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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022

Boy knocks over $50,000 Teletubby sculpture, sparking debate over who should pay the bill

Photos circulating online on Monday showed a young boy accidentally knocking over a Teletubby sculpture worth HK$50,000 at a Langham Place toy shop in Mong Kok, with his parents ending up paying more than HK$30,000 as compensation.

The boy appears uninjured in the photo, but the statue - with a price tag of HK$52,800 - did not survive the fall and broke into pieces.

It was understood that staff of the toy shop Kk plus had accused the boy of “kicking” the sculpture and causing the damage. While the parents, not knowing what really happened, decided to take the staff’s words and offered to compensate the shop with HK$33,600, which was later accepted.

However, surveillance video of the incident later surfaced online and proved otherwise. (Click here to watch the video)

The boy can be seen in the footage leaning on the sculpture to avoid an oncoming crowd inside the shop before the Teletubby had a great fall. The footage also captured the boy trying to prevent the sculpture from falling after he knew it was not fixed on the floor.

The incident has sparked a debate since the video went viral - should the parents have to pay for their child's mishap?

Speaking to a radio program on Tuesday morning, the child’s father said it was only after the surveillance footage surfaced that he knew his son did not break the sculpture on purpose.

He also criticized the shop’s staff for misguiding them into believing their son had kicked the sculpture, causing the fall.

Although his son really played a part in causing the fall, the father said the shop should have bordered the fragile figure, preventing others from bumping into it.

He stressed the shop should bear part of the responsibility and requested the shop to return the compensation they have paid.

A netizen who claimed to be the boy's mother posted online that she took her child to visit the toy store on Sunday, and "suddenly heard a very loud sound".

She turned around and found the sculpture has broken, and the first words of staff nearby was her son kicked the display. After discussing with the store, she and her husband decided to immediately compensate to settle the incident, saying it made her mentally distressed.

The toy shop Kk plus had since published a statement on Facebook, claiming the incident was dealt with between the shop and the parents that day.

The statement also wrote that the compensation was offered by the parents themselves, stressing the shop had not received an amount more than the selling price of the product.

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