Playboy Special Editions (formerly known as flats, then Newsstand Specials) are a spin-off series of Playboy magazine containing glamour and softcorenudephotographs. The initially infrequent and later semi-regular editions ran from 1964 until the publication of the final issues in 2012.
Unlike the monthly magazine, which features a variety of articles, opinion columns, and works of fiction, only minimal text was included in the Special Editions, mostly consisting of captions of the photographs and readers' letters. Two issues were usually published each month. While the magazines often featured former Playmates of the Month, many other models also appeared in them.
Early issues, beginning in 1983, featured approximately 100 pages of old reprint and outtake photos of Playmates with no specially commissioned photos. Issues from the early 1990s began to include a number of "one-shot" models purchased in bulk from glamour photographers. By the mid-1990s, Playboy had established a distinct identity for the line by mixing new shots of recent Playmates with new models, some of whom soon became as popular as the Playmates themselves.
Playboy Special Editions' longest-running series is Lingerie (formerly known as Book of Lingerie). The first issue was released as Book of Lingerie in 1984. Two further issues were published in 1987 and 1988; a bimonthly series began with the November 1988 issue. The title was changed to Lingerie with the September 2002 issue.
The 2002 May issue caused some controversy at Baylor University, which has a religious affiliation. Baylor declared that associating with the magazine would be a violation of the school's code of conduct.
The Voluptuous Vixens / Vixens series features models with large breasts. Ten issues of Voluptuous Vixens were published, once or twice per year, beginning in 1998. A bimonthly series, simply titled Vixens, began in 2005 and ran for twelve issues. The original title resumed in 2007, appearing on a thrice-yearly schedule.
Before publishing its Special Edition line, Playboy published a line of hardcover and paperback volumes featuring text, photos, and cartoons; some included only content reprinted from the parent magazine; others incorporated original material. Several volumes collected only cartoons from the magazine. A few volumes went through multiple printings, sometimes with replacement covers.