Friday, November 20, 2009

25 Greatest Playmates of All-Time: a Recap

After going through months of giving lengthy reviews and a countdown of the Greatest Playmates of All-Time, here is a summary of the girls who made it in my Top 25. There should be some heated debate about who was left off, and I want to hear it! I'll have an "honorable mentions" post as I promised. There are plenty of other deserving girls here, but here are a few of the justifications I've made for choosing these lovely ladies...

#25 Carrie Westcott
September 1993

Carrie was far ahead of her time - taking the edgy, rough look to the mainstream and becoming the first true "blonde bombshell" in Playboy.

#24 Cara Wakelin
November 1999

The smooth-skinned Canadian beauty was a much forgotten Playmate whose striking pictorial presence and unique looks were unmatched.

#23 Heidi Sorenson
July 1981

Far ahead of her time, she ushered in the style of the 80's with an constant array of goddess-like poses and epic nude artistry.

#22 Gillian Bonner
April 1996

Gillian's overt sexuality and piercing eyes, coupled with a playful sense of presence, made her one of the most important Playmates of the Golden Era.

#21 Crista Nicole
May 2001

Crista's beautiful curves alone are worth a thousand words. Her tall body and engaging face were curvy and set the bar for Playmates of the new millennium.

#20 Julie McCullough
February 1986

Julie set the tone for the "modernization" of the 90's, complete with a playful, fresh look and a departure from the "big hair, big makeup" look of the 1980's.

#19 Raquel Gibson
November 2005

Raquel, a more recent Playmate, is a testament to Playboy's commitment to diversity. Her Filipino-Italian looks are exotic, and her islander body is extraordinary.

#18 Carol and Darlene Bernaola
January 2000

The Bernaola twins ushered in the new millennium by offering a double dose of South American bodies, their outstanding chemistry being the focal point of each and every photo.

#17 Lisa Dergan
July 1998

Lisa was part of the historic class of 1998, although the lesser known of the bunch. Her unbelievable intimacy in each of her photos was enough to make her a major fan favorite.

#16 Kelly Gallagher
September 1994

A tall, luscious Playmate with legs for miles, Kelly's sophisticated performances and all-natural beauty were both inviting and classically reminiscent.

#15 Heather Kozar
January 1998
Playmate of the Year 1999

Heather was a prolific poser from the most outstanding era in Playboy history, when her curly blond locks and awesome posing talent earned her a number of awards.

#14 Monica Leigh
March 2006
Cyber Girl of the Year 2006

A recent superstar, Monica is an omnipresent star in modern Playboy because of her exceptional ability to strike a vast variety of poses and make her incredible looks work to perfection.

#13 Jennifer Walcott
August 2001

Jennifer took a dash of animal-like sexuality and a buxom brunette body and put it into a spicy concoction that made her a huge star into the new millennium, impacting the edginess of pictorials to come.

#12 Carmella DeCesare
April 2003
Cyber Girl of the Month February 2003
Playmate of the Year 2004

Carmella's unmatched talents made her one of the most viewed Playmates in history, as she became a Cyber Girl and ascended the ladder, eventually becoming PMOY by using her exotic looks and sinewy, sleek body.

#11 Angela Little
August 1998

With a tiny frame and an edgy but innocent posing style, Angela was one of the most underrated stars of the Playmate Golden Era. Her playful, upbeat attitude was palpable in her material, and she shone as a result.

#10 Nichole Van Croft
October 2000

Nichole stormed onto the scene with an outrageously curvaceous body combined with cute, wholesome, subduing looks that were warm and inviting. The ingenious mix of innocence and the body was a bold step that cemented her stardom.

#9 Tiffany Fallon
December 2004
Playmate of the Year 2005

Tiffany is a Playmate of modern times, but stands as an homage to the raven haired starlets of the 50's and 60's. With a curvy and silky smooth body, along with an immaculate set of intangibles that are impossible to teach, she will go down as one of the greatest.

#8 Jaime Bergman
January 1999

With a magnetic personality and breathtaking features, Jaime was one of the most photogenic girls ever to be in Playboy, with platinum blond locks and golden tanned skin. With some of the greatest performances ever seen, Jaime was an instant treasure.

#7 Alicia Rickter
October 1995

Alicia was an instant classic, and the ultimate example of understated beauty: always subtle in her ways, but definitely the archetypical girl-next-door throughout her stint in the mid-90's. Although she never used flashy techniques, she was always modestly complex in her style.

#6 Jodi Ann Paterson
October 1999
Playmate of the Year 2000

Jodi's natural talent comes from her ability to create nuanced and professional photos, which was obviously helped by her exotic Asian background and sizzling, curvy body. Her success was a result of her unique ability to steal a scene with her youthful, cheeky charm.

#5 Elisa Bridges
December 1994

Elisa was a once-in-a-lifetime Playmate, unmatched for her slim, lengthy body wrapped in kinky tan lines. Her girl-next-door attitude complemented her extremely natural body by allowing her to effortlessly create unforgettable scenes with a heavy dose of sensuality that will never again be replicated.

#4 Brooke Berry
May 2000

Brooke was the ultimate definition of Playboy's "girl next door," but never once compromised her strong, sensual presence for her innocence and delicate beauty. With a stacked body and a photogenic appeal directly linked to her outstanding talent, Brooke had legendary looks to go along with her legendary pictorial.

#3 Vanessa Gleason
September 1998

Vanessa took the art of the pictorial to a whole new level, setting a new standard for talent during the Golden Era. With her fluttery curls and wholesome face, the 19 year-old model was breathtaking and multi dimensional. Every single photo told a story, and every pose was absolutely unique; Vanessa had a knack for the camera that few girls could ever claim to have.

#2 Shannon Stewart
June 2000

Shannon took her southern charm and infectious personality to her advantage to create a persona that was unique while still offering a nod to the great Playmates of the 50's and 60's. Her classic look and mature poise and skillful posing set her apart from every Playmate since then. With what is perhaps the finest pictorial in the history of Playboy magazine, Shannon definitely laid the groundwork for a new Playmate archetype which few, if any, have ever matched.

#1 Karen McDougal
December 1997
Playmate of the Year 1998

It is hard to deny that Karen belongs in the very small handful of candidates for "greatest Playboy model ever." In all weights and measures, she has perhaps what is the greatest body in Playboy history, some of the most iconic photos in Playboy magazine, and has one of the largest fan followings of any Playmate, period. With acute posing talent and some of the sexiest, most jaw-dropping looks ever, Karen McDougal is of the same mold that true legends are made of in the nude photography world. After grabbing a PMOY title and being hugely prolific, fans still wonder whether they will see another appearance in the future. Keep dreaming, folks.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sexy Texan

One thing we've kept revisiting within the past few months is just how strong this year's Playmate class is. The girls have been exceptional, with toned bodies, great talent, and some very good pictorials, something of an anomaly when you look at past years. Since the early
2000's, we haven't had great consistency like we've seen this year, and just when we think things are going to die down, yet another fine lady comes by and delivers.

Perhaps it's all stemming from the 55th anniversary Playmate search, which has produced some very stunning women throughout. Girls like Jessica Burciaga and others this year have been a result of that search, as is our Miss November 2009, Kelley Thompson.

Kelley is a gorgeous Texan brunette with a country girl swagger and plenty of good looks to go around. She has a voluptuous build for a girl who's not so short (5'6"), and definitely has some features that allow her to stand apart. Kelley was greatly anticipated since her debut in the 55th Anniversary Playmate Search, and many fans saw her as a legitimate Playmate candidate right from the get go. I saw it too, as her appearance in the preliminary pictorials was quite stunning, and Playboy did a great job of playing to her strengths.

With her pictorial debut as Miss November, Kelley does a decent job about using her talents. She is often hit-or-miss with her posing, and that is ultimately what hurts her, but rest assured that this is no fluke of a model. Kelley easily boosts the class of 2009, and that's no small task given the talent here.

Right from the beginning, Kelley's flannel shirt and cowgirl look plays greatly to her charming persona. She takes this to a great level in her print photos, with an awesome shot here, which really does a great job of showing off Kelley's full figure. You're immediately drawn to her amazing smile and those plump breasts, and the photographer does a good job of not making her do too much that's out of her range. The print pictorial continues with this excellent backside photo, giving viewers a shot of her balanced lower body. But the real show stopper is still Kelley's beautiful face, which is still being shot perfectly from behind her raven hair.

The shot which really characterizes her pictorial is Photo #7, which does a wonderful job of showing off Kelley's unassuming side. When you get down to it, she doesn't have a lot of very hard features on her face, and with those subtle lines and fine features, she looks very accessible and cute. This photo is innocent and sensual, and does a great job of showing off just how awesome her body is.

Overproduction abounds in certain parts of Kelley's pictorial, not to mention awkward posing, like in this photo. Again, Kelley's posing talents do not range very widely, and she is restricted by this unfortunate fact. Thus, she comes off as very inconsistent in her pictorial, often mixing a jaw-dropping shot with a dud.

Still, Kelley is smoking hot, mainly because of her gorgeous facial features. When her forehead is covered up fine by her fluttery hair, her pretty smile and small eyes beat out every girl of 2009 in their pure beauty. The variety in the pictorial is also great, with closing shots like this one doing a good job of playing to Kelley's strength of using her face as a focal point, and not her movement.

  • Facial: A+ Probably the prettiest of 2009, and her greatest strength
  • Body: A- A bit disproportionate at the thighs, as her buttocks don't taper down normally
  • Talent: B Her biggest weakness; needs to work on being consistent with her posing
  • Pictorial: B+ As a result of inconsistency, the pictures were hit-or-miss in quality
  • Centerfold: A- Probably the best centerfold of 2009
  • Overall: A Kelley has turned heads and done a great job breaking out as a young model. Although she needs to work on her posing abilities, there's no doubt that she can make a huge run for PMOY, and has the prize in sight. Although she faces some of the stiffest competition in years, don't be surprised if she makes some fans' top 3, and maybe even the top spot. With looks that can kill and a charm that's exuded in all her photos, Kelley's "Miss Congeniality" status can carry her a long way, as can her gorgeous face and admirable proportions.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Right Moves

So, with a year of disappointment in the Cyber Girl Class of '09, we have to look forward to next year's ladies and the potential that can lift up a faltering group. With a good CGOY pick (Hillary Fisher or Jamie Graham) and a nice crop of ladies to kick off the 2010 class, the tone can be set for an amazing year.

So, to my delight, we've already got some amazing CGOW's lined up for a daunting run at the 2011 Cyber Girl of the Year crown. Now, I know it's real early to be looking so far ahead, but what we may be seeing is a couple of excellent talents making their very first debuts... the first of many.

In came Mariela Henderson last week, a girl who should run away with her month's CGOM nomination. The reason is quite simple: Mariela is a small package with plenty of bite, and the bite is all in her build. I can't wait to see what else she has to offer, because in her CGOW pictorial, the photographer focused extremely well on her lower body.

Mariela quite possibly has the nicest legs of any girl to appear in Playboy in years. I'm not usually one to tout a nice pair of stems, but Mariela's are beyond reproach. They are visibly toned, very pleasantly muscular, and they just look juicy and sexy. She's not a very tall girl (a mere 5'2"), so she isn't the "leggy" type, per se. However, those sultry thighs come up to meet a gorgeously curved butt, which is so toned, yet so plump, it's just tough to describe.

When it comes down to it, Mariela has a very nice lower body (buttocks and legs), but her upper body doesn't balance it so well, with some small breasts. She has a decently cute face, albeit not quite so smoothly toned and beautiful as many others. Still, if photographers concentrate on her strengths, where she goes above and beyond, she could be a bigtime success.

One girl who truly wowed me today was an Italian beauty by the name of Daniella Mugnolo. Daniella left me dazed and mesmerized, simply because she's the all-around package. With great height (5'8") while still being very slender (115 lbs.), Daniella is very proportioned while being sexy and sleek. Her number one strength, however, is her sexuality.

In her CGOW pictorial, a recycle of her "Fresh Faces" edition, Daniella is stunning. Wearing a silky little piece of lingerie in the shower, she strips it off perfectly and slowly for the camera, and does a great job with every little move and glimmer in her eyes. She has that European charm, but definitely has an American bite when it comes to her approach to her pictorials. She is extremely sexual, being aggressive when she gets fully naked, and not being the least bit bashful about throwing out a full-frontal assault.

My advice to Playboy: don't mess too much with this formula you have going for Daniella. She is immaculate. Her facial expressions are extremely engaging, with those pouty lips and those sleepy, dark eyes taking on a sexual, hedonistic tone. As long as she's shot the same way... no gimmicks, just let the model move and be herself... Daniella can go very far, and perhaps challenge for CGOY in 2011.

Those are my two MVP's so far for next year. Here's to a great one!