Man forks out S$5,800 after son accidentally breaks 1.8m golden Teletubby display

"My son was motionless. He was staring down, looking at the toy," said the boy's father.

Andrew Koay | May 24, 2022, 04:59 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

A father in Hong Kong was forced to fork out HK$33,600 (S$5,879.52) after his son inadvertently sent a life-sized golden Teletubby crashing into the floor.

Images of the family — a father, mother, and two boys — standing around the shattered and decapitated remains of Laa-Laa, as well as a video of the unfortunate moment, have been circulating on Facebook, with commenters polarised as to whether the family should have been made to pay for the damage.

"My son was motionless"

According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the father — identified only by his last name Cheng — said that on May 22, he'd stepped out of the toy store in Mongkok to make a phone call when he heard a loud bang.

When he turned around he saw his five-year-old son standing over the fallen Teletubby.

"My son was motionless. He was staring down, looking at the toy," Cheng said.

Staff at the store, a KKPlus in Langham Place, told Cheng the accident had been caused by his son kicking over the statue.

As a result, he agreed to pay for the golden Teletubby, which retailed at HK$52,800 (S$9,236.61) though he was charged the toy's cost price of HK$33,600 (S$5,879.52) instead.

Cheng paid for the damaged sculpture when he was told that his son had kicked it over Image from Hong Kong emergency report and discussion area Facebook group

The golden Laa Laa stood 1.8m tall The golden Laa-Laa before it was destroyed. Image from Jerry Yuen's Facebook

"He took the day off school today"

Yet, Cheng later changed his mind on the incident after viewing footage of what had happened.

The boy leans on the sculpture causing it to tumble, GIF from 菜心戰鬥記 CSS's Facebook page

A blurry video of the accident shows the young child seemingly attempting to lean on Laa-Laa, causing the figure to tumble over.

Hong Kong Free Press reported that Cheng now believes his son may have been wrongfully accused and that the family is now in contact with the store.

"He took a day off school today," said Cheng, who described his son as being scarred by the ordeal.

"Yesterday, he asked me three times why the doll was so terrifying."

Online, debate raged on whether the store should have cordoned off the precariously balanced toy or if the parents should have watched their children more closely.

Store slammed by commenters

The Standard reported that a statement by KKPlus on the incident attracted over 20,000 comments — mostly negative — within a few hours.

The statement has since been deleted.

The deleted statement also revealed that the toy was actually a proto-type made to encourage presales.

"The cost of a prototype involves copyright and design, research and creation, as well as the reinforced packaging fees and transportation costs," wrote KKPlus.

In addition, it explained that a 25cm version of the golden Laa-Laa was retailing at HK$1,180 (S$206.42), putting into perspective what a live-sized version might cost.

According to The Standard, a manager from the store has subsequently admitted some responsibility concerning the accident and said it would take action to prevent such incidents in the future.

Top image from the Hong Kong emergency report and discussion area Facebook group