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Extremely Rare 1963 Playboy Bunny Hand Puppet and Doll (2)
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $580.00
We could be wrong, but we don't think that even the most advanced Playboy collector in the world has either of these rare Playboy magazine dolls. We have searched high and low, and simply can't even find mention of either of these two incredibly high quality vintage plush toys, created in the likeness of the Playboy magazine mascot. The first of the two is actually a hand puppet (14.5 inches in height, 10 inches wide ear-to-ear), with a stuffed-doll style head, bow tie, and, well, formal tuxedo dress. The original tag on the exterior of the lower right of the puppet's jacket dates the figure and reads "PLAYBOY TM. HAND PUPPET 1963 HMH PUB. CO., INC." HMH Publishing Company is the formal name which Hugh Hefner incorporated in 1953 to publish Playboy magazine, financed with $600 borrowed and $8,000 from private placement of stock in his new company raised from forty acquaintances. In October 1953, the Rabbit Head logo was designed by Arthur Paul. The second figure is a doll, as opposed to a puppet, manufactured with the same extraordinary high quality standards as the puppet, and obviously by the same manufacturer, though there is no identifying manufacturer's tag. The figure stands a full twenty inches tall, is dressed in a black sweater with a white "P" on the front, and is holding a a small pennant reading "Playboy." Oh, and he's wearing white pants and really neat custom-made rubbery-plastic white shoes. There are many similar design elements between the doll and the puppet, but there are also many subtle differences over and above the shape and size of the heads relating to their construction (the fur is very soft but slightly different on each, the plastic eyes are also very slightly different on each, the materials used on the faces and the stitching around the eyes are of equally high quality, but again, ever so slightly different, etc.). The significance of these differences, we believe, is that the doll is even earlier than the puppet, very likely dating from the 1950s, which is consistent with the dating of the bunny likeness portrayed, as the doll features the Playboy mascot in his earliest form. These two dapper figures arrived in our offices as a pair and will remain together. There is, unfortunately, no significant information available regarding their history, and we have no idea if these figures were actually available for sale, or perhaps created by special order in a very limited number for some promotional event, but they are vintage and officially produced and authorized Playboy figures of the absolute highest production quality. They obviously have tremendous appeal as collectibles, and may have a very special, though as yet unknown, history and significance to the famous Playboy bunny mascot. Each has been carefully and perfectly preserved. They are not dusty. Each is perfectly clean, and in absolutely Mint condition. They have obviously been stored away in a perfect environment as keepsakes, protected from all elements, probably since 1963. These are special. When these figures were first brought to our offices along with baseball items, we thought they were the consignor's kid's toys. When he picked them up from his box and actually handed them to us as a potential consignment lot, we had no idea what was going on. We were hoping he was kidding. But it didn't take long for us to realize that these were really incredible vintage Playboy items, possibly unique, and two of the best Playboy mascot items that a collector could possibly hope to exist. These are the best damn Playboy rabbit mascot dolls in existence! There! We've said it! Lightening strikes twice with this lot. Total 2 dolls. Reserve $200. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $580.00
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