TLS signed “Hugh M. Hefner,” one page, 8.5 x 11, Playboy letterhead, November 21, 1955. Letter to John Basil, including a first edition of the very first issue of Playboy from the magazine’s own archives. In full: “Anyone who would pay $5.00 for the first issue of Playboy thinks a good deal of the magazine and deserves to have that issue. I’ve dug this copy out of our editorial file, especially for you. Consider it a gift. Make your payment by continuing to boost Playboy with your friends and giving lots of Playboy gift subscriptions this Christmas.” Includes the extremely rare first version of the first issue, with the third page numbered, from December 1953. Letter in fine condition, with a trivial chip to one corner. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA. The magazine was previously graded by CGC as 6.5, noting a tiny piece of tape to repair a thin short break at the base of the fold, and two small pieces of tape used to affix the letter to the first page; the magazine has been removed from the slab (CGC’s label preserved) and tape has been professionally removed, leaving just subtle shadows on the page that correspond with those on Hefner’s letter, confirming that this is the exact copy he sent.
This is not only the first issue of Playboy ever produced, but also contains a pair of classic images of an American icon—Marilyn Monroe graces both the front cover and full-color nude inside. Only the first printing of this first issue had the number “3” on the third page, which is the rarest version—according to some estimates, this variant comprises fewer than 5% of the Playboy #1 magazines extant. As this was once held by the company as a file copy, it is likely one of the earliest printed, perhaps within the first hundred or so. Once held in the Playboy editorial archives and presented by Hugh Hefner himself, this is a true rarity and important piece of pop culture history.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.