A Hong Kong father who paid HK$33,600 (US$4,255) for a 1.8-metre-tall golden Tellytubby figurine after his son was accused of breaking it has been refunded in full.
A spokesperson for the mainland China-based toy distributor, Kidsland International Holdings Limited, apologised on Tuesday for the inconvenience it had brought to the family. It added that it has returned the money, local media reported.
The family forked out the sum at KKPlus – a toy store owned by Kidsland in Mong Kok’s Langham Place mall – on Sunday evening, when their five-year-old son leaned lightly against the large toy in the crowded shop. The incident was captured in a video that went viral.
Mr Cheng, the father, told Commercial Radio on Tuesday morning that he had just stepped out for a moment to take a phone call when he heard a loud bang behind him. He turned around to see his son staring at a 1.8-metre gold Teletubbies toy that had fallen over, its head severed and an arm splintered off, he said.
Staff said the child had earlier been seen kicking the doll, Mr Cheng told Commercial Radio. Believing that it was his son’s fault, he agreed to pay for the doll, which retailed at HK$52,800. A shopkeeper at KKPlus told him that the store would charge him the cost price of $33,600 instead.
HKFP has reached out to Kidsland and KKPlus.
The incident sparked widespread debate on social media, with people accusing KKPlus of scamming the father and questioning why it had not cordoned off the doll to prevent people from coming close to it. Others said the parents should have kept a closer watch on their son.
KKPlus posted a statement on its Facebook page early on Tuesday, explaining that the doll had been in the same spot since last November and “had not brought any inconvenience to customers.” It added that the company would “learn from this experience to prevent similar incidents from happening again.”
The statement was deleted before 11 a.m.
Kidsland is said to be China’s largest toy retailer. It also operates LEGO stores in Hong Kong.
In an interview with HK01 on Tuesday, KKPlus’ manager admitted that the store had not taken sufficient precautions. He said the store had removed all toys over one metre tall and would conduct a review.
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