Back when my husband and I were into collecting everything from comic books and Star Wars toys to trading-cards and model trains, we spent nearly every weekend at collectors’ shows all over New England. One of our favorites was at Bayside Expo in Boston.
At these shows, there always were a few tables where stars sat and sold their autographs. Usually these stars were from popular sci-fi movies and TV shows, but there always seemed to be at least one table featuring several Playboy Playmates signing official trading-cards that had photos of their magazine centerfolds on them.
The first time my husband noticed this table of living, breathing centerfolds, he was well...fascinated. As he stood staring at the attractive, buxom ladies from afar, I said to him, “Why don’t you go over there and get their autographed cards for your card collection?”
He had a subscription to Playboy magazine back then (solely for the articles, of course) so I figured he’d probably already seen all of the women without any clothes on anyway.
But shy person that he was, he shook his head vigorously and said, “No, I’m too chicken.”
“Then I’ll do it for you,” I said, shrugging, and proceeded to join the line of all men.
As time went on, however, my husband finally got brave enough to approach the table himself and get his own autographed Playboy cards. Over the years, he amassed an entire notebook of them.
After he passed away, I found the notebook in the basement one day and decided to try to sell one of the cards on eBay. I selected a fairly “tame” one and took a photo of it, then, just to be on the safe side, edited the photo using gray strips to conceal the “exposed” areas on the model. Then I posted it on eBay.
I’d barely hit the “List it” button when I received a letter back from eBay telling me I couldn’t post naked women on the regular auction site. I also was scolded for thinking that using strips over the “naughty parts” would make it okay (well, why wouldn’t it?). I was informed I would have to post the card in the “adults only” auction section.
I checked out the “adults only” section and decided (after my eyeballs popped back into their sockets), that it really wasn’t something I wanted my name to be associated with. I mean, my little Playboy card practically looked nursery-school-ish in comparison to some of the stuff I saw being sold on there. So I put the notebook away and then forgot about it...that is, until last week.
I was on eBay, searching for an April 1985 issue of a particular comic book, when up popped an April 1985 issue of Playboy being sold on the regular site. There even was a photo of the centerfold...in all its naked glory.
Apparently, I thought, the rules had changed! Could it be that I now could sell all of those Playboy cards tucked away in the notebook, without having to make myself look like a porno dealer? I decided to give it a try, fully expecting to receive another letter from eBay, scolding me for going against their rules.
Just to be safe, I once again blanked out the “exposed” parts on the card, then I listed it for $20 and waited for the backlash.
Instead, the card sold in 10 minutes!
So I quickly listed another one, thinking I’d get as much money as I could before eBay caught up with me. That card sold in an hour.
I’m not sure if my husband would be happy that his collection is providing me with some extra spending money – or if he’d resent me for disrupting his notebook of precious pin-ups.
I have to confess, it really doesn’t matter to me.
In fact, I’m going to see if I can get $50 for Miss November of 1975.
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