A boy breaks a toy in a shop and his parents pay for it. It ought to have been as simple as that. Only the shattering events that took place at Langham Place in Mong Kok on Sunday evening have proved to be a lot more complicated.
Photos circulating online showed a young boy, with his head down, standing next to a 1.8-metre tall Teletubbies figure that had smashed into pieces. It was said that his parents coughed up more than HK$30,000 to cover the cost of the damage.
But a video capturing the Teletubby's sad end later surfaced, showing the boy was trying to avoid somebody passing by when he took a step back and leaned slightly into the statue, which then toppled over and shattered.
The incident sparked heated discussion in the cyber world, and while some criticised the parents for not watching their kid closely, most sided with the family, saying a fragile statue like that should have been fenced-off and warnings displayed.
A furniture shop quickly spotted a marketing opportunity, posting an ad on social media saying: “parents, be at ease, our cabinets are securely fastened”.
The father of the five-year-old boy told a Commercial Radio programme on Tuesday morning that a shop assistant had told him and his wife that their boy had kicked the Teletubby.
He said this led him to believe that the kick had unbalanced the figure, so he quickly agreed to pay for it and then left the store. But when he saw the video later in the evening, he felt he had been misled by the shop.
“I watched it again and again to look at what my son did. I saw that he just leaned back to avoid someone who was passing, and it fell. He immediately turned around to try to catch it. He looked helpless. It was unintentional,” the father said.
He said his son was shocked and didn’t say a word on the way home, and later asked why the toy was "so scary".
The father also said he hopes the shop will refund the family now they have learned what really happened.
The shop issued a statement saying the cost involved covered intellectual property rights, design, research and development, casting of the figure, reinforcement, transport and installation.
It said the statue was only for visitors’ appreciation and could not withstand any pressure, adding that the incident had been resolved, with the solution proposed by the boy's parents.
The company said it would contact the family again to follow-up on the matter, but did not give details.
Shortly after the father spoke on the radio, the company deleted a Facebook post with the statement which received more than 21,000 angry emojis.