Ryu Asada, 1978-2021 RIP

SpyDude Friday, 3/26/2021

Today we lost a great designer in the world of Hot Wheels.

Ryu Asada was a former designer who had been working at Hot Wheels since 2012 and oversaw design of cars in the basic $1 lineup. Born in Osaka, he then pursued a degree at the Art Center College of Design after emigrating to the United States. After graduating, he would begin work for Mattel as a designer for Matchbox from 2004 to 2012; he first designed for Hot Wheels in 2009, although he would only join the Hot Wheels design team three years later.

He passed away on March 23rd 2021, at the age of 42, from stage 4 colorectal cancer. Ryu had been battling cancer for the past 4.5 years.

Race in peace, Ryu.


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Mattman213 3/27/21

Just seeing this news...tough tough deal hate to hear it :o/


Damn!  Sad news.  

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SpyDude 3/27/21

Among some of his legendary cars are the Honda S2000, the Duck n Go, the Formula E Gen 2 car, the Lethal Diesel, the Dodge drift van, the Tooned Twin Mill, the Chrysler Pacifica, the Lancia Delta Integrate, the '85 Honda City Turbo II, and the Car-de-Asada taco car.

Here is a listing of Ryu's great additions to the Hot Wheels lineup.


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redlinederby 3/27/21
Site manager

Just a bummer all the way around to hear about his passing. So many great castings to his name...many of which I didn't even know were his until I saw the long and exhaustive list today.

We're fortunate to live in a time when we actually get to know, meet, and learn about the folks that design the toys we love. Blame the internet, or branding, or marketing, or just good people, or whatever...I'm happy it became a thing.

Ryu was about my age and that alone brings some of it closer to home. He was one of the lucky ones that ended up with a dream job. Many of us don't end up with a job/career we love so much that it doesn't feel like work, but thankfully folks like Ryu shared his fun so we could all live vicariously through him. And to have a long list of toy cars that will be remebered by millions of people around the world is no small achievement (even if they never know his name). 

Here's a quick article over at Jalopnik:

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H3zzard 3/28/21

Very sad to lose someone at such a young age. 

I saw the announcement on 3DBotMaker's DRC video yesterday, and was shocked. 

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redlinederby 3/29/21
Site manager

Just going through his casting credits again, yeah, all the JDM stuff is great and some of my favorite cars, but I think the ones I'll end up remembering most are actually the crazy food & fantasy castings!

I mean, c'mon...this is the guy that brought us the hot dog car, the hamburger car, the bubble blower! Those are the castings my daughter is attracted to (she's 8, go figure) and thus those are castings I'll never forget thanks to that play time with her. Sure, the Skyline and Porsche and Lambo are great castings that sit on my shelf, but play time outweights shelf time.

  • The Taco Rod! Car-de-Asada! — SpyDude
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RanEast 5/23/21

My son got that hot dog car a while back and I love it. Usually not a fan of oddball cars but that one is brilliant and designed by someone who really got it.

Race in peace Ryu

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