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RealTime IT News

You Want the Bunny Ears With That?

For American males of a certain age, this news must seem like a dream come true: eBay and Playboy are teaming up for a June 23 auction.

Yes, the venerable men's magazine and related merchandise empire, in a move aimed at reaching the teeming millions, is planning an auction and has opened a storefront on San Jose, Calif.-based eBay .

Among the items to be sold: Original illustrations and photographs by artists, many of whom have become household names, including Andy Warhol, Alberto Vargas, Roger Brown, Ed Paschke, Leroy Neiman and Edward Gorey.

But don't expect to score much on the cheap. Watercolor illustrations of idealized beauties, created by pin-up artist Vargas for Playboy magazine each month for two decades, are expected to sell for $30,000 to $50,000 each, according to a Reuters report.

"The art and design works seen in the magazine are as interesting today as when the issues appeared on newsstands," said Peter Loughrey, director of the 20th Century design department at Butterfields, a brick-and-mortar auction house that is now part of eBay.

Photographs of such celebrities as the Beatles, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and stills from the James Bond movie series have estimates of up to $2,500.

Playboy consistently ranks in the top search terms each month on eBay, according to Lawrence R. Lux, president of Playboy Online. The auction site usually lists 6,000 to 7,000 Playboy-related items on any given day.