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A List of Vintage, Collectible Magazine Titles

Updated on May 5, 2020
ControlledChaos1 profile image

I have many interests and an inability to make up my mind about which one to focus on. That's how I came up with my name: ControlledChaos1.


Magazines Are A Great Thing To Collect

There is a certain charm to reading and collecting old magazines versus reading them on a computer screen that can't be easily described to someone who didn't grow up before the age of the internet. I sincerely hope that younger people discover the joy of the many amazing pulp magazine covers of the past and take the opportunity to peruse such periodicals, because it truly is a great way to relax while learning a little bit about the time the magazine was printed in.

Collecting vintage magazines is a great hobby that doesn't have to break the bank. With magazines, you usually don't have to worry about paying "mint condition" prices because they all have been read often. In fact, I would urge you to look for mags that are complete and readable, but very affordable due to their poor condition. You'll get a lot more joy out of them if you don't have to pay a lot. Enjoy the article.

Vintage Defined

The word "vintage" refers to an object that is from an earlier generation. Such objects often become very collectible as people age and long to remember and reconnect with their younger years.

Ninja #29 and Rue Morgue #161
Ninja #29 and Rue Morgue #161
  • Sadly, Ninja Magazine is no longer being made, but I bought issues every time they came out during my childhood. The 1980's and 90's were all about ninjas, which is probably the only reason this magazine existed. Though they did contain some fiction, they were mostly made up of practical know-how from people who actually practiced ninjutsu.
  • The horror magazine Rue Morgue is named after one of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories and is one of the better magazines of the genre out there right now. The covers can be a bit hit or miss, but the content is mostly solid; this magazine would make a great gift for any horror fan.

Some Men's Magazines To Remember

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Eyefull Magazine August 1952Las Chambeadoras Issue 345Lui Magazine April 1965Playboy Magazine May 1969All Man Magazine October 1959
Eyefull Magazine August 1952
Eyefull Magazine August 1952
Las Chambeadoras Issue 345
Las Chambeadoras Issue 345
Lui Magazine April 1965
Lui Magazine April 1965
Playboy Magazine May 1969
Playboy Magazine May 1969
All Man Magazine October 1959
All Man Magazine October 1959
  • Though Eyeful Magazine was marketed towards men, it played more on risque content than anything else. Using pin-up style covers and articles such as "Brunettes Preferred" that piqued the curiosity of males.
  • Las Chambeadoras Magazine is one that I recently discovered. I don't know a lot about it yet as I haven't been able to find issues to buy. They are for adults and have some amazing covers. I'm keeping my eyes open for them.
  • Lui was a French adult entertainment magazine whose original (and most successful) run began in 1963 and ended in 1987. The word "lui" means "him" in French. There was a second series that ran from 1987 to 1994 but was no where near as popular as the first one.
  • Playboy is a magazine I rarely have a desire to own. Usually it's the covers and not the content that makes me want to get a certain issue. There's lots of value in old magazines; and to me at least, the earlier issues seemed to have a little more class than the most recent.
  • All Man was a 60's action and adventure magazine with covers to attract a male audience. The covers to these magazines are a bit hit or miss, but there are definitely some that I would like to have in my collection.

Magazines Worth a Lot of Money

Satan #1
Feburary 1957
The Title
Playboy #1
December 1953
Marilyn Monroe Cover
Beeton's Christmas Annual
1st Sherlock Holmes
Sport's Illustrated #1
August 16, 1954
Contains baseball cards

Mint Condition Magazines?

The most valuable magazines are ones in really good condition; we're talking Near-Mint to Mint, but the truth of the matter is that most older magazines you find are not going to be in any kind of high grade. If they are Fine condition or better, then count yourself lucky. Magazines were read and read often back in the day; they were not place in bags and boards to keep them in pristine shape.

