fame and glamour

Millions, massages and Maybachs: the travel luxuries of media man Philip Rákay

Former TV host and current Fidesz groupie Philip Rákay is back in the spotlight. The man was photographed three years ago in a Mercedes-Benz G 500 SUV, worth HUF 47.8 million at the time, and now he’s struck again – he was photographed cleaning a Mercedes-Maybach at an everyman car wash. The luxury car’s value is anywhere between HUF 72 and 95 million, depending on the model.

Rákay had an enviable journey through the Hungarian media landscape, rising from Szekszárd television to the pro-Fidesz Megafon. These days, his name is associated most often with the movie “Now or Never!”, a historical film about the 1848 Revolution with a modest budget of HUF seven billion – HUF 4.795 billion of which was provided by the government in direct state support and HUF 2.106 billion of which was provided through tax incentives. Rákay was the creative director of the production.

Mercedes-Maybach: starting at HUF 72.5 million

Just last week, the fervent Fidesz supporter opted for a casual look as he washed his latest luxury car at a car wash. The car is the 680 model, which costs anything up from HUF 95 million. Rákay enjoys custom luxuries, including leather seats, wood trim elements, massaging and neck-heating backseats, and branded silver-plated champagne glasses.

The key to class is in subtlety.

Journalist Antal Sturcz of the Check Engine YouTube channel noted that the car in the picture boasts an Obsidian Black/Kalahari Gold two-tone paint job, which costs an additional HUF 7.67 million.

Philip Rákay’s communication company, Norton Consulting Zrt., leases the luxury car. According to the records of the Hungarian National Chamber of Public Notaries, Euroleasing Financial Services Ltd. assists in leasing the Mercedes-Maybach for Rákay’s company. Euroleasing Financial Services Ltd. is owned by MBH Bank, which belongs to the interests of Lőrinc Mészáros.

Based on the chassis number listed in the chamber’s registry,

the car is the more expensive 680 model, which has a base price of HUF 95 million.

Added to this is the additional cost of the special paint job, which brings the total cost of the car to over HUF 102 million.

Rakayphilip Merci2 240508

Philip Rákay cleaning a Mercedes-Maybach luxury car in early May 2024 (photo: by our reader)

This is confirmed by Maybach’s datasheet, which we requested from the government’s database, the Vehicle Service Platform (JSZP), based on its license plate. According to the official datasheet, Rákay’s company owns a 2022 680 Mercedes-Maybach, which was registered in Hungary in mid-December 2022.

Antal Sturcz added that celebrities like Alicia Keys, DJ Khaled, Kim Kardashian and Travis Scott are all proud owners of a Mercedes-Maybach – as are Narendra Modi, Kim Jong-Un, and Vladimir Putin. No doubt they will all be excited by the prospect of being joined by Rákay.

1024px Mercedes Maybach X222 S 500 Obsidian Black Metallic 11 E1715673004540

An obsidian-black Mercedes-Maybach (photo: Wikipedia/Damian B Oh)

Massaging backseats for HUF 5.2 million

Sometimes, standard equipment is simply inadequate. Sub-par, even.

In the Maybach owned by Rákay, the front seats and the headrests of the backseats can be heated, while the backseats can also massage the passenger’s calves. According to the Mercedes configurator, these perks add HUF 842K to the base price as part of the “Backseat Comfort Package.”

The car leased by Rákay’s company also features a heated steering wheel rim, as well as heated front and back armrests—part of the “Heat Comfort Package,” which costs HUF 287K, according to the Mercedes website. These will no doubt come in handy over the summer.

Rp Merci Belso

The Maybach of Philip Rákay’s company at the authenticity test in November 2023 (photo: JSZP)

The car only has four seats, which means people can lounge comfortably in the back. It also eliminates the danger of arguments about who takes the middle seat. The “First Class Backseats” package adds over HUF 2 million to the HUF 95 million base price, according to the Mercedes website.

If this package is selected, a notification appears stating that it is only available with the “Premium Plus” package, which costs an additional HUF 2.38 million.

A total of HUF 4.4 million provides two first-class backseats, plus the HUF 842K neck-heating and calf-massaging package.

Champagne Glasses and Refrigerator

In the interior of the Maybach leased by Rákay’s company, the VIN-based registry indicates that there is a refrigerator, which costs an additional HUF 569K – in case anyone gets snacky. The car also features champagne glass holders along with two glasses – in case anyone gets drinky.

According to a German automotive website, the branded, silver-plated Maybach champagne glasses that fit into the holders between the backseats cost 849 euros each (approximately HUF 328K), with their holder priced at 196 euros (around HUF 76K).

Maybach Belsoextrak

Source: mercedes-benz.hu

From music man to Megafon patriot

Philip Rákay, born as Kálmán Rákay, began his media career at the age of 19 in 1991 at the Szekszárd city television station. This was followed by a job at the Viva music channel, and then, the establishment of HírTV. He openly expressed his strong affinity for Fidesz and became the host of the party’s major gatherings as well as an advisor to politicians through his communications company.

In 2011, he was appointed as the intendant of public media for a few years, and since 2021, he has been sharing his thoughts on Facebook, supported by paid advertisements from Megafon. According to an April article by Telex,

HUF 251.8 million have been spent on promoting Rákay’s Facebook posts since their inception,

and HUF 112 million were spent on promoting a now-deleted page. The Patriota YouTube channel, launched in 2021, also produces and distributes videos within the Megafon media universe.

Luxurious lifestyle and business success

Rákay insisted to Mandiner that he makes his money through his company group, which deals with real estate development, economic strategy, and communication consulting with private companies, primarily foreign partners.

“I know they are feverishly looking for ways to catch me,” he accused the left-wing media. “They search for my state contracts but find nothing. And not because the questioned offices are tricking them and not releasing the information, nor because the leftists are incompetent and looking in the wrong places, but simply because there are none. They have a hard time accepting this.”

HUF 7 billion Petőfi movie

In January 2022, the state-owned National Film Institute awarded HUF 4.5 billion in state support for a Rákay film about Petőfi. The film, he said, was never meant to be historically accurate, nor educational. It is in truth an adventure film, which requires special effects.

Despite its lack of educational value, school children have been taken to mandatory screenings. As a result, “Now or Never!” reached 100,000 viewers within 10 days of its mid-March premiere. In a Pirates of Penzance moment, Rákay himself stated that it is one’s patriotic duty to watch it.

The man’s previous film project, a television series “Aranybulla”, took on a similar serendipitous path when it received HUF 692 million in state funding and cost HUF 1 billion overall, although that project never achieved any real popularity.

The six-part series also didn’t pay much attention to historical accuracy, and it reached a rating of 1.1 on IMDb. Rákay believes that this low rating was the work of American trolls.

Rakayphilip Film Fb

Source: fotó: Rákay Philip/Facebook

Lázár-Navracsics Media War

Rákay recently found himself in the middle of a media war between Minister of Construction Lázár János and Tibor Navracsics, Minister of Territorial Development, after the Promenad24 portal, majority-owned by Rákay, published articles insulting Navracsics. The minister met with Márki-Zay Péter, the opposition mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and opponent of Lázár János, several times.

Rákay quickly retreated from the Navracsics-Lázár skirmish: he apologized to Tibor Navracsics and announced that he would sell Promenad24 and resign from the supervisory board of the Ménesbirtok Zrt., managed by Lázár János.

The car isn’t the only luxury Rákay enjoys. He has an affinity for luxury watches and wears a Sea-Dweller Rolex, worth around HUF 5.3 million to 7.6 million. He also frequently visits the Budapest office of Rosatom.

Translated by Vanda Mayer. The original, more detailed Hungarian version of this story was written by Katalin Erdélyi and can be found here and here. Cover photo: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Philip Rákay on 22 January 2022 (source: Philip Rákay/Facebook), and photos of the authenticity test of the Maybach (source: JSZP)