Saturday, May 28, 2011

New series: Playboy Ads

     Years and years ago, back when I was a newlywed with no household luxuries (like furniture) and very little money, I would spend all my weekends scrounging around yard sales, looking for stuff I could buy cheap and use in my own house. Like chairs. Chairs were quite a luxury back then.
     One day, I came across a collection of Playboys someone was selling out of a huge bin. They were selling them individually for, like, a buck each. I asked how much the whole bin of Playboys would cost. They let me take the entire collection for ten bucks. I carried that thing home like I had struck gold, and Husband's reaction to my smart purchase choice told me he agreed wholeheartedly. Apparently, he was under the impression not many wives will buy a collection of Playboys for their husbands? I have no idea why not. They're just magazines.
     We've kept the collection safe all these years, and now, looking back at them, it's not the pictures I'm drawn to, or the articles. It's the ads.
     Some of these ads are just the funniest things to look at now. You can't help but laugh. But why should I keep these treasures to myself, I thought? I should share them with my readers! So I'm going to start a new series, the Playboy ad series, and keep it going once a week until I get sick of it or Playboy sends me a threatening letter. Which I don't see how they can do, since these are ads, for christ's sakes.

The first collection of ads comes from January 1987, the Holiday Anniversary Issue.

There are pictures of many women they photographed over the years, including Marilyn Monroe. There's also an interview with this guy:
Which should tell you where technology was back then.
One of the first ads is for a television.

It's got on-screen graphics! And captioning! And 400 lines of resolution! And wireless remote control!
There are more television ads in here, of course.

It's got a double-sided lenticular screen. I have no idea what the hell that means. Did anyone back then? It also has corner to corner focus. Yay! Because corner to corner blurriness is bad!
There are quite a lot of ads for "laser disc" players and VCRs, too. Because no home entertainment system is complete without those. Very 1987 true.

I remember when Poltergeist 2 came out. It was considered one of the scariest movies evah.
This Panasonic VCR can do something scary, too: it can turn your TV into a stereo TV! OHMYGOD! How does it do that?

What say you, Genesis? You like your TV being messed with like that? Oh, I see, you're too busy recording "Invisible Touch" to answer me right now. Okay, get back to me in a few years, when no one knows that song anymore.

Okay, was this when Return of the Jedi came out? Cause I have no other explanation for this ad.
It's obviously state of the art, what with it's 16 AM/FM station random access presets! I don't know if this is what I would call the "beginning of an audio and video empire" though. A remote that works from "across the room" is not what I would call far, far away. But hey, it's got a cassette deck! And a turntable! So shut up!
Some of the ads, I wish were still good today. Take this one, for watches.
These are less than $600 each. For gold. At least, I'm assuming it's gold. "Gold Metal" is gold, right? Unless it's like 3 Karat gold? Even so, it would still be more than $600 bucks today.

This end this week's Playboy Ads post. Next week, new month, same ridiculousness!