Cook's Illustrated #120 and Famous Monsters of Filmland #90
Cook's Illustrated #120 and Famous Monsters of Filmland #90
  • Cook's Illustrated Magazine have some of the most beautiful food covers you've ever seen, and pictures don't do them justice. If you see them in person, you do take notice. There's also amazing interior artwork that are worthy of picture frames, in my opinion.
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland is a great horror magazine that lasted from 1958 - 1983. I inherited the ones I have from my dad, and have tried to fill in the gaps to complete the collection.

Sports Magazines For the Sports Fan

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Sports Illustrated January 21, 2008Karate Illustrated April 1983ESPN Magazine June 2, 2008
Sports Illustrated January 21, 2008
Sports Illustrated January 21, 2008
Karate Illustrated April 1983
Karate Illustrated April 1983
ESPN Magazine June 2, 2008
ESPN Magazine June 2, 2008
  • Sports Illustrated Magazine is a must for collectors if you're a sports fan. I love the covers that were clearly taken from actual games, especially from memorable games that I either watched on TV or in person.
  • Martial arts magazines were plentiful during the 80s and 90s, and Karate Illustrated was just one of many I used to buy on a semi-regular basis. One of the joys I get at looking through them nowadays is perusing the vintage magazine ads; you'll often find lots of interesting weapons you've never heard of or forgotten about completely.
  • ESPN Magazine has a lot of really cool covers, but the oversized nature of them makes me apprehensive about buying them. Finding bags and boards big enough to protect them is quite a hassle.

Key Tip For Collecting Magazines

Searching for old magazines on internet is one of the best ways to discover magazines that are truly collectible to you. I love magazines with cool or unique covers, so I did searches such as "cool magazine covers from the 1970's" and such. You have to put a time period or you're likely to get only newer magazines in your search results.

Controversial Magazine Covers

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National Lampoon January 1973The Economist September 1994High Times May 1980 Issue 57
National Lampoon January 1973
National Lampoon January 1973
The Economist September 1994
The Economist September 1994
High Times May 1980 Issue 57
High Times May 1980 Issue 57
  • National Lampoon magazine has a lot of crazy covers, but if you're a dog owner, this one probably got to you a bit... hence the controversy.
  • Business magazines don't often have compelling covers, but this one from The Economist does stick out. I will say that the cover fits the article, as mergers between companies can be quite complicated at times.
  • High Times has gotten quite a boost from collectors in the past few years with all the talk about legalizing marijuana. This particular issue is one that I am constantly on the look out for because of the cover artist... Frank Frazetta.

More Very Collectible Vintage Magazines

  • An Illustrated History of Heidi Saha by Warren Publishing (1973): This rare magazine is highly coveted by certain collectors with estimates of only a hundred or so in existence; by the way, Heidi was an early Vampirella model for Warren.
  • Drag Cartoons #27 (May 1966): Adam West / Burt Ward Batman and Robin cover.
  • Island Magazine (October 1983): 1st Madonna cover
  • Mad Magazine #1
  • Monster Parade #1
  • Nomenus Quarterly: This is an extreme low print run magazine by Erik Madigan Heck with a cover price well over $2000.00.

Cool Magazines To Buy For Your Collection

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TV Guide April / May 1997Saturday Evening Post 9-5-1942Moviemaker Issue 2
TV Guide April / May 1997
TV Guide April / May 1997
Saturday Evening Post 9-5-1942
Saturday Evening Post 9-5-1942
Moviemaker Issue 2
Moviemaker Issue 2
  • TV Guide is one of those publications that is a pretty big draw for collectors that love the entertainment industry. The covers aren't always great, but there are certain covers highlighting stars or shows you won't find anywhere else.
  • The Saturday Evening Post and Norman Rockwell go hand in hand. Rockwell did well over 300 covers for the magazine and almost all of them look great and are worth having in your collection.
  • Moviemaker Magazine may not be all that well known, but I'm a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez and this cover stood out to me on the rack. I bought it, enjoyed reading it and will probably read it again at some point. Bottom line... collect magazines that you like.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Don

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