Hot Wheels toy cars are both iconically American and beloved by children and adults around the world. And as their popularity has increased internationally, so has the number of non-American cars available. The new 2021 edition of the “Raijin Express” is one such example.
This decked out truck is inspired by the Japanese “decotora” culture. Short for “decorative trucks,” it was a movement that saw work trucks become over-the-top works of art with intricate paint jobs, dozens of colorful lights, and luxurious interiors.
The Raijin Express was designed by Hot Wheels designer Ryu Asada, who tragically passed away from cancer in March of this year. Asada decorated the truck with rows of pink “lights,” purple windows, and a mural featuring the iconic Japanese motifs of Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, and Hokusai’s Great Wave. The whole truck is chromed out, with gold rims on the wheels.

Now sold out in most stores, the Raijin Express is sought after by collectors for its unique design, as well as for being one of the last Hot Wheels editions designed by Asada before his untimely death. The version that comes in Japanese packaging, which was only sold in Japan, is particularly difficult to come by and therefore fetches a higher price than the English version. Its value is likely to increase even more over time, so collectors will want to get their hands on this iconic decotora as soon as possible.