Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

June 11, 2014

Issues: Collectible vintage magazines

My job as a liquidator takes on many forms, from down-sizing for the 60-somethings moving to their retirement homes, to thinning down for the 30-somethings who ended up with things they didn’t need when their parents downsized! No matter what the age of the client, there seems to be one common bond: Everyone has at least one stack of old magazines.

Whether purchased for the pictures or because you subscribe for the articles,”Playboy” tops the list of the most commonly saved magazine. It’s first (undated) issue, which sold slightly more than 54,000 copies, hit the newsstands in December of 1953 featuring Marilyn Monroe as the centerfold is a must for any collection. These are currently selling in the $80 to $130 range and are a fairly easy to find at online sources like eBay. Other celebrity issues to watch for include, the 1977 with both the cover and an article featuring Barbara Streisand, Jane Fonda’s pictorial from March of 1968 and the January 1986 issue with Andy Warhol on the cover.

As to the literary value of the magazine, there are a number of issues that are collectible including the 1954 March, April and May editions which serialized Ray Bradury’s Fahrenheit 451” in its entirety. These will run in the $200 to $350 range each. The March 1964 issue featuring an interview with philosopher Ayn Rand and the January 1981 issue containing an interview With John Lennon and Yoko Ono plus an article by Stephen King are also highly sought by collectors.

If you are purchasing old “Playboys” for investment purposes, watch for content that includes pictures or interviews with celebrities in their early years of their careers. While these may currently be purchased in the $3 to $5 range, they are anticipated to rise in value to $30-$40 over the next few years.

Magazines connected with political figures and world events are finding an audience.Still at the top of the list, after all these years, are publications featuring our late President John F. Kennedy.

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