American Girl vs. Gotz vs. Ott



Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether to buy an American Girl, Gotz Precious Day, Gotz Sarah or Heidi Ott 18" vinyl play doll for an 8 y.o. girl?

She is not very brand-conscious now, mostly wants a girl doll to play with at home and with her friends who have mostly AG. She is nurturing and doll-oriented; her younger sister (7) will want a doll for the me-too factor, but is not nearly as interested. For various reasons I won't get into, the younger's me-too -ism is worthy of a certain amount of understanding and respect at this point. While we are working on differentiating according to actual inherent likes/dislikes and interests, for something this special that affects their joint social life, we need to pay attention.

Anyway, in online photos, it seems the Gotz and Ott dolls may actually have prettier features. Does anyone know how well they match up in quality (aga or better, worse?), playability or appeal?

I'm pretty sure all clothes fit all dolls except the Sarah may have bigger feet....anybody know for sure?


Comments (11)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My daughter is now 16 (tomorrow). She had a couple of the American Girl dolls now that I think about it.

She also had a bitty baby which if I remember correctly is also from American girl, its just a baby doll rather than girl doll.

I think your girls' ages would both like the American Girl dolls. There are different ones so see which girl likes which doll. Their histories, etc. There are books and stuff and it has become rather like a cult following with an American Doll place you can go with your doll in NYC. Don't have more info since my daughter has long outgrown that phase. I will say while she was enjoying the American Doll phase, there wasn't a shortage of gift ideas at that particular time. American Doll probably sent me 2 catalogs a week. They spot a sucker for sure LOL.

One birthday party, I think maybe 2nd grade was a tea party theme where all the girls brought their American Girl doll. It was a success.

I will say that the interest faded and since my child was for a long time the only grandchild, had way too much American Doll stuff that became utterly useless a couple of years later.
I gave the bitty baby and all the accompanying clothes and such to my neice when she was I think about 4 years old.

Whatever the circumstance, I think the girls should get the same doll but in differing versions, letting them chose from whatever doll collection you decide to go with. Good luck, the best is yet to come, these are the easy years when they still want dolls!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What I like about AG dolls is the body is soft, and so DD loves to sleep with them.

The books are great, and the clothes are, too. It's nice when relatives, like her godmother ask for ideas of what to get her, we can recommend new outfits, etc.

The matching girl outfits are very high quality, too.

I'm not familiar with the other two dolls.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My daughter got a Bitty Baby (from American Girl) when she was three and it's extremely nice. Her grandmother kept sending the clothes and accessories, and matching dresses for our daughter. They are brilliant and of highest quality! Unfortunately, our daughter has never liked dolls but I've had fun playing with all of it. :-)

Cheers, from

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My daughter has 2 American Girl dolls plus 3 of the Target/Walmart knockoffs. DD is a budding hairdresser and the hair on the AG dolls holds up very well to her styling efforts while the cheaper dolls' hair has gotten fuzzy and nappy looking. Since she likes to style hair, she got the styling video, chair, and accessories with the doll last year for Christmas. This year she wants a My Twinn. You send the company a picture of your kid and they design the doll to look like her. BTW, the Target clothes will fit the AG doll and are much cheaper. Also my DD is very horse oriented. The AG horses are very expensive. The Target "My Generation" horses look the same and cost about half as much.

Labmomma, the AG dolls are quite collectable, especially the original dolls by Pleasant Co. Saw a doll on ebay that was damaged still have bids around $70. The bitty baby you gave away was probably worth quite a bit.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have seen all these and the gotz dolls are a great alternative to american girl. I like the american girls, but they are too expensive for what they are. Esp. for a five year old, I will wait until she is older and if she is still interested in the dolls, I will spring for the american girl ones.

Look on for great deals on all types of 18 inch play dolls which can all wear the american girl size clothing. And for a better deal on clothes, buy the clothing at craft fairs. You can find some really cute homemade outfits at those for usually around 10-15 dollars for an outfit.

They run sales too.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello, I have all of these dolls. The Gotz precious day dolls are every bit as nice as the more expensive AG dolls. They are high quality dolls and hold up well to play. The Heidi Ott dolls are not jointed like the Gotz and AG dolls and the hair is not as good but they are pretty and have nice detail on the hands and feet, they actually have toes..very cute. All of these are soft bodied dolls that you can cuddle. Gotz Sarah is an all vinyl doll and is a little bit taller at 19.5 inches. She doesnt have the cuddle factor but is also a very nice doll. She looks really adorable in sun dresses and halter style shirts and swim suits because she is all vinyl and doesnt have the stuffed part showing. I hope this helps.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A girl that age should have the American Girl doll to fit in with the friends who get together to play with them. It is a big thing in that age group. Read the books with them (they are excellent) and the clothes and accessories are top quality and make nice gifts. Although I like the other dolls and agree that some have neater features, it is the whole "American Girl" thing and all that entails with their friends, that makes it important for your girls.

Get the American Girl dolls if you can afford it. The others may be cuter, but it is not the same.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Be careful what you buy, make sure it's not an artist doll, they will not stand up to being played with. I think Gotz marks the box or something as a play doll. The AG dolls are very expensive so I would buy her another brand if she didn't specify AG. Years ago they were $80 each and if you bought everything for one doll, it runs $1,000. and it will not be anything but a play doll as far as future value goes. Check out Target, at one time they even had a lot of accessories.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I chose Gotz. They are they original makers of AG dolls. The clothes are interchangeable between the two. I think the Gotz dolls have prettier faces. Also their hair is rooted, so it is washable if need be. AG doll hair is not. My daughter is 3 and loves her Gotz doll. It is recommended for 3 and up, whereas AG dolls are 8 and up.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Santa got a gotz doll instead of an AG doll for our 7 y o daughter because she was a better match for our daughter's features, the hair was prettier and her sweet smile didn't have the goofy AG teeth in it. It was around the same price as the AG doll. So we were pleased tht my daughter loves the doll. But I have to admit that once or twice she has explained to her friends "oh, but mine is not a real AG doll.." it doesn't seem to bother her, but it does give me a twinge, thinking she might have preferred the more mainstream doll.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

GOTZ Sarah is my is made in Germany...GOTZ was the original maker of AG. AG is now made in China (owned by Mattel) and ALL dolls are the SAME doll. AG dolls cannot stand...they have a soft upper body plate. Unfortunately her friends will be so pro AG and not understand the quality of GOTZ Sarah...which is really like an original AG. Yes, the feet on Sarah are a little bigger

Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Life You Said It: ‘I’m Never Leaving’ and More Houzz Quotables
Design advice, inspiration and observations that struck a chord this week
Full Story
Houzz TV Favorites Houzz TV: See How Early Settlers Lived in This Restored Pilgrim House
Passionate restoration and preservation efforts give a 1665 home an honored place in the present
Full Story
Materials Are You a Maker? Show Us Your Favorite Tool or Material
Houzz Call: A tool or material can be a maker’s best friend. We’d like to see your favorite — and what it helps you achieve
Full Story
Inspiration for some backyard chats
Inspiration for a warm welcome
Inspiration for dinner time under the stars
Inspiration for a little quality time
Inspiration for making that best pizza ever
Swigart Home Improvement can provide you with excellent home improvements and repairs. Our experts will help you... Read More