Dad charged $6000 for broken Teletubby – but was the boy at fault?

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A man was forced to fork out $6000 after his son was accused of knocking over a giant golden Teletubby which was on display in a designer toy store in Hong Kong.

Staff at the KKPlus store in the Langham Place mall reportedly accused the five-year-old of deliberately kicking the 1.8-metre statue causing it to tumble and shatter into pieces.

But a video has since emerged showing what really happened in the toy store, with the parents of the little boy demanding their money back after they were forced to pay for damages.

A five-year-old boy accused of knocking over the giant gold Teletubby in KKPlus store in the Langham Place mall
A five-year-old boy was accused of knocking over the giant gold Teletubby and the parents were forced to pay $6000 for damages. Source: HKFP/Facebook

At first, the dad, known only as Mr Cheng, agreed to pay for the doll, which retailed for A$9,712 (HK$52,800), after being told his son was seen kicking over the statue.

He was charged the cost price of A$6,080 (HK$33,600), but it's believed he has since been refunded the money after seeking advice from a lawyer.

Mr Cheng said he'd stepped away to take a phone call when the incident occurred so he didn't see what happened, but he returned to see his son standing by the shattered figure, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.

He had no reason to believe the shop staff were mistaken, so he agreed to pay.

It was only when he saw a video circulating online that he realised his son may have been wrongly accused.

The video shows the young boy standing in front of the monster Teletubby, and as he stepped back he accidentally knocked it to the ground.

It appears to have been an accident that "could have happened to anybody", many people who watched the video agreed.

Mr Cheng's wife reportedly contacted the store to argue their case, informing them of what really happened.

Company admits fault in sudden backflip

In a recent interview, the manager of KKplus reportedly admitted that the store "did not take sufficient precaution".

He said the store has since removed all toys standing over one metre and will conduct a review of the incident.

The comments followed a statement that was shared on Facebook, but quickly removed, according to local media, indicating the company had backed down.

In the initial statement, the store reportedly said the doll had been in the same spot since November and "had not brought any inconvenience to customers".

They also defended the amount charged to the customer saying "the company did not charge more than the selling price of the item"

The total amount included costs relating to copyright, design, transport and other fees. But these were not applied to the amount charged to the man.

Debate erupts over who's to blame

Images and video of the incident sparked a heated debate online with many arguing about who was really at fault.

Many accused KKPlus of "scamming" the parents insisting the store should have cordoned off the pricey doll to prevent it from being knocked over.

Boy in Hong Kong knocks over gold Teletubby in designer toy shop receipt showing cost father forced to pay for damages
Video emerged showing the boy accidentally knocking it over so the parents requested they get their money back. Source: HKFP/Facebook

"It was not solely the kid’s fault but the shop placed this fragile and light figure at such a place," one wrote on Twitter.

"The child was just moving out of the way of a passer-by, it was an accident. Also, the shop should secure and fence off the statue if it's that valuable and if it's that fragile," said another.

Some blamed the parents for leaving the boy unattended and said they should have kept a closer watch.

"But parents are responsible for their child," one wrote.

Meanwhile, others agreed both parties are liable to some extent.

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