedelic 1960s. The Youth Culture and Free Love made it obsolete.

Best exemplified by the January 1969 episode of “Playboy After Dark” featuring the Grateful Dead playing “Saint Stephen.” The young ladies undulate and groove to the live music, while their squires — looking like a bunch of square middle-aged dentists — are bewildered.

Also, Playboy lost all relevance when Harvey Kurtzman’s Little Annie Fanny ended. The most painstakingly and beautifully rendered comic strip in history.
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:26 PM
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Sorry, forgot to link the teevee episode...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsL3X6ARgVI
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:49 PM
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Why wouldn't I believe she loves puppies?
Most of them looked more like cat people to me.
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:58 PM
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At least they've saved the best interviews in book form. They always were the best part of the magazine.




Yes, I typed that with a straight face.
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:27 PM
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Honestly, I enjoyed the cartoons.
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:43 PM
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Still, I bet the brand is worth a bundle with is vast library and of course the air freshener market.
I'm having a hard time remembering when Playboy was last relevant here in the US. When was the last time the Playmate of the Year was a big deal? The last two that I can remember was Anna Nicole Smith and Victoria Silvstedt and the latter was only because I saw the movie Baseketball and they kept mentioning her name in it. I hear Playboy and I think of a bygone era. You're right though, the brand has a vast library and that's got to be worth something.

I do hear the Playboy brand has some value in international markets. Playboy Enterprises has derived a significant portion of their revenue over the last few decades by licensing the Playboy image.

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I have to admit this news is just a little sad.
It is a little sad. As a little boy sneaking peeks at Playboys I never would have envisioned a world without that magazine.
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:44 PM
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Honestly, I enjoyed the cartoons.
They used to have coffee table books of the cartoons, I remember parents had one
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:47 PM
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In what way? Because they appreciate the beauty of a woman's body?

You will note that the Playboy Philosophy said that what men did was cool. It was up to women to change to keep up with the times.


How is a morality that lets you do what you like different from having no morality at all?
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:13 AM
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I'll miss it, I guess, but Playboy is one of those things where no matter when you look at it, you wish it was as good as you remember it used to be, and it never was. The big deal celebrity pictorials usually turned out to be either clothed, or maybe ten-twenty years after you really wanted to see them nude. Kim Basinger got hers in right on time, but everybody else... Marilyn and Madonna's were swell, but neither of them had actual plans at the time to appear in Playboy. An enduring favorite feature--from sometime in the 50s, but I forget what issue--was the custom bed with shelves, a stereo, and a mini fridge all somehow attached to it. No plans were included, just a note to "show this to a carpenter and he can figure it out."

"I'll make you read the whole issue, cover to cover, even the article by Norman Mailer about his diminishing libido." "Wow, she's good!"
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:37 AM
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Yeah I'll miss the absolutely soulless sameness of the basically clothed models and the cartoon granny with the saggy football hooters.

Intersting i-views of Hunter S. Thompson, Gary Gilmore, and John Cassavetes, gotta say.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:48 AM
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Yes, I typed that with a straight face.
Your nose must be awful sore now.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:58 AM
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Their slide has been a little depressing to watch over the past decade or so. At first, they would skip a month or two by printing the occasional double. Not ideal, obviously, but at least it sort of felt like they were kind of holding the line. Then they jumped all the way down to six issues a year. Then it was four. There wasn't much more cutting to do without just deciding to be done with the whole thing altogether. What a drag.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:37 AM
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...Intersting i-views of Hunter S. Thompson, Gary Gilmore, and John Cassavetes, gotta say.
And with Lenny Bruce, Fidel Castro, Malcolm X, Robert De Niro...
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:58 AM
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I always thought the brand, with the bunny logo and everything, could have been worth a lot, had it been managed properly. They could have emphasized the sophistication that Hef tried to bring to it earlier, with the whole cocktail culture and all that. I mean, look at chains like Hooters or Hard Rock Cafe or one of the casino brands. That could have been the Playboy brand.
Spy magazine did a piece back in the 90s pointing out that relations between men and women had changed too much for Playboy to stay relevant in the long run. The business model--convincing middle-aged men to buy expensive stuff in order to look rich and sophisticated and attract beautiful young women--drew advertisers like flies to honey.

