5 of the best action figures

They're not just toys – they're 'figurines with educational value'. And that's what we're sticking with.

Ezio Auditore £16 play.com

What better way to bone up on Renaissance Italy than with everybody's favourite Florentine death-dealer, in 7in form? Ezio comes with a variety of hands, so he can hold even more killing tools and should help with your Assassin's Creed III preparations.

Black Phantom £15 shop.lego.com

This bad guy from Lego's Hero Factory range is a lesson in the history of weapons – from a sabre and mace combo to an 'arachnix drone'. Take him apart to build all-new super weapons.

Catwoman £tba (due June) dccomics.com

As with all truly great sculpture, this statuette of Anne Hathaway's feline fatale from the forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises held our attention for a very long time. Some might say too long.

George £15 amazon.co.uk

Fact: George in Gremlins 2 was named after George Milton, from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Compare and contrast, making specific reference to the foolishness of post-midnight feeding.

Eddie £18 forbiddenplanet.co.uk

Iron Maiden's 1981 album Killers is the thinking man's metal, offering lessons from history ('Genghis Khan') and literature ('Murders in the Rue Morgue'). Obviously this visual aid is essential.

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