The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

August 9, 2011

Hot Wheels co-creator, 80, dies in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE — Fred Adickes may not be a household name, but the names of the toys he helped create certainly are.

Adickes, a Huntsville native and graduate of Huntsville High School, is credited with helping to create Hot Wheels toy cars, Weebles, Dapper Dan and Dressy Bessy dolls, and Creepy Crawlers, which later spawned Incredible Edibles play sets.

Adickes, 80, passed away Sunday in Huntsville after a battle with cancer. His cremated remains will be interred in the Adickes family plot in Oakwood Cemetery.

Adickes' brother David, best known in Walker County for the 67-foot statue of Sam Houston he created, said he will miss his brother who was a lifelong inventor, even in illness.

“He was a very creative guy,” David said. “He was designing stuff until the week before he died. His mind was inventing.”

Calling his brother, “a good soul,” David said Fred always wanted his inventions to have meaning. Fred spent his adult life in California, much of it working for Mattel.

“He was an inventor at heart — he truly was,” David said. “His greatest contribution to mankind was the creation of Hot Wheels. He had a passion for educational toys.”

After the creation of Creepy Crawlers, small plastic bugs that children made with small kilns, Fred saw a need for more disposable playthings. After figuring a way to make gummy candy gel, Incredible Edibles was born.

“Kids could eat all the toys. He decided everything should be edible — from tricycles on down. He didn't do that of course,” David said, laughing.

Having a brother who was connected with one of the most popular toys in the country has always been a good conversation starter, David said.

“When I meet a girl in a bar, that's the first thing I tell her,” he joked. “You don't know it, babe, but you're sitting next to the guy whose brother created Hot Wheels.”

Fred, valedictorian of the HHS class of 1948, went on to serve in the Army during the Korean War. He worked for General Motors and Chrysler before becoming a toy designer with Mattel.

He and his wife, Evelyn, moved back home to Huntsville about three years ago.

Cecil Frederick “Fred” Adickes, is survived by his wife, Evelyn McAllister; daughter, Theresa Stojan and husband, David; son, Joe Adickes and wife, Nora; son, Eric Adickes and wife, Nadia; daughter, Sharon Adickes; son, Cecil Adickes III and two brothers, Robert Adickes and David Adickes. He also is survived by several grandchildren.

He was born in Huntsville, Texas, on May 15, 1931, to Cecil and Marie Adickes. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Bill Adickes.

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