But that looked silly by the 1990s. One line from the Spy article summed it up succinctly: "Nowadays, it's the guy with washboard abs who lands the girl, not the guy with the paisley ascot driving the English sports car."

And at the risk of sounding repetitive, the interviews were often really good. You didn't see such controversial topics and individuals in more mainstream publications back then.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:20 AM
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At least they've saved the best interviews in book form. They always were the best part of the magazine.




Yes, I typed that with a straight face.
Well, from what I understand, there was a Braille edition of Playboy, so someone really was reading it for the articles.


Still, I think it's nice that the magazine should die during the year that we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the 19th amendment. That would be women's suffrage, for those of you running to Google.
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:15 AM
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In what way? Because they appreciate the beauty of a woman's body?
If you have to ask the question . . .
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:51 AM
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Didn't I see this news a couple of years ago already?
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:26 AM
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RivkahChaya:

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Well, from what I understand, there was a Braille edition of Playboy, so someone really was reading it for the articles.
Maybe that edition was in pop-up book form.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:35 AM
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RivkahChaya:



Maybe that edition was in pop-up book form.
That was Playgirl.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:47 AM
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I thought it already had.

Or is it they just don't show nudes any more?

I always preferred Penthouse anyway. Less phony looking women, less Playboy "cool, swave and deboner" attitude, and Penthouse Forum was some of the best fiction I've ever read.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:48 AM
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Didn't I see this news a couple of years ago already?
A couple years ago, they tried changing the magazine so it didn't have the nude pictorials. I think it still featured pretty girls but no unclothed naughty bits. That experiment lasted a year before they changed back.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:35 AM
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Well, playboy already felt like a relic of an older era when I'd sneak a peek at them while growing up in the 80s, I'm surprised they lasted until 2020. Seems like they've mostly been coasting on inertia since then. They actually had good interviews and published some interesting fiction at various times, but their basic model of 'cater to rich older men who like young girls' has worn a bit thin - not that that situation doesn't exist, but the number of 'pretty well-off middle aged guys' has declined and so has the interest in a paper mag about it. I think that back in the day 'nude women' was a huge selling point all on its own, but now it just seems tawdry (you come off as very dudebro if you have playboys on your coffee table) but too tame for the serious smut enthusiast.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:46 AM
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Well, from what I understand, there was a Braille edition of Playboy, so someone really was reading it for the articles.
I tried to read the braille edition of Playboy but my fingers got stiff.

Ba-dump BOMP
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:04 AM
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:55 PM
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A couple years ago, they tried changing the magazine so it didn't have the nude pictorials. I think it still featured pretty girls but no unclothed naughty bits. That experiment lasted a year before they changed back.
I was actually fine with no nudity, but they messed too much with the format in other ways. Everything was presented in bite-sized, one-or-two-page "listicle" format for today's short attention span world. Worst of all, no more cartoons. That was when I stopped subscribing after many years.

I do recall hearing they went back to showing nudes, but I swear I also heard they stopped publishing altogether shortly thereafter. Guess not.

Last edited by Wheelz; 03-19-2020 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:12 PM
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I was actually fine with no nudity, but they messed too much with the format in other ways. Everything was presented in bite-sized, one-or-two-page "listicle" format for today's short attention span world. Worst of all, no more cartoons. That was when I stopped subscribing after many years.

I do recall hearing they went back to showing nudes, but I swear I also heard they stopped publishing altogether shortly thereafter. Guess not.
It wasn't just the nudes -- they sucked all of the fun out of the magazine. They took out the cartoons and all the colorful graphics, adopting a dull pastel palette. They took out many of the features, including, IIRC, the jokes. The only parts of the magazine that seemed like the "old" Playboy were the ads, which were still generally whimsical and colorful. They were designed with the older format in mind, and reminded you too much of what the magazine used to be. They stuck out like a healthy thumb.

