Home / Technology / Ryu Asada, Hot Wheels Design Legend, dies of 42 years of cancer

Ryu Asada, Hot Wheels Design Legend, dies of 42 years of cancer



Cancer has taken another legend about the automotive community. Ryu Asada, who has designed cars for both Hot Wheels and Matchbox, died at the age of 42 from colorectal cancer.

The announcement came via Asada̵

7;s Instagram. He had been battling stage IV colorectal cancer for almost five years, undergoing a series of treatments while still on the design carpets. He died on March 23, 2021 with his longtime partner, Hazel Diaz Asada, by his side.

Asada was born and raised in Japan, and later moved to the United States to pursue higher education. He graduated from the ArtCenter College of Design in 2004, when he immediately started working for Mattel as a Matchbox car designer. There he estimated that he had made over 150 different diecast designs.

He moved to the Hot Wheels team as a guest designer, his first design was Gearonimo in 2009. He joined the Hot Wheels team full time, where it was estimated that he made 20 to 30 1:64 models per year. He took control of the $ 1 series in 2012. You will find a complete list of his designs here.

But some of his shining design stars have been the cars from his native Japan. Asada helped drive JDM diecast mania through his passion for his designs. People have since fallen on their heels for their Honda S2000 NSX designs, his FC Mazda RX-7 and his Lancia Delta Integrale HF.

Two of Asada’s latest designs have been part of J-Import’s mini collection, which included several different Japanese classics. He was responsible for the custom 1970 Honda N600 and 1999 Honda Civic Type-R.

Diecast collectors around the world have shared friendly messages about Asada, a man many of whom are deeply respected.

Asada’s loved ones are in our thoughts at this time. Cancer sucks.


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