a 1960s “Playmate” beer can that fetched $2,400 in the 2012 The Adolf Grenke Breweriana Collection auction
Sunshine Brewing Co. came out with this brand in the mid-1960s. Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of Playboy magazine, Sunshine attempted to trademark both “Playboy” and “Playmate” as trademarks for their beer and malt liquor.
In 1966 Playboy sued them. [HMH Publishing Co., Inc. v. Sunshine Brewing Co.]
Unfortunately when Sunshine advertised their new beer as Playmate they didn’t realized or didn’t care that they were violating a trademarked name owned by Playboy. Later that year Playboy… sued the Sunshine Brewing Company. … Playmate Beer never made it to the shelves and was never really advertised to the public. Sunshine was ordered to destroy everything associated with the Playmate name.
A good friend of mine who worked at the brewery at the time of the “Playmate Purge” told me he was assigned to the work detail that was tasked with destroying all in-stock beer cans. He said the cases would come down a conveyer-belt where he and about 4 other guys would crush every can with a hammer then send them into a dumpster. Hammers were swinging and beer was flying!
These Playmate beer cans are very scarce and, because of this, they can command some pretty high prices.
(More about it, after the fold…)
The graphic design of the cans and the label for the bottles are similar. The bottle labels, however, include the tagline, “with the zing of malt liquor” which does not appear on the “Malt Liquor” can but does appear on the “Premium Beer” can.
The typography of the logo is in the same casually-interlocking style that we were looking at last year. (See: Fold-Pak and other casually interlocking logotypes)
As a container with a face, it’s yet another anthro-pack.
The isolation of its two facial features (lips and one eye) owes something to the 1950 Vogue cover (on the right). It also owes a little something, perhaps, to Frederick’s of Hollywood, the lingerie company…
Our clothes cosmetize a woman’s body. They don’t just cover the body, they take the good parts and enhance them.