Then they decided to re-instate the nudes, and some of the cartoons, and the jokes. But the magazine lost its smart-alecky tone. And it still had that pastel color scheme, and it still wasn't like the old version. They were trying to make it into something else, maybe something they hoped would sell better, and they succeeded only in alienating their readers.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:30 PM
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[QUOTE=Guest-starring: Id!;22198179]Yeah I'll miss the absolutely soulless sameness of the basically clothed models and the cartoon granny with the saggy football hooters.[quote]

Hey, don’t dis the cartoons. Hefner himself originally wanted to be a cartoonist, and he took them seriously. According to comics boffins, Playboy was second only to The New Yorker in the quality of the “illustrations.” Offhand I recall Jack Cole (who also created Plastic Man) and the great Gahan Wilson.
Playboy was the only venue that would publish Wilson’s full-page color work.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:53 PM
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Well, from what I understand, there was a Braille edition of Playboy, so someone really was reading it for the articles.


Still, I think it's nice that the magazine should die during the year that we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the 19th amendment. That would be women's suffrage, for those of you running to Google.
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I tried to read the braille edition of Playboy but my fingers got stiff.

Ba-dump BOMP
They only feel it for the articles.


Ba-dump BOMP[
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:43 PM
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The brand could absolutely be rebooted and bounce back. Don't overthink the existential gender-relations aspect of it, and forget about the nudity. Midcentury-modern aesthetics and "cocktail culture" are back in a big way. Mad Men helped bring this about, but there's also been a general rediscovery and appreciation for the way things looked back then, among my generation, people in their 30s. There's also growing interest in finely crafted consumer goods and vintage analog technology, especially stereo equipment and cameras. And God knows there's plenty of political and social commentary to go around.

If a genie put me in charge of the Playboy empire, I'm confident I could take that intellectual property and rebuild the brand. Unfortunately, only the shittiest people on earth seem to have genies.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:55 PM
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For an example of what Playboy could be, look at Cigar Aficionado, which Wikipedia describes as "a lifestyle magazine, including coverage of wine, spirits, travel, gambling, and antiques." It has a mostly male readership with average income of $184,000. Another example; Vanity Fair, which was revived in 1983 after having been dead for decades. GQ is another magazine that covers much the same territory that Playboy could have. Perhaps had Hefner handed over control to a younger editor earlier, it might have evolved.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:56 PM
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Playboy was the right thing for the right time. It amply filled a void that no longer exists.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:53 PM
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I'll miss it, I guess, but Playboy is one of those things where no matter when you look at it, you wish it was as good as you remember it used to be, and it never was. The big deal celebrity pictorials usually turned out to be either clothed, or maybe ten-twenty years after you really wanted to see them nude. Kim Basinger got hers in right on time, but everybody else... Marilyn and Madonna's were swell, but neither of them had actual plans at the time to appear in Playboy.
I'm trying to think of the last celebrity who was not a model or reality show "star" who did a Playboy pictorial during the uphill or peak stage of her career. There was Charlize Theron but, like Marilyn and Madonna, those were old pre-fame photos Playboy acquired rather than an actual magazine photo shoot. Teri Polo is probably the last one since she was at her peak career-wise (i.e., Ben Stiller's wife and Robert De Niro's daughter in Meet the Fockers). Aside from that, an actress or singer doing a Playboy pictorial was almost always a sign their career was finished. The next time they'd be in the news it would be about them doing a basic cable reality show, getting into a scrape with the law (e.g, DUI, felony drug possession), going into rehab, or their obituary.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:59 PM
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Perhaps had Hefner handed over control to a younger editor earlier, it might have evolved.
He did. To his daughter Christie. She rose thru the ranks to become Chair and CEO in 1988 (so more control than an editor). She turned things around for a bit but it didn't last. She left in 2009. Then things got even worse. (Hefner taking the company private in 2011 didn't help.) His son Cooper meanwhile was moving up the ranks and is now more or less in charge of the biz.

It's a strange thing. In some ways H. Hefner was a complete embarrassment for the brand in the last 20+ years of his life. OTOH, things like The Girls Next Door were quite successful for reasons not at all clear to me.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:01 PM
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Clearly Christie Hefner wasn't the right one to run things. Had he put the right outsider in charge, it might have made a difference. Look at what Graydon Carter did with Vanity Fair or Tina Brown with The New Yorker; both super-talented magazine heads.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:56 PM
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With publication on paper ceasing, how much is the online presence of Playboy still worth? I mean, it's a big brand with a lot of brand identity. And what about publications outside the US? I know that Playboy Germany always was some different beast than the US Playboy, because I've known it from my early youth (don't get me wrong, of course I only ever read it for the nudes).
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:28 PM
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You will note that the Playboy Philosophy said that what men did was cool. It was up to women to change to keep up with the times.


How is a morality that lets you do what you like different from having no morality at all?
They may have said that 50 or 60 years ago, but they changed with the times.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:11 PM
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They may have said that 50 or 60 years ago, but they changed with the times.
True that. I can't claim to remember official updates to the "Playboy Philosophy", but the cartoon humor reflected it:
An attractive young woman in a sports car asks a rural, rotund gas station attendant, "Hey Slim, where does a Ms. go around here to get laid?"

A middle-age man in a bar glares at his wife (who is seated next to a young stud), "You know very well dear that when I suggested a menage a trois, I mean another woman!"
Playboy's cause was the sexual revolution. That's over.
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:42 PM
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With publication on paper ceasing, how much is the online presence of Playboy still worth? I mean, it's a big brand with a lot of brand identity.
Before this thread was posted, when was the last time anyone reading this visited the Playboy web site? When was the last time somebody pointed out something they found on the web site to you or discussed something that was on the web site?
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:39 PM
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I’ve never visited it.

My late Chicago-based mother-in-law’s final job was as a fact-checker for the Playboy editorial department. Back in the ‘80s, she asked if I wanted a free subscription.

My 13 year old self in 1974 would have jumped at it. By the mid-80s, the fashion for feathered hair and heavy makeup on the models was a turn-off, and the cartoons and written content were in sharp decline. I apologetically declined the offer.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:50 PM
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Less phony looking women, less Playboy "cool, swave and deboner" attitude
If that wasn’t on purpose, it’s one of the best typos I’ve seen in a long time.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:08 PM
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Before this thread was posted, when was the last time anyone reading this visited the Playboy web site? When was the last time somebody pointed out something they found on the web site to you or discussed something that was on the web site?
That's true, but in my, ahem, studies on human anatomy on the web in the last 25 years, I saw a lot of pictures of models from Playboy, most of them exclusive online content. Now, don't ask me how online porn and erotica make any money at all, I never understood THAT, but somehow they do, and the Playboy brand was always a big player in that segment of the net.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:15 PM
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For an example of what Playboy could be, look at Cigar Aficionado, which Wikipedia describes as "a lifestyle magazine, including coverage of wine, spirits, travel, gambling, and antiques." It has a mostly male readership with average income of $184,000. Another example; Vanity Fair, which was revived in 1983 after having been dead for decades. GQ is another magazine that covers much the same territory that Playboy could have. Perhaps had Hefner handed over control to a younger editor earlier, it might have evolved.
I think the problem with the playboy brand is that its image turned and remained sleazy, not sophisticated, even though the nudes in the magazine stayed about like they were. If you had people over and they see GQ or Cigar Afficionado on your coffee table, their impression was that you're a fashionable man with an expensive cigar hobby (or interest in those). If you have Playboy, you're a skeeze that didn't hide his porn (and today you'd also be someone who pays a lot for not-that-great porn). I remember seeing playboy-logo shirts and hats and stuff when I was younger, but I also remember just about everyone considering them really tacky to actually buy and wear. They had strong brand recognition with the bunny logo and the name, but it wasn't really a brand you wanted to be associated with by other people.

Would definitely need to be handed over earlier, and would have had to do something to make it a brand you want people to see you using. "He looks like he stepped out of GQ" is a compliment on a man's clothes, "He looks like he stepped out of playboy" just doesn't have that ring.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:23 PM
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Last edited by Pantastic; 03-19-2020 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Hey, don’t dis the cartoons.
Nah, it was just basically Robert Brown's granny. Along with the venerable Mr. Wilson, I also dug the two Charleses: Rodriguez (who figured more in Nat Lamp) and Addams (who figured more in The New Yorker)

Some of my favourite things about the rag were The Vargas Girls and (less so, but still dug) Leroy Neiman's stuff .


So, who was the hottest of 'em?

Marriane Gravatte?
Patty MacGuire/Connors?
Glenn Close?
Shannon Tweed?

Last edited by Guest-starring: Id!; 03-19-2020 at 10:50 PM.
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