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Why Do American Girl Dolls Look Like They Do? The Story of Romina


Yesterday, I noticed some blog readers discussing a doll named Romina made by a German company, Gotz. I decided to post about this doll because it's not just a normal doll. Without Romina, American Girl wouldn't be what it is today!

Gotz Puppenmanufaktur, or Gotz for short, is a German doll company. It was founded by Marianne and Franz Gotz in 1950. They started out by making papier-mache dolls, but they switched to vinyl doll making in 1957.

Around the early 1980's, they released a doll nicknamed by collectors as "Romina".

Looks familiar? Well, this doll was the basis for, you guessed it, Samantha! I'll let Pleasant Rowland explain in her own words:

"Though I had experience creating books, I hadn't a clue how to make dolls or the myriad clothes and accessories I envisioned for them. I didn't even have a model of a cute doll, so I sent a friend to Chicago to find one. By the end of the second day, she found one at Marshall Field's, down in the storeroom, covered with dust. Nobody had paid any attention to this doll because it had crossed eyes! The sales clerk had no idea where it had come from, but when we undressed the doll, sewn inside the underpants was a label that said 'Gotz Puppenfabrik, Rodental, West Germany.' A series of letters and phone calls later, I was in Germany picking out fabrics and ribbons and clothes for the American Girl dolls."

That one label changed everything, and American Girl bought the Romina face mold from Gotz, creating what we know today as the Classic face mold!

Did you find this interesting?


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