Honey, I swear I bought the archive just for the articles…

… is the headline on GMSV’s report of the forthcoming digital version of Playboy

Playboy magazine, which for more than 50 years has celebrated the pleasures of the analog world in its own special way, is now planning to enshrine that history in digital form. The Wall Street Journal reports that beginning in the fall, Playboy will release what will eventually be a six-DVD set of archives, into which all 115,880 pages from 636 editions will be scanned and text-searchable. Each disc will retail for $100, including a 200-page book. While scanned pages may seem a crude sort of way to present content digitally, magazine founder Hugh Hefner wanted to preserve the zeitgeist of the decades. “Part of the great charm of revisiting the magazine,” said Hefner, “is the combination of the words, the pictures and the advertising, the entire sense of the pop culture of any particular era. People remember these issues at a particular point in time; it’s like a part of coming of age.” Oh, and if the magazine is reproduced in original form, Playboy believes, no additional payments are due the writers and artists. This interpretation, as you might imagine, is subject to some disagreement. Images from the discs will be printable but not transferable, at least for those few days before a hack appears. Playboy hopes the set becomes a collector’s item and adds to what Hefner insists is the brand’s return to hipness. “Something remarkable has happened to the Playboy brand in the past few years,” said Hefner. “It is hot again. We have a hit TV show; we just opened up the Playboy Club casino in Vegas; and the brand is very hot in clothing. … It all connects to the future and the retro-cool phenomenon.”

Er, sure. There’s nothing like old print ads to get one going.