Balloon animals: GoldfishA goldfish made out of balloons. (All photos: Masayoshi Matsumoto)

Balloon animals are a staple of childhood birthday parties, but rarely do they get more complicated than the basic forms: swords, flowers, funny hats and, of course, the classic dog and its numerous variations. (Ever wondered why the "giraffe" balloon animal looks suspiciously like a dog with a long neck?)

While the allure of these squeaky creatures generally rubs off by the time you reach the double digits in age, you might change your tune once you see the work of Masayoshi Matsumoto.

Using nothing more than his hands and breath, this expert balloon twister from Japan takes this delicate art to a whole new level. All of his sculptures — from goldfish to goats — are highly detailed and surprisingly realistic when compared to typical party balloon creations.

Balloon animals: GoatCompared to your average balloon animal, Masayoshi Matsumoto's creations are surprisingly realistic.

You'll never look at balloon animals the same way again!

Continue below to see more of Matsumoto's meticulous balloon work, and be sure to follow him on Tumblr for all of his latest creations!

Balloon animals: BaboonA perfectly constructed baboon.

Balloon animals: JellyfishA glowing blue jellyfish.

Balloon animals: LizardA lizard with a corn-on-the-cob-looking center.

Balloon animals: BunnyA poised and red-eyed bunny.

Balloon animals: TurtleThis turtle looks ready for a swim.

Balloon animals: CrabA crab in a colorful shell.

Balloon animals: OwlA spooky-looking owl.

Balloon animals: Mouse A cartoonish mouse.

Balloon animals: Seahorse A finely detailed seahorse.

Balloon animals: Caterpillar A crawling caterpillar.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.