The user experience of broken artifacts

The other day, looking at toys in a kid store, I ran across this robotic horse and my attention was instantly attracted by the missing left ear: Ouch!

Why do I blog this? My interest towards the user experience of broken artifacts. This poor robotic pet has lost an important body part. But important for whom? Obviously it would not really change the robot itself (I don't think there was any noise sensor in there) but what does that mean for the robot "user" (I put it into brackets because it's difficult to define a stereotypical "user"). It made me think of the uncanny valley (as defined in Wikipedia: the emotional response of humans to robots and other non-human entities). How uncanny is uncanny? Would it repel kids? Would they find it curious? What would be the discourse around this?

Is it possible to take advantage of defunct parts of artifacts? Can design take this into account? I was wondering if there could be a sort of long-term design perspective in which you create objects with intended malfunctions (to foster specific user behavior).