Götz was founded in Roedental, Germany, in 1950 by Marianne and Franz Götz. (Roedental is also the hometown of Zapf, another well-known German doll manufacturer.) The first dolls were made of paper mâche by family members and sold directly by Franz Götz.
In 1964, Götz was the first doll manufacturer to produce artist dolls by reproducing originals by well-known Swiss doll artist Sasha Morgenthaler, the Sasha line. In 1987, an American subsidiary of Götz was opened in Baldwinsville, NY; it was later closed in 2004.
Gotz continues to manufacture dolls.
In relation to American Girl
Götz was the first designer and manufacturer of the initial release of the American Girl Historical dolls Samantha, Kirsten, and Molly and the designers of the limb molds and Classic Mold (from their "Romina" face mold), which Pleasant Company purchased from Gotz.
Gotz continued to manufacture dolls for American Girl in a limited capacity until approximately the early to mid-90s, when the factories were moved to China. Because of the Gotz connection, some older Pleasant Company dolls may be referred to as West German, with some outfits having 1986 tags.
- Götz is more commonly used in Germany (the official name of the company was Götz Puppenmanufaktur GmbH) and Goetz or Gotz in the USA (the official name of the US company was Goetz Dolls, Inc.). The German letter ö represents the ligature "oe", so either is correct.