Lamley Daily: the first Matchbox basic Bentley

Model: Matchbox MB727 Bentley Continental GT

Release: 2007 MB1

eBay link: Matchbox Bentley Continental GT

Why it is in the collection: because Matchbox finally managed to get a Bentley done

For many years I have often wondered why Matchbox never had a model of a Bentley in the basic range. Especially once it became known that Rolls-Royce were no longer playing ball. I often used to think maybe it was purely Bentley was seen as a poorer Rolls-Royce during my time growing up. I know officially Vickers, who used to own both, was trying to market Bentley as a more sportier version of a Rolls-Royce, but as a kid growing up in the 1980s I did not see that. A Rolls-Royce was just a Bentley with a different grille and a flying lady on the top of it. But after selling to the VW Group in 1998 they really started to make their own mark with the 2 brands again. the Continental GT was proof of that. It was the first vehicle released under the VW ownership in 2003. It was a huge success, and really put Bentley firmly on the map.

In 2006 Matchbox announced that a continental GT was going to be added to the 2007 basic range and I have to admit, I was really happy. Finally, a Bentley in miniature. MB727 arrived in October 2007 as a part of batch K taking the coveted MB1 slot in the range.

It arrived in silver with a reddish brown interior. It looked amazing. That interior almost looked like it was made of leather.

The detailing to the front was incredible.

As was the rear. The story goes that it took the Matchbox team numerous attempts to get the model right. Bentley were waiting for perfection, and Matchbox delivered. Was it worth the wait? I think so.

The model ran until 2019 although a final MB99 was dropped at the last minute. I thought that perhaps there was an issue with Bentley. But with the MB1235 Bentley Bentayga arriving in the 2021 basic range in batch B obviously there was not an issue as such. Perhaps just they wanted a current vehicle instead. As I said, Bentley wants perfection. Whether it be in miniature or in real life. Let’s face it, this was the first generation Continental GT and Bentley are now selling a third generation. It has done us proud over the years with some very nice releases. I do believe it will not be seen again, with the Bentayga being the only Bentley for now. But I could be wrong. Don’t take my word as gospel.

Although I have to say, I would not be opposed to seeing a classic Bentley in the future too. A 1962 Bentley S3 would be my choice. It stands out, much like the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud did, plus it sported dual headlamps on the front, which I think is cooler than the S1/S2 single headlamps. I don’t know if I am the only one who would love to see a classic Bentley in the line-up alongside the new Bentayga.

5 Replies to “Lamley Daily: the first Matchbox basic Bentley”

  1. I’m proud to have the first edition Continental GT both mint in the package and mint loose. It is a very well executed design and a pure example of Matchbox gold from the roaring era that was the mid-2000s to early 2010s. I would love to have every variation but it’s impossible to find every single release online and when you do, they go for a small fortune. I do have other colors such as the 2008 mainline in white, 2009 mainline in brown, 2011 mainline in gold, and a blue one from the 2018 Auto Bahn Express 5-Pack. I recently picked up the new Bentley Bentayga and it looks just as well executed as its Continental counterpart. However, I don’t like the fact it doesn’t have an interior. This, unfortunately, is the new Matchbox where cost cutting measures are through the roof. The Matchbox of old would never do that. Despite this, they make for a very good pair. I have them both loose and placed together in my display case.

  2. This is a great model. I have several variations. I would love to see to see the Azure or Mulsanne added to the collection. I have the higher end Minichamps models, but nothing like a Matchbox.

  3. First of all, considering that there are many old gen cars (i.e. castings from this era of older cars) that are still being made despite newer versions of those cars being released in real life (eg – Porsche 911, Cayenne, Panamera, Audi R8, RS6, BMW X5, Mercedes CLS, Cadillac CTS, Ford GT, Subaru Impreza.. and dozens more) then I don’t see why this Bentley can’t continue. Of course, I’d LOVE to see a new gen Continental GT, but I’d also like to see this one continue for a good few years.

    And secondly, I really want Matchbox to fix their proportions finishing on new models. Just look at this Continental GT! It’s $1 1:64 scale perfection!!! By comparison, A LOT of the newer models, particularly after 2015, have been having absolutely horrible proportions and tampo issues. I don’t know what Matchbox is doing now vs what they were doing in the mid 2000s, but I really want that golden age accuracy back.

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