Just in time for summer and pond season (where I am anyway) today is the Safari Incredible Creatures Koi Fish, item 266329. First released in 2017, this figure was released in the line of large, fairly robust models of animals that can be at least somewhat true-sized. This certainly works for the koi figure, which is large enough to act as a bath or pool toy, but just as easily fits into a display of fish figures. An interesting choice with this first iteration of Safari’s koi is that the animal was painted as a gold strain koi known as Yamabuki Ogon…which is a pretty unusual and less familiar version of these popular fish! But it looks flashy, and this is probably the closest most people would get to one, so why not?
The fish overall does a great job of representing the koi animal. It has a fairly deep body, underslung mouth with long barbels, and high, even fins. Really, it looks like your typical fish (in very fancy colour). The slight dark wash almost makes one think they were trying to represent the metallic scales of Yamabuki Ogon strains–the white ends of the fins bears this out as well (but it wouldn’t be the ideal–on the really ‘good’ ones, the fins are mostly white). The big black eye is a striking feature, just like in the real fish. As with most Incredible Creatures models, the main body of this figure is hollow and sealed, so it can float. But, as is often the case, it is not weighted in any particular way, so it will roll in the water if not held in place, which would be an unfortunate way to display the fish.
As I had mentioned, the gold variety was an interesting if odd choice for this model. It was, however, discontinued in 2022 and replaced with a repaint version in the more familiar Tancho colours of white with black spots and a red head spot (again, pricey strains!) So if you are looking for a good, representative toy of this familiar domestic fish, Safari will still have you covered, just in different colour palettes. If you really need the gold form, they are still available in many places but of course they will run out. An interesting figure of a familiar fish, although I would personally prefer to see a wild-colour carp myself!