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Playboy readers get 3-D centerfold in magazine's June issue

CHICAGO -- Playboy readers who can only imagine what it would look like if a centerfold jumped right off the page are getting new specs to help them see into Hef's world.

The magazine's June edition hits newsstands Friday equipped with 3-D glasses. Now the toy that has kids dodging dragons, meatballs and tall blue aliens at the movies will help adults focus on what is, at first glance, a very blurry Playmate of the Year.

''What would people most like to see in 3-D?'' asked Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. ''Probably a naked lady.''

Hefner makes no secret of hoping to capitalize on the popularity of 3-D movies such as ''Avatar'' and ''How to Train Your Dragon,'' even as he makes no secret of not quite getting what all the fuss is about.

''I'm not a huge enthusiast of 3-D,'' he said in a telephone interview. ''I leave real life to go to the movies and 2-D is fine with me.''

If the thought of grown men sitting back in their recliners with a pair of 3-D glasses doesn't quite say ''Playboy,'' it should be noted that a few months ago the magazine put Marge Simpson -- yes, the blue-haired animated mother of Bart -- on the cover and in a two-page centerfold.

''In today's print environment you have to create newsstand events,'' said the editorial director of the Chicago-based magazine, Jimmy Jellinek. ''Marge Simpson was one of those.''

Playboy certainly must do something to get more people, especially younger people, to buy a magazine that has seen circulation plummet from 3.15 million in 2006 to 1.5 million today.

Jellinek said he hopes the issue featuring centerfold Hope Dworaczyk in 3-D also reminds people that for all the infatuation with the Internet, there is nothing quite like having a magazine in your hands.

''People want things that last and have meaning,'' he said.