Playboy, Sports Illustrated Cover, Centerfold Make it Valuable

If you are a magazine collector, no doubt you know the two most valuable to keep an eye out for are Sports Illustrated and Playboy.

But, did you know in this particular context, it is the content that is most important.

We always look at what is on the outside of a package. Of course it is the first thing we see. Whether it is the face of Michael Jordan or Pamela Anderson, we know when we see someone who matters. That is important in magazine collecting, but those big names are also important if they are inside the pages as well.

Let’s face it, after the cover what do most people look at? If the inside spread and the centerfold features someone we like, chances are good the magazine will be purchased. At least that is what those two magazines figured. That is why the inside is vital in collecting these magazines.

Sports Illustrated began in 1954 selling for 25 cents. The cover had Eddie Matthews, a Milwaukee Braves pitcher. The value came on the inside when it also featured three pages of sports cards with players like Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Jackie Robinson. That first issue is worth close to $500 today.

Another popular Sports Illustrated magazine edition was the Swimsuit Issues. Starting in 1964 the magazine featured supermodels wearing bathing suits. Millions of copies were sold each year, but how many were tossed out? Quite a few apparently as some can be worth as much as $50 apiece.

As a collector, things to watch for are the first time a player who would go on to be a superstar was featured on a magazine, signed magazines and magazines without labels. Also very important is condition. Unless it is for your enjoyment, avoid magazines with stains on the covers or ripped pages.

Playboy Magazine began in 1953 featuring none other than Marilyn Monroe on its first cover page. How can you go wrong there? Calling it entertainment for men was an understatement.

Today, collectors continue to look at the cover and the centerfold, but there are some basic prices to know.

Playboy magazines from the 1950 usually go for around $50. Those from the 1960s are worth around $35. 1970 magazines are worth around $20 each and they get cheaper and cheaper the newer they are.

Keep a keen eye out for the June edition as it features the Playmate of the Year and can be worth a bit more. Those with interviews from famous personalities can also demand a higher price.

And be 100 percent sure the centerfold is intact with folds, marks or cuts.
Some big issues include the Feb. 1955 magazine featuring Jayne Mansfield that goes for over $250 and a Jan. 1960 edition featuring Stella Stevens is worth over $100.

Magazines are usually quite easy to find. EBay, flea markets, tag sales and basements usually house a good number.

So if your passion is sports or women, this is a great place to start collecting items that should continue to grow in value.

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