Hugh Hefner has never been shy when it comes to smaller figures, but this time he's doing it with his magazine.
Trying to capitalize on NBC's new primetime drama, "The Playboy Club," Playboy's editor-in-chief is slashing his October issue to 1960s prices to commemorate perhaps the magazine's greatest era.
The magazine goes on newsstands this Friday for 60 cents.
The days when Playboy was the gold standard of men's magazines may be as distant a memory as the days when the hottest Chicago nightclub featured young women in iconic bunny outfits.
Yet Hefner's editors have styled the October issue with a retro look matching 1961, when the first Playboy Club was founded.
Laura Benanti, the star of "The Playboy Club," dons such a bunny outfit on the magazine's cover -- and then wears much less in the issue's inside pages. The cover is inspired by Playboy's April 1963 cover featuring Kelly Collins, who worked at the original club in Chicago.
Benanti plays Bunny Mother Carol-Lynene NBC's new fictional drama captures what goes on behind the scenes of one of the '60s-era nightclubs.
Hefner said he expects to significantly make up the losses with increased advertising and Jimmy Jellinek, the magazine's editorial director, tells Reuters the ad pages are up 70 percent for the October issue.
Playboy currently has a circulation of 1.5 million and has already seen a 16 percent year-to-date boost in 2011.
The issue also includes a 10-page spread featuring original Playboy "Bunnies," women who worked at the clubs, and an "insider's guide" that offers the chance to win a trip for two to the current Playboy Club at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Hefner reflected on the time when his magazine could be purchased so cheaply, calling them "some of the best and most romantic years of my life."
From late 1959 through 1960, he held his first jazz festival, hosted his first TV show and opened his initial Playboy Mansion in Chicago